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Smartboard Turns Any Surfer Into an Amateur Ocean Conservationist

Smartphin, a new data-collecting surfboard, lets wave-heads gather key info on changing ocean conditions while they hang ten.

Below the surface, the ocean offers researchers a wealth of information on climate change.

Did you know that the near-shore zone is one of the most difficult areas of the ocean to chart? Unlike the deeper parts of the water, equipment in this turbulent stretch is often destroyed by storms, waves, or rusted by constant exposure to both air and salty seas. This has left an information gap in the ongoing effort to monitor the effect of climate change on the oceans—until now. Smartphin, a surfboard fin with a data-collecting chip embedded under its varnished exterior, is able to collect this valuable information, turning surfers into citizen scientists.

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New Upcycle Tech Gives Dead Phone Batteries a Second Lease on Life

The BETTER RE power pack taps old and discarded batteries for remaining charges.

BETTER RE is a power pack able to tap old and discarded batteries for remaining charges.

The sad thing about “smart” phones is that they very quickly lose their luster, usually just a few short years after purchase. Apps become incompatible, download times take longer and longer, and, the most popular complaint, batteries often don’t stay charged. But what if, instead of chucking your phone or its battery, you could use it down to very last drop? BETTER RE, a new kickstarter project, promises to extract the last amperes of energy as a “short term backup power pack solution.” At 67.65mm (2.66 inch) by 128.5mm (5.05 inch), this tiny device is slim, portable, and based on a simple, single platform—compatible with a variety of different smartphone batteries, both big (2,800 mAh) and small (1,810 mAh).

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Donate Your Phone Screen To Swedish Doctors

The new Screen Donor app allows smartphone users to “donate” their blank screens to charities and non-profit organizations.

Want your phone to promote something more altruistic than Apple’s design branding? Now, thanks to the new Screen Donor app, smartphone users can “donate” their blank screens to be used as ad spaces for charities and non-profit organizations.

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iPavement Puts a World of Knowledge Beneath Your Feet

A new design hopes to put microprocessors on street corners across the world.


Now that the United Nations has declared internet access a human right, any small step that helps get more people online is worth celebrating. That's why iPavement, the latest creation from Spanish tech company Via Inteligente, is so genius.

Constructed of a calcium carbonate stone, iPavement looks like your average piece of square tile. But one should never judge a tile by its cover. At iPavement's core is a 5GB microprocessor that can support both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Each tile will also come with its own suite of apps, offering users features like coupons to local businesses and maps to nearby places of interest. Via Inteligente's ultimate goal is to make cities more accessible and interesting by linking iPavement squares to people's increasing number of handheld devices.

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Don't Wait to Find Out How Green Your Smartphone Is

AT&T's new rating system will help consumers find more sustainable phones, but smartphone builders need to play along.

Smartphones are becoming ubiquitous in our progressively wired world—roughly one-third of American adults own them, according to the Pew Research Center—but there’s no way for consumers to judge the environmental impact of their phones, an especially large concern given how often people upgrade and turn millions of “returned phones” into trash.

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The Upside of That Blackberry Outage: Fewer Car Crashes

It turns out some people benefited greatly from BlackBerry's wide-scale service outage: Drivers in the Middle East.


In the wake of BlackBerry's large-scale service outage last week, Research in Motion Ltd., the company that makes the handheld devices, has promised angry users free apps to try and prevent massive defection to Apple's iPhone. But while the days-long interruption was bad for RIM's bottom line, it was great for a lot of people, specifically drivers in the Middle East: According to police in the United Arab Emirates, traffic accidents dropped drastically while BlackBerry service was out—especially among young people, who authorities say are most likely to use BlackBerry Messenger while behind the wheel.

Reckless driving has long been a concern in U.A.E., and for good reason. On a normal day in Dubai, there is a car accident every three minutes, while Abu Dhabi suffers a road fatality every two days. When BlackBerry service died, those numbers fell drastically. State-owned U.A.E. paper The National reports that accidents in Dubai dropped by 20 percent, while crashes in Abu Dhabi dropped by a full 40 percent. What's more, Abu Dhabi had not a single fatality.

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