After watching my video review of Apple’s Magic Trackpad yesterday, Tomi wrote in to give me the 4-1-1 about the “Apple” batteries I mentioned. The record has been set straight: they are not “Apple” batteries. They are rebranded Sanyo Eneloops. Tomi uses these in a Canon PowerShot SX1 IS camera and loves them. Apparently they have a much better life than many of the rechargeable counterparts on the market.
The funny thing is that if you buy the batteries through Eneloop, you’ll spend about half as much as you would buying them through Apple… for the same exact batteries. By all accounts, these batteries do work better than most of the others you could buy. They last longer – and cost less – than the Energizer or Duracell equivalents.
Using rechargeable batteries just makes sense. You’re saving money AND saving a little space in our landfills. I personally haven’t used disposable batteries in quite some time now. What about you?
The Department of Homeland Security has discovered that Energizer’s Duo USB charger left Windows computers open to remote control, thanks to a back door in the product’s battery monitoring software. The DUO is a USB and AC charger for NiMH batteries. The software that comes with the product allows one to see how much oomph is left in their batteries. Apparently, though, the Windows software for this device had a lovely little bug in it.
The software installs a backdoor that allows remote access to your computer. That includes “the ability to list directories, send and receive files, and execute programs,” according to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team. If you downloaded the Mac counterpart, you have nothing to worry about. If you have downloaded this software for Windows, you’re going to need to execute a couple of steps in order to secure your computer.
- Uninstall the software! his will remove the Windows registry value that executes the Trojan when starting Windows.
- Reboot your computer after the uninstall has finished.
- Navigate your way to C/Windows/system32/arucer.dll. This is the file that is the backdoor component itself. Delete this file, empty your Recycle Bin, and reboot once more.
- To add one additional layer of protection, you can have your firewall block access to 7777/tcp. Energizer doesn’t list this step as necessary. It’s just an extra step for safe computing.
The DUO itself is a good product. The hardware is still available through Amazon. However, the software download has been discontinued. The product’s main function of charging by USB or AC still works. However, if you own one of these devices and would like to complain, I suggest you get in touch with them through the Energizer Contact Page.
I was surprised – our battery interview turned out to be quite informational. PC World also has a handful of iPod battery tips, although I believe the suggestions trancend Apple’s platform. Here are my takeaways from both pieces:
- Don’t leave your battery-driven devices plugged in all the time.
- Let your batteries drain completely before recharging them.
- On the iPod, “Standby” doesn’t save as much juice as “Pause” does.
- Turning off sound equalizers may also increase battery life.
- Batteries drain quicker in warmer environments.
My biggest beef with batteries is that they’re not all removable, they’re not all rechargable, and they’re not as interchangable as they should be. Moreover, I’m wholly unimpressed when I can’t charge a device by USB.