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At CES, Fuel Cells and Faster Memory Cards

LAS VEGAS -- Fuel cells are objects designed to create electricity by using combinations of chemicals rather than plugging into a wall outlet or the national grid. Fuel cells are efficient and relatively long lasting.

Which brings us to the Medis (MDTL) 24/7 Power Pack fuel cell being introduced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The company claims it has created the world's first eco-friendly, personal fuel cell power system that can deliver emergency lighting and mobile phone power.

A user activates the device by squeezing it. He is rewarded with up to 20 watt-hours of energy that can charge a standard phone as many as six times, or charge an included 14-LED flashlight for as much as 90 hours.

The patent-pending technology from Medis uses an alternative energy source that generates its own energy without the limitations of outlets or traditional batteries. The packs are approved for air travel in the U.S. and Canada and are completely recyclable.

Prices range from $30 for the fuel cell to $50 for an emergency pack with flashlight. By the end of 2009 expect rechargeable and more efficient models.

One of the biggest announcements at the CES show came from the association in charge of creating secure digital memory cards. In addition to the original SD cards and the current second-generation SD-HC (high capacity) cards is the brand new SD-XC (extended capacity) device.

The new cards will provide the possibility of massive storage and very high speeds. For instance, current SD cards top out at 16 gigabytes. New SD-XC cards will be able to hold from 32 gigabytes to two terabytes. That's two terabytes on an SD card at theoretic transfer speeds up to 300 megabytes per second.

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