How To Build A Hand Cranked Mobile Phone Charger Out Of A Drill, Wooden Spoon And Mixing Beater.

Hand Cranked and MacGyver'd Emergency Mobile Phone ChargerSimple? Sort of.
MacGyver? Definitely.

If your power is out and you’re not sure when it’s coming back, maybe following the instructions and collecting the required materials (wooden spoon, drill, string, aluminum foil etc.) to “Make an Emergency Phone Charger – MacGyver Style!” isn’t that crazy. [Instructables via Neatorama]


HTC Smartphone Is So Big That HTC Had To Give It A Little “Phone Call” Friendly Brother.

HTC Butterfly with HTC MiniDr. Evil would be so proud. In an effort to build the next big thing in smartphones, one manufacturer is now producing a “mini-me” version of itself in order to be more useful. It’s the Mini and HTC has added it as an accessory for the 5.5″ HTC Butterfly to make it more phoning-friendly. From Gizmag:

“The device (HTC Mini) connects to the Butterfly via Near Field Communication (NFC). It’s small, light, and could be dropped in a shirt pocket while the much larger Butterfly sits in a deeper pocket or purse.”

So here’s the recap: HTC built a phone that was too cumbersome to use as a phone so they built a separate phone to work with the original phone in order to be a more convenient phone. Makes me wonder if cutting out the middleman (HTC Butterfly) would be the best way to go. [Gizmag]


Why Aren’t People Willing To Recycle Their Cellphones for $$$?

Marty Cooper  Cellphone InventorSami Grover over at posted an interesting article about an unsuccessful cellphone recycling program in the UK started by O2, a cellphone network provider. “Brits Get Good Money For Recycling Phones. Many Don’t Bother.” details how earning up to $140 isn’t enough to motivate people to recycle their no-longer used cellphones. Here’s some data on the UK provided by O2:

    • 17.5 million of these gadgets are thrown out each year
    • One on six (16%) who think that recycling is not worth it (same as the percentage that did recycle)
    • Almost a third (31%) who are not aware that the services exist
    • Almost one in ten (9%) can’t be bothered

And the numbers are worse in the US where 141 million mobile devices were sold in 2009 and the recycling rate was only 8%. The unused majority will end up in a drawer and gather dust which makes me wonder – why do we need to recycle our old cellphones? Yes, cellphones are loaded with toxic chemicals like lead, mercury, beryllium, arsenic, and cadmium – but the phones are just sitting in a box or drawer and not finding the trash. Probably the best answer is that our old cellphones have parts that can be reused cutting down the need for new raw materials and their toxic chemicals can be safely extracted during the recycling process.

“Jubbling as I say and not as I do Jubbling”?
I’m as guilty if not more than anyone out there. My stash of six previously-loved cellphones occupy a tiny space in a drawer so I have no incentive to recycle them. They’re worthless to cellphone recyclers like Nextworth but to me, they still hold value in the electronic hoarding sense because I spent anywhere from $200 to $500 on each of these buggers. I won’t put them in the trash but I’m not giving my never gonna use again cellphones up easily.

That’s why I think the success of any cellphone recycling program should not be based on the highest return you might receive for your old phone but the lowest that you are guaranteed. Kind of a like a cash for clunkers thing through cellphone service providers where any recycled phone will get you a flat credit toward your bill. The incentive goes both ways here – service provider receives (or keeps) a customer and you get a guaranteed value for cellphones you don’t use.


Wysip’s Photovoltaic Film Hopes To Turn Your Cellphone Into A Solar Panel

Wysip Photovoltaic Film Turns Cellphone Into Solar PanelFrom an article on

Wysips might have created a truly Jubbling technology that could change the way we charge our cellphones. Their product is a super-thin, transparent photovoltaic film that sits on a cellphone screen and according to the Wysip, the photovoltaic film will not affect the accuracy of a phone’s touchscreen. The photovoltaic film, which is 100 microns thin, sits on the screen for the demo only; future models of the Wysip photovoltaic film will be integrated into your phones LCD.

An important feature pointed out in the video below is how the Wysip photovoltaic film will continuously charge a cellphone as long as the screen is facing light and whether it’s in use or not. To charge a typical cell phone battery, it would take Wysip’s photovoltaic film 6 hours of outdoor light, indoor charging would take considerably longer. Wysip’s goal for the second-generation of their product, which is due out next year, is 30 minutes of talk time after an hour of charging. Not quite the speed of AC or USB charging but definitely more Jubbling.

On Wysip’s website, they calculate how a nuclear reactor’s worth of production of electricity could be saved by porting their technology to the 2 billion mobile phones being used today. Vampire draw would also be an area for saving with the Wysip photovoltaic film. Future applications and integration of Wysip’s photovoltaic film technology would be in laptops and e-readers.

After reading about $60 million wave power farms and researching the heck out of the Solar Bra, I’ve become a little cynical of all of the crap labeled as green. It’s nice to see a Jubbling idea that may actually work and change the way we currently consume.

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