AWT News Update: January 16, 2017

Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong.

Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong.

After missing the publication of last Friday's Apple World Today News Update, we're back with three stories from the world of Apple:

  • The latest beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.3 adds a feature to save battery power on MacBooks with a new setting in the battery menu
  • Samsung's woes continue; this time, the person next in line to be head of the conglomerate is to be arrested on suspicion of involvement in a government corruption scandal
  • The Eastern Texas patent trolls are on a roll again, this time accusing Apple's iMessage of infringing on a 2002 patent for part of a point-of-sale system

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Note to Apple News readers: you’ll need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 16, 2017. Due to a scheduling conflict on Friday afternoon we did not get a chance to record and publish the AWT News Update for January 13.

The latest beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.3 has a feature that may be very useful to owners of MacBooks who want to squeeze as much battery life as possible out of their laptops. Previously, the battery menu showed apps that were using significant energy. Now that menu has changed to just say “using significant energy” and includes the display brightness if a user has it set to 75% or greater. Clicking the Display Brightness warning will automatically lower the brightness to a lower level, which makes the battery level menu more useful than it was when it previously just monitored energy-thirsty apps.

Things just keep getting worse for Samsung. The South Korean conglomerate had to deal with a series of fires and explosions resulting from a faulty battery design in the Galaxy Note 7 last year, and now the person next in line to be Samsung’s CEO is about to be arrested for his suspected involvement in a government corruption scandal. An arrest warrant was issued today for Lee Jae-Yong (pictured at the top of this post), accusing him on counts of bribery, embezzlement and perjury. Lee is accused of donating 43 billion won ($36 million) — part of which was embezzled from Samsung — to non-profits linked to a friend of impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Lee is currently the de facto head of Samsung, standing in for his ailing father and chairman Lee Kun-hee. Investigators say that these bribes were key to bringing the governmental approval of a merger between two Samsung affiliates in 2015. With President Park’s backing, the merger helped transfer control of the conglomerate to the younger Lee. Samsung says that it “did not make contributions in order to receive favors. In particular, we find it hard to accept the special prosecutor’s argument that Samsung has made improper requests related to the merger of Samsung affiliates or the leadership transition.”

The patent trolls have come out of their caves in Eastern Texas again. This time, a company called Seatoun Media claims that Apple is infringing on a 2002 patent for part of a point of sale system through iMessage. What does iMessage have to do with a point of sale system patent? Seatoun Media says that their patent entitled “Point to point voice message processor, method, and recording/playback device” describes a “voice message processor” that can pass messages between users of the point of sale system. The complaint from the company says that the patent applies to a number of Apple products, including those equipped with iMessage or that are able to be used with other messaging software. Those products include iPhone 4 and later models, all iPads, the iPod touch and iMessage. Seatoun Media says in one example of infringement that consumers are “induced to use their iPhone 6 with iMessage to record and play voice messages through a communications link” and that Apple is infringing simply by allowing voice messages to be sent. Apple hasn’t responded to the complaint at this time.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.

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