This New User-Replaceable Battery Could Power a Tesla for 1,500+ Miles

Aluminum-air fuel cell
John McLellan

A British engineer has developed a new battery that can be used to power electric cars for upwards of 1,500 miles before they need to be recharged. Deals are being made to begin production and distribution in the UK.

Trevor Jackson, a 58-year-old inventor from Tavistock, Devon, had a career that included working for Rolls-Royce to help design nuclear reactors and a position in the Royal Navy as a lieutenant on nuclear submarines.

A new electrolyte formula is at the core of Jackson’s invention for the high-powered car battery. The formula is said to be top secret but the electrolyte uses lower-purity metal and is described as being non-poisonous or caustic to the extent that Jackson reportedly drank some when demonstrating it to investors—not something you’d do with the toxic substances in most batteries.

More accurately, the new device should be described as a fuel cell and not a battery, DailyMail notes. Compared to the conventional lithium-ion batteries currently powering today’s electronics, Jackson’s aluminum-air fuel cell reportedly generates nine times as much energy (nine times as many kilowatt-hours of electricity per kilogram).

Whereas the existing Tesla Model S can travel for about 370 miles from one charge, the same vehicle could travel up to 2,700 miles if equipped with a version of Jackson’s aluminum-air fuel cell that weighed the same as its lithium-ion battery, or 1,500 miles for a version of the cell that was the same size as the Tesla’s lithium-ion battery. What’s more, Jackson claims that while the Tesla battery costs around £30,000, an aluminum-air cell could power the same car for £5,000.

DailyMail notes that the average British family only travels around 7,900 miles every year, in which case those individuals would only need to swap their fuel cell a few times a year. It’s thought that the new aluminum-air fuel cell will also be useful for industrial applications with large vehicles that typically strain the limitations of lithium-ion batteries. The aluminum-air cells could power large trucks or buses, which would otherwise require lithium-ion batteries that are practically as heavy as the freight being hauled.

Jackson is in discussions with two aircraft makers to use his new fuel cell in propeller planes for short-haul passenger and cargo flights. He has also signed a multi-million-pound deal to start manufacturing the fuel cell on a large scale in the UK, where Austin Electric will be shipping thousands of them in electric vehicles next year.

There are also plans in the works to produce three-wheeler taxis and electric bikes for the Asian market, as well as conversion kits that can transform standard gas and diesel vehicles into hybrids with rear wheels powered by aluminum-air fuel cells and electric motors. Jackson anticipates that conversion kits will be available early next year and each conversion will cost around £3,500.

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How to Create Automations on an iPhone or iPad

The "Running Your Automation" shortcuts notification on an iPhone.
Khamosh Pathak

Apple’s Shortcuts app has been integrated directly into iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. After years of consistent improvements, you can now create trigger-free, notification-based automations on your iPhone and iPad.

How Automations Work on iPhone and iPad

Apple introduced the Shortcuts app in iOS 12. Before that, the app was sold on the App Store as Workflow.

You can ask Siri to initiate a shortcut (a predefined set of actions) or press a button on your iPhone or iPad to do it. Now, a shortcut can fire off automatically based on given parameters. It can even happen in the background and use certain external triggers, like NFC. The Shortcuts Automations feature is available on devices that run iOS 13.1 or iPadOS 13.1 and above.

However, not all shortcut automations are automatic.

By default, the automation shows a notification in which you can trigger the shortcut after you tap “Run.” Some shortcuts based on direct physical manipulation with the iPhone or iPad do run automatically (more on this below).

RELATED: What Are iPhone Shortcuts and How Do I Use Them?

How to Create an Event Automation on iPhone or iPad

You can create two kinds of Automations on your iPhone or iPad: Personal and Home. Personal automations are related to your iOS and iPadOS device. The Home automations are related to your HomeKit devices.

In this article, we focus on the Personal automations on your iPhone and iPad. Let’s take a look at the actions you can trigger.

Events

  • Time of Day: You can trigger this at any time of day, at sunrise, or sunset.
  • Alarm: This shortcut runs when an alarm is stopped or snoozed.
  • Apple Watch Workouts: This can be triggered when a workout on your Apple Watch starts, pauses, or ends.

Travel

  • Arrive: A location-based trigger that activates when you arrive at a certain location.
  • Leave: A trigger for when you leave a certain location.
  • Before I Commute: This action tries to predict when you usually leave for work or home and triggers the shortcut at the given time, or up to an hour before you leave.
  • CarPlay: A shortcut is triggered when you connect or disconnect from CarPlay.

Settings

  • Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, BluetoothDo Not DisturbLow Power Mode: This shortcut triggers when you turn these settings on or off.
  • NFC: With this trigger, you can tap your iPhone on an NFC sticker and run a shortcut. Modern iPhones (iPhone XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max) can run NFC shortcuts in the background.
  • Open App: This trigger runs a shortcut when you open any app.

Let’s walk through an example. Say you want to create a shortcut that plays soothing music when you open the Twitter app. Open the Shortcuts app, and then tap “Automation” in the bottom toolbar.

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How macOS Catalina’s New Security Features Work

Hands holding a lock over a MacBook
Issarawat Tattong/Shutterstock.com

macOS Catalina introduces new security controls. For example, apps are now required to ask your permission before accessing parts of the drive where documents and personal files are kept. Let’s take a look at what’s new for security in Catalina.

Some Apps Require Permission to Access Your Files

macOS Catalina Disk Access Permission Dialog

Apps now have to request permission to access certain parts of your file system. This includes your Documents and Desktop folders, your iCloud Drive, and any external volumes that are currently connected to your Mac (including flash drives, memory cards, and so on). This is the change that’s been getting the most headlines.

Apple has been pushing permission-based access for a while on iOS, and we’re seeing more of these security policies make their way into macOS. When you first upgrade to Catalina, this can result in a blizzard of permission request dialog boxes. This has led some to compare the feature to Windows Vista’s full-screen security prompts (but in reality, it’s nowhere near as egregious).

From a security standpoint, it’s a change to be welcomed, though it can take some time to get used to. Not every app will request access, either. In our tests, we were able to open and save files using markdown editor Typora, but navigating to the Documents folder in Terminal using the cd ~/Documents/ command prompted a request for permission.

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Save up to $40 on Amazon Fire Tablets and Kindle E-Readers

An Amazon Kindle

If you’ve been waiting for a heavy discount on Amazon’s devices, now might be the time to get your wallet out. The company has reduced prices by as much as $40 on many of its Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers.

In some cases, this pricing has previously only been offered during sales events that were limited to Amazon Prime subscribers. However, this promotion is available to everyone. The discounted items include the standard Fire 7 and Fire 8, Kids Edition Fire 7 and Fire 8, as well as the new 10th-gen Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite.

Although the Fire 7’s price has only been reduced by $10, that puts the device at $39.99 as it was previously only $49.99. If you’d prefer a bigger display and beefier battery, the Fire 8 has been discounted to $59.99 from $79.99.

Likewise, the Fire 7 Kids Edition is now priced at $69.99 and the Fire 8 Kids Edition is $99.99—both being $30 off their usual rate. Amazon’s “Kids Edition” products come with a protective cover, one year of access to kid-friendly content through FreeTime Unlimited, and a two-year worry-free guarantee that Amazon will replace any devices your kids break.

Amazon’s 10th-generation Kindle (the newest one) has seen its price cut by $25 from $89.99 to $64.99. Key features include an integrated front light for reading in the dark and weeks-long battery life. Alternatively, the Kindle Paperwhite with its ultra-sharp 300 ppi display is now only $89.99, $40 off from $129.99.

It’s not just Amazon US who has these types of deals going on right now. Amazon UK currently offers similar discounts on the Fire 7 (£15 off, now only £35), Fire 8 (£20 off, now only £60), and the Kindle Paperwhite (£30 off, now only £90).

Source: Engadget

What’s the Difference Between Caramel Apples and Candy Apples?

delicious caramel apples covered in crushed nuts
Teri Virbickis/Shutterstock

Just in case you’ve ever wondered if there was a difference between a candy apple and a caramel apple, we’ll break things down and cover the basics.

Many people use the words “candy apple” to describe any apple immersed in a sweet and delicious coating, but we’re here to clear things up. While both sweet treats take washed apples and pierce sticks into them before dipping, each has its own flavors and textures. Whichever is best is for you to decide.

What Is a Caramel Apple?

Although caramel is a type of candy, a caramel apple is not the same as a candy apple. Caramel apples—shown in the photo above—have a soft and chewy texture, and each bite brings you buttery sweet flavors. The perfectly tart apples combined with the sweet and creamy caramel flavor make for a tasty fall snack.

Caramel apples can be made in a variety of ways, depending on the homemade caramel recipe. A basic recipe uses sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, and cream, but others use ingredients like brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk.

Many opt to unwrap and melt caramel candies for a quick and easy-to-make coating. Whichever you choose is up to you.

Caramel apples are also known for being decorated and further flavored with ingredients like chopped nuts, chocolate drizzle, and various candies.

What Is a Candy Apple?

shiny red candy apples with black and white striped sticks resting on a silver platter
Arina P. Habich/Shutterstock

A candy apple is covered with a shiny red hard shell of homemade candy coating and should always be eaten with caution. The candy breaks or shatters with each bite, making it a deliciously dangerous treat to eat.

The candy apple was said to be invented by a candy-maker named William W. Kolb. While experimenting, he dipped apples in a red cinnamon mixture. Although they were intended to draw customers in around Christmas, they’re now commonly consumed around Halloween.

The candy coating is made from ingredients like water, sugar, light corn syrup, and red food coloring. Authentic candy apples have a cinnamon flavor. Nowadays, most people opt to use red food coloring instead.

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