Chapter 11

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Another madness of crowds concerns batteries.
Batteries don't hold very much power. Much less than people think.

I saw somebody trying to sell a battery-operated circular power saw. What do they think people are going to cut with a battery? A yardstick?

I bought a rather expensive stereo wireless headphone set from the Sony refurb department, for a tiny fraction of original price, because most of the ones that they sold came back. The battery technology that was available at the original time of sale was nowhere near adequate to run the things. I put some modern batteries in it and it works fine. I knew this when I bought it. I was ready to take advantage of a situation that I just knew was there.

There was a guy who wrote a book on the GM EV-1 electric vehicle. The EV-1 was produced for release in 1996, and was soon mysteriously recalled and destroyed. The writer of course was hoping to sell books to people who believe that The Evil Corporations want to kill the electric car.

Let me assure you, the car was recalled because it didn't work.
I know nothing about the affair and I know this. I know this because there's no way that a 1996 battery can run a car the way a car needs to run. And also that GM has a history of building and selling things that don't work. Corvairs, Vegas, all that and plenty more.

Now I'm all p'ed off because The Evil Corporations are selling products with the batteries sealed inside. You can't replace them.

Batteries can be charged x number of times and no more.
Every time you charge them they take less charge and last less long. So your GPS or ipod or whatever is condemmned to a finite life and a diminishing performance level during that life. Because they don't let you change the batteries. Sooner or later you'll have to toss that $250 device into the trash.