Care and feeding of rechargeable batteries

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Our friend Sumana posted an excellent reminder that, when dealing with the Lithium ion batteries in many modern gadgets like laptops and cellphones, everything you knew about extending their lifetime from dealing with NiCad rechargeables is wrong.

With NiCad, running it down to nothing before recharging is a feature (with NiMH there seems to be wide agreement that it's less important than with NiCad, but there's a lot of argument about how important it is.)

With Li-ion, running it down to nothing will shorten the battery's lifetime.

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