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Exclusive: 4 Ways You’re Damaging Your Laptop’s Battery

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4 Ways You’re Damaging Your Laptop’s Battery

#Ways #Youre #Damaging #Laptops #Battery

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Are you taking proper care of the battery in your laptop? While chips are getting more efficient and battery life is increasing, avoiding a few mistakes can help extend your laptop battery health in the long term.

Charging It Constantly

The idea that keeping your laptop plugged in all the time is “bad” stems from the myth of overcharging, but laptops and other gadgets that use such batteries switch to a trickle charge as they near capacity. Your laptop isn’t going to explode or “overcharge” if you keep it plugged in all of the time.

With that in mind, the lithium-ion battery inside your laptop will last longer if it does not hold a high voltage level for prolonged periods. If we’re talking about battery health, the life of your battery can be prolonged by not keeping it at 100% constantly. This means using your battery by unplugging it during the day, rather than keeping it plugged in.

It might help to think of your laptop as a giant smartphone. The battery tech in your phone is identical to your laptop, but the idea of leaving your phone plugged into the wall constantly is absurd to most people. Just like your smartphone, your laptop battery will degrade over time, regardless of what you do to it.

You can try to prolong it by sticking to good practices most of the time, but for most people, it’s impossible to be a model citizen when it comes to good battery practices. Your battery capacity will likely have degraded to around 70% of its original capacity in around three years, at which point you can decide to replace it for a modest fee if you’re not planning on upgrading.

RELATED: How to Generate a Battery Health Report on Windows 10 or 11

Allowing It to Get Too Hot or Too Cold

Nothing kills batteries like exposing them to extreme temperatures. It’s common knowledge that extreme heat is bad for lithium-ion cells, but the same is true of extreme cold.

Leaving your laptop in a car that’s exposed to sub-zero temperatures (below 0c or 32f) may result in irreversible damage to the cell. Some electric vehicles (EVs) that use lithium-ion batteries implement temperature management systems in their cars to limit damage in especially cold weather and get better performance on cold mornings.

A laptop in a car passenger seat.
KPG-Payless/Shutterstock.com

Your laptop doesn’t include such systems, which is why you should be especially careful. If the worst happens and your laptop is exposed to the cold, it’s a good idea to let the battery warm up before you attempt to use it.

Heat is another cause of damage to your laptop battery, and it’s a problem you’re likely to come across at any time of year. Letting your laptop sit in the sun for hours is a recipe for disaster, as is letting it get so hot that the safety mechanisms kick in that cause the power to be shut off.

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You can prevent this by not putting your laptop under load without adequate airflow, in a room that isn’t stiflingly hot. Take extra care when using your laptop on a bed or other fabric surface, since many have vents at the sides and rear of the lid that can become easily blocked by soft furnishings.

Laptop on a bed next to a diary and cup of coffee.
Ilya Oreshkov/Shutterstock.com

If you’re noticing your laptop is particularly warm under normal use, consider how bad things might get if you tax it with 3D applications or a video render. Dust and other debris can accumulate in the vents and inside the laptop, so consider cleaning it out to improve airflow (especially if it’s a few years old).

Keep in mind that opening some brands of laptops will void the warranty. If your machine is still under warranty and you’re noticing heat build-up, it might be a good idea to contact the manufacturer to get the problem looked at. If nothing else, they can blow out the dust without voiding your warranty for future repairs.

RELATED: How to Diagnose and Fix an Overheating Laptop

Not Performing Shallow Discharges

Lithium-ion batteries last longer when they remain within around 40-80% of their maximum capacity. Letting the battery discharge too much may shorten its life, and the same is true of keeping it above 80% for prolonged periods. Many manufacturers now offer battery-preserving “long-life” modes to aid with this, as summed up by Battery University:

“A laptop battery could be prolonged by lowering the charge voltage when connected to the AC grid. To make this feature user-friendly, a device should feature a ‘Long Life’ mode that keeps the battery at 4.05V/cell and offers a SoC of about 80 percent. One hour before traveling, the user requests the “Full Capacity” mode to bring the charge to 4.20V/cell.”

Some laptops allow you to limit the charge percentage to around 80% to prolong the life of your battery. This feature is supported by specific manufacturers using their own apps, like MyASUS for ASUS users and the “Battery Limit Mode” setting for Microsoft Surface users. Other users can try the freeware Battery Limiter app for Windows.

AlDente Pro for macOS

On macOS, you can use AlDente to set a charge limit or use Apple’s built-in optimized charging feature if you keep a regular schedule. Optimized Charging learns from your schedule by keeping your laptop at a reduced capacity until you need it. If macOS recognizes that you take your laptop off charge to go to work each day at 8 am, it won’t perform the full 100% charge until the morning even if you plug it in the night before.

RELATED: How to Keep Your MacBook Battery Healthy and Extend Its Life

Not Discharging It Once a Month

This might sound contradictory considering we’ve already stated that allowing a battery to fully discharge is bad news. But never allowing a battery to fully discharge can cause it to become inaccurate when reporting its current charge level.

This is bad for a few reasons. To start with, you may not know how much battery you have left and could be caught short. Many other good practices (like keeping your battery above 40%, or limiting charge to around 80%) rely on knowing what your true charge level is.

Battery percentage on MacBook Pro

This is particularly true if you are going all-in on limiting battery charge to less than 100%, using an app like AlDente or Battery Limiter. This kind of usage may require your battery levels to be recalibrated more often, so we recommend fully discharging once a month.

Take Care of Your Smartphone Battery Too

Since your smartphone is a pocket-sized laptop that’s powered by a smaller lithium-ion cell, much of this advice applies there too. Features like Optimized Charging exist on iOS, which is also known as Adaptive Charging on Android.

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Eventually, your battery will be due for replacement. Learn how to tell it’s time to swap out the old cell. Once your battery is ship-shape, make sure you never let it drop too low (more than once a month) by getting a proper portable charger.


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Exclusive: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Opening Titles Still Somehow Rule as an N64 Game – TalkOfNews.com

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Opening Titles Still Somehow Rule as an N64 Game

#Star #Trek #Deep #Space #Nine039s #Opening #Titles #Rule #N64 #Game

Star Trek has had an up-and-down history with video games, sometimes managing to succeed in gaming genres it arguably shouldn’t, while never managing to quite succeed in the ones it should. There’s been plenty of great ones, but now a very cool little animation imagines one of its finest entries getting a ‘90s tie-in that never was.

Twitter user SpinaSanctuary’s hypothetical title screen for a mid-’90s Deep Space Nine game on the Nintendo 64 imagines a sideways glance where the platform that gave us Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire instead took a visit to the Gamma Quadrant for some licensed gaming goodness, essentially riffing on the opening moments of Deep Space Nine’s own title sequence, but in a gloriously polygonal retro style.

What could’ve Star Trek 64: Deep Space Nine even been? An adventure game aboard the station? A starship strategy game set during the Dominion War? A retail management sim dedicated to the Promenade á la Roller Coaster Tycoon or Theme Park World? A first person shooter like Voyager got with the Elite Force games, that shouldn’t make sense, but totally does? Whatever it would’ve been, this cute little “demake” has me wishing we could’ve found out.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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Exclusive: Amazon Prime subscribers now get GrubHub Plus free for a year – TalkOfNews.com

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Amazon Prime subscribers now get GrubHub Plus free for a year

#Amazon #Prime #subscribers #GrubHub #free #year

Amazon Prime subscribers in the US are getting a new benefit as part of their subscription, the company has announced. From today, they’ll be able to redeem a free year of Grubhub Plus, the monthly subscription service that offers free food delivery on orders over $12 from participating restaurants. Grubhub Plus normally costs $9.99 a month.

According to Amazon, free deliveries associated with Grubhub Plus are available from hundreds of thousands of restaurants across over 4,000 cities in the US. After the year is up, Grubhub will automatically start charging $9.99 a month for continued access. Existing Grubhub Plus subscribers can still make use of the promotion, which will be applied from the start of their next billing cycle. Canceling Prime automatically cancels Grubhub Plus.

The deal comes just a few short years after Amazon shut down Amazon Restaurants, its own attempt to compete in the takeout delivery market. The service was live between 2015 and 2019 but faced stiff competition from the likes of Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Since then, the e-commerce giant has mainly focused on grocery deliveries, but has kept a toe in the takeout delivery market through partnerships with other firms. It announced an investment in Europe-focused Deliveroo in 2019, and started offering access to its Deliveroo Plus subscription service as an additional perk for Prime members in the UK last year.

“Amazon has redefined convenience with Prime and we’re confident this offering will expose many new diners to the value of Grubhub Plus while driving more business to our restaurant partners and drivers,” Grubhub CEO Adam DeWitt said in a statement. The company, which is owned by Just Eat Takeaway.com, says it expects Grubhub Plus subscriptions to rise as a result of the deal.

GrubHub Plus isn’t the only additional benefit Amazon is announcing for Prime members today. The e-commerce giant is also making a short teaser trailer for its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power available exclusively to Prime subscribers for 48 hours. Members can watch the teaser over on the show’s Amazon page. The trailer ends by promising yet another teaser is coming on July 14th ahead of the release of the series on September 2nd.

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Exclusive: Explained: What is the Toll Fraud malware, how it attacks digital wallets and how to protect yourself – TalkOfNews.com

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Explained: What is the Toll Fraud malware, how it attacks digital wallets and how to protect yourself

#Explained #Toll #Fraud #malware #attacks #digital #wallets #protect

Microsoft recently published a blog post that warned Android users of a new malicious malware that is going around, called the Toll Fraud malware. The concern that Microsoft raises about this malware, is the fact that it can drain the payment wallets in infected devices, and, can also empty your bank accounts.

Microsoft researchers Dimitrios Valsamaras and Sang Shin Jung detailed the continuing evolution of “toll fraud malware” and the ways in which it attacks Android devices.

The malware falls under the subcategory of billing fraud “in which malicious applications subscribe users to premium services without their knowledge or consent” and “is one of the most prevalent types of Android malware.”

According to a Google transparency report, most of the installations of this malware are in India, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia, and Turkey.

How does the Toll Fraud Malware work?
What this malware does, is that it disconnects your device from WiFi, and allows the device to only operate on the cellular network. It then takes over the WAP or the Wireless Application Protocol.

WAPs, normally allow consumers to subscribe to paid content and add the charge to their phone bill. Once it hijacks the WAP, the malware starts subscribing to premium services while also intercepting one-time passwords (OTP) that a legit service provider may have sent you to verify your identity.

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These SMSs are then forwarded to a database, which malicious hackers and actors can use to hack into various accounts that you own, even your bank accounts.

The Toll Fraud malware is one of the oldest malware in existence and has been going around since the time of dial-up internet. However, over the decades, it has evolved into something very sophisticated.

The current version of the malware is able to evade detection and can achieve a high number of installations before a single variant can be removed. It uses dynamic code loading, which makes it difficult for genuine mobile security solutions and antiviruses to detect threats.

It also suppresses SMS notifications and app notifications from wallets and dedicated banks. This way, by the time a user gets to know that their device has been infected, it is very late.

How do Android devices get infected by the Toll Fraud malware?
Not all apps on the Play Store are legit. Most of the free antiviruses, file managers, beauty filters and wallpaper apps have some sort of malware embedded in them.

The biggest red flag that such apps throw up is asking for bizarre permissions. For example, a camera app, asking permission to send or read SMSs make no sense. Or, a wallpaper app, asking for permissions to read notifications and monitor them again makes no sense. People often ignore what sort of permissions certain apps ask for. 

How to protect yourself from Toll Fraud malware?
Users need to be very careful of the apps they download, even if they are doing it through the Play Store. Also, avoid sideloading apps.

Avoid installing apps that ask for excessive permissions for programs that don’t require such privileges. Also, avoid apps which have similar UIs or icons to that of legitimate proper apps.

Keep an eye on the developer profiles that look fake or have poor grammar, and if the app has a slew of bad reviews.


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