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Apple Fined £21,000,000 For Deliberately Slowing Down Older iPhone Models

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Apple Fined £21,000,000 For Deliberately Slowing Down Older iPhone Models
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

An investigation launched in January 2018 determined that Apple had used a software update in order to deliberately slow down older iPhone models. Even though Apple admitted to this accusation, they claim it was done in an effort to try and help preserve the battery life of the phone.

The investigation was undertaken by a consumer watchdog from France, and now Apple will face the wrath of France’s Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF), who recently announced this on their website.

“The DGCCRF has indeed shown that iPhone owners had not been informed that the updates of the iOS operating system (10.2.1 and 11.2) they installed were likely to slow down the operation of their device.

These updates, released during 2017, included a dynamic power management device which, under certain conditions and especially when the batteries were old, could slow down the functioning of the iPhone 6, SE models and 7.

Unable to revert to the previous version of the operating system, many consumers would have been forced to change their batteries or even buy a new phone.”

Apple has not yet commented on this conclusion. However according to the DGCCRF, they have accepted the fine.

Apple’s Apology

In 2017, when the investigation began, Apple attempted to save face with their consumers by posting the following apology:

“We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.

We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about the issue so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”

Along with this apology, Apple announced that the company would reduce the cost of the replacement batteries for iPhone 6s and later editions that are out of warranty. They reduced the price from $79 to $29 and this was available anywhere Apple products were sold until December 2018.

Planned Obsolescence?

If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is used to describe a practice companies often use when designing their products, designing them with the intention of having them break down so that consumers will have to repeatedly purchase the product more often. From a business standpoint, it makes sense, if the consumer only had to buy each product once in their life, that wouldn’t be very good for business. But having it deliberately break down every couple of years ensures that the consumer will keep buying it over and over again.

The term ‘perceived obsolescence’ refers to products that are seemingly out of date, and thus the consumer makes the decision to replace the item, even if it’s still in perfect working condition. We all know Apple is famous for this. We see images of people waiting in line overnight, in the cold, just to get the latest model, even though their current model is just fine. Considering Apple comes out with a new model at least every year, all the company would have to do is market it correctly, adding just the right features to persuade the consumer that they must have it. In this day and age, that’s pretty easy to do as we often want the latest and greatest thing to satisfy our constant yearning for more.

Extremely Irresponsible

It is great to know that organizations such as the DGCCRF exist, so that these massive corporations can be held accountable for their actions. Not only are these types of business practices deceptive and unfair to the consumer, but from an environmental standpoint, they are extremely irresponsible. When you consider the amount of resources, manpower, time, and money that are put into these products just to have them deliberately break down, there is very little upside to this tactic. This is a clear example of how our species is disconnected from themselves and the world.

The fact of the matter is that there is technology that exists now that can last much longer than what we currently have available to us. It’s a shame that many of us are so blinded by the latest gadget that we have no concern for all of the effort it took to get that gadget in our hands. As consumers, we have to be responsible, and recognize what we are contributing to with every purchase we make. We have a choice, to be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution. Which will you choose?

This article (Apple Fined £21,000,000 For Deliberately Slowing Down Older iPhone Models) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Innovation

New Device Can Generate Renewable Energy ‘Out Of Thin Air’

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Photo Credit: EcoWatch

Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch

Imagine painting your home with a special paint that also powers your lights using renewable energy drawn from the air.

That might sound too good to be true, but researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst think it could be one of many future uses for a new technology they have developed — a device called the Air-gen that can, as its name suggests, generate electricity from moisture in the air.

“We are literally making electricity out of thin air,” Amherst electrical engineer Jun Yao explained in a university press release. “The Air-gen generates clean energy 24/7.”

The device, explained in a Nature article published Monday, is a unique collaboration between engineering and biology, according to the press release. Its origins lie within a microbe called Geobacter that study coauthor Derek Lovley discovered in the mud of the Potomac River more than 30 years ago. After studying the microbe, Lovley realized that it could produce protein nanowires that conduct electricity. Lovley and Yao then joined forces to see if there were practical applications for the microbe’s power.

It was one of Yao’s PhD students who discovered the key was moisture.

“I saw that when the nanowires were contacted with electrodes in a specific way the devices generated a current. I found that that exposure to atmospheric humidity was essential and that protein nanowires adsorbed water, producing a voltage gradient across the device,” Xiaomeng Liu said in the press release.

Science Alert explained how the device is designed:

“The Air-gen consists of a thin film of the protein nanowires measuring just 7 micrometres thick, positioned between two electrodes, but also exposed to the air.

Because of that exposure, the nanowire film is able to adsorb water vapour that exists in the atmosphere, enabling the device to generate a continuous electrical current conducted between the two electrodes.”

Currently, 17 of these devices linked together can generate enough electricity to power a cell phone, Science Magazine explained. While it requires some humidity, it can work in places as dry as the Sahara Desert.

Guo Wanlin, a materials scientist at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics who wasn’t involved with the study, told Science Magazine it was a “milestone advance” in the study of hydrovoltaics, the molecular generation of electricity from water.

The researchers hope to develop commercial applications for their device, which, Lovley argued in the press release, has major advantages over other sources of renewable energy like wind or solar since it can be used anywhere, even indoors.

Shorter term uses would include an Air-gen “patch” that would power Fitbits or smart watches, or a device that would power cell phones, eliminating the need for re-charging.

“The ultimate goal is to make large-scale systems,” Yao said.

These would include the power-generating house paint, or a generator that would produce off-the-grid electricity. All that needs to happen is to find a way to mass produce the wires, and Lovley is headed in that direction with his successful genetic engineering of the fast-growing E. coli bacteria to produce the nanowires, Science Magazine reported.

“Once we get to an industrial scale for wire production, I fully expect that we can make large systems that will make a major contribution to sustainable energy production,” Yao said in the press release.

However, Dirk de Beer of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, who was not involved with the research, expressed reservations. He told Science Magazine that the paper made him “a bit concerned” because he wasn’t sure where the electrons powering the Air-gen were coming from.

“I think a deeper understanding… is needed,” he said.

About the Author

Olivia is a freelance reporter for EcoWatch.

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Space

Mysterious Deep Space Radio Signal Repeats Every 16 Days, Baffling Scientists

Could it be aliens?

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Mysterious Deep Space Radio Signal Repeats Every 16 Days, Baffling Scientists
Photo Credit: Pexels

Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge

A startling scientific find by space researchers which sounds straight from the plot of the 1990’s sci-fi movie Contact is the last thing you might expect to read on CNN this week.

Mysterious radio signals from space have been known to repeat, but for the first time, researchers have noticed a pattern in a series of bursts coming from a single source half a billion light-years from Earth,” the report begins.

The “mystery radio signal” has been recorded as repeating based on a clear discernible pattern according to a new paper by a team of astrophysicists in Canada that pinpointed bursts which are unprecedented, identified as “fast radio burst” — or a short radio emission, with a 16-day cycle.

The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating FRB source is an important clue to the nature of this object,” the team of scientists said in the paper. A brief summary of some of the key findings are as follows:

“Between September 16, 2018 and October 30, 2019, detected a pattern in bursts occurring every 16.35 days. Over the course of four days, the signal would release a burst or two each hour. Then, it would go silent for another 12 days.

…The signal is a known repeating fast radio burst, FRB 180916.J0158+65. Last year, the CHIME/FRB collaboration detected the sources of eight new repeating fast radio bursts, including this signal. The repeating signal was traced to a massive spiral galaxy around 500 million light-years away.”

The team hopes to eventually trace the origin of the mysterious bursts, which has a variety of possibilities, and has even raised the question of alien life “reaching out” to establish contact.

So could it be aliens seeking to establish contact via hidden messages meant to be deciphered from rational patterns?

The MIT Technology Review’s Neel Patel, who first broke the story this week of the research team’s latest breakthrough, thinks it highly unlikely:

Wait, is it aliens? Almost certainly not! The signals are a sign of energetic events that are on the extreme scale of the cosmos. Even a highly intelligent species would be very unlikely to produce energies like this. And there is no detectable pattern so far that would suggest there’s a sentient hand at play.

Patel offers likely scenarios including a celestial body orbiting another object, such as a “low-mass black hole.”

Some analysts have elsewhere suggested it’s the result of a binary system involving two massive stars orbiting each other. And Phys.org described what could be the most mundane theory, that it could be “nothing more than the noise created when two stars collide.”

“Another possibility is that stellar winds might be alternately boosting or blocking signals from a body behind them. Or it could be that the source is a celestial body that is rotating,” the same source offered.

The CHIME telescope in British Columbia will attempt to detect future fast radio bursts (FRBs), via USA Today.
The CHIME telescope in British Columbia will attempt to detect future fast radio bursts (FRBs), via USA Today.

Regardless, the breakthrough observation could help future astronomer’s better map out the universe.

Understanding fast radio bursts can also help astronomers learn more about the universe itself,” CNN concludes. “The more bursts they can trace, the better they may be able to use the signals to map how matter is distributed across the universe.”

By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge.com | Republished with permission

The views in this article may not reflect editorial policy of Collective Spark.

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Innovation

If You Could Power Your Entire Home With 60 Minutes Of Cycling, Would You Do It?

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Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Imagine if your morning workout could power your home for the entire day, all the way until your next morning workout. Well, you may not have to imagine, as this technology exists now. Manoj Bhargava has invented a new exercise bike that can power some homes for 24 hours after use for only sixty minutes per day.

This invention was a part of a new initiative to bring electricity to places that undergo frequent power outages or may only have access to power for a few hours during the day. In our modern age, going without electricity can really separate a person from the rest of the world. Bhargava’s mission is to bridge the gap for those who suffer from poverty and make it easier for them to access the same information as the rest of the world, potentially giving them more opportunities in life.

The Free Electric

The above heading is also the name of this awesome and innovative bike serving as a solution to a pretty significant issue in the underdeveloped nations of the world.

According to Bhargava, the Free Electric is meant to lead to “better health, more leisure time, better access to education and opportunities for entrepreneurship.” He also feels that it could, “literally change the world.”

Power to change the world? Bold statement, but if this is able to be implemented worldwide, I would absolutely have to agree with him. This technology not only has the capacity to assist those in poverty, but can also be used by the rest of the world as well as more and more people around the world who are aiming to reduce their use of fossil fuels. I have a feeling that Millennials (such as myself) and younger generations would be all over this if it’s made available! Not only is it a great way to get your cardio in, but it provides FREE electricity that produces no other pollution.

As mentioned in the video, it is also a great solution in the face of natural, or even manmade disasters because this type of electricity would not rely on that generated and sold by power companies. Perhaps even one day a way to stock up and store this energy will be possible — then, the opportunities here will be much more plentiful and could be a huge factor in reducing the amount of pollution our current methods of energy production are creating.

The Future Is Friendly

As much as there is sometimes destruction all around us, there is also innovation and ingenuity. Human beings have tremendous potential. Even though there are many problems that we as a society are facing, solutions are popping up and fast, and in most cases they already exist. Finding solutions doesn’t seem to be the problem, so ask yourself, what is?  It’s so great to see ideas such as these being conceptualized and then created and put into use so efficiently, it shows how our species is capable of stopping and potentially reversing some of the destruction that we have caused over the years.

This is absolutely a double win! We are constantly bombarded with news stories and articles that are telling us to be more active, stop sitting so much, and now with the Free Electric, we will have to be active before we can relax and enjoy the use of our precious technology.

This article (If You Could Power Your Entire Home With 60 Minutes Of Cycling, Would You Do It?) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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AI

Will We Eventually Be Interacting With Our Technology Telepathically?

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Will We Eventually Be Interacting With Our Technology Telepathically?
Photo Credit: Pexels

According to Dr. Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which was founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell:

Quiet research programs examining thee and other exotic technological possibilities have been under way for several years in academic and industrial laboratories.”

He shares this information in one of his books, The Conscious Universefrom which I obtained the quotes and information below. It’s an extremely fascinating read, and this article doesn’t do it any justice, so please check it out if you’re interested in these types of phenomena.

In his book, Radin cites a story that appeared in the December 10, 1995 issue of the South China Morning Post — the same year the U.S. government declassified the Stargate Program, mentioned below:

“SONY, the corporation which revolutionized the world of audio and electronics, has acknowledged it is conducting research into alternative medicine, spoon bending, X-ray vision, telepathy and other forms of extra-sensory perception (ESP).

The institute of Wisdom was founded in 1989 at the instigation of Sony’s founder. . . . The company believes it has proved the existence of ESP, and is already developing a diagnostic machine based on the principles of oriental medicine. . . .

A sub-division of the institute, Extra-Sensory Perception Excitation Research, has worked with more than 100 possessors of ESP. In one test, subjects were presented with two black plastic containers, one of them containing platinum, the other empty. Psychic individuals were able to “see” the platinum seven times out of 10.

Yoishira Sako, a former specialist in artificial intelligence who heads the four man research team, believes commercial applications could apply to his research. “We haven’t come up with such great results so far, he said, “But if we eventually discover that ki energy is based on a kind of information transmission, it would lead to a complete energy revolution. If we can understand the mechanisms of telepathy, it would totally transform communication methods.”

This was more than a decade ago, and with all of this research being locked up in Special Access Programs (read more about those here) or otherwise hidden, how are we ever going to have any transparency? Radin makes this point in his book, and highlights how corporations are the same way, reluctant to publicize their interests and findings. But he does provide two more examples, Bell Laboratories and the Contel Technology Centre:

“At Bell Labs in the 1980s, I explored mind-matter interaction effects to see whether certain electronic circuits might be susceptible to psi influences, some aspects of this research achieved the Bell Labs imprimatur. At Contel in the early 1990s, I began to experiment with commercially-available, off the shelf electronics to see if ordinary components were susceptible to psi influences. This was an important first step toward building psi based devices, because unless scientists are able to demonstrate proof of principle with existing hardware and software, they will have no hope of obtaining funding to create speculative, custom-made microelectronics from scratch.”

He then goes on to share his experience developing a random key for a highly secure data encryption method, where he used a random number generator on a single chip.

“I conducted two psi experiments using this chip, and both were successful in demonstrating mind-matter interaction influences precisely where I had predicted they would appear.”

A prototype was then built, approved, and tested. The test consisted of 10 volunteers who were asked to mentally influence the random system in strictly prescribed ways, and eventually, a patent disclosure was prepared.

“Unfortunately, immediately after we complete the prototyping tests, GTE Corporation merged with Contel, and the disruption of the merger halted our efforts on this project.”

When it comes to parapsychology in general, there is a lot of research that has yielded some very interesting results. To emphasize this point, here is a great quote from Dr. Jessica Utts, the Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine and a professor there since 2008.

“What convinced me was just the evidence, the accumulating evidence as I worked in this field and I got to see more and more of the evidence. I visited the laboratories, even beyond where I was working to see what they were doing and I could see that they had really tight controls…and so I got convinced by the good science that I saw being done. And in fact I will say as a statistician I’ve consulted in a lot of different areas of science; the methodology and the controls on these experiments are tighter than any other area of science where I’ve worked.” (source)

In 1999, Utts published a paper showing that parapsychological experiments have produced much stronger results than those showing a daily dose of aspirin helping to prevent heart attacks. Utts also showed that these results are much stronger than the research behind various drugs like antiplatelets, for example.

Still. This type of study seems to be viewed as false or pseudoscientific by many.

“There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing.” – Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)

The Takeaway

We are living in a day and age where new information and evidence are constantly emerging, challenging what we once thought was real or what we think we know about ourselves as human beings.  It’s best to keep an open mind. Perhaps there are aspects of us and our consciousness that have yet to be discovered. Perhaps if we learn and grow from these studies, they can help us better ourselves and others.

This article (Will We Eventually Be Interacting With Our Technology Telepathically?) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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