QMUL and Nokia power mobile phones with sound
Over the past year, the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Nokia have been working together to develop a nanogenerator that could charge mobile phones with everyday background noise.

“Being able to keep mobile devices working for longer or do away with batteries completely by tapping into the stray energy that is all around us is an exciting concept,” said Joe Briscoe from QMUL’s School of Engineering and Materials Science. “This collaboration was an excellent opportunity to develop alternative device designs using cheap and scalable methods. We hope that we have brought this technology closer to viability.”

The team used key properties of zinc oxide, a compound that creates a current by converting energy from motion, in the form of nanorods to make energy harvesting versatile.

More information is available here.

Microsoft considered rebranding Internet Explorer
In a recent Reddit AMA (Ask me Anything), Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) platform team revealed that the company considered rebranding the browser.

“It’s been suggested internally; I remember a particularly long e-mail thread where numerous people were passionately debating it,” the team wrote. “Plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today.”

When asked why they decided to stick with the name, the team replied, “Who knows what the future holds ;).”