AMITIAE - Wednesday 9 May 2012
Cassandra - Wednesday Review - The Week in Full Swing
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening Gambit:Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs. Rumours on new Macs and Ivy Bridge. Apple and Proview talking money. Apple and Samsung reducing cases. Not all apps are great. Publishers, apps and originality from internet news sources. Lenovo clones the Mac mini. Oracle wins something. Google wants a mistrial declared. RIM loses its fizz and needs to wake up.
Apple StuffThis week the Fortune 500 list was published with a lot of oil companies at the top end along with Walmart (we have a funny story about them later). Apple has managed to rise from a position of 35 last year to 17 this year.
So how does Apple do this when it has such a bad CEO? I mean we keep reading that Apple is doomed now that Tim Cook is in the chair and Apple will just fade away. All those high profits and income? Steve Jobs doing: residual, fallout; all going to end soon. While Apple shares rose after the death of Jobs when some had expected them to fall, around the time of the last quarterly financial report -- you remember, the figures that broke all records -- the shares were forced down, and they still are at a lower level than the $600 everyone thinks is right for this time (still at $561 on Tuesday evening).
In another anti-Cook article -- I swear, these Wall Street analysts must all get together in a bar and concoct the next theme -- Rocco Pendola writing for TheStreet tells readers that Cook is selling Apple's soul. I will leave the link to MacDaily News where I first saw this because of the useful comments there.
As well as Apple, Josh Ong reports on AppleInsider that Luxembourg is not happy about the NYTimes comments and one of their top people wrote a letter to the NYTimes this week pointing out (as I had surmised earlier) that a decision to use a site like Luxembourg -- used by many other corporations that the NYTimes was either too lazy or unwilling to name -- is the the consequence of a combination of factors which he outlined and added that EU tax law is applied.
As I was writing this, a report from Josh Ong tells us that the article from the NYTimes has done nothing negative to Apple's reputation. There is nothing in the report concerning the reputation of the NYTimes.
Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Curacao, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Morocco, Peru, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Vietnam. Several Middle Eastern countries will get the tablet on May 12th . . . Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
We need to join this with the rumour from Lance Whitney concerning a new MacBook Air that some sources suggest is to be made available for the price of $799, which will hurt all those ultrabook wannabes as they were having trouble with the $999 price.
I wonder if Apple will start using its own A5 or even A6 processors?
We also read on AppleInsider that Apple And Samsung have agreed to streamline things and have dropped a number of cases against each other. while several sources reported that a judge in one of the Samsung cases tossed out 3,000 pages from an Apple filing (Jeff Gamet)
Half and HalfThere have been some adjustments and changes of late in the online world which seem to have been brought into focus by Facebook's purchase of Instagram. Evernote has joined the party we read in an article by Rafe Needleman and have picked up Penultimate: meaning better integration.
Other MattersThe jury in the Oracle/Google case was out over the weekend but came back early in the week to give Oracle a partial victory. Yes, the patents were infringed, but the jury is not sure about "fair use" and will not touch the idea of compensation. Foss Patents has a full report on this and writes that the trial is still continuing.
We read later that the Google lawyers are not happy and rather than appeal, they want a mistrial declared. This is going to go on for years: there is too much at stake as Florian Mueller discusses at length here.
We also read on Wednesday morning in an article by Rachel King that Andy Rubin -- the Android chief -- was called back to present more evidence on what he knew about the patents in question. As before, he was evasive. There are several other interesting points in this article.
With the Oracle thing in full swing, and problems with federal agencies in the US who caught them doing illegal things, plus EU actions, as well as some other naughtiness in the world according to Google, it may be a surprise (not to some of course) to find that the Mountain View Chocolate Factory is to be hit with another antitrust probe: this time in India, according to Don Reisinger. This is about AdWords (I think I use that).
One thing that was missing in the article which I had intended to write about was the rise of the blogger. Anyone with a site (or WordPress access) is a media mogul, so they are all chasing the same news, using the same sources and all that is done is a rehash of the original item, with a slight dash of history and a frisson of opinion and that stands for a self-written news story. While Cassandra uses the news, there is no pretense at originality: the purpose is to comment on what otherwise might be missed. Look around some of the larger (and new) blogging sources and see how many actually write original reviews or create their own information, like original product reviews, independent opinion pieces and other self-created items. Not that many: check for original sources, and they are fairly few
And then on Tuesday evening, Lance Whitney writes that RIM is in a hiring mood and has picked up a couple of spare execs to replace the ones they keep losing.
Local ItemsI had email from a friend this week asking what I knew about workers in sea-food factories in Thailand. Not a lot I must admit. In the email was information about a workers strike over passports held by a company that employs Cambodians and Burmese workers. Police were called, shots were fired. I never heard anything like this at all although the news item included information that implied that the Bangkok Post had pushed something out. A Google search found this and a whole lot more.
Now the Post article dated 13 April looked at the situation and while the company does hold onto passports (there may be a variety of legitimate reasons for that here) some of the dispute may have been poor communication as workers in other factories owned by the same company, were not in dispute.
The interesting thing for me, apart from all the blogs that had picked up on this was the source of the shrillness. While the Post article mentioned Walmart as a major importer of the products, it did not use the word, "slavery" while one of the comments (probably written by a Brit) did, putting something emotive into the mix that did not exist in reality. Real slave conditions are something else. However, the blogs did pick up on both the slavery and Walmart and joined the dots, ending up with someofus -- the same organisation that put false information online in an effort to get people to sign a petition against Apple for its "slave labour" conditions at Foxconn -- creating an online petition against Walmart.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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