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2017-12-30 16:53 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 396 references Ignore this thread
Apple, The BeeEss Company
[Comments enabled]

Done being a "fanboy" yet?  No?  You must like getting ripped off.

Hiding something you know is defective in a manner that will cause people to think their device should be replaced with a newer one, instead of either having it fixed under warranty or performing a relatively inexpensive repair, is outrageous.

Apple is being sued on this basis alleging consumer fraud, and IMHO rightly so.

Make no mistake -- Apple only came clean after being caught.  They didn't tell anyone up front, they didn't disclose the presence of the software change they made in anything like release notes that accompanied the new code, nothing.

They in fact said nothing despite people noting a problem until they were caught by irrefutable evidence that was presented to the public by a customer, and only then did they come clean as to what they did.

That is evidence of bad faith and intentional misconduct and I hope the plaintiffs shove it so far up Cook's and Apple's ass that they can taste it.

That was not a mistake.  It was in fact just the latest manifestation of what Apple as a company is -- an extractive firm that has managed to create a religious cult of fervent grape Kool-Aid drinkers among Americans who parade around like they've got some part of God in their pockets and thus are blessed.

The truth does not matter to any of those fanbois however, nearly all of whom will keep buying their crap despite now having hard evidence that they've been intentionally screwed.

Nor does it matter to Jeff "cocksucker" Sessions or the FTC, both of whom should have come in and nailed the executives of Apple to the fucking wall ten seconds after this deception was disclosed, for the company has without question profited to the tune of billions of dollars as a result of it.

No, instead of the government doing its job and kneecapping people who pull that sort of crap we have private litigation, which I hope bears fruit.

But heh, just like when your local hospital ass-rams you to within an inch of your physical life (and beyond your financial life) not one goddamn finger is lifted by the criminal justice system in this country despite there being clear and in fact admitted evidence of intentional concealment.

For those who care (that seems to be basically nobody) there is a proper way to handle lithium chemistry batteries and their charging requirements. 

It's not very complicated either -- in fact, it's far simpler to charge these than NiMH cells, as those are quite-tricky to determine when they're actually full.  With lithium chemistry batteries it's easy:

1. If the voltage has been allowed to drop under 3.0v (the device should prevent this by turning off before that level is reached) then charge at 1/10c maximum (for a 3,000mah battery this means no more than 300mah) until the battery reaches 3.0v.  Display a warning to the user if this occurs that the cell may be permanently damaged in capacity due to abusive over-discharge.  This is extremely important because an over-discharged cell may be shorted and if you hit it with high current it may burst.  If the voltage does not rise to 3.0V in a reasonable amount of time (a half-hour or so) or if during this phase temperature rises to over 100F then call the battery dead (because it is) and refuse to charge it until manually informed that it has been changed.

2. Charge at up to 0.7c (you can go up to 1.0C if you've got good thermal monitoring) until the voltage on the cell reaches 4.2V.  For a fully discharged cell this will take about an hour.  The battery will be somewhere between 60-80% charged at this point depending on the rate at which you stuffed power in and how hot it is.  Do not permit continued charging over a cell temperature of 100F; if that temperature is reached stop the charge until the temperature falls back.  This should not happen unless the ambient temps are quite high.  If the CPU temperature is not elevated but the battery gets hot and this happens more than once sequentially display a warning to the user that the battery may be damaged and dangerous to continue to use (it may be partially shorted internally, to be specific.)  At the termination of this phase display a message to the user that rapid charging has ceased so if the user wishes to unplug they can do so; there is no harm in partially charging lithium batteries and in fact their life is extended by not going fully through the next (saturation) charge phase!

3. At 4.2V switch to constant-voltage charge at 4.2V and continue until the current drops to between 0.1 and 0.03C (for a 3,000mah battery, this means between 100 and 300ma.)  Split the difference if you'd like (e.g. 150ma.)  This will take about another 90 minutes to two hours.  If cell temperature goes over 100F, terminate the charge until it drops under.  Heating is normal during this part of the charge and thus if ambient temperatures are elevated it should be expected that the cell will get warm.  Again, unless the CPU temperature is elevated the cell should not go over 100F however (that is, unless ambient temps are high.)  When the cut-off current is reached the cell is full.

Further, the manufacturer should offer an option to the user to terminate the charge entirely at 80-85%.  Why?  Because doing so materially extends the number of cycles the battery will survive -- that is, how long it will last.

Why doesn't any cellphone manufacturer I'm aware of, including Apple, use this profile?

Because it takes three hours to charge the battery this way (that is, properly) and that assumes you have a charger with enough current delivery to run phase 2 at full potential.  If you don't then it may take four or more hours for a full charge.  It also requires on a technical level accurate instrumentation both at the charger circuit output (for voltage and current) and at the input to the voltage regulator for the phone's circuits (so the charging circuit can subtract back out the energy consumed by the phone if it's "on" when being charged and thus knows actual charge rate going into the battery.)

People are lazy and demand "right now", in short.

Charging beyond 4.2V without tapering the current does fairly severe damage to the cycle life (the number of times you can charge and discharge the battery before it loses enough capacity to piss you off.)  Charging materially beyond 4.3V is dangerous and can cause gas pressure development in the cell, which causes it to bulge and can cause the cell to burst.  Continuing to charge beyond the point where the cell is "full" can plate lithium metal and cause internal shorts, which then lead to the potential for fires.

The answer to quickly-trashed batteries is for manufacturers to stop abusing them and for customers to demand that a proper charge profile be used for them, understanding that this means you cannot fully charge such a cell in an hour.