The Mitigate-Shutdown Edition Thursday, December 21, 2017

Apple Addresses Why People Are Saying Their iPhones With Older Batteries Are Running “Slower”, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

The short form version of what Poole’s benchmarks are showing is the result of a power curve smoothing algorithm that Apple rolled out last year to mitigate iPhone shutdown issues. [...] Basically, iPhones were hitting peaks of processor power that the battery was unable to power and the phones were shutting off. Apple then added power management to all iPhones at the time that would ‘smooth out’ those peaks by either capping the power available from the battery or by spreading power requests over several cycles.


But, as a matter of transparency, I think that beyond saying very publicly that they are doing this power management (which they have now done twice) there could be an avenue here to be more aggressive and transparent with the user about when their battery is directly affecting the peak performance of their iPhone.

“I think users who experience significant slowdowns due to battery wear would want Apple to be more transparent about this issue,” says Poole. “A notification stating that the battery needs service would be a simple way to reduce users’ concerns and help them address this problem.”

Apple Addresses Why Some iPhones With Older Batteries Are Benchmarking Slower, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I’ve said the following before, but I’ll say it again: Apple does not purposefully cripple older devices to encourage users to buy new devices. Nor would it be in their long-term interest to do so.

Teaching Old Virtual Assistants New (Language) Tricks, by Jacek Krywko, Ars Technica

While details vary from Siri to Cortana to Google et al, the process of teaching these assistants new languages looks more or less the same across the board. That’s because it’s determined by how a virtual assistant works, specifically how it processes language.

So if Siri doesn't talk to you in your mother tongue right now, you’re probably going to have to wait for the technology driving her to make a leap. Luckily, the first signs of such an evolution have arrived.

Apple Wins Big With U.S. Tax Bill But Faces Snag On Foreign Patents, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

The U.S. Republican tax overhaul passed by Congress this week will allow Apple Inc to bring back its $252.3 billion foreign cash pile without a major tax hit - a long-standing company goal.


But not everything went the company’s way. A critical difference between the Senate version of the bill and the final version could actually raise the amount of cash taxes that Apple pays on profits from patents held abroad, tax experts said.

How The iPhone Reshaped Asian Tech, by Debbie Wu and Cheng Ting-Fang, Nikkei Asian Review

In 2006, Hon Hai Precision Industry was about to take on a major role in an epochal shift in consumer electronics, though few of the Taiwanese company's employees could have imagined what was about to hit them. At the time, the company, better known as Foxconn, made most of its money assembling personal computers for big American companies like Dell. But a contract for a new product -- one that had been an obsession of Apple CEO Steve Jobs for years -- would soon change all that.

Over the next decade, the iPhone would help push Foxconn's revenue from $38 billion to $145 billion and turn it into one of the world's largest employers. Meanwhile, Dell -- once a marquee customer of Foxconn's -- was bought out by founder Michael Dell and taken private in 2013, having fallen victim to the rise of tablets and smartphones.

The introduction of the iPhone X in September capped a remarkable 10-year run of Apple's iconic smartphone. There have been more than 1.2 billion iPhones sold globally since its launch in 2007, transforming the fortunes of Apple and large swaths of Asia's tech industry. Besides Foxconn, it helped turn Asian companies like lens maker Largan Precision into giants, while once-mighty electronics groups like Acer and Nintendo were forced to take massive writedowns. Along the way, Apple and its Asian suppliers came under withering scrutiny over labor practices in the region, forcing companies such as Foxconn to adapt their policies.


Apple Is Apparently Automatically Refunding Purchases Of The Fake 'Cuphead' App, by Shaun Musgrave, TouchArcade

When I woke up this morning, I did my usual email check. Surprisingly, there was an email from Apple telling me that they were automatically refunding me for my purchase of Cuphead. They mentioned that the app had been pulled from the App Store and were sorry for the inconvenience.


Apple Revises Its Controversial Guidelines On Template-based Apps, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Core to this is the idea that, while it’s fine for small businesses and organizations to go through a middleman like the app templating services, the app template providers shouldn’t be the ones ultimately publishing these apps on their clients’ behalf.

Instead, Apple wants every app on the App Store to be published by the business or organization behind the app. (This is something that’s been suggested before). That means your local pizza shop, your church, your gym, etc. needs to have reviewed the App Store documentation and licensing agreement themselves, and more actively participate in the app publishing process.

Apple Quietly Updated The App Store Review Guidelines To Require Disclosure Of "Loot Box" IAP Odds, by Eli Hodapp, TouchArcade

Well, it seems the recent "loot box" drama of Star Wars: Battlefront II which set the internet on fire might have caused Apple to institute an official policy before they face a similar PR disaster of their own. [...] If you're buying something random, you need to know your chances of getting things. Historically, Apple's policies have favored consumers, and forcing developers to show that the cool hat you really want out of that loot crate only has a 0.001% chance of being there when you open it is pretty consumer friendly.

Bottom of the Page

I'm learning Sudoku -- I'm 25% into this Sudioku book that claims the puzzles presented are either "Demanding" or "Very Challenging."

I'm enjoying Sudoku because it shuts my brain off from thinking bad things.


I always find it puzzling how Americans can get through life with how they pronounce "can" and "can't." I would imagine that causes a lot of confusion. I grew up with the Briitsh pronounciation and I very much prefer it.

(Here's a video illustrating the differences.)


Thanks for reading.