Samsung Says Battery Manufacturing Flaws Caused Galaxy Note7 Fires

Today's topics include Samsung's detailed explanation of what caused Galaxy Note7 batteries to overheat and burn, Apple's $1 billion lawsuit claiming it was the victim of anticompetitive practices by chipmaker Qualcomm, the release of the first update to Google Voice in five years and the addition of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to the list of supported Linux distributions in Microsoft's next SQL Server database release.

At a press conference at company headquarters in Seoul, South Korea Jan. 22, Samsung President DJ Koh provided a detailed explanation of what caused some Galaxy Note7 smartphones to overheat and burn.

Koh outlined the testing the company carried out to determine the cause and to discover whether the faults were with the phone or the battery installed in it.

According to Koh, the phone itself and its software did not seem to be at fault. Instead, he described a pair of faults with the batteries that powered the phone.

The first fault started showing up in Note7 handsets in the late summer of 2016. The second set happened in the replacement handsets that were supposed to fix the problem with the first set.

Qualcomm has been hit with a succession of legal actions by business regulators in the U.S. and overseas charging that the chipmaker has engaged in anticompetitive practices.

On Dec. 27, the company was fined $852.9 million by South Korea's Korean Fair Trade Commission for alleged antitrust violations. On Jan. 17, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed its own antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm and on Jan. 20, Apple filed a $1 billion action claiming Qualcomm engaged in unfair licensing practices.

The suit, filed in federal district court in San Diego, claims that Qualcomm used its "monopoly position" as a manufacturer of baseband chips, a critical component used in cell phones, to seek "onerous, unreasonable and costly" terms for patents, and that Qualcomm blocked Apple's ability to choose another supplier for chipsets.

Google has added a fresh set of features to its Google Voice internet telephony service including support for group and photo multimedia messaging services and in-notification replies.

The update is the first that Google has made to Google Voice in over five years and will become available to users of the app around the world in the next several weeks.

The updated features will be available first in the Android and web versions of Google Voice and soon in the iOS version of the application. One of the biggest changes that Google has made to Voice is the user interface. The updated Google Voice app features what the company describes as a cleaner and more intuitive design for users.

Microsoft has confirmed that the latest SQL Server vNext Community Technology Preview includes support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, joining other distributions of the open source operating system from Canonical, the commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu and Red Hat Linux.

SQL Server vNext is the branding Microsoft is using to evoke a more cloud- and Linux-friendly direction for its database software, which was formerly a Windows-only product. The software giant plans to release SQL Server vNext in mid-2017.

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