For the Love of God and All Things Holy, Don’t Bite an iPhone Battery

For the Love of God and All Things Holy, Don’t Bite an iPhone Battery

Buying a new battery for a device can be a frustratingly opaque experience. It’s effectively impossible to tell whether more expensive batteries are actually better batteries. Capacity and even chemistry claims are just words printed on packaging, not something the buyer can evaluate prior to purchase. It’s why some people stick to batteries bought directly from the manufacturer, even though they’re inevitably much more expensive. And if the problem is bad here, I can only imagine it’s worse in China, where product counterfeiting runs rampant.

But with all of that said, please don’t bite an iPhone battery (or any battery) as a way of confirming it’s genuine. According to the Taiwan News, the video below was the result of a customer in need of a new iPhone battery biting it to see if it’s genuine.

Taiwan News reports one Chinese netizen chided the man, saying: “The battery is not gold, why are you biting it?” This is a very good question that almost certainly lacks a satisfactory response. The video appears to be real and neither individual was injured when the battery ignited — hopefully the bright flash visible above serves as a light bulb moment for the man in question.

One popular misconception is that lithium-ion batteries explode when punctured because the lithium inside them has been exposed to air. This is true of lithium-metal batteries, but lithium-ion batteries don’t contain enough lithium to have this problem. (This is why lithium-ion battery fires can be put out with water, while lithium-metal battery fires can’t.)

Instead, lithium-ion batteries explode when punctured because the separator between the anode and the cathode is breached. This separator layer is vital to the function of the battery. Once it’s damaged, the battery immediately short-circuits, with the results seen above. Biting a battery can’t establish whether it’s counterfeit, any more than licking a CPU can tell you if it’s been deliberately mislabeled.

We live in uncertain times. North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, concerns over Russia, Europe’s refugee crisis, and ongoing civil wars raging in places like Syria and Yemen aren’t just US concerns, they’re global concerns as well. It’s understandable people would be looking for ways to cope. But please remember, neither lithium-ion batteries nor Tide Pods are on the approved list of foods for human consumption published by anyone, anywhere. Eat a donut. Have a salad. Enjoy a steak. By all means, drop your lithium-ion batteries off at a recycling drive or dispose of them properly. Just don’t try verifying them with your teeth.

Feature image from iFixit’s teardown of the iPhone X

Continue reading

Michelin’s Acorus Means Potholes Won’t Damage Low-Profile Tires, Wheels

Bend, not break: Acorus wheel adds a pair of rubber flanges for extra flex, saving short-sidewall tires from their early demise.

Montana, New York State Mandate ISPs Uphold Net Neutrality Principles

New York State and Montana don't normally team up, but politics makes for strange bedfellows. Montana and NYS became the first two states to order that all ISPs wishing to do business with the state government must uphold net neutrality principles as a condition of any state contract.

‘Rebuild’ Loophole Lets Some 18-Wheelers Out-Pollute Dieselgate VWs

Old diesel engines in new truck bodies (gliders) can meet old emissions rules. They emit up to 55 times as much pollution as regular truck tractors, and 10 times the pollution potential of the 455,000 recalled Dieselgate VWs.

Samsung Launches Unreal 30TB SSD Capable of Holding Anything You Own

Samsung has announced a new 30TB SSD designed for businesses and individuals who need an absolutely enormous amount of storage and can afford to pay for it.