Apple to Replace Faulty USB Type-C Cables

USB type-C seems great in theory, being more easily usable and set to be as universal as micro USB in future. Unfortunately, once again, problems have been found with the cables, this time, ones sold by Apple who has announced a replacement program for cables distributed between April and June 8th, 2015. This includes both the cables that shipped with the 12-inch Retina Macbook and those sold separately in Apple Stores.

According to Apple, the affected cables “may fail due to a design issue.” The result of this design issue is that “your MacBook may not charge or only charge intermittently when it’s connected to a power adapter with an affected cable.” Due to the limited set of cables that are to be replaced, it would seem that Apple has been selling revised cables for months, which makes you wonder why it took them so long to replace the faulty ones. Those customers who provided Apple with their address during either product registration or via the Apple online store are expected to be receiving replacement cables by the end of the month, with a replacement process set up for others affected. Users can visit the Genius Bar at an Apple Store, an authorized Apple service provider or contact Apple customer support, in all cases providing their MacBook’s serial number to prove eligibility for the program. For those who already purchased a replacement cable themselves, a refund may be available through Apple support. You can check whether your cable is one of those affected by the design issue using the image below.

This new design of USB cable is really running into a lot of teething trouble, as it seems like many manufacturers have failed to get them right first time, now including the mighty Apple, typically known for the reliability of their products. Maybe one day picking up a charging cable for your new phone or another device won’t seem like such a gamble, until then, many devices are still using the venerable micro USB.

Microsoft is Recalling Surface Pro Power Cables Due to Overheating Concerns

Microsoft’s Surface Pro range offers superb flexibility due to detachable keyboard, integrated stand and responsive touch screen display. These type of devices are becoming more popular and could theoretically replace traditional laptops. Microsoft’s early vision for the original Surface didn’t go as planned and had pretty severe restrictions due to Windows RT. Thankfully, Microsoft implemented in their pro line-up full Windows integration and support for Win32 applications. The only real downside to take into consideration is the price, which can exceed £1000 for certain configurations. Clearly, this is a costly endeavour but Microsoft appears to be targeting the Surface line at professionals requiring excellent build quality and a high specification.

However, in a statement issued to ZDNet, it appears the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3 sold before July 2015 have been encountering overheating problems with the included AC adapter. Microsoft’s official findings reads:

“As a result of damage caused by AC power cords being wound too tightly, twisted or pinched over an extended period of time, a very small proportion of Surface Pro customers have reported issues with their AC power cord. We will be releasing details of how customers can obtain a free replacement cable shortly.”

This isn’t going to do Microsoft any favours and raises questions about their ability to produce durable hardware. On the other hand, at least they have openly admitted the technical problems and preparing replacements for all affected customers. It’s still unknown when the replacement service will begin but I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft started the RMA process in the next few days. The advent of ultra cheap chargers from online auction sites can be tempting, but a large amount of these haven’t been approved and can pose, in extreme circumstances, a fire risk. Always spend a little bit extra and buy an official charger.

What do you think of the Surface Pro range?

OnePlus to Refund Faulty USB Type-C Cables

OnePlus, after admitting there is a flaw in their USB Type-C cables, has begun to offer refunds for these cables – or some of them at least. If your cable came packaged with a OnePlus 2, you’ll just have to be careful what you use the cable for.

The issue with OnePlus’ Type-C cables was brought to light by Google Engineer Benson Leung, who tested the cable. He discovered that the cable did not conform to the USB Type-C 1.1 specification, as it was able to draw too much power. The consequence of this being that “[the cable] may cause damage to whatever cable, hub, PC, or charger you plug into this,” he reported. OnePlus went on to explain the problem, the cable uses the wrong resistor, using only a 10kΩ component, rather than the specification standard 56kΩ resistor.

Thankfully, the cable is perfectly safe to use with the OnePlus 2, which comes with a USB Type-C cable in the box. This is due to the OnePlus 2 not being a fast charge supported device, which are unaffected by the issue. “if you’re charging or transferring data to or from the OnePlus 2” OnePlus report, “you should have no problems using the cable that shipped with your OnePlus 2 or the cables or adapters you bought separately on OnePlus.net.” This is the reason that no refund or replacement is given for the bundled cables, as the are considered fit-for-purpose, which is for the OnePlus 2 device.

For those of you who have purchased a faulty cable, you can apply for a refund here until December the 31st. And OnePlus provide assurance that their engineers are working on a version of the cable that will use the 56kΩ resistor. And if you got the cable with your OnePlus 2 and are unwilling to shell out for a new one, Leung has some advice: “If you want to keep the cable, mark it with a tag so you don’t forget it’s special.”

Apple Offers to Fix ‘Blurry’ IPhone 6 Plus Cameras for Free

Apple has been under increasing pressure from disgruntled customers affected by blurry focus on the iPhone 6 Plus rear-facing camera. The hardware fault effects models sold between September 2014 and January 2015 but Apple insists this only occurs to “a small percentage” of handsets. To setup an RMA, you need to navigate to this dedicated website and insert your phone’s credentials. Please note, Apple can refuse the repair or charge a fee if the phone has any damage which could impair the repair process. It’s a shame Apple doesn’t provide a brand new replacement phone but at least your existing handset doesn’t go to waste.

Evidence showing the highlighted problem is included in a user-video below and illustrates how the camera’s optics swish from side-to-side. It’s important to reiterate that this only happens on the iPhone 6 Plus so other handset owners shouldn’t be affected. This isn’t the first instance of hardware flaws on the iPhone 6 which was plagued by “bendgate” and created a lot of negative press surrounding the latest SKUs.

While Apple might be completely right and the issues are quite isolated, it’s good to see consumers being given a free repair option. Although it’s long overdue and many users might have already migrated to Android after returning their faulty handset.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

All is not Well With the AMD Fury X

Since the launch of such a hugely anticipated card with heaps of new technology, it was expected that some were going to be faulty/ problematic at first. Since the media had their samples, some noted in the independent reviews; a noise coming from the GPU, which could be coil whine or water pump buzzing. AMD had then confirmed that this issue was only in the initial batch of media sample cards and that the consumer cards would not suffer from this fault.

Well, now it seems that is not the case at all. A new Fury X owner has received his card and seems to have the same or similar sound.Here is the with and without Fury X videos for you to hear yourselves.

Without Fury X installed:

https://youtu.be/FfminqAIl_4

With Fury X installed:

https://youtu.be/XfyQzroYnrI

It’s not totally clear what that sound is, it doesn’t seem high-pitched enough to be coil whine, but the user didn’t adjust the pump speed to rule out pump noise. If it is either of those issues, it could make what has already come across as somewhat of a flop of a launch even worse. Let us know what you think that sound is in the comment section.

UPDATE: We have reached out to AMD for an official statement, and if they respond, we will be more than happy to add it to the article to get both sides of the story.

Steam for Linux Bug Could Nuke Your Hard Drive

A bug within Steam for Linux has been discovered that could potentially wipe personal data and files stored on both the PC’s internal hard drive any connected external drive.

The fault, as outlined on Valve’s GitHub Stream for Linux page, is within a line of code in steam.sh that reads ‘rm -rf “$STEAMROOT/”. The command is meant to refresh Steam files on user request, but can also be triggered if Steam’s installation directory is moved, which removes the directory path, rewriting the line as ‘rm -rf “/'”. Without a specific directory to point at, the refresh function indiscriminately clears every drive it can find.

One user on GitHub attested to losing all their system data, including all files stored on a 3TB external drive.

According to PC World, Valve is aware of a handful of users that have been affected by the bug, but has been unable to replicate the phenomenon itself, and is “adding some additional checks to ensure this is not possible while we continue to investigate”.

Until the bug is patched, Linux users are advised to leave their Steam installation directory exactly where it is.

Source: TechRadar

Latest iPhone 6 Fault Revealed

Update your list, iPhone 6 users: there’s a new fault to be concerned about. A number of online threads, originating from sources such as Reddit, MacRumors, and iFixit, have been flooded with user comments complaining about the front-facing camera suffering alignment issues. If you’re a fan of the selfie, you might find that the iPhone 6’s front camera isn’t capturing the whole of your face, with the right side of the lens becoming obscured by the handset’s case.

This is the latest in a long line of faults to be found by iPhone 6 users, previous issues being bending handsets, memory crashes, focus and stability problems with the rear-facing camera, and a screen that is easily scratched.

Source: BGR

Vodafone Glitch Shuts Non-Emergency NHS, Police Phone Lines

A major fault with Vodafone’s network today (Saturday) meant non-emergency phone lines for the UK’s NHS and Police went down.

The NHS lost service to its 111 helpline, while 23 police forces, including the Metropolitan Police, lost their 101 non-emergency service. All lines were reinstated by 1pm GMT.

The fault, which also resulted in the road recovery company RAC losing its phone service, is now being investigated by Vodafone, who apologised for the problems.

“Our engineers have worked hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and services have now been restored,” Vodafone said.

It said it would continue to monitor the service closely, adding: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Source: BBC News