Alkaline vs. NiMh batteries in a nutshell

[Original Article: Mighty Mouse battery life indicator is very conservative • comment by: iKarith]
More than you probably ever wanted to know about batteries…

Part of the reason why people see that Apple’s battery charge indicator is … well, let’s just say MORE than conservative … is that Zinc-Carbon, Alkaline, and NiMH batteries all function differently. Let’s first dispense with carbon-zinc because even if you could find them anymore, they totally suck for Bluetooth devices which are meant to be low-power. They’re older tech than the typical alkaline batteries sold by Energizer/EverReady (same company!) or Duracell. If you stumble across them, they’ll say “Heavy Duty” instead of “Alkaline” and the only reason they still make them is because alkaline cells die faster in high-current applications. You might find them in like D cells, but but probably not AA/AAA.

Alkaline are “nominally” 1.5 volts. Actually, fresh out of the package and not connected to anything, they may read as high as 1.65v, but they’ll drop just as soon as you start using them. And they’ll keep dropping, linearly over time at a constant power usage level, until they reach 0.9v (which is where they’re basically dead. Dead alkaline batteries still having power drawn from them tend to eventually leak, and most devices won’t work on less than 0.9 volts anyway, so … replace ’em at this point OK?)

NiMH batteries have a lower nominal voltage of 1.2v, as others have noted. This is why a freshly charged set of rechargeable batteries will tend to report back like 85% capacity in your Bluetooth menu. Yeah, they start higher than that and taper off, but they tend to spend most of their usable life between between 1.2 and 1.0 volts. Their discharge voltage isn’t linear given a constant power draw like alkaline cells, and so the voltage warning thresholds for “buy new batteries if you need to”, “replace them soon”, and “could die any time now” are lower than alkaline, even if the “it’s dead, Jim” voltage of 0.9v is the same either way. NiCd batteries work the same way, though … why are you still using NiCd? They’re like carbon-zinc batteries—yes, there are still reasons to use them, but you don’t need or want them.

The problem with NiMH/NiCd is that they drain (self-discharge) whether you use them or not. Within a month, they’re flat. Enter the Low-Self-Discharge (LSD) NiMH cell! These are your Sanyo Eneloops, your Apple NiMH batteries (which are probably Sanyo), and some others made by TEnergy and a few other companies you maybe haven’t heard of. They will last a YEAR or more in storage. Gen 2 Eneloops last longer than that. But they will eventually die, and if allowed to stay dead they tend not to come back to life when you put them in a charger. LSD NiMH cells are good. I wouldn’t use anything else anymore.

Note NiMH cells are sometimes physically bigger around than alkaline cells. They’re within tolerances, but sometimes the things you put batteries into … aren’t. I’m thinking of a couple of headlamps I’ve owned for example… And for best results, don’t use “quick” chargers on the batteries if you can help it. They tend to cut the lifespan of the batteries by as much as half! Apple’s is basic but gets the job done. Sanyo’s own work well enough. Maha and LaCrosse make the super awesome tweak knobs and charge odd numbers of batteries chargers. I’m gonna assume you’re using the Sanyo or Apple chargers with your Apple or Sanyo batteries and call it good enough.

New kid on the block: Lithium AA/AAA made by Energizer. These aren’t better for bluetooth devices than alkaline cells, and they’re not rechargeable. These are gonna replace the carbon-zinc cells eventually and are meant for power-sucking applications. They’re more expensive, though, for a disposable battery cell. The only reason I buy them is because if you can keep them dry, they have lower self-discharge than alkaline cells do, so they’re good to have in earthquake-preparedness kits and the like, which is TOTALLY off topic.

FWIW, if you came to this hint looking for a means to tell the bluetooth menu that you’re using NiMH batteries and to stop harassing you about replacing batteries that are nowhere near dead yet, sorry I haven’t found it yet. …

Source: Mac OSX Hints



[Original Article: iTunes 11: Keyboard shortcuts for switching between different types of content in iTunes library • comment by: ra5ul]
Cmd + 0 = iTunes St …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


A script to sort the Downloads folder by download date

[Original Article: A script to sort the Downloads folder by download date • comment by: nateb]
And then save the script in ‘script’ format in the directory ~/Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts (you may need to make this directory if it doesn’t already exist).

(Per …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


App or applet?

[Original Article: Getting Java client apps to run the way you want • comment by: RMo]
Is this about a Java app or a Java applet? They are different. I wasn’t aware that Oracle planned to disable support for Java applets, so I’d like to see a document from them about that if it’s true, but I *do* know they are eventually requiring them to be signed (and are requiring it by default as of recent versions of the JRE, though this can be reconfigured).

On a related note, personally, applets have always been a bit awkward, and I much prefer standalone applications if I have to use Java, anyw …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Getting Java client apps to run the way you want

I sometimes find the Java setup on my various Apple devices to be a mystery.

Recently, I was trying to get a Java applet to run in the same way on 2 iMacs and my MacBook Air. The applet is a simple vpn client from Juniper that lets me access a Citrix Desktop from any Mac that I can install the Citrix receiver client on so I can work on ‘Company stuff’ from a large screen iMac when I’m sat at home or from my MacBook when I’m on the road (it works fine over 3/4G).

The first thing is that you have to do some configuring of both Java and Safari to get the applet to run at all.

Once that was all done, I could log in from all my Macs, fire up the applet and establish a secure connection.

On two of the Macs, as soon as I fired up the Citrix app, the Java vpn window would show ‘error’. The console showed a Java crash. But on the third Mac, everything worked fi …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Siri: workaround Content Not Available error

A few weeks ago, a number of people started reporting having trouble with Siri. Phrases like ‘Call my wife’ or ‘Tell my dad’ stopped working. Siri knew who those people were but proclaimed ‘Uh oh, I don’t have a phone number for Jane Isa Doe.” and beneath, there’s a message: “Content Not Available.”

I debugged this for over an hour and on a hunch, found a workaround that seems to work for nearly everyone who has tried it. All you have to do is delete the middle name of the person in *your* contact card where it is stored as a relationship.

I’m not sure why that works; it shouldn’t, but it does. That’s why I call it a workaround instead of a fix. I figure Apple is mucking around with Siri and perhaps caused a bug or some sort of corruption.

I’d be curious to know from MacOSXHints users whether they are experiencing this problem in the first place and if the workaround works for you, too. I’d also like to understand why this works and why the problem even e …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Watch Out!

By Alex Brooks Apple CEO, Tim Cook shows his Nike Fuelband at D11
As the age old saying goes, there is no smoke without fire—and my eyes sting because it’s really, really smoky round these parts. The last couple of months have reminded me of the lead up to January 2007, and maybe even more early 2010. The Apple rumour game, and arguably the world of technology were very different back then though.

As I sat on the concrete floor outside a conference centre in San Francisco on a frigid January morning in 2007 I remember discussing what Steve Jobs would get up on stage and announce later that day, Digg was pretty popular back then and there’d been a whole bunch of popular rumours that had surfaced (titled “iPhone After All?) in the small hours before the keynote. If you’re interested, here’s the rumour roundup. What I’m trying to say is, the iWatch stinks of this scenario all over again.
The scenarios for the iPhone and the iPad were simple, Apple announced the products before it filed for the primary patents, before it began mass production to prevent supply chain leaks, and before the majority of Apple knew about them. The rumours included no parts leaks, no name leaks (largely), and certainly no internal software leaks. This all led to a six month delay before the products hit market, so whatever happens on Tuesday, don’t expect the product to drop until early January—in line with rumours [1, 2, 3].
Anyway, things have changed a bit in the four and half years since the announcement of the iPad, rumour sites have more money, better sources (due to more money), and Apple is far larger and a little more careful with controlling the rumour mill—that is to say that if Apple was to only announce two iPhones on Tuesday then they would have killed these iWatch rumours.
Let’s take a look at what we know. For the sake of this write up I’m going to stick with iWatch as a name.
The Display
There are multiple reports that the iWatch’s display will come in two sizes, some suggesting to distinguish a male and female model (not uncommon in the real world). Initially rumours suggested a display size of 1.6-inch, and the addition of a 1.8-inch model. However, a separate report has claimed that a model could have a 2.5-inch display, for reference that’s the same size display as the current iPod nano (although hopefully a different shape).
Rumours also suggest that the iWatch will have a curved, flexible, OLED (organic LED is good on battery but bad in the sun) display, this display is said to be protected by a synthetic sapphire crystal—this author is unsure how it’ll remain flexible in that case with flexible glass not being market ready.
One thing we can be sure of, the iWatch will be able to display the time—although questions remain about whether the display is always on. What has been the topic of discussion surrounding the iWatch for years is the intended purpose, recently Apple has given us some clues but questions still remain.
The iWatch appears to be all about the sensors, and the wrist is a good place to put these sensors. With the introduction of iOS 8, Apple will also introduce HealthKit, described by Apple as “an entirely new way to use your health and fitness information”. On the surface Apple has showed HealthKit collecting data from things like FitBits, the Nike Fuelband, wireless scales and displaying steps taken, calories burnt, nutrition, etc within a simple to use dashboard with HealthKit. Apple of course has already begun some data collection with the inclusion of the M7 coprocessor which is capable of acting as a pedometer, and Apple appears to be building more into the iPhone 6.
The iWatch is rumoured to include 10 different sensors, although it’s not entirely known what these will be. It’s easy to guess that steps taken, calories burnt, sleep data, and possibly heart rate will be included.
In addition to being packed with sensors that can collect data when an iPhone isn’t nearby, the iWatch is expected to act as an extension of an iPhone capable of receiving notifications, messages, and phone calls. More recent rumours have suggested that it’ll be possible to develop apps directly for iWatch and that some select developers already have the Software Development Kit (SDK), which was the case with the iPad too.
The final functionality that has been rumoured is the inclusion of NFC to allow for payments, the rumours around NFC in the iPhone have also been strong and the NY Times claims that:
“Apple has teamed up with American Express, MasterCard and Visa to support the payment system, said several people involved in the partnerships. With the deal, these people said, iPhone owners will be able to use their devices as a sort of digital wallet, improving their ability to pay for items at select partner merchants without handing over cash or a credit card.”
The same New York Times article claims that the iWatch will be charged using wireless charging, claiming also that Apple had tested solar charging but to no avail.
Focus on Fashion
Apple by any measure designs and builds products that are fashion accessories, but recent rumours suggest that Apple is taking this approach more seriously with iWatch. With rumours just this weekend claiming that many fashion bloggers and editors have been invited to the announcement event on September 9—this despite it being New York fashion week.
iWatch is also said to have been tested with professional athletes such as Kobe Bryant and these athletes will be used to promote iWatch and add to its fashionable value.
Apple has also recently confirmed the hire of famed fashion designer Marc Newson, although it’s worth noting that Newson is long time friend of Jony Ive (Senior Vice President for Design at Apple) and that Newson is unlikely to have much impact on the current model of iWatch.
Apple has previously confirmed hiring former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve to work on “special projects”, in addition to a pair of health sensor hardware experts, Michael O’Reilly, M.D., the former Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Medical Affairs at Masimo Corporation specialising in pulse oximetry, and sleep expert Roy J.E.M Raymann from Phillips.
Trademark Filings
Apple traditionally tries to keep trademark filing on the down low, but with so many territories it’s been tricky this time round. Apple appears to have been filing for iWatch trademarks in Russia, Japan, and Jamaica as far back as December 2012. In dozens of other countries including the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Macau, and Australia the company appears to have used a shell firm called Brightflash USA LLC to file for iWatch trademarks.
Apple has also extended its own trademark of “Apple” to include jewellery and watches in Ecuador, Mexico, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
September 9 Event
Apple is hosting an event on September 9 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of De Anza College in Cupertino. Apple will offer a live stream of the event starting at the following times:
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
1:00PM – Eastern
6:00PM – London
7:00PM – Paris
9:00PM – Moscow
2:00AM – Tokyo (Wednesday 10th)
3:00AM – Sydney (Wednesday 10th)
iPhone 6
For everything iPhone 6, see the roundup of rumours from early last week.

Source: World of Apple