While fires in carry-on items create their own hazards on flights, experience has shown that they can be extinguished with water. Crew can’t reach bags in cargo areas during flight, so must rely on a plane’s fire suppression systems.The U.S. Homeland Security Department in June 2017 funneled more such electronics into cargo holds out of fears that electronics as small as a tablet computer could be used to hide terrorist bombs. The agency stopped short of a threatened ban on taking the devices into airline cabins, but required additional screening of electronics.The FAA hasn’t imposed any new restrictions on what passengers may pack in checked bags. Last year, in a notice to airlines, it said they should conduct a safety study to determine what more they should do to limit the risks of battery fires in cargo areas.
The FAA tests found that the anti-fire halon gas installed in airline cargo areas wouldn’t extinguish a lithium battery fire, but it prevents the blaze from spreading to adjacent material such as cardboard or clothing.However, aerosol cans exploded in tests even after being bathed in the halon gas, the FAA found.As a species, we've evolved with a large brain and just two hands. So we're smart enough to have invented laptops, mobile phones, tablet computers and electronic book readers, but limited in our capacity to carry them around.No wonder the first thing we do after ordering the new iPhone is to source a protective case that can be flipped open with just one hand.We really do tote a phone, pad, notebook and e-reader around during the business day, and a wall charger, cables, a back up battery, and some transport, credit and building access cards.
With all that tech, the carry cases we use are key, and assuming one hand will be fully occupied with some kind of briefcase, we need to maximise what we can do with the other.With the right gear, you can use just one hand to open and answer your phone, swipe onto the bus, tram or train, tap and pay for coffee and use your proximity card to access the office, all the while carrying your tech bag in the other.Almost every full coverage phone case in the stores is folio style, the kind that opens horizontally like a book. Try answering one of those single-handedly. Even with a handset as small as our present iPhone 6, it's not easy and runs a high risk of dropping the device.We've long preferred a vertical flip case where the front cover can be unlatched with one thumb and then opens downwards under gravity. Much easier and safer to answer with one hand but, for some reason, much harder to find and buy.
For our new iPhone Xs, we sourced just the case we wanted from iCoverLover.com.au, at $34 in our preferred red leather.For just $60, the sturdy STM Chapter notebook briefcase has space for a laptop, external keyboard, a paper file if we need one and a charger. Supplied
There are thousands of smartphone cases and cover sites online, but with local stock that arrives in a few days, a well-organised website, large range and sensible pricing, this is one we always check out.For computer carry cases, our go-to brand is STM. Designed in Sydney by the same two partners who founded the business 20 years ago, the emphasis is on good-looking, well priced and functional rather than uber chic, overpriced and impractical.
What's the good of a close-fitting $200 leather envelope for our MacBook Pro, without a carry handle or space to pack even a few pages of printed material?For just $60, our sturdy STM Chapter notebook briefcase has space for a laptop, and external keyboard, a paper file if we need one and a charger.STM was born because co-founder Ethan Nyholm couldn't find the right bag for his own laptop, and wearied of biking it around in a padded post-pack inside a backpack.After two decades teamed with Adina Jacobs, there's still a philosophy that products are best designed by people who actually use them. Their Grace and Myth ranges especially reek of sensible style.Card carrying
There's one issue we've had to solve for ourselves. There are four swipe cards we use almost daily: travel card, credit card, building and lift access, and office entry. With the STM brief and maybe an umbrella in our right hand, we wanted a way to reach for and use each swipe with just our left. Finding a solution took months.
It needed to be a case where we tap the card without removing it from the wallet. Remember, we only have one spare hand. Conventional wallets are no good because they store cards stacked, and proximity readers in buildings, buses and stores detect and reject multiple cards.Eventually, we found the flip open Gryphen Hoxton travel pass holder with slots for two cards. Of course, you can slip in two cards a side to make four, but then you strike the "multiple cards detected" problem.On eBay, we located a source of RFID blocking metallic fabric, the kind used to make wallets that can't be scanned by scammers. We cut out two credit-card-sized pieces that slip between pairs of swipe cards, so scanners detect only one card at a time.Now, with laptop bag and brolly in one hand, the other can easily access and open our phone, or tap any card we like.Business professionals plagued by short battery lives for their laptops can rejoice now that Intel has unveiled new efforts to increase the battery power of their devices at Computex 2018 in Taipei.
At the conference, Intel said they were working on a new Low Power Display Technology that combined more efficient energy use with lower power consumption to increase the battery life of a 13-inch display. For some devices, that could lead to a battery that lasts longer than a full day."The display consumes the most battery in a device, and one way we're working to enable all-day battery life is by co-engineering the new Intel Low Power Display Technology, featured in a one watt panel manufactured by Sharp and Innolux, which can cut LCD power consumption by half," Gregory Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel, said in a press release. "Through continued innovation with the industry, we expect to deliver an additional four to eight hours of local video playback - that means battery life could be up to 28 hours on some devices."
In a presentation at the conference, Intel played a time-lapse video showing the laptop operating for 25 hours. Bryant also added that changes in hardware and new Intel GPU software allow for the lower battery power use.According to the release, lighting up the screen is the most energy-consuming task laptops perform, and their system takes measures to address this while keeping screen brightness relatively high. With the help of Sharp and Innolux, their new screens use half of the energy they used to."The latest Intel processors manage the overall system to conserve power, and therefore preserve battery life. For example, with Intel 6th generation processor technology, if the system is running an HD video, the processor will automatically lower the power usage of anything else within the system that is not in use at that time," Intel noted in their guide for testing their batteries.
The tech will only work for certain laptops equipped with Intel's software and hardware, and anyone using Nvidia or AMD graphics cards are out of luck, the release said.A number of laptop makers are now prioritizing extended battery life in their new products and working on ways to optimize power use or create smart systems that can automatically reduce energy usage for you.Microsoft announced last year that Windows 10 will try to reduce battery drain with their new Power Throttling feature, identifying which programs are using the most energy and close those not in use.The tiny, thin pair of prongs used on electrical plugs are tricky to jam into a power outlet if you can’t see what you’re doing. Ten One Design’s new Stella plug improves on the design with something we’ve never seen before: a built-in torch that automatically turns on near outlets to light the way.