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Google might launch a reborn Chromebook Pixel and smaller Home

Do you still have a Chromebook Pixel-shaped hole in your heart months after Google pulled the plug? Good news — Google might be bringing it back. A source speaking to Android Police claims that a “Pixel-branded Chromebook” will launch alongside the next Pixel phones at an event this fall. Details are scarce, including whether or not this is the fabled laptop that would run Andromeda, the long-rumored cross between Android and Chrome OS. That system was supposed to be a convertible PC with a tablet mode, a 12.3-inch display and an optional Wacom stylus, but there’s no certainty that this design is the one that launches. We certainly wouldn’t count on the originally planned $799 pricing.

This wouldn’t be the only hardware bonus in store. Reportedly, there would also be a smaller version of the Home smart speaker. Although there isn’t much to say about that, either, it stands to reason that this would be a competitor to Amazon’s Echo Dot, which ditched all but the most basic of built-in audio in the name of price.

Android Police‘s sources tend to be accurate, but we’d take this scoop with a grain of salt as there’s a lot that could change. However, it would make sense for Google to launch both products. Now that Microsoft’s Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S are gunning after Chrome OS, Google might want a riposte that gives Surface buyers a reason to think twice. Likewise, Google may want to expand its smart speaker roster before Amazon conquers the space with its rapidly growing lineup. One thing’s for sure: if any of this is true, Google is going to be very, very busy toward the end of the year.

Source: Android Police

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My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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