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What wireless aficionados really want are devices that work like they have an Energizer Bunny inside, preferably on steroids. We want them to keep going and going...but they don't. Enter the Los Alamos National Labs, where scientists are going beyond Wi-Fi and radio frequency technology, thanks to a technique called "modulated reflectance." The bonus of such an approach is that it dramatically reduces the demand on your device's battery. I'm writing on my notebook computer in my yard. Intermittently, I send and receive e-mail or check a fact via the Web. My broadband Wireless LAN (WLAN) card chats with my base station located in my home 40 yards away. I find comfort in the card's blinking green light. It tells me all these nifty wireless gizmos are working happily in unison ­ except for the stupid electric cord, stretching from my computer through my garden across my... (more)