Posts tagged with ‘apple’

Apple Ad Chooses Products over People

Look closely at Apple’s “Designed in California” commercial. Maybe you see a running theme spotted by Fast Company’s staff writer Mark Wilson:

As we’re told that products are what matter, we see a series of shots in which people actively turn away from life to engage with their technology.

- A woman closes her eyes on the subway to soak in electronic music.

- A room of students looks down at their desks instead of at their teacher.

- A parent and child cuddle, focused on a screen that’s so powerful it illuminates the kid’s face. A couple kisses in the rain, then immediately turn away to look at a phone.

- A tourist opts to FaceTime instead of bathing in visceral, smoky yakitori.

In what should be a warm, humanizing montage, people are constantly directing their attention away from one another and the real, panoramic world to soak in pixels. They’re choosing the experience of their products over the experience of other people several times in quick succession. And Apple has a warm voice in the background, goading us on.

He isn’t the only one who disliked the commercial. It scored the lowest rating of 26 Apple ads that ran this year, according to Ace Metrix’s study on TV commercials in the past year. Compared to the industry average of 542 on Ace’s rating scale, “Designed in California” only scored 489. Past Apple ads have reached well over 700. 

Wilson elaborates on his main qualms with the ad:

My fundamental problem with the ad—why it’s begun to make my shoulders tense and stomach churn every time it comes on TV—is not that it’s lying about how we use technology, but Apple’s consecrating the behavior, and even going on to say that their products, not the lives they serve, are “what matters.“ That outlook is so different from Apple’s other recent, non-advertised piece on design.

Ironically, in Apple’s flag-planting ad about design, their marketing department (and at least a few execs) have shown how fundamentally little they understand about the field. Design is at its heart a service for humanity, it’s crafting solutions for people to live with more security, efficiency, or happiness. So the experience of a product will never be what matters to a great designer. It’s always been about the experience of a person using that product.

Video: Designed by Apple in California ad, YouTube 

Steve Jobs: Everything I Create Will Become Obsolete

Trailer for Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur.

Via Silicon Valley Historical Association:

Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur is a 60-minute documentary built around a 20-minute interview of Steve Jobs in 1994 that was conducted by the Silicon Valley Historical Association.

Steve Jobs was asked to give advice to young entrepreneurs who wanted to go out and start their own businesses. He talks about risk and the willingness to fail, the role of building illegal blue boxes prior to founding Apple Computer, and his philosophy on how to approach life.

FJP: We are all but sediment.

Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference Typo

Filed under: What’s in an apostrophe.

Via The Verge:

Apple’s marathon keynote session at yesterday’s WWDC began with the following video. Graced by soothing piano music, a minimalist monochromatic palette, and a set of elegantly transitioning geometric shapes, the ad does a great job of conveying Apple lead designer Jony Ive’s pursuit of purity and simplicity in design. There’s only one small problem with it: when the onscreen narrative declares that “there are a thousand no’s for every yes,” it inserts an apostrophe where one does not belong.

Whether you consult the Oxford English Dictionary, The Chicago Manual of Style, or Dictionary.com, you’ll find the acceptable plural forms of “no” to be “noes” or “nos.” Apple’s unnecessary use of punctuation proves to be a rather ironic answer to the company’s own rhetorical challenge: “How can anyone perfect anything?”

FJP: If this tickles you, you might also enjoy The 7 Most Disastrous Typos of All Time.

Apple Intends to Build New Spaceship Campus in Cupertino 
Apple intends to build its new futuristic campus (Apple Campus 2) in Cupertino, Calif. 
According to Keyser Marston’s economic impact report, the campus will be 2.8 million square feet, and the centerpiece will be an ”iconic circular office building” that’s four stories high and can accomodate up to 12,000 employees. The impact report suggests that the new campus will create significant fiscal benefits.
Via Keyser Marston Report:

"With a 10 percent annual growth rate, 7,400 employees will be hired between June 2013 and the completion of Apple Campus 2 in 2016, resulting in a projected total employee count of 23,400.”

And by the time the whole campus is built…
Via AllThingsD:
The total number of Santa Clara County-wide jobs supported by Apple is expected to be about 41,100.
The net annual fiscal surplus generated by Apple to Cupertino is predicted to exceed $11 million.
Local public agencies will collect an additional $32 million of property tax revenue.
FJP: Why do we even need an economic impact report to defend Apple’s plans to build a massive flying saucer/space station? It’s not like Apple is powerful enough to take over or anything… ha.  - Krissy
Image: One of Cupertino’s renderings of Apple 2’s campus.

Apple Intends to Build New Spaceship Campus in Cupertino 

Apple intends to build its new futuristic campus (Apple Campus 2) in Cupertino, Calif. 

According to Keyser Marston’s economic impact report, the campus will be 2.8 million square feet, and the centerpiece will be an ”iconic circular office building” that’s four stories high and can accomodate up to 12,000 employees. The impact report suggests that the new campus will create significant fiscal benefits.

Via Keyser Marston Report:

"With a 10 percent annual growth rate, 7,400 employees will be hired between June 2013 and the completion of Apple Campus 2 in 2016, resulting in a projected total employee count of 23,400.”

And by the time the whole campus is built…

Via AllThingsD:

  • The total number of Santa Clara County-wide jobs supported by Apple is expected to be about 41,100.
  • The net annual fiscal surplus generated by Apple to Cupertino is predicted to exceed $11 million.
  • Local public agencies will collect an additional $32 million of property tax revenue.

FJP: Why do we even need an economic impact report to defend Apple’s plans to build a massive flying saucer/space station? It’s not like Apple is powerful enough to take over or anything… ha.  - Krissy

Image: One of Cupertino’s renderings of Apple 2’s campus.

cnet:

Apple passes 50 billion App Store downloads

FJP: via CNET, “The person who downloaded the 50 billionth app will get a $10,000 App Store gift card from Apple, and the 50 people who downloaded apps right after that each will receive a $500 gift card.”

cnet:

Apple passes 50 billion App Store downloads

FJP: via CNET, “The person who downloaded the 50 billionth app will get a $10,000 App Store gift card from Apple, and the 50 people who downloaded apps right after that each will receive a $500 gift card.”

Smart Phones Shipped, First Quarter 2013
Researchers at IDC report that 216 million smart phones were shipped in the first quarter of 2013, up 63 million from the same period in 2012.
Via Reuters:

Sales of the iPhone 5 helped Apple’s volumes grow 6.6 percent to 37.4 million phones in the quarter from a year earlier, but that was not enough to stop its share of the market dropping to 17.3 percent from 23 percent, research firm IDC said.
A flood of cheaper Android-powered devices from the South Korean maker lifted its shipments about 60 percent to 70.7 million, giving it a 32.7 percent of the market, up from 28.8 percent a year earlier.
During the first quarter Samsung shipped more smartphones than the next four vendors combined, IDC said.

Image: Smart phones shipped worldwide, first quarter 2013.

Smart Phones Shipped, First Quarter 2013

Researchers at IDC report that 216 million smart phones were shipped in the first quarter of 2013, up 63 million from the same period in 2012.

Via Reuters:

Sales of the iPhone 5 helped Apple’s volumes grow 6.6 percent to 37.4 million phones in the quarter from a year earlier, but that was not enough to stop its share of the market dropping to 17.3 percent from 23 percent, research firm IDC said.

A flood of cheaper Android-powered devices from the South Korean maker lifted its shipments about 60 percent to 70.7 million, giving it a 32.7 percent of the market, up from 28.8 percent a year earlier.

During the first quarter Samsung shipped more smartphones than the next four vendors combined, IDC said.

Image: Smart phones shipped worldwide, first quarter 2013.

Apple Pulls 500px’s Mobile Apps From The App Store, Claiming It’s Too Easy To Search For Nude Photos →

Via TechCrunch:

Toronto photo-sharing startup 500px is reporting today that both of its applications, 500px for iOS and its recent acquisition ISO500, have been pulled from the Apple App Store due to concerns about nude photos. Combined, the apps have over 1 million downloads, 500px COO Evgeny Tchebotarev tells us…

The apps were pulled from the App Store this morning around 1 AM Eastern, and had completely disappeared by noon today. The move came shortly after last night’s discussions with Apple related to an updated version of 500px for iOS, which was in the hands of an App Store reviewer.

The Apple reviewer told the company that the update couldn’t be approved because it allowed users to search for nude photos in the app. This is correct to some extent, but 500px had actually made it tough to do so, explains Tchebotarev. New users couldn’t just launch the app and locate the nude images, he says, the way you can today on other social photo sharing services like Instagram or Tumblr, for instance. Instead, the app defaulted to a “safe search” mode where these type of photos were hidden. To shut off safe search, 500px actually required its users to visit their desktop website and make an explicit change.

Tchebotarev said the company did this because they don’t want kids or others to come across these nude photos unwittingly. “Some people are mature enough to see these photos,” he says, “but by default it’s safe.”

FJP: A few things to note:

Noted, Part One: as one commenter on the story writes, “Do they plan on removing Safari from iOS as well? And every other mobile web browser?”

Noted, Part Deux: God forbid they take a close look at what you can find with the Tumblr app.

Noted, the third: Here’s where you come across the very serious issue of a gatekeeping ecosystem where app developers and publishers are essentially at the whims of Apple. For example, last summer Apple refused to carry an app that mapped publicly reported drone strikes.

Photographing a Revolution with an iPhone
Pretty self explanatory, but very good work: all of these photos were taken by photojournalist Benjamin Lowy last summer, before the rebels killed Gaddafi and long before the recent attacks on the US Embassy. See the rest here.
From Mother Jones:

Why didn’t he work with fancier gear? “Small mobile phone cameras are innocuous and enable a far greater intimacy with a subject,” Lowy says, noting that Libyans themselves have also done much to document their surroundings, thanks to the ubiquitous technology.

Photographing a Revolution with an iPhone

Pretty self explanatory, but very good work: all of these photos were taken by photojournalist Benjamin Lowy last summer, before the rebels killed Gaddafi and long before the recent attacks on the US Embassy. See the rest here.

From Mother Jones:

Why didn’t he work with fancier gear? “Small mobile phone cameras are innocuous and enable a far greater intimacy with a subject,” Lowy says, noting that Libyans themselves have also done much to document their surroundings, thanks to the ubiquitous technology.

Polaroid
Wired: Steve Jobs considered [Polaroid Founder Edwin] Land one of his heroes. They both had a single-minded vision; they both paired a strong design sense with technology.
Christopher Bonanos: They were both artist-technologists, and both really believed in the importance of the product itself, instead of just filling a market segment or carving off some market share. You know, there were lots of MP3 players around before the iPod, and they were ugly or annoying to use or bulky or otherwise flawed–and then here came this perfect little white brick, and when you got it in your hand, you went aaaah. It went the same way with Land’s ultimate achievement, the SX-70 camera — it’s a marvel even now, because it’s a single-lens reflex camera that folds down flat to something barely bigger than the film pack inside. As perfect a little object as it could be.
Wired, Why Polaroid Was the Apple of Its Time.
Bonanos’ new book, Instant: The Story of Polaroid tracks the rise and near fall of the company.
Image: 1986 Polaroid booth near the New York’s World Trade Center introduces the Spectra system, via Wired.

Polaroid

Wired: Steve Jobs considered [Polaroid Founder Edwin] Land one of his heroes. They both had a single-minded vision; they both paired a strong design sense with technology.

Christopher Bonanos: They were both artist-technologists, and both really believed in the importance of the product itself, instead of just filling a market segment or carving off some market share. You know, there were lots of MP3 players around before the iPod, and they were ugly or annoying to use or bulky or otherwise flawed–and then here came this perfect little white brick, and when you got it in your hand, you went aaaah. It went the same way with Land’s ultimate achievement, the SX-70 camera — it’s a marvel even now, because it’s a single-lens reflex camera that folds down flat to something barely bigger than the film pack inside. As perfect a little object as it could be.

Wired, Why Polaroid Was the Apple of Its Time.

Bonanos’ new book, Instant: The Story of Polaroid tracks the rise and near fall of the company.

Image: 1986 Polaroid booth near the New York’s World Trade Center introduces the Spectra system, via Wired.

Google Takes Mapping Underwater

Google added its first underwater panoramas to Google Maps yesterday.

From their blog:

With these vibrant and stunning photos you don’t have to be a scuba diver—or even know how to swim—to explore and experience six of the ocean’s most incredible living coral reefs. Now, anyone can become the next virtual Jacques Cousteau and dive with sea turtles, fish and manta rays in Australia, the Philippines and Hawaii.

See the camera details here.

ReadWriteWeb brought up the other news this week:

Since Apple’s lukewarm launch, the press has begun to wonder whether Google will deliver a standalone mapping app for iOS to compete with Apple’s. Google appears to be buying time by showing off this undersea Reef View as a demonstration of its planet-wide prowess.

FJP: I really need to get outside more. — Blake.

Undercover Chinese Reporter Works in iPhone 5 Factory, Exhausts Himself
A reporter for the Shanghai Evening Post recently went undercover to a Foxconn factory, got a white coat, a room in the dorms, and a job placing oil marks on the back-plates of the new iPhone 5, which should be announced today. His conclusion: abysmal. Not the iPhone 5, but the conditions.
Foxconn has had controversies in the past — there was a suicide protest early this year, a factory explosion in 2011, and several suicides in years past, all related to the working conditions, poor food and dirty living quarters workers are often pushed into.
This story highlights the low quality of everything at Foxconn, except for perhaps the products they’re making.
via a translation by micgadget:

An iPhone 5 back-plate run through in front of me almost every 3 seconds. I have to pickup the back-plate and marked 4 position points using the oil-based paint pen and put it back on the running belt swiftly within 3 seconds with no errors. After such repeat action for several hours, I have terrible neckache and muscle pain on my arm. A new worker who sat opposite of me gone exhausted and laid down for a short while. The supervisor has noticed him and punished him by asking him to stand at one corner for 10 minutes like the old school days. We worked non-stop from midnight to the next morning 6 a.m but were still asked to keep on working as the production line is based on running belt and no one is allowed to stop. I’m so starving and fully exhausted.

The article notes that it cannot verify the honesty of its reporter, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
H/T: The Atlantic Wire

Undercover Chinese Reporter Works in iPhone 5 Factory, Exhausts Himself

A reporter for the Shanghai Evening Post recently went undercover to a Foxconn factory, got a white coat, a room in the dorms, and a job placing oil marks on the back-plates of the new iPhone 5, which should be announced today. His conclusion: abysmal. Not the iPhone 5, but the conditions.

Foxconn has had controversies in the past — there was a suicide protest early this year, a factory explosion in 2011, and several suicides in years past, all related to the working conditions, poor food and dirty living quarters workers are often pushed into.

This story highlights the low quality of everything at Foxconn, except for perhaps the products they’re making.

via a translation by micgadget:

An iPhone 5 back-plate run through in front of me almost every 3 seconds. I have to pickup the back-plate and marked 4 position points using the oil-based paint pen and put it back on the running belt swiftly within 3 seconds with no errors. After such repeat action for several hours, I have terrible neckache and muscle pain on my arm. A new worker who sat opposite of me gone exhausted and laid down for a short while. The supervisor has noticed him and punished him by asking him to stand at one corner for 10 minutes like the old school days. We worked non-stop from midnight to the next morning 6 a.m but were still asked to keep on working as the production line is based on running belt and no one is allowed to stop. I’m so starving and fully exhausted.

The article notes that it cannot verify the honesty of its reporter, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

H/T: The Atlantic Wire

Apple Rejects App That Tracks U.S. Drone Strikes →

It seemed like a simple enough idea for an iPhone app: Send users a pop-up notice whenever a flying robots kills someone in one of America’s many undeclared wars. But Apple keeps blocking the Drones+ program from its App Store — and therefore, from iPhones everywhere. The Cupertino company says the content is “objectionable and crude,” according to Apple’s latest rejection letter.

It’s the third time in a month that Apple has turned Drones+ away, says Josh Begley, the program’s New York-based developer. The company’s reasons for keeping the program out of the App Store keep shifting. First, Apple called the bare-bones application that aggregates news of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia “not useful.” Then there was an issue with hiding a corporate logo. And now, there’s this crude content problem.

Begley is confused. Drones+ doesn’t present grisly images of corpses left in the aftermath of the strikes. It just tells users when a strike has occurred, going off a publicly available database of strikes compiled by the U.K.’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which compiles media accounts of the strikes.

FJP: A short demonstration of how the app works (both text alerts and a map-based visualization) can be seen on Vimeo.

In a recent article at the Columbia Journalism Review, Dan Gillmor reminds us how news organizations’ reliance on technology companies is increasingly problematic. For example, and sticking with Apple:

Governments and businesses are creating choke points inside that emerging ecosystem—points of control where interests unfriendly to journalism can create not just speed bumps on the fabled information highway, but outright barricades…

…Consider Apple. The news industry’s longstanding love affair with what has become the most valuable company on Earth expanded with the death of Steve Jobs. But Apple has a long history of controlling behavior. If you create a journalism app to be sold in the iPhone or iPad marketplace, you explicitly give Apple the right to decide whether your journalism content is acceptable under the company’s vague guidelines. Apple has used this to block material it considers improper, including (until the company came under fire for this) refusing for a time to allow Mark Fiore, who has won a Pulitzer Prize for his cartoons, to sell his own app. Given the dominance Apple now enjoys in the tablet market, journalists should have a Plan B. Apple’s paranoia (not too strong a word) and secretive ways have led it to attack journalism itself. In 2004 the company tried to force several websites to disclose their sources in their Apple coverage; the case was a direct challenge to fundamental business-journalism practices. (Note: I played a small role in that case, filing declarations on behalf of the websites that they were engaged in protected journalism.)

Read through to Gillmor’s article for more about how telecommunications providers, government, and entertainment and technology companies threaten journalism and innovation.

(Source: theamericanbear)

DOJ Sues Apple & 5 Publishers for Fixing E-Book Prices →

The antitrust lawsuit accuses Apple and five separate publishers of colluding to fix the price of e-books in violation of federal antitrust law. Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster have settled with the Justice Department, but the remaining three defendants—Apple, Penguin, and Macmillan have not.

Apparently, the price-fixing scheme began a few months prior to the release of the first iPad, and the publishers reportedly took steps to conceal secret communications with each other. 

via Talking Points Memo:

The publishers and Apple ended up entering into an agreement. Jobs’ own email to a publisher proves to be quite damning with Jobs stating that the publishers could work with Apple or pursue one of two other choices: “Keep going with Amazon at $9.99” or “hold back your books from Amazon.”

In April 2010, publishers began charging $12.99, $14.99 or $16.99 for e-book versions of new hardcover titles.

Previously, the DOJ points out, e-book pricing occurred in a “wholesale model,” wherein publishers sold their books to retailers at varying prices, then retailers were free to charge whatever they wanted for them.

The “agency model” that Apple and the five publishers implemented involved agreeing to fixed prices prior to selling the books through Apple’s iBookstore, according to the DOJ.

If approved by the court, a settlement will grant retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble the freedom to reduce the price of their e-books. They would also be required to “terminate their anticompetitive most-favored-nation agreements with Apple and other e-books retailers.”

Chinese Teen Sells Kidney to Buy iThings →

In the United States 34% of teenagers have an iPhone and another 40% hope to buy one sometime in the next six months.

If you’re in the market, don’t do it this way:

Five people in southern China have been charged with intentional injury in the case of a Chinese teenager who sold a kidney so he could buy an iPhone and an iPad, the government-run Xinhua News Agency said on Friday.

The five included a surgeon who removed a kidney from a 17-year-old boy in April last year. The boy, identified only by his surname Wang, now suffers from renal deficiency, Xinhua quoted prosecutors in Chenzhou city, Hunan province as saying.

According to the Xinhua account, one of the defendants received about 220,000 yuan (about $35,000) to arrange the transplant. He paid Wang 22,000 yuan [about $3,500] and split the rest with the surgeon, the three other defendants and other medical staff.