Collaborating Authors

Apple resolves the MacBook Pro battery life issues found in Consumer Reports testing


Apple and Consumer Reports have been working together to determine the issues that Consumer Reports had with the new MacBook Pro's battery life during its review, and on Tuesday, both issued statements on their findings. It turns out that Consumer Reports uses a developer setting that typical users don't use, and also that the same setting has a bug that affects performance. In its review of the MacBook Pro, Consumer Reports said its battery life test results varied wildly, from 4 hours to 19 hours. Consumer Reports explained on its website that its laptop battery tests do not necessarily reflect real-world usage; instead, tests are designed to be consistent across different laptops for comparison's sake. In the case of the MacBook Pro, Consumer Reports' battery tests uses Safari in Developer mode, which is not the default setting.

Consumer Applications Are the Largest Market Segment for Artificial Intelligence


Even as research and investment into artificial intelligence (AI) have gone through some 60 years of booms and busts, consumers' fascination with the technology persists. But it is with the recent rise of digitization, Big Data, improved algorithms, and processing speed that consumer applications of AI have begun to emerge into the mainstream. From movie recommendations to search engine queries, AI and, more specifically, deep learning are powering a range of applications that have recalibrated consumer expectations for the digital lifestyle.

Australian competition watchdog takes Apple to court over 'error 53' claims


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Apple Australia and its U.S.-based parent company, Apple, for allegedly making "false, misleading, or deceptive representations" about consumers' rights under the Australian Consumer Law. It is seeking pecuniary penalties, injunctions, declarations, compliance program orders, corrective notices, and costs against Apple. The Australian competition regulator and national consumer law champion started an investigation following reports relating to "error 53", an inaccuracy which disabled some consumers' iPads or iPhones after downloading an iOS update. Many consumers who encountered "error 53" had previously had their Apple device repaired by a third party, usually replacing a cracked screen. What ACCC found was that Apple allegedly appeared to have routinely refused to look at or service consumers' defective devices if a consumer had previously had the device repaired by a third party repairer, even where that repair was unrelated to the fault.

Meet the Dynamic, Uncertain Healthcare Journey Head-On


An infographic from America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) details the many uncertainties facing payers and providers due to COVID-19 that throw into question how to set premiums for the 2021 individual market. Delayed elective and non-urgent care, losses in employer-provided coverage, and health care costs related to the pandemic are among the many uncertain factors that must be taken into account for setting premiums. This is just one small slice of the sudden disruption and upheaval to the entire healthcare industry that is affecting payers, providers and the healthcare consumer alike. Contributing to this break from norms is the trend toward healthcare consumerism that recognizes an empowered healthcare consumer as in charge of a dynamic, increasingly digital healthcare journey. As digital transformation accelerates and consumer behaviors rapidly change, payers and providers are challenged to deliver the consistent, relevant healthcare experience that consumers now expect.

CEOs from Amazon, IBM, Salesforce and more ask Congress to pass a consumer data privacy law


CEOs of 51 companies from the Business Roundtable, including Amazon, IBM and Salesforce, signed a letter to U.S. congressional leaders Tuesday urging them to create "a comprehensive consumer data privacy law." The executives, who span a range of industries, said a federal law is necessary to ensure "strong, consistent protections for American consumers" and allow "American companies to continue to lead a globally competitive market." The letter was addressed to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce committees and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committees, in addition to House and Senate leaders. "As Chief Executive Officers of leading companies across industries, our companies reach virtually every American consumer and rely on data and digital platforms every day to deliver and improve our products and services," the CEOs wrote in the letter. "Consumer trust and confidence are essential to our businesses. We are committed to protecting consumer privacy and want consumers to have confidence that companies treat their personal information responsibly."