Fluorescent lights keep smartphones from ten-second drifts
News from Phys.Org:

(Phys.org) — One obvious way to reset a mobile device’s clock is to check out a master clock online but Zhenjiang Li, a computer scientist and doctoral candidate at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and colleagues have another way of keeping devices time-worthy. Li and co-authors from universities in China, Singapore, and Illinois, have demonstrated that any mobile device, including a smartphone, that has a light sensor or camera can use the flicker from fluorescent lights to keep accurate time. They have authored a paper titled, “FLIGHT: Clock Calibration Using Fluorescent Lighting,” to explore how smartphone clocks can keep precise time via the flicker of fluorescent lights.

“Starting from static deployment in the laboratory, our measurements validate that fluorescent lighting is able to serve as a viable reference for time calibration,” they wrote.

Most electronic devices use vibrating crystals to regulate their internal clocks. External factors like humidity and temperature, however, can throw off these frequencies to the point where the clocks “drift,” and that drift may be by nearly ten seconds per day, in some devices.

The team calls their new clock synchronization approach FLIGHT, which makes use of the fact t…………… continues on Phys.Org

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New fixtures make old lights obsolete
News from Chicago Daily Herald:

Light-emitting diodes — LED lights — are taking the lighting world by storm and will soon largely replace all other forms of lighting, including incandescent, halogen and even fluorescent bulbs, Benson Littman believes.

“LED has been the buzz word for more than a year now and it is only getting buzzier and buzzier,” said Littman, co-owner of Littman Bros. Lighting in Schaumburg.


“LED is very popular and is completely steam-rolling past fluorescent bulbs, which are not dimmable and cannot be easily disposed of because of the mercury contained within them. LED also uses much less energy than any other light form. For instance, a 65-watt incandescent bulb is equal to a 13-watt fluorescent bulb and to a 6-watt LED bulb.”

Huge advances in LED technology in recent years have eliminated the old problems of bluish-tinged light and lack of brightness. Engineers have also developed LED bulbs that can screw into existing fixtures that were made to accept incandescent candelabra bulbs. Manufacturers are also making them in many different shapes.

“The only remaining downside to LEDs is the high initial cost and those prices are now starting to drop,” Littman said. “LEDs use so much less…………… continues on Chicago Daily Herald

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