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Why is wireless charging progressing so slowly?

Nexus Wireless ChargerAs you may know Stella and I both carry  Nexus 4 cell phones. Under the Christmas tree there happened to be a Nexus 7 tablet to add to her gadget mix.

Since the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 are both capable of wireless charging I also bought her one of the Qi-compliant wireless chargers. Stella has a well-documented disdain for wires, so the wireless charger holds considerable appeal.

The Qi standard was created by Wireless Power Consortium in 2009. It’s simply mind-boggling how stupidly rare and costly wireless chargers remain, even though the technology should be by now well-established.

Google’s own Nexus wireless charger, a single position model, costs a whopping $50!

Looking on Amazon I find that there are a number of Qi wireless chargers offered. Single device chargers run $20 – 50, with many in the $30+ range.

Two position Qi wireless chargers, the most practical solution for someone with multiple devices, run from $50 to over $100!

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The Belkin Conserve Valet: Dishonorably Discharged?

valet-charge-smartIn recent years the number of devices that we need to charge daily has constantly grown. Initially it was just our two cell phones. Since they each had unique power connectors each had its own AC adapter that lived near the appropriate night stand. Simple enough. Tidy even.

My Blackberry Bold 9700 was the first cell phone I used the featured the newly common micro-USB power connector. Shortly thereafter we added a Barnes & Noble Color Nook. Both of those devices require high-current chargers, where “high-current” means more than the 500 mA that is actually part of the USB standard.

That’s when things started getting more complicated. We may have achieved standardization of connectors, but still required dedicated chargers for some devices.

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Rant: American Auto-Makers Still Need a Clue

[Begin music: Beach Boys, “I Get Around”]

Recent projects have had me in Chicago, Milwaukee, Washington DC and Nashville. Suffice it to say that over the past few months I’ve rented cars on several occasions.

[Change music: Max Webster, “Battle Scar”]

Most typically I book what the rental companies call an “SCAR.” That’s their code for a “Standard Car” but I’ve come to believe that it also describes the relationship between domestic auto makers and the auto renting public…scarred.

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