Lost Packets

Honda Motor Co. earlier this month introduced a new line of its fuel cell cars that are not only cheaper and smaller, but are able to operate where no other fuel cell car has gone before. The company said the new line is able to run at freezing temperatures – not an easy feat for the environmentally-friendly automobile. Fuel cell cars run on electricity, which is produced when the hydrogen stored in the car’s tank combines with oxygen, leaving water as a by-product instead of those smelly, gaseous fumes. However, the car was not initially designed for Canadian winters. Since hydrogen fuel freezes in cold temperatures, Honda has had some issues keeping the car going. The company said it has overcome the obstacle using metal parts, which heat up faster, enabling the car to run continuously through even minus-20 degrees Celsius cold fronts. For more information, visit www.honda.com.

Exploding cell phone sends woman to hospital

A Vietnamese woman was hospitalized early this month after she suffered burns from an apparent Nokia mobile phone explosion. The Finnish handheld maker has cited what it calls “fake” batteries as cause for other recent explosions that occurred in August and September in the Netherlands. The company said that while its original batteries sold with its devices were safe, contraband and counterfeit batteries are being sold around the world at prices 80 per cent lower than the genuine battery, and said that these manufacturers violate security requirements that should prevent batteries from short-circuiting or exploding. At press time, Nokia did not know the nature of the battery in the Vietnam explosion but assured users that it is looking into the matter.

Parents sue school over wireless network

An Illinois school district is being sued by parents of students after the district installed a Wi-Fi wireless network. According to the complaint, District 97 implemented the wireless network after ignoring evidence that electromagnetic radiation from such Wi-Fi networks is a health risk, especially to children. The school district claims it has followed all safety regulations and maintains that there is no evidence to suggest that the technology is a safety risk. The technology gives the schools flexibility to conduct lessons, according to a spokeswoman from District 97. The parents are not seeking monetary settlements, but are requesting a moratorium until the technology is proven to be safe.