Panasonic has bumped up the power of its Oxyride batteries, claiming the new version is 120% more efficient than the original model. And to prove it, Panny has decided to launch an airplane powered by 100 AA Oxyride batteries (you might recall that the original Oxyride was heralded by a battery-powered ultralight vehicle). No word on how far the plane will be able to go powered on those AAs -- or whether Panny's actually managed to recruit anyone to fly the thing (though we hear Richard Branson is game). We assume that, after this stunt, Panny will roll out next year's upgrade with an Oxyride-powered space shuttle, and follow that one with a battery-powered lunar colony. Maybe after that, they'll consider something really dramatic, like beating disposable lithiums or rechargeable NiMHs in a digicam.

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