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Only Elon Musk Could Make Energy Storage Cool…
Sat, 16 May 2015 13:30:04 -0400

The movement toward a battery-powered future has been struggling against a headwind of inefficiency, storage limitations and concerns around scalability for years, but earlier this month, electric car, solar champion and space gazillionaire, Elon Musk, launched the Tesla Powerwall, the compact, wall-mounted battery for home energy storage.

Few individuals have had a greater impact on the consumer tech landscape than Elon Musk. He founded PayPal which revolutionised online payments and sold for over $1 billion before taking on the automotive industry with his electric car company, Tesla Motors; his solar company is the largest installer and most efficient solar energy producer in the United States; he’s even dabbled in a bit of private space travel with his company, SpaceX.

Musk’s track record for taking on the biggest tech challenges of our time has now led him and his considerable fortune to the problem of efficient energy storage, in the form of lithium-ion batteries.

The Tesla Powerwall is essentially a backup generator which can be used by homes and businesses to take on old school fossil fuel dependency. With greater efficiency, beefed-up storage capacity and full solar integration, a few solar panels on your roof means you can run on live solar energy during daylight hours and then switch to battery-stored solar power when it gets dark.

The new battery packs measure in at 51.2 x 33.9 inches and 7.1 inches in depth, so they’ll be compact enough to go relatively unnoticed.

Powerwall’s fully rechargeable lithium-ion battery unit is built from the very same batteries Musk uses in his Tesla Motors. The units come with a 10 year warranty and will be available in red, white, blue, black, and grey casing.

Powerwall units will come with a generous 10 year warranty and are Internet-connected (what isn’t these days?) allowing you to hook up your battery pack to your smartphone and monitor its performance and your energy consumption remotely.

Despite the now all-too-familiar showbiz excess surrounding the launch of a major new tech product, the Powerwall’s live media launch event in Hawthorne, California, felt like a far more profound event than simply another here-today-gone-tomorrow must-own gadget spilling out from Silicon Valley on a seemingly daily basis. The Powerwall is an attempt to overcome the decisive commercial challenge of our age – the biggie - the need to safely store green energy at an affordable price.

And initial reaction to the Powerwall’s unveiling suggests that Musk may have nailed it. Again.

The breadth of Musk’s eco-vision reflects the enormity of the quest - to find an affordable, reliable and efficient energy storage solution.

Musk explained at the Powerwall launch: 

“Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy at the extreme scale”, adding “The goal is the complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world to completely sustainable zero carbon.”

Can Musk pull off such a grand plan?

Solar energy has always been held back by the obvious problem that night follows day and energy production drops off the chart as soon as the sun goes down. Despite the end-of-the-world problems associated with fossil fuel energy, today’s electricity production has been built to meet peak demands throughout the day and keep enough in reserve to serve the grid’s overall demand.

The solar industry has thus far failed to crack this problematic nut and green-bashers have always been quick to yelp at the prohibitive cost of large-scale solar ventures.

But if anybody can overcome these challenges it is ‘Brand Musk’ and his multi-billion dollar tech empire. Musk brings to the table not only the know-how and the capital, but also that Silicon Valley chic, which has the power to elevate stuffy, functional tech to desirable, must-have symbols of ‘cool’. Musk and his crew will point toward the success of Nest Labs, which turned the drab, hearing-aid-beige home thermostat into an intuitive, responsive and sought after piece of kit. Musk has the gravitas to make battery storage…well…sexy.  

Mobile Phone Recycling: The Quick & Dirty Guide
Tue, 07 Apr 2015 17:51:26 -0400

The upgrade culture we live in means the average life expectancy of a smartphone can be measured in months rather than years. It seems as soon we lift a new smartphone from its box, we’re already eyeing-up the next model.

This lust for the latest model may have left you with a stockpile of old mobiles which no longer cut the mustard and you may have considered using one of the many mobile phone trade-in companies you’ve seen online in order to cash in on all your old tech.

If you are thinking of trading in some unwanted gadgetry and need a few pointers as to where to go or who to use, here’s a quick and dirty guide to mobile phone recycling.


An honest self-appraisal:

Take a good look at the phone or phones you’re planning to sell. What would be a true description of their condition? Is that mark on the screen really just a ‘light scratch’, or is it in fact a deep crack? Are you sure that the weird blotchiness on the LCD doesn’t affect the picture quality? An honest self-appraisal of your phone’s condition at the very beginning of the mobile phone recycling process will help avoid disappointment further down the line. It really is worth stressing that the vast majority of mobile phone recycling companies genuinely DO want to pay the full ‘working’ price for your phones and offer full disclosure on what does and does not constitute a ‘fully working phone’.

(Tip: run your thumbnail over the offending mark; if it catches in the mark it will likely be classed as a crack, not a scratch.)



All the reputable mobile phone recycling firms make payment by bank transfer and you’ll likely smell a rat if this option is not available. Bank transfer is the safest, most secure way of sending and receiving money.  It’s also the fastest, so whilst many companies do still provide payment by cheque, the best option is undoubtedly to have the cash put directly into your bank account.

Give it a wipe:

From the moment our mobile phones went ‘smart’, we’ve been piling more and more data on to them. Our phones now store photos, emails, documents, music, videos and films and with most models now allowing expandable storage via microSD, our entire lives are being uploaded and stored on our mobile phones.

Mobile phone recycling companies are an extremely diligent bunch when it comes to handling this mass of personal data and the first thing that happens to your device when it arrives at a processing centre is a comprehensive data cleanse. That being said, it’s always prudent to give your phone a ‘factory reset’ and remove all SIM cards and memory cards before you pop it in the post.  

Environmental impact:

We all pay lip service to the notion that recycling our e-waste is the decent thing to do, but the truth is, thousands of tonnes of electronics, including mobile phones and tablets, still ends up in landfill each year rather than being reused or recycled. Mobile phone recycling not only ensures your unwanted mobile phones find their way into some of the world’s poorest communities, helping to kick-start local economies - it also ensures that perfectly serviceable electronics do not end up on the scrap pile.

The process:

The mobile phone recycling process is wonderfully simple. It all starts online where there are now hundreds of mobile phone recyclers to choose from, and nearly all of them follow the same trade-in procedure.

Type in the model of your handset in to the search function on a recycler’s website or click through to find your device, add the necessary personal details when prompted and follow the instructions for postage.

Most mobile recyclers will utilize your phone’s unique IMEI number as part of the registration process, this ensures that stolen handsets cannot be traded, recycled or purchased second hand.

Who are the industry bulwarks?

The transition from feature to smartphone resulted in a global glut of traditional feature phone devices as consumers began ditching their old models and snapping up the latest must-have devices. This created a booming second-hand market in used mobile phones, the majority of which are still perfectly serviceable and remain in high-demand in emerging economies like Africa and India - areas where the smartphone revolution has yet to take hold. The three major recycling companies which have been leading the industry right from the very beginning are Fonebank, Mazuma and Envirofone.  All three have over 10 years in the mobile phone recycling industry, and each will receive and process millions of devices each year.

Is Data Analytics Killing Professional Sport?
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 17:37:04 -0400

Data analytics - the study of information with a view to using it to predict the future - is transforming sport by helping coaches measure, analyse and improve every aspect of sporting performance. But as professional sport becomes obsessed with crunching the numbers, will it still retain the unpredictability and high-drama that we’ve all come to expect?

Whatever your sport, whatever the level, whichever team, athlete or event you follow, I’m sure you can pick your ‘best ever moment’. Those instants which make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and leave commentators lost for words and people everywhere jumping up in front of the telly.

Numbers kill sport. I’m not talking about the numbers on the back of a player’s jersey or the time on the referee’s watch; I’m talking about the attempt to use numbers to unravel sporting performance.

Big Data and the science of predictive analytics is becoming increasingly prevalent in a variety of sports. Everything from baseball to cycling has embraced the use of deep information science in the hope of improving individual and team performance.

But with this rise in predictive analytics and Big Data in professional sport are we in danger (or has it actually already happened?! of sucking all the drama, excitement and passion out of sport? Once the numbers have been crunched and the stats analysed, will there be any room left for the enigmas in our sports; those players and athletes who get us on the edge of our seat with flashes of mercurial brilliance? Will the modern coach, sat behind his databank of laptops still make those instinctual calls; those managerial masterstrokes that nobody saw coming, even if ‘the computer says ‘no’’?

From a coldly logical perspective, elite sport is an area which seems the perfect environment for data scientists and their predictive analytics. At the very highest level, sporting outcomes are decided on split decisions and tiny margins - the difference between victory and defeat is millimetres not inches; seconds, not minutes; the odd point, not a handful. With such fine margins deciding today’s sporting results, is it any wonder that coaches in a vast array of sports are turning to data science to calculate, contextualise and ultimately predict these fine margins to give their teams or athletes the best possible chance of victory?

Sports data experts are making the biggest mark in rugby union where every imaginable facet of the game is now being recorded, analysed and interpreted. Tablets are replacing tackle bags on the practice fields of rugby’s biggest teams, with clubs like Saracens trailblazing the use of sports data analytics to improve player performance. The Saracens players now take to the field with small GPS sensors taped behind their ears, used to measure the force and direction of impacts in tackles and rucks during the game (wearable technology is also being used in the NFL and sensors built into the players’ padding are measuring the on-field impacts). Diets, player’s mental states and injury likeliness are all now being tracked and collated by rugby’s top teams in the hope that tapping into the numbers can bring about an on-pitch advantage.

I often wonder if one of my ‘best ever’ sporting moments would have happened had a team of data scientists been able to ‘plug in’ and crunch the numbers. The moment in question was Gazza’s wonder goal against Scotland at Euro 96. I remember staring in disbelief at the telly as the bleached blonde, slightly porcine figure of Gazza juggled the ball over the bamboozled Scottish defence and rifled it into the net. No doubt the percentages would have screamed ‘impossible’ - the data, I’m sure, had it been streaming in from a fitness band or a GPS tracker, would be telling the coaches that Gazza was out on his feet and should be hauled off for a more defensive-minded player.

Examples such as Gazza’s volley remind those who love sport that moments of genius can pop up from anywhere and at any time.  There is no algorithm, pie chart or formula which can predict these flashes of brilliance. But more to the point, if these moments could somehow be predicted through crunching the numbers; if in fact we could pull apart sporting performance at a forensic level and begin calculating how the competition or match will play out, surely this would undermine that most fundamental characteristic which makes sport so great: unpredictability.

Moments of sporting genius are borne from the fact that we, as fans, don’t know they’re coming. We have no idea what drama will play out in front of us in the sporting arena; all we have guiding us currently is that most tantalisingly intangible concept, ‘form’, to go on (“He’ll never score; he’s on terrible form!”) and, in the case of team sports, our one-eyed favouritism as supporters.

Looking back now at Gascoigne’s famous volley, I’m convinced the moment would not have stuck with me the way it has if I knew, for example, that based on statistical analysis, there was a 7% chance that Gazza would score a volley that day, or that if he were to run another kilometre, fatigue would increase his chances of said volley ending up in row z rather than the bottom corner. Expecting the unexpected, especially with mercurial talents like Paul Gascoigne is what puts bums on seats.

6 ugliest Nokia mobile phones. How many of these do you remember?
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:14:54 -0500

Before the homogenised mass of Apple-a-likes swamped the market in the late noughties, the mobile phone industry was a weird and wonderful place. Without a tried and tested design formula to follow, manufacturers in the pre-iPhone era were churning out literally anything, in the hope of hitting upon a commercially successful design.
Kings of quirky design were Nokia who, over a period of a few years, released some of the most bizarre looking devices we will likely ever see. Here are 6 of the best. How many of these beauties do you remember?
Nokia 7260
For owners of the Nokia 7260, it must have been a daily battle to keep their dinners down. The swirly ’S’ design on the keypad could quite easily bring on a migraine and, to add insult to ugliness, the curved-corner design showed a complete disregard for lefties, as the 7260’s curviness only suited right-handed users. What a boo-boo.
Nokia 7280

10 years on from the release of the 7280 it would be fascinating to reunite the design team which led on the 7280 project, and ask them to justify their actions a decade earlier. The 7280 is, simply put, an aesthetic abomination. Dissecting this monster is gruesome work: there was no dialling pad; no touchscreen display, heck, even the ‘on’ button was difficult to find. It was only through a combination of sheer bloody hard work and blind faith that a user managed to turn the grim-looking device on.
Nokia 7370

A faux-hippy floral pattern. Check. A 180 degree swivel feature. Check. Random cloth tag on right-hand side serving absolutely no purpose. Check. The Nokia 7370 represents the golden age of Nokia’s fantastic plastic kitsch when the mobile-hungry masses were willing to accept, and indeed embrace, literally any old muck they were presented with. If it swivelled or flipped, and it was made of shiny plastic, we loved it. These were the rules in the pre-Apple era of mobile phones.
Nokia N-Gage

Nobody really knows what Nokia were thinking when they released the N-Gage handset - presumably the Finnish tech giants genuinely believed that what the mobile phone industry really needed was a device that looked like a Sega Game Gear jammed into the dashboard of a Fiat Punto.
Released in 2003, this infamous device was a warm up for the smartphone era of gaming-ready devices (users were able to play the original Tomb Raider on the N-Gage) and also included an MP3 player and a sharp, colour-dense display. The drawback though, as is so often the case with multi-purpose mobiles, is that to make a call on an N-Gage would be to experience quite extraordinary levels of humiliation, as the oddly-shaped device needed to be operated vertically, on its 90-degree edge. A green pass to playground bullies.
Nokia 7600

2003 was not a vintage year for Nokia’s design team. The 7600 is like the illegitimate lovechild of a PalmPilot and a thermostat, although the savvy chaps at Nokia marketed the device using the much more salesy 'teardrop’ design. The 7600’s unusual design was shoved further into the spotlight by the modest spec, with a bog-standard screen and running on the cripplingly slow 2G GPRS network.
Again, though, much like the N-Gage, it was only when you attempted to make a call that you really experienced the full horror of this ergonomic and aesthetic butchery from Nokia. The awkward curves alongside the square-ish shape made holding it in one hand almost impossible and again, in the same way users learnt to accommodate the N-Gage, calls had to be made by positioning the phone at a jaunty 45-degree angle.
Nokia 3650
Another 2003 gem from Nokia, the 3650 was touted as Nokia’s 'business’ phone, for busy execs and boardroom warriors to use as they zip from meeting to meeting. It even had mobile web browsing and was considered far ahead of its time when it hit the shelves. Of course, by today’s standards the Nokia 3650 is a tech dinosaur but it’s only when you notice the phone’s bulbous bottom and rough-looking circular keypad that you realise just how off-the-mark Nokia were with this device.
5 Best Alternatives to Apple's iPhone 6
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 13:17:15 -0500

Fed up of following the tech flock and being too easily corralled into buying the latest Apple offering? Then be a shepherd, not a sheep, with these 5 leading alternatives to the iPhone 6.


Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Sony remain the quiet kid in the corner of the smartphone market; happy, it seems, to let the big, brash, boisterous kids like Apple and Samsung hog the limelight and gobble up the profits. That said, they certainly no their way around a high-end, flagship smartphone and their Xperia range can hold its own against the award-winning iPhone and Galaxy series.


The Xperia Z3 Compact is the latest marquee handset from Sony, who buck the current tech trend of monster devices with a more modest affair. Adopting the user-friendly screen-size of 4.6 inches, the Z3 Compact eschews the acres of real estate which comes with most other flagship handsets these days. Though it may forgo size, the Z3 Compact does not scrimp on features; fitted with a 20.7MP camera supporting high-res video, it’s also dust and waterproof, and a genuine snip, coming in at nearly half the price of the iPhone 6.


HTC One M8
If you’re looking to sidestep the Apple iPhone 6, but are not willing, under any conceivable circumstance, to compromise on build-quality, then your only viable option is the HTC One M8.


This high-end chunk of tech craftsmanship comes fitted with full HD screen, a microSD card slot allowing 12GB of extra storage, BoomSound stereo speakers to ensure you get the top of the bus to yourself and the neat Duo camera which allows those not blessed with a photographer’s flair to refocus shots after they’ve been taken.


If you’re after a tasty slice of anti-Apple, you could do an awful lot worse than LG’s outstanding G3 handset. The LG G3 is a corker of a device stuffed full of innovative features wrapped up in a simple, but very appealing, metal skinned frame.


What the LG G3 lacks in elegance, it makes up for with a feature set  which the bods over at Apple will be eyeing up for the iPhone 7. Some of the best features which you won’t find on the iPhone 6 include an IR blaster, microSD card slot and very handy wireless charging.


Samsung Galaxy S5
It’s physically impossible to compile a selection of iPhone 6 alternatives without including at least one Samsung device. Of course, the standout choice to rival the iPhone 6 has to be the Galaxy S5, the handset which consolidated Samsung’s position at the smartphone top table.


The S5 has been around the block a few times now and smartphone fans everywhere will no doubt be swivel-eyed with excitement when Samsung inevitably announce that a new device is about to roll off the production line. That being said, there’s still plenty on the S5 which is worth shouting about, such as a fingerprint scanner, NFC, microSD card slot and a heart rate monitor. And, if all that’s not enough, it’s also dust/waterproof and there’s a stonking great 16MP snapper on board as well.


Amazon Fire Phone
If there’s one company on the planet capable of toppling Apple’s smartphone dominance, then surely Amazon is that company. Perfectly placed, some would argue, to become the next mobile phone mega seller, their first foray in the smartphone space is the Android-driven Fire Phone.


The naysayers have dismissed the Fire Phone as nothing more than an Amazon shopping basket with a ringtone and, in fairness, this barb may not be the most unreasonable review ever dished out for a new handset joining the smartphone arms race, especially one which basically makes it impossible not to fritter away your life savings on Amazon. However, there's a stack-load of innovative new features on this Fire Phone and, in the spirit of rejecting Apple and choosing a different path from the crowds, it is bringing something completely new to the smartphone party.


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Compare Mobile Phone Prices Offered By These Mobile Phone Recyclers

To enable you to sell your mobile phones for a good price, we compare the prices offered by the following selected mobile phone recycling companies. Companies are chosen based on their level of service, fairness in the process of selling your mobile phone and the length of time they’ve been in the mobile phone marketplace:

Why Price Comparison Sites To Sell Mobile Phones For Cash?

It's never been so easy to get cash for your old mobile phone. A hassle-free service comparing mobile phone recycling prices makes it easy to ensure you're getting the best deal.

These especially selected mobile phone recycling companies offer best prices as well as a good service. So, what are you waiting for? Sell your mobile phone and get some cash now.

How Do You Sell Your Mobile Phone?

Selling your mobile phone is very easy. Just search for your mobile phone model in the search box, or click on the list of manufacturers, then choose your mobile phone by clicking on the model that’s yours. You’ll be presented with a list of mobile phone recyclers in order of how much they pay. Select the company you wish to recycle the phone with and follow the instructions on their website. They’ll pay you for your mobile phones within a few days.

Why Use A mobile phone recycling Company To Sell Mobile Phones?

We’ve been operating for over 2 years and one of the first websites to compare companies that recycle mobile phones, trade in mobile phones or help individuals and organisations with mobile phone recycling. We’ve specially selected mobile phone recycling companies that offer fair prices but most importantly provide the best service.

Also, the companies featured on our website have been in the mobile phone recycling business for a number of years so you can trust the company you sell your mobile phone to. Another reason to sell your mobile phone to one of these companies is they provide a genuine recycling service by either reusing your old mobile phones in developing countries or by recycling phones and batteries that can no longer be used.

Steps To Sell Your Mobile Phone

There couldn't be an easier way to get cash than by selling your mobile phone. Search for your mobile phone in the search box, or by clicking on the list of manufacturers, and select your mobile phone by clicking on the model that's yours.

The list of leading UK mobile phone recyclers will be presented and you simply select the one that offers the best price for your phone. You'll receive cash for your old mobile phone by way of a cheque in just a few days. And, when you sell mobile phone, you'll not only get money but you'll also be helping the environment.

Yes, recycling helps save our planet. It reduces the rapid depletion of precious substances, found in mobiles as the substances are reused when you give phones for mobile phone recycling.

What You Get When You Sell Mobile Phone For Recycling?

  • The best deal for old, or used mobile phones
  • An easy/safe process that saves time
  • Cash plus mobile phone recycling is environmentally beneficial
  • Fast payment within 48 hours
  • Payment received directly into your bank account

Old mobile phones that are disposed off in landfills can have a damaging and harmful effect on the environment, especially soil, water supplies and plants and wildlife. That's why we're encouraging new mobile phone buyers to search out their old, unused or broken handsets and sell them. The price you get will however depend upon the condition and age of your mobile. So check your phone and find out what it's worth today. Compare mobile phone recycling prices and obtain the best price for your old mobile phone.

Companies Offering The Best All Round Service:

  • 8mobile
  • Boots recycle
  • bowzowi
  • Cash4Phones
  • CashMyFone
  • Debenhams
  • fonebank
  • FoneHub
  • Gadgets4everyone
  • mazuma
  • Mobile Cash Mate
  • Mobile Cash Monster
  • mobilephoneexchange
  • Money4mymobile
  • Money4urmobile
  • Moneyforyourphone
  • PhoneRecycleBank
  • recycleurphone
  • RPC Recycle
  • Simply Drop

Cash Comparison before You Sell Your Mobile Phone

Before you sell your old mobile phone you need to compare the top recycling companies to get the best price. Use the mobile phone comparison tool to check how much your mobile phone is worth and compare prices offered by all the top companies, then simply select the one that offers you the best price!