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New iPhone 6S? Review of this Apple Smartphone

“We have changed everything about these new iPhones.”

Sherif Mktbi shared The Verge.
Apple is introducing the iPhone 6S, an updated version of its flagship smartphone with an identical design and a bundle of new features.

Apple is introducing the iPhone 6S, an updated version of its flagship smartphone with an identical design and a bundle of new features. Chief among them is a pressure-sensitive display, enabling a feature that Apple calls 3D Touch. 3D Touch allows you to press down on the iPhone’s screen to pull up new menus, activate shortcuts, and generally interact with the device in new ways. Apple’s Taptic Engine is also built into the phone to provide feedback. The features will also appear in the new iPhone 6S Plus.

While the iPhone 6S maintains the same design and 4.7-inch display size as the iPhone 6, it’s being offered in a new color: rose gold. There had been some earlier talk that Apple might offer the phone in pink, and it’s easy to see why there was some confusion — rose gold can look very pink in the right light. The phone is also built out of several new materials. It’s using a new aluminum, which Apple says is its own custom alloy. And its display is now covered with a new glass, the same Ion-X that’s used on the Apple Watch Sport. You can bet that these changes are, at least in part, designed to make the phone less prone to bending.

3D Touch enables two new ways to interact with the iPhone, which Apple is calling “peek” and “pop.” Peek allows you to press on app icons and other buttons to pull up shortcuts directly into specific features. Pressing on the Camera app, for instance, offers the option to jump right into taking a selfie. Pressing on the Facebook app gives you the option of updating your status, taking a photo, checking in, or starting a search. Pop allows you to pull up overlays of photos and videos without actually having them take over the screen; once you move away, you’ll be right back to where you were before.

The iPhone 6S is also running on a new 64-bit processor, Apple’s A9. As usual, Apple isn’t giving the nitty gritty details of the processor, but it says that it’s going to be 70 percent faster at CPU tasks and 90 faster at GPU tasks, in both cases over the iPhone 6’s A8 processor.

Apple is putting a 12-megapixel rear camera in the new iPhone. This is the first time that Apple has bumped its camera’s megapixel count since the iPhone 4S in 2011. It’s long held that it wasn’t worth adding pixels because it would lead to noisier images, but Apple claims that it’s now managed to make the change without doing that.

The camera is also now capable of recording 4K video, and it’s supposed to have an improved autofocus in all cases. It also says that the camera has an improved autofocus. One thing that hasn’t changed? The lens still protrudes from the back of the phone.

The front camera is getting a change, too. It’s now a 5-megapixel camera, and Apple has figured out a neat way of giving it a flash: the phone’s display just lights up really bright — apparently up to three times brighter than it usually would. It’ll also customize the color that it flashes to match the ambient lighting of the environment a photo is being taken in.

You’re also going to be taking a lot more videos with this new phone. Apple is introducing a feature called “live photos,” which will capture a short clip of video alongside every photo that you take. You can turn the feature off, but it’s on by default, capturing a second and a half to both sides of every photo.

A 12 megapixel image is still captured right in the middle. It’s a pretty neat idea — even if HTC and others tried features like this years ago — but there’s one reason to be worried about it: storage. All that video is going to take up a lot of space, regardless of how “space efficient” Apple claims they’ll be

Apple is also demonstrating new animated wallpapers on the phone — those may be part of iOS 9 in general, however.

The iPhone 6S is also supposed to be getting faster wireless speeds over both Wi-Fi and LTE. Apple says that Wi-Fi should be twice as fast, and LTE is improving with the addition of more bands, now up to 23. Touch ID is also supposed to be improved on this model of the iPhone. Apple didn’t go into a lot of detail there, but presumably it’ll be faster or more accurate than the sensor on the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6.

The new iPhone will be available starting at $199 on a two-year contract, starting at 16GB of storage and going up to 64GB and 128GB for $100 more per tier. But most carriers are moving away from two-year contracts and over to payment plans now, so Apple is offering some of those, too.

The 6S will be available for $27 per month. But there’s another more interesting payment plan: for $32 per month, you can lease an iPhone and then return it for a new model every single year. It also includes the AppleCare+ warranty from Apple.

Pre-orders begin September 12th, with sales beginning September 25th.

A State “out of subject matters”: Lebanon, by Dr. Jamil Berry (Part 2, November 10, 2008)

In this section I will expound and even extrapolate on Dr. Jamil Berry understanding and views on the Lebanese social and political structures.

It was an opportunity for me to recall at least a dozen articles, essays and book reviews that I published on

Dr. Jamil Berry discussed and reported a few of his observations and his friends’ perceptions and concepts on Lebanon’s geo-political and social structure.

Dr. Berry agrees with Israel’s confirmed view on the State of Lebanon as a “Lie” since Lebanon’s independence in 1943, as if the existence of the State of Israel is not the greatest “Lie” in this century.  Israel’s position on the State of Lebanon coincides to some extent with the view of the regional powers as “a dismembered State” that the colonial powers’ objective for Lebanon was to be a corridor or a land aircraft carrier for intelligence gathering and the front to any destabilization schemes to the Middle East region.

The same can be said about the State of Israel: an advanced US land aircraft carrier meant to exploit the Jewish mercenary religious beliefs in order to keeping the Middle East in a state of disorientation and preventing any serious unification process that may jeopardize the flow of inexpensive oil and facilitate inexpensive commerce.

Dr. Berry comprehends the caste system of Lebanon which is represented by 19 closed sect castes and increasing each year.  This caste system views as anathema for the State of Lebanon to establish a strong central government because their respective free float interests would be imperiled.  Thus, Lebanon is meant to experience a civil war every 30 years so that to destroying and exhausting any accumulation of energy and good will for instituting a strong government.

All the foreign powers and regional powers know these facts except the Lebanese citizens who prefer to survive on chimerical dreams of a full fledged “nation”; sometime referred to as Phoenicia, or Canaan or Arab or even French or Switzerland of the East.

Dr. Berri knows the “maternity of this tiny State.  It was at London, on May 1916; at 10 Downing Street exactly.  Mark Sykes (England) and Francois-Georges Picot (France) gave it birth by dividing the Near East region after WWI. Lebanon was part of the Syrian steppes and then became a geo-political corridor” (under the administration of the Christian Maronite sect).

The idea of Israel was created by England around 1907 when England realized that it needed a buffer zone to protect its interests in India through Egypt by eliminating any kind of unification in the foreseeable future.  The Balfour declaration in 1917 was to give it body by naming the owners of this buffer zone; indeed, the “Jews arrived carrying their Bible as an act of ownership” for the Prime Real Estate called Palestine.

Consequently, Lebanon has a concentration of 600,000 Palestinians within 4 millions Lebanese.

The successive governments in Lebanon, in order not to destabilize the sectarian ratios, got hold of the UN resolution 193 for “the right of the Palestinians to return to Palestine” by forbidding the Palestinians citizenship and even the rights to work within Lebanon but solely within their delimited ghetto camps!

Dr. Berry at one point felt that all his paragraphs might all ends in exclamation marks! (That would change the title to “The current history of the State of Lebanon: a string of exclamation marks!”)

Israel had constantly claimed the security of its borders to wage offensive preemptive wars against the Arab States surrounding it. At each war, Israel would nibble a small or a large chunk and after digesting it then it would repeat her “border security tactics claims”.  In fact, Israel is the only state in the UN that refused to define its borders; I wonder if Israel can be considered a legitimate State under the UN requirements.

Dr. Berry wrote an open letter to Israel. The gist of it is that Israel has a heavy density of scientists and we have the water; so why not cooperate and start sharing our strengths?

The answer would be when the US would stop considering oil as a strategic product and permit Israel to mingle as another Near Eastern society, which it is, in matter of fact, by the majority of Jews of Arabic or Islamic extractions who immigrated to Israel.

Note 1: I have stated in part one that the Classical French language is fraught with polysemism (a word that might have several meanings) but its slang is much worse because the root of the word has no relationship with the meaning of the other half a dozen meanings.

In the formal Arabic language almost any word might have several meanings, out and in context, if the consonants are devoid of accents.  The language do have all the vowels in addition to the accents that have the same vocals of a, o, u, e or i, neutral sound, and impression on the consonant that represents repeat of the consonant.  Thus, a word of three consonants can have a combination of a dozen meanings but still firmly related to the root of the word.

Actually, the original Jahilia Arabic, during the period of the Prophet Muhammad, Arabic had no accentuation marks whatsoever.  It is after the conquest of Persia and Syria and Egypt that Arabic had to diversify and then to expand in order to accommodate the most civilized societies in this period of history.

Note 2: Following on note 1, beside remote China and India, were the other advanced civilization along Persia and Syria (represented by the Byzantium hegemony).  The civilizations of Persia and India were intertwined.  The civilization of Syria (present Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine) is fundamentally Mediterranean; it influenced and assimilated the cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Arab and then the Crusaders coming from Medieval Europe.

“The path of the bees” by Rami Ellike, (November 5, 2008)

This a partial autobiography of a 35-year old Lebanese man who underwent major personal changes from tight religious upbringing and as an active member of Hezbollah throughout his youth to an independent minded and socially opened spirit to all the caste structure in Lebanon.

He studied at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and was a graduate student at a university in Florida . He claims that he acquiring the culture and accent of the USA.

Rami settling down in Lebanon to teach at AUB how to raise bees,as his father did for a living in the south.

This is not the mind and sensitivity of an ordinary man in Lebanon: he had the marks of becoming a successful political person through the most influential political party (Hezbollah) and the most popular activist among the students at AUB.

The tall and long-armed Rami could have benefited of many financial lures to accommodate any less revolutionary spirit, but he stood his grounds and even decided to quit Hezbollah when his moral and social openness would not conform to the strict claustrophobic caste rules and regulations governing the social and individual behaviors.

The Shiite Rami Ellike was born in Marjeyoun (a Christian dominated town) in south Lebanon in 1972.  At the age of 5 the family had to move to Nabatiyeh and settled in a Christian neighborhood.

Rami played with his Christian neighboring kids; he then was quickly indoctrinated in the spirit of resistance to the Israeli enemy, still occupying a major trip in south Lebanon. He became highly religious and forced strict religious rules of behavior on the members of his family, particularly his mother who didn’t wear the veil outside the house. The other members of the family were lenient and open-minded toward the other religious sects.

Rami Ellike was kicked out of two private schools for lawless conducts and activities meant to imposing an ideology of resistance and obeisance to the Shiaa “shariaa” or jurisprudence.

By the age of 15, Rami was trained to using arms and sitting vigils in sites fronting the Israeli lines within Lebanon. To make ends meat, Rami organized tourist trips to Syria. In Damascus he got familiar with the joy corners and used to contract out “marriage of pleasure” in order to be initiated to sexual intercourse; these “marriage of pleasure” contracts are for short duration and with clear clauses of financial retribution just to have legal (halal) intercourse according to some religious “fatwa” schemes in the Shiaa sect.

Ellike witnessed the armed struggles between the two Shiaa factions of Amal (supported by the Syrian regime) and Hezbollah (obeying the Khomeini Mullahs of Iran).  These two factions were jockeying for power control in many Lebanese regions with Shiaa concentrations. Thus, Rami spent two years in Dahiya, (a new suburb in south Beirut) within the Hezbollah center and participating in political and demonstration activities.

He register at the AUB for a degree in economics, and followed a dual degree in Law at the Lebanese University. Rami Ellike was an excellent student in all his course works.  Then between 1992 and 1994, Rami got heavily involved in organizing the Hezbollah’s cell at AUB and succeeded into establishing Hezbollah as the major political party in the university; though in actuality only half a dozen of its members were true activists.

During these years, Hezbollah party, lead by Rami, forced the administration to releasing files and registering students with grants and changing the climate of open sexual encounters within the university premises and basically colliding head on with the AUB administration and its board council located in New York.

The year 1994 was a culmination in students’ activities at AUB; Rami lead an uprising against increases in students’ tuition and united all parties of various affiliations and sects in demonstrations and steadfast resistance against the pressures of the Syrian mandate and internal security forces. The university finally bowed down temporary.

The Iranian Embassy attempted to lure Ellike to joining its activities and invited him for a week trip to Iran. The wowing process by Hob Allah, a prominent member in the Iranian Embassy, did not succeed. On graduating, Rami had collected wide connections and communication with the highest ranking personalities in government as well as Hezbollah. (I will relegate to the note his pieces of intelligence because they require some explanations and development).

Ellike felt that he has changed. The climate of openness at the university and its social environment contrasted sharply with the claustrophobic Hezbollah customs and organization and Ellike was positively affected.  Ellike went on a long trip, solo and without a tent, and visited regions of Lebanon that he never set foot in and conversed with people of other sects.

It was about time to resign from the ranks of Hezbollah and forgo all the privileges that he could benefit.  Rami founded a social club and visited universities to talk with students to join it.  He experienced an untenable love affair with a Christian student at AUB that drove him years later into a coma and days of hospitalization.

The next step in Ellike’s life change leads him to Florida to the University in Gainesville for graduate studies in economic development.  He returned to Lebanon after the first semester to await the decision of the university in Florida for offering him a study grant.

In this summer of 1999, Ellike experienced the tacit frustrations of the citizens in the south of the Syrian mandate and its excisions on the daily survival of the Lebanese people. For a year Rami was active within the social club and then he decided to tour Lebanon on foot for 8 days carrying the Lebanese flag and haranguing the people to express openly their refusal of the Syrian presence. 

Rami was back to Florida with a grant that covered all his expenses and enjoyed great times and finished his “General Exam” before embarking on writing his dissertation.  During his stay in Florida, Rami continued his study and research on raising bees and attended a symposium in South Africa in topics focused on bees.  The FBI got in touch with Ellike and tried to recruit him after the September 11, 2002 attacks on the Twin Towers.  Ellike would not cooperate.

In the summer of 2002, Ellike was totally “Americanized” in accent, behavior and general outlook to civilization.  When he returned to the USA to finish writing his dissertation on the Lebanese economical development he was lawlessly retained at New York Kennedy’s airport and then detained for hours and humiliated without being offered any reasons or excuses for these offensive attitudes and then he was shipped back on the same Egyptian plane back to Cairo.  In Cairo, Ellike was investigated by the security services and again by the Lebanese security services when he finally landed in Beirut.

For two weeks Rami refrained from meeting with his family and kept secluded at his brother’s apartment.

He didn’t divulged to his family or his friends the fact that he was expelled under duress for his sudden return to Lebanon: his stated reason was his need to gather further data for his dissertation.  Ellike later learned that he was punished because the FBI was under the definite impression that Rami “mocked the FBI overtures” to him.

Ellike learned that his grant was offered to someone else and he worked hard to earn a living and cover the expenses of resuming his dissertation and the additional cost of staying a registered student from overseas.  He managed to submit his dissertation through electronic means of internet and email because the administration at the university in Gainesville decided to alter the regulations for his personal presence in order to obtain his PhD diploma.

Since 2003 ,Rami Ellike has been practicing law and teaching courses at AUB on bees and better techniques for producing honey.  He is presently getting to leave for the Hajj in Mecca.

Note:  Hezbollah (the Party of God) was created by the Khomeini regime of Iran around 1982 and was guided, financed, trained and structured by the new revolutionary theocratic Iranian regime.  The successive General Secretaries of Hezbollah are clerics who studied in Qom and enjoy the full recognition of the current “Supreme Guide” of the Iranian revolution Khamenie.

The theocratic organizational structure is founded on the concept of “Wilayat Al Fakeeh” (the reign of the supreme theologian in jurisprudence in the Shiaa sect). The concept is that the supreme Fakeeh is a descended of Ali’s family and his orders and “fatwas” cannot be revoked by any one else of Fakeehs.  It is basically a theocratic dictatorship philosophy.

Hezbollah of Lebanon is a real army and is trained to fulfill both tasks as a regular army and a guerrilla force.  It is the only resistance force, throughout the current history of the Israeli-Arab conflict, to have checked the offensive incursions of the Israeli army: Hezbollah had proved its potentials in the year 2000 when Israel withdrew unilaterally from south Lebanon without any pre-conditions and during the war in July 2006 that lasted 33 days without any support from any Arabic States.

In 1998, Rami Ellik stated that a member in the Iranian Embassy told him that Iran has the power to give orders to the General Secretary and that the security apparatchik in Hezbollah is dominated by the Iranian security branch, which is in turn the most influential branch in Hezbollah.

At that period, before Hezbollah was forced to get immersed in the internal political system of Lebanon, the highest officials in the organization had no practical impact on decisions.  I guess that the general climate at that period was not encouraging for independent minded members as Rami Ellike.




March 2023

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