Foxconn, Apple’s producer in China of iPads and iPhones has just announced that it has raised the wages for it’s factory staff by 16% to 25%. The move comes after widespread pressure regarding the both the treatment of workers at the factories as well as the low pay.
The Original Device Manufacturer is currently the largest producer of iPads and iPhones and has announced that the new wages will be 1,800 yuan ($285). While this may not seem like much for someone outside of china, a fact of note is that just three years ago the pay was half that at 900 yuan ($143). Foxconn also announced that some workers, upon passing of a technical examination, will see pay rise up to 2,200 yuan (($349).
The company, as reported in BGR has been under pressure for months now after workers accused the owners of poor treatment and bad work conditions. A documentary on the factories also proved to be damning as it also depicted a relatively high number of employee suicides.
For those who were celebratory of Apple’s novel idea to release their last OS via USB sticks, Apple has taken it one step further. Their latest OS offering Mountain Lion will be completely devoid of any physical media. The OS, according to Engadget will only be available via a download from the iTunes Store.
According to Apple, their $69 USB stick alternative to downloading their previous OS was “ an interesting test, but it [...] the App Store was just fine for getting the new OS”.
If you’re among those who are on the lower end of the broadband speed spectrum looks like the local Starbucks will see you pitching tents there soon.
In yet more developments in the Apple-vs.-The-World patent disputes, Engadget is reporting that Apple is trying to get the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to intervene in their patent suit against Motorola. A move that comes just days after Google’s acquisition of Motorola was approved by the European Commission (Probably no connection).
As it turns out, Motorola revealed that it had received a letter from the European Commission saying that a complaint had been filed against them by Apple. The letter went on to state that Apple wanted the commission to “enforce the firm’s standards-essential patents that breach agreed FRAND commitments.”
The letter surfaced days after Apple was granted an injunction against Motorola’s implementation of slide-to-unlock. This latest development is just one of the many lawsuits apple has filed against what seems to be every smartphone manufacturer out there.
Looks like at long last, the class action lawsuit filed against Apple over their so called ‘Antennagate’ issue seems to have been settled.
The good folks over at CNET are reporting that each resident of the U.S. who bought the iPhone 4 will receive either the iPhone ‘bumper’ case or $15 in cash.
The settlement comes after 18 seperate lawsuits that claimed that Apple was”misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.” were consolidated into one case.
In a nutshell, iPhone 4 users were reporting en-masse that the phone, when gripped tightly, would lose reception. this was deemed to be a major flaw in the phones build. The company then lay silent for three weeks before finally holding a press conference to announce that all other phones had the same flaw. They then announced that those who wanted could either give their phones in for a full refund or take advantage of a free case that apple was giving out. An offer they kept running for 2 months.
The most recent iteration of the iPhone, the 4S has been tested to be free from this issue.
After the large furor created by the discovery of information tracking and key-logging application Carrier IQ being installed on millions of phones across the world, it was only a matter of time before some legal leg-weight was thrown behind its opponents.
This time, it’s gone beyond the companies and carriers who have issued various statements regarding their stance on the Carrier IQ app, but has gone to the american Federal Trade Commission. While some american senators such as Al Franken demanded full transparency as to the information being collected, one such congressman demanded that the FTC look into the matter.According to engadget, the congressman demanded to know if Carrier IQ violated the privacy of millions of Americans as well as violated american wire-tapping laws.
For those of us not residing in the US we can merely watch developments unfold as we ponder if someone’s been listening to our conversation lately.
The recently formed US Cyber Command underwent its first major test run, a major milestone for the fledgling organization. The exercise, reportedly dubbed ‘Cyber Flag’ was said to be successful with the NSA Director and Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander saying it actually exceeded his expectations.
The exercise was carried out over the course of a single week at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada where some 300 defense experts were separated into two teams and put to the test. The two teams, ‘The Good guys’ and ‘The Bad Guys’ participated in the mock cyber attack which saw The Bad Guys attempt to infiltrate the Cyber Commands networks. The point was to simulate a potential real world situation similar to the test.
The Good guys apparently were not able to defend against all of The Bad Guys’ attacks but Engadget is reporting that the majority were recognized and mitigated “in a timely manner”
Two employees of Blackberry manufacturers Research In Motion have been suspended following an incident aboard an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Beijing. CTV News is reporting that the executives were so drunk aboard the flight that it “took the entire crew to subdue the men, who were eventually handcuffed to seats on the plane.”
The two executives, George Campbell, 45, and and Paul Alexander Wilson, 38, pled guilty to mischief and have been ordered to pay $71,757 in restitution. RIM has also announced that the two men have been put on suspension pending an investigation.
“Based on the limited information available at this time, RIM has suspended the individuals involved pending further investigation,” RIM said in a statement.
The jet had to be diverted to Vancouver and it’s passengers housed in hotels until the flight resumed 18 hours behind schedule.
Julian Assange, being his usual optimistic self, recently spoke out against mobile surveilance at a talk he was giving at the City University London. According to Assange, the founder of infamous whistle-blowing site Wikileaks, more than 150 private organizations in 25 countries can easily track phones and intercept messages, browsing history, email accounts, phone calls and more. All without so much as coming near your smartphone.
“Who here has an iPhone? Who here has a BlackBerry? Who here uses Gmail? Well, you’re all screwed,” – Julian Assange
Assange made the remarks following the release of 287 documents that addressed “the reality of the international surveillance industry”. The technology, he claimed was developed in the US, Canada and Australia and the United Kingdom and says they might have even been sold to regimes in the Middle East and Africa.
Wikileaks, as reported in BGR, went on to say that some of the technology was actually capable of sending fake text messages from a users phone and could even “record every use, movement and even sights and sounds of the room [a phone] is in,”.
Big Brother really is watching by the looks of things, and Carrier IQ is the least of our worries.
It looks like the ongoing legal battle over whether or not Samsung is copying Apple’s designs has taken another turn as a US District Court Judge just voted against Apple’s request to place an injunction on Samsung Galaxy devices.
The denial comes as yet another blow to the chaps over at cupertino as their request to speed up the trial back in July was also denied. This time though as Engadget is reporting that the Judge ruled that “It is not clear that an injunction on Samsung’s accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed”
The longstanding battle will no doubt go on but it seems neither side is willing to back down.
In yet another legal battle involving Apple, the International Trade Commission has ruled that the camera technology that HTC uses does not infringe upon patents registered to ex-Apple subsidiary Flashpoint technology.
This isnt the only case both companies are involved in as while Apple battles Samsung and other mobile manufacturers, HTC is also waging its own little wars including one with IPCom which actually resulted in the barring of sales of HTC phones in Germany.
The good news is that in this case HTC is in the clear as it was proven that HTC had not infringed upon copyrights owned by former Apple-subsidiary Flashpoint technology. BGR is also reporting that Flashpoint also launched similar lawsuits against the likes of RIM, Nokia and LG, all of whom settled out of court.