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Tyre will generate own electricity

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Goodyear is showcasing its latest tyre concept at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show- a futuristic tyre that has the capacity to produce its own electricity.

Conceived by Goodyear’s Innovation Centre engineers and simply called by its development code “BH03”, the tyre can transform generated deformation and vibrations into electrical energy. As interest for electric cars grows in the global marketplace, this type of innovation is expected to play a role in ongoing discussions on the future of mobility. The tyre is a purely conceptual development and is designed to be part of the company’s innovation thought process. There is no plan to release this tyre to the market.

“Concerns about energy and the environment drove us to develop this energy producing concept tyre. Every futuristic idea starts with a societal challenge that we aim to address as we work to build a better future. We are highly convinced that this tyre provides inspiration and that its insights will have a place in future development,” said Jean-Pierre Jeusette, General Director at the Goodyear Innovation Center in Luxembourg, which developed the concept.

The concept tyre creates electrical energy that supplies the batteries of the car’s hybrid powertrain, as well as other on-board technologies. The tyre generates electricity via the action of two types of material:

  • Thermoelectric material transforms the heat (generated inside the tyre by the ultra-black texture in static condition by light/heat absorption or by its rolling when dynamic) into electric energy;
  • Piezoelectric material transforms the pressure due to structure deformation and vibrations into electric energy

These new materials form a 3D network which constitute the inner structure of the tyre. This structure could potentially support the load of a car if the tyre gets punctured, an alternative approach to delivering RunonFlat technology. Additionally, it features a large circumferential channel to improve aquaplaning resistance and a unique tread to absorb noise.

“This electricity generating concept tyre is further proof of the impressive innovation developed by our designers and scientists from the Goodyear Innovation Centre in Luxembourg, and we are thrilled to showcase it at Geneva,” said Jeusette. “What is especially impressive about the tyre is that its remarkable technology has been created in a way that furthers Goodyear’s constant quest for sustainability, quality and safety.”

The tyre is a pure concept development and will not be produced by Goodyear. Concept tyres are designed as part of the company’s innovation process and are developed to stir debate, discuss possible solutions and enable engineers to think out of the box to deliver smart solutions for a smart future.

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When it’s time to replace SSD

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While solid state drives (SSD) are more stable than hard drives, age can eventually cause them to fail. It is therefore important to know what signs to keep an eye out for, which could signal an impending failure. According to Tony Yu, South African country manager at ADATA, while there are tools available to monitor your SSD for flaws, there are some very specific signs you can look out for.

“While the technology in SSDs has evolved over the years, making them even more stable and reliable, there are instances where they can fail. When a computer attempts to read or save a file, but it takes unusually long, the system will eventually abandon the task and give an error message. These are known as bad blocks and can result in you not being able to read from or write files to the SSD,” he says. Other symptoms of bad blocks include needing to repair your PC or file system, and the freezing and crashing of active applications. “If you are getting frequent errors when moving files, or your system is running slow, particularly when you access large files, you should consider running a diagnostic tool to determine whether there are any physical problems with your drive. I would also advise you to back up your files immediately to avoid data loss.”

Yu says there are two ways in which bad blocks can affect your files. “If your system refuses to write data to the drive, I would recommend that you try and save the files to another location, or copy it to the cloud, restart your computer and try saving them to the drive again. Fortunately, in this case the data has not been compromised as it was not written to the drive in the first place,” he says. “Unfortunately, if your system refuses to read the data, you have a much bigger problem, because often, that data is lost for good.”

An error popping up stating that your PC needs to be repaired can be a sign of your SSD developing bad blocks. “While this error sometimes pops up purely because the computer was not shut down properly, it can mean that you have issues with your SSD. Fortunately, most operating systems come with built-in repair tools that will guide you through the steps of repairing the file system,” says Yu. “There is the possibility of losing some data in the process though, which is why we recommend that you back up your data on a regular basis.”

Another symptom that your SSD is on its way out, is when your computer crashes during the boot process, but works fine after hitting the reset button multiple times. “If you are experiencing this, I would suggest that you immediately back up your data, because this is usually caused by a bad block or an impending SSD failure,” he says. “Again, it’s best to use a diagnostic tool to test whether it is the drive and, if you have backed up your data, consider reformatting your drive and reinstalling the operating system.”

In the event of the drive becoming read-only, data can still be recovered. “If you are unable to save to the drive, we recommend that you try and connect it to another device as an external or secondary hard drive. That way, if the SSD is still working, you can at least recover all your files and delete all the data before discarding your SSD,” says Yu.

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Fitbit ships 1m Versa smartwatches

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Fitbit has announced that it has shipped more than one million Fitbit Versa devices in North America since general availability began on April 16. It also announced that more than 2.4 million users had used its new female health tracking feature, which became available to all Fitbit app users last month.

“With Fitbit Versa, we are delivering on our promise to offer a true mass appeal smartwatch with engaging new features,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “The positive response to Versa shows that we are filling this void.”

Within the first two weeks that female health tracking was made available to iOS and Windows users, more than one million users began using this feature. Now, with cross platform availability for Android users as well, 1.8 million users have added at least one period to the calendar, more than 500 000 users have added two or more retrospective periods, and nearly 700 000 users have logged one or more symptoms.

With female health tracking, Fitbit users can better understand their overall health and wellness by accessing their data in one place. Combined with the user’s sleep and activity data, this helps users to gain a better understanding of how their cycle impacts other aspects of their health and wellness, while also potentially creating one of the largest databases of female health.

Fitbit says it continues to see growth in apps and clock faces built for Fitbit OS. Through its software development kit (SDK), more than 18 000 developers have joined the Fitbit developer community and over 900 apps and clock faces have been built. New health apps and clock faces have also been developed by partners like One Drop, Sickweather and Walgreens.

Fitbit Versa is available for R3 199 at retail partner stores and online worldwide, as well as local retailers like Makro, Incredible Connection, Dion Wired, Dis-Chem, Totalsports, Due South, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Cape Union Mart and Takealot. It is available in black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, or peach with a rose gold aluminum case. Accessories range from R499 to R1 499.

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