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Google will kill its Drive app for Windows XP, Vista, and Server 2003 on January 1, 2017

Google Drive logo.

Google today announced it is ending support for its Google Drive desktop app for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003 on January 1, 2017. If you’re still on one of these platforms and want to keep using “Google Drive for Mac/PC,” the company recommends upgrading your version of Windows.

This means Google will continue updating Drive for users on these operating systems for a little more than two months. Starting next year, the app will still work, but it will not be actively tested nor maintained.

Google notes that “these platforms are no longer actively supported by Microsoft,” which is partially correct. Microsoft retired Mainstream Support for Windows XP on April 14, 2009 and pulled Extended Support for the operating system on April 8, 2014. Mainstream Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 13, 2010, followed by Extended Support ending on July 14, 2015.

For Windows Vista, Mainstream Support ended on April 10, 2012, but Extended Support will continue until April 11, 2017. Mainstream Support includes free incident support, warranty claims, fixes for non-security as well as security bugs, plus design changes and feature requests. Extended Support consists solely of security updates.

Microsoft is thus still technically supporting Windows Vista for a few more months. That said, Vista only has around 1 percent market share, and chances are not many of those users also happen to have the Google Drive desktop app installed.

If you’re still on XP, Vista, or Server 2003, this is yet another reason to get the latest and greatest from Microsoft: Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. There’s really no good reason to be using decade-old operating systems.

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick