Apple, Epson Face French Legal Complaints Over Allegedly Shortening Life of Products

Apple, Epson Face French Legal Complaints Over Allegedly Shortening Life of Products

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A French consumer association filed preliminary, legal complaints
  • Apple is already facing lawsuits in the US
  • Planned obsolescence is illegal in France

Smartphone maker Apple and Japanese printer company Epson are facing legal complaints in France over allegedly speeding up the ageing process of their products to stimulate demand.

A French consumer association called “HOP” – standing for “Stop Planned Obsolescence” – filed preliminary, legal complaints in court against the two groups over the charges.

HOP said it filed its complaint against Apple in Paris on Wednesday. A prosecutor opened an investigation into Epson last month, a judicial source said on Thursday, following a complaint filed in September by HOP in a court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

Laetitia Vasseur, co-founder of HOP, told Reuters the aim of both complaints was to apply the French consumer law, which was modified in 2015 to include the notion of planned obsolescence.

Apple is already facing lawsuits in the United States over accusations of having defrauded iPhone users by slowing down devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance.

These lawsuits came after Apple said last week that operating system updates released since “last year” for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a feature “to smooth out” power supply from batteries that are cold, old or low on charge.

Phones without the adjustment would shut down abruptly because of a precaution designed to prevent components from getting fried, Apple said.

Under French law, companies risk fines of up to 5 percent of their annual sales for deliberately shortening the life of their products to spur demand to replace them.

A spokeswoman for Epson France said Epson denied the charges made against it by the HOP association. She added that Epson was working with authorities on the matter and that the quality of its products was of the utmost importance for the company.

Officials for Apple France could not be immediately reached for comment.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Microsoft Edge Browser Goes Out of Preview; Now Available to Download for Android, iOS

Microsoft Edge Browser Goes Out of Preview; Now Available to Download for Android, iOS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Edge browser app was available for Windows Insiders last month
  • It is now available to download via Google Play and the App Store
  • Microsoft has added a couple of new features since the preview

Microsoft has officially released its Edge browser for Android and iOS devices, a month after unveiling its beta version last month to receive feedback from the Windows Insider Preview community. Microsoft Edge browser for Android and iOS, now without its preview tag, can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store.

The Edge browser app for Android and iOS is aimed at providing synced workflow for Windows 10 PCusers, with synced Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page, Reading View, and Roaming Passwords available across the PC and phone, and the “continue on PC” feature allowing users to immediately open the page they are looking at on their PC, wit the ability to save it to work on later.

Microsoft has brought some new features to Edge that weren’t visible during the preview. These include the above mentioned Roaming Passwords – users can save a password on phone or PC, and access it on the other device – as well as Dark Theme.

Describing market and language availability, in a blog post, Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Windows and Devices at Microsoft, said, “Microsoft Edge for iOS is available in the United States (English), China (Simplified-Chinese), France (French) and the UK (English). Microsoft Edge for Android is available in the United States (English), Australia (English) Canada (English and French), China (Simplified-Chinese), France (French), India (English) and the UK (English). We look forward to bringing MS Edge for iOS and Android to additional markets and languages over time!”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Fears for world’s rarest penguin as population plummets

A yellow-Eyed penguin marches along a beach near Dunedin, New Zealand.

Almost half the breeding population of the world’s most endangered penguin species, the yellow-eyed penguin, has disappeared in one part of New Zealandand conservation groups believe commercial fishing is to blame.

The yellow-eyed penguin is endemic to New Zealand’s South Island and sub-Antarctic islands, where there are just 1,600 to 1,800 left in the wild, down from nearly 7,000 in 2000.

During a recent survey of the island sanctuary of Whenua Hou (Codfish Island), department of conservation staff made the alarming discovery that close to half the island’s breeding population of penguins had vanished. Elsewhere in New Zealand the bird’s population is at its lowest level in 27 years.

Forest & Bird’s chief executive Kevin Hague said because the island was predator-free the evidence pointed to the animals being caught and drowned in the nets of commercial fishing trawlers. Only 3% of commercial trawlers have independent observers on them to report bycatch deaths.

“Unlike previous years where disease and high temperatures caused deaths on land, this year birds have disappeared at sea,” said Hague.

“There is an active set net fishery within the penguins’ Whenua Hou foraging ground, and the indications are that nearly half the Whenua Hou hoiho population has been drowned in one or more of these nets.”

Last year 24 nests were recorded on Whenua Hou, but this year rangers only found 14. Penguin numbers are declining in other parts of the South Island as well, and researchers fear the beloved bird, which appears on the New Zealand $5 note, is heading ever closer to extinction.

Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust general manager Sue Murray said every effort was being made to save the birds by conservation groups, but the birds faced multi-pronged threats from disease to dogs and climate change.

A rare yellow-eyed penguin found dead in the net of a fishing trawler.
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 A rare yellow-eyed penguin found dead in the net of a fishing trawler. Photograph: Ministry of Primary Industries, New Zealand

“The trust has huge concerns for the future of hoiho [yellow-eyed penguins] on Whenua Hou given their rapid decline. Our focus must be the marine environment where hoiho spend at least half of their life as it is unlikely that terrestrial impacts are a major factor in the decline here.”

The penguins – which are small and have yellow eyes – can be found from Banks Peninsula near Christchurch to as far south as the sub-Antarctic islands.

University of Otago’s Thomas Mattern, a penguin expert, told the Otago Daily Times he believed time was running out for the birds.

“Quite frankly, the yellow-eyed penguins, in my professional opinion, are on their way out,” Mattern said.

source:-theguardian

Indonesia: the world’s volcanic hotspot

bali

Indonesia, where more than 40,000 people have been evacuated over fears of an imminent volcanic eruption at Mount Agung on Bali, is the world’s most volcanic area.

The Southeast Asian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and islets — and nearly 130 active volcanoes — is situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.

Here are some of the country’s most deadly eruptions:

  • Tambora

In 1815, Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa explodes in one of the most violent eruptions in recorded history. An estimated 12,000 people die, while a resulting famine kills another 80,000.

  • Krakatoa

The island of Krakatoa is practically wiped off the map in 1883 by a volcanic explosion so powerful that it is heard some 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) away.

Around 36,000 people are killed in the eruption and the resulting tsunami. A new volcano emerges in 1928 on the same site.

  • Kelud

Mount Kelud, a Java island volcano, erupts in 1568, killing 10,000 people.

It takes another 5,000 lives in 1919.

In February 2014, 75,000 people are evacuated due to a forecast Kelud eruption.

  • Merapi

In 1930 an eruption in Java of Mount Merapi — considered one of the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes — kills more than 1,300 people.

It erupts again in 2010, forcing 280,000 people to flee and killing more than 300 in what is considered its most powerful eruption since 1930.

Merapi is also one of the most densely populated volcanic sites: 12,000 people live on its slopes and a million people live under its threat.

  • Sinabung

In 2014, 16 people are killed after an eruption of Mount Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra.

Another eruption in 2016 kills seven.

  • Agung

In 1963, several successive eruptions of Mount Agung, a spiritual centre on the island of Bali, leave nearly 1,600 dead.

Source:-.nation.c