The good news: Panasonic is finally going to bring their new Oxyride AA and AAA batteries, which are supposed to cost the same as regular alkaline batteries yet deliver twice as much juice, to the States beginning in June (you may recall some gimmickiness about Panasonic using the batteries to power a singler person vehicle). The bad news: they don't exactly live up to the hype. David Pogue actually tested some Oxyride batteries, which have been out in Japan since late last year (where they've already grabbed 10% of the market) and discovered that while Oxyride batteries do make flashlights flash brighter and fans spin faster (they pump out 1.7 volts compared with the 1.5 volts of regular alkaline batteries), in head-to-head rundown tests they failed to outlast both Duracell Ultras and regular alkaline Duracells. So Panasonic's full of it, right? Not quite, because Pogue went on to test how Oxyride batteries performed in a digital camera (the sort of thing Panasonic claims the batteries were designed for), and found that he was able to eke out 2.4 times as many photos using the Oxyride batteries as he was using just regular alkaline batteries.