SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – In our increasingly digital world, a mobile phone or other portable device is often a one-stop communication device. Phone calls, text messages, social media and even radio and television can all come from the same gadget.
And when the power goes out, these gadgets can quickly become stylish but useless bricks.
As a potentially historic blizzard barrels toward the Northeast, now is the time to be juicing up the mobile devices you use to stay connected. Also, don't forget about backup devices like that BlackBerry you got from work, tablets and even e-readers that have Web access.
But when the lights go out, you're on your own. Here are some tools and tips to try to keep you connected longer.
If you have time to grab some gear now:
A backup charger for your phone or tablet can can keep you linked in longer.
"Juice packs" can be bought for $100 or less (Mophie, for one, makes them for Apple and Android devices) and many of the chargers double as protective cases for your smartphone or tablet. Alternately, battery-powered backup chargers like the Zagg Sparq can provide several full charges for your mobile devices after the usual electrical options are gone.
You can even find chargers that use solar power. So as long as you've got a dry spot and at least a brief break from the rain, Mother Nature can help bail you out.
And don't forget about your car charger, assuming you have one. Your car's battery will be solid long after your phone's isn't.
If you need to power up something a little bigger than a phone, a power inverter might be a useful tool. If you want to be able to use a laptop or desktop computer during an outage, this may be the way to go.
The inverter can be used to convert DC power from your car battery into AC juice for things usually plugged into a wall outlet.
Places like Batteries Plus, as well as most computer stores, usually have these around in a wide range of power. Ask an employee how much of a charge you need for what you want to do.
Here are some other tips if you don't have the option of buying new chargers:
Laptop as back-up generator
This one seems obvious ... once you've thought about it. But it's the sort of thing that can slip your mind when there's a lot of other preparation to be done.
While there's time, fully charge your laptop (or, best case, laptops).
Then don't use it. When other power sources go out, you can plug your phone or tablet into the laptop, via the USB port, for the extra juice.
Stop running apps
Check your phone's settings. Some apps quietly run in the background even when you're not using them, causing your battery to drain faster. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are two examples, but there are plenty of others. Here's a video for how to disable Wi-Fi on an iPhone and a walkthrough for how to control battery usage on Android devices. (Hat tip to Quartz.com).
Also, texting burns less power than a phone call, so go that route when you can. And turning down your screen's brightness will also help conserve juice.
Use a battery-life app
Several free apps for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices promise to help you extend your phone's battery life. One such app is Carat, which observes how you use your smartphone and makes personalized suggestions about which power-sucking apps you might delete.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – One unidentified researcher told the NYDN the laboratories at the hospital's Smilow Research Center on East 32nd Street have been without power since 8:30 p.m. Monday. The center is home to labs investigating heart disease, neurodegeneration and cancer.
Materials like enzymes, cell lines and DNA stored in refrigerators and freezers may be dying as the temperature rises inside the building. The mice and rats, which were kept in the hospital's basement, perished in the flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy, according to NYDN.
"It's so horrible, you don't even want to think about it," Michelle Krogsgaard, a cancer biologist at the research center who has worked there for six years, told ABC. "All the work we did, all the time and money, we're going to have to start all over."
Krogsgaard says she and members of her lab were able to rescue some tissue samples today, but they didn't yet have dry ice to keep them cold.
When Shots tried to contact the research center, the website and email server were down, and all calls to the press office and researchers ended in busy signals.
The failure of the backup generators on Monday also meant the hospital also had to evacuate more than 200 patients to other hospitals, including Mount Sinai Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Check out Scott Hensley's Storify for more details on how that played out.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — A massive power outage plunged northern India into darkness and stranded thousands of travellers on trains Monday after a supply grid tripped because of overloading, officials said.
Trains across eight northern Indian states and metro services in New Delhi were affected by the power outage that struck at about 2:30 a.m. local time.
Hospitals and emergency services were running on diesel generators.
People, woken from sleep, came out of their homes in New Delhi's sweltering heat as the entire city turned dark.
It could take up to 12 hours to fully restore the electricity supply in the eight northern states, including New Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the chairman of the state-run Uttar Pradesh state Power Corporation Avinash Awasthi said.
The power grid collapsed because some states apparently drew more power than they were authorized to do to meet the rising demand during the summer, Awasthi said, adding that Monday's outage was the worst to hit the country in 11 years.
Blackouts are a frequent occurrence in many Indian cities because of shortage of power supply and an antiquated electricity grid.
Two weeks ago, angry crowds blocked traffic and clashed with police after power blackouts in the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon that houses many high-rise apartment blocks and offices. With no power in some neighbourhoods for more than 24 hours, people erected blockades that paralyzed traffic for several hours.
Transmission and distribution losses in some states are as much as 50 per cent because of theft and connivance of employees in the power distribution sector.—www.shafaqna.com/english