Items filtered by date: Thursday, 21 December 2017

Apple says slower performance of older iPhones is intentional

You're not alone if you've noticed a slowdown in the performance of your older iPhone. The thing is, it may be more related to your battery than the phone itself. After a post on Reddit and a followup by benchmarking software Geekbench's founder, Apple told TechCrunchthat it released a fix for premature shutdowns last year for iPhone 6, 6s and SE by smoothing out CPU demand when a battery is older, cold, or just low on juice. Apple also said that it recently extended this slowdown feature to iPhone 7 devices running iOS 11.2, and plans to "add support for other products in the future."

couple of weeks ago, Reddit user TeckFire ran some CPU benchmarks (via Geekbench) on his iPhone 6 Plus before and after he replaced its battery. He found that CPU performance was significantly better after a battery replacement, which he attributed to Apple slowing down phones with low capacity batteries. A week later, Geekbench's own John Poole wrote a post that pointed to Apple's involvement. In essence, Poole says that Apple introduced code to iOS that limits iPhone performance when battery charge is low, which could be interpreted as a CPU issue leading to users replacing their iPhone instead of their battery. While this may not be Apple's intent in this case, it's not hard to see users being confused and blaming the company for planned obsolescence practices, especially as Apple benefits from user confusion and iPhone upgrades.

  • Published in Tech

Teen slain in Tondo riot – MPD

Kin of victim, suspect deny cops’ story

MANILA, Philippines — A teenager was killed in an apparent gang war in Tondo, Manila on Wednesday night, police reported.

The families of the victim and his alleged killer denied that a riot occurred, citing witnesses who saw Aldrin Lacaba, 18, gunned down by motorcycle-riding assailants.

According to a report by the Manila Police District (MPD) Station 1, Lacaba was shot dead in a riot that erupted at around midnight in front of a gasoline station along Jacinto street in Barangay 105.

Police officers said they were patrolling the area when they heard a gunshot followed by the sound of people running.

They said they arrested a 17-year-old whom they accused of carrying an improvised handgun.

Lacaba was taken to Gat Andres Bonifacio Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Different version

The suspect and victim’s kin have a different version of the incident.

In a phone interview with The STAR, Lacaba’s mother Rodhora said witnesses denied that a riot happened in Tondo that night. The witnesses are afraid to give their testimony for fear of retaliation.

Rodhora said she has been looking for closed-circuit television footage of the incident, but to no avail.

“Hindi po totoo. Walang rambol na nangyari (It’s not true. No rumble happened),” Rodhora said.

She later stopped the interview, asking for time to let her son’s death sink in. “Hindi ko na alam (I don’t know anymore),” she said.

The suspect’s sister, Grace, also told The STAR that she saw her brother leaving the house to check on their friend, who was shot and rushed to the hospital.

She denied that a riot involving her brother and Lacaba occurred.

As they were heading home from the hospital, police apprehended the boy and accused him of owning the improvised firearm that killed Lacaba, Grace said.

She said police officers, whom she did not name, pointed guns at them as they arrested her brother.

“Dinampot po kami ng pulis. Niyakap ko ng mahigpit yung kapatid ko kasi po yung pulis po tinutukan po kami. Natakot po ako, sabi ko po maawa po kayo sa kapatid ko (They picked us up. I hugged my brother because the police were pointing guns at us. I was scared, I told them to have mercy on my brother),” she said.

Grace said she kept watch over her brother overnight at the youth detention center to keep him safe.


WATCH | DOLE, carriers join hands to deal with stranded OFW woes in HK

MANILA – The government is looking to bring home before Christmas hundreds of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who found themselves stuck in Hong Kong after their flight bookings were botched by their travel agency.

With this, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said various agencies are coordinating with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of National Defense (DND) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) for the Filipinos to be brought back home as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We have the instructions from President Duterte na iuwi namin kayo (OFWs) before Christmas (to bring you home before Christmas).

“So we have talked to PAL and they will update their flights; they might be accommodated one by one … Those who were stranded there will be able to go home, in two to three days before Christmas,” Sec. Bello said in a television interview.

At the same time, the DOLE chief said that they already communicated with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with regards to the possible liability of travel agency that figured in this fiasco.

For some reason, the bookings never translated into valid tickets – for about 1,000 OFWs.

The travel agency, PEYA TRAVEL, issued a message of apology and pledged to do all it can to face up to each and every grievance.

Some of the affected OFWs simply bought alternative tickets just to get home, at added expense to them.

Meanwhile, the Hongkong based Cathay Pacific Airways has moved to make available so-called special distress flights at discounted rates.

Philippine Airlines will be using larger aircraft for flights to Hong Kong on Dec. 22 and 23, 2017 and on January 3 and 4, 2018.

The airline is providing additional capacity on the Manila – Hong Kong – Manila route by upgrading the aircraft from the originally assigned 199-seater Airbus A321 to the 309-seater tri-class Airbus A330.

Cebu Pacific, on the other hand, is trying “to see how we can assist the affected Filipino migrant workers.

“Our flights back to the Philippines — and we fly from Hong Kong to Manila, Cebu, Clark, Iloilo and Kalibo – are full at this point in time. The next available flight with vacant seats is on the evening of December 25th.

“As most of our flights are reaching full capacity in light of the peak holiday travel season, we are trying to see how to increase capacity to help OFWs get home.”

Watch the video:


Joma Sison says Reds likely to declare own holiday ceasefire – report

MANILA, Philippines — Communist rebels are expected to declare a unilateral ceasefire for the holiday season, independent media outfit Kodao Productions reported Friday, December 22.

Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison said the ceasefire, recommended by the National Democratic Front, is meant “to honor the people in connection with the traditional holidays and the CPP’s 49th founding anniversary” on December 26.

Kodao reported Sison as saying that the draft of the ceasefire order, which is expected to run from December 24 to January 2, “is already being processed by the Central Committee of the CPP.”

Sison said he had recommended that the CPP ceasefire order include a warning to the NPA about the “lying, deceitful, attacking and occupying characteristics” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and paramilitary forces.

The impending rebel ceasefire will cover the same period as that of the suspension of offensive military operations declared by President Rodrigo Duterte last Sunday.

But the Department of National Defense has issued its own unilateral ceasefire different from that of Duterte’s. This one has two stages, from 6 p.m. of December 23 to 6 p.m. of December 26, and from 6 p.m. of December 30 to 6 p.m. of January 2.

News reports quoted Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as saying he had been “adamant” against a government ceasefire.


Intl lawyers’ group urges ‘brother in the profession’ Duterte to end killings, uphold rights

Reuters file photo of President Rodrigo Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — An international lawyers’ organization called on their “brother in the profession,” President Rodrigo Duterte, to end the extrajudicial killings that have characterized his war on drugs and to “respect human rights and fundamental liberties.”

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers reminded Duterte that the Philippines “has a duty to comply with the principles enshrined in international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty which was ratified by (the Philippine) Government in 1986.”

“The IADL knows you are a brother in the profession. We write invoking the spirit of the law which no doubt animated you during your years of practice as a prosecutor. Our profession is, above all, an instrument in the delivery of justice — the tempering of power and the proper balancing between right and authority,” the IADL letter, signed by its president, Jeanne Mirer of the United States, said.

The letter, dated December 18, was received by Malacañang on Thursday, December 21.

The lawyers also voiced concern over Duterte’s “unilateral termination of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the threats of crackdowns against activists, and the reprisals made against political opponents of the administration.”

The group specifically asked Duterte to “exercise everything within his power” to:

End extrajudicial killings in the “war against illegal drugs”
End extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests and other human rights violations against the people and members of people’s organizations
Stop or abort any and all measures or plans in any form that are authoritarian and violate basic rights
Seriously investigate, prosecute and end impunity of the perpetrators of human rights violations
Tolerate dissent and respect the rights of the people to freedom of expression, speech, assembly, and association
Ensure the protection of human rights defenders including human rights lawyers
Respect international human rights law and consider human rights as universal and not an internal affair of a state but a concern of the international community
Respect international humanitarian law and resume the peace process and the resolution of poverty, injustice and the roots of the armed conflict with the National Democratic Front and pursue efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace
The IADL is an international association of progressive lawyers and jurists founded in 1946 in Paris with consultative status at the United Nations through UNESCO and the Economic and Social Council.

Among its Presidents emeriti is Nelson Mandela. Its first president, Rene Cassin, was principal author of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The group’s governing bureau includes National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers leaders Neri Colmenares and Edre Olalia.


In the spirit of Christmas, Senate frees Aegis Juris fraternity leader

In this November 06, 2017 photo, Aegis Juris fraternity leader Arvin Balag leaves the session hall after the Senate hearing on the hazing incident case. (INQUIRER / EDWIN BACASMAS)

In the spirit of Christmas and to avoid a Constitutional crisis during the holiday revelries, the Senate has decided to follow the Supreme Court (SC) order to release Aegis Juris fraternity leader Arvin Balag Thursday evening.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee, confirmed that he was informed by the Senate Office of Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) of Balag’s release.

“While we reserve our right to invoke the inherent power of the Senate (and Congress) to compel witnesses and resource persons to testify in our inquires in aid of legislation as provided for under our rules and anchored on Sec 21, Art VI of the Constitution, we opted in the meantime to respect and comply with the SC resolution ordering the interim release of Balag even before its final ruling on the main case,” Lacson said In a text message on Friday,

“We did so, all in the spirit of Christmas not to mention our desire to avoid a constitutional crisis during this holiday season,” he added.

Despite this, the senator noted that the Senate would not give up the rights of the legislature, and will tackle the issue at the proper time.

“Having said that, there is no saying that we are about ready to give up the rights of the legislature, being a co-equal branch of government. We will tackle this issue at the proper time as a collegial body,” he said.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Jose Balajadia earlier confirmed Balag’s release after he received a copy of the SC’s order.

Balajadia reportedly said that around 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, he allowed Balag to leave the Senate with his three lawyers after undergoing a medical check-up as part of their protocol.

“Yes he was released last night at about 7 by an en banc sup court reso,” Balajadia said in a text message to Friday.

Last October 18, Lacson’s committee, on Senator Grace Poe’s motion, cited Balag in contempt and ordered his detention after he repeatedly invoked his right against self-incrimination when asked during the panel’s hearing to confirm if he was the fraternity’s leader.

Balag, along with other Aegis Juris fraternity members, are being blamed in the fatal hazing of University of Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III last September 17. /kga



Government submitting itself to courts on EJKs – Roque

Criminal cases filed against the policemen involved have reached the Supreme Court and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has not intervened in the matter, Harry Roque said. ICC Coalition photo/File
MANILA, Philippines — The administration is not sweeping under the rug the reports of extrajudicial killings allegedly carried out by a police unit in Quezon City, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.

He also denied allegations the government is sanctioning the activities of the so-called Davao death squad whose operatives were reportedly involved in the killing of drug offenders in Metro Manila.

Criminal cases filed against the policemen involved have reached the Supreme Court and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has not intervened in the matter, Roque said.

“What I do know is there is a writ of amparo issued by the Supreme Court against the police station. So the response is: we are not taking it sitting down,” he said.

The fact that the Supreme Court issued a writ of amparo was proof that the government did not oppose the petition for the issuance of one.

“So question: is government sanctioning the alleged operations of this Davao group? Clearly not, because in that petition government did not oppose it,” Roque added.

“In effect government agreed with the allegations of the petition and that’s why there was a writ of protection issued,” he said.

Roque added that the Philippines continues to abide by its treaty obligation to protect and promote the right to life.

The government has addressed the concerns over extrajudicial killings and it recognizes its obligation “to investigate, punish, prosecute and give the victims adequate domestic legal remedy.”

“The Supreme Court and the OSG did not oppose the writ of amparo which includes the duty to investigate alleged perpetrators of human rights violations,” he said. “That’s a matter of record, there is a decision of the Supreme Court in this regard.

“Government is obligated to investigate, government is obligated to punish the perpetrators,” Roque pointed out.

While a writ of amparo will not require criminal sanctions against the respondents, Roque explained it will nonetheless prompt the respondents to investigate.

“..and the PNP right now is under obligation to investigate and confirm the reports of the petitioners in that writ of amparo,” he said.

Malacañang has repeatedly said it is not tolerating cases of abuses by policemen in relation to the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“Yes, well, that is why if the investigation concludes that the police operation complained about was pursuant to the law, then the President will stand by the policemen,” he said.

“But as in the case of Kian, if it is proven that there was excessive use of force and that the use of force is tantamount to murder, then the President will order their prosecution,” Roque said, referring to Kian delos Santos, who was killed allegedly after trying to fight it out with policemen who were checking him for drug possession. But witnesses disputed that claim, saying the teenager was executed by police.

On Wednesday, Philippine National Police chief Director Ronald dela Rosa said he was standing by the head of a secretive unit behind dozens of killings in the country’s war on drugs, saying officers fired only in self-defense and the death toll reflected the danger and scale of the narcotics problem. Dela Rosa was responding to a Reuters special report that spent four months examining killings by one group of policemen from or near Davao City, the hometown of President Duterte.

Dela Rosa said police Station 6 in Quezon City had Metro Manila’s most serious drug problem and he personally sent squad commander Lito Patay there because he was a “very professional” and “very dedicated” officer capable of dealing with it.


Duterte orders travel ban

No more junkets abroad.

President Duterte on Thursday said he was disallowing foreign travel for members of the executive branch, except for Filipino diplomats, starting Jan. 1.

The President also said he would order a review of the travel records of the executive branch and those found to have traveled abroad every month should leave government service.

“There will be no travel … let’s go on a starvation diet on that,” Duterte said in a speech in Davao City.

Mr. Duterte said he did not want government officials absent from their posts and unavailable to serve the public.

“They’re abroad. Look at their record—seven, eight, nine times going abroad using the money of the people for a flimsy reason to go there,” he said.

In November, Duterte announced he was firing several government officials for frequent travels abroad.

He later sacked the commissioners of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, including Melissa Aradanas, a cousin of his partner, Honeylet Avanceña.

“I also fired her but I told my wife, ‘You call your cousin and say they should leave,” Duterte said, referring to the other commissioners, Joan Lagunda, Noe Indonto and Manuel Serra Jr.

He also fired Urban Poor Commission head Teddy Ridon for allegedly taking “seven to eight foreign trips” since being appointed last year.

Recently, Duterte also fired Development Academy of the Philippines president Elba Cruz, who reportedly traveled abroad once every month during the past three months.

The President said he even turned down an invitation to go to India to attend an international gathering but the Department of Foreign Affairs was still urging him to go.

“I am not sure but I have to attend every … whatever it is heads of state but if you say I’m enjoying this, I’m too old for that. So, let us be very clear on this,” he said.

The President, who is 72, said he easily got dizzy and that he had some “spinal trouble” that kept him from enjoying travelling overseas.

“After so many accidents on the motorcycle, I easily get dizzy. Sometimes, I puke. Add the spinal trouble that I have,” Mr. Duterte said.

“I hate to travel but I have to represent … this is India. I begged off but it turns out we are the only (country) that has no representative so the Department of Foreign Affairs is urging me to go there,” he said.

“India is also a big market … a lot of people there. It’s trying to catch up with China in terms of population,” he said.



Ferry sinking; 4 dead, 7 missing

Coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo shows a file photo of passenger vessel Mercraft 3 as he talks to reporters in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. Philippine officials say coast guard officials and fishermen are trying to rescue more than 200 people on an inter-island ferry which is sinking off a northeastern province. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
LUCENA CITY—Rescuers were scrambling to save lives after a fast ferry carrying 251 passengers and crew capsized in stormy weather off Infanta town in northern Quezon province on Thursday morning.
The Philippine Coast Guard said four people—two men and two women—had been found dead and 240 had been plucked to safety.
Rescuers were searching for seven others, the Coast Guard said, although there were unconfirmed reports that some of the missing passengers had been rescued by fishermen and taken to shore.
Huge waves

Police reports said the fastcraft MV Mercraft 3, carrying 251 passengers and crew left the port of Real in northern Quezon for Polillo Island at 10:30 a.m.
The ferry had a capacity of 286 people. It was capable of making the crossing in two and a half hours.
The Coast Guard said huge waves slammed the ferry, causing it to tip over in waters off Dinahican village in Quezon.
“Initial report said the [ferry] sustained a big hole that caused it to capsize,” said Juanito Diaz, acting chief of the Quezon Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
He said rescuers from the Coast Guard and disaster response offices in Infanta and Real, assisted by fishermen in the area, plucked passengers out of the waters.
“The rescuers are still scouring the water in search of other possible passengers,” Diaz said.
Television images showed rescuers wheeling injured survivors into a hospital.

Four body bags were also seen being laid out on the floor.
The four who died had not been identified as of early Thursday night.
“The wind suddenly picked up and the boat was forced to stop when the bow started taking in water. Passengers ran to the side just before it tipped over,” student Donel Mendiola told dzMM radio.
“Some of us swam, but I saw old people who were apparently already dead,” Mendiola added.
‘Vinta’ nears
Cmdr. Armand Balilo, spokesperson for the Coast Guard, said the ferry left Real as Tropical Storm “Vinta” (international name: Tembin) loomed over northern Mindanao, nearly a thousand kilometers to the south.
“We believe the weather was a big factor” in the accident, Balilo said.
The ferry, he said, was allowed to sail as there were no storm warnings at or around Real or Polillo.
Commodore Adeluis Bordado, commander of the Naval Forces Southern Luzon, said that while there was no rain, the waves in the area suddenly became huge.
Balilo said, however, that rescue efforts would continue despite rough waves and nightfall.
He said a Coast Guard helicopter tried to fly to the area but was hampered by the strong winds.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Vinta had entered the Philippine area of responsibility.
The storm was expected to make landfall in the Caraga-Davao regions between Thursday evening and Friday morning.
Travel advisory
The government had advised people planning to return to their home provinces for Christmas to do so earlier than usual to avoid heavy weather forecast to hit ahead of the holidays.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands on the Pacific typhoon belt, is plagued by poor sea transport, with badly regulated boats and ships providing the backbone of a system prone to overcrowding and accidents.
The latest incident occurred 30 years after another ferry, the MV Doña Paz, collided with an oil tanker in a pre-Christmas accident that claimed more than 4,000 lives in the world’s worst peacetime disaster at sea. —WITH REPORTS FROM NIKKO DIZON, AFP AND AP



Severe Tropical Storm Vinta moves over Compostela Valley

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Satellite image as of December 22, 8 am. Image courtesy of NOAA 

MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) continued to cross the Davao Region early Friday morning, December 22, following its landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental at 1:45 am. (READ: Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental)


In a bulletin issued 8 am, state weather bureau PAGASA said Vinta is already in the vicinity of Laak, Compostela Valley, still moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The severe tropical storm has maximum winds of 90 km/h and gustiness of up to 155 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)

Signal number 2 is raised in:

  • southern Surigao del Sur
  • northern Davao Oriental
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Compostela Valley
  • Davao del Norte
  • northern Davao del Sur (Davao City)
  • North Cotabato
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Bukidnon
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Lanao del Sur
  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Zamboanga Sibugay

Signal number 1, meanwhile, is up over:

  • Southern Leyte
  • Bohol
  • southern Cebu
  • Negros Oriental
  • southern Negros Occidental
  • Siquijor
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Surigao del Norte
  • northern Surigao del Sur
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Camiguin
  • southern Davao Oriental
  • southern Davao del Sur
  • Maguindanao
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Basilan

PAGASA also warned that scattered to widespread rains will continue in the Visayas and Mindanao within the next 24 hours. Residents of these areas should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: What are the hazard-prone areas along Vinta's path?)

Sea travel is also risky in areas under signal numbers 1 and 2. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

PAGASA earlier warned the public to take Vinta seriously, saying they should prepare and closely monitor updates.

The severe tropical storm is still expected to cross Caraga, Northern Mindanao, the Zamboanga Peninsula, and southern Palawan.

It will then leave PAR on Christmas Eve, December 24.

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Vinta as of December 22, 8 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Vinta as of December 22, 8 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA 

Eastern Visayas is still reeling from the damage wrought by Tropical Depression Urduja (Kai-tak), which battered the region as a tropical storm. National disaster management authorities said 45 people were killed and 46 others remain missing. Urduja left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) last Tuesday, December 19.

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon will bring scattered rain to Luzon, but PAGASA said there will be "no significant impact." –

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