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Smart luggage firms close because of airline battery rules

Smart luggage firms close because of airline battery rules

Technology
Two smart luggage firms have closed in May, with both blaming changes to airline policies regarding how lithium batteries can be taken on board planes.Raden and Bluesmart said the changes, by several major airlines in December 2017, had made business impossible.The new rules meant that luggage batteries had to be removable. The smart suitcases feature weight sensors, a built-in phone charger and location awareness - but all require battery power."...our intent was to add ease and simplicity to your travel experience and this unforeseen policy change has made this impossible," Raden said in a message on its website, spotted by The Verge.Bluesmart's products did not feature removable batteries at all.The firm described its news as "bittersweet" in an announ...
Apple faces battery pledge complaints

Apple faces battery pledge complaints

Technology
Apple has been accused of finding unnecessary faults with iPhones and thereby profiting from a battery replacement initiative.When the US firm announced it had been slowing down iPhones in order to "preserve battery life" in December last year, it apologised for not telling people sooner.Facing a consumer backlash, it promised owners of the iPhone 6 and more modern models a discounted or free battery replacement.It said: "We are able to do the work we love only because of your faith and support - and we will never forget that or take it for granted."But since then, some Watchdog viewers have told the programme that their faith in the company has been seriously shaken after trying to take Apple up on its offer. Apple demanded that some customers pay 10 times the sum it referred to in its ap...
Apple slashes iPhone battery replacement cost by $50 amid criticism

Apple slashes iPhone battery replacement cost by $50 amid criticism

Technology
Apple is taking action after coming under scrutiny for slowing down older iPhones as their batteries age. The company was hit with a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that it deliberately "slows down iPhone processors" in older models of the iPhone without the consent of the phone owners. The legal move came after Apple revealed that its new software updates slow down older iPhone devices in order to allow the batteries in older models to keep up with new features. In a statement today, the company emphasized that it would never "do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product." However, in order to address customers' concerns, Apple announced it would be reducing the price of out-of-warranty replacement batteries for certain phones by $ 50, from $ 79 to $ 29. "We k...
Australia is the new frontier for battery minerals

Australia is the new frontier for battery minerals

Finance
FORGET the “resource curse”. Australia is blessed with the stuff. For more than a quarter of a century it has not had a recession, thanks largely to Chinese demand for its raw materials. It is only a few years since the end of one such China-led boom, in base metals such as iron ore. A new speculative flurry has started in minerals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel to feed another China-related craze—making batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).Ken Brinsden, an Australian mining engineer, says he pinches himself over these remarkable turns of fortune. Until 2015 he was a boss at Atlas Iron, which shipped low-grade iron ore to China. In 2011, at the height of the China-led supercycle, it had a valuation of A$ 3.5bn ($ 3.8bn). This has now shrunk to A$ 167m. But he now heads Pilbara Mineral