An iPhone sparked a devastating fire, family says. They want Apple to pay

Cathy Finley plugged her iPhone 6 into a charging cord in the living room and went to feed the goats, CTV News reported. Not even a half-hour had passed when she returned and saw smoke coming from the British Columbia, Canada, farmhouse, she told the publication. The blaze was put out within an hour, News 1130 reported, but it caused significant smoke and heat damage that led to the demolition of the structure. Finley told CBC the October 2016 fire could have been worse. “I remember thinking, I’m glad it didn’t happen last night when we were all in bed,” she said. A fire investigator said it appears that “the phone or charger generated enough heat to ignite the leather chair and notebook and start the fire,” according to News 1130. Finley told the news station that while authorities can’t say the phone caused the fire, “they can identify the phone as the origin of the fire.” Officials later clarified that the official cause hasn’t been determined, CBC said. Finley and her family were able to get a $600,000 insurance payout, CBC reported, but the insurance didn’t cover all of the costs — particularly the lost revenue from their farming business. They began building a new home last August, but Finley worries that they won’t have the money to finish it. “We might lose this house that we are building with our own hands,” she said. Finley reached out to Apple last February but tells News 1130 she’s been getting the runaround. “They were saying things to us like: ‘We are going to make this right. I promise we will do everything can as soon as we can to help you guys’,” she said, “But by October they really shut down.” Finley and her husband, Ian, tallied the family’s uninsured losses and came to an additional $600,000, CBC said. Apple told CTV News it’s looking into the claim but has not yet analyzed the phone. The Finleys Continue Reading

Meet the Sponsors Behind the People Already in Line for iPhone 6

Tech & Science Apple iPhone Technology Cell PhonesThe iPhone 6 hasn’t even been announced yet but people are already lined up outside Apple’s subterranean flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the surface it would appear these are diehard fans willing to camp out on New York City streets for weeks just to claim first dibs on Apple’s newest gadget—but that isn’t the case.First to arrive on the scene were Joseph Cruz and his cousin Brian Ceballo. These two have been lining up for Apple iPhone releases for five years, starting with the iPhone 3 in 2009. Though Cruz says they are excited for the new phone, they have a few other motivations for being in this line. “We’re trying to beat friends from last year,” he tells Newsweek, “They waited 17 days, and we did 15.” This year, they are going for 20 days.The cousins are being sponsored by—a platform for buying old electronics. They also made fast cash when the next people arrived on line, Jason and Moon Ray from Jackson, Mississippi. The couple wrote the cousins a check for $2,500 to switch spots. Why? “It’s key for PR,” Moon told us. Keep up with this story and more by subscribing nowThe Rays wanted first place in order to better publicize their sponsor, VideoMedicine—a telemedicine app that will be available on iOS and Android around the same time the iPhone 6 launches. Not only does Moon not own an iPhone, but she has no intention of keeping the iPhone 6 she’s going to buy in a couple of weeks. She plans to resell it, explaining, “I don’t even have cable.”In the third place position are Edward Campos and Jonah Wong, co-workers from Hong Kong. Edward says, “My iPhone 4 was stolen two weeks ago. I was going to buy an iPhone 5s but my boss said, ‘How’d you like to go to New York?’” He and Wong work for Ravpower, a company that makes portable Continue Reading

CVS pharmacies will not use Apple Pay: report

CVS Health is next to cut ties with Apple Pay. The payment service that debuted Oct. 6 conflicts with another service called CurrentC that will use QR code instead of a NFC chip when it’s released, according to USA Today. The pharmacy chain followed Rite Aid’s recent lead by rejecting payments through Apple Pay on Saturday after businesses such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy declined to take part in Apple’s new program announced in September. Apple Pay required retailers to buy equipment to connect with the NFC chips in a customer’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Third-party payment services such as Mercent Customer Exchange, which will produce CurrentC, eliminates the 2 to 3 percent credit card transaction fee charged by major credit cards. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Possible design change for the iPhone 6 — eliminating the headphone jack — has some Apple fans fuming

Apple could get sauced. The tech giant is said to be considering doing away with the headphone jack when the iPhone 6 comes out this summer — and the rumors have even die-hard Apple customers wondering if it’s time to iTune out. “I have a pair of Beats headphones that cost hundreds of dollars,” griped David Fu, 24, outside the Apple Store on 14th St. “They would really piss off a lot of people if we couldn’t use headphones like that anymore.” The iEverything faithful are still sore from two years ago, when Apple replaced its 30-pin input on iPhones with a smaller Lightning connector. Suddenly all those expensive charging units, external speakers and docking stations didn’t work with the new iPhone — unless customers bought a $30 adapter. “I already carry around two chargers, one for my iPhone and one for my iPad,” complained Nicole Haworth, 26. “I don’t understand why Apple needs to keep changing things.” Unlike the iPhone charger, the audio headphone jack has been around for more than 100 years. A version of it was used in the first telephone switchboards, and the jack has been in Army radios for as long as the Army has had radios. The current 3.5mm headphone jack is the portable-music standard, and has been since even before the first Sony Walkman hit stores in 1979. I don’t understand why Apple needs to keep changing things. There could simply be a revolt if Apple lovers are suddenly told that every pair of headphones they ever bought will be useless with the iPhone 6. “Every time Apple makes a change, everyone is mad, including myself,” said Nick McGlynn, 31, a graphic designer who owns a dozen Apple products, all with the standard jack. “For some reason, people really don’t like change.” McGlynn theorizes that the headphone change may have less to do with the new iPhone and more to do with the Continue Reading

How to buy an unlocked iPhone 6

Q. I want to buy an iPhone 6 unlocked, but Apple's site doesn't list an unlocked version — the closest it gets is a "no-contract" T-Mobile edition. When will that change? A. You already can buy Apple's latest smartphone in that liberated state, meaning you can use it with any compatible wireless carrier in the U.S. or elsewhere. But it's easy to be led astray by the phrasing at Apple's online store.There, you'll see the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus offered in four editions, one for each of the four major carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The first three can be purchased at the deeply-subsidized $199-and-up prices you see in ads; the T- Mobile version comes at the full starting price of $649.99 and is described as "contract-free" but not unlocked. If, however, you select an iPhone 5s or 5c there, you'll see a different menu: di scounted pr icing for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon models, plus a full-price "Unlocked and contract-free" option that comes with either a T-Mobile SIM ( Subscriber Identity Module ) card or with none. The description below that listing and a more detailed explanation spell out your freedom to use an unlocked iPhone: "You can activate and use the unlocked iPhone on the supported wireless network of your choice." In the U.S., that list includes AT&T and T-Mobile as well as smaller serv ices and various resellers. And in much of the rest of the world you can choose betwee n at least as many option s, including prepaid SIMs that can slash your travel-telecom expenses . So does that mean that the contract-free iPhone 6 is locked to T-Mobile? Nope. As Apple users have reported after taking these no-contract phones home, they work with such other carriers as AT&T; just pop out the T-Mobile SIM and use whichever one you want. Apple confirmed that this model Continue Reading

OnePlus 2 hopes to be a new flagship killer to rival iPhone, Galaxy

NEW YORK — On the heels of last year's sleeper hit, Chinese start-up OnePlus has announced a new phone that promises iPhone-type specs at half the price.Late Monday the company unveiled the OnePlus 2, its successor to last year's OnePlus One. The OnePlus 2 has the same core idea as its predecessor —offering impressive Android smartphone specs at a low cost.Priced at $389 without a contract for the 64GB version, this year's model includes a new aluminum and magnesium frame with customizable backs, an improved 5.5-inch full HD display that the company claims will be better in direct sunlight, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 4GB of RAM for zippy performance as well as a larger 3300mAh battery.Similar to the One, the device will support AT&T and T-Mobile's LTE networks in the U.S. and will be sold "unlocked" so users can freely switch between the networks or easily use the phone outside the U.S.. As with other unlocked phones, it will not work with Verizon or Sprint.The display puts the OnePlus in the phablet category and in direct competition with phones like Apple's iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung's Galaxy Note line, which boast similarly sized screens (though Samsung's is at a higher resolution). Both of those phones, however, are several hundred dollars more expensive than the OnePlus 2, with a 64GB unlocked iPhone 6 Plus running $849. Full retail price for an unlocked Galaxy Note 4 with 32GB of storage is approximately $525 on Amazon.The new OnePlus device also boasts an upgraded 13-megapixel rear camera with a sharper sensor and laser-enhanced focus for better low-light shots. A 5-megpaixel camera remains on the front for selfies and video chat.While the above specs are to be expected in the growing trend of high-quality, low-cost phones from China, the OnePlus 2 will additionally feature a fingerprint scanner for unlocking the device as well as be among the first phones to offer a USB Type-C port for Continue Reading

Screen stealer: Why iPhone owners will envy the Galaxy S8

NEW YORK—Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and its larger sibling the S8+ are strong new smartphones I can highly recommend.The devices, which hit stores Friday (for around $720 on up), aren't perfect. Cool-sounding features like iris and facial recognition were extremely spotty for me. Water and dust resistance are great, but other phones now share these traits. And the vocal component of its new Bixby artificial intelligence assistant, a rival to Apple's Siri, is delayed.Instead, what sold me after using the S8+ for several days was an engineering feat that's resulted in a very simple but powerful solution for users: a wide display that stretches from one curved edge of the relatively narrow body to the other. This "bezel-lite" display gives users a lot of app real estate without the bulk, and ends up meaning more to our enjoyment of a phone than we probably realize.In this latest version of its popular Galaxy flagship phone, the first major release since Samsung launched its ultimately disastrous, recalled Galaxy Note 7, Samsung’s designers produced a phablet-sized 5.8-inch display on the S8 on that’s thinner, narrower, about the same weight and just a tad taller than the S7 that it replaces. In other words, the S8 feels like your typical-sized handset, while the S7, despite similar dimensions, had a considerably smaller 5.1-inch display with a half-million fewer pixels.The S8+ has a 6.2-inch screen, compared to the 5.5-inch display on the S7 Edge. It’s roughly as tall as the iPhone 7 Plus.Thought of another way: the two latest phones have a screen to body ratio—that is the percentage of the front of the phone that’s taken up by the screen—that exceeds 83%. The viewing area of the S8 (compared to the S7) expands by 36%, opening up a more immersive experience, depending on what you're doing.There are some trade-offs. Besides dramatically reducing the top and bottom bezels of the phones, Continue Reading

iPhone lost in the mail; why was Jackson woman charged $225 for it?

How did a missing iPhone lead to a $225 charge on Jackson resident Kathy Brady's AT&T Wireless bill?If you've ever had to mail a cellphone back to a company, you've probably wondered what happens if the package gets lost.Brady knows. She had to ship a replacement iPhone back to Asurion, the cellphone insurance company, after she no longer needed it. It never arrived and her  AT&T Wireless account was charged for the cost of the phone: $225."They don't care how it got lost," Brady said. "They just don't have it."After Press on Your Side got involved, Asurion credited $225 to her account.Here's what happened.In May, Brady discovered that her husband's iPhone 6 had water damage. it wouldn't work and there were some signs of moisture behind the screen. More: AT&T gives customers weapon against robocalls More: Here's how to protect your mobile phone She called Asurion right away, filed a claim and was on her way to receiving a replacement iPhone. Meanwhile, she put the damaged phone in some rice to try to dry it out. To her surprise, it worked. A few days later, the old phone was fine.Brady contacted Asurion to report that she didn't need a replacement. Just send it back, she was told. The company sent her a return label to attach to the phone's box when it arrived.So Brady brought the unopened box to AT&T Wireless at the Freehold Raceway Mall. "They said no, we can't take it. You have to bring it to the post office," she said. They helped her put the label on the box and get it ready.She dropped it off at the post office in Jackson and received a tracking number. The next day, the tracking report showed the phone was accepted by Asurion's shipping partner. "That was the last it was ever seen," Brady said in a note to Press on Your Side. "No record of it from there."A charge for $225, the cost of the phone, appeared on her AT&T bill. She filed a search request with the U.S. Postal Continue Reading

Apple’s iPhone better watch out! The Palm Pre is going on sale in Sprint stores June 6

Move over, iPhone. You've had two years on top of the smart phone world. Now there's a touch-screen phone with better software: the Palm Pre. In a remarkable achievement, Palm Inc., a company that was something of a has-been, has come up with a phone operating system that is more powerful, elegant and user-friendly. The Pre, which goes on sale Saturday for $200 (after a mail-in rebate) at Sprint stores, makes it easier to do more things on the go. With webOS, Palm's new operating system, you can keep multiple applications open at once. They're organized like a row of cards that stretches off the screen, and you flick the screen to switch between them. For instance, if you need to quickly check your calendar while writing an e-mail, you can bring up the calendar application, then flick back to e-mail, then keep switching between them as you try to work out your schedule. On Apple Inc.'s iPhone, you can run only one application at time. To switch between calendar and e-mail, you have to go back to the main menu every time. Also unlike the iPhone, webOS will notify you of events that need your attention, no matter which application you're in. Notification icons for e-mails, calls and over events appear at the bottom of the screen. If you tap on the e-mail notice, for instance, the message pops up. So webOS makes the iPhone look clunky, which is stunning in itself. It also thoroughly shows up Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile. That operating system has had multitasking for years, but few users have appreciated that. Rather, Windows Mobile has been blamed for making phones clumsy and slow. Now, webOS comes along and does multitasking right. Also very cool is that webOS aggregates contacts and calendar items from multiple sources, like Google, corporate Exchange servers, and even Facebook. You know how lots of phones have space for a photo for each contact? The Pre automatically pulls your friends' Facebook photos into your contacts list. As far as the Continue Reading

Running out of iPhone storage space? These tricks can help

Storage space on the iPhone has always been a finite, valuable commodity, dating back to the original iPhone in 2007.Whereas many Android phones allow you to add more storage through microSD cards, Apple's phones are limited. If you are running low on space, here are some ways to free up some gigs.First, check your free space. You can do this by going to Settings, then General, then Storage & iCloud Usage. This will give you a clear readout of how much space you have, with one additional click on "Manage Storage" giving you a detailed look at which apps are taking up the most space.Photos and videos were already some of the biggest space hogs. With recent iPhones employing 8 or 12-megapixel cameras and shooting high-quality HD and 4K video, space can quickly become a premium.While you can always transfer your pictures to your computer, there are other solutions to save your photos without ever plugging in.Personally, I'm a fan of Google Photos. In addition to offering free, unlimited storage for videos (up to 1080p resolution) and photos (up to 16-megapixels), the free app also automatically backs up your files. It will also guide you through how to delete the photos and videos from your phone after they have been safely stored on Google's servers, something rival apps currently do not do.  There are plenty of other options out there.If you are someone who is constantly taking pictures this could be a lifesaver. Doing this last week saved me roughly 17GB.Going through my storage found that I had over 4GB of storage space taken up by the Messages app. By default, the app saves all your Messages forever — that includes texts, videos, photos, files and of course, iMessages. The texts themselves are minuscule, but by saving all the attached photos and videos even on an old conversation that you haven't seen in months could take up significant amounts of space.Luckily it's fairly easy to change this setting. Simply head Continue Reading