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Steve Jobs has been dead for about two and a half years now, and it’s hard not to notice that the regular parade of game-changing Apple products for which he was famous seems to have disappeared with him. Why Apple Is Like a Movie Studio

…readers seem to engage in a lot of debate over whether Google and Amazon are “better” than Apple when it comes to ecosystem lock-in. But all of those services only work with approved devices using approved players with approved content. What you’re arguing about is the size of the cage you’re in. chipotle_coyote

It wasn’t just the product that galvanized me; it was the act of its creation. The Macintosh team, idealized and partially fictionalized as it surely was in my adolescent mind, nevertheless served as my north star, my proof that knowledge and passion could produce great things. Memories are short in the tech industry. For most people, Apple and Steve Jobs will always be synonymous with the iPhone, an uncontested inflection point in our computing culture. For me, the introduction of the Macintosh will always be more important. Though people who didn’t live through it might not feel it as keenly as I do, the distance between pre-2007 smartphones and the iPhone is much smaller than the distance between MS-DOS and the Mac. Hypercritical: Macintosh

Ok, so what precisely is the valid objection here? Sure, the community site is intended for technical issues. That was what the thread began with — a technical issue. When there was no corporate response to that technical issue, some started to offer advice to other customers about what they could do to deal with that issue. That was LouLou71’s purpose — exercise your warranty rights. When did it become inappropriate to inform people about legally protected rights related to technical issues? Is talking about legal rights the new porn? Apple doesn’t scrub comments that try to help people by telling them to refer complaints to the feedback page — for in the Sharing Economy that is the Internet, that’s free information donated to Apple. But when someone offers advice that tries to help people by telling them to exercise their rights, it gets purged? So, hey #Apple, if you want the free help given by members of your community, treat them with respect. Lessig Blog, v2: Wow, or from the When-Apple-Became-the-Borg Department 

Apple’s enormous, complex global supply chain for iPod production is aimed at obtaining the lowest unit labor costs (taking into consideration labor costs, technology, etc.), appropriate for each component, with the final assembly taking place in China, where production occurs on a massive scale, under enormous intensity, and with ultra-low wages. In Foxconn’s Longhu, Shenzhen factory 300,000 to 400,000 workers eat, work, and sleep under horrendous conditions, with workers, who are compelled to do rapid hand movements for long hours for months on end, finding themselves twitching constantly at night. Foxconn workers in 2009 were paid the minimum monthly wage in Shenzhen, or about 83 cents an hour. (Overall in China in 2008 manufacturing workers were paid $1.36 an hour, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.) Despite the massive labor input of Chinese workers in assembling the final product, their low pay means that their work only amounts to 3.6 percent of the total manufacturing cost (shipping price) of the iPhone. The overall profit margin on iPhones in 2009 was 64 percent. If iPhones were assembled in the United States—assuming labor costs ten times that in China, equal productivity, and constant component costs—Apple would still have an ample profit margin, but it would drop from 64 percent to 50 percent. In effect, Apple makes 22 percent of its profit margin on iPhone production from the much higher rate of exploitation of Chinese labor. The Global Reserve Army of Labor and the New Imperialism

Steve Jobs cried a lot. This is one of the salient facts about his subject that Isaacson reveals, and it is salient not because it shows Jobs’s emotional depth, but because it is an example of his stunted character. Steve Jobs cried when he didn’t get his own way. He was a bully, a dissembler, a cheapskate, a deadbeat dad, a manipulator, and sometimes he was very nice. Isaacson does not shy away from any of this, and the trouble is that Jobs comes across as such a repellent man, cruel even to his best friend Steve Wozniak, derisive of almost everyone, ruthless to people who thought they were his friends, indifferent to his daughters, that the book is often hard to read. Friends and former friends speculate that his bad behavior was a consequence of being put up for adoption at birth. A former girlfriend, who went on to work in the mental health field, thought he had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. John Sculley, who orchestrated Jobs’s expulsion from Apple, wondered if he was bipolar. Jobs himself dismissed his excesses with a single word: artist. Artists, he seemed to believe, got a pass on bad behavior. Isaacson seems to think so, too, proving that it is possible to write a hagiography even while exposing the worst in a person. Who Was Steve Jobs?

If goods and capital can move freely from country to country, and people cannot, then people are and always will be slaves to goods and capital. We as a global society will not solve our Apple problem until people are free to live and work where they choose. How Apple Can Solve Its China Problem

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