This week at TreeHugger: We celebrate the festive holiday season with a peek at the year's 10 wackiest ways to hack the planet. If you believe one Stanford scientist, one small modification could increase lithium ion battery storage by 10 times; that's right: 40 hours of laptop battery life per charge. Lastly, we put hands on the Asus Eee PC, and the verdict: your days of struggling to type on a Blackberry are numbered. This thing is the future of green computing.
Next to nonstop nauseating Christmas carols in elevators and restaurants, the next seasonal biggest infestation is the ubiquitous list of almost anything anywhere. Some are more interesting and fun than others, such as Wired Magazine's 10 Craziest Ways to Hack the Earth, which includes all those fun geo-engineering ideas like solar shields in space, pumping clouds, seeding the ocean with nutrients to promote plankton growth and other wild and crazy ideas, some of which are not so wild and crazy.
The latest breakthrough in lithium ion battery technology may not sound all that impressive. After all, we're just talking about some modifications to the battery's anode — a set of silicon whisker-like wires — hardly anything earthshattering. Yet, if you believe the claims of Stanford materials scientist Yi Cui, his modification could allow batteries to store up to 10 times the charge of conventional rechargeables - enough juice to power a laptop for almost 2 full days.
Lastly, we put the Asus Eee PC through it's paces; while the surprisingly small, surprisingly versatile 'puter won't replace your MacBook or make you want to toss your iPod, it still stands to revolutionize the way we compute for the next decade. Why struggle typing on a Blackberry keyboard when you can see the real gmail, type with ten fingers and basically have the functionality of a full notebook computer in a package the size of a paperback book, for three hundred and fifty bucks? All that's left to do is figure out how to power it with solar, and we'll never blog from home again.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.