News

Court case reveals that Apple knew ‘bendgate’ was going to happen

But they blatantly lied to us

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Throughout the years, Apple has stumbled on oodles of controversies. However, none has so far eclipsed 2014’s massive “bendgate” scandal. Almost four years after the issue, new records have revealed that Apple knew more than they were letting on.

To recap, “bendgate” refers to the iPhone 6’s and 6 Plus’ uncanny susceptibility to physically bending given enough pressure. Despite cases popping up around the world, Apple vehemently denied the issue’s existence.

According to the company’s QA department, bent phones were just rare exceptions to the norm. They even highlighted their stringent quality control to demonstrate that bending wasn’t an issue.

Even then, hardy critics kept intentionally breaking their phones, further aggravating the issue. New cases kept popping up. As a result, several complainants filed cases against the company, stating that Apple knew but covered up the issue prior to launch.

Now, with the investigation well underway, US District Court judge Lucy Koh has revealed internal court documents submitted by Apple. During the investigation, the court required Apple to submit testing results prior to the iPhone 6’s launch.

Among other things, the documents revealed that Apple knew that their phones suffered from a bending defect. Even worse, Apple knew exactly how bendable their phones were. According to the report, Apple knew that “the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s… and that the iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s.”

Further, Koh reveals that Apple made quiet changes to the iPhone 6’s engineering more than a year after the launch. Too little too late, the change nevertheless increased the phone’s resistance against bending.

Clearly, this runs counter to Apple’s adamant claim that the issue doesn’t exist. While the documents favor the complainants, the court case come a tad bit too late since Apple has already barreled through several iterations since then.

If anything, Apple has learned from its mistakes, more readily admitting to issues that plague iPhones. That, or the company has learned to hide its faults better.

SEE ALSO: You’ll get $50 if you replaced an iPhone’s battery out of warranty

Apps

Google, Facebook, Twitter resist China’s attempt to censor Hong Kong

China is trying to curb free speech

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Google, Facebook, and Twitter have temporarily stopped processing government requests for user data in Hong Kong. A new security law went into effect on July 1 and Google immediately paused processing requests.

Even WhatsApp has stopped processing further requests. The controversial law is seen as an attempt by China to curb free speech in the former British colony.

Pro-democracy protestors are worried the new law will be used to censor the internet. Twitter cited “grave concerns” about the law”s implications.

This is seen as China’s broader plan to establish its supremacy and expand its ideology. The new law includes the ability to ask publishers to remove information deemed as a threat to national security. Refusal to enact the request could result in a fine or jail time.

Tech companies work in tandem with local law enforcement agencies to moderate content on their platforms. With the new law, processing Hong Kong government’s request would indirectly mean handing over user data and endangering pro-democracy protestors.

In simpler terms, you could be jailed for a social media post that says anything against the administration.

Citizens are actively switching to messaging apps like Signal that provide end-to-end encryption. This helps in masking your identity to a great extent.

Previously, when the internet was shut down to curb protests, citizens used offline messaging apps like Bridgefy and FireChat to spread the world and coordinate protest efforts.

Mainland China has a firewalled internet that is highly censored and constantly surveilled. The irony is, ByteDance’s TikTok isn’t available in China while the rest of the world can freely use it.

TikTok has also officially announced it will be exiting Hong Kong within a few days. But this move is seen as a smokescreen to avoid its Chinese origin.

SEE ALSO: 6 tips to make your phone more private and secure

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Gaming

ICYMI: The World University Cyber League 2020 has begun

The best gamers from the brightest in the region duke it out for gaming supremacy

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Tencent Sports wanted to up the competition a little bit more in Southeast Asia, following Esports’ rapid rise in the region. Obviously, the best option for that is to hold a tournament to bring in the best of the best for some healthy competition. With the help of Mineski Global, they’ve done exactly just that, and are now on their final stages of the entire tournament.

The World University Cyber League 2020 started last June 28, and featured players from four markets in Southeast Asia. This time around, these players don’t come from established teams and franchises from their home countries. Instead, they are university-sponsored students, as they compete for a prize pool of over US$ 5,000. The Philippines host the SEA qualifiers, through Mineski Global’s Philippine division and its Youth Esports Program.

Students from the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are competing across three different games. The roster of games Tencent prepared include popular mobile games like Clash Royale and PUBG Mobile, and an Esports classic in League of Legends.

Qualifiers will end on July 9, with the best teams moving to the WUCL Finals from July 10-15. To know more about the WUCL, you may visit their official website.

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Apps

US looking to ban Chinese apps like TikTok

TikTok is in grave danger

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the country is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese apps like TikTok. In an interview with Fox News, the senior official said that he doesn’t want to get in front of President Donald Trump, but they’re evaluating the option.

Last week, India announced a list of 59 apps and games that are made by Chinese developers. These apps remain banned in the country citing user privacy issues. TikTok was the worst hit, followed by games like Mobile Legends.

The current geopolitical scenario isn’t in favor of China amid a bloody border skirmish with India. The two countries have decided to de-escalate the situation for the time being. However, the app ban has put the spotlight on shady data collection practices of these developers.

US lawmakers have previously voiced their concern regarding large-scale data collection by apps like TikTok. And, recent reports have confirmed their doubts. TikTok was caught by Apple collecting users’ clipboard data and independent researchers have called the social media app a massive data collection service.

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, anti-China sentiment has been rising globally. Furthermore, companies like Huawei are already under the scanner and the US has already deemed it to be a national security threat.

While the future of TikTok remains uncertain, companies around the world are trying to make safer options that can bridge its gap. Instagram is actively testing a new feature called Reels and it’ll let you take short 15-second videos. The Indian government has also announced an app challenge that aims to encourage local developers to make Chinese alternatives.

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