James Rosewell writes:
Last week I decided to use my own hard earned money to buy the latest high-end HTC smartphone running Android 2.1 in the form of the Google Nexus One. I’ve not used an Android-based device as my main phone for some time so was keen to understand the improvements to the operating system and see for myself how fast the Snapdragon processor really is.
Last week's International CES in Las Vegas saw the appearance of the RCA Airnegy, a dongle-sized device that claimed to recharge mobile phones by using WiFi signals. The company said they'd demonstrated Airnegy taking around 90 minutes to charge a BlackBerry Bold from one-third battery capacity to full. RCA says the 'WiFi hotspot power harvester' device will go on sale later this year for $40 (around £25), with plans to incorporate the entire technology in a battery next year.
However initial enthusiasm for the device has turned to scepticism, with a number of online commentators pointing out the difficulty of generating enough power by harvesting 2.4GHz WiFi signals. One suggested that battery charging would take years, not hours.
The US National Safety Council has estimated that a 1.6 million traffic accidents every year are caused by drivers using mobile phones. That's 28% of all road accidents in the United States. It says the vast majority of crashes - 1.4 million - are caused by drivers using mobiles and at least 200,000 more are caused by drivers who are texting.
Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said "This new estimate provides critical data for legislators, business leaders and individuals to evaluate the threat and need for legislation, business policies and personal actions to prevent cell phone use and texting while driving."
The USA has a new non-profit organisation; a national group called FocusDriven that's devoted to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The group was created following a 'Distracted Driving Summit' in Washington DC last September and describes itself as "advocates for cell-free driving".
US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said "Just as groups like MADD [Mothers Against Drunk Driving] changed attitudes about drunk driving, I believe FocusDriven can help raise awareness and change the way people think about distracted driving. Together, I hope we can put an end to this dangerous practice."