Have you ever picked up your cell, looked at the battery life, and go, “But I just charged this thing. What gives?” It’s not just you. According to The Washington Post, the smartphones battery life is getting worse. And, chances are, you’re new and upgraded 2018 smartphone’s battery life is actually worse than older models.

Phone makers have claimed to have tackled this battle by including more-efficient processors, low-power modes, and artificial intelligence to manage app drain, but it’s no secret to the battery industry that the lithium-ion batteries in smartphones have hit a plateau.

So, what gives? According to Nadim Maluf, CEO of a firm that optimizes batteries called Qnovos, batteries improve at a very slow pace, about 5 percent per year. (more…)

Cellphones have changed the way the world communicates, but one bar owner is looking to revert to a more classic type of interpersonal communication – if only for one drink.

Looking to give his customers a little encouragement to take their eyes off the electronic screens, bar owner Steven Tyler of East Sussex’s Gin Tub installed metal mesh in the bar’s ceiling and walls. By doing this, all electromagnetic signals are absorbed and redistributed – successfully preventing them from entering the building and preventing patrons from accessing the internet and social media feeds.

This process – known as a Faraday Cage – is derived from Michael Faraday’s 1836 discovery used to prevent interference between electronic equipment in highly charged environments.

Unlike signal jammers, a Faraday Cage is completely legal.

“Unlike jammers, Faraday cages don’t proactively cause interference, although they do interfere with mobile reception,” said a spokesman from Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK.

While some worry that the Faraday Cage could alienated younger bar-goers, Tyler believes it’s a necessary measure in a world so addicted to digital communication.

“I just wanted people to enjoy a night out in my bar, without being interrupted by their phones,” Tyler told BBC. “So rather than asking them not to use their phones, I stopped the phones working. I want you to enjoy the experience of going out.”

Texting while walkingSmartphones are amazing little bundles of electrochemistry. From the sensors that pick up your touch and analyze your voice to the battery that is small and powerful enough to provide enough power to run applications on demand – the innovative science behind smartphones has changed the lives of people around the world.

But sometimes those changes are not completely positive. With increased dependence on smartphones, many people now roam the sidewalk with their nose buried in their phones. According to The Wall Street Journal, the number of distracted pedestrians using cellphones is up 124 percent from 2010. Some researchers are even blaming portable electronic gadgets for 10 percent of pedestrian injuries and a half-dozen deaths each year.

In Germany, these distracted pedestrians have been deemed “sombies,” or “smartphone zombies.” And the German government isn’t just looking to throw out a new buzzword, they’re also seeking to solve this issue.

According to reports from The Local, the city of Augsburg recently installed rows of LED lights into the sidewalk that can sense when distracted pedestrians are approaching and give off a bright flash of red to warn them to not mindlessly wander into the street.

“We realized that the normal traffic light isn’t in the line of sight of many pedestrians these days,” said Tobias Harms of the Augsburg city administration in an interview with The Augsburger Allgemeine. “So we decided to have an additional set of lights – the more we have, the more people are likely to notice them.”