According to a press release, Sony is fielding proposals for a way to charge users to, well, charge. The technology would allow building owners to require authentication for power outlets, which could be used to reduce unwanted energy usage, but could also be used to demand money from, say, coffeeshop squatters who want to charge their laptops.
I recently moved my shop, and in addition to the big issues, from forklift rental to sleep deprivation, we also had to deal with things like three-phase power, a variation of power delivery often used for big equipment. The old shop had it and the new shop doesn't. So what the heck is three-phase power and how can you convert machinery to go from the more common single-phase to three-phase and vice versa? Read on.
A Variac looks like a sci-fi laboratory prop. For some reason, I have three of them in my shop, and yes, one is just a book end. But they do have a useful purpose.
Variac is a generic trade name for a variable autotransformer. If that doesn't help explain much, let's look at what a regular transformer is, and how they relate to a collection of vintage arcade games.