6 Reasons to Hate AppleOctober 17th, 2012
I’m not one to go after corporations when the Police State is on the rise. You can boycott corporations you don’t like. Trying to boycott the Police State will get you thrown in a cage. But Apple crosses some lines for me. I’m in the market for a new laptop. Specifically, one to run graphics programs on. People keep telling me that Apple is the way to go for artists. But while I’ve been doing the market research to make this decision I’ve come across some nasty stuff Apple has done. So, I thought it prudent that I share.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the labor gulags where the iPhone and iPad are manufactured. They got several years of bad publicity after instilling nets to prevent people from jumping off their buildings. I have no idea what the market wage for factory labor in China should be, and it takes a little more than a headline to get my attention. But here’s where it starts to sound evil to me.
In September a riot at one factory involved 2,000 workers, with 40 hospitalized. It was originally attributed to a dispute in the dormitory, not related to working conditions, but now it’s come out that it was motivated by the factory’s gestapo private security thugs.
Geoffrey Crothall, research director at Hong Kong’s China Labor Bulletin said, “We know about the heavy-handed ways of the security apparatus at Foxconn. They have a longstanding reputation of being harsh with workers.” Fang Zhongyang, a worker, said “The guards here use gangster style (not gangnam style) to manage.” The security guards wear riot helmets and shields and march around the factory bullying people.
I know the liberty minded crowd often rolls its eyes at the Marxist claptrap we hear a lot of the time. But we’re talking about something completely different than low wages and poor working conditions. You can leave a crappy job. You might not find a new job right away. You might make less money. But if workers are herded into company owned dormitories, and harassed by private security in riot gear until they riot… it’s not a free market.
2) Patent trolling
In a controversial billion-dollar patent-infringement case Apple recently went after Samsung over some of their software-related patents and design-related patents… and won.
Again, there is a lot of disagreement about intellectual property among libertarians, but I don’t think anyone would argue that a competing manufacturer using rounded corners constituted theft from Apple. Nonetheless, among the patents involved in the suit are basic superficial characteristics, such as rounded corners, flat tops, the way icons appear on the screen, “pinch to zoom” and “tap to zoom” gestures and many others.
The victory in this suit gives Apple greater power to go after Google and Android next, and despite it’s hard earned reputation as an innovator and a market leader in almost every category of mobile device, calling on the State to stifle their competition is unfair advantage, against the most basic of free market principles and… well… evil.
3) Sheisty license agreements
The “iBooks Author” is an app designed to help iPad users draft, edit, and self-publish ebooks. It comes with a wide variety of templates, easy drag-and-drop functionality, and all the layout features you want out of a word processing app. It seems like the perfect tool for a new writer to break into the world of online publishing. But the iBooks Author end user licence agreement contains some pretty draconian fine print.
Tarrin Lupo is a successful author in the genre of historical fiction. He wrote the widely popular “Pirates of Savannah” and his next book “One Nation Under Blood” is set for release anytime now, both as ebooks. And if you ask Tarrin about the keys to his success one of the major ones is access to multiple ebook markets, pretty much anywhere you can. Here’s the catch. Apple’s license agreement prohibits all that. In fact, they claim to own your story if you write it with their software.
Section 2B of the Apple iBooks Author End User Licence Agreement reads:
Distribution of your Work. As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, your Work may be distributed as follows:
- (i) if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means;
- (ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.
Imagine! You buy a piece of software to help you write the manuscript of your magnum opus, and when you’re done, not only does Apple want you to ask their permission to make any money off it, they also want the power to prevent you from publishing it. If you do any creative work and wish to retain ownership of it you might want to re-read the licensing agreement on all your Apple products.
4) Apple bans BitCoin
Apple recently launched Passbook, the new mobile wallet app for the iOS… so of course every competing payment system must be purged from Apple products. They even blocked apps that were specifically designed to help people make charitable donations from your phone. BitCoin apps were no exception. There were previously two BitCoin apps in the Apple App Store. Blockchain Wallet and BitPak were both unceremoniously blocked. Several BitCoin related apps remain in the store, but only those that do not enable transactions.
Apple’s explanation was that “apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are available.” But this was obviously bogus because no law prohibiting BitCoin has passed anywhere.
It’s clear. Monopoly is the culture of Apple, and if they can’t use the law directly to further that goal, they’ll invoke laws that don’t even exist. Although, I wouldn’t worry too much. I’m sure the hackers and programmers among the BitCoin enthusiasts can find a work around for whatever barriers Apple puts up.
5) Government Back Doors
Apple’s new operating system includes some fun government malware called the National Alerting Program (PLAN). How they arrived at the acronym PLAN is beyond me, but what it’s designed to do is override all telecommunications and broadcast messages directly to your mobile device from the State.
Public safety is the pretext. The PLAN program will ostensibly be used to broadcast emergency alerts from FEMA or Amber Alerts. Of course this would be the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent, laying the groundwork for a government kill switch on all infected communication networks.
Last December a botched test of the PLAN program told residents of New York and New Jersey that a “civil emergency” was in progress and to “take shelter.” Nothing like public panic justify curtails of freedom. And if they allow the government to override your phone to send you a message, how hard can it be to allow the government to transform your phone into a surveillance hub.
6) Blocking citizen journalism
From Occupy Wall Street to CopBlock, it’s become a proverb among the citizen journalists, “The camera is the new gun.” Well, it seems like Apple wants to disarm those journalists. Apple has patented a piece of technology that would transmit an encoded signal to all wireless devices within its radius to disable them from capturing pictures or recording video. Because according to the patent “wireless devices can often annoy, frustrate, and even threaten people.”
It seems to me the only thing threatened by photographs and video taken by citizen journalists is the legitimacy of the sociocrats they record.
This will allow police to block journalists from recording anything they deem “sensitive” and “protected from externalities.” Externalities is code for transparency. Because according to Apple, “covert police or government operations may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions… Additionally, the wireless transmission of sensitive information to a remote source is one example of a threat to security.”
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