Wireless Charging from 30 Feet Away; Hello Again Nvidia Tablet and Goodbye Zune Services

There is a new wireless tech that promises to be a lot more wireless than what is currently offered. Right now, you have to lay your device on a special pad to charge, and often you have to use a bulky case, as well…nice if you’re too lazy to plug it in, but not that helpful. Si Ware Systems has developed a new chip that allows wireless charging from 30 feet away. According to geekwire.com, the tech is based on the Cota technology from Ossia…which was founded by a former Microsoft engineer. It allows for wireless charging that works a lot like wi-fi…one chip in the charging station, and others in the devices you are charging. It can deliver 10 watts of power…your smartphone plug in charger generally puts out one or two watts. The tech is small enough to fit into a AA battery, so some older items like TV remotes wouldn’t even have to be replaced. Did I mention it charges from 30 feet away?

A couple of quick notes…theverge.com reports that Nvidia’s Shield Tablet is back on sale for $199 after the fire hazard recall of every single one. That’s $100 less than originally…this time with a hopefully less fire prone battery. The question, as posed by Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, is ‘do you feel lucky?’

RIP Zune services. Yes, you read correctly. The hapless Microsoft Zune mp3 player, which actually wasn’t a bad, was killed off in 2011, but the music streaming and download service continued on with the Zune brand until now. Mashable.com says people with Zune Music Pass subscriptions will be converted over to the Groove Music Pass, which is basically the same thing…or can apply for a prorated refund.

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BMW & PG&E Are Paying $1500+ To Charge i3’s in Off Hours

A year and a half pilot program is starting in California to encourage electric BMW i3 owners to charge them up in off-peak hours. To reduce stress on the power grid, BMW iChargeForward is giving incentives of up to $1540 in gift cards if owners don’t charge during high demand hours. Under the program, cnet.com says BMW can delay charging by up to an hour if data from PG&E says it’s warranted. Drivers can still override this with a smartphone app if they need to drive somewhere sooner than that. BMW plans to up the trial group to as many as 400 owners soon.

A heads up for Nvidia Shield tablet owners…it’s been one of the top selling tablets for Android users the last year, but the company is recalling a large subset of them because the battery can burst into flames. Gizmodo.com reports that all Shield tablets made between July 2014 and July 2015 are involved. Under the recall, the company will send you a new tablet with a less fire prone battery. They say if you have one of the tablets, stop using it now!