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Your battery might be making your older iPhone slow. This is because, apparently, iOS system software sometimes slows down older iPhones when the internal battery has degraded to the point where it can no longer sufficiently power the device at the expected performance level.

According to Apple, the throttling of device speed is intended to prevent the iPhone from crashing or shutting down unexpectedly due to a worn batteries diminished capabilities.

Unfortunately, that device speed throttling could have an annoying side effect of making the older iPhone noticeably slower to the end user. This is often noted after new iOS system software releases, though it should be pointed out that sometimes any observed performance degradation irons itself out over time, or can be successfully resolved with various iOS troubleshooting steps and settings adjustments on the impacted device. But, sometimes an older iPhone or iPad just feels persistently slow, and that could very well be due to having an old degraded battery.

This battery and device speed issue has gained considerable attention lately, after a series of iPhone users discovered that system benchmarks were notably underperforming on older iPhone models. For example, a widely tweeted set of screenshots and report from Twitter user @sam_siruomu showed performance benchmarks where an iPhone 6 was under clocking itself down to 600mhz, but after replacing the battery with a new one the speed corrected back to the proper 1400mhz. That anecdotal twitter report has been captured in a screenshot below:

The device benchmarking company Geekbench also seemed to confirm an occasionally observable underperformance of older iPhone models based on referencing their own benchmarking data.

With considerable hubbub generated online, and plenty of related rumors and conspiracies, Apple released a statement to TechCrunch and Buzzfeed that said the following:

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.

Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”

That statement and admission from Apple is interesting, because there has long been speculation and conspiracy theory that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhone (and iPad) devices with iOS system software updates, but until now most users didn’t know why, they just anecdotally observed it on their devices. That notable performance degradation led to countless theories about why it might happen, along with other theories denying it happens at all and insisting it was imaginary. Well, it turns out that some observed performance decline may directly relate to the older devices battery age and quality.

This may all sound bad, but there’s actually good news here. If indeed an iPhone (or iPad) device slowdown is entirely due to an old battery, then replacing the battery should theoretically boost performance back to expectations, much as it did for the Twitter user we cited above, and that has been anecdotally reported as successful elsewhere around the web too.

Of course a notable difficulty here is that iPhone does not typically report that its internal battery is old enough to have degraded device performance, nor does the iPhone have an easily replaceable battery. The former situation is something that could be theoretically addressed in a future iOS software update, with a notification along the lines of “battery has degraded and can no longer support optimal device performance” or something similar, perhaps with a link to battery replacement options. The latter difficulty of not having an easily replaceable battery means you’d either need to get an old worn battery replaced by a competent repair center, or take it upon yourself as a DIY project.

If you do have an older iPhone (say an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s) that feels unreasonably slow, and you want to see if a battery replacement will restore performance, you’ll need to either contact Apple or an Apple authorized repair center and pay $80 for a battery replacement, or you can get a Do-It-Yourself iPhone battery replacement kit on Amazon for around $40 or so. There’s no guarantee that replacing a battery is going to speed things up and make an older device as snappy as it used to be, but it just might boost performance for some devices under the right set of circumstances.

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The Battery Technology That Could Put An End To Battery Fires

The only thing stopping flexible displays from taking over is that no one is making them

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Solid-state battery tech, to give you some background, is nothing new. In fact, the first devices to use solid-state batteries were pacemakers. Solid-state electrolytes, primarily used in thin-film batteries, are already being used in IoT, RFID and wearable devices. But it’s actually the reason they are being used in these devices that explains why we haven’t seen them in smartphones yet.

An expensive necessity

But solid-state electrolytes are expensive to make. As Dr. Lorenzo Grande, a technology analyst at IDTechEx, who will present a webinar on solid-state battery tech on October 25 (details here if you want to listen in), told me, the “cost per square meter increases exponentially with the size of the battery you want to make.”

The cost per square meter increases exponentially with the size of the battery.

The cost for a thin-film battery could be $20-30 for a small RFID, but the cost would be prohibitive at smartphone battery levels. At that scale a solid-state alternative could cost thousands of dollars for a single battery.

This is clearly a barrier to mainstream consumer electronics applications. But as Dr. Grande pointed out, referencing current events:

Lithium ion batteries as we know them contain flammable electrolytes. These electrolytes are typically made from organic substances or chemicals that are highly flammable.

When we consider replacing these electrolytes with a solid counterpart the immediate benefit is the switch from a flammable liquid to something solid which is either not flammable or is much less flammable and therefore safer for the user.

Where we’re at

In the next few years, liquid-based electrolytes in lithium ion batteries will be a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, a researcher like Dr. Grande firmly believes that in the next few years, liquid-based electrolytes in lithium ion batteries will be a thing of the past: “The solid-state battery market is poised to be a game changer in the field. The company that manages to capture the value chain behind solid-state batteries will generate a reshuffling of the main market players.”

Naturally, Asian battery companies have a strong interest in maintaining their dominance but there has been a lot of interest and investment recently in the U.S. and Europe. Depending on who defines the dominant technology, and who manages to do so in a cost-competitive way, the current market leaders might lose a significant amount of their market share to solid-state batteries in future.

Current market leaders might lose a significant amount of their market share to solid-state batteries.

The reason things are so ill-defined right now are because there are around eight different categories of solid-state electrolytes that could be used in mobile electronics. Each electrolyte formulation has different benefits, meaning each type will be more or less applicable to a market depending on its particular priorities.

Benefits of solid state

We’re more likely to see smaller solid-state batteries introduced first with battery life similar to what we’re getting now.

This means we’re more likely to see smaller solid-state batteries introduced first with battery life similar to what we’re getting from existing liquid-based electrolytes. At least until the cost of manufacturing solid-state electrolytes can be brought down.

When will it arrive?

So when can we expect to see solid-state batteries take over? According to Dr. Grande, the automotive industry is the ultimate end game. That means the auto industry will have to wait the longest due to its stringent safety requirements. But that means other fields can be expected to see solid-state batteries rolled out much earlier.

This technology won’t really be mature enough for the mobile phone market for another 4-5 years.

“The drone market is in many ways an initial step for the next generation of solid-state batteries,” Dr. Grande says, “and this will happen as early as 2023. The second market would be wearables and then larger consumer electronics like smartphones. But this technology won’t really be mature enough for the mobile phone market for another 4-5 years.”

Even with this rather familiar-sounding timeframe, solid-state electrolytes in batteries – or another new battery technology – is long overdue: “Lithium ion is nearing its technical limitations and the liquid electrolyte is one of the reasons for that. Once solid-state electrolytes are enabled in the drone market and consumer electronics market every company will see the added benefits of using this technology to make better batteries.

Final word

As always, the problem is cost and mass adoption. The initial investment costs are still high and we’re still waiting for the mainstream mass production model to be defined. But once a company like Samsung decides to take the plunge in a consumer product, the massive increases in production volume will help to drive manufacturing costs down.

What major battery manufacturers have done so far is damage control. However, there is no silver bullet in this respect.

“What major battery manufacturers have done so far is to do damage control, i.e. add a flame retardant to a liquid-based electrolyte. However, there is no silver bullet in this respect. Battery manufacturers have been adding additives for years now, but as you can see from the [Note 7] news, bad things can still happen.”

The Answer To Lactose Intolerance Might Be In Mongolia

In July 2023, archaeogeneticist Christina Warinner headed there to learn about the population’s complex relationship with milk. In Khatgal, she found a cooperative called Blessed by Yak, where families within a few hours’ drive pooled the bounty from their cows, goats, sheep, and yaks to supply tourists with heirloom dairy products.

Warinner watched for hours as Blessed by Yak members transformed the liquid into a dizzying array of foods. Milk was everywhere in and around these homes: splashing from swollen udders into wooden buckets, simmering in steel woks atop fires fueled by cow dung, hanging in leather bags from riblike wooden rafters, bubbling in specially made stills, crusting as spatters on the wood-lattice inner walls. The women even washed their hands in whey. “Working with herders is a five-senses experience,” Warinner says. “The taste is really strong; the smell is really strong. It reminds me of when I was nursing my daughter, and everything smelled of milk.”

Each family she visited had a half-dozen dairy products or more in some stage of production around a central hearth. And horse herders who came to sell their goods brought barrels of airag, a slightly alcoholic fizzy beverage that set the yurts abuzz.

Airag, made only from horse milk, is not to be confused with aaruul, a sour cheese, created from curdled milk, that gets so hard after weeks drying in the sun that you’re better off sucking on it or softening it in tea than risking your teeth trying to chew it. Easier to consume is byaslag, rounds of white cheese pressed between wooden boards. Roasted curds called eezgi look a little like burnt popcorn; dry, they last for months stored in cloth bags. Carefully packed in a sheep-stomach wrapper, the buttery clotted cream known as urum—made from fat-rich yak or sheep milk—will warm bellies all through the winter, when temperatures regularly drop well below zero.

Warinner’s personal favorite? The “mash” left behind when turning cow or yak milk into an alcoholic drink called shimin arkhi. “At the bottom of the still, you have an oily yogurt that’s delicious,” she says.

Her long trip to Khatgal wasn’t about culinary curiosity, however. Warinner was there to solve a mystery: Despite the dairy diversity she saw, an estimated 95 percent of Mongolians are, genetically speaking, lactose intolerant. Yet, in the frost-free summer months, she believes they may be getting up to half their calories from milk products.

Scientists once thought dairying and the ability to drink milk went hand in hand. What she found in Mongolia has pushed Warinner to posit a new explanation. On her visit to Khatgal, she says, the answer was all around her, even if she couldn’t see it.

Sitting, transfixed, in homes made from wool, leather, and wood, she was struck by the contrast with the plastic and steel kitchens she was familiar with in the US and Europe. Mongolians are surrounded by microscopic organisms: the bacteria that ferment the milk into their assorted foodstuffs, the microbes in their guts and on the dairy-soaked felt of their yurts. The way these invisible creatures interact with each other, with the environment, and with our bodies creates a dynamic ecosystem.

That’s not unique. Everyone lives with a billions-strong universe of microbes in, on, and around them. Several pounds’ worth thrive in our guts alone. Researchers have dubbed this wee world the microbiome and are just beginning to understand the role it plays in our health.

Some of these colonies, though, are more diverse than others: Warinner is still working on sampling the Khatgal herders’ microbiomes, but another team has already gathered evidence that the Mongolian bacterial makeup differs from those found in more-industrial areas of the world. Charting the ecosystem they are a part of might someday help explain why the population is able to eat so much dairy—​and offer clues to help people everywhere who are lactose intolerant.

Warinner argues that a better understanding of the complex microbial universe inhabiting every Mongolian yurt could also provide insight into a problem that goes far beyond helping folks eat more brie. As communities around the world abandon traditional lifestyles, so-called diseases of civilization, like dementia, diabetes, and food intolerances, are on the rise.

Warinner is convinced that the Mongolian affinity for dairy is made possible by a mastery of bacteria 3,000 years or more in the making. By scraping gunk off the teeth of steppe dwellers who died thousands of years ago, she’s been able to prove that milk has held a prominent place in the Mongolian diet for millennia. Understanding the differences between traditional microbiomes like theirs and those prevalent in the industrialized world could help explain the illnesses that accompany modern lifestyles—and perhaps be the beginning of a different, more beneficial approach to diet and health.

Nowadays, Warinner does her detective work at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History’s ancient DNA lab, situated on the second floor of a high-rise bioscience facility overlooking the historic center of the medieval town of Jena, Germany. To prevent any errant DNA from contaminating its samples, entering the lab involves a half-hour protocol, including disinfection of foreign objects, and putting on head-to-toe Tyvek jumpsuits, surgical face masks, and eye shields. Inside, postdocs and technicians wielding drills and picks harvest fragments of dental plaque from the teeth of people who died long ago. It’s here that many of Warinner’s Mongolian specimens get cataloged, analyzed, and archived.

Her path to the lab began in 2010, when she was a postdoctoral researcher in Switzerland. Warinner was looking for ways to find evidence of infectious disease on centuries-old skeletons. She started with dental caries, or cavities—spots where bacteria had burrowed into the tooth enamel. To get a good look, she spent a lot of time clearing away plaque:​ mineral deposits scientists call “calculus,” and that, in the absence of modern dentistry, accumulate on teeth in an unsightly brown mass.

Around the same time, Amanda Henry, now a researcher at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, put calculus scraped from Neanderthal teeth under the microscope and spotted starch grains trapped in the mineral layers. The results provided evidence that the population ate a diverse diet that included plants as well as meat.

Hearing about the work, Warinner wondered if looking at specimens from a medieval German cemetery might yield similar insights. But when she checked for food remains under the microscope, masses of perfectly preserved bacteria blocked her from doing so. “They were literally in your way, obscuring your view,” she recalls. The samples were teeming with microbial and human genes, preserved and protected by a hard mineral matrix.

Warinner had discovered a way to see the tiny organisms in the archaeological record, and with them, a means to study diet. “I realized this was a really rich source of bacterial DNA no one had thought of before,” Warinner says. “It’s a time capsule that gives us access to information about an individual’s life that is very hard to get from other places.”

The dental calculus research dovetailed with rising interest in the microbiome, rocketing Warinner to a coveted position at Max Planck. (In 2023, Harvard hired her as an anthropology professor, and she now splits her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Jena, overseeing labs on two continents.) Her TED talks have racked up more than 2 million views. “I never expected to have an entire career based on something people spend lots of time and money trying to get rid of,” she quips.

That grimy dental buildup, Warinner has learned, preserves more than just DNA. In 2014, she published a study in which she and her colleagues looked at the teeth of Norse Greenlanders, seeking insight into why Vikings abandoned their settlements there after just a few hundred years. She found milk proteins suspended in the plaque of the area’s earliest settlers—and almost none in that of people buried five centuries later. “We had a marker to trace dairy consumption,” Warinner says.

This discovery led Warinner to turn to one of the biggest puzzles in recent human evolution: Why milk? Most people in the world aren’t genetically equipped to digest dairy as adults. A minority of them—including most northern Europeans—​have one of several mutations that allows their bodies to break down the key sugar in milk, lactose, beyond early childhood. That ability is called lactase persistence, after the protein that processes lactose.

Until recently, geneticists thought that dairying and the ability to drink milk must have evolved together, but that didn’t prove out when investigators went looking for evidence. Ancient DNA samples from all across Europe suggest that even in places where lactase persistence is common today, it didn’t appear until 3000 BCE—long after people domesticated cattle and sheep and started consuming dairy products. For 4,000 years prior to the mutation, Europeans were making cheese and eating dairy despite their lactose intolerance. Warinner guessed that microbes may have been doing the job of dairy digestion for them.

To prove it, she began looking for places where the situation was similar. Mongolia made sense: There’s evidence that herding and domestication there dates back 5,000 years or more. But, Warinner says, direct evidence of long-ago dairy consumption was absent—until ancient calculus let her harvest it straight from the mouths of the dead.

Ancient plaque shows Mongolians have eaten dairy for millennia. Courtesy Christina Warinner

Starting in 2024, in her Jena lab, Warinner and her team scraped the teeth of skeletons buried on the steppes thousands of years ago and excavated by archaeologists in the 1990s. Samples about the size of a lentil were enough to reveal proteins from cow, goat, and sheep milk. By tapping the same remains for ancient DNA, Warinner could go one step further and show that they belonged to people who lacked the gene to digest lactose—​just like modern Mongolians do.

Samples of the microbiome from in and around today’s herders, Warinner realized, might offer a way to understand how this was possible. Though it’s estimated that just 1 in 20 Mongolians has the mutation allowing them to digest milk, few places in the world put as much emphasis on dairy. They include it in festivities and offer it to spirits before any big trip to ensure safety and success. Even their metaphors are dairy-based: “The smell from a wooden vessel filled with milk never goes away” is the rough equivalent of “old habits die hard.”

Down the hall from the ancient DNA lab, thousands of microbiome samples the team has collected over the past two summers pack tall industrial freezers. Chilled to minus 40 degrees F—colder, even, than the Mongolian winter—the collection includes everything from eezgi and byaslag to goat turds and yak-udder swabs. Hundreds of the playing-card-size plastic baggies new mothers use to freeze breast milk contain raw, freshly squeezed camel, cow, goat, reindeer, sheep, and yak milk.

Warinner’s initial hypothesis was that the Mongolian herders—​past and present—​were using lactose-​eating microbes to break down their many varieties of dairy, making it digestible. Commonly known as fermentation, it’s the same bacteria-assisted process that turns malt into beer, grapes into wine, and flour into bubbly sourdough.

Fermentation is integral to just about every dairy product in the Mongolian repertoire. While Western cheeses also utilize the process, makers of Parmesan, brie and Camembert all rely on fungi and rennet—​an enzyme from the stomachs of calves—to get the right texture and taste. Mongolians, on the other hand, maintain microbial cultures called starters, saving a little from each batch to inoculate the next.

Ethnographic evidence suggests that these preparations have been around a very, very long time. In Mongolian, they’re called khöröngö, a word that’s derived from the term for wealth or inheritance. They are living heirlooms, typically passed from mother to daughter. And they require regular care and feeding. “Starter cultures get constant attention over weeks, months, years, generations,” says Björn Reichhardt, a Mongolian-​speaking ethnographer at Max Planck and member of Warinner’s team responsible for collecting most of the samples in the Jena freezers. “Mongolians tend to dairy products the way they would an infant.” As with a child, the environment in which they’re nurtured is deeply influential. The microbial makeup of each family’s starters seems to be subtly different.

After returning from Khatgal in 2023, Warinner launched the Heirloom Microbe project to identify and catalog the bacteria the herders were using to make their dairy products. The name reflected her hope that the yurts harbored strains or species ignored by industrial labs and corporate starter-​culture manufacturers. Perhaps, Warinner imagined, there would be a novel strain or some combination of microbes Mongolians were using to process milk in a way that Western science had missed.

So far, she’s found Enterococcus, a bacterium common in the human gut that excels at digesting lactose but was eliminated from US and European dairy commodities decades ago. And they’ve spotted some new strains of familiar bacteria like Lactobacillus. But they haven’t identified any radically different species or starters—no magic microbes ready to package in pill form. “It doesn’t seem like there is a range of superbugs in there,” says Max Planck anthropologist Matthäus Rest, who works with Warinner on dairy research.

The reality might be more daunting. Rather than a previously undiscovered strain of microbes, it might be a complex web of organisms and practices—the lovingly maintained starters, the milk-soaked felt of the yurts, the gut flora of individual herders, the way they stir their barrels of airag—that makes the Mongolian love affair with so many dairy products possible.

Warinner’s project now has a new name, Dairy Cultures, reflecting her growing realization that Mongolia’s microbial toolkit might not come down to a few specific bacteria. “Science is often very reductive,” she says. “People tend to look at just one aspect of things. But if we want to understand dairying, we can’t just look at the animals, or the microbiome, or the products. We have to look at the entire system.”

The results could help explain another phenomenon, one that affects people far from the Mongolian steppes. The billions of bacteria that make up our microbiomes aren’t passive passengers. They play an active—if little understood—role in our health, helping regulate our immune systems and digest our food.

Over the past two centuries, industrialization, sterilization, and antibiotics have dramatically changed these invisible ecosystems. Underneath a superficial diversity of flavors—​mall staples like sushi, pad thai, and pizza—​food is becoming more and more the same. Large-scale dairies even ferment items like yogurt and cheese using lab-grown starter cultures, a $1.2 billion industry dominated by a handful of industrial producers. People eating commoditized cuisine lack an estimated 30 percent of the gut microbe species that are found in remote groups still eating “traditional” diets. In 2024, Warinner was part of a team that found bacteria in the digestive tracts of hunter-gatherers living in the Amazon jungle that have all but vanished in people consuming a selection of typical Western fare.

“People have the feeling that they eat a much more diverse and global diet than their parents, and that might be true,” Rest says, “but when you look at these foods on a microbial level, they’re increasingly empty.”

A review paper in Science in October 2023 gathered data from labs around the world beginning to probe if this dwindling variety might be making us sick. Dementia, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers are sometimes termed diseases of civilization. They’re all associated with the spread of urban lifestyles and diets, processed meals, and antibiotics. Meanwhile, food intolerances and intestinal illnesses like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel disease are on the rise.

Comparing the microbiome of Mongolian herders to samples from people consuming a more industrialized diet elsewhere in the world could translate into valuable insights into what we’ve lost—and how to get it back. Identifying the missing species could refine human microbiome therapies and add a needed dose of science to probiotics.

There might not be much time left for this quest. Over the past 50 years, hundreds of thousands of Mongolian herders have abandoned the steppes, their herds, and their traditional lifestyle, flocking to Ulaanbaatar. Around 50 percent of the country’s population, an estimated 1.5 million people, now crowds into the capital.

In summer 2023, Warinner’s team will return to Khatgal and other rural regions to collect mouth swabs and fecal specimens from herders, the last phase in cataloging the traditional Mongolian micro-biome. She recently decided she’ll sample residents of Ulaanbaatar too, to see how urban dwelling is altering their bacterial balances as they adopt new foods, new ways of life, and, in all likelihood, newly simplified communities of microbes.

Something important, if invisible, is being lost, Warinner believes. On a recent fall morning, she was sitting in her sunlit office in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography on Harvard’s campus. Mostly unpacked from her latest trans-Atlantic move, she was contemplating a creeping, yurt-by-yurt extinction event.

It’s a conundrum vastly different in size, but not in scale, from those facing wildlife conservationists the world over. “How do you restore an entire ecology?” she wondered. “I’m not sure you can. We’re doing our best to record, catalog, and document as much as we can, and try to figure it out at the same time.”

Preserving Mongolia’s microbes, in other words, won’t be enough. We also need the traditional knowledge and everyday practices that have sustained them for centuries. Downstairs, display cases hold the artifacts of other peoples—​from the Massachusett tribe that once lived on the land where Harvard now stands to the Aztec and Inca civilizations that used to rule vast stretches of Central and South America—whose traditions are gone forever, along with the microbial networks they nurtured. “Dairy systems are alive,” Warinner says. “They’ve been alive, and continuously cultivated, for 5,000 years. You have to grow them every single day. How much change can the system tolerate before it begins to break?”

This story appears in the Spring 2023, Origins issue of Popular Science.

Apple Wants Court To Rule If It Can Be Forced To Unlock An Iphone

Apple has requested a court in New York to rule finally whether it can be compelled to assist investigators to get around the passcode of an iPhone 5s belonging to a defendant in a criminal case.

The Department of Justice, citing a statute called the All Writs Act, tried to get help from Apple to bypass the security of the phone in government possession.

Apple’s lawyer said in a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York that the company would like an order as it has received additional requests similar to the one underlying the case before the court.

The government had informed the court in October last year that Jun Feng, the accused in a methamphetamine possession and distribution case, had entered a guilty plea, but it said that its application to order Apple’s assistance to bypass his iPhone 5s passcode was not moot as the government was still looking for evidence from the device as part of a continuing investigation, and because the criminal defendant still had to be sentenced or a judgment entered.

Apple now also argues that the matter is not moot because “it is capable of repetition, yet evading review.” The question of whether a third party like Apple can be compelled to assist law enforcement in its investigative efforts by bypassing the security mechanisms on its device has been fully briefed and argued, according to the letter. “The Court is thus already in a position to render a decision on that question,” Apple said.

Judge Orenstein has not passed a final order for around three months, presumably to assess whether a decision is relevant in the wake of subsequent developments in the court.

The current thinking among some lawmakers and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. is also veering around to the view that companies should provide backdoors to investigators, so that they can get access to encrypted data on smartphones. Legislation introduced in California aims to require manufacturers of smartphones and operating system providers to provide such decryption support to law enforcement, while another in New York would ban the sale of encrypted phones.

The All Writs Act gives federal courts the authority to issue orders that are “necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.” But as the Electronic Frontier Foundation pointed out, the Act is “not a backdoor to bypass other laws” and the Supreme Court has set out limits to the Act, including requiring that a court cannot use it to bypass other laws or the Constitution, or require third parties to assist in ways that would be “unreasonably burdensome.”

Apple said it was possible to access certain types of unencrypted user data from the iPhone 5s phone running iOS 7, though it would not have been possible if it was a device running iOS 8 or higher. But it pointed out that the process, including possible testimony by Apple staff at trial, would be unnecessarily burdensome as the number of government requests increase.

The DOJ said that Apple had previously assisted investigators in federal criminal cases to extract data from password-locked iPhones under court orders. Apple said its previous acquiescence to judicial orders does not mean it consents to the process.

Panic Might Be Triggered By Signals From Your Bones

In a stressful situation, your hands may sweat and your heart may pound. But a new paper published Thursday in Cell Metabolism suggests that a less obvious organ—your skeletal system—is what starts the fight-or-flight response that gets you out of harm’s way.

“It’s a revolutionary study,” says Ernestina Schipani, a medical doctor and professor of orthopaedic science at the University of Michigan who was not involved in the new research. The paper, she says, completely changes our understanding of the sympathetic nervous system—the “fight-or-flight” response—by demonstrating that bone is “critically important” to its function.

Until now, Schipani says, she and the rest of the scientific community thought it was adrenaline, a well-known hormone produced by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys, that kickstarted fight-or-flight. But according to this new research in lab mice, an acute stress response is impossible without a hormone called osteocalcin—which, as its name suggests, is made by bones.

Julian Berger, a genetics PhD candidate at Columbia University and the study’s first author, says that when his team inhibited osteocalcin production in mice and then exposed them to a stressor, like the odor of fox urine, they didn’t seem appropriately fazed. “It’s almost like someone is mugging you and you ignore them and take out a Snickers bar,” he says.

If you’re surprised that bones can produce a hormone that impacts the nervous system, you’re not alone. Little more than a decade ago, scientists thought that bones were pretty much exactly what they look like at first glance: hollow tubes made of calcium designed to hold the rest of our bodies up. But as this new study demonstrates, our skeletons can actually change the way we react to the world around us.

The researchers weren’t necessarily looking to uncover osteocalcin’s role in getting us amped up; they were just trying to figure out the conditions under which bones produced it. Once they realized acute stress was the key trigger, they decided to investigate exactly what part osteocalcin plays in a moment of panic.

They found that when the skeletons of their rodent test subjects released osteocalcin, it “turned off” the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest-and-digest” nervous system. It’s active when things are normal, prompting your body to go on with its day-to-day processing. When things aren’t normal—when you get mugged, for instance—the sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear instead, diverting energy toward (theoretically) life-saving actions.

Adrenalin is still an important part of the process, as is the hormone cortisol so often associated with stress. They activate and sustain the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system. But this can only happen after osteocalcin turns the parasympathetic nervous system off. “When you have a car, you need to press the gas pedal and take your foot off the brake at the same time,” Berger says.

The findings might help explain why we have bones at all. At only 509 million years old or so, internal skeletons are “a relatively late piece of the evolutionary toolkit,” says Berger. There’s no way to know what the animal kingdom would look like if we’d never shed our shells and armoured scales in favor of shoulders, knees, and toes. But figuring out why vertebrates shifted to relying on internal strength could help reveal how skeletons affect our health and well-being. Although several theories about the function of bone exist, this study lends more credence to one idea: that animals evolved them as protection against predators. Previous studies into the role of osteocalcin have found it improves memory, helps you run better, and allows your body to take in more fast energy in the form of glucose.

If you look at what osteocalcin does and what adrenaline does, says Schipani, there seems to be a lot of overlap. After all, adrenaline is also involved in the release of glucose, increases your heart rate, and makes a bunch of other contributions to the fight-or-flight reflex.

Future research will have to figure out the exact chemical mechanisms by which all these substances combine to power our brawls and evasive maneuvers (and, more often than not, our panicked stammers during awkward conversations). For now, all we know is that bones are likely part of the equation. So take a moment to appreciate your body’s weird and intricate system of calcium tubes—they do a lot more than just hold up your squishy bits.

How To Fix Battery Problems In Iphone 7

So, you got a brand new iPhone 7 and have been playing with it day in and day out. It’s fresh and novel, and you just can’t get enough of all the new features – both in the hardware and in iOS 10 – that are not at your disposal. You’re having the time of your life until you realize that your brand new iPhone isn’t lasting as good as you expected it to. I mean, Apple claimed that the A10 Fusion chip is more power efficient and the battery is also larger, albeit marginally. Still, with all of that, how come you’re having your phone’s battery dying out halfway through your day?

In this article, we’ll look at some of the methods that you can employ to improve the battery life on your iPhone 7 and fix common issues that might be there. Please note that while we’re talking specifically about the iPhone 7, the tips apply to pretty much any iPhone running iOS 10, so they’re worth a try even if you don’t have the latest that Apple has on offer.

Do you even have a battery issue?

Before we go into how to fix battery issues, let’s first establish that you actually have an issue with your battery life in the first place. A lot of times, users report terrible battery life right off the bat on their iPhone or after they’ve updated to a newer OS version. In reality, whether it’s a new device or a major software update, the reality in most cases is that we’re just using the device a lot more. Trying all those new features and gimmicks results in longer screen-on times, which eats through the battery pretty quickly. Also, if you’ve updated an older iPhone to the newest iOS version, Spotlight will end up re-indexing everything, resulting in a pretty taxing load on the processor and high battery drain.

If the above isn’t your case, continue onto the tips that we list below.

Check your battery usage

Disable certain iOS 10 features

With iOS 10 on the iPhone 7, there are a lot of features that Apple added to make things more convenient. While they’re pretty nifty, then can take a toll on your battery, and disabling some of those might improve things for the better.

1. Raise to Wake

2. Connectivity features

iPhone 7 comes with a pretty full connectivity package, and you might not need all those features on at all times. For instance, you may not have a Bluetooth accessory paired at all times, in which case you can simply disable Bluetooth. Likewise, if there’s no WiFi available, it might help to turn off the radio. Also, if you’re in a poor cellular connectivity area, turning off LTE would be a good idea. Another thing you can experiment with is turning off AirDrop unless needed.

There’s no central location for all of iOS’s connectivity features, but most of them can be toggled via the Control Center that you can access by a simple upward swipe from the bottom of the screen.

3. Motion and Visual Effects

4. Siri Suggestions

5. Use (or don’t) Auto-Brightness mode

In reality, users have reported mixed feedback on this. Some users have had great battery life with Auto-Brightness on; others say it killed their battery life altogether. Experiment with both and pick the one that works best for you; just know that this option is there and you should play with it for optimal results.

Manage your options better

Many battery saving tips would recommend that you turn off a lot of features like Background App Refresh and Location Services. We disagree with that wholeheartedly. What’s the point of having a smartphone if you turn off a bunch of all those things that make it smart? Hence, our recommendation here is better management as opposed to outright disabling.

1. Background App Refresh

iOS 10 comes with a Background App Refresh feature that basically lets certain apps refresh and update even when not active so that when you load the app, it always has the most recent and updated data available without loading times. This is great, except that the default behavior of iOS is to allow every app to have this feature enabled, wreaking havoc on your iPhone’s battery.

2. Notifications

Notifications is another thing that you can micromanage to gain better battery life. By default, a vast majority of iOS apps will ask to send you notifications, but you don’t need notifications from all of them, do you? Perhaps you can survive without getting notified by a game, but definitely not without email notifications. The general rule is, if you don’t need to be notified by an app, don’t let it.

You can manage all your notifications by going to the Settings app and then Notifications. Go into each app that you don’t want notifications from, toggle off “Allow Notifications”.

3. Location Services

Here, first look at the list of apps and if you see something that shouldn’t be using your location, stop it. You may also select which apps can always access your location and which can only when you’re using them.

Oh, and while you’re here, do turn on the Status Bar Icon, as that will give you a much needed visual indication of when your iPhone’s GPS has been engaged.

4. App Closure

Use Low Power Mode

If all of this didn’t help, iPhone 7 and iOS 10 come with a Low Power mode that automatically kicks in when your phone’s battery hits 20%. In this mode, certain visual elements are disabled, background activity is halted and the processor on your iPhone 7 will clock down a little bit to reduce stress on the system. If you’re experiencing poor battery life, you can manually enable this mode as well. Simply go to Battery settings and toggle on “Low Power mode”. An indication of this mode being on is the battery icon turning yellow instead of the regular green (or orange or red, depending on battery level).

Restore your iPhone as New

So, you tried everything and your iPhone 7 still won’t last you long enough? Before taking matters to Apple, it won’t hurt if you restore your device and start fresh. Connect to iTunes in Recovery mode and restore the device, and set it up as a new iPhone instead of restoring from a backup. In some cases, it is possible that a bug had carried through your backups for a long time that is making matters worse. Setting up as a new phone will eliminate that chance and let you know whether it’s something on your end or with the device, after which you can make a better decision of which course to take.

Fix iPhone 7 battery Woes with these simple tips

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