By Emily Vannoy – Apple Specialist – The Computing Center
A Cornell student had their 2013 15” MacBook Pro battery rupture in mid-June. It was in a backpack that started to “smoke” during a class. Fire personnel and Police were called in and fortunately, the laptop did not catch fire; only one battery cell was involved.
Laptop and phone batteries (or any lithium ion battery), under some very unusual circumstances, can begin to swell. Swelling can cause a rupture which leads to what Apple refers to as a “thermal event”. Batteries expand when gas builds up inside of the battery cell. Over charging from a faulty charger, extreme heat, and a manufacturer fault in the battery can cause swelling to occur. In this case, one battery cell expanded to the point of rupture causing smoking and extreme heat. In some cases, this can cause a fire. This is one of the first such situations we’ve seen at The Computing Center.
Once we got the machine into our shop, we were able to determine that only one of the six battery cells in this model had ruptured. The remaining cells were, thankfully, unharmed and stable. In a stroke of luck, we were able to recover most of the data contained on the Solid State Drive (SSD). At the bottom of this article is some of the details regarding this event.
As many of us know, Apple Computer does a pretty good job of controlling the security features of their two main operating systems, Apple IOS for iPhones and iPads, and Apple OS X for most Mac computers.. They do such a good job that most people don't have any special security software installed on their machines and devices. But, they are NOT perfect.
Recently, what's turned out to be a major security hole has occurred in both Apple operating systems. I'll let others discuss the details of the security flaw, what the potential issues are, and whether the NSA had anything to do with it. (You gotta love all the speculation in the media!) Here is what to do:
What a difference 30 months make! In May 2010, I wrote about my initial experiences with the first Apple iPad. I was really excited about what it could do and how content could be read or consumed nearly anywhere. There had been a few “pads” built prior, but nothing like the iPad. All the big pieces came together with a very readable color screen, highly accurate touch technology, a fast processor, plenty of storage, and thousands of available “apps”. Access to information happened over WiFi or a cellular connection. Most everyone raved about the iPad and it validated what has become known as BYOD (bring your own device) to the corporate world.
So, here we are 30 months later. There are now over two dozen different choices in tablets from virtually every major computer and consumer hardware manufacturer. Even Google and Microsoft have entered the fray. Apple has two different iPads out there and the iPad mini. Google, Samsung, Kindle, Nook, and many others have competing models. Not surprisingly, the choice of what to buy isn’t so obvious any more.
Editors note - It's been all over the news and Apple has already pre-sold millions of units. Here is Apple's news release on the major features of the new iPhone 5.