Online scams are a necessary evil of shopping and working via the Internet. It doesn’t matter whether you limit your activity to email or you are a big fan of online shopping, cyber criminals want a chunk of your bank balance.
This week’s tech podcast for technophobes takes a look at several current online scams you need to be aware of.
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Christian Cavalli hosts this week’s podcast, and is joined by Ben Stegner. You can reach him on Twitter with your suggestions for future themes: @thegadgetmonkey and @stegnersaurus.
Electronic ink, or e-ink, is a versatile display technology best known for its application in e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle. However, e-ink offers more than comfortable reading. Let’s explore some surprising aspects of e-ink technology and its potential future applications.
1. E-ink displays mimic real paper
Electronic ink technology was designed to replicate the appearance of ordinary ink on paper. Unlike traditional displays that rely on backlighting, e-ink screens reflect ambient light like a physical book. This makes e-ink much easier on the eyes – the first of many health benefits of e-ink devices – and more legible under direct sunlight.
The reflective nature of e-ink displays is achieved through the use of microcapsules filled with positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles. These particles move within the capsule in response to an electric field, causing text or images to appear on the screen. This technology closely mimics ink on paper, providing a more natural reading experience. This reflective feature is one reason why e-ink is a popular choice for devices where long periods of reading are expected.
2. The first e-ink device was not an e-reader
Contrary to popular belief, the first commercial product to use e-ink technology was not an e-reader but a wristwatch. The Seiko Data-2000, launched in 2004, featured a small e-ink display that showed the time and other information. The e-ink technology allowed for excellent readability in a variety of lighting conditions, making it a practical alternative to a wristwatch.
This early adoption demonstrated the potential of e-ink beyond traditional display applications and spurred further research and development in this area. The success of this watch paved the way for the future use of e-ink in a variety of devices.
3. E-ink display can be flexible
E-ink consists of millions of tiny microcapsules suspended in a liquid within a film layer. This design allows for the creation of flexible and even foldable displays. The potential applications of this property are vast, from flexible e-readers and wearable devices to digital signage and beyond.
The flexibility of the e-ink display is made possible by the thin and lightweight nature of the film layer filled with the microcapsules. The capsules can rotate freely within the film, allowing the display to be bent and folded without damage. Flexible e-readers, for example, can be rolled up like a scroll, making them highly portable and durable. The ability to create curved or even wraparound displays opens up new design avenues for various industries. This flexibility sets e-ink apart from traditional display technologies and opens up a world of design possibilities.
4. E-ink uses power differently than LCD or OLED
Unlike LCD or OLED displays, which constantly draw power to maintain their display, the microcapsules in e-ink screens remain set until an electric field is applied to change the display. This means that e-ink screens only consume power during transitions, such as flipping a page on an e-reader, and remain stationary without drawing any additional power. This energy-saving feature makes e-ink devices ideal for extended reading sessions or applications where battery life is critical.