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[ARS] How a security researcher discovered the Apple battery "hack" - Page 2

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedark1337 View Post
even though i despise apple laptops, i would never do this if i were given the tools to do so. Its too dangerous and could cost the lives of many people
Which is why we use robots or Synergy.
Edited by HybridCore - 7/26/11 at 3:49am
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post #12 of 21
apple fanboy prepare to burn bwhahahaha

i will be part of this operation.
post #13 of 21
*yawn*
re-post and NO the batteries in Macbooks/MBP will NOT BLOW UP. They simply die. He has tested this on dozens of batteries and there isn't a single one that has blown up or melted. They simply die. The old Sony batteries that catch fire in all OEM laptops including PCs were recalled years ago.
Edited by PoopaScoopa - 7/26/11 at 4:00am
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedark1337 View Post
even though i despise apple laptops, i would never do this if i were given the tools to do so. Its too dangerous and could cost the lives of many people
Thanks Mr. Obvious! We got cookies for that!
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post #15 of 21
haha even if the battery exploded the aluminum unibody would probably give you a degree of protection too.
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post #16 of 21
The biggest question on this hack is does it require access to the laptop? If it can be done remotely than It would be a big issue, if not then its really not anything to worry about
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post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnAimed View Post
haha even if the battery exploded the aluminum unibody would probably give you a degree of protection too.
I'm just going to play devil's advocate for a moment and assuming the batteries were to heatup/burn/explode, the solid aluminum body would provide an ideal heatsink for transfering that heat away from the laptop, and into whatever surface the laptop was resting on: your legs, sofa, coffee shop table whatever. You'd probably not be a lot better off than if you'd dumped scorching coffee on your crotch.
    
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post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonindeBeatrice View Post
I'm just going to play devil's advocate for a moment and assuming the batteries were to heatup/burn/explode, the solid aluminum body would provide an ideal heatsink for transfering that heat away from the laptop, and into whatever surface the laptop was resting on: your legs, sofa, coffee shop table whatever. You'd probably not be a lot better off than if you'd dumped scorching coffee on your crotch.
In the real world, if there is a single point of failure, a Li-Ion battery will not explode - the built in safety circuit will shut it down far in advance. However, if there were two failures, that of the charger to overcharge (or go tango uniform and connect the battery directly to the AC line) - and the safety circuit fails or was punted to start with - there could be a very real explosion problem.

Most PC makers use isolated power supplies - so that even if the charging circuit entirely fails, the output will not be carrying full line voltage. This makes for a large "brick", which is not so classy for design. Higher end PCs use TopSwitch, which in inherently fail safe. Apple wanted a slimmer design without the cost of the license for TopSwitch - so they do their own thing, which is an online switcher that if it fails, can place line voltage across the output of the charger.

Apple machines have had some pretty dramatic failures. Lithium Ion has high energy density (which allows for small, light batteries) - but they are brutal when they fail. One of the main problems is that if a LiIon pack splits, moisture can get in, and Lithium and water do not get along, at all.

Lithium Ion also ages - so packs are built with charge counters that shut the pack off before the "estimated" time for cell failure - generally 1000 cycles - but some designs will allow for 1000 charge cycles, followed by a further 1000 cycles of "reduced capacity". However, in the real world, many LiIon packs will fail in as few as 300 charge cycles - and even less. There are other Lithium based batteries that are better for this, longer life and higher charge density - but are more unstable and not appropriate for uncontrolled conditions.

It is a bad thing that Apple even has built in such ability - the battery system should be entirely separated from the machinations of the CPU. If anything, the charging system should have a PIC processor for monitoring purposes, and with only the ability to view the state of health of the battery - with no ability to manipulate it unless it is lashed to a machine that can properly analyse battery performance, such as a Cadex.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdoublejj View Post
I bet it took more amps than a laptop charger can supply. if swells that much i'd imagine it would forec it's self out of the laptop disconnecting it's self first, possibly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnAimed View Post
haha even if the battery exploded the aluminum unibody would probably give you a degree of protection too.
Jobs: "Our batteries are designed so that when it overheats, it swells to the point where it disconnects itself, preventing serious health hazards!"

Inb4 Apple/patent trolls patent these as built-in safety features.
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post #20 of 21
"You're not charging it right" - Steve Jobs
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