Reader's Corner No. 72: Battery Breakthroughs, Unmaintainable Code, and Aqua Screenshot Library

August 29, 2018

Get through your afternoon slump this Thursday with a little bit of light reading and learning! In today's issue of Reader’s Corner, we will be covering a new battery technology that doesn’t catch fire, how to write unmaintainable code, and give you a quick look into the Aqua user interface screenshot library.


Battery Breakthrough: Doubling Performance with Lithium Metal that Doesn’t Catch Fire

Michael Nicholson

Source: University of Michigan News

Takeaway: In the 1980s, lithium metal batteries were all the rage. The technical potential is huge; lithium metal batteries have a specific charge capacity that is an order of magnitude higher than lithium-ion batteries, and a practical storage capacity that doubles current battery technology. However, there were some downsides…they tended to catch fire.

This was due to the tendency of the lithium metal to form pathways (dendrites) during the redox reaction, leading to short circuits and eventual ignition. Previous attempts at solid-state lithium batteries had run into a different short circuit issue, as lithium would penetrate the ceramic electrolyte over time. Additionally, researchers tested the charge/discharge cycles over 22 days; and they were unable to see any degradation of the system. Typical Lithium-ion batteries show visible degradation in as little as one cycle.

The new technology not only leverages the much higher energy density (which, for instance, could potentially double the range of electric cars) but allows for a substantially higher rate of charge than previous lithium batteries; a full charge using this technology could be completed in 3 hours, rather than previous versions that would take 40–50 hours. It also appears to be a technology that could be integrated into current battery manufacturing processes. Pretty neat, huh?

Tags: #Engineering, #Cool-Tech


How To Write Unmaintainable Code

Jay Roberts

Source: Roedy Green's Mindproducts

Takeaway: It’s tongue in cheek, but not wrong. Some highlights: “…nothing can kill a maintenance engineer faster than a well planned Hungarian Notation attack.” “Never underestimate how much havoc you can create by indenting with tabs instead of spaces.”

Tags: #Programming, #Humor


Aqua Screenshot Library

Frank Yonnetti

Source: 512 Pixels

Takeaway: I have always loved the Aqua user interface design ever since Apple first introduced it back in 2000. I can get lost for what seems like hours in these types of posts. Love the progression of UI/UX over the years. The amount of research, thoughts, and discussions that took place would have been incredible to be part of.

Tags: #Design, #UI, #UX


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