Some people prefer not to travel more than two hours at a time because they don't want to carry spare batteries for their laptops. But how about a spare battery that would get you from Los Angeles to Sydney at full power, even with a stop in Auckland? That, mate, would be a battery worth carrying. And it's here: From Toronto, Ontario, comes Sankar Das Gupta, PhD, president and CEO of Electrofuel Inc., and his amazing line of PowerPad lithium ion superpolymer batteries.
The PowerPad 160 weighs in at 2.4 lbs.--half a pound lighter than a typical ultralight notebook computer--and provides a miraculous 15 hours or more of continuous, full-on power. It's shaped like a thick magazine, so it tucks easily into a carrying case or into the seat pocket in front of you up there in business class. We know you're riding in business class, because if you can afford to pay $500 for a battery, that's probably where you sit. Smaller, lighter, cheaper units offering a mere eight hours of power are in the works, according to Dr. Gupta.
PowerPad 160 has received a series of ecstatic reviews in the computer press, as well as a best-of-show award from the judges at consulting firm Arthur D. Little's 1999 battery festival--the POWER conference--but the product does have two limitations. The first is that its ability to be completely charged depends on the voltage of your computer's AC adapter. One that runs at 16.8 volts or higher is required to get the full charge. The second is that, at least for now, the product is available only at www.electrofuel.com because volume production isn't quite there yet, at least not enough to support wide distribution through retailers.
Here's one way to guarantee your business card won't get tossed--at least not immediately. Cable & Wireless recently introduced TeleStamp, a prepaid phone card in a peel-and-stick format. Now your business card can include 10 minutes of free long-distance phone time as quickly as putting a stamp on an envelope (no licking necessary).
The stickers, launched late last year by the Vienna, Va., telecommunications company, come in packets of 12 and 24 stamps, priced at $19.99 and $29.99, respectively. That's eight cents a minute for the larger pack. Not bad if it keeps your business card at the top of the pile. For more information, contact Cable & Wireless at (800) 905-7457, or visit www.cwcards-us.com.
Smartcard technology is not headline-making stuff anymore. But the new bCard.net smartcard is the Einstein of smartcards, and this is good news for tech event marketers. How it works: Attendees at aor other event receive a plastic card to swipe at booths to provide contact information. The difference is, a bCard stays with the attendee for life. The odds that attendees will actually hang onto the things are increased by their connection to the bCard.net Web site, where cardholders can update information about themselves and receive incentive points. For example, attendees at this year's Exhibitor Show 2000 in Las Vegas received free airline miles just for using the show's Network Portal.
Obviously, the more shows adopt the bCard standard, the more effective this solution will become. Whether bCard.net co-founder Ivan Lazarev will see his fondest dream realized--a world where every attendee on every exhibit floor carries a bCard--remains to be seen, but don't bet against it. To learn more, visit the company's Web site at www.bcard.net.