Weird Stuff

You want to work on your PowerBook during your flight to New York, but the guy in the middle seat insists that the glare from your overhead light is affecting his enjoyment of The Animal. How can you go about your business without distracting others from the subtle intricacies of Rob Schneider's performance? Try the $20 FlyLight, from Kensington Technology Group (800/235-6708, www.kensington.com ). One end of the 18-inch-long gooseneck cable plugs into any USB port, and the other end sports a white light-emitting diode, or LED. An LED is made up of a solid-state semiconductor inside an epoxy lens. As energy flows through the semiconductor, the LED emits photons visible as light. Unlike an incandescent bulb, which wastes up to 90 percent of its energy in heat, an LED converts almost all its energy into light. The resulting glow is equal to a penlight's (about 0.5 watts) but spread over a larger area. Worried the FlyLight may suck the battery power right out of your Mac? Relax--Kensington says it uses only 30 milliamps of power, or about 90 seconds of battery life per hour. That means the FlyLight will still be burning bright after the in-flight movie's closing credits fade away.

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