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Comment: Re:What happens to these at the true end-of-life? (Score 2) 143

by mirix (#48541467) Attached to: Using Discarded Laptop Batteries To Power Lights

Lithium cells are pretty benign in general. There are a few variants in chemistry, the worst would probably be the cobalt based ones. (others use various combinations of iron, nickel, manganese, and phosphorous, which are pretty tame). Though the cobalt variants are quite common.

NiCd is far worse, cadmium is fairly nasty... much more than cobalt.

Comment: Re:sorry, all my laptop batteries are dead (Score 2) 143

by mirix (#48541451) Attached to: Using Discarded Laptop Batteries To Power Lights

In every 'dead' laptop battery I've torn down, one cell (or pair, in parallel) is totally kaput, and the remaining cells retain at least 50% of their nameplate capacity. Protection circuitry will lockout recharging of the whole pack, which wouldn't work with the dead cell anyway.

So the battery as a whole is utterly useless for the laptop, but 2/3rds of the cells or more have some life left in them, for other purposes.

I imagine a lot of the too-cheap-to-be-true off-label replacement laptop batteries are in fact combinations of two dead ones, with the remaining functioning cells rewired into one working (but lower capacity) pack. Certainly seems about right judging by the performance of them, anyway.

Comment: Re:Herp a derp fast computers DEEERRRPPP (Score 4, Informative) 197

by mirix (#48537399) Attached to: Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

I noticed that Intersil still makes a rad-hard variant of the awful RCA 1802. (you know, the CPU in a COSMAC ELF).

When I saw that, I figured NASA and or the DoD probably give them enough money to make it worth their while... so they must use that antique for something.

Comment: Re:But the case hasn't even started! (Score 1) 119

by mirix (#48413197) Attached to: US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

Could be. I know in Canada pennies are^Wwere only legal tender in groups of less than 25. (so you can't pay your income tax or parking tickets in pennies). I'm unsure if the US has a similar restriction?


(2) A payment in coins referred to in subsection (1) is a legal tender for no more than the following amounts for the following denominations of coins:

        (a) forty dollars if the denomination is two dollars or greater but does not exceed ten dollars;

        (b) twenty-five dollars if the denomination is one dollar;

        (c) ten dollars if the denomination is ten cents or greater but less than one dollar;

        (d) five dollars if the denomination is five cents; and

        (e) twenty-five cents if the denomination is one cent.

Comment: Re:Find a better excuse (Score 1) 89

by mirix (#48274751) Attached to: Pirate Bay Founder Gottfrid Warg Faces Danish Jail Time

Presumably he is going for worst case of injustice within the danish legal system in recent years. I imagine it's still a bit of a hyperbole though.

Denmark isn't some backwater where they execute people with room temperature IQ, or put them in jail for life for stealing three chocolate bars though, so maybe it isn't.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.