Apple pledges $1 million to help fire-ravaged wine country

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Extreme winds and dry weather are making the wildfires in California's wine country hard to contain.
Extreme winds and dry weather are making the wildfires in California's wine country hard to contain.
Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr CC

The fire-relief efforts in Northern California are getting a boost from some of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Smoke from the wildfires ravaging wine country are currently choking out residents in San Francisco’s bay area, so Apple, Google and Facebook are stepping up by donating local efforts.

MacBook Pro destroyed by exploding battery

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exploding-MacBook-Pro
The machine was hot enough to melt its owner's fingers.
Photo: Daniel Dourvaris

iPhone fanboys will have you believe that exploding batteries are exclusive to Samsung Galaxy smartphones, but that’s not true.

Even Apple devices go bang from time to time — like this 2015 Retina MacBook Pro, which was completely destroyed when its battery catastrophically failed and caught fire.

Apple’s new MacBook Pro ad celebrates invention of the Touch Bar

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The Touch Bar is Apple's newest brilliant idea.
The Touch Bar is Apple's newest brilliant idea.
Photo: Apple

The new MacBook Pro finally lands in stores this week, and an awesome new Apple ad celebrates the arrival.

In the new spot, called “Bulbs,” Apple links the invention of fire, the wheel, plow and more to the creation of the Touch Bar, the thin OLED strip that completely changes how you interact with your Mac.

LOL: Galaxy Note 7 return kit includes fire-proof box and gloves

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Note-7-return-kit
Don't return your Note 7 without one of these.
Photo: XDA Developers

After watching $17 billion fall off its market value today, it’s still too early for Samsung to laugh about the whole Galaxy Note 7 debacle. But that doesn’t mean we can’t.

This video of a Note 7 return kit, which includes a fire-proof box and gloves, will certainly put a smile on your face.

Amazon shrinks hardware efforts following Fire phone flop

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amazon-shrinks-hardware-division-ditches-projects-following-fire-phone-flop-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads20140821c49917c77195fe9b31118f0d3299ea-jpg
Amazon makes drastic changes to prevent another Fire phone disaster.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon has dismissed dozens of engineers and ditched a handful of hardware projects following its dismal attempt at tackling the smartphone market, according to a new report.

The retail giant has also restructured what’s left of its hardware division, combining what was two separate units into one.

Fire breaks out at Apple’s Arizona command center

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We said 'sapphire', not 'a fire'
We said 'sapphire', not 'a fire'
Photo: 12 News

A fire of unknown origin broke out today in Apple’s command center in Mesa, Arizona.

Local firefighters responded at around 11:30 Tuesday morning to the structure, which formerly held sapphire glass supplier GT Advanced Technologies.

A Mesa fire spokesperson said the flames seemed to be localized to the roof of the building, near Signal Butte Road and Elliot Road.

Apple invents eco-friendly, flame resistant material for future devices

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Do you like your iMac crispy? Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan
Do you like your iMac crispy? Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

A patent published today shows that Apple is investigating new halogen free, flame-retardant materials for use in its devices.

According to Apple, only about 12% of plastics currently contain flame retardants. An increased use of such materials would improve the safety of electrical wiring and electronic devices, and help reduce the number of fires caused by electronic devices as a result.

Halogenated flame retardants have been found to be effective in many plastics, but these are increasingly regulated as a result of environmental concerns. Since sustainability is a big topic for Apple, the company therefore wanted to discover a material that would possess similar fire-retardant qualities, while also not being damaging to the environment.

Tuesday’s patent describes a material with these qualities, that also produces only negligible amounts of toxic substances while burning. As per Apple, the material could be used in devices including the iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPad.

Burning iPhone forces plane to make emergency evacuation

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burntiPhone
Perfectly burnt iPhone. Photo: Carlos Sancho Flickr

The TSA has started treating smartphones with dead batteries like potential bombs, but after an iPhone mishap on one plane caused an emergency evacuation, maybe they should be more worried about all the iPhones with a full charge too.

Panic broke out on a flight bound for Prague this weekend after an iPhone 5 caught fire in a passenger’s bag, causing the entire plane to be evacuated back to the main terminal.