Charge your phone in 30 seconds

▶ StoreDot Flash-Battery Demo

An Israeli company has posted a video to YouTube with the prototype for technology that can change a cell phone battery in just 30 seconds. CNN Tech explains that StoreDot, the company behind the video, says the technology was born out of Alzheimer’s research at Tel Aviv University.

“During that research, specific amino acids were isolated and we managed to use those amino acids and peptides to create nanocrystals,” said Doron Myersdorf, founder and CEO of StoreDot. “These have special properties that enable us to use them in various devices, such as a battery.”

Myersdorf also explained to the press that StoreDot’s battery not only charges quickly but it continues to charge once you’ve unplugged it. The company hopes to have a “commerical-ready prototype” within two years and have a product on the market shortly after.

The challenge now is to make the technology small enough to fit inside of a smartphone. The battery featured in the video is approximately the size of a pack of cigarettes.

USF chosen as prime stop by music production company.

Ableton, a top music production software and hardware company based in Berlin, has chosen the University of St. Francis (USF) as a stop on its 2014 “university tour”. USF was selected along with several huge state universities across the country as a leading location for a day-long workshop featuring presentations, break-out sessions, performances, tips and tricks, and unique approaches for music production.

USF’s Digital Audio Recording Arts (DARA) program is sponsoring the event. DARA Director Jeff Jaskowiak specified that USF was chosen because his program is on the cutting edge of music production and students are currently using Ableton Live software in the lab, learning unique and specialized techniques for music production.

“I have lots of composers in my program and eventually I’d like to develop a group that performs and tours in our area, utilizing Ableton controllers,” stated Jaskowiak. I’m envisioning an ensemble that does concerts at local schools utilizing controllers for specific instruments, like drums, or controllers for lighting. That way, the performance won’t require 15 people– it would be more like seven or eight. Nobody in the country is doing this in a university setting right now.”

According to Jaskowiak, Ableton software can function in many ways. It can mimic individual instruments, trigger sequences or loops, and can also be integrated with the control of levels and sounds. Attendees will explore these things plus focus on composition, sound design, production techniques and performance utilizing Ableton Live, Max for Live, and Push software.

Student activities from 2-5 p.m. will be followed by an evening presentation at 6:30 p.m. in the Turk Theater at the University of St. Francis, 500 Wilcox St., Joliet. The evening event will feature performances, tips and tricks and unique approaches for music-making from artists and Ableton experts including Thomas Faulds and Certified Trainer Orville Kline.

No experience is required to attend– just a desire to learn more about the “production” side of music. RSVP to jjaskowiak@stfrancis.edu or call (815) 740-3529 with questions.

Will County officials expand enrollment date for insurance coverage

Will County health officials saw a late surge of enrollments for health insurance as about 2,900 people signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

According to The Herald-News, Monday was the deadline for people across the United States to receive a health insurance plan in the health insurance marketplace. However, federal officials said after the deadline that people could still get covered as long as they tried to enroll beforehand.

According to Get Covered Illinois, uninsured residents who tried to apply for coverage that ran into issues before the deadline have until April 15 to complete enrollment.

About 58 percent of the total enrollments done through the department happened in March, said Vic Reato, media services manager for the department.

Will County officials had estimated there were about 60,000 eligible uninsured people in the county.

The number reflects only those people who enrolled through the Will County Health Department but not all in the county who signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

About 909 of those people enrolled through the health insurance marketplace while the rest went for expanded Medicaid coverage, Reato said.

Health Department staff provided assistance to 7,149 people and had in-person contact with more than 3,000 people.

In Illinois more than 333,000 people signed up for coverage, with roughly 113,700 purchasing a plan through the marketplace at the end of February and additional 220,000 enrolling in expanded Medicaid coverage, according to Get Covered Illinois.

Nationally, more than 7 million people signed up for coverage through the health insurance marketplace, federal officials announced Tuesday.

Additional enrollment efforts came from other organizations in the county, such as the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic.

Shawn West, executive director for the clinic, said she hasn’t noticed a drop in the number of patients at the clinic because they got health insurance coverage. She said it’ll take time for Medicaid applications to be processed. On the national front, it’ll also take time to see the number of uninsured people decrease.

“I think the federal government really put forth a Herculean effort and it will take time,” she said. “It will take years for everyone to get covered.”

The next open enrollment period won’t begin until November 15.