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Portables

Body Heat Could Charge Your Cellphone 94

An anonymous reader writes to mention Nature is reporting that scientists have discovered a much more efficient way to use silicon to convert heat into electricity. This offers the possibility of many different applications including possibly charging your portable electronics just by wearing them close to your skin. "The concept of converting waste heat into electricity isn't exactly new, but it never really materialized due to efficiency hurdles. Now, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley think they may have found a key [to] increase the conversion efficiency by a factor of 100."
Government

Submission + - California wants to control home thermostats

o0OSABO0o writes: "The International Herald Tribune [URL: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/11/america/calif.php ] has an interesting article about new plans for the California utilities to control home thermostats:

"Next year in California, state regulators are likely to have the emergency power to control individual thermostats, sending temperatures up or down through a radio-controlled device that will be required in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage electricity shortages.""

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