Apple: Tweaks to iPhone X and 8 models mean no future throttling

Throttle up

Some good news today for iPhone fans, especially if you just bought that new iPhone X or an iPhone 8: Apple says no there will be no throttling of performance as the phones age. In a letter to Congress – to Sen. John Thune, specifically – Apple VP Cynthia Hogan spelled out the reasons behind the throttling of older iPhones, something Sen. Thune had pressed Apple for answers to after allegations it was forcing people to upgrade.

Hogan said Apple never uses throttling to encourage people to buy new phones, and she added that the iPhone TX and 8 models have built-in hardware and software solutions that won’t require such steps in the future. Apple has also updated their battery explainer page to include a preview of the new battery data points that will show up in iOS 11.3, which is currently in beta release.

Big box of beats

Making modern music is a computer-intensive exercise these days; those beats and catchy hooks are very often created with a mouse – or even a game controller – rather than with traditional instruments. Case in point: Drakes latest No. 1 hit, God’s Plan, and some tracks on the hotly anticipated soundtrack to the upcoming Black Panther movie. The man behind God’s Plan? Producer Cardo, also known Ronald LaTour.

DT’s Keith Nelson Junior spent some time talking with the super producer, who got started by mastering the MTV Music Generator on his PlayStation nearly 20 years ago, and selling CD’s of his creations for $10 a pop. A few CD’s, hardware upgrades and music programs later, Cardo is now a regular collaborator with Drake, Kendrick Lamar and others. Check out his tunes, his inspiring story, and the tech he uses, in Nelson Junior’s interesting interview.

Flying high with the Starman

Elon Musk said he’s still “tripping out” over yesterday’s stunning – and highly entertaining – launch of the Falcon Heavy, now the most powerful operational rocket system on the planet. Despite Musk warning that the event could turn into a massive fireworks show (as some previous launches have in the past), the Falcon Heavy launch went off almost without a hitch.

There was the perfect liftoff of the vehicle itself, powered by 27 roaring Merlin rocket engines, the picture-perfect simultaneous landing of the twin booster segments, and that red Roadster heading to deep space with the mannequin Starman at the wheel, Ziggy Stardust on the stereo and Don’t Panic on the dash, in a nod to Douglas Adam’s famous Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy catch phrase. And wow, what a view, courtesy of an amazing livestream from the car.

Hours after the launch, the SpaceX team lit the engines back up and pushed the Red Roadster into an elongated orbit around the Sun and Mars, which Musk tweeted will actually take the car past Mars orbit and out nearly to where the asteroid Ceres circles the sun. Barring any future intervention, the car, with a data crystal and other souvenirs on board, will continue the orbit for millions of years to come.

Despite the somewhat lighthearted cargo, the Falcon Heavy launch signals a new era for space exploration, as Musk’s reusable rockets will drastically reduce the cost of putting big payloads into orbit, or on the moon, or Mars and beyond. Not everything went by the numbers: the central rocket core didn’t stick the landing due to a fueling issue and slammed into the ocean at 300 miles an hour. Well, two out of three ain’t bad for a first try.

But, of course, yesterday’s big event – watched live by millions online – wasn’t just about putting a car into an eternal orbit. It could eventually be recognized as the red-letter day that set humankind on a course to settle on other celestial bodies, as Musk has said time and again that his goal is no less than the settlement of Mars. After seeing so much go right with the Falcon Heavy, we’ve gotta say that we definitely think he can do it. Mars, here we come.

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.