Apple claims VoIP-Pal secretly lobbied judges, USPTO officials in patent case

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Apple is looking to reverse a Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling upholding the validity of certain patents owned by VoIP-Pal, alleging the VoIP technologies firm secretly lobbied officials presiding over the case without Apple’s knowledge.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Apple Faces 25+ Lawsuits for ‘Secretly and Intentionally’ Slowing Down iPhones

Over the last few weeks, Apple has been skewered by allegations that it willfully thwarted the performance of older iPhones via a routine iOS update, intentionally slowing them down to prevent their “chemically aged batteries” from shutting down unexpectedly. The otherwise damning revelation, as we’ve reported, has since resulted in a number of insane, even sub-trillion dollar lawsuits levied against the company.

It was recently revealed by MacRumors that Apple is currently facing at least 26 different lawsuits — filed in various jurisdictions around the world — either accusing it of ‘intentionally’ slowing down older iPhones or, at the absolute least, “failing to disclose power management changes” that were incorporated in iOS 10.2.1.

In addition to international complaints filed in France and Israel, Apple now faces dozens of class action lawsuits right here in the United States — with the most recent having been filed on Friday, January 5, by Yisroel Brody of New York.

Brody’s complaint, which MacRumors noted is the 24th suit filed stateside, follows an additional two complaints — one by Mr. Marc Honigman of New York, and one by Ms. Lauri Sullivan-Stefanou of Ohio — filed a day earlier on January 4.

“Apple’s intentional degradation of the iPhone’s performance through the release of iOS impacted the usability of the device,” a slightly adapted excerpt from Honigman’s original complaint reads, adding that, “Effectively, Apple has forced the obsolescence of iPhones by secretly diminishing their performance. Thus, Apple’s admission has confirmed what iPhone users have long suspected – i.e., that Apple deliberately degrades the performance of older iPhone models through iOS updates to encourage users to buy new iPhones.”

An excerpt from Sullivan-Stefanou’s complaint appeared to echo those sentiments, adding that “Unbeknownst to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s owners, Apple inserted code into iOS 10.2.1 that deliberately slowed down the processing performance of these phones by linking each phone’s processing performance with its battery health.”

Both complaints assert that had Apple not inserted the code in the first place, the battery performance and capacity of these devices would not have been affected. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs in these suits are seeking a wide range of compensation from Apple, including free battery replacements for all affected users, refunds for those who’ve recently purchased new iPhones, and that the company be “more transparent” by including information about battery health and longevity in a future iOS update.

Apple, for its part, has since issued an apology amid the hysteria, admitting its “lack of communication” on the issue while reducing out of warranty battery replacement costs to just $ 29 for iPhone 6 devices (and newer) through the end of 2018. Additionally, the company confirmed it would release an iOS update “early this year” which will give users clear and discernible insight into the health of their device’s battery.

iDrop News

Spotify secretly files for IPO as it reaches 70M paid users

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As Spotify grows its user base to over 70 million paid subscribers, the company has also filed in secret for public offering of shares of the company’s stock, but will make the shares available to the public in a non-traditional manner.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Google testing tech aimed at detecting people secretly looking at your phone’s screen

Do you feel frustrated when someone around you tries to peek at your phone when you’re using it (especially when looking at sensitive info)? Well, good news is that a solution to the problem is in the works. Google is currently working on a technology that uses the phone’s front camera in combination with eye-detecting artificial intelligence to alert you when more than one person is looking at the screen. The following video gives a good idea about how the solution works: It’s clear from the video that the face detection process is quite quick, with the company claiming that it… – Latest articles

Instagram’s secretly testing a handful of new features. We found them.

TNW today obtained information on a range of new features Instagram is currently testing. As with all tests, this means some of you may have already seen one or two of the new features. Some of you, however, have not. Instagram and Facebook tend to roll out new features for testing to small segments of the audience, not all at once — and some may never been seen again after these tests. As such, TNW makes no guarantee that any of these are coming to Instagram anytime soon. That said, we’re fairly confident at least a few of them will…

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