Slowing phones and past pandas…

Thoughts bumble around, bumping into each other. Headlines tap against the frosted window. Margaret Thatcher refused to pander to a panda. No way was she sharing Concorde with a panda being flown to the US for some panda romance.

Old news given fresh currency after files at the National Archive in Kew were dusted off. To the official who wrote in 1982: “Prime Minister. A bit passé, but no doubt you would not look a gift horse, or even a panda in the mouth?”, Thatcher’s response was: “Yes, I would. The history of pandas… is unlucky.”

That sounds like the title of an obscure thriller – “The History of Pandas is Unlucky.” An odd sort of prejudice to have, but she was an odd woman, and we are long shot of her now, history being a big bin and all that.

Anyway, old headlines. New ones too, but the Christmas bubble hasn’t popped yet. It’s nice to sit in here and forget about the outside world for a bit longer, turn away from those headlines. A cosy bubble but soon enough I will have to go outside and drive to work in the snow.

The headline at the top of this blog caught my eye for its satirical potential rather than anything practical. No iPhone attaches itself to me, although I am sometimes followed around by an iPod Touch; this looks like a phone but isn’t. Only for music and no emails or no fiddling with your phone while the world burns. That’s an improvement in a way.

The newsy bit to this is that Apple has admitted it deliberately slowed the performance of older models without their users’ consent. The company do this, apparently, when the batters are “old, cold or have a low charge”. It is said to prevent abrupt shutdowns.

Apple is playing God with people’s phones, I suppose. Much in the way that God – if such a deity exists – plays with people when they are old, cold or have a low charge. Ageing batteries have something in common with older brains. Apple slows down the batteries and God, or the corporeal clanks of our being, slows down the brain.

For batteries read brains and bodies. Apple says that the problem is that older batteries deliver power unevenly and can cause phones to shut down unexpectedly. Same with brains, I guess, although best not to think about that.

Here we all are, carrying on like mobile phones with unreliable batteries. Unlike litigious owners of iPhones, we have no one to complain to.

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