Monday, January 31, 2011

Exposed: Apple’s Terrible Sin in China (TCTV)

from by Andrew Keen
Last I night I had the good fortune to see Mike Daisey’s highly acclaimed show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. It’s both an entertaining and acutely moving performance that anyone who owns an Apple product has a moral duty to see.
Daisey is not only a brilliant monologist in the tradition of Michael Moore and Spalding Gray, but he’s also a crusading journalist who has exposed the inhumane working conditions of the workers at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China. Daisy went to Shenzhen and stood outside the monstrous Foxconn factory and interviewed its workers – some as young as 12 years old – about the inhumane working conditions there. This is what he found…
This is the first of a two-part interview in the Keen On… series. Tomorrow, look for Part Two: Why Journalists Aren’t Reporting the Real Story About Apple and Foxconn.
Why Mike Daisey is no longer an Apple fanboy

Why Apple is committing a great sin against humanity

Treating your customers like garbage is one thing but your workers is another. I know this is not exactly new, there have been other stories about Apple workers and they're never good.  Again, Apple should be ashamed of themselves.  Jobs will probably have his people spin this or just deny it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Apple Turns Down Playboy

iPad-wielding prudes, take heart: Apple is holding tight to its "no nudes is good nudes" policy and has no intention of letting girly-magazine purveyor Hugh Hefner soil the pristine Apple App Store with a filthy native app for viewing uncensored past and present issues of Playboy.
That news might come as a disappointment, though, for on-the-go oglers who were titillated by reports of an iPlayboy app on the way. That news was spawned by none other than Hef himself via Twitter: "Big news! Playboy -- both old & new -- will be available on iPad beginning in March." A follow-up tweet asserted the issues would be uncensored.
It ain't quite so; it turns out Playboy is going to roll out a service through which users can access the Playboy archives via the Internet -- a move that falls under the category of too little, too late for a publishing company whose value has dwindled from $1 billion in 1999 to around $210 million today. Per Playboy, "The service will be iPad compatible and will utilize iPad functions." The functions aren't clear. Touch, perhaps?
Additionally, Playboy plans to create a native app for the Apple App Store through which users can access censored versions of Playboy. Reportedly, the magazine contains articles, along with risqué jokes that presumably are acceptable, in Apple's view, for its customers to consume.
This comedy of errors marks the latest chapter in Apple's vain and self-defeating effort at playing protector of the masses. The company has two choices: It can accept the fact that some of its customers do, in fact, want to view exposed body parts on their devices, whether it's full-frontal nudity or a pixelated naughty bit in a graphic novel version of classic literature. Whatever the case, Apple can help meet the demand by letting providers create native apps to give users a smooth, nonbuggy, and possibly more secure viewing experience. That, after all, is the point of offering native apps rather than delivering everything through browsers.
The other option -- and it looks like Apple is sticking to this road -- is to continue blithely disregarding customer demands in an ongoing display of misdirected sanctimony. Apple is telling customers, "You might want a certain type of perfectly legal content on a device you bought from us, and there might be companies that are willing to present you with that content in a format that is optimized for that device. Sure, you can still view it on the device via our Safari Web browser, which does support the Web version of the content. It just won't look as good. So there."

Seriously? What's the difference if someone is looking at a Playboy app on his iPad vs. looking at Playboy in an iPad browser?  Again Apple shows that they simply do not care about their customers. Why not give them the better experience of an app?  It must be some kind of test, "Let's beat them down again and see if they come back..... wow, they still like us,,,, suckers."

Apple Screws iPhone Customers


Apple stores are replacing screws on the iPhone 4 handsets they repair with tamper-proof screws, in a move to prevent anyone else from opening the device.
image via

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company's stores are now replacing screws on iPhone 4 models brought in by customers with tamper-proof screws to prevent unauthorized repairs or hacks, according to one of its repair and parts suppliers. When customers bring in their iPhones for repairs into an Apple store in the U.S., technicians now swap out the commonly-used Phillips screws that the device shipped with, replacing them with so-called "Pentalobe" screws that are near-impossible for consumers to open.

Customers are not informed of the switch, which was begun in late fall last year, according to sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
The new screws were inserted to keep prevent customers from replacing the battery and opening up their own phones, according to Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, a prominent Apple repair and parts supplier. IFixit is also known to make "teardown" kits to help iPhone owners take apart their devices for self-repair, in an effort to cut down on waste and landfills.
Apple did not comment on the matter.
The company is well-known, however, for discouraging individual modification and "hacks" to its devices and for maintaining strict control over its proprietary parts. Apple currently replaces iPhone batteries free if the device is under warranty, but otherwise charges $79 for a new battery replacement.
An enterprising customer previously may have been able to buy batteries from a third-party and swap them out on their own, but the new screws are designed to stop that. "Apple wants to be in the business of selling you the new battery," said Wiens.
The screws have been used previously by the company on MacBook Pros, since at least 2009, as well as the current MacBook Air and non-US iPhone 4.

Another douche move.  That would be like taking your car in for repair and them replacing the bolts on your tires so you can't fix a flat. Don't you own you iPhone? Shouldn't you have the option of having it modified?  I would think so but "choice" is not the Apple way.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Consumer Reports Cautions Against Verizon iPhone 4

From InformationWeek

The smartphone has too many shortcomings and users are better off waiting until Apple releases the next generation model later this year, according to the venerable consumer magazine.

Consumer Reports is advising people to hold off buying the iPhone 4 from Verizon Wireless next month, saying the device they'll be getting is a middle-aged smartphone that Apple will likely replace in the summer with a new generation. 

The well-respected nonprofit magazine says that in the die-young world of smartphones, the iPhone 4 is already less than the cutting edge. Examples cited include its inability to run on fourth-generation data networks, including Verizon's; and its 3.5-inch screen in an era where a number of smartphones are shipping with 4-inch-plus displays. Verizon announced this week that it would offer the iPhone 4 to existing customers Feb. 3 and to new customers a week later. That's only a few months before Apple typically releases the next generation of the smartphone, usually in June or July. "This is a transitional phone to tide Verizon through until the summer," Consumer Reports said Tuesday in its Electronics Blog.

 The magazine's concerns are worth noting, because buying an iPhone at a carrier's discounted price starting at $199 requires signing a two-year service contract. Breaking the pact by trading in the phone early carries hefty penalties. Consumer Reports notes that Verizon's customer satisfaction ratings are much higher than AT&T's, while also pointing out shortcomings in Verizon's network. Verizon's CDMA network doesn't allow someone to make a phone call while accessing the Web at the same time. In addition, AT&T's GSM phones can roam with relative ease in much of the world, while CDMA phones can't.

See more at:

Good for Consumer Reports for sticking to their guns.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Apple tightens rules for iPad news delivery

From The Register

Apple is putting the screws to a handful of European newspapers, no longer allowing them to provide their paid print subscribers with free access to their content through downloads into iPad apps. Whether this is the beginning of a wider crackdown is not yet known.
"Apple verandert de regels terwijl het spel bezig is," Gert Ysebaert of the Belgian media group Corelio told De Tijd. If your Dutch is rusty, know that Ysebaert was expressing a sentiment that has been uttered in many a language: "Apple is changing the rules while the game is in progress."

According to Ysebaert and William De Nolf, director of new media at a second Belgian media group,Roularta, the two reasons that Apple is tightening its control over their provision of digital content to paid subscribers are ones that are also understood worldwide: money and power.

See the rest: The Register

You know, it's really not unreasonable for someone to expect to get their media in multiple ways if they pay for it.   Netflix let's you stream to 6 different devices simultaneously.  WB's dvds are coming with Digital Copy that lets you copy your movie to different places to watch it wherever you want.  Even though it's their right, Apple is just being a really huge douche about it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mac App Store Attacked By Hackers

Internet thieves say they'll wait until the store is fully stocked before distributing their code on the Internet.

One well-known group, which operates under the name "Hackulous", claims it's developed a program, called Kickback, that breaks the copy protection in applications distributed through the Mac App Store.

 A spokesman for the group who goes by the name "Dissident" told the BBC that Hackulous will wait until the Mac App Store is well stocked with apps before it releases Kickback on the Internet. "We're not going to release Kickback until well after the store's been established. We don't want to devalue applications and frustrate developers," Dissident said, according to the BBC.
Software pirates have also reportedly found that paid apps downloaded from the Mac App Store can, in some cases, run free of charge simply by copying and pasting in the receipt number from a free app.

 Apple has not responded to the claims.
The company opened the Mac App Store Thursday, with an eye to recreating the successful iPhone app distribution model on the Mac. The store is now available to shoppers in the U.S. and 89 other countries. There's apps—both paid and free—in a number of categories, including games, education, graphics & design, lifestyle, productivity, and utilities.
"With more than 1,000 apps, the Mac App Store is off to a great start," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in a statement. "We think users are going to love this innovative new way to discover and buy their favorite apps," said Jobs.
To download the Mac App Store client software, users need ensure they're running Mac OS X (Snow Leopard) v10.6.6. As with the iPhone store, developers who sell their apps through the Mac App Store will get to keep 70% of the profits. They also do not have to pay any hosting, marketing, or credit card processing fees.

Still think Apple cannot be hacked?  It hasn't even been a friggin day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Apple support company sues customer for complaining

from CNET News:

The national press, the tech blogosphere, even normal, ordinary human beings on Twitter are railing against Systemgraph, a support company officially approved by Apple to be its reseller and authorized service provider.
Dimitris Papadimitriadis, a physician in Greece, was apparently having a little trouble with his iMac, so he took it to Systemgraph in order to enjoy its authorized servicing skills. According to the Greek newspaper Proto Thema, Papadimitriadis discovered dark patches on the screen of his machine.
As Papadimitriadis describes the story, Systemgraph recommended an interior and exterior cleaning, as well as a replacement of the LCD panel. However, when he came back to pick up his computer, he felt it was in an even worse state.
There were, allegedly, now spots of moisture behind the screen and the LCD panel wasn't, according to Papamitriadis, fixed either. Systemgraph allegedly offered to perform another service, although Papadimitriadis felt he had lost confidence in Systemgraph's servicing abilities.
So, in his words (translated by Yahoo): "I insisted that such computer ceases to be credible and relied on Article 540 of the Civil Code and section 5 of Act 2251, pursuant to which I have legal right to ask for a refund or replacement with my new PC under warranty."
Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)
He claims Systemgraph refused because the iMac wasn't bought there. Papadimitriadis insisted he had followed the procedures set out at And he says he took his case to the consumer ombudsman, although that is a lengthy process. Clearly, there wasn't going to be accord here. But it was what transpired next that has captured Greece's imagination.
Papadimitriadis posted his story on a forum, something that seems to have upset Systemgraph. For the company has sued him for 200,000 euros (about $267,000), claiming he damaged its reputation.
His post, as translated by Google, does not seem to offer harsh or emotive language. The most anyone who has reported on the case claims is that Papadimitriadis described Systemgraph as "dodgy."
However, there were clearly human emotions involved here. Systemgraph reportedly claims that Papdimitriadis was "rude and aggressive."
And yet there is reportedly to be a court hearing on January 19. The company reportedly claims in its complaint that, given that the issue has spread to the Web, this is "an organised attempt to slander and insult" its very fine name.
This will be, I am told by Greek correspondents, the first time a Greek company has taken a customer to court for something written online.
Papadimitriadis is currently enjoying huge sympathy on Twitter, where the #Systemgraph is extremely active with mentions of the Streisand Effect.
One poster, Marq Riley, even offered: "In defense of #Systemgraph, their feelings were very hurt. 200,000 Euros is a bargain considering how hurt their feelings were."
Yet one can hardly imagine that this would have happened had the friction not been exacerbated even more than that between the fans at your average Greek basketball game.
Perhaps Systemgraph believes that it will somehow manage to clean its already tarnished reputation slightly better than Papadimitriadis claims it cleaned his iMac, with the help of a kindly judge.
However, hasn't the damage largely been done? If the company succeeds in squeezing 200,000 euros from Papadimitriadis, will people rush to have their iMacs serviced there? Or will they avoid Systemgraph just in case one of its no doubt talented service personnel is having a very bad day?
And what if you're Apple? Do you enjoy the spectacle of one of your authorized servicing companies attempting to sue one of its customers out of its last stethoscope? Or might you suggest that, given that your company ethos is all about delighting its customers no matter what, you don't want to be associated with such a leaden-headed course of legal action?

Now, I know it's not Apple directly doing this to the guy but...
(Guilty by professional association!)