eXtensions - Friday 24 July 2020
Friday Diversion: Apple Silicon Comments; Home Mac Notes; Apple Store 2 in Bangkok; 30% Commission Rights and Wrongs
By Graham K. Rogers
MacBook Pro running Big Sur - Image courtesy of Apple
However, Apple has bought a company that makes PCB boards, according to Tim Hardwick (MacRumors): "Apple has brought Tripod into the supply chain for Apple's forthcoming mini LED devices because of the manufacturer's good cost control capability and production management." Thin is good for MacBooks.
Scanned Hasselblad Images taken with Ilford Ortho 80
I have the iStat menu bar icons installed, so it is just a click to see temperatures and fan speeds. I also started Activity Monitor to see other statistics and to identify what specific process was causing this. I was not surprised to see a Photos-related system application was the cause, and I know that this would eventually fade away. However, what I could not see in the panel were the percentages and other useful information.
Normally there are adjustable tabs for each of these, but nothing was shown. I widened the panel and the title, Applications, appeared far to the right. I expanded the panel wider and wider, until eventually the other tabs appeared. Clicking on the one that was closest to the left, I dragged that panel to the left and made the whole display a more sensible size. As I have not used this for a while, I can only speculate that (perhaps) one of the recent Catalina updates caused this.
The Macalope took a Forbes contributor to task over comments on the iPhone 12 battery. Remember that this has not even been announced yet, although I have also seen comments online about the iPhone 13. The Macalope criticism was par for the course - hard and fair and amusing - but in the middle the writer switched tack and commented on an example of plagiarism of the Forbes article:
If you think that's bad, just wait. Because eagle-eyed reader William emailed the Macalope a link from another site that the Macalope won't even include because what this site did is lift most of Kelly's piece - including a typo - rewriting it slightly and then regurgitate it on its own pages as "news", only providing a link to the "source" at the end.
As much as the Macalope does not agree with Kelly's "style", he does not deserve to have his work ripped off like this (Macalope). Having had that happen to me with another site, and teaching about ethics and plagiarism to engineers also makes me applaud this. There is no reason to steal another person's work.
Future Bangkok Apple Store 2
This is also carried on 9to5Mac (Michael Steeber) in an article that has some useful background and a few promotion shots about the area. As I had to go in to central Bangkok, I made a detour to Central World and took some photos with the iPhone and some with the DSLR. Those I took with my Hasselblad will take a few days longer to appear as the developing process takes a few days.
Future Bangkok Apple Store 2
The app told me also that there was a firmware update for the camera. Nikon have got much better at this in the last couple of years. I could not download that via the iPhone so sent the link to the Mac and linked to the Nikon pages from there. It took some juggling of the memory card and when I had finished I formatted the card to clear off the firmware update. And the 3 or 4 photos I had taken at Central World. Fortunately, the iPhone versions were reasonable (above) and I will only use them for web work.
Some of those taking part made some fascinating observations: photographers, particularly, but I was impressed by the sound wisdom coming from Dukagjin Gorani who had been caught up in the conflict and views the world with a different perspective. They found the boy - Sadik Kadriaj, now much older - and a brief part of this documentary follows his life. At least he survived. Before I could find that Star Wars movie again, I saw that The Lighthouse, the black and white film with Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson was available, so I added that to my Up Next list.
Years ago I worked in the wholesale newspaper industry in the UK which had a well organized delivery system from newspaper print shops to the retail stores, using vans and special newspaper trains where sorting would take place, something like postal trains, so that the local wholesale personnel could deliver to the shops in a timely fashion when the bundles arrived in the provinces. Someone has to pay for that and so the wholesalers deducted a percentage (10%) from the cover price to cover the costs, as did the retailers (25% then). As some wholesalers were also retailers, although the two operations were separate, the amount deducted by one company could be 35%.
It is from this direction that I approach the commission charged by Apple, who have created the devices and link the users to the developers through the app stores set up in various countries and track the use of the apps to protect against piracy, while also testing the apps to make sure users are not at risk. There may be some room for improvement in the last part, but the whole operation is an ecosystem provided by Apple. A quick look at the alternatives may give a sense of why such an infrastructure is valuable.
In the light of the criticism, William Gallagher (AppleInsider) highlights a report from the independent Analysis Group, which compares the Apple Store with 40 others (I had not realized there were 40 others). Focusing solely on the criticisms about the 30%, the Group "support Apple's contention that its practices are in line with the industry" adding that the "commission rate is similar in magnitude to the commission rates charged by many other app stores and digital content marketplaces". And newspapers.
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. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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