They’re supposed to be the good guys, right? No longer. Over the past year, several technology giants have begun to shed their status as white knights. And it's precisely because they've been held to such a high standard that when they behave like the multi-billion-dollar corporations they are, their image takes a shellacking. Move over, MIcrosoft. The tech triumvirate of Google, Apple and Facebook have surpassed even that longtime evil empire to become the new villains of New Media. “These companies have wrapped themselves in a lot of the idealism surrounding the web, but their business realities are beginning to be in conflict with the rhetoric they use to promote themselves,” Nicholas Carr, a technology writer and the author of "The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google," told TheWrap. By failing to live up to their lofty talking points...
Tag Archives | Apple
Since when did Apple get in the Thought Police business? What happened to this company? Paull Miller writes on EndGadget:
In case Apple has somehow managed to perfect the art of selective disremembrance across a wide population, here’s a refresher: Consumer Reports has thrown down the gauntlet, stating that it “can’t recommend” the iPhone 4 until the antenna issues are fixed, issues that its labs and ours have verified quite substantially. Apple apparently isn’t happy about that, and has taken to deleting threads about the Consumer Reports article from its support forums.
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Now, Apple deleting threads from its support forums is nothing new; outside of “regular” moderation, the company routinely deletes discussion of hardware flaws that it’s not ready to ‘fess up to, or just generally negative lines of thought about its products. Good thing the internet’s a big place, and if Apple’s not going to admit the antenna issue, there are plenty of ways to gripe about it.
Remember how awesome and clever Futurama was? Well, if you missed it, your chances to see it in its original form might be slowly dwindling. It seems that Comedy Central has wiped out the reference in the dialogue to the "EyePhone 2.0." So, while we don't have any conspiracy theories brewing about what happened, it's a pretty odd thing to scrub, and we figure there are two possibilities: either Comedy Central is trying to cover their on this one, or they got a late night email from ... someone.
A comic book adaptation of James Joyce’s notoriously challenging epic Ulysses is now available on the App Store, but only after Apple demanded cuts.
Rob Berry and Josh Levitas launched the ambitious webcomic version of the classic novel, one of the most important works of Modernist literature, earlier this year under the title Ulysses Seen. The comic includes only cartoon nudity, which the pair had to remove before Apple would approve the app.
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“Apple has strict guidelines and a rating system to prevent ‘adult content.’ Their highest mature content rating is 17+, which doesn’t seem to be a problem since no one reads Ulysses at sixteen anyway. But their guidelines also mean no nudity whatsoever. Which is something we never planned for,” Berry told Robot 6.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Apple manufacturer Foxconn was taking extraordinary measures to safeguard its business and workers following a spate of suicides at its sprawling plant in southern China.
Workers have reportedly been told to sign letters promising not to kill themselves and even agree to be institutionalised if they appeared to be in an “abnormal mental or physical state for the protection of myself and others”.
Nets were also reportedly being hung around buildings to deter suicidal employees.
The moves came after a 19-year-old employee fell to his death at the Shenzhen factory — the ninth apparent suicide at the enormous site this year.
The deaths have raised questions about the conditions for millions of factory workers in China, especially at Foxconn, where labour activists and employees say long hours, low pay and high pressure are the norm.
Read More: Sydney Morning Herald
A Chinese newspaper went undercover at a Foxconn factory, the production site for Western gadgets such as iPhones and iPods. The workers are an army of overworked, ill-treated, but optimistic twenty-year-olds whose existence is typical of many in China’s young adult generation. Translation via Engadget:
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In front of a newly-opened phone shop, the sales assistant flashed an iPhone to the Foxconn employees, with everyone focused on his every “cool” gesture, as if it was something new. But actually every part of this “new” device would’ve come from the hands of these workers, except these guys had never thought of owning the final product. And now, this whole thing is right in front of their eyes with a “smashing price of ¥2,198 ($322)” — just above their monthly pay.
This super factory that holds some 400,000 people isn’t the “sweatshop” that most would imagine. It provides accommodation that reaches the scale of a medium-sized town, all smooth and orderly.
Steve Jobs himself, spell outs Apple’s reasons for not allowing Flash on their famed devices on Apple’s website:
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Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Laserwriter printer. Apple invested in Adobe and owned around 20% of the company for many years. The two companies worked closely together to pioneer desktop publishing and there were many good times. Since that golden era, the companies have grown apart. Apple went through its near death experience, and Adobe was drawn to the corporate market with their Acrobat products. Today the two companies still work together to serve their joint creative customers — Mac users buy around half of Adobe’s Creative Suite products — but beyond that there are few joint interests.
I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads.
The plot thickens. This isn’t looking like a publicity stunt by Apple anymore unless Steve Jobs has cops on his payroll. Beware the Power of Jobs! Kim Zetter writes on WIRED’s Threat Level:
Police raided the house of an editor for Gizmodo on Friday and seized computers and other equipment. The raid was part of an investigation into the leak of a prototype iPhone that the site obtained for a blockbuster story last week. Now, a legal expert has raised questions about the legality of the warrant used in the raid.
On Friday, officers from California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team in San Mateo, California, appeared at the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen while he was not there and broke open the front door.
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Chen and his wife discovered the officers when they returned from dinner around 9:45 that evening. According to an account he posted online, Chen noticed his garage door was partly open, and when he tried to open it completely, officers came out and told him they had a warrant to search the premises.
I wonder if we’ll ever know the real deal here. It’s hard to imagine security concerns are not involved, especially if there’s a chance of interfering with the army’s communication frequencies. But in the interest of commerce, I think something will be worked out. Batsheva Sobelman writes on the LA Times’ Babylon & Beyond:
Israel’s Ministry of Communications has banned import of iPads on the grounds that they are not compatible with the country’s Wi-Fi standards. The device isn’t sold in Israel commercially yet.
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Few were aware of any problem until the media reported that iPads were being held up at customs at the instruction of the Ministry of Communications until they were declared compatible with Israeli standards. Until the tablets are officially commercially imported, Israeli officials say, responsibility for ensuring that personally imported items of any kind are compatible with Israeli standards resides with customers, who wouldn’t, for example, bring home a British right-hand-drive car for use on Israel’s lefty roads.
Apple is marketing the iPad as a computer, when really it's nothing more than a media-consumption device — a convergence television, if you will. Think of it this way: One of the fundamental attributes of computers is that they are interactive and reconfigurable. You can change the way a computer behaves at a very deep level. Interactivity on the iPad consists of touching icons on the screen to change which application you're using. Hardly more interactive than changing channels on a TV. Sure, you can compose a short email or text message; you can use the Brushes app to draw a sketch. But those activities are not the same thing as programming the device to do something new. Unlike a computer, the iPad is simply not reconfigurable.