Is Leaving My iPhone Charging Overnight Bad?

Is charging my iPhone overnight harmful?

Nolan Levesque writes:

Hey, Chris. I’m wondering if plugging my iPhone in to charge before bed and leaving it plugged in for 8-10 hours after it’s fully charged is harmful? Thanks for all the great content; don’t let haters get you down!

Is Leaving My iPhone Charging Overnight Bad?
Is leaving my iPhone charging overnight bad?

Leaving your iPhone on charge while you’re asleep shouldn’t have any detrimental effects on the battery. The lithium-ion battery in your iPhone has two modes:

  • The fast charge, which can charge the battery to 80% of its capacity in around two hours.
  • The trickle charge, which will charge the battery to 100% of its capacity over three to four hours.

According to Apple, your battery will lose some of its capacity every cycle, but it will take thousands of cycles before your battery will only hold 80% of its charge.

The modern lithium-ion battery can take thousands of charge and discharge cycles before showing any kind of sign of not being able to hold a full charge. So I think that it’s safe to say that leaving your iPhone charging overnight wouldn’t be bad for it. If you’d like to know more, we’ve covered this topic in greater detail here: Should You Leave Your Smartphone Charging Overnight?

Image: New Battery by DougWard via Flickr

Would You Pay $300 To Call 9-1-1 For A Medical Emergency?

Most of us have read about the financial problems that California is facing, but one small town is taking their financial problems over board. The people in Tracy, California will have several options if and when they need to call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency. They can sign up for a yearly fee of $48 for calling 9-1-1 for a medical emergency or pay up to $300 per call each time they call for a medical emergency. It gets better if you are a non-resident and just traveling through Tracy, since you will be charged $400 for the honor of calling for help.

When I read this I recalled a skit by Bob Newhart in which he played the part of a fire dispatcher. The caller reports a fire at his house and is questioned if he has fire insurance from the fire department. While the house burns, Newhart explains to the resident several options and pricing for the insurance. The skit ends after the house has burned to the ground and Newhart asks the caller if they would still like to buy insurance for the next house fire.

At the time the skit was funny, but no one in their right mind would have taken it seriously. But the people in Tracy, California seem to be facing a similar situation. One can only imagine how the city council of  Tracy could of come up with such an outlandish idea. Will they start charging for 9-1-1 fire or police calls as well?

Do you agree that this is just a dumb idea?

Share your thoughts.

Comments welcome.


Here Is A Unique Take On Pirates: Sell Them Post-Release Downloadable Content

Today must be the day for better ideas. First it was the CEO of Time Warner who wants to actually add value to their services and now EA has come up with a novel way to stop piracy. OK, maybe not stop piracy but to make a buck off of those who pirate. Here is what EA proposes:

John Riccitiello, the gaming-savvy head of Electronic Arts, doesn’t want anyone to pirate games. But those who do, he told Kotaku, present a new market that EA needs to make money from.


By selling people who grab games digitally — without paying for them — post-release downloadable content.

What a novel idea. But do people actually want post-release downloadable content? EA thinks so:

Riccitiello spoke energetically about the popularity of the company’s downloadable content add-ons. Some of EA’s DLC has been free, such as the launch-day offerings of a new town in The Sims 3 or a nudity option in The Saboteur. Others, such as the paid DLC for November’s Dragon Age Origins, generated a million downloads in its first week, according to an EA spokesperson.

“The consumer seems to really like this idea that there is extra stuff,” Riccitiello said, while expressing surprise that some of this DLC is downloaded so soon after people start playing the games. “The consumer wants more, and when you give them more or sell them more it seems to be extremely well received.”

Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: “There’s a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,” he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it.

I sincerely hope that EA can pull this off. It would be great for the software companies who can generate added revenues from those that steal. Plus, we consumers may no longer have to go through hoops when we buy a piece of software only to have a terrible time getting the software registered.

Comments welcome.


Murdoch – More Threats To Charge For News

Rupert Murdoch the media mogul is now beating his drum and states that by next summer there will be no more free news from his companies. You will pay to read his news and you will pay dearly for this privilege. It a recent article this man states that:

“Quality journalism is not cheap,” said Murdoch. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites.”

Murdoch said he had completed a review of the possibility of charging and that he was willing to take the risk of leading the industry towards a pay-per-view model: “I believe that if we’re successful, we’ll be followed fast by other media.”

He accepted that there could be a need for furious litigation to prevent stories and photographs being copied elsewhere: “We’ll be asserting our copyright at every point.”Among quality newspapers, Murdoch singled out the Daily Telegraph’s run of stories about MPs’ expenses as an example of news for which consumers would be willing to pay, describing it as a “great scoop”: “I’m sure people would be very happy to pay for that.”

Murdoch said change was inevitable: “We’re certainly satisfied that we can produce significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspaper content.”

What is surprising is that this new model of news distribution will not take place until next summer. Why the wait? I wish this man success since at 78 years old, and with a worth of some $8B plus, he is not satisfied with his GOD [Money] that he wants to continue to accumulate more.

Comments welcome.


PS Does anyone want to bet that Google doesn’t find a new source to provide the news for free? LOL

China May Be First To Launch Electric Car In The U.S.

According to an article over at the Technology Review site, a car from Coda Automotive located in China, could be the first company to launch an electric car in the U.S. The vehicle which will have a price tag of about $45k, could sell for about $30k after governmental rebates. The car will get about 100 miles between charges, which can be charged in about 8 minutes. Sound good? Maybe too good.

In addition to trying to bring the car to market ahead of its competition, Coda hopes to distinguish itself with its battery system, which it developed in cooperation with Tianjin Lishen, a major lithium-ion battery maker based in China, and other companies that specialize in different aspects of the battery system, such as the electronic controls. Kevin Czinger, Coda’s president and CEO, says that the company jointly owns the factory that makes the battery packs, which will help Coda ensure a steady supply of batteries. This is also true for the Japanese automakers Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Nissan, but he says that his company is ramping up production for electric vehicles faster. By the end of the year, the company’s battery factory will be able to produce 20,000 packs a year. “The scale and speed with which we’re doing it are very different than the Japanese,” Czinger says. “The ownership of mass manufacturing of the battery system distinguishes us from everybody else.”

There is some good news. Once the car goes into production it is hoped that the price will eventually be about $25k without rebates.

Comments welcome.


Electric Cars – Will Renting The Batteries Work?

As we enter into a period in which the [EV] electric vehicle seems to be a viable replacement for the gasoline powered combustion engine, a new company is offering a novel approach to the vehicle battery. The purchaser of a new EV would rent the battery and pay a per mile charge. If the battery needs replacing the system is automated as shown on the web site of Better Place.

Better Place explains their vision as:

Electric vehicles offer a superior driving experience, delivering instant torque and smooth acceleration in an ultra-quiet environment.

The electric car is becoming inevitable.  Nearly every major automaker has an active program to develop and introduce EVs, ultimately providing the consumer a broad range of options.  Better Place is currently working with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which will be among the first to introduce EVs, and is also in discussion with major auto manufacturers around the world.

These electric vehicles will be distinctive in more respects than their zero tailpipe emissions.  EVs inherently provide instant torque, delivering smooth, seamless acceleration.  EVs also offer ultra-quiet operation.  And since these cars typically have half the moving parts of their gas combustion engine counterparts,  lower maintenance costs are expected.  All this means that in the coming decade, EVs will be at the center of mainstream personal transportation.

Better Place provides energy when and where you need it with a flexible network of charge spots and battery switch stations.

Charge spots

Plug-in virtually anywhere you go.  Better Place’s vast regional network of charge spots will provide convenient, reliable opportunities to charge EVs

Better Place intends to deploy charge spots at private homes, workplaces and public locations such as parking lots and streets.  As the vast majority of driving trips are shorter than the range of a fully-charged EV battery, Better Place anticipates that most subscribers will use charge spots as their primary method of recharging.  At your home, a Better Place charge spot will provide safe, reliable, high-power charging using the Better Place network.  On the street, in your work parking lot or at the shopping center, Better Place charge spots will be available to provide easy access to energy.

Battery switch stations

The Better Place battery switch stations are designed to allow drivers on a long trip to switch a depleted battery for one with a full charge, in less time than it takes to fill a tank with gasoline.

At a Better Place switch station, the driver enters a lane and proceeds along a switch-lane conveyor. The automated switch platform below the vehicle will align under the battery, initiate the battery release process and lower the battery from the vehicle. It will then replace the depleted battery with a fully-charged battery.  The depleted battery is placed in a storage room and recharged to be available to other drivers.  The process is completed in just a few minutes, while the driver remains in the car, providing a fast and convenient range-extension solution.

To better see how this technology would work you have to see the video on the Better Place web site. It shows a prototype of what appears to be a Nissan Rogue with a replaceable battery pack, being switched out at a battery replacement center.

See what you think of this idea.

Comments welcome.

Better Place Video Source.

Lithium Ion Battery – 100 Fold Performance Improvement?

President Barack Obama during his many speeches has always credited the US of A for its ability to solve problems and come up with solutions. For some this fell on deaf ears since they would rather concentrate only on the current economic crisis and trying to convince us that the Presidents policies won’t work. Well the kids over at MIT are ready to prove that the US of A still has what it takes when it comes to over coming ANY technology obstacle that sits in our way.

Here comes the new lithium ion super batteries that will charge in less than 5 minutes. According to an article over at gizmag it states that:

March 16, 2009 Researchers have developed a new advanced Lithium Ion battery that will allow mobile phone and laptop computers to be fully charged in seconds. Electric car batteries may be charged in as little as five minutes, removing one of the main barriers to wider uptake of EVs. Solar and wind power generation could also benefit as better batteries could be used to store surplus energy.

MIT researchers Byoungwoo Kang & Gerbrand Ceder have discovered a way to make a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery charge and discharge about as fast as a supercapacitor. In a typical lithium ion cell when a current is applied to charge the cell, lithium ions move away from the cathode compound and are trapped at the anode storage medium. When the battery discharges producing current, those ions travel back to the cathode medium and in so doing produce current flow.

Speed of charging in typical lithium-ion cells is slowed by virtue of the fact that it takes time for the lithium ion to move off the cathode material. Various techniques have been tried to increase that speed including the nanoparticle doping strategy that A123 Systems uses.

If this in fact true and if these new batteries can be produced inexpensively, the electric car will take a giant leap. Couple this with a new electric grid and more wind turbines, maybe, just maybe we will be able to wean ourselves on our addiction to oil.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


GM Unveils Volt – Looks Like A Malibu

GM did in fact show its new Volt model electric car, on the companies 100 th anniversary. It did not look like the concept car which had sharp lines, low silhouette and had a rather cool appearance. The Volt model displayed by GM looked like the revamped Chevy Malibu that was introduced as a Camry killer.

Some of the problems that GM is going to face is battery technology. The current crop of batteries are limited and improvements in battery technology should take place in the next few years. At least this is what GM is hoping for. Second is cost. The word now is that the Volt will be under $40,000. I certainly hope that GM can get the cost below $30,000 or they will be parking the Volt next to their unsold large SUV’s & pickups. :-)

Six months after GM unveiled the Volt concept in 2007, Toyota announced it was already test-driving plug-in hybrids — cars that adhere to the two-engine model of all hybrids but allow the battery to plug into the grid and pick up an extra charge while parked. Toyota has been as quiet about its plug-in plans as GM has been loud about the Volt, but it does seem that the Japanese company takes a more skeptical view of lithium technology. “Our thinking is of a smaller battery with a lower initial cost [for the consumer],” says Tasatami Takimoto, Toyota’s executive vice president for green tech.

With GM asking for a $25 Billion dollar loan to retool for the Volt, it will be interesting to see if the Volt actually becomes a reality. Toyota with their Prius may be a tough act to beat.

What do you think? Can GM play catch to the Japanese auto makers? Or is GM, Ford & Chrysler going the way of the dodo?

Comments welcome.


Volt pictures

Fire-Doggies Charge $40 To Fix Bios On New Computer?

The Consumerist has an interesting tale from a reader who states he was charged $40 to update the BIOS on the new computer he just bought.  According to the article a CC associate told the buyer if he wanted to do anything but surfing on the new computer he had just bought, he would need to update the BIOS. Say what?

It does sound kind of strange doesn’t it. But it gets better. According to the article it states that:

So he turned down the video card upgrade, the hard drive upgrade and
memory upgrade that the sales associated recommended he would need. Of
course all of these upgrades were services that Firedog could perform
for a fee. He told the sales associate, “Look, I know what I’m buying
and this is all I need.”. After convincing the sales associate of this,
they finally started the check out process. So he slides his credit
card through and signs for the purchase. The sales associate hands him
his receipt and he is on his way to his dad’s with his new computer.
Until, after a quick scan of the receipt, he notices a $40 charge from
Firedog. He turns right around and asks the sales associate what the
line item was for. The sales associate replies that Firedog needed to
setup Windows Vista and flash the bios for the computer to work.

Whether the story has any validity or not, it does serve to warn consumers of some of the obstacles they may face when buying a new computer. Those who are ignorant of computers may be taken advantage of by unscrupulous sales people who only want to make a quick buck. But Circuit City isn’t the only store you have to watch.

During the Black Friday sales event Best Buy had a special on a Panasonic 42″ Plasma TV which was discounted by $600. I arrived at the store and was told they were out of stock. I said you best check that inventory again, because as of 15 minutes ago you had six in stock. Oops says the clerk and found the TV. Great. Now here is a 10% off coupon you can add on as well, and I have already checked at your customer service desk and it is valid with this purchase. I really had not checked but what the heck. The coupon was valid and I saved another $90.

Bottom line as always is buyer beware! :-)

Comments welcome.


Charge Your Laptop Wirelessly – Intel Says Yes

Image yourself in an airport and your laptop battery starts to die. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to charge your battery using wireless technology? You bet it would. Intel thinks it may be possible with the new technology they are toying with. In a demonstration they were able to light a 60 watt bulb from several feet away from a power source, only losing 25% of the power during transmission.

According to Intel, electricity can be sent via a wireless transmission. In a statement made to the press, Intel said:

Building off work unveiled last year by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers, Intel Corp. on Thursday demonstrated how to make a 60-watt light bulb glow from an energy source 3 feet away. The Intel team did it with relatively high efficiency, losing only a quarter of the energy the researchers started with.

“That, to me, is the most striking part about it – transmitting 60 watts at 75 percent efficiency over several feet,” said Intel’s chief technology officer, Justin Rattner. “The power pack for your laptop isn’t that efficient.”

Wireless transmission of electricity makes use of some basic physics. Electric coils that resonate at the same frequency can transmit energy to each other at a distance.

But this technology has a long way to evolve before it becomes a commercial product. In both the MIT and the Intel work, researchers used charging coils far too large for wide-scale use.

This is amazing technology and wireless electricity could be in our future. It makes one wonder. Could a system be built powerful enough to charge electric cars? Only time will tell.

Comments welcome.


Pay For Shopping Cart Debate Continues – Canadians Pay $1

Well by buddy Charley back in California seems to think that the story behind the pay for shopping cart use, is still of interest, so he sent me another link to a story in the San Jose Mercury news. It seems that some people see this as a joke of some type, while others are getting down right vindictive and feel the cops should arrest any homeless person pushing a stolen shopping cart around.

In this new tale it states:

Memo to the presidential candidates: Grasping for an issue to light a new fire during this interminable primary conflagration? Need an issue that’ll rile people up anew and spur them to action? I’ve got just the thing – shopping carts. Last week I wrote a column blasting coin-operated locking shopping carts, which showed up by mistake at my local Safeway. Since then, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing and I’m drowning in e-mail. Some people were so angry all they could do was growl and sputter into the phone.

A few samples from my in-basket:

“Attitudes like yours are what other countries dislike about ‘Ugly Americans.’ “

“Climb back on the turnip truck.”


I won’t address the other daily garbage, but why so much passion and vitriol? We’re not talking about the Beijing Olympics or soaring gasoline prices. We’re talking about the simple, lowly shopping cart.

So in my previous article located here I received a reader comment from Bob Wilson who said:

Hey Ron,

You think a quarter is bad. Some stores are now demanding a Loonie to use their carts, but you do get it back. A Loonie is a Canadian one dollar coin. I guess some people still won’t return the cart for 25 cents but for a dollar….

So the fun continues between our friends in Canada and those of us here in the U.S. who seem to feel we shouldn’t have to pay anything to use a shopping cart.

Comments welcome.

Oh……another thought? Maybe Obama and Clinton should charge us to listen to their campaign speeches. After all, it seems that both candidates have been accused of stealing speeches from others. Would you pay a buck to hear either of the candidates speak? :-)

Full SJ Merc article is here.

[tags]shopping, carts, steal, charge, canada, 1 dollar, homeless, [/tags]

Lost In The Jungle? Recharge Your Cell With Tree Leaves!

OK. You find yourself lost in the jungle somewhere in Asia. What you are doing in the jungle I have no idea. But your cell has lost it’s power. No problem. You just find yourself some peepal leaves  which I am guessing comes from a peepal tree[?] and you can recharge your cell phone. Just take two of the leaves and touch it to the connectors of your cell battery and you are on your way.

This is totally unbelievable. I got this in a email last week and was asked if this is true or not. So I went on over  to Hoax Slayer and discoved this hoax apparently is circultaing around the Internet. The folks at HS even have a photo of someone actually holding two leaves to a battery.

The message via email states:

Charge mobile with peepal leave

Its very Strange But True Very True.

Now, you do not require any mobile charger to charge your mobiles. Only there is need to use green leaf of peepal tree and after some time your mobile will get charged.

No soon the people came to learn this development, they tested it and found encouraging results. If your mobile has been discharged and you are inside a jungle then you need not to use any charger. You Should pluck two peepal leaves and your work would be done.

It is very good idea and easy to charge your mobile. You would have to open your mobile battery and connect it with peepal leaf. After that without shaking mobile set you should set the battery in your mobile set. After some time your mobile would be charged.

There is more to the bogus email but you get the picture. It is bogus and should be discarded.While you are at HS take a look at some of the other junk that is being sent around the globe. Check out the one about using a cell phone to open your car door when you lock your keys inside. :-)

Comments welcome.

[tags]email, spam, cell, battery, peepal leaves, jungle, phone, charge,  [tags]

Dell Laptop – Battery Problem

My buddy Charlie in CA. is now having another problem with his Dell laptop which is now about 3 years old. He sent me an email concerning the price of a Dell replacement battery vs an over the counter generic replacement. I advised him to get a Dell replacement battery since his battery now fades out after only 1/2 hour of use.

Which brings up a question for all of you. I have not personally used a generic replacement battery from an online supplier. If and when I needed a battery, I always bought from the OEM. What has your experience been with a generic brand?

Here is another question as well. I always try to use my laptop on battery power at least once a week until it goes dead. I have read somewhere, that this is a good practice to discharge the battery completely to extend battery life. What do you think?

Finally Charlie has another question. Would it be wise for him to plunk down about $150 for a new battery on a 3 year old system or just buy a new laptop?

Your expertise and help would be appreciated.

Comments welcome.

[tags]dell, laptop, battery, replace, charge,  [/tags]