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iPhone users to be given option to turn off feature that slows down devices | Technology

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Apple chief Tim Cook says update for iOS will provide new option, but urges against using it for risk of sudden shutdown problems

Apple says the slowdown was implemented in response to battery voltage issues of older iPhones. Apple will give users the option to turn off a feature that temporarily slows down older iPhones in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns, chief executive Tim Cook has said. The new option is likely to arrive in March, as part of the next update to iOS 11. “If you don’t want it, you can turn it off,” Cook told ABC News. The CEO maintains, however, that Apple “don’t recommend” users take advantage of the ability to disable the slowdown. Alongside the option to turn off the slowdown, Apple will also introduce much more detailed monitoring of battery health for users. Currently, iOS will warn users if their battery is substantially decayed, but will not notify them of partial ageing – even if that ageing is severe enough to warrant the slowdown. With the update, Cook said, “We’re going to give people the visibility of the health of their battery so it’s very, very transparent … this hasn’t been done before.”Before Apple released iOS 10.2.1 in 2016, older iPhones were frequently hit with an issue that caused a spontaneous shutdown if the battery’s voltage output dropped below a certain threshold – which occurred more frequently when the battery got old, cold, or ran low on charge.

In that update, the company tweaked the iPhones 6, 6s and SE to instead slow down the processor when the voltage dropped. For intensive use, this resulted in the phone as a whole slowing down, but prevented it from shutting down. In 2017, with iOS 11.2, Apple made the same update to iPhone7 devices.

But the company did not notify users of the change, leaving it to be discovered by individuals running performance tests on their phone. The resulting uproar saw the company accused of deliberately slowing down older devices to encourage users to buy new ones, a practice known as “planned obsolescence”.

In December, Apple released an open letter explaining the updates, and promised a number of changes, including the upcoming software update and a reduction in price of the company’s battery exchange programme to $29/£29 for users with affected models.

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LG G7 ThinQ Is Now Available In the US for $750

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LG waited longer than normal to announce its big 2018 flagship phone, but it finally took the wraps off the LG G7 ThinQ a few weeks ago. Today, the phone is available for purchase on most US carriers. While LG has had trouble competing with the likes of Samsung, it’s still targeting the same premium space. Although, it’s got an iPhone-style screen notch now. That’s what consumers want, right?

The LG G7 ThinQ is the epitome of all things 2018 in smartphone design. It has a glass back, dual cameras, and a display notch that isn’t done particularly well. The missing bit of screen provides a place for the camera, earpiece, and some other sensors. It does seem a little excessively large for how compact these components are, though. In addition, the G7 has a “chin” at the bottom with a larger bezel than the top and bottom. This asymmetric look isn’t as striking as the iPhone X it imitates. The 6.1-inch 1440p display is also an OLED, which lacks the vibrancy of modern OLED panels.

Inside, this phone has all the current flagship hardware you’d expect with a Snapdragon 845, 64GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM. Unlike many other current smartphones, the company has opted to keep the headphone jack for the G7 ThinQ. LG also touts the G7’s unique speaker design that uses the entire chassis as a resonator to boost sound output.

You may be wondering about the name — specifically the “ThinQ” bit. Well, that’s LG’s expanded brand for all its AI technologies. What that means for the G7 is that there’s an AI mode in the camera that looks for objects it can identify and offers possible filters. It’s not very accurate or useful, but LG didn’t even develop any AI software or hardware for this phone. It just licensed a machine vision library from a third-party.

The LG G7 ThinQ is available from all major carriers in the US except AT&T. Apparently, AT&T chose to sell the LG V35 instead of the G7. This marks the third variant of the V30 that LG has sold since it debuted last year. At other carriers, the G7 ThinQ will run you $750, give or take a few dollars. Carriers offer payment plans to split the cost over two years. It will launch on Google’s Project Fi soon, as well. If you don’t want to go through carriers, the phone is also available from Amazon.

 

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Google Doodle honors ‘Prince of Mathematicians’ Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss

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Maths is the latest to receive the Google Doodle homage.

Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss, otherwise known as “The Prince of Mathematicians”, made instrumental contributions to number theory, algebra, geophysics, mechanics and statistics.

Gauss was born on April 30 in 1777 in Brunswick, a city in the north of Germany, near Wolfsburg. Despite poor working-class parents and an illiterate mother, Gauss was a child prodigy, believed to have been able to add up every number from 1 to 100 at 8-years-old.

One of his first major equations was working out his date of birth, which his mother hadn’t recorded. He used the only information she had: that it was a Wednesday, eight days before an Easter holiday.

At university when he was 19, Gauss discovered a heptadecagon, or a 17-sided polygon. He requested that a regular heptadecagon be inscribed on his tombstone, but it was too difficult for the stonemason, who said it would just look like a circle.

513px-regular-polygon-17-annotated-svg
 A heptadecagon.

 


László Németh/Wikipedia

And remember your prime numbers? That year Gauss was involved with proving the prime number theorem, helping understand how prime numbers are distributed among the integers, or whole numbers.

Again the same year, a productive one for Gauss, he discovered the quadratic reciprocity law, which allows mathematicians to determine the solvability of any quadratic equation in modular arithmetic.

At 24, Gauss’ work on number theory, which he completed when he was 21, was published as a textbook. Not only did it involve his original work, but it reconciled that of other mathematicians. It would be considered his magnum opus and had an extraordinary impact on the field.

Oh, and add to those achievements a discovery in astronomy — in the same year, 1801, Gauss calculated the orbit of an asteroid called Ceres.

After a much-accomplished life, Gauss died aged 77 on Feb. 23, 1855.

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