An independent lab found the iPhone 11 Pro emits more than twice the FCC’s legal safety limit for radiofrequency (RF) radiation from a cellphone. The test opens up the possibility many other phones expose users to more radiation than legally allowed.
RF Exposure Lab, in San Marcos, Calif., tested the iPhone 11 Pro and discovered it exposes users to a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of 3.8 W/kg, even though the FCC sets the maximum exposure rate at 1.6 W/kg. The tests were performed using FCC guidelines with the phone 5 mm away from a mannequin engineered to simulate human tissue. If a device is closer, for example in a pocket, the exposure could increase even more.
“Cellphone users should be concerned about exposure to RF radiation,” says Ryan McCaughey, CTO of Penumbra Brands. “The testing shows the iPhone 11 Pro potentially exposes people to more than double what the FCC has deemed safe. Cellphone testing is self-regulated—the manufacturer supplies a phone to an independent lab for testing, and if the phone passes, the FCC approves the device for release. However, when we bought an iPhone ‘off-the-shelf’ and tested it the same way, RF Exposure Lab found it fails the FCC’s safety limit.”
Last fall, Penumbra Brands replicated cellphone radiation tests completed by the Chicago Tribune. These tests confirmed iPhone 7 radiation levels are more than 50% over the FCC safety standard at 5 mm and double the standard at 2 mm of separation.
The media coverage prompted the FCC to examine the iPhone 7 and other phones again, but the new tests showed all phones were under the legal limit. The only difference in the FCC testing was that the manufacturers supplied most of the devices for testing, whereas Penumbra Brands and the Chicago Tribune purchased phones off-the-shelf.
“In the recent FCC tests, the iPhone XS model that wasn’t supplied by Apple reveals the testing flaws—radiation is 28 times higher than the agency’s original report,” says McCaughey. “That discrepancy should have been cause for alarm at the FCC, but they didn’t even comment on it. Consumers should develop cellphone use habits to protect themselves from overexposure.”
Research has raised legitimate concerns regarding exposure to RF radiation:
- When a mobile phone is transmitting, it generates an almost omni-directional electromagnetic field. A phone next to a user’s head is directly in the most intense region of that RF field.
- The World Health Organization has classified RF radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans since 2011, and the National Institutes of Health found “clear evidence” that RF radiation causes cancer in animal studies.
- RF radiation has also been linked to lower sperm counts, headaches, and effects on learning and memory, hearing, behaviour and sleep.
Penumbra Brands conducted the tests on the iPhone and the cases the company developed to protect cellphone users from radiation. The complete Penumbra Brands test results are available upon request.
Huawei Mate Xs foldable goes beyond design
The new foldable handset from Huawei ups the game with great performance and improved hinge design, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK
“Falcon Wing Design.” Run those words over your tongue. It sounds cool, it looks cool and it feels cool. And it sums up the high-tech engineering that will make the new foldable handset from Huawei a formidable competitor in this fast-growing segment.
But it is not only design that sets the new Huawei Mate Xs apart. Unlike its predecessor, the Mate X, the device runs on EMUI10.0.1, an operating system based on Android Open Source Project. The software is based on Google’s mobile operating system, but is not affected by the United States government ban on Huawei using American technology. That means the phone operates like an Android 10 phone, but does not run Google Mobile Services (GMS), which includes the Play Store and its automatically updated apps.
Instead, it uses Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), which replaces the likes of Google Assistant with Huawei Assistant, and allows services like Gmail to run on top of a built-in email service. It allows browser-based versions of any Google service, like YouTube, to be accessed via an on-board browser, and includes workarounds for various other commonly used Google apps.
At first sight, one gets the sense that HMS and EMUI10.0.1 will quickly teach users that they are not as heavily dependent on Google apps as they may have imagined. Our first half hour spent on the phone suggested very little commonplace functionality that was not easily available. On a personal level, once Gmail is sorted for me, my apps needs are highly specific, rather than being dictated by an ecosystem – whether HMS or GMS.
But let’s get back to the Falcon Wing design. It was first used on the origjnal Mate X, but the new version, which features more than 100 interlocking parts, is made with a zirconium-based liquid metal, resulting in a hinge that is both more durable and provides a more satisfying 180-degree fold.
The flexible display uses a two-layer polymer structure, manufactured by adhering two layers of aerospace-grade polyimide with an optically clear adhesive. This, says Huawei, allows the display to produce great image quality, colour saturation and brightness while retaining a high degree of durability.
In folded mode, the Mate Xs is a dual-screen smartphone, with a 6.6-inch main screen on the front and a 6.38-inch secondary screen on the back. The secondary screen folds into an edge which serves as a grip when the device unfolds into an 8-inch tablet.
Unfolded, the Xs comes into its own. It offers Multi-screen Collaboration, which Huawei says “breaks down the boundaries between Windows and Android devices”. This means that it allows content to be moved easily between supported devices, and can allow two systems to be controlled from one device.
The phone also provides seamless Multi-window support, allowing two apps to be opened side by side, with a third one “floating” on top, and allowing content to be dragged between the apps – including text, images and documents. The Floating Window can be used to respond to instant messaging, for example, without closing the other apps.
Talking of apps, the Mate Xs debuts a revamped AppGallery, which Huawei intends to develop as a replacement for the Google Play Store. The company would, of course, want to suggest that it is a superior option, but that could take a few years more.
Read more on the next page about the cameras on the Mate Xs, along with the device specs.
Surviving tax season: An accountant’s tech guide
As we approach the February tax-year deadline, Xero SA country manager COLIN TIMMIS offers tech tips for tackling the number-crunching
We’re approaching the end of February, which means it’s officially coming to the end of the tax and financial year. It’s a difficult time for accountants and businesses as admin piles up, and task lists get longer by the day. And to top it all off, it’s summer too.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be a time drain. Research from Xero found that accountants can save up to 15 hours a week by using cloud accounting. That’s an average of 54 hours per month or 27 days – an entire annual holiday allowance, plus change. When respondents were asked what they would do with this spare time, of those who chose non-work related activities, 30% would spend more time with family, while 22% selected more time at the beach.
Together with Simon Magner, Xero partner and Director of Iridium Business Solutions, we’ve come up with a checklist to help accountants and small businesses prepare for this busy time.
Ensure your bookkeeping is up to date
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that your bookkeeping is accurate and up to date. You don’t want to be scrambling for the information that you need at the last minute – doing the legwork to make sure all the data is ready will pay off in dividends when you come to generating the year-end report.
Check employee data
Remember that your employee data needs to be up to date, and it isn’t up to your employees to sort this out. If it’s not your responsibility to collect this data, warn the relevant people about the year-end in advance. You’ll need to gather all information on payroll and bonuses, while also collecting all receipts for expenses.
Use technology to help you
Admin-heavy work like invoicing, transaction imports, reconciliation, payments – and more – are time-consuming. Even though software can do all these tasks, they’re often done manually by accountants and business owners – which means there is more room for human error. Xero research reflects this too – a quarter of accounting and finance professionals said they could work smarter if they spent fewer hours on administrative tasks.
Having up to date records in real time using cloud accounting software allows you to make better business decisions in terms of your tax position and avoid any costly mistakes.
Don’t let the leap year fool you
Even though 2020 is a leap year, the last working day is the 28th of February – so don’t think you can file your return on the 29th. On that note, don’t leave it until the 28th, either – just in case issues pop up at SARS on the last filing day of the tax year.
Use previous data to guide you
Remember to use past data to inform your current return. Last year’s assessed profit should be used as a starting point to determine the minimum tax you should be paying as a business. And remember, if you made an assessed loss in prior years you could deduct it against the current year’s profits.
When experienced accounting professionals and business owners have to spend time inputting data, processing reports, and scrutinising invoices, they can’t work on strategy, pursue new business or developing client relationships. If accountants want to spend some time away from their desks during tax season, they need to invest in the right processes. It will save them time, energy and costly mistakes.