Weekend tech reading: Cracking the 'Apple Trap' (or not), an alternative to DST, and a Bill Gates interview

By on November 3, 2013, 11:01 AM
dst, bill gates, interview, cracking, apple trap, daylight saving time

Cracking the Apple Trap At first, I thought it was my imagination. Around the time the iPhone 5S and 5C were released, in September, I noticed that my sad old iPhone 4 was becoming a lot more sluggish. The battery was starting to run down much faster, too. But the same thing seemed to be happening to a lot of people who, like me, swear by their Apple products. When I called tech analysts, they said that the new operating system (iOS 7) being pushed out to existing users was making older models unbearably slow. The NY Times (also, Gizmodo's amusing rebuttal: This morning's New York Times Magazine blows the lid off of an Apple conspiracy more outrageous than a dozen Foxconns. Cracking the Apple Trap, it's called in the print edition. Why Apple Wants to Bust Your iPhone, online. But in our hearts, let it be known only as Uhh... Seriously? Time to sigh together, point by point...)

Daylight saving time is terriblehere's a simple plan to fix it Daylight saving time ends Nov. 3, setting  off an annual ritual where Americans (who don’t live in Arizona or Hawaii) and residents of 78 other countries including Canada (but not Saskatchewan), most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand turn their clocks back one hour. It's a controversial practice that became popular in the 1970s with the intent of conserving energy. The fall time change feels particularly hard because we lose another hour of evening daylight, just as the days grow shorter. It also creates confusion because countries that observe daylight saving change their clocks on different days. The Atlantic

An exclusive interview with Bill Gates Bill Gates describes himself as a technocrat. But he does not believe that technology will save the world. Or, to be more precise, he does not believe it can solve a tangle of entrenched and interrelated problems that afflict humanity’s most vulnerable: the spread of diseases in the developing world and the poverty, lack of opportunity and despair they engender. "I certainly love the IT thing," he says. "But when we want to improve lives, you've got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition." These days, it seems that every West Coast billionaire has a vision for how technology can make the world a better place. Financial Times

Analyzing power use: 80 Plus Bronze vs. Platinum I'Ve been toying around with updating my computer lately, and one of the topics I wanted to look at was the choice of power supply. For the most part, we've long since moved beyond the days where power supplies that cost under $60 are garbage. There are plenty of decent power supplies available, particularly if you don’t mind taking a step down from the latest and greatest in terms of efficiency. Anyway, I was helping a friend put together a new PC the other day and it got me curious. AnandTech

Waiting for the next great technology critic For well over a decade, the two most influential voices about consumer technology have been a sixty-six-year-old man who lives just outside of Washington, D.C. and a fifty-year-old man who resides in Westport, Connecticut. The former, Walt Mossberg, defined what it means to be a mainstream gadget reviewer when he started a weekly column, Personal Technology, for the Wall Street Journal, in 1991. The latter, David Pogue, began his column for the New York Times, State of the Art, in 2000. The New Yorker

The DIY cyborg Humanity just made a large, DIY step towards a time when everyone can upgrade themselves towards being a cyborg. Of all places, it happened somewhere in the post-industrial tristesse of the German town of Essen. It's there that I met up with biohacker Tim Cannon, and followed along as he got what is likely the first-ever computer chip implant that can record and transmit his biometrical data. Combined in a sealed box with a battery that can be wirelessly charged, it's not a small package. Vice

Why Amazon fights state sales tax, but supports it nationally Amazon will begin charging sales tax on goods purchased by customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin today, after fighting such regulation for years. That brings the total number of states which require sales tax on Amazon purchases up to 16, affecting roughly 163 million people. The Wall Street Journal notes that this is "a milestone of sorts" as now over half of Americans see the taxes on their purchases. Technology Advice

NSA Files: Decoded When Edward Snowden met journalists in his cramped room in Hong Kong's Mira hotel in June, his mission was ambitious. Amid the clutter of laundry, meal trays and his four laptops, he wanted to start a debate about mass surveillance.  He succeeded beyond anything the journalists or Snowden himself ever imagined. His disclosures about the NSA resonated with Americans from day one. But they also exploded round the world. The Guardian

Adventures in left-handed mousing I'm right-handed. I use my dominant hand for everything from scrawling my name to hurling tennis balls for my dog to brushing my teeth. My right hand also spends an awful lot of time clutching my mouse. That wasn't a problem years ago, when I had the stamina to put in a full day working for TR and then spend hours in the evenings dealing out headshots in first-person shooters. The Tech Report

Microsoft's plan to sell Windows this holiday season For this holiday season, Microsoft plans to right the Windows ship and to do so by selling it and the devices on which it runs in a new way. The goals are simple but specific: Sell 16 million Windows tablets over the holiday sales season while making touch mainstream on PCs and improving the Windows retail experience. Here are the plans. WinSuperSite

TSMC seeing utilization rate of 28nm processes fall IC foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) capacity utilization of its 28nm processes has fallen to 70% due to a slowdown in orders for high-end mobile chips, according to industry sources. TSMC's key mobile chip clients have cut back on wafer starts recently to prevent excess inventory, said the sources. Digitimes

PS4: The ultimate FAQ -- North America With all eyes on PlayStation 4’s North American launch on November 15th, we wanted to provide definitive answers to your questions, both big and small. This list of Frequently Asked Questions is only a start, as certain details are still being finalized in preparation for launch. PlayStation Blog

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