* Posts by ilmari

179 posts • joined 18 Oct 2012

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The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

ilmari

Why not? It works like autopilot on a ship or on an airplane, The only other autopilots I can come to think of.

Airplane autopilots will happily fly into other airplanes, with the collision alert sounds blaring, or halfway into a mountain before giving up the controls and telling pilot to do something in the last second.

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Wikibon drops bomb, says Intel's Optane could be a flop...tane

ilmari

Re: Wrong comparison

They already do, pretty much. Their sleep states would give around 2-4 weeks battery life, It's just that they power up constantly to check farcebook, twitters, instagrams, snapchats, whatsapps, Skype, telegram, google+, gmail, oemaccount, google play, weather widgets, location, etc...

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Good luck building a VR PC: Ethereum miners are buying all the GPUs

ilmari

Don't forget the last gpu cryptomining fad propped up AMD's sales for a year, drove up prices and killed availability.

I haven't been following very closely, last time only AMD GPUs were useful, are both brands useful this time around?

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In touching tribute to Samsung Note 7, fidget spinners burst in flames

ilmari

Re: Hmmm

There is no metallic lithium in Li-Ion batteries - normally.

It is possible to generate metallic lithium by overcharging. This makes the battery quite volatile for future use.

Another trick you can do is over discharge, which causes the copper to dissolve. On charging it back up again, the dissolved copper precipitates in random places, and may or may not cause a short. Slower version of Russian roulette.

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UK Parliament hack: Really, a brute-force attack? Really?

ilmari

Out of interest, how much would it cost to set up 2FA for a single user on a single server (raspberry pi) with mentioned Rsaid?

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Brazilian whacks Intel over 'exploding' Atom smartphone chips

ilmari

So... We know that Intel CPUs will throttle down at around 100C... So the question is, did the atom CPU fail to throttle and to into thermal runaway, or did the manufacturer fail to keep the battery protected from the 100C CPU?

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Internet hygiene still stinks despite botnet and ransomware flood

ilmari

Considering the scarcity of public IP addresses and increasing numbers of NAT boxes everywhere, it's rather impressive that so much is still open to public internet.

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Cloud VMs without sane firewalls is nutty, right? Digital Ocean agrees

ilmari

This article puzzles me.

Is it common these days to expect a server, dedicated, vps or VM to have preinstalled firewall? Or is it expected that there would be a separate firewall in front if it all?

If anything, I would've thought the expectation would he firewall and nat-free so you can have bidirectional communication with clients from the internet...

Could someone enlighten me please...

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WannaCrypt: Pwnage is a fact of life but cleanup could and should be way easier

ilmari

The problem with formally proving a system is that by the time you've completed it, the specification turns out to be wrong and has changed 27 times over 7 different corporate/government regimes.

Anyhow, I've often had arguments that have gone a bit like:

"Hey what are you doing here, that results in undefined behaviour"

- "It's okay, I tested it and X happened every time"

"It's still undefined, it could change any time in the future"

- "What why, surely they wouldn't make backwards incompatible changes to the OS?"

"Undefined is undefined, they could make the compiler generate code that erases the hard drive and they'd still technically be standards compliant"

- "You mean I have to actually read specs and learn, not just try random stuff until something works?!"

"Yes"

- "Being a developer sucks!"

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8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

ilmari

I have to admit failure here, I simply can not comprehend the dice example, how 6 and 6 would be any less, or any more likely to come up than 6 and 5, or any other combination?

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Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

ilmari

Re: Petty?

It gets more complicated than that. I used to think suck per watt would be the thing to measure (and do you want to measure volume per time, or static pressure?)

With less suck, but with a rotating brush, you get surprisingly good results, and better results at removing dog hair than a traditional powerful suck.

On the other hand, that gives terrible results on getting sand out of a carpet. Except if it's a very smooth and non-porous mat.

So you'd probably want to include a range of different dirts on different surfaces, spread onto and into the surfaces using various methods, weigh before and after result, and consider energy and time used, and the amount of particles exhausted or thrown up into the air.

Maybe suck per watt would be easier.

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User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

ilmari

I used to enjoy playing around with lossy media such as CDs tapes and usenet, throwing more and more parity at it, and sometimes deliberately abuse the media to introduce more losses, just to see how much could be wrecked and still have a human viewable picture or audio left...

With that said, it would be interesting to see what a modified CD drive would be able to pull from a disc cracked and carefully put together again. Modified, because you'd want it to ignore luxuries like adressing and error correction/reporting and just get a raw bits (or probabilities of a bit or no bit) back..

I imagine it would be impossible to get the tracks aligned again, so it would in best case be randomly jumping to different track and getting stuck like a grammphone skipping tracks...

I wonder how well the metal layer is bonded to the rest of the disc, if a crack and would severely distort it on the rest of the disc too.

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You only need 60 bytes to hose Linux's rpcbind

ilmari

I remember around 2002 or so Redhat 6.1 ... 6.2 came with portmapper by default on 111, probably the most common reason why machines got taken over back theb.

Funny how little things have changed in 15 years.

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Base specs leak for Windows 10 Cloud – Microsoft's wannabe ChromeOS assassin

ilmari

What's noteworthy to me is how the hardware specs are higher than those of most "normal" Windows 10 laptops people buy.

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Exploding femtocells: No need for a full recall, says Vodafone

ilmari

Re: Fixed for pennies

Actually, from the article I get the impression that what the device had was exactly the above: A MOV.

The thing is, they get more and more sensitive over time, and WILL become fully conductive during normal voltage, eventually.

In a properly designed device you make sure that the resulting fire or explosion doesn't spread, and that there's a fuse that disconnects it when the short circuit does happen.

That's what the "Protection OK" light on a surge protector is for, once the MOV shorts and causes the fuse to blow, the light no longer gets power and goes out.

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Microsoft promises twice-yearly Windows 10, O365 updates – with just 18 months' support

ilmari

As for Office365, does anyone else experience every single desktop getting logged out and forgetting their credentials?

Anyone else experienced having every account in a company scrambled, licenses randomly reassigned between accounts?

Happens about quarterly. Luckily small business with around 20 users, and luckily I'm not the one that has to sort out the mess when suddenly nobody's excel will run.

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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

ilmari

Just got a brand new Kaby Lake windows 7 laptop 2 weeks ago. Timing sucks.

I needed the newest Siemens TIA portal software for work. It supported Windows 7 and 8, 64-bit only. My trusty engineering laptop ran 32-bit windows.

Call to supplier and I get a Windows 7 pro kaby lake laptop the next day, because skylake and kaby is all they have. Well, they only had one model with Win7 license anyway.

A week later, and Siemens finally gets head out of ass and releases Windows 8.1 and 10 compatibility (well, atleast until creator's update comes and kills it).

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Stop us if you've heard this: Cisco Aironet has hard-coded passwords

ilmari

I wonder if it's a bit like how caterpillar has the same key for all vehicles, so that you don't have to spend time on finding the right one.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

ilmari

Re: The Reg

It took me 3 attempts to upvote this because of that same banner jumping text up and down. The posts after your post fit a few accidental up votes. Oops.

Often it loads covering the article headline and the first few rows of text, and stays like that for quite a bit. Sometimes I get to close it and click "ad covered content", but usually itnjimps to where it's supposed to be if I try to X it...

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‘Artificial Intelligence’ was 2016's fake news

ilmari

"AI" is whatever would have seemed like magic last year.

Once it actually works it stops being "AI" and gets called something else. Pattern matching algorithm, massive statistical database, whatever.

As for support call centres, if things just worked in the first place we wouldn't need so much of them. The cheaper it gets to provide call centres, the worse the products/services will be.

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Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

ilmari

Re: Milking It

As someone working in a so far robot-free plant, situated next door to a fanuc shop, that was interesting news and I will certainly demand manuals if those fanucs try to get in.

If you know, what robot manufacturer UA the friendliest for maintenance technicians armed with a netbook, pieces of string and duct tape?

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Chinese boffins: We're testing an 'impossible' EM Drive IN SPAAAACE

ilmari

What I would want to know is:

Assuming a 1 ton satellite with 10kW of solar panels,

In low earth orbit, how much thrust do you need to easily and clearly distinguish the produced thrust from perturbations from earth's non-spherical gravity, air resistance and solar wind?

How much in geostationary?

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Virgin America mid-flight panic after moron sets phone Wi-Fi hotspot to 'Samsung Galaxy Note 7'

ilmari

Re: Two things

One thing to keep in mind regarding ticking time bomb, the issue is said to be insufficient space for the battery to expand. As Samsung has been limiting the state of charge the battery can operate at, we can assume that the swelling is bigger either near full or near empty, or both.

So, what happens when you put what is essentially a balloon in a low pressure environment such as an aircraft cabin? Does it get bigger or smaller?

I think I finally understood why the note got banned on air travel.

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Bluetooth: Remember us? Internet of Things before it was a Thing?

ilmari

My bluetooth ear defenders have enough range when talking to my phone, that it can go through one set of aluminium box, brick wall and steel door, and a further 10 meters in open air before it starts breaking up, reminding me I forgot to take the phone with me.

Probably the biggest problem with bluetooth is the previously mentioned terrible user interfaces, and also the proliferation of terrible bluetooth radios. The latter is starting to happen with wifi too, where you may find a specific wifi client just isn't able to hold a reliable connection to a specific wifi AP, no matter the range. The difference is that usually your crappy wifi radios are inside cheap laptops and cheap APs. Not so with bluetooth, where you can have the shittiest bluetooth radio in the most expensive laptops.

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More than half of punters reckon they can't get superfast broadband

ilmari

Re: Why 60Mb?

Don't forget that kids (and I extend that to "tweens" too) these days don't just watch one HD stream, they might have 4 live streams going at the same time while watching YouTube and Netflix. Plus a few forgotten muted tabs with videos/streams going.

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Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

ilmari

Re: How much water?

It's futile to put out a single burning cell. However, if you manage to cool down everything else close to the one that is burning, you can potentially prevent a chain reaction and prevent the other 89 cells from going off.

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ilmari

BMS

Just goes to show the importance of the Battery Management System..

Thermal runaway refers to the condition where the battery will not cool down anymore by disconnecting it and throwing it in the freezer. In lay men's terms, it has caught fire, which will inevitably result in venting with flame (explosion).

How do you reach thermal runaway? Heat any part of it to 130C (some lower, some higher). So just slap temperature sensors on it and cut it off at 70C? Not so fast. It's enough if a small part of it reaches critical temperature.

Many fires are the result of impurities introduced during manufacture. A small dust speck of metal inside will heat up as current passes through it, and make a small part of the battery much hotter than the rest.

The low end and high end if the li-ion voltage range does funny things inside the battery cell. The lithium-ions can develop into metallic lithium, which is not reversible, and cause much the same issues as with impurities during manufacture, with the additional bonus of possibly puncturing the separator, causing an internal short circuit.

The copper used to collect current can dissolve into the electrolyte, and later when it becomes solid again during use, it will appear in random spots in the battery, again acting as a spot heat source and agaib possibly puncturing the separator.

All this is accumulative damage, a BMS squeezing too much capacity out of a battery cell can gradually make the battery too unstable for use, which results in boom. Most likely during charge, because that's when we see the highest sustained currents normally. There's nothing preventing it from happening during use though, so just because a suspect battery charges without incident, don't relax.

A properly tuned BMS will be causing just enough damage over time, so that the usable capacity of the battery will have degraded enough that the user stops using it, before the battery's stability has degraded enough to explode under previously safe conditions.

In other words, li-ion is a ticking time bomb, but manufacturers try tune it to explode way after your device is obsolete.

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Internet of Things botnets: You ain’t seen nothing yet

ilmari

Re: Bleedin obvious advice

Since UPNP doesn't work through ISP side NATs, many cheap consumer cameras just connect through random vendor's "cloud" instead. Compromise that machine and you gain access to all the devices ever sold by that, and related,manufacturer. The nat and firewall of any router won't help.

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Don't panic, but a 'computer error' cut the brakes on a San Francisco bus this week

ilmari

Re: Whaaat?

My fuess is that They probably made it behave much like a vehicle powered by a diesel engine and automatic transmission, rightmost pedal to accelerate, let go and it freewheels, left pedal for braking.

So in order to get regenerative braking while still having the pedals behave the same way, they needed electronics on the brake, to first do regenerative braking, and switch over to friction braking at some point.

In other industries, like forklift trucks that are available with different power options, they just don't bother with that, and make lifting the right most pedal equal maximum regenerative braking effort, and then retain mechanical linkage to the brakes from the left pedal. It takes some time for drivers to adjust, and the mechanical brake is almost never needed. And no, the motors can't overpower the brake.

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Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

ilmari

I wonder if pixel-android will eventually have "must have" features, and if at that point Google will license it to OEMs with stricter agreements to keep crapware out and keep devices updated..

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‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

ilmari

Re: Curtains for Windows

I thought the restarts with the accompanying loss of state, and sometimes loss of data, was annoying, but then it started updating synaptics touchpad drivers every week, to broken drivers. The forcefed driver makes touchpad switch on and off in an infinite loop, occupying a CPU core and making the touchpad unusable. Input focus is also constantly taken away by the touchpad notifications.

After every reboot I thus need to uninstall the driver and install the driver from synaptic's website. As a normal user I haven't found a way to disable driver updates.

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Mozilla tells Firefox OS devs to fork off if they want to chase open web apps vision

ilmari

FirefoxOS 2.6? My Firefox os phone is still stuck on 1.0!

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Security man Krebs' website DDoS was powered by hacked Internet of Things botnet

ilmari

Re: What's an IOT device owner to do?

An increasing number of cameras seem to, in addition to manufacturer dyndns, have always-on unconfigurable tunnels back to the manufacturer, or some other "cloud" in China, so that the mobile apps will "just work" through quadruple NATs.

My router supports WAN capture and I figured out the external IP the camera connected to with that, and the router also let's me block IPs. Quite a complicated thing to do for most people though!

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SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably

ilmari

Re: "...one tenth of a second..."

If I remember correctly, the previous incident's cause was determined in part by comparing the time at which different microphones had picked up first signs of trouble.

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

ilmari

Am I the only one in comments NOT using adblock?

Although theregister makes me tempted to do it, because ADS COVER THE FIRST ROW OF HEADLINES. Not always, refreshing it enough makes it produce an ad that doesn't cover headlines. Eventually. But I guess that's the idea, make it half broken, more refresh more views?

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BSODs of the week: From GRUB to nagware

ilmari

Re: Adobe

Windows 10 seems able to display PDF these days. As does Firefox and chrome. The PDFs that don't work in those tend to use weird features that make adobe's reader bog down the system too..

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Larry Page snuffs out ‘too expensive’ Google Fiber project

ilmari

As someone involved in a massive build out of fibre across a municipality spanning 100km end to end, I can say that the cheapest individual connection we did was to a guy "in the sticks".

10 km to the nearest neighbour by dirt road or through forest, the excavator used a knife-like implement to cut a small trench into which the fibre cable went, since it was the sticks with dirt roads and no preexisting infrastructure to speak of, he could just to ahead full steam cutting through other roads and intersections. On the way back he flattened the roads he had cut through. Took half a day.

Meanwhile in the village, there was all sorts of existing underground structures that needed to be navigated around, paved roads that needed repavemebt if they were disturbed, roads that could not be cut even temporarily and had to be drilled under.. Each single connection cost significantly more than the one for the guy out in the woods.

Amusingly, people in the village think part Iof their sign up costs went to subsidising those living out in the woods, but it was in fact the other way around...

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My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

ilmari

Speed

The speed, or rather lack of speed with Office 2016 is what made me upgrade my office computer from a C2D to Skylake. I know the C2D is old by now, but seriously, you'd think any 2.83GHz superscalar CPU would be able to run a word processor without it lagging several keys behind your typing.. Libreoffice atleast kept up with typing speed, but compatibility was an issue...

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Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

ilmari

Re: "Sleep", "Hibernate", etc. are engineering kludges.

Sleep and hibernate are kludges fixing the high idle power consumption.

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World goes SIM-free, leaving Sony and HTC trailing behind

ilmari

Re: "SIM free" ?

Right now, I'm browsing el reg while also frying pancakes.

After breakfast, it will be streaming some fast and loud music while I work in the garden

At that point battery level will be down to 66% or so, and it will get a short charge while I change clothes and head to actual work. At work, the phone will be streaming calming music or radio for 8 hours straight, after which the battery will be either dead or near dead.

Throw in web browsing, taking notes, emails, phonecalls, catching up on YouTube during breaks, etc..

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Super cool: Arctic data centres aren't just for Facebook

ilmari

Re: Missing a trick

This is actually done in Helsinki. Helsinki has both district heating and district cooling infrastructure, data centre heat is dumped into district heating.

The cool thing about district cooling is that it's mostly powered by unused "waste" heat from the district heating return. Thus, trigeneration powerplants reach extremely high efficiencies. Having 86 million litres of water to store heat and cold in also helps them run the powerplants at their optimum efficiency ratio regardless of the uneven demand on the different energy forms throughout the day.

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Intel's 6th gen processors rock – but won't revive PC markets

ilmari

Re: Old laptops

Wake from sleep is measured in fractions if a second these days. You want to just open the lid or whatever, see if there are any messages or emails you need to read, and close it again. This entire process in preferably less than a second.

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Daredevil Brit lifts off in 54-prop quinquaquadcopter

ilmari

Re: Ducted Fans?

I think his current control and stabilisation system is more arduino-like than Pi-like.

While the Pi has powerful cpu and tons of ram, it's pretty starved in the I/O department.

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Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

ilmari

The article mentioned hydrogen producing powder, cartridges, and modified headphone sockets.

I wonder if they've just replace headphone socket with orifice for inserting the cartridge. Presumably the cartridge stays inside until its hydrogen generating powder is spent.

I also wonder if the rate of hydrogen generation is fixed or variable, and whether generated hydrogen is storable or not.

If the answers are no, then it means the fuel cell will run empty after a week regardless of power consumption, and that very heavy users will drain the intermediate buffer battery even if fuel cell still has stored energy.

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ilmari

Re: Bah, humbug

Streaming spotify will empty most phones in under 8 hours.

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Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

ilmari

Re: Evolutionary Dead End

Well, instead of riding a tube undergoing a slow explosion, they also tested throwing bombs out the back of a spaceship and surfing the shockwaves from each bomb.

The tests were performed with TNT, but the final plan called for nuclear bombs. It was calculated that you would only need a few ten thousand nukes to get to Alpha Centauri. For some reason they never received permission to procure and detonate even a dozen nukes, and the project was shut down.

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Exploding Power Bars: EE couldn't even get the CE safety mark right

ilmari

Re: Totally ....

It was probably refering to a cable connected to the power supplying port on the powerbar. If that would be shorted, the dc-dc converter might be lefg running at its maximum capacity, heating up the battery it's sitting next to. If the converter lacks thermal cutoff, it will eventually enter runaway conditions, after which it's no longer converting, just passing through acting like a dead short itself. Temperature would increase to above the point where Li-Ion ignites..

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ilmari

Re: CE marking is a broken idea

I've wondered in general how PLC performs and is affected by the rather esoteric ring systems used ro wire UK households, compared to star topology used in the rest of the world.

Now PLC kit is even using the PE wire to transmit data, which is turning every chassis into a radiating antenna, I imagine.

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Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

ilmari

Inherently unstable is actually true in a literal sense, the battery is eating itself up chemically after being manufactured, and will explode under use eventually.

Through limiting the temperature, current and voltage to specific limits, the point of explosion can be pushed to far beyond the battery's useful life.

Contaminations during manufacture typically shrink the safe temperature, voltage and current windows, making the safe windiw smaller than what the electronics is tuned for. The battery eventually reaches the point of explosion before it gets discarded as useless.

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ilmari

Re: A battery charging a battery

My main use of these kinds of things is making phone stream spotify/etc for a full workday. Excellent 3G coverage, shitty FM radio coverage.

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