Who Won the Week (22 November 2020)

I always liked Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and like to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. All from our unique vantage points, the idea is to pick something (a person, organisation, anything) which “won” the week.

Gonna take you back a few years this week. Do you remember “BatteryGate”?

Apple deliberately made its old iPhone models run slower. There’s no “allegedly” about this. Apple claimed it was to ensure that these old phones’ batteries weren’t stressed, consumers claimed it was to force them to buy an upgrade.

The phones affected were the 6, 7 and SE – Apple started throttling them silently, in 2016, and the effect was first confirmed by researchers the next year.

Now, pissed-off users have already brought a class-action lawsuit against Apple, which was settled in March of this year. It is thought that the settlement will cost Apple up to $500 million.

But on top of this, 33 states filed another lawsuit, which argued that Apple had acted deceptively, and that the move was deliberately made to try to force users to upgrade. If there was a problem with ageing batteries, then surely the right thing to do would be to offer replacement batteries?

The reason I bring this up now is because this week, those 33 states settled with Apple. The settlement will cost Apple $113 million, but specifically, Apple did not admit to any wrongdoing, or to breaking any laws.

So, without a shadow of a doubt, this week’s winner is Apple, who get to continue trading without a badge of “cheat” hanging around their neck.

I took two things from this case.

First, in the grand scheme of things, what is $113 million? Chicken feed, a fighter jet with some change to spare, or about 1% of the cost of a single aircraft carrier (the US runs eleven of them). Surely, if you are a state, if your role is to protect the interests of your consumer-residents, the thing which changes Apple’s behaviour most effectively is that reputational hit? That they did, indeed, deceive people? So why not hold out for your day in court?

Second, all you Apple users out there might wish to reconsider whether this is a company you wish to be associated yourselves with. The only reason they are billionaires is because you pay their wages.


Life through the Lens (22 November 2020)

As my previous series came to an end, I had the idea to post some of my own photographs.

When my eyes were better, I used to enjoy photography. I had some decent kit and was around just as digital photography was taking off. Although it was strictly a hobby for me, two of my photos were published. One rural shot of hay bales ended up in a brochure made by the UK’s NFU (farming), another ended up in a coffee-table book about lighthouses. I wasn’t David Bailey but a couple of times, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

I thought I’d share some. All these photographs were taken by me, I own the copyright so if you’d like to use any, go for it. Just so long as you don’t use them to make any money.

My aim is to publish weekly again but this time, on Sunday afternoons. I’m just going to repeat this spiel each week, too, for the benefit of new readers, so you can safely skip to the camera graphic to save reading the blurb each time.

If you look at the category above (high on left, by the date), I’ll put every photo in that same category so you can find previously-published photos. If I feel a photo needs some explanation, I’ll maybe write a line or two to go with it. Like the last time, I’ll keep going until I run out of steam. Oh, and feel free to join in, if the fancy takes you.

I’ve linked to a higher-res umage under each photo.

Cycle Race

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 22 November 2020, hubris.

She was leading the race, she aspired,
But on last lap she got a flat tyre,
In spite of your hubris,
You’ll need a new tube, miss,
So I’m sorry, you’ll have to retire!