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Apple’s not very happy holiday party: Lawsuits filed over iPhone slowdowns

The Nightmare After Christmas

We hope you had a relaxing holiday break but it hasn’t been such a great holiday for Apple. iPhone X sales are a bit softer than expected, and there’s been little letup in the backlash over news that Cupertino has been using a bit of code that slows down some older iPhones if the battery is starting to wear out. Apple recently copped to the accusation, but said they do it to keep the phones running rather than suddenly switching off like they had been.

While some people were fine with that explanation, others clearly aren’t as Reuters claims that at least eight lawsuits have been filed against the company in relation to the slowdowns, and one is asking for the tidy sum of $999 billion in damages. And while that may be a bit on the comical side, Apple will have to defend itself in court just the same. So, did they do it to sell more new iPhones as the plaintiffs’ claim? We’ll know eventually. Cue the lawyers.

Watt Up, Nicola?

A bit more Apple news now: BGR is reporting that future iPhones – and other devices – that charge wirelessly may not need that crowded dock thing for long. A while back, Apple teamed up with Energous, a wireless charging outfit, and the company says they have received FCC certification for long-distance wireless charging system known as a “power at a distance” setup.

Currently known as the “WattUp” system, it allows users to charge up devices as far as three feet from the charging transmitter. OK, not exactly “across-the-room” charging, but it’s a start. Wireless charging technology isn’t new – it’s over a century old, actually – but we have things like FCC rules and such to prevent interference amongst our tech toys, so development isn’t, perhaps, as quick as we’d like.

But in time, we predict that your smartphone, smartwatch, smart robot or smart pet will start to charge up pretty much anytime you simply walk into a room.

IFO

There were some pretty amazing sights in the skies above Southern California last Friday, and of course, there’s no shortage of amazing footage of the mysterious phenomena.

What was going on? SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force base, and it was quite a show. The rocket lifted off at about 5:30 p.m. Friday, at the height of rush hour, and since the sun had just dipped below the horizon, as the rocked climbed and staged, it lit up the clear skies with some very unusual plumes. And since the rocket part comes BACK to earth, it also makes some course adjustments that were also lit up by the setting sun.

It was enough to slow traffic a lot of places, and if you weren’t paying attention to your driving, and your car didn’t have that fancy self-stopping radar option, something like this could happen. Local news stations said they got a lot of calls wondering what was going on, but it’s probably a sight we’ll see pretty often as SpaceX ramps up launch – and landing – activities.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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