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Submission + - Are laptop batteries the next "printer ink"

Quixote writes: Sometime back I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop because Dell was offering a very good deal on it. A few weeks after the warranty expired, the battery suddenly died. It was as if the battery was non-existent: the laptop would shutdown if unplugged even if the battery had been in the laptop the whole time. When plugged in, the battery charging light would keep flashing. This seemed quite puzzling, since just days before this, the battery used to give me a good 2 hours or so of use.

Searching around on the web to see if the flashing lights meant anything, I came across this page. It seems like lots of people have been reporting the same symptoms: just after the warranty expires, the battery mysteriously "dies". Even the Dell forums are replete with posts from unhappy users.

The solution from Dell is: buy a new battery. But they aren't cheap: a Dell one runs you about $100.

I know I should have known better than buying a Dell (cue the "Dude!" jokes). But this begs a bigger question: is this legal (it certainly doesn't seem ethical)? How many of these (working) batteries end up in the landfill? Have laptop batteries become the next "printer ink", forcing us to keep buying new ones?

Journal Journal: Anonymity at Slashdot 2

I just found something interesting. I had posted a cheapshot as an AC on a thread. Later, I got moderation points; and when I moderate, I browse at level 0. To my utter surprise, I saw that the comment I posted as AC did not have the moderation dropdown box; the other posts did. This leads me to believe that somewhere at /., they keep your ID attached to AC postings.

I wonder what would happen in case of a subpoena or other such judicial order?

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"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer