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Go ahead and charge your iPhone X on a wireless Pikachu charger …

We’ve waited years for the iPhone to support wireless charging. We wanted that convenience, we said. We wanted to be just like our Android brethren, we said. And now, I’m happy to share that we can all unite over a wireless Pikachu charger. A company called Teknofun just announced the Pikachu, which it says should be compatible with Samsung devices and the iPhone 8 and X.

It’ll be available through GameStop for $49.99 on December 16th, and is advertised as an online only product. It features three USB ports and Pikachu’s cheeks should light up when charging.


46424_PK_811364_SITUATION_CHARGER_INCUTION Go ahead and charge your iPhone X on a wireless Pikachu charger ...

I love it. Now I need to buy a iPhone X or 8 so I can use it.

Update 12/8/17, 10:30 AM ET: Updated to include the charger’s availability date.

Go ahead and charge your iPhone X on a wireless Pikachu charger …

We’ve waited years for the iPhone to support wireless charging. We wanted that convenience, we said. We wanted to be just like our Android brethren, we said. And now, I’m happy to share that we can all unite over a wireless Pikachu charger. A company called Teknofun just announced the Pikachu, which it says should be compatible with Samsung devices and the iPhone 8 and X.

It’ll be available through GameStop for $49.99 on December 16th, and is advertised as an online only product. It features three USB ports and Pikachu’s cheeks should light up when charging.


d93c2_PK_811364_SITUATION_CHARGER_INCUTION Go ahead and charge your iPhone X on a wireless Pikachu charger ...

I love it. Now I need to buy a iPhone X or 8 so I can use it.

Update 12/8/17, 10:30 AM ET: Updated to include the charger’s availability date.

Apple’s Jony Ive is back in charge of product design – including next iPhone

Apple has reinstated Jony Ive as the lead executive on all things design, giving the artsy Brit control over how products look going forward.

For years, Jony Ive has been at the helm of product design at Apple. The 50-year-old joined the firm way back in 1992, and nabbed a job as Senior Vice President of Industrial Design in 1997. Since then, he’s had a massive role in every major Apple launch.

But back in 2015, Ive was named as Apple’s chief design officer and pulled off the general product design machine. This was purportedly done so he could head up the day-to-day management of the ongoing Apple Park development – that’s Apple’s new and only recently launched Californian headquarters.

Now that the Apple Park is operational (it even hosted the recent iPhone X launch), it means that Ive’s time has been freed up once again.

A statement on the matter from Apple spokesperson Amy Bessette sent to Bloomberg reads: “With the completion of Apple Park, Apple’s design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design.”

Jony Ive is one of the most well-known senior Apple staffers, and is often wheeled out during major product launches to wax poetic on the new device’s finer aesthetic details. So integral is his role to Apple’s success that, in 2016, it was estimated that Apple paid him a $30 million bonus plus an additional $25 million in shares. His personal fortune was recently estimated at around $130 million, and in 2012, he even received a knighthood from the Queen.

Related: iPhone 9

Which Apple product do you think has the best design? Let us know via Facebook or tweet us @TrustedReviews.

Go ahead and charge your iPhone X on a wireless Pikachu charger

We’ve waited years for the iPhone to support wireless charging. We wanted that convenience, we said. We wanted to be just like our Android brethren, we said. And now, I’m happy to share that we can all unite over a wireless Pikachu charger. A company called TeknFun just announced the Pikachu, which it says should be compatible with Samsung devices and the iPhone 8 and X.

It’s available through GameStop for $49.99, although it appears to be unavailable at the moment, even though it’s advertised as an online only product. It features three USB ports and Pikachu’s cheeks should light up when charging.


7babb_PK_811364_SITUATION_CHARGER_INCUTION Go ahead and charge your iPhone X on a wireless Pikachu charger

I love it. Now I need to buy a iPhone X or 8 so I can use it.

What’s the fastest way to charge an iPhone X?

The iPhone X’s battery will last almost as long as an iPhone 8 Plus. In real life, it’ll get you through the day in most cases. But Consumer Reports said in its iPhone X review that battery life isn’t that great compared to other phones, and that’s why it ranked the phone below Apple’s iPhone 8 models and top Android rivals. But that doesn’t make the iPhone X a worse phone than other flagships, previous iPhones included.

Hardcore iPhone users who find themselves running out of juice on a frequent basis should definitely carry a charger and a battery case, and they should consider adding a wireless charger to their roster of iPhone accessories. The following battery charging comparison will help you buy the right charging gear for your iPhone X.

Performed by MacRumors, the iPhone X battery charging test looked at various charging options, including wireless and wired methods:

We used the same iPhone X for all tests, plugged into the same outlet. Between tests, the battery was drained to one percent, and then battery percent was checked at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes while charging.

For all tests, the iPhone X was placed into Airplane mode with no apps running. The display was deactivated except for the four time checks. Tests were conducted without a case on the iPhone X.

The results aren’t surprising. Wireless charging, even the faster kind, is barely faster than what the 5W charger in the iPhone box can offer.

86760_iphone-x-battery-charging-speeds-comparison What's the fastest way to charge an iPhone X?Image Source: MacRumors

An iPad’s 12W charger is significantly faster, while USB-C charging takes the cake. However, you need to buy USB-C chargers and adapters to make it happen. The table above shows charging speeds for all the available charging options for the iPhone X.

iPhone X Charging Speeds Compared: The Fastest and Easiest Ways to Charge Your iPhone

With the addition of both fast charging and wireless charging to Apple’s 2017 iPhone lineup, there are more ways than ever to charge your iPhone. Every method is different — some are faster and more expensive, while others are slower but more convenient.

We tested several charging accessories from both Apple and third-party manufacturers with the iPhone X to see how charging speeds compare across different charging methods. These tests also apply to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which share many of the same features available in the iPhone X.

Accessories Tested

Apple’s default 5W iPhone charger (Free with iPhone, $19 alone)
5W wireless charger from Choetech ($16)
7.5W Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad from Apple ($59.95) (Tested at 5W and 7.5W)
Apple’s default 12W iPad charger (Free with iPad, $19 alone)
18W USB-C power adapter from Choetech ($17.99)
29W USB-C power adapter from Apple (Free with 12-inch MacBook, $49 alone)
30W USB-C power adapter from Anker ($30)
87W USB-C power adapter from Apple (Free with 15-inch MacBook, $79 alone)

The 5W and 12W chargers from Apple were paired with a standard Lightning cable from Apple, priced starting at $19. All USB-C charging accessories were paired with a USB-C to Lightning cable from Apple, priced starting at $25.

Methodology

We used the same iPhone X for all tests, plugged into the same outlet. Between tests, the battery was drained to one percent, and then battery percent was checked at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes while charging.

For all tests, the iPhone X was placed into Airplane mode with no apps running. The display was deactivated except for the four time checks. Tests were conducted without a case on the iPhone X.

Results

The absolute fastest way to charge an iPhone 8, iPhone X, or iPhone 8 Plus is with a USB-C power adapter and an accompanying USB-C to Lightning cable. Charging with USB-C activates a “fast-charge” feature that’s designed to charge the iPhone to around 50% in 30 minutes, and I saw about that level of charge in all of my USB-C tests.

5W wireless charging and 5W wired charging with the standard iPhone adapter were the slowest methods that I tested. 7.5W wireless testing was faster than 5W wireless charging, but not by much.

Click to enlarge
Charging at 12W with the iPad adapter wasn’t ultimately too far off of the fast charging results at the end of an hour, making this one of the better compromises between cost and speed.

USB-C

I tested both Apple’s 29W and 87W USB-C chargers that come with the 12-inch MacBook and the 15-inch MacBook Pro, respectively, along with much cheaper 18W and 30W chargers from Choetech and Anker. I saw little difference in charging speeds between 18W and 87W.

Click to enlarge
At the 30 minute mark in all tests, my phone was charged to between 45 and 49%, and at 60 minutes, I reached 77 to 79% battery life. The slowest charger was the Anker 30W, but the overall difference was so small that I think it can be chalked up to random variance. My charts are using 1 charging result, but I did test many of these chargers multiple times with the same general results.

Apple’s 29W MacBook charger costs $49 and the USB-C to Lightning cable costs $25, so you’re looking at about $75 for this charging method, but luckily, third party USB-C power adapters work the same way and are more affordable. That 18W Choetech charger I tested, for example, is just $18, while the one from Anker is $30.

Apple’s 29W USB-C power adapter and USB-C to Lightning cable
There are cheaper non-official USB-C to Lightning cables on Amazon, but given the problems we’ve seen with some third-party USB-C cables, it may be best to stick with verified Apple hardware as far as the cable goes. I didn’t test third-party Lightning to USB-C cables, but I wouldn’t expect to see major speed differences.

Choetech’s 18W USB-C power adapter and Anker’s 30W USB-C power adapter
If you go with Apple’s cable and something like the 18W Choetech charger, you can get a fast charge setup for just over $40. If you want to try your luck with a non-official cable, you can get fast charging for under $30.

Standard iPad and iPhone Chargers

All of Apple’s iPhones ship with a standard 5W power adapter and USB-A to Lightning cable, and charging with the standard setup is excruciatingly slow comparative to other charging methods. It’s not faster than 7.5W wireless charging and it can’t compare to charging with power adapters that put out more juice. At 30 minutes, for example, it had only charged my iPhone to 21 percent, and I only made it to 39 percent after 60 minutes.

Apple’s 5W iPhone charger and 12W iPad charger
Apple’s 12W iPad charger is much quicker, though, and it’s affordable at $19. With the 12W iPad charger and a standard Lightning cable, I saw charging speeds that weren’t too far off of what I got when charging with a USB-C power adapter. At the 30 minute mark, my iPhone charged to 39 percent, and at the 60 minute mark, I hit 72 percent.

That’s not too bad for a setup that’s one of the most affordable I found, and there are a lot of 12W equivalent third-party charging options on the market, including several with multiple ports and other conveniences.

Wireless Chargers

In general, wireless charging is slower than wired charging, but it’s undeniably convenient, and if you’re charging for a lengthy period of time, say at your desk at work or overnight on the night stand, the slower charging doesn’t matter.

That said, 7.5W wireless charging, which was activated in iOS 11.2, was faster than the standard 5W wired charging method in my testing. There’s also a noticeable but slight speed difference between 5W wireless charging and 7.5W wireless charging.

Click to enlarge
I tested this difference using the 7.5W wireless charger from Belkin, which Apple sells, on both iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.1.2, which limited iPhone charging to 5W. The Belkin 5W charging result on iOS 11.1.2 is the result included in my graph.

I also tested a Choetech 5W charger that was much slower than the Belkin at 5W, so much so that I wasn’t sure it was an accurate representation of 5W charging. From 1%:

– 15 minutes: 9%
– 30 minutes: 19%
– 45 minutes: 27%
– 60 minutes: 35%

There wasn’t a huge difference between 5W and 7.5W charging in my experience, but 7.5W is faster. If you’re buying a wireless charger, it’s worthwhile to get a 7.5W+ charger that offers faster charging for the iPhone, but which chargers are compatible with 7.5W wireless charging remains something of a mystery.

The Mophie and Belkin wireless charging docks
We know the Belkin and Mophie chargers that Apple sells offer the faster wireless charging option, but it’s not entirely clear if other higher-watt chargers from third-party manufacturers are able to charge the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus at higher speeds.

For a separate post on wireless charging options, we’ve been investigating third-party wireless chargers, and it’s looking like there may be a restriction put in place by Apple to limit 7.5W charging to approved manufacturers. As an example, on the Amazon page for this charger from Choetech, which says it is 7.5W, there is this message:

We get notice from Apple engineer that current IOS only support 5w qi wireless charging currently, 7.5w wireless charging is encrypted and never released to 3rd party manufacturer.

We’ve heard similar information from other manufacturers, but it’s all very nebulous and not something Apple has clearly outlined at this point. For that reason, if you want confirmed 7.5W wireless charging, go with the Belkin, the Mophie, or another charger that specifically states that it’s compatible with Apple’s 7.5W charging.

Choetech’s 5W wireless charger
Just because a wireless charger offers more than 5W, it’s not necessarily going to offer 7.5W charging speeds when used with an iPhone. If you’re using wireless charging on the night stand or when sitting at a desk for long periods of time, 5W is perfectly adequate, and the third-party chargers are much more affordable than the Belkin and Mophie chargers.

On the subject of wireless charging, I also tested to see if case thickness impacts charging speed. I tested with a naked iPhone X, an iPhone X in Apple’s Silicone case, and an iPhone X with one of the thickest backs I could find, the glitter-filled iPhone X case from Casetify. Charging speeds were almost identical in all three tests, and while the Casetify case was maybe about 2 percent slower, that can perhaps be chalked up to margin of error. There was zero difference with the thinner Apple case.

If your case works with wireless charging at all (and most do, with the exception of those that have rear magnets or are made from aluminum), it’s going to charge at the same speed or nearly the same speed as a naked iPhone.

Conclusion

To get fast charging on iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, you don’t need anything over 18W, and you don’t need a USB-C power adapter that’s from Apple. The third-party options work just as well, but you will probably want to pick up Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable over the alternatives.

Fast charging is going to get you the best charging times, but for less money, you can get the 12W iPad charger and use it with a standard Lightning cable to charge your iPhone almost as fast as you can charge it with fast charging. There’s only about a 10 percent difference between the 12W iPad charger and USB-C charging.


It’s not really worth it using the 5W charger that the iPhone ships with if you can help it, because it’s incredibly slow.

Wireless charging is also a comparatively slow charging method, but it’s convenient to be able to set your iPhone right next to you on a wireless charger and pick it up when necessary without the need to hassle with a cord.

iPhone X Charging Speeds Compared: The Fastest and Easiest Ways to Charge Your iPhone

With the addition of both fast charging and wireless charging to Apple’s 2017 iPhone lineup, there are more ways than ever to charge your iPhone. Every method is different — some are faster and more expensive, while others are slower but more convenient.

We tested several charging accessories from both Apple and third-party manufacturers with the iPhone X to see how charging speeds compare across different charging methods. These tests also apply to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which share many of the same features available in the iPhone X.

Accessories Tested

Apple’s default 5W iPhone charger (Free with iPhone, $19 alone)
5W wireless charger from Choetech ($16)
7.5W Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad from Apple ($59.95) (Tested at 5W and 7.5W)
Apple’s default 12W iPad charger (Free with iPad, $19 alone)
18W USB-C power adapter from Choetech ($17.99)
29W USB-C power adapter from Apple (Free with 12-inch MacBook, $49 alone)
30W USB-C power adapter from Anker ($30)
87W USB-C power adapter from Apple (Free with 15-inch MacBook, $79 alone)

The 5W and 12W chargers from Apple were paired with a standard Lightning cable from Apple, priced starting at $19. All USB-C charging accessories were paired with a USB-C to Lightning cable from Apple, priced starting at $25.

Methodology

We used the same iPhone X for all tests, plugged into the same outlet. Between tests, the battery was drained to one percent, and then battery percent was checked at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes while charging.

For all tests, the iPhone X was placed into Airplane mode with no apps running. The display was deactivated except for the four time checks. Tests were conducted without a case on the iPhone X.

Results

The absolute fastest way to charge an iPhone 8, iPhone X, or iPhone 8 Plus is with a USB-C power adapter and an accompanying USB-C to Lightning cable. Charging with USB-C activates a “fast-charge” feature that’s designed to charge the iPhone to around 50% in 30 minutes, and I saw about that level of charge in all of my USB-C tests.

5W wireless charging and 5W wired charging with the standard iPhone adapter were the slowest methods that I tested. 7.5W wireless testing was faster than 5W wireless charging, but not by much.

Click to enlarge
Charging at 12W with the iPad adapter wasn’t ultimately too far off of the fast charging results at the end of an hour, making this one of the better compromises between cost and speed.

USB-C

I tested both Apple’s 29W and 87W USB-C chargers that come with the 12-inch MacBook and the 15-inch MacBook Pro, respectively, along with much cheaper 18W and 30W chargers from Choetech and Anker. I saw little difference in charging speeds between 18W and 87W.

Click to enlarge
At the 30 minute mark in all tests, my phone was charged to between 45 and 49%, and at 60 minutes, I reached 77 to 79% battery life. The slowest charger was the Anker 30W, but the overall difference was so small that I think it can be chalked up to random variance. My charts are using 1 charging result, but I did test many of these chargers multiple times with the same general results.

Apple’s 29W MacBook charger costs $49 and the USB-C to Lightning cable costs $25, so you’re looking at about $75 for this charging method, but luckily, third party USB-C power adapters work the same way and are more affordable. That 18W Choetech charger I tested, for example, is just $18, while the one from Anker is $30.

Apple’s 29W USB-C power adapter and USB-C to Lightning cable
There are cheaper non-official USB-C to Lightning cables on Amazon, but given the problems we’ve seen with some third-party USB-C cables, it may be best to stick with verified Apple hardware as far as the cable goes. I didn’t test third-party Lightning to USB-C cables, but I wouldn’t expect to see major speed differences.

Choetech’s 18W USB-C power adapter and Anker’s 30W USB-C power adapter
If you go with Apple’s cable and something like the 18W Choetech charger, you can get a fast charge setup for just over $40. If you want to try your luck with a non-official cable, you can get fast charging for under $30.

Standard iPad and iPhone Chargers

All of Apple’s iPhones ship with a standard 5W power adapter and USB-A to Lightning cable, and charging with the standard setup is excruciatingly slow comparative to other charging methods. It’s not faster than 7.5W wireless charging and it can’t compare to charging with power adapters that put out more juice. At 30 minutes, for example, it had only charged my iPhone to 21 percent, and I only made it to 39 percent after 60 minutes.

Apple’s 5W iPhone charger and 12W iPad charger
Apple’s 12W iPad charger is much quicker, though, and it’s affordable at $19. With the 12W iPad charger and a standard Lightning cable, I saw charging speeds that weren’t too far off of what I got when charging with a USB-C power adapter. At the 30 minute mark, my iPhone charged to 39 percent, and at the 60 minute mark, I hit 72 percent.

That’s not too bad for a setup that’s one of the most affordable I found, and there are a lot of 12W equivalent third-party charging options on the market, including several with multiple ports and other conveniences.

Wireless Chargers

In general, wireless charging is slower than wired charging, but it’s undeniably convenient, and if you’re charging for a lengthy period of time, say at your desk at work or overnight on the night stand, the slower charging doesn’t matter.

That said, 7.5W wireless charging, which was activated in iOS 11.2, was faster than the standard 5W wired charging method in my testing. There’s also a noticeable but slight speed difference between 5W wireless charging and 7.5W wireless charging.

Click to enlarge
I tested this difference using the 7.5W wireless charger from Belkin, which Apple sells, on both iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.1.2, which limited iPhone charging to 5W. The Belkin 5W charging result on iOS 11.1.2 is the result included in my graph.

I also tested a Choetech 5W charger that was much slower than the Belkin at 5W, so much so that I wasn’t sure it was an accurate representation of 5W charging. From 1%:

– 15 minutes: 9%
– 30 minutes: 19%
– 45 minutes: 27%
– 60 minutes: 35%

There wasn’t a huge difference between 5W and 7.5W charging in my experience, but 7.5W is faster. If you’re buying a wireless charger, it’s worthwhile to get a 7.5W+ charger that offers faster charging for the iPhone, but which chargers are compatible with 7.5W wireless charging remains something of a mystery.

The Mophie and Belkin wireless charging docks
We know the Belkin and Mophie chargers that Apple sells offer the faster wireless charging option, but it’s not entirely clear if other higher-watt chargers from third-party manufacturers are able to charge the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus at higher speeds.

For a separate post on wireless charging options, we’ve been investigating third-party wireless chargers, and it’s looking like there may be a restriction put in place by Apple to limit 7.5W charging to approved manufacturers. As an example, on the Amazon page for this charger from Choetech, which says it is 7.5W, there is this message:

We get notice from Apple engineer that current IOS only support 5w qi wireless charging currently, 7.5w wireless charging is encrypted and never released to 3rd party manufacturer.

We’ve heard similar information from other manufacturers, but it’s all very nebulous and not something Apple has clearly outlined at this point. For that reason, if you want confirmed 7.5W wireless charging, go with the Belkin, the Mophie, or another charger that specifically states that it’s compatible with Apple’s 7.5W charging.

Choetech’s 5W wireless charger
Just because a wireless charger offers more than 5W, it’s not necessarily going to offer 7.5W charging speeds when used with an iPhone. If you’re using wireless charging on the night stand or when sitting at a desk for long periods of time, 5W is perfectly adequate, and the third-party chargers are much more affordable than the Belkin and Mophie chargers.

On the subject of wireless charging, I also tested to see if case thickness impacts charging speed. I tested with a naked iPhone X, an iPhone X in Apple’s Silicone case, and an iPhone X with one of the thickest backs I could find, the glitter-filled iPhone X case from Casetify. Charging speeds were almost identical in all three tests, and while the Casetify case was maybe about 2 percent slower, that can perhaps be chalked up to margin of error. There was zero difference with the thinner Apple case.

If your case works with wireless charging at all (and most do, with the exception of those that have rear magnets or are made from aluminum), it’s going to charge at the same speed or nearly the same speed as a naked iPhone.

Conclusion

To get fast charging on iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, you don’t need anything over 18W, and you don’t need a USB-C power adapter that’s from Apple. The third-party options work just as well, but you will probably want to pick up Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable over the alternatives.

Fast charging is going to get you the best charging times, but for less money, you can get the 12W iPad charger and use it with a standard Lightning cable to charge your iPhone almost as fast as you can charge it with fast charging. There’s only about a 10 percent difference between the 12W iPad charger and USB-C charging.


It’s not really worth it using the 5W charger that the iPhone ships with if you can help it, because it’s incredibly slow.

Wireless charging is also a comparatively slow charging method, but it’s convenient to be able to set your iPhone right next to you on a wireless charger and pick it up when necessary without the need to hassle with a cord.

Cop accused of iPhone theft now faces health care fraud charge

A Pleasantville police officer who was charged with stealing an iPhone has now also been accused of committing health care fraud for years, officials said. 

Juan Forero, 34, of Pleasantville, was arrested and charged with theft by unlawful taking after removing an Apple iPhone 7 Plus from a shopping cart at ShopRite in Somers Point in April, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said last week.

While investigating the theft, authorities learned Forero had been listing his former wife as a beneficiary on his health care plan even though they divorced in 2011, authorities said.

As a result, Blue Cross Blue Shield paid more than $90,0000 toward her health care since the two divorced, officials said. If the woman paid out of pocket, it would have cost $320,000.

Elizabeth cop charges with health insurance fraud

Pleasantville paid an additional $21,000 in premiums to cover Haydee Forero, the prosecutor’s office said. 

Before Forero became a cop he allegedly tried to pull off a similar scheme when he worked for AtlantiCare, costing them about $4,000, authorities said.

Additional charges against Forero include theft, unsworn falsification to authorities, insurance fraud.

Hired in 2015, Forero was suspended without pay after being arrested on the iPhone theft charge in April 26. His annual salary is $59,789, according to public records. 

“While I am saddened to confirm that one of our officers has been charged with criminal conduct, I am also reassured to report that the internal affairs process has worked as intended,” Chief San Riggin said. “The Pleasantville police department cannot and will not accept unethical conduct by our officers and will take swift action to investigate all claims of misconduct.”

Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

 

Charge your iPhone X wirelessly with this Qi pad that’s on sale

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

When it comes to introducing new technologies to the mainstream, Apple often leads the pack: touchscreen phones, Wi-Fi, mice with no buttons. But sometimes, Apple forgets to innovate and falls behind: big screen phones, streaming music, reasonable prices. 

Fortunately, after years of sitting on the sidelines, Apple has finally stepped up to the plate and embraced one of its most glaring omissions: wireless charging. All of the new iPhones – the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus – can now be charged wirelessly with a Qi charging pad such as the Mini Qi Wireless Charging Pad.

This charging pad is dead simple: just place your iPhone on top of it and your iPhone charges. (Bonus: it also works with all Qi-compatible Androids such as the Samsung Galaxy S8.) You don’t have to blindly fumble in the dark for that stray charging cable anymore. Just leave your iPhone on top of this magical pad and get back to more important things.

The Mini Qi Wireless Charging Pad normally costs $39.99, but you can get it for just $11.99, a savings of 70%.

2ba2f_https%253A%252F%252Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%252Fuploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F666290%252Fb57c2c71-c9df-4bc7-b17b-9a1f2c00b901 Charge your iPhone X wirelessly with this Qi pad that's on sale

New Samsung technology helps batteries charge faster and last longer

3e1e1_samsung-galaxy-note-4-battery-sd-card-aa-345 New Samsung technology helps batteries charge faster and last longer

Smartphone batteries have been teetering on the verge of big improvements for years now, but the main advances we’ve seen make it into commercial smartphones have arrived in the form of quick charging and wireless charging.

While these aren’t insignificant — I’m rather happy to own a phone that reaches more than 50% of its full charge in half an hour — smartphone battery life standby times have hovered around the one-to-two day mark for the past five years or more.

However, in a report recently published on scientific research website Nature.com, it appears that Samsung Electronics has accomplished what could be the next step big step in smartphone battery tech.

Microsoft begins selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Using a “graphene ball” material, Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) has apparently been able to make LIBs (lithium-ion batteries) charge faster and last longer. This technology is said to offer a “45 percent” increase in capacity, and “five times” faster charge speeds — from an hour down to 12 minutes for a full charge.

What’s more, the tech could be applied to electric vehicles, given that it can survive the necessary “up to 60 degrees Celsius” conditions.

3e1e1_samsung-galaxy-note-4-battery-sd-card-aa-345 New Samsung technology helps batteries charge faster and last longer

SAMSUNG CSC

LIBs have been employed in many consumer electronics products since their introduction in the early 90s — and smartphones since their inception — but, despite being the best current option, they’re also very restrictive. Smartphones, laptops, smartwatches etc have to be charged all-too-frequently for many of us, but the physical space occupied by their LIBs also impact weight and design (critically, what components can fit inside the products). Furthermore, they can be comparatively volatile — it was problems associated with the Galaxy Note 7’s battery that lead to it being discontinued shortly after release.

For these reasons, they’re crying out for a smaller, longer-lasting replacement, and a graphene-based solution might be the answer. This lightweight, minuscule, durable material has been available in a manufacturing capacity since 2004 but scientists are still exploring its potential uses. Though Samsung’s new battery would still rely on the LIBs of old, it could pave the way for greater innovations to come.

Samsung has already patented the new technology in South Korea and the US but there’s no telling when it could make its way to smartphones. If it’s anything like the previous reports on advanced smartphone batteries, it could be years away.

Live Wire: How does the Health Department charge $47 for a basic flu shot yet Rite Aid charges $34?

Questions and answers of general interest and consumer topics.

Q: How does the Health Department charge $47 for a basic flu shot yet Rite Aid charges $34? This is for people without health insurance. I wonder how they arrive at these prices. — J.P., Fayetteville

A: A county spokeswoman said the Health Department charges $15 for the flu shots, plus a $32 administrative fee. The administrative fee became effective Jan. 1, 2012.

“We will revisit this administrative fee in the near future,” said Rod Jenkins, the interim director of the Health Department.

 

Rodger Mullen

 

Q: I’m considering the purchase of a solar energy system. My current provider is South River Electric Membership Corporation. Are there any financial incentives for this available from the state of North Carolina or the electrical provider? All I can find out so far is that I qualify for a 30 percent federal incentive. — M.B., Wade

A: Each utility handles connections with renewable generators, such as solar energy systems, a little differently, according to Catherine O’Dell, a spokeswoman for South River Electric Membership Corporation.

“South River EMC is happy to work with members who choose to invest in solar energy,” she said.

South River offers customers a couple of different arrangements for the electricity that is generated by a solar system, O’Dell said.

“We are pleased to help walk members through the process and answer any questions they might have,” she said. “There are no state incentives, but there is a federal Residential Renewable Tac Credit of 30 percent of the installed cost.”

O’Dell said that anyone who is considering investing in any renewable energy system should run all of the numbers and perform their due diligence to determine if the investment is the right choice for their family.

Anyone with questions should call 910-892-8071, ext. 2152.

 

Steve DeVane

 

Live Wire seeks to answer questions of general interest and consumer topics. Initials are used to identify questioners when names are given. Contact Live Wire at livewire@fayobserver.com or at 486-3516.

Mark Cuban: Net neutrality rules put Trump in charge of the internet

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1370f_104338497-RTX30PZH.530x298 Mark Cuban: Net neutrality rules put Trump in charge of the internet

A new proposal could weaken federal oversight of internet service providers by rolling back net neutrality regulations — a change that makes sense to tech investor and Donald Trump critic Mark Cuban.

Cuban reiterated his criticism of net neutrality regulations on Wednesday, tweeting that the existing rules give the president the keys to the entire internet.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on Tuesday that the agency was reviewing a drafted proposal to replace existing net neutrality regulations. Pai’s proposal would roll back Obama-era rules that prevented internet service providers like Verizon, ATT, Charter or CNBC owner Comcast from changing the delivery speed and availability of specific internet content. A replacement plan would lift many of the federal regulations but maintain a mandate of transparency, Pai said.

Cuban referred Twitter followers to his previous critiques on net neutrality regulation. He argued that private companies weren’t really harmed by the state of the internet prior to the Obama-era rules, and thus would be unlikely to be harmed by rolling the rules back.

Cuban has been an outspoken critic of Trump but has favored some policies associated with both the political left and the political right.

Cuban made his name by building and selling online streaming company Broadcast.com during the dot-com boom. Cuban, unlike most of Silicon Valley, has maintained for years that private companies should compete for promotion on the internet — not depend on FCC rules to mediate the entire ecosystem.

The Internet Association, which counts companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook as members, opposed Pai’s proposal.

“Consumers have little choice in their [internet service provider], and service providers should not be allowed to use this gatekeeper position at the point of connection to discriminate against websites and apps,” said Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of the Internet Association, in a statement on Tuesday.



1370f_104338497-RTX30PZH.530x298 Mark Cuban: Net neutrality rules put Trump in charge of the internet


Jason Calacanis, another prominent technology investor, spoke out against Pai’s proposal on Wednesday. On CNBC’s “Squawk Alley,” Calacanis questioned whether big telecom companies could be trusted to be transparent and maintain a level playing field for all content.

“When you get on the internet, if you don’t have net neutrality, they’re going to throttle certain services that are not their’s,” Calacanis said. “So Verizon, which as you know, now has Yahoo, might make Google slower, or they could even charge you to access Google. And a company like Netflix or YouTube, they would be killed by Verizon — they would be killed by ATT and Comcast. … You cannot trust large companies to do the right thing.”

Verizon told CNBC it remains committed to an open internet and that it would not block or throttle lawful content. Comcast reiterated sentiments from a Tuesday blog post: “[W]e do not and will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content – and we will be transparent with our customers about these policies.”

The White House, ATT, Netflix and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Google is part of the Internet Association, and Netflix said on Tuesday that it opposed the FCC proposal.

In a Tuesday blog post, ATT wrote: “Make no doubt, the circulation of this order will bring the ‘sky is falling’ crowd to the fore, and they will foretell a day when websites will be blocked, content censored and internet access controlled by ISP overlords. Such claims, while great for fundraising, are as nonsensical now as they were a decade ago when they were first prophesied.”

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” which features Mark Cuban as a panelist.



1370f_104338497-RTX30PZH.530x298 Mark Cuban: Net neutrality rules put Trump in charge of the internet


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Mark Cuban Thinks Net Neutrality Puts Donald Trump ‘In Charge’ of the Internet

The entrepreneur and TV star Mark Cuban has weighed in again on the subject of net neutrality, this time arguing that a continuation of the rules in the U.S. “effectively puts Donald Trump in charge of the Internet and its future.”

Cuban has long been against the idea of federally-mandated net neutrality—a term that describes forcing Internet service providers to treat all online content equally. He argues that having net neutrality rules gives the government control over the Internet.

Net neutrality advocates say the rules stop cable companies from being able to pick and choose who gets to deliver online services at a reasonable quality, and from being able to charge consumers more for full Internet access.

Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer whom Trump put in charge of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), plans to rescind an Obama-era decision that gave the commission the power to regulate Internet service providers like public utilities. His proposal will go to a mid-December vote that will—with Republicans currently dominating the FFC’s board—almost certainly pass.

Cuban seems to agree with Pai, judging by tweets he published late Wednesday.

The core of Cuban’s (and the cable companies’) argument is that, without regulation, cable companies will be able to invest more in their infrastructure. This would presumably be the result of charging customers more than they currently do to access the full Internet, and offering cut-down packages of websites at low prices.

Net neutrality advocates, meanwhile, point to the U.S.’s relative lack of competition among fixed-line Internet services providers and argue that without competitive pressure, the cable companies will be able to treat their customers as they please.

In his Twitter session, Cuban’s retort was that dominant Internet service providers “are dominant because of regulation, not in spite of it.”

As for Cuban’s claim that net neutrality puts the president in charge of the Internet (at least, the American Internet), this appears to be a ploy to change the minds of net neutrality advocates who dislike Trump. However, the logic of his argument would imply that any federal regulations are bad, simply because of who the president is.

To charge your iPhone X as quickly as possible, you need to spend another $94

It’s as if $1,000 wasn’t enough to begin with.

Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone X, has drawn criticism for costing as much as a 1996 Honda Accord, but it turns out that one of its features isn’t even available out of the box.

The iPhone X (and iPhone 8s) support quick charging, which allows the phones to charge up to 50% in just 30 minutes, according to Apple. The problem is that they can’t do that with the cable and plug that come with the phones.

As Gizmodo points out in its great investigation into all of the various charging cables and plugs Apple offers, to actually get the quickest charging, you need to buy a 61-Watt adapter plug and a USB-C to Lightning cable. Those two items from Apple’s website will set you back an additional $94, before tax.

Apple wasn’t immediately available to explain the rationale behind not including these cables and plugs with its phones. But if you would like to quick charge your new iPhone and perhaps are a little light on funds after the massive outlay for the phone itself, there are other options. Accessories manufacturer Anker sells a 60-Watt wall charger that can charge five devices at once for $50 and Amazon offers a three-pack of USB-C to Lightning cables for $12.90, saving you a grand total of $31.10.

You could use that money to buy yourself a case for your new phone, considering that replacing the glass back on the iPhone X can set you back up to $549.


Read next: The Quartz review of the iPhone X: It’s a beautiful mess

Federal prosecutors charge Iranian national for allegedly hacking into the computer servers of HBO

An Iranian hacker was accused by federal prosecutors in New York Tuesday of orchestrating the summertime cyberattack that targeted HBO and compromised some of the channel’s most popular programming.

Behzad Mesri was charged in a seven-count indictment with computer fraud, wire fraud and other crimes. He is believed to be in Iran and likely beyond the reach of American authorities, but federal prosecutors and the FBI scheduled a lunchtime news conference to discuss the case.

The hack of HBO lasted for several months this past summer and exposed confidential and proprietary data, including video files of unaired episodes of “Ballers,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Deuce,” the indictment said. Scripts for “Game of Thrones,” confidential cast and crew lists and emails belonging to at least one HBO employee were also compromised.

The motive was money. According to court records, Mesri “commenced the extortion phase of the scheme” in an email to HBO executives: “Hi to All losers! Yes it’s true! HBO is hacked!” The email demanded $6 million worth of the digital currency bitcoin, federal prosecutors said.

Another email quoted in court records said, “I have the honor to inform you…that we successfully breached into your huge network.” The message continued: “We obtained most valuable information.”

Mesri was a self-professed expert in computer hacking, court records said. He had worked previously “on behalf of the Iranian military” to hack military systems, nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure.

He was known online as Skote Vahshat, a hacker pseudonym federal prosecutors said Mesri used to deface hundreds of websites in the United States and elsewhere around the world.

Tesla’s battery bank will charge your iPhone with same battery as Model S/X

It has Lightning and microUSB (boo no USB-C!) built in and interestingly it is powered by a single 18650 cell with 3350 mAh capacity – the same cells (~7000 of them) which power the company’s Model S and X vehicles.

The $45 Tesla Powerbank features:

  • Compact Design
  • Integrated USB
  • Integrated Apple lightning and detachable micro USB
  • High efficiency circuitry to deliver maximum battery capacity
  • Charge status indicator

Technical Specs:

  • Single 18650 cell with 3350 mAh capacity
  • Input: 1800±200mA
  • Output: 5V/1.5A max

Dimensions: 108 x 30.5 x 23.3mm

Also, find the Desktop Supercharger for the same price.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

 

Tesla’s battery bank will charge your iPhone with same battery as Model S/X

It has Lightning and microUSB (boo no USB-C!) built in and interestingly it is powered by a single 18650 cell with 3350 mAh capacity – the same cells (~7000 of them) which power the company’s Model S and X vehicles.

The $45 Tesla Powerbank features:

  • Compact Design
  • Integrated USB
  • Integrated Apple lightning and detachable micro USB
  • High efficiency circuitry to deliver maximum battery capacity
  • Charge status indicator

Technical Specs:

  • Single 18650 cell with 3350 mAh capacity
  • Input: 1800±200mA
  • Output: 5V/1.5A max

Dimensions: 108 x 30.5 x 23.3mm

Also, find the Desktop Supercharger for the same price.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

 

GRADE CHANGING SCHEME: Newtown Township Police charge women with computer crimes at Bucks County …

NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP Two Bucks County women have been arrested and charged with computer crimes after allegedly gaining unauthorized access to the computer network at the Bucks County Community College.

According to Newtown Township Police, the school staff learned that someone had gained unauthorized access to the school’s computer network in July using a faculty member’s credentials and made changes to the grades of several students. The college called police.

An initial investigation by police revealed that Alesisha Morosco, 30, of New Hope used the personal information of a faculty member to access the school’s computer network and make the changes to the student’s grades, including her own.

Further investigation, police said, revealed that Kelly Marryott, 37, of Yardley accessed the personal information of the faculty member through the course of her employment at a medical office, then disseminated the faculty member’s personal information to Morosco, which Morosco used to access the school’s computer network to make the grade changes, police said.

Police have charged Aleisha Morosco and Kelly Marryott with Unlawful Use of Computer/Criminal Conspiracy, Computer Trespass/Criminal Conspiracy and Identity Theft/Criminal Conspiracy. Both were arraigned by District Judge Michael Petrucci and were released on $40,000 unsecured bail.

Your new iPhone X will last longer than 2 days on a charge with this $40 battery case

Apple’s hot new iPhone X is such a great phone that it’s difficult to find anything to complain about. The design is incredible, the display is the best in the business, Face ID is a game-changer, and even the battery life is outstanding despite the phone’s compact size. Of course, you can never really have enough battery life, can you? Check out the Vproof iPhone X Battery Case, which is surprisingly slim considering the massive 6,000 mAh of juice it adds to your iPhone X. Don’t worry, you can thank us later when you’re getting more than two days of battery life out of your iPhone X.

Here are the highlights from Amazon’s product page:

* ★More Than 150% Extra power–This battery case with powerful 6000mAh capacity for iPhone X helps keep your phone charged the entire day.
* ★4 Level LED Power Indicator–Featuring with the LED battery level indicator, this battery case could let you know exactly the power charged or left (0–25%–50%–75%–100%); Besides, you could just switch on/off your battery case with the power switch easily.
* ★Advanced SYNC Hassle-Free Charging –You can sync data to your Macbook, PC or laptop and charge your phone at same time without removing the case; Besides, with this battery case, you can charge your iPhone in any place , any time you want. ANY WIRED HEADPHONES IS UNAVAILABLE WHEN CHARGING.
* ★Built-in Magnet Metal Portable–With the built-in magnetic metal, this case could work well with magnetic car mount directly when driving(Car Mount Not Included); Handled design, could put in your bag and hold by only one hand easily.
* ★100% Money Back Guarantee–If you are not satisfied with the 6000mAh battery case for iPhone X, please let us know and we will issue you a full refund or replacement to make you be a happy customer.

0ab23_51WQcEe0R5L._SL160_ Your new iPhone X will last longer than 2 days on a charge with this $40 battery case

iPhone X Battery Case,Ruky 6000 mAh Rechargeable Extended Battery Charger Protective Case Power…

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How to Charge Your iPhone Faster

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Making Cassette Tapes Cool Again

11/3/2017 10:17AM

The growing popularity of cassettes in the music industry is creating a serious tape shortage. One die-hard supplier, National Audio Co. in Springfield, Mo., sees an opportunity. Photo: Blake Nelson for The Wall Street Journal