News Bytes – January

Apple Offers Discounted Batteries to Recover the Performance of Older iPhones
In a bid to reduce animosity following revelations that Apple had intentionally slowed batteries on some of its older handsets, it recently revealed that it would offer customers a $29 replacement battery (at a discount of $50) that was guaranteed to return iPhone 6 or later models to their former performance. Apple also formally apologized to iPhone users following the revelation that it had purposely issued a software feature that made older phones slower to operate. However, not everyone was appeased by this news. Many people accused Apple of purposely attempting to push people to upgrade their phones, and some have already filed lawsuits. It will be very interesting to see what happens next.

Spotify Faces $1.6 Billion Copyright Lawsuit
According to news reports, Spotify has found itself on the receiving end of a major lawsuit following reports that it has been streaming thousands of songs without the appropriate licenses. Wixen Music Publishing, a song licensee, has formally sued Spotify to the tune of $1.6 billion claiming that the music streaming giant has been using songs by the likes of Tom Petty, Neil Young, and The Doors without first seeking permission. Although Spotify apparently struck deals with major record labels with regards to copyrights prior to its launch, it stands accused of failing to secure the correct authorizations for the compositions it has been streaming.

Are Smartphone Games Watching You?
We’ve known for quite some time that some smartphone apps employ microphone access to listen in on what you watch, what ads you’re exposed to, and even what movies you see. However, according to a recent report in the New York Times, listening apps may be much more common, and clandestine, than previously thought. According to the Times, at least 250 games that are currently available on the Google Play Store include some form of software that is recording what television programs users watch. And that’s just the ones that openly disclose their activities. A vast number appear to go to great lengths to hide the fact that they are listening in on user’s activities. Despite the fact that the Federal Trade Commission has warned app developers against activities of this nature in the past, many continue to collect data and record user behaviors without explicitly informing the customer of these activities.