We’ve known for quite a while that Siri can record your every word. Always hunting for its cue, how else would it be able to detect that often-excited “Hey Siri”? It does use buffers that only activate the listening device if it thinks it hears the magic words. So despite some allegations, Siri is not sending every word you say to Apple, its employees, or the government. But once you turn on the trigger? Then, it’s a different story.
Jack Parkos | United States
Americans believe a lot about the political parties in America; that the right supports gun rights and the left does not, that conservatives support small government and liberals big government, for examples. We also hear that progressives stand for the working and middle class while the right is elitist. However, it’s not as easy as that to explain.
Progressives: Not for the Common Man
Do progressives really support the working class? It may appear so, as they boast with other populists about supporting the common man. Their policies, on the other hand, do not always represent this. Free healthcare and college may seem to be for the common person until he or she realizes that these policies only raise taxes and prices, which overwhelmingly hurts the middle class.
Furthermore, this break from expectation is evident in immigration policy. When figures on the right criticize illegal immigration, many progressives respond by saying how it brings cheap labor. But this directly hurts the blue collar worker. During his campaign, Trump made it a key point in his election that these policies hurt African-Americans, Hispanics, and the working class as a whole. Why don’t the so-called pro-working class left agree? It is harder for the uneducated to find work if illegal immigrants who work for less than minimum wage come into the country. It thus would appear logical for progressives to support stronger border security.
In fact, this logic used to hold true in the Democratic Party, which used to support strong borders. In a State of the Union address, Bill Clinton clearly stated the following:
“We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.”
The party position has changed drastically in recent years. During this time, the party became more focused on social equality.
Progressive hypocrisy also applies to the movement’s general opinions towards Apple. The massive tech company has seemingly taken over society, but Apple’s manufacturing plants in China have some of the poorest conditions in the world. The wages are terrible, but you don’t hear progressive outrage to boycott Apple. Instead, many will boycott Chik-Fil-A because its owners believe in traditional marriage.
There’s a reason more progressives aren’t boycotting Apple: the company has secured their futures. Tucker Carlson compares it to buying indulgences. Apple can commit their sins, but won’t face punishment because of their liberal CEO and board members. Nobody is mad that Facebooks spies on us and collects data because Mark Zuckerberg is not a fan of Trump and bans right-wing pages.
Many progressives often criticize libertarians for being only for “the rich.” Given this was true, why do the 1% vote Democratic or Republican? Libertarians don’t want to tax the middle class out of oblivion. Libertarians don’t want to harm small businesses with regulations they do not have the ability to follow. Furthermore, they never advocate for taxing the people who pay salaries for workers. The major parties, particularly not the progressive left, simply do not profess these beneficial policies.
The left cares little about the middle class, working class, or even the upper-middle class. Rather, they often are advocating for a utopia of government overreach that will hurt the common man.
Josh Hughes | United States
Individuality is one of the greatest gifts a person can possess. The ability to be yourself and become whomever and whatever you want to be is a privilege so great, yet so often wasted and taken for granted. The time that we live in now undoubtedly favors collectivism over individualism. In fact, many will persecute you for trying to be yourself and “march to the beat of your own drum” rather than follow a crowd. The loss of individuality from society will stand to gain nothing but negative effects.
Collectivism is being heavily pushed in many facets, most notably in schools, corporations, and the media. In places of learning all over the country, individuality is becoming frowned upon and slowly moved away from. In a theme which is common to every area listed, collectivism is being rebranded with nicer sounding synonyms such as “collaboration.” This is not to say that somethings cannot be done better in a group setting, but when it reaches the point that schoolchildren are conditioned to always work in a team rather than reach a solution on their own, there is an issue. As a current student, I can personally attest to the fact that “group work” has become more and more prevalent. Again, working as a team is not inherently the problem; rather, it’s the idea that solutions are always reached better or more efficiently in a group setting rather than individually.
Another area that collectivism is commonly seen is in the workforce. This idea is often seen in many major corporations, specifically. Think of the last Google or Apple ad that you saw. There’s a good chance the ad was, in some form or another, stressing the idea of “teamwork” or “collaboration.” Much of the new technology being developed now is made with a focus for collaboration and working together with other users. Regardless of their intentions, advertisements that consistently promote collectivism and intentionally ignore individualism give the millions of viewers a very clear idea of what’s accepted.
In a way that coincides with the point about advertising, the media almost always tends to shun individualism. Rather, they resort to grouping and profiling individuals into specific groups. Instead of focusing on a person’s events, they will focus on their sex, race, religion, or other affiliations. It does not matter if someone is a straight white male or a gay black woman or anything in between, it cannot be denied that the smallest minority is the individual. Every person is totally unique from everyone else and should be viewed as such.
What Have These Actions Led To?
With every major influencer in America focusing on these ideas, identities for the common man have been stripped. Rather than being an individual, every person is a part of some group and is esteemed based off of the group’s actions. This has led to people becoming shadows and parrots of their idols and influencers. We live in an age of NPC’s, where no one really exists.
Think of the possibilities of a society full of people that thought and acted for themselves rather than following a mainstream. The creative and innovative explosion would be something to marvel at. Not to mention, a society that thinks is a society that is free. A nation full of independent thinkers would surely lead to increased liberty.
The age of listening to and following celebrities and those that are in charge should be behind us. Rather, we should heed the words of philosophers such as Ayn Rand, who promoted total individuality in an era of Communism where collectivity reigned supreme. The current era is moving closer and closer towards this, with collectivism having a direct correlation to socialism. The scarce free minds that are left need to resist this trend and continue to think for themselves. However, if you’re one of that group, you don’t need me to tell you that.
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By Mason Mohon | USA
The last decade or so has blessed the human race with technological innovations like we have never seen before. Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of its iPhone with the release of the new iPhone X. Silicon Valley geniuses are constantly trying to come up with the next big thing and trying to get their tech on the market and widely used. A new vehicle model with new driving features seems to be releasing every year, and it is impossible to keep up. All of this innovation is pushing us to be able to do more than ever before, with technology allowing U.S. companies to outsource online jobs to India, where they can be done more efficiently and cheaper. Few would argue that this innovation is a bad thing, but are we stifling it? Are we at our fullest potential?
A basic rule of free-market economics is that consumer demand must be served. An entrepreneur or business firm cannot and will not continue to exist if it does not serve the needs of the consumer. If a business begins to provide a good or service that the consumers don’t want, said business will begin to lose resources and will cease to gain profits. If a business wants profit, it has to test the market and find out what a substantial amount of people actually want to have. That is one of the beautiful things about the free market. Demand of the consumers is met, and that is the only way any producer of anything can hope to make money. The people have needs and wants and they are met by the market. But what if these consumers want to work against innovation? What if the majority of consumers didn’t want or didn’t care for new technologies?
Let us say that most consumers do not see the potential a product has for them or for the world as a whole. They do not see the innovation, and a game-changing piece of technology ends up flopping. That would really suck, for we would miss out on a new technology. Is this a fatal flaw in the system? Could the consumers (who make up humanity) be holding back humanity?
We would have to look at what the problem in this situation is, though. If this issue would arise (or is arising), it is not a problem at all, but rather an opportunity. This is an opportunity for new technological innovators to show how they are changing the game. It is a problem of information arising, and the consumers need more information. A well-placed ad campaign and a good partnership could remedy the problem in no time. Chances are that the market would solve something like this, but only if it pushed hard enough.
An example would be the comparison between Samsung and Apple phone products. For a long time, my Samsung owning friends have joked with how primitive I was owning an iPhone, for Samsungs tended to be better on nearly every front. They were the better, stronger, more durable, and more innovative technology, but regardless, many stick with iPhones. It was recently discovered that Apple intentionally slows down old models of its phones when a new model comes out. When the iPhone X was released, very noticeable bugs came in the new operating system on my 6S plus. Samsung has not shown to be doing anything like this, which just adds a cherry on top for their technological superiority. Now, Samsung has an opportunity to make this issue with iPhones as big as they possibly can. People are staying with Apple iPhones for various reasons, but no informed person is staying with them because they are better. Here’s the chance Samsung! Now take it!
What would the alternative be, anyway? Should we put government bureaucrats in charge of allocating money to what is innovative? Should there be a federal agency to promote human development? No, because in short, government agencies usually suck at their jobs. The state should not be in charge of deciding what technology is worth promoting and what is not. The consumers and the market do a great job of sorting all of that kind of stuff out, as the above paragraph indicated. The state should not tell people that Samsung is better and promote Samsung, whether it be through regulations or subsidies. Any sensible person should be able to see that this should be the case.
It actually turns out that the state is the enemy of innovation. State taxes on big companies and corporations mean they have a lot less money to put into new technologies and serving the consumers more. Regulations make it hard to create new products and tariffs cause resources to become more expensive. Taxes in any part of the economy, whether it be capital gains, corporate, or income, tend to make people more present-oriented. This decreases foresight and causes people to care less about the future, making fewer long-term investments. This means that people will be less focused on the future and more focused on the present. This means fewer people oriented towards tomorrow, looking to change the world with the next big tech boost.
Humanity is getting better and better at creating new things each and every year. What we want to avoid is throttling that, and we want to make sure we can keep this growth going for the long haul. The way the free market is set up – to serve consumers – is not an impediment for this, even though it may sometimes seem like it. Rather, the government is the ultimate danger to human growth and flourishing. Once its barriers are taken back, we can see humanity reach new never before imagined heights.
By Jason Patterson | USA
Recent reports have shown that Reddit users have been noticing that Apple is intentionally slowing down old iPhones that have low-capacity batteries. While many iPhone users have experienced perceived slowdowns due to iOS updates over the years, it appears that there is now evidence that Apple is throttling processor speeds when a battery capacity deteriorates over time.
John Poole, a Geekbench developer has mapped outperformance for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 over time and has come to the conclusion that Apple’s iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2.0 updates introduce this throttling for different devices. iOS 10.2.1 is particularly important, as this update was designed to reduce random shutdown issues for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. So basically Geekbench shows that iOS 11.2.0 introduces similar throttling for iPhone 7 units with older batteries.
Also, some Reddit users said that replacing their batteries has returned performance and CPU clock speeds back to normal. These findings are particularly strange and could lead to owners to upgrade their entire device instead of replacing the battery. “This fix will also cause users to think, ‘my phone is slow so I should replace it’ not, ‘my phone is slow so I should replace its battery,’” Geekbench’s John Poole claimed.
Apple responded to the findings by saying;
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.
Apple is basically claiming that it’s not slowing down older iPhones just to urge people to upgrade to newer devices. It’s addressing an issue with devices containing older lithium-ion batteries that results in unexpected shutdowns. Because those older batteries are incapable of handling peak current draws with the same effectiveness of iPhones with newer batteries and more efficient processors, they run the risk of the device powering down to prevent damage to its internal components.
It all makes maps out. As battery life degrades, a smartphone’s ability to achieve the same performance with less efficient battery use degrades as. However, the company isn’t helping by being a bit opaque. It’s clear that controversies like this — underpinned by conspiracy theories around planned obsolescence — sprout up because there is a lack of communication between device manufacturers like Apple and consumers.
It’s also obvious that Apple, which makes its devices hard to open and repair, could do a better job helping consumers understand the benefits of battery replacement if they indeed wanted to. That’s something the company seems less inclined to do when it might mean forgoing the sale of a new iPhone every 12 to 24 months. We have to remember their main goal is to sell phones.