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The Lifer

OS X Mavericks is generating a lot of buzz with its stick-looking app upgrades, but Rik Myslewski is more excited about the features we can’t see

Apple’s OS X Mavericks adds a number of nifty features — I’m particularly jazzed about improvements to the Finder, Safari, and the Calendar app — but even more interesting to us in the geek community are a trio of under-the-hood items that boost both performance and battery life.

The first goes by the oh-so-cute name of App Nap — definitely a «What took you so long?» feature. App Nap keeps an eye on the

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

The contender

This is the first Samsung tablet we’ve been excited about for a while. It’s a shrunk-down Note 10.1; an iPad Mini rival with a quad-core processor and a handy stylus. But it’s also a sized-up Note II, as the 3G/4G version can make voice calls. Plus, the Note 8.0 has a much improved Multi-Window split screen feature, which now handily supports Google apps such as Chrome. Maps and YouTube. A microSD slot for adding up to an extra 64GB and a huge 4600mAh battery complete the geek’s wishlist, but style gurus might be disappointed by the Note’s cheap-feeling

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POWERSKIN POPN BATTERY CHARGER

An extra battery for your iPhone that doesn’t suck

Getting your iPhone’s battery to last all day can be a challenge. We’ve all got chargers stashed around work, home, and our vehicles, but, obviously, none of those are very helpful when you’re nowhere near a power connector. By tossing the Powerskin PoP’n in your bag, you can effectively double your iPhone 5 battery life. Since it’s not a form-fitting case, the PoP’n will also charge other lightning-port-equipped devices.

The Pop’n case attaches to the back of your iPhone via suction cups. While we’re not overly thrilled with the connection —

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PADACS ENDURO MINI

Built like a tank, with enough juice to fly from JFK to Adelaide

While Apple touts 10-hour battery life for the iPad mini, there are times when extra juice can really save the day. iOS accessory maker PADACS apparently thought so, too, and decided to build an entire case around this need.

The result is the Enduro Mini for iPad mini, which stitches an 8000mAh Li-ion battery pack into the front cover of an attractive polyurethane case available in your choice of black, pink, or blue. The manufacturer claims the exterior is scratch-resistant, although we did manage to scuff it

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Orangutan Drives Fleaweight!

One of the challenges when designing a Fleaweight (150 g) robot is finding lightweight components that allow you to squeeze the most out of the limited weight allowance. The electronic components do not necessarily shrink from the Antweight (1 lb) to Fleaweight classes. The typical radio receiver and electronic speed control options for an Antweight are often also used for Fleaweights.

Since this can take up a large portion of the weight allowance compared to an Antweight, I went searching for a lighter option. I found that one option for a speed controller is the B-328 Baby Orangutan microcontroller from

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Me and my bike

I got my GPz from a girl I knew up in Topanga Canyon, CA. We’d just come back from the beach when I saw an old motorcycle parked under some tall trees in her yard. It was so covered in leaves and stuff that I couldn’t make out the model. The girl said she hadn’t ridden it in years, and that if I wanted it she’d sell it to me cheap. “Just watch out for black widow spiders,” she said as I began cleaning it off. With the battery charged, the bike f red right up. I hopped on for

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JUICE PACK PLUS FOR IPHONE 5 £109

If you’re an iPhone user who frequently makes calls, runs applications, sends emails and takes photographs, you’ll be aware that you’re in danger of running the battery down fairly quickly. While this isn’t an issue if you’re close to a mains socket, it can be more of a problem if you find yourself in a remote location or in a place where it’s not convenient to leave your phone unattended while it charges. The Mophie Juice Pack is designed to get you out of any battery power problems by combining a protective case with an internal battery that’s capable of

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Interskol PA — 10 / 14.4 P

Dual-mode cordless rotary hammer SDS — Plus

Battery — removable Li-ion; voltage — 14 V; Capacity — 1.3 Ah; charging time — 1 hour

Operating modes: rotary; shock-rotational

SPEED: 0 — 750 r / min

Haste: 0 — 5500 strokes / min

Impact energy: 0.9 J

Drilling capacity (in the concrete / steel in / in wood, max): 10/10/20 mm

CLIP: SDS — Plus

Weight (with battery): 1.4 kg

EQUIPMENT: Hammer; 1 or 2 battery; Charger; keyless chuck 10mm adapter with SDS — Plus; magnetic bit holder-adapter SDS-Plus; set of bits (4 pcs.); drills 5,6, x8x160 mm; plastic case

PRICE

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BenQ LM100

It’s stylish and sturdy, but does the retativety cheap BenQ LM100 have anything else to offer?

When purchasing a new compact, especially a ‘tough’ camera that is waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof and dustproof, your mind is unlikely to jump to a model from the relatively unheard of BenQ. However, the manufacturer has recently begun producing some interesting contenders, including the new ultra-portable LM100 — a stylishly decorated compact aiming to give the main brands a run for their money, offering adventure and underwater enthusiasts a 14MP sensor, 28 scene modes, plus colour and filter effects.

In terms of design, the slim

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Battery Stamina

RICHARD HUTCHINSON • EMAIL

He likes the camera but complains about the battery life being short and I wanted to know if this is a known issue or if it’s a faulty camera?

A: As you’re well aware, Richard, the Samsung Galaxy camera is a product that’s designed to bridge the gap between compacts and smartphones. Much like a compact, it provides an optical zoom that gives it an advantage over a smartphone, but also features Integrated 3G technology and cellular network connectivity to give users like your son the chance to upload and share images on the fly when

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