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  • Aretha Sings the Blues

    • 6 out of 10
    • Aretha Franklin
    • While she didn't always have the best taste in song selection, Aretha Franklin is a must-study for anyone with interest in the human voice. She has the kind of powerful, recklessly passionate deliv

  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    • 8 out of 10
    • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    • When I first got hooked to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the only place I could get their debut album, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, was through the band's Web site. I listened to the two tracks a

  • Playing the Angel

    • 8 out of 10
    • Depeche Mode
    • Oddly enough, Playing The Angel is a return to form for Depeche Mode, even though it may well be argued that they never truly deviated from their roots in their more recent offerings. In the

  • Rift

    • 8 out of 10
    • Phish
    • This quasi-concept album (the only of its kind) from these Vermonters finally showcased their ability to convey a message with a studio album, whereas previously they only succeeded in doing so live.
  • War of the Worlds

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jeff Wayne
    • With the new movie adaptation of H.G Wells' classic Sci Fi invasion tale, War of the Worlds, currently on theater screens everywhere, there's new interest in Jeff Wayne's rock opera version, and it is

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News

The Politics of Mobile Phone Battery Indicators

Your mobile phone is lying to you, according to Daniel Rutter at Dan’s Data on Tuesday. Mobile phone battery indicators are designed to hedge towards the full side to keep the user making calls -- and spending money.

After investigating the issues behind the mobile phone’s signal strength bars, Mr. Rutter turned his attention to the battery indicator.

"Battery meters are even more fun...

"It’s possible to monitor the charge in a battery - any kind of battery - with considerable accuracy. There’s a certain amount of guessing involved, because the ’fullness’ of different battery chemistries doesn’t necessarily map well to terminal voltage even if the battery’s powering an unchanging load. But modern ’smart’ batteries with little chips on them that keep track of how long they’ve been lasting lately really do work pretty well."

With that technical knowledge, mobile phone makers, given a choice, would like the user to think that there’s just a little more charge than there really is. There’s ample motivation for this:

"Reason one: A battery that stays (apparently) full for a long time makes a phone look good. Even if it doesn’t actually deserve to.

"Reason two: When your phone still (apparently) has lots of charge left, you’re more likely to use it. People who think their phone’s going flat will make fewer, and shorter, calls. And that makes phone companies sad."

No one, to this reporter’s knowledge, has done extensive testing on the iPhone battery to test this hypothesis. Perhaps it’s because Apple has elected to simply show vague graphical indicators of the iPhone battery charge instead of a numerical percentage available on the MacBooks.

"This is a particular problem in the U.S. market, where most mobile phones are not just usually locked to one provider, but also customised for that provider, with specific firmware that can very easily include a battery meter that has an even larger Lie Factor than usual, "Mr. Rutter concluded.

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