Apple issues billion-dollar ‘green’ bond to support clean projects

Just because Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement doesn’t mean the American people are going to go along with him. Cities, states and private companies from around the nation have already pledged to abide by the rules set forth in that accord, even if the federal government won’t. And, on Tuesday, Apple put its money where its resistance is by issuing a billion dollar bond for financing clean energy and other green projects.

This move comes a year after the company issued a similar $ 1.5 billion bond after the Paris climate agreement was ratified in 2015. “Leadership from the business community is essential to address the threat of climate change and protect our shared planet, Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, told Reuters.

That money will go towards efforts to improve the energy efficiency of Apple’s own facilities, as well as throughout its supply chain, by financing renewable energy, procuring more recycled and renewable source materials so as to reduce its need to mine for them. For example, one of the 16 projects that Apple financed with its original bond last year was Liam, the robotic iPhone disassembler.

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Latest version of iOS solves iPhone 6’s shutdown issues

Some iPhone 6 and 6s devices have been randomly shutting down over the past several months. iOS 10.2.1 was designed to fix the issue, and Apple says it has successfully solved the problem for most people who’ve already installed it. Cupertino told TechCrunch that 10.2.1, which has already been downloaded by roughly half of all iOS users, has led to an 80 percent reduction of unexpected shutdowns in iPhone 6s and 70 percent reduction in iPhone 6. TC says the affected phones unexpectedly shut down due to sudden spikes of activity in older iOS versions that cause older batteries to malfunction.

A spokesperson told the publication:

“With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50% of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we’ve received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we’re seeing a more than 80% reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70% reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down.”

Apple also told TechCrunch that it has given the older iPhones the ability to restart without needing to be plugged in. Before the fix came out, people had no choice but to plug in their phones whenever an unexpected shutdown happens. In addition, the tech titan will roll out another feature in the next few days. If the latest version of iOS deems your battery to be too old and worn down, you’ll see a notice in settings telling you that “your battery needs service.”

Apple didn’t give an advice on what to do if version 10.2.1 doesn’t fix the problem for you. But if you’ve been experiencing the same issue, try installing the platform update first before getting your battery replaced.

Source: TechCrunch

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Brain testing app will help diagnose mental health issues

Savonix is a company that claims to take the “analog processes” of cognitive assessment into the digital age. The firm is launching an iOS and Android app that, for the next six weeks, will let anyone examine their own mental ability. Users will have to undergo a series of tests that test the limits of their ability, from smart thinking through to emotional control. Whereas previously these tests would have been worked out on pen-and-paper under the supervision of a stern looking psychologist, now it’s open to anyone. After the open beta closes and all of the kinks have been worked out, the app will become exclusively available to users who license the app through “healthcare organizations.”

I put myself forward as a test subject, spending 40 minutes in a quiet room going through the various examinations. If you’ve ever played Brain Age / Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training on the Nintendo DS, you’ll be familiar with the territory here. If you’re not, then it’s a series of 12 cognition tests, ranging from remembering a list of words to drawing a picture from memory. There are also more advance examinations, such as the Iowa Gambling Task through to spotting someone’s perceived emotion from a still image of their face.

The test is reasonably simple to complete and to do so in the comfortable surroundings of your own home helps. The instructions are unthreatening and, on the most part, easy to understand, although a bug in the app robbed me of my practice run for one of the sections. As a tool to make general conclusions in a quick, easy and cheap manner for mental health professionals, it seems like something of a no brainer. Just be warned: if you don’t have a psychological condition that needs attention, don’t be offended if you get called average.

Source: Savonix (App Store), Savonix (Google Play), Savonix

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