Some iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus Users Report Touch ID, Power, and Other Issues

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Users are reporting various issues with the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, less than a week after Apple started to ship the new iPhone models. Some users note that the Touch ID modules in the new iPhone models are heating up after holding down the home button for a bit, while many recall incidents when their new iPhone models abruptly switched off.

A quick look at Apple’s support community page suggests that many users are having issues with their new iPhone models. Apart from the Touch ID facing heating issues, and abrupt shutdown of the iPhone models, users are also complaining about speakers, and volume controls. Handsets that shut down themselves could be turned back on by holding down the Sleep/ Wake buttons.

“[…] I woke up the home button was burning hot and the screen is just black. I went to bed with it working just fine last night, plugged it in to charge, and now it won’t work. Nothing else is hot, not even the charging port, just the home button is on fire,” wrote a user on the support page. Several users chimed in to note similar issues.

“I have just received my iPhone 6s (iOS 9.0.1) and I’m really enjoying the new features, however I’ve noticed that when I have my Ringer Volume turned up full there is a slight crackling/distortion when playing sounds from the bottom external speaker,” a user wrote. Again, the person doesn’t seem to be the only one facing it as several users confirm the glitch on their respective iPhone models.

Notably, some issues seem to be plaguing users due to software-related bugs. The 3D Touch display’s signature feature seems to not be working with some apps. Some users are reporting that their iPhone models aren’t showing notifications when the earpiece is connected to the handset.

If it’s a software-related issue, users shouldn’t be much worried because Apple already seems to be aggressively rolling out minor updates to fix several glitches. Hardware issues, if widespread, could indicate at a faulty component or improper manufacturing. Only time can paint a better picture of what’s really happening.

Upcoming ‘Peeple’ App to Let You Rate People

We judge and rate people personally and among a closed group. Now one can rate other human beings publicly, thanks to a forthcoming app.

The app, called “Peeple”, would enable the users to assign reviews and one-to-five star ratings to everyone they know: Their exes, co-workers, neighbours.

But don’t forget that others would also be rating you. And you can’t opt out. Once someone puts your name in the Peeple system, it’s there unless you violate the site’s terms of service, the Washington Post reported.

Neither can you delete bad or biased reviews as that would defeat the whole purpose.

“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions. Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?” Julia Cordray, one of the app’s founders, was quoted as saying.

To review someone, you must be 21 and have an established Facebook account and you must make reviews under your real name.

You must also affirm that you “know” the person in one of three categories: personal, professional or romantic.

To add someone to the database who has not been reviewed before, you must have that person’s cell phone number.

Positive ratings post immediately; negative ratings are queued in a private inbox for 48 hours in case of disputes.

If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews.

On top of that, Peeple has outlawed a laundry list of bad behaviours, including profanity, sexism and mention of private health conditions.

The Moon’s Water Reserves Are From Asteroids, Study Claims

Water reserves found on the moon are the result of asteroids acting as “delivery vehicles” and not of falling comets as was previously thought, new research has found.

Using computer simulation, the scientists discovered that a large asteroid can deliver more water to the lunar surface than the cumulative fall of comets over a billion year period.

At the beginning of the space age, during the days of the Apollo programme, scientists believed the moon to be completely dry.

However, in the1990s, obtaining data from Nasa’s Lunar Prospector probe, scientists found signs of the presence of water on the moon.

In recent years, lunar missions (the Indian Chandrayan probe, the American LRO, data from the Cassiniprobe and Deep Impact) have brought scientists new information that there are indeed considerate quantities of water and hydroxyl groups in the near-surface soil on the moon.

“We came to the conclusion that only a very small amount of water that arrives with a comet stays on the moon, and from this decided to explore the possibility of an asteroid origin of lunar water,” saidone of the researchers VV Shuvalov from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in Russia.

The scientists decided to take a closer look at asteroids and found that they consist of initially non-differentiated construction materials of the solar system and contain a rather considerable proportion of water.

One-third of all asteroids that fall on the moon have a velocity of less than 14 km per second just before impact. When this happens, the major part of the fallen body remains in the crater: 30-40 percent is left after an oblique impact, and 60-70 percent after a vertical one.

“We have concluded that the fall of asteroids containing water could generate “deposits” of chemically bounded water inside some lunar craters,” Shuvalov said.

“The fall of one two-kilometre size asteroid with a rather high proportion of hydrated minerals could bring to the moon more water than all of the comets that have fallen over billions of years,” he noted.

The research was discussed in an article recently published in the journal Planetary and Space Science.

Nasa Working to Help Astronauts Readapt to Gravity After Journey to Mars

As Nasa is planning to send humans on Mars by 2030, its researchers back on the Earth are experimenting with astronauts for whom readapting to gravity and walking through the obstacle course after a deep space travel will not be an easy task.

Jacob Bloomberg, senior research scientist at Nasa, and his team are analysing the balance control disturbances caused by gravity transitions.

They recently evaluated participants who had undergone body unloading, or not carrying one’s own weight, after returning from space shuttle missions, space station expeditions or from bed rest studies of up to 70 days.

To test just how much body unloading affects balance and stability, Bloomberg has developed theFunctional Task Test (FTT).

It identifies mission critical tasks that may impact astronauts’ movement and performance immediately after gravity transitions. The FTT consists of seven functional and physiological tests.

“These tests are very operation-oriented and are related to different aspects of the mission and activities an astronaut would need to do after landing on the surface of Mars,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

With balance control impairment comes hand-eye coordination problems, loss of postural stability or steadiness, and vision and perception issues.

Motion sickness is often a problem as well.

After landing, these impairments can make it difficult for crew members to begin necessary operations, such as walking from their landing craft to their habitat.

At the conclusion of the bed rest study, subjects were asked to perform the FTT.

Researchers found FTT functions that involved postural stability were the most difficult for participants.

“These results help us understand that astronauts, without countermeasures or balance training, may have difficulty maintaining balance control when landing on Mars, which has 62 percent lower gravity than Earth,” Bloomberg noted.

The team is studying a countermeasure approach for balance control problems after landing.

The counter-measures are done pre-flight and during flight, and the goal of this training is to help “train the brain to become more adaptable,” Bloomberg pointed out.

Astronauts returning to the Earth after living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have exhibited balance control problems, muscle weakness and cardiovascular deconditioning.

FTT also has benefits on the Earth. These tests can benefit the elderly who often have challenges standing or walking after being in bed for a few days, by improving their balance control and stability.

As Nasa unlocks the key to balance training, astronauts will be able to land on Mars and stand and walk through their obstacle course with greater ease, the scientists noted.

Apple Working on Fix for High Roaming Charges, Says Eddy Cue

What does a company like Apple that already obsessively controls the software and hardware aspects of its smartphones and tablets do to further improve the experience of its users? Try to cut reliance on the mobile carriers and build alternatives. That’s what Apple appears to have been quietly doing for the last few months, with Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, talked about some of this progress in a wide-ranging interview.

Speaking about the expensive nature of roaming charges (in this case, specifically international roaming charges), Cue said Apple is doing something about it.

When you’re on a roaming network, you have to pay more for sending texts and making phone calls. Depending on the carrier, you might also have to pay extra to use Internet data. Cue, much like everyone else is not happy with this. He casually expressed his discontent on how expensive it is when you’re on a roaming network. Cue, who was in London for the interview said that he is “trying not to get roaming charges […] “We’re trying to fix it and we’re making a little bit of progress but you’ve got to convince a lot of people.”

Apple has long been rumoured to be planning to be come a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), something that Google has already started with Project Fi. China’s Apple, Xiaomi, has also made asimilar move with Mi Mobile. The Cupertino giant has however denied any plans to become a virtual carrier or MVNO on multiple occasions.

The company has separately however been working on enhancing the users’ carrier experiences. The company last year bundled a SIM card with its iPad Air 2 that allowed users to switch between different carriers. The SIM card worked with multiple US carriers – AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile – and allowed users to pick the cellular plan they find best.

Earlier this year, Apple and Samsung reportedly were in advanced talks to start using electronic SIM cards in smartphones. The report had also noted that the SIM card would allow users to quickly switch between different carriers, and offer more security.

Bolstering this theory is company’s own iPhone Upgrade Plan, which was announced at the megaiPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus event last month. In the program, Apple allows anyone to come to it – and not the carriers – to upgrade to a new iPhone every year.

These incidents coupled with Apple’s rather open opinion about how much it is not content with the existing offerings and technologies that mobile carriers offer suggest that the company is indeed secretly working on to further decrease our reliance on one carrier and make it easier to survive on roaming networks.

Airtel 4G Speed Challenge Ads Found ‘Misleading’

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), responding to a consumer complaint about Airtel’s 4G speed challenge ads, has sent a notice to the telecom operator saying the ad campaign is misleading. The watchdog has also asked Airtel to either withdraw or modify the ad campaign, or seek a review of the decision.

The advertisement was launched in August after Airtel announced nationwide 4G services rollout. Called Airtel Challenge, it says: “If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life.”

The ASCI order (via Livemint) to Airtel, states, “The claim in the ad, ‘Airtel 4G is the fastest network ever’ and ‘If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life’, is misleading by omission in the absence of appropriate disclaimers in the print, TV, [and] hoarding advertisements. The advertisement contravened Chapter 1.4 of the code… We have advised the Advertiser to withdraw or to modify appropriately the said advertisement before 7 October 2015 or seek a review of the decision. If you continue to see the advertisement after the due date, kindly bring the same to our notice.”

Chapter 1.4 of the ASCI Code reads, “Advertisements shall not contain statements or visual presentation which directly or by implication or by omission or by ambiguity or by exaggeration are likely to mislead the consumer about the product advertised or the advertiser or about any other product or advertiser.”

Bharti Airtel responded on Thursday, saying its 4G speed challenge ad campaign is based on rigorous tests and that it will engage with the advertising industry watchdog to clear whatever misconceptions that may have cropped up on that.

“4G technology is proven to deliver the fastest internet experience, and the same has been accepted globally,” the company said in a statement to IANS.

“As the only commercial providers of this world class technology in India, our advertising campaign revolves around the 4G promise of fastest internet speeds and features a set of claims that are based on rigorous test conditions,” it added.

The company said it was engaging with the Advertising Standards Council of India to provide it with necessary technical data in support of the advertising claims — and that the prescribed process was being followed to schedule a review of the issue.

Proposal on Compensating Users for Call Drops by October 15

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Sectoral regulator Trai will come out with recommendations on compensating consumers for call dropsby October 15 while it will also release a service paper in the next few days listing reasons behind the menace.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Thursday conducted an open house discussion on the issue wherein all the stakeholders including mobile operators and consumer groups expressed their views.

“We will come out with recommendations on compensation to the consumers for call drops by October 15. The stakeholders can submit their written submission on the issue deliberated today by October 5,” Trai Chairman R S Sharma said in New Delhi.

He further said the regulator will also come out with a quality of service paper in the next few days which will identify the reasons responsible for call drops.

“We will present the ground situation on call drops in data terms,” Sharma added.

The move will help customers to determine, which player is providing better services in an area that will help them in choosing an operator.

Trai will also publish the results of the drive tests conducted by it on September 28-29 in Delhi and Mumbai in a few days.

Apart from the two metros, Trai has also conducted drive tests in five other cities including Ahmadabad and Pune recently.

It is also considering making it mandatory for telecom operators to disclose their network capacities periodically, as the regulator feels that call drop problem needs to be examined in entirety.

The operators are though opposing any move for compensation on call drops while the consumers are strongly backing it.

The operators said there are many things which are responsible for call drops and not all are under their control. They also said the cost to set up a mechanism for tracking call drops will be huge.

Bharti Airtel said during the open house that as per the licence conditions, operators are required to provide street level coverage and not inside buildings.

Indian Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said on Wednesday that call drop problem was improving across the country.

The minister said operators have contained the problem and nearly half of the defective mobile sites have been fixed to address the menace.

The call drop problem has become acute in the last four-five months and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has voiced serious concern over the issue.

The government recently stepped up pressure on operators to check call drops asking their promoters including Anil Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Sunil Mittal to directly intervene in the matter. It had also warned that the companies would face penal action if they fail to take corrective actions.

Yu Yureka Plus With Android – Not Cyanogen OS – Available via Amazon

There have been a few murmurs that the partnership between Micromax and Cyanogen is near end-of-life, and here’s a clear sign that Micromax’s Yu might be looking at life beyond its software partner. Yu’s popular Yureka Plus smartphone – that originally launched with Cyanogen OS 12 – has been listed on Amazon India with Android v4.4.4 and is available via an open sale at Rs. 8,999. The listing says the Yureka Plus is upgradable to Androi v5.0.2.

Rest of the specifications seem identical to the Yu Yureka Plus (Review) that launched with Cyanogen OS in July, with the smartphone featuring a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display and a 64-bit oct-core Snapdragon 615 SoC (MSM8939) clocked at 1.5GHz, coupled with Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The Yu Yureka Plus sports a 13-megapixel autofocus camera with an LED flash, and a front-facing 5-megapixel fixed-focus camera is also on board. The Yureka Plus comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage with microSD card support (up to 32GB), and packs a 2500mAh battery.

The Yu Yureka Plus is a dual SIM (GSM+GSM) smartphone that comes with connectivity options like Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-USB, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The Yu Yureka Plus include sensors such as accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and gyroscope.

To recall, the Yu Yureka Plus was launched carrying a price tag of Rs. 9,999 but the price was slashed to Rs. 8,999 within a couple of weeks of launch. The Yureka Plus with Android is available at the new price of Rs. 8,999, albeit in only the Mooniest Grey colour. The Yu Yureka Plus is limited to one unit per customer, Amazon India notes.

Symantec Norton Security Service Launched for Windows, OS X, iOS and Android

Symantec has launched a new subscription antivirus service called Norton Security. The offering will be priced at Rs. 1,399 per year for a single PC or Mac. A Deluxe edition covering up to five PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets will also be available for Rs. 2,999 per year, and a Premium edition which covers up to 10 such devices and also includes parental controls and 25GB of online backup space will cost Rs. 4,599 per year. As a limited period introductory offer, Symantec will sell the three packages for Rs. 749, Rs. 1,399 and Rs. 2,999 respectively for the first year.

The company wants to simplify its product lineup which previously consisted of Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security and Norton 360. Symantec is positioning its new service as a solution for advanced current-day threats such as individualised phishing scams and man-in-the-middle attacks.

At a pre-launch event in Mumbai, Gerry Egan, Senior Director of Norton Product Management at Symantec specifically highlighted ransomware attacks and cybercriminals who try to steal personal information as more relevant to current day security than just viruses. Browser-based tools provide warnings to users about social engineering scams, potentially compromised websites, and drive-by malware downloads.

Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista and XP are supported, as well as the current and previous two versions of Mac OS X. Android 2.3 or higher running the Google Play services and iOS 7 and later can run Norton Security. However, the Microsoft Edge browser and Windows 8 Modern UI apps aren’t supported. The software will be available as a digital download only; Symantec will not offer boxed packages at retail.

Norton Security leverages the company’s global threat intelligence tools which monitor email messages, websites, and apps including app stores, to proactively identify breaches that might result in customers’ personal data being compromised.

Customers of Norton Security will get free 24/7 phone support. Symantec is so confident of its offering that is guaranteeing a 100 percent refund to customers if a breach occurs and one of the company’s own engineers fails to remove the threat completely.

Egan was also quick to distance the company’s current offerings from those several years ago which were heavily criticised for slowing down PCs. Calling that an industry-wide problem, he characterised the performance impact of the new Norton Security service in terms of lag at boot time as less than one second. The program can run in the background and never really has to run a deep scan of the user’s entire hard drive, since all incoming files are cleared at the time of creation. Norton Security can also use checksums to verify the integrity of known good files rather than scanning them entirely to detect changes.

When asked about ensuring security in a world in which users have multiple devices with multiple connectivity fronts and therefore more avenues for digital attacks than ever before, Egan said the company was exploring all avenues, including the possibility of offering VPN services, a private DNS, and embedded solutions for the Internet of Things.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow Rollout Begins Next Week for Nexus, Android One Devices

Google at its Nexus event on Tuesday announced the rollout of Android 6.0 Marshmallow update will begin from next week over-the-air (OTA). The OS update would be hitting the Nexus smartphones, tablets, and other Nexus devices first. This time, the Android One devices are also on the list of first devices to receive the update. The company also gave some statistics on the global Android usage.

Dave Burke, Vice President of Engineering, Android, on Tuesday stated that Android 6.0 Marshmallow update would be spanning across Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9, Nexus Player, andAndroid One devices. This means there would not be any more updates for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2012) and the Samsung Nexus 10. The search giant would also be pushing the Android 6.0 Marshmallow source code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). While the start of the rollout is much closer to the new Nexus device launch this year, the OTA update could take weeks or even months to reach all Nexus devices worldwide.

 

Google introduced its Android 6.0 Marshmallow back in May during the Google I/O conference. Some of the new features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which has been available as the Android M developer preview since Google I/O 2015, include revamped app permissions; Google Now on Tap feature; new Chrome feature that will change the Web experience for Android users; new ways to handle Web links; integrated Android Pay mobile payment system; new fingerprint APIs for developers to add into their apps and native fingerprint support, apart from battery saver features called Doze that will make Android devices smart about managing power. Some of the other additions include a new memory manager, adoptable storage devices, new app drawer, auto backup and restore for apps, and support for USB Type-C ports.

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google also announced that the company’s mobile platform now tops at 1.4 billion monthly active users. This is a huge bump of 400 million since Google announced it had hit 1 billion monthly active users back in June last year. He added that Android usage has multiplied by around two times in certain markets.

“We’ve added 400 million active devices and the momentum is happening around the world – especially in emerging economies. In many, many places. In countries like Indonesia and Vietnam Android has literally doubled in the last year. And what’s exciting about this is in most of these cases these are people who are adopting a smartphone for the first time,” he said. Also announced was that Google Play now has over 1 billion active users and that more than 20 million Chromecast dongles have been sold until now. The company also said that 10,000 companies were either using or testing the Android for Work platform, and 30,000 new Chromebooks were being shipped everyday.