Longer battery life is high atop our list of gadget prayers, and the brainiacs at Stanford are one step closer to making our dreams come true with a new lithium-sulfur technology. Half of this trick lies in the silicon nanowire anode that the same team developed back in 2007, whereas the new cathode consists of a similarly commodious lithium sulfide nanostructure. Compared to present lithium-ion batteries, Stanford's design is "significantly safer" and currently achieves 80 percent more capacity, but it's nowhere near commercial launch with just 40 to 50 charge cycles (Li-ion does "300 to 500") due to the compound's rapid degradation. That said, we're promised a theoretical quadruple boost in capacity as the technology matures, so until then we'll keep that hamster running in our backpack.