back to article Toshiba quietly shows fuel-cell fitted UMPC

Toshiba didn't make much of a fuss about its UMPC, claiming the smooth-cornered handheld PC was intended to demo technologies the company develops to potential manufacturer customers. One such technology: fuel cells. Toshiba fuel cell UMPC Toshiba's fuel cell-fitted UMPC Toshiba didn't want to say what the unit's …

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Boffin

No more R&D stuff

It would be nice to see some actual working fuel cells, I mean how long have they been dangling those things in front of us?! Enhough with the R&D, show me some working consumer product!!

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Paris Hilton

did you ask

What was the point of the stand?

A UMPC you can't view, touch or use.

A fuel cell they won't explain about.

Their marketing techniques are astounding.

...did they have Paris or other blonde waving her arms near by like a car show?

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Boffin

They just don't work, that's why

at least not as well as batteries, given the same total weight/volume yet. Probably won't in the near future since they require either high pressure hydrogen storage, or highly toxic chemicals (like methanol) storage.

They keep popping up at tech symposiums because the tech-illiterate media hasn't figured out the scam yet (after almost 10 years!) and it's still good for some free press, even here.

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Boffin

Capacity ??

Just wait for the boom !! If it blows up a city block, then it should be large enough to drive that device for a sizable length of time !!

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Joke

Fuel cells bah

I want a thermal isotope generator in my laptop.

If it's safe enough for the UK powergrid, then it's safe enough for me. Anyways, it just needs to be strong enough that any non-fatal collision while I'm carrying it doesn't rupture the thing. If the plane/car/skateboard I'm on wipes out with enough force to terminate me, then I'm not really fussed about any leakage, coz I'll be dead.

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Thumb Down

Highly toxic chemicals like methanol

Most cars had a good litre or so of methanol in their coolant until it was largely replaced by ethylene glycol some years ago. It's still in screenwash and in methylated spirits.

You need to consume a reasonable amount to injure yourself (don't try it!). Most methanol poisoning is from deliberate or accidental misuse as an intoxicant.

The electrolyte in a lot of conventional batteries is potassium hydroxide, which is much nastier.

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Rather you than me...

Potassium hydroxide nastier than methanol? Maybe if you injected it, but methanol is toxic by inhalation and skin absorption (and ingestion, obviously) as well as being highly flammable. Lethal oral dose for mammals seems to be a few grams per kilo, but you'd see nasty effects with much less - so no, don't try consuming any amount, reasonable or not. I would be very surprised to find significant amounts of methanol in any screenwash on sale in the UK, got a reference?

http://www.pcl.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/ME/methyl_alcohol.html

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Boffin

re: Rather you than me...

Yes, potassium hyroxide is a lot nastier than methanol. From the same site : http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/~hmc/hsci/chemicals/potassium_hydroxide.html

Methanol is a dangerous chemical, and potassium hydroxide is a very dangerous chemical. Methanol may cause damage if you're not careful, potassium hydroxide WILL cause damage if you're not careful!

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