Have a Powerful Day!

Yesterday I tweeted a link to Rhett Allain’s fun article comparing name-brand batteries to dollar-store batteries. Rhett covers numerically approximating integrals, energy, energy density, and cost per joule of energy. As a bonus, his commenters taught me about eneloop batteries. My take-away from his article: if you’re going to use disposable batteries and you’re buying from a local store rather than Amazon, it’s worth buying the name-brand ones to minimize waste since all of the batteries he tested had roughly the same cost per joule1.

(Added later: it turns out Rhett was comparing name-brand alkaline batteries to dollar store “heavy duty” zinc chloride batteries. That doesn’t invalidate the results, but it doesn’t answer whether or not the dollar store alkalines would be better or worse than name brand ones.)

Shortly after I tweeted the link, I got a reply from the Rayovac twitter account.

@ @ Rayovac Lasts as Long as other brands & Costs Less! For extra savings, grab a printable coupon: http://t.co/PZbi6FAP

This amused me to no end: I’d posted a link to a nice analysis of battery lifetimes, complete with data and plots, and the Rayovac twitter account’s reply claimed their batteries’ awesomeness (without any data) and linked to coupons. A friend of mine and I laughed about this spamming on Twitter. Big mistake: Rayovac wasn’t about to let that stand.

@ @ Not spam, just useful information! Have a Powerful day! #rayovac

Well. I’ve learned my lesson. Links to coupons and unsubstantiated claims of battery lifetime in response to an article with actual battery lifetime data is absolutely not spam.

Also, “Have a Powerful day!” is how I’m going to say goodbye from now on.

1There are a number of possible refinements to Rhett’s quick-and-dirty Mythbusters-level analysis, including measuring a ton of batteries’ characteristics to get a better average measurement, that might alter the final result, but that’s just me being nit-picky. And physicists are never nit-picky.