PDA News – PDA Fuel Cells?, Sakoman Goes Apple, Top 10 eBooks, SE P800 On Sale

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Toshiba is working on bringing fuel cell technology to PDAs and other mobile computers

The notion of running mobile electronics on gas rather than electricity is nothing new. However, today Toshiba announced the first prototype that will be tiny enough to work with PDAs and other small devices. From the release –

The new fuel cell currently realizes average output of 12W and maximum output of 20W, and can achieve approximately five hours of operation with a single cartridge of fuel. It provides instant power supply, and achieves significant advances in operating times with replaceable methanol cartridges.

Methanol in a fuel cell delivers power most efficiently when it is mixed with water in a 3 to 6% methanol concentration–a concentration requiring a fuel tank that is much too large for use with portable equipment. Toshiba overcame this by developing a system that allows a higher concentration of methanol to be diluted by the water produced as a by-product of the power generation process. This technology allows methanol to be stored at a much higher concentration, and achieves a fuel tank less than 1/10 the size of that required for storing the same volume of methanol in a 3 to 6% concentration. The current prototype can operate for approximately five hours on 50cc of high concentration methanol.

Alongside this, Toshiba realized essential technologies for miniaturization of a high performance fuel cell. These include interface and electric circuits to assure efficient control of power supply; sensors to monitor methanol concentration and liquid level; and a remaining quantity sensor to tell users when they need to change the methanol fuel cartridge. All these components, and low power liquid and air transmission pumps, are controlled by a super small DC-DC converter.

Toshiba will be showing off the new technology at the CeBit show in Germany, March 12-19.

Former Palm exec Steve Sakoman rejoins Apple

Don’t read too much into this, but Sakoman, with a long history in PDAs including the Newton line, has rejoined Apple. Is it possible he’s there to help solidify plans to build an Apple PDA? Maybe he’s going to help develop the iPod into something more. Either way, hopefully we’ll see more cool products as a result. More from CNet News.com.

Palm has released the top 10 eBooks for February

Palm Digital Media Top 10 Best-selling Fiction Books February 2003

1. “ChronoSpace” by Alan Steele (Ace Books)
2. “The Vanished Man” by Jeffery Deaver, (Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
3. “Cat & Mouse” by James Patterson (Warner Books)
4. “Prey” by Michael Crichton (HarperCollins PerfectBound)
5. “The Dante Club” by Matthew Pearl (Random House)
6. “Charming the Highlander” by Janet Chapman (Pocket Books)
7. “Sacred Clowns” by Tony Hillerman (HarperCollins PerfectBound)
8. “Rules of Prey” John Sanford (Berkley Publishing Group)
9. “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
10. “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Wolfe (RosettaBooks)

Palm Digital Media Top 10 Best-selling Non-fiction Books February 2003

1. New International Version Holy Bible from Zondervan
2. “Penthouse Uncensored III, from the Editors of Penthouse Magazine” (Warner Books)
3. “The Multi-Orgasmic Couple” by Chia, Chia (Abrams & Abrams HarperCollins PerfectBound)
4. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition (Merriam- Webster)
5. “Catch Me If You Can” by Frank W. Abagnale (Broadway Books)
6. “The Threatening Storm” by Kenneth M. Pollack (Random House)
7. “How To Write, by Herbert E. & Jill M. Meyer (Storm King Press)
8. “100 Simple Secrets of Successful People” by David Niven, Ph.D, (HarperCollins PerfectBound)
9. “Whale Done!, The Power of Positive Relationships” by Blanchard (Lacinak, Tompkins & Ballard, The Free Press)
10. “What Should I Do With My Life” by Po Bronson (Random House)

More information or to purchase eBooks, visit the Palm Digital Media site.

It’s not shipping for 4-6 weeks, but feel free to pre-order the P800 for $650

T-Mobile is supposed to be selling the P800 this month at some point, but if you can’t wait, you can pre-order it at the Sony Ericsson site.

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