New Call of Duty: You WILL have to pay for some online features

Confirming rumours that have been knocking around since the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops, a new report by MCVUK has revealed that certain online features in the next installement of the mega popular shooter franchise will come at…

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Gerald LynchNew Call of Duty: You WILL have to pay for some online features

Top 5: Tips to make your mobile phone battery last longer

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I always run out of phone battery at the most inopportune moments. Like just as my mum calls me, so she then thinks I’m avoiding her calls, or just as a lost friend is trying to track me down on a busy street.

Well, I’ve had enough, goddamnit. From now on, I’m going to make sure that my battery’s always in tip-top condition. Here’s how I’m going to do it:

One: Switch off features you don’t use
Seriously, how often do you use Bluetooth? Even if you use a headset on the go, you’re probably sat at a computer for a good proportion of your day, when having Bluetooth on is a waste of time. If you just turn it on when you need it, you can save a massive whack of battery life.

While we’re at it, there’s also 3G (do you need your email checked every minute? even overnight?), GPS, Wi-Fi and screen brightness. Turning them all down or off when you’re not using them could double your battery life in one fell swoop.

Two: Don’t let it run out totally before recharging
With Ni-MH batteries, it’s good to let them drain properly before charging them again, thanks to ‘battery memory’, but most cellphone batteries these days use Li-Ion batteries instead. These don’t suffer from the same problem, and can in fact be damaged by letting them go flat.

For best results, charge your phone when it gets to about 30% remaining. Think of the extra capacity as backup. Then, when you’re stuck in a situation where you can’t charge easily, like a festival, you’ll have maximum possible battery life.

Three: Don’t carry it around in your pocket
Turns out that carrying your phone around in your pocket is actually pretty bad for battery life, because you’ve got hot legs. By you, I mean “humans”, not specifically you, though your legs are rather hot. *cough*. Ahem.

Lifehacker suggests that it’s much better to keep batteries as cool as possible – meaning in your bag or jacket, or even on a belt clip. If you want to go overboard, keep your phone in the fridge at night, or just, y’know, turn it off.

Four: Turn it off when there’s no signal
While we’re talking about turning the phone off, turn it off when you go on the tube or metro, or if you’re going somewhere that you know has low signal issues. The lower the network availability, the harder the phone chip has to work to get a usable signal, so the more battery it uses.

For the same reason, if you know you have to call someone, do it somewhere with good signal, oh, and keep it short. No yapping about whether or not your friend saw Neighbors last night. Save that for the pub. It sounds harsh, but think of the hours of battery life you’ll get in return.

Five: Cycle your spares, and don’t store them with a full charge
Lastly, if you’re serious about batteries then you’ll almost certainly be carrying around a spare for emergencies. Don’t just use one and keep the other as a spare, or when it comes time to plug in the spare, it’ll be dead. Instead, rotate which battery you use every couple of months or so.

Don’t keep the spare fully charged up. A full charge puts too much strain on the terminals, and can damage it if it’s kept full for a long time. If you carry the spare around with you all the time, then keep it charged about 70-80%, but if not then keep it at 30% or so and in the fridge (not freezer). Then just charge it up when you think you’ll need it – if you’re going to a festival, for example.

Conclusions
So there you go. My tips for making your batteries able to make it through two months before needing a recharge. Have you got any tips, or things you’ve found useful in the quest for battery life? Share them in the comments.

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Duncan GeereTop 5: Tips to make your mobile phone battery last longer

BATTERY DEVELOPMENTS: Korean scientist claims eight-fold leap in power-up time

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It is a bit of a shame and quite an embarrassment for mankind that batteries haven’t come on in leaps or bounds since the 1970s, with modern Duracells only being marginally better than the Duracells used to power a Big-Trak for about 35 minutes on Christmas Day, 1981.

But that might possibly be about to change – thanks to a man called Prof. Cho Jae-phil who works at the Department of Applied Chemistry at Hanyang University, in South Korea…

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Gary CutlackBATTERY DEVELOPMENTS: Korean scientist claims eight-fold leap in power-up time

The battery-powered Mini E – an electric vehicle cool enough to be seen driving by people you know

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Finally, an electric car that doesn’t resemble the sort of thing Noddy & Big Ears would drive around the surface of the Moon.

This is the Mini E, a li-ion-powered electric version of the Mini. It’s a rather severely limited edition model, with only 500 being made – and all of them already earmarked for delivery to the sort of companies that fancy having a fleet of electric Minis on the books to make them look good…

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Gary CutlackThe battery-powered Mini E – an electric vehicle cool enough to be seen driving by people you know

Vodafone launches ChargeBox: charge up your portable gadgets on the go

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Vodafone has announced that it’s to roll out a ChargeBox service across a number of its stores, allowing anyone to hire a secure locker and charge up their portable device while out and about.

Following successful trials in 12 locations across the country, the service will now roll out in 30 of Vodafone’s stores. There’s no special treatment for Vodafone’s own customers, with everyone paying a pound for 30 minutes, up to two pounds for 90 minutes of charge time.

Each box contains a variety of adapters to ensure that the majority of phones and devices can be charged up…

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Andy MerrettVodafone launches ChargeBox: charge up your portable gadgets on the go

UK mobile phone users may end up paying to receive calls

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With the UK’s mobile network operators likely to be forced to cut termination charges and roaming costs, they could try to recoup some cash by charging their customers to receive, as well as make, phone calls.

Many US consumers already pay to receive calls on their mobile phones, though the overall operating cost of a cell phone in the States is, generally, significantly cheaper than in Britain…

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Andy MerrettUK mobile phone users may end up paying to receive calls

VIDEO: A review of the Flexii Precision Mini Battery Checker pocket power meter

I got sent a proper thing to review! It’s the Precision Mini Battery Checker, an amazing little device that lets you check the charge levels of your batteries!

Having played with it for a few days, I simply cannot remember how I used to live without it – and without being able to constantly monitor the power levels of my batteries. Here’s my video review of the incredibly handy German/Chinese power-checking gadget.

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Gary CutlackVIDEO: A review of the Flexii Precision Mini Battery Checker pocket power meter