What Do Those Symbols on the iPhone Mean?

Chloe Effron
Chloe Effron

Stare at the back of your iPhone long enough and you may begin to question the significance behind that peculiar row of symbols appearing near the bottom. What do they mean? Is it a secret Apple language that will eventually replace our alphabet?

The truth is out there. And significantly less sinister. Here’s what you’re really looking at.

• The “FC” logo actually hosts a third “C,” which indicates that the iPhone is Federal Communications Commission (FCC) compliant. The FCC governs devices that use radio frequency; phones fall under their Class B banner, which mandates they not cause or receive any harmful emissions under normal use [PDF].

• Next is clearly a garbage can on wheels with a very disapproving “X” laid over it. Apple is not being subtle in cautioning you not to throw the device away with the rest of your trash. The company advises owners to contact their local waste authority to find how best to rid themselves of the unit. This specific symbol, however, indicates WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive cooperation, a European attempt to minimize electronic waste in landfills by making it fun to type and say WEEE.

• The exclamation mark inside a circle signals a Class II wireless device, which is important for users in other countries: not all the frequency bands the device may try to use are available everywhere.   

“0682” and “CE” are also European markers. The number designates who approved it (Cetecom ICT services, an accreditation firm) and “CE” (Conformite Europeenne) represents the approval of its sale in the European Union.

Apple’s MacBook sports all of these symbols (minus the 0682 Cetecom notice) but also adds two others.

• Voluntary Control Council for Interference (“VCCI”) is a Japanese regulatory agency. Their stamp of approval indicates the laptop meets their standards for emitting radio frequency (RF) signals.

• That checkmark inside the triangle is a Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) used in Australia to indicate electronic devices that are safe to use.

Even if you don’t have a sleek cell phone case, you may not have to look at any of this gibberish for much longer. In November 2014, President Obama signed the E-Label Act into law, a bill that will allow manufacturers to place these notices in the device’s software. That may not apply to the European symbols, but either way, things will get a little sleeker.

We also popped open an Android device—a Samsung Galaxy SII destined for a museum—and it relegated many of those notices to the battery itself. It also had cautions not to allow it to get wet, poked with a screwdriver, set ablaze, or obtained by a baby. You’ve been warned. 

See Also: What Are the Colored Circles on Food Packages?

What Is the Shelf Life of Donated Eyes?

iStock.com/Pedro_Turrini
iStock.com/Pedro_Turrini

Zoe-Anne Barcellos:

I can only answer for cornea and eye donation.

The FDA does all oversight (no pun intended) of organ disposition.

The main organs—heart, liver, pancreas, lungs, etc.—are transplanted within hours. They are just not viable if they are not being perfused constantly.

The other tissues—like bone, skin, tendons, etc.—do not need to be transplanted immediately. But I am not sure on the regulations of when they need to be transplanted.

With the eyes, there are four tissues that can be recovered.

We recover whole eyes for research and education purposes. These usually go much faster, but we can hold them up to a year.

Conjunctiva can also be recovered; conjunctiva is a clear covering over most of the eye (it is what gets irritated when you have pink eye). I have been working as a recovery tech for five years, and our office has not had a request for "conj" in all that time. I believe it is mostly used for research, but I could be wrong.

Sclera is the white area of your eye. It is fairly thick and flexible. If you have ever touched a reptile egg, that is what it reminds me of. We recover sclera for transplant. They use it for several things, but mainly to patch punctures. Similar to if you pop the inner tube of your bike and repair it. Sclera can also be used to repair ear drums. We can hold on to this for up to a year.

The main thing we recover is corneas. In the U.S., we must transplant these within seven days of recovery. (Recovery is usually within hours of death, but we can push it up to 20 hours after if needed.) Sometimes we have more corneas than we need, and then they are shipped overseas and transplanted up to 14 days after recovery. There is no real different outcome with the later transplant time, but the FDA in the U.S. made the rules. (You can sign up to be an organ, tissue, and eye donor here.)

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

Why Are There No Snakes in Ireland?

iStock
iStock

Legend tells of St. Patrick using the power of his faith to drive all of Ireland’s snakes into the sea. It’s an impressive image, but there’s no way it could have happened.

There never were any snakes in Ireland, partly for the same reason that there are no snakes in Hawaii, Iceland, New Zealand, Greenland, or Antarctica: the Emerald Isle is, well, an island.

Eightofnine via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Once upon a time, Ireland was connected to a larger landmass. But that time was an ice age that kept the land far too chilly for cold-blooded reptiles. As the ice age ended around 10,000 years ago, glaciers melted, pouring even more cold water into the now-impassable expanse between Ireland and its neighbors.

Other animals, like wild boars, lynx, and brown bears, managed to make it across—as did a single reptile: the common lizard. Snakes, however, missed their chance.

The country’s serpent-free reputation has, somewhat perversely, turned snake ownership into a status symbol. There have been numerous reports of large pet snakes escaping or being released. As of yet, no species has managed to take hold in the wild—a small miracle in itself.

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