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Today in Tech: Say Goodbye to Power Cables -- Wireless Charging Is Coming


A unified wireless charging standard will end the days of asking around for the right phone charger.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Your days of forgetting to charge your phone or tablet and having to ask your coworkers if they have a compatible charger might be over.

Samsung's (SSNLF.PK) new flagship Galaxy S III is mostly an improvement on existing technology with one exception. The one thing that the Galaxy S III boasts that isn't available on other mainstream devices is the ability to charge without being plugged in. Now Qualcomm (QCOM) is teaming up with Samsung, Powermat Technologies, SK Telecom, Peiker Acustic GmbH & Co, Gill Industries, and Ever Win International Corporation in the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), which aims to establish a global standard for wireless transfer technology.

In a statement on the alliance's website, the organization said, "Benefits of this wireless power approach include: a transmitter and receiver antenna design that is easily implemented, a simple wireless power control system, and the ability to transfer power through non-metallic surfaces. The A4WP expects to achieve this capability without the need for costly multi-coil repeaters, which are required for other systems. A single specification is envisioned that will address simultaneous charging of multiple devices ranging from very low power products, such as Bluetooth headsets, to today's most sophisticated tablets."

America Online (AOL) reported revenue and earnings that far surpassed analyst expectations. The Street was looking for earnings per share of $0.07 on $527 million in revenue, and AOL delivered $0.22 on $529 million. Global ad growth grew by 5%, but domestic display sales shrank by 1% and traffic to AOL's sites is down by 4%. The dial-up subscription business, which still accounts for a huge chunk of AOL's revenue, declined by 14%.

AOL sold 800 patents to Microsoft (MSFT) for $1.06 billion during that quarter. Today there are some reports circulating saying that AOL is looking to sell Engadget and TechCrunch, its two tech blogs.

AOL could not be reached to confirm or deny that it might try to sell those properties.

The growth of cloud computing has led to huge increases in power consumption at data centers. In response to environmental campaigners, Microsoft is going carbon-neutral starting July 1 of this year. Microsoft's direct operations, including data centers, software development labs, air travel, and office buildings, will be incentivized against using carbon-heavy coal-generated electricity and will "pay" for carbon output by purchasing carbon offsets.

Microsoft COO Kevin Turner writes on the company blog, "The carbon price and charge-back model is designed to provide an economic incentive for business groups across Microsoft to reduce carbon emissions through efficiency measures and increased use of renewable energy. Business operations impacted by the new carbon price include data centers, software development labs, office buildings, and business travel. For emissions not eliminated through efficiency measures, Microsoft will purchase renewable energy and carbon offsets."

Cisco Systems (CSCO) will report earnings after the bell today. Wall Street's consensus estimate for the networking company's earnings is $0.47 per share on $11.7 billion in sales.

Want to have a laugh at the expense of Facebook, Instagram, Google (GOOG), and Yahoo (YHOO)? Matthew Inman, the veteran webcomic artist behind The Oatmeal, published the spring edition of his State of the Web cartoons. As always, it's a good laugh for those of us that spend our sunny days in front of screens.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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