Rob Shmitz wrote a piece today on Mike Daisey, who has given interviews and published articles all across mass media speaking of the horrors he saw at Apple's manufacturing partner, Foxconn, in China. The trouble is, he made them all up:
“Look. I'm not going to say that I didn't take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard. But I stand behind the work,” Daisey said. “My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism. And it's not journalism. It's theater.”
Obviously, there are human rights concerns within the Chinese manufacturing complex. But, Daisey's critiques have always come off troubling, since he has focused on exposing horrendous “truths” about a company that normally appears to be very concerned about worker conditions in China (i.e. Apple). Now the reason it is troubling has become clear: Daisey's “truths” were false. And, while he claims he was purely being theatrical, he certainly didn't indicate that in his NYT Op-Ed or any of dozens of other places he “reported.”
It seems that Microsoft had to create a special category of applications to permit third party web browsers in its new Metro user interface. The new interface, much like Apple's iOS used on iPhones and iPads, places significant restrictions on what applications can do. But, unlike iOS, these restrictions apply to the new preferred interface for Microsoft's desktop operating system. And, that makes things a whole lot more complicated than they are with a phone and tablet OS.
I'm still uncertain about Windows 8's fusion of a desktop and tablet OS. This new complication just seems like another demonstration of the roadblocks Microsoft faces in making the next Windows a viable operating system.
I was more than a bit surprised when I saw commentators start noting ways Apple's presentations were becoming less well organized post-Jobs. In particular, various folks mentioned the ambiguous “new iPad” name, the play on words used to launch the product and the colorful Apple logo at the end. Matt Thomas deals with these points very succinctly.
Incidentally, am I the only one to note that the lack of a numerical qualifier after the name iPad simply puts the iPad within the naming conventions always applied to the iPod family?
Gruber writes about the AP's suggestion that the iPad 3's specs indicate a “modest upgrade:”
I suspect this is a prelude to much of tomorrow's post-event coverage, echoing the initial tech press reaction to the iPhone 4S. But if a faster processor, more RAM, a double-the-resolution retina display, a better camera, and maybe even LTE networking make for a “modest” update, then what would it take for the iPad 3 to be deemed an immodest update? A fusion energy source? Teleportation? A camera that sees into the future?
It seems the the App Store has reached 25 billion downloads. It is hard to even recall the days long past where people questioned whether the App Store could even succeed. It may not be perfect, but I've never seen another form of application distribution that makes getting the apps everyone actually wants so easy.
The invitation seems to give it away. If anyone had any doubt, it looks like the iPad 3 will have a Retina Display. The big question is what else will be new — I'm betting on a hefty processor upgrade to help drive the significantly higher resolution display.
This looks interesting, though I can't help but wish they were announcing their support for Open webOS instead. WebOS is so good, if the FOSS community really wants to take iOS head on, that's the way to do it.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes:
The report makes depressing reading. Across all platforms, mobile malware attacks are up 155 percent, with mobile malware samples increasing from 11,138 in 2010 to 28,472 in 2011. BlackBerry malware grew by 8 percent, and Java ME saw a 49 percent increase. But the platform hit hardest was Android, with malware increasing by an incredible 3,325 percent in a year. During the last six months of 2011, Android malware samples had increased from 400 to 13,302.
Conspicuously absent from the list of devices affected by malware attacks is the iPhone. You don't suppose that is because there is no malware for the iPhone, do you?
Sam Moreau posted a piece on Microsoft's “Blogging Windows” blog to show a history of Windows logos and present a new one for Windows 8. The retrospective is enjoyable; the new logo, on the other hand… Well, at least for me, I'll say the jury is still out.
I think I'll actually miss the “Windows Flag.”
John Gruber writes:
The default for this setting is, I say, exactly right: the one in the middle, disallowing only unsigned apps. This default setting benefits users by increasing practical security, and also benefits developers, preserving the freedom to ship whatever software they want for the Mac, with no approval process.
Call me nuts, but that's one feature I hope will someday go in the other direction — from OS X to iOS.
My thoughts exactly. The iOS defaults make perfect sense for most users: the App Store is open enough that the vast majority of apps can get into it, it is dead simple to use and most users have no business trying to figure out if third party sources are “safe.” But, it would be nice if power users could flip a switch to override that generally wise restriction and install third party signed apps (or maybe even unsigned apps).
In this respect Gatekeeper on the Mac is really ideal. Given the differing expectations for a computer over a cell phone, it defaults to allowing Mac App Store and third party signed applications. I probably wouldn't recommend that as a default on an iOS device, but it makes sense on a full fledged computer. Most users probably should stick to the App Store, but quite a few users will want apps like Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office, that (I suspect) will remain outside the App Store. By allowing third party apps, but requiring them to be signed, Apple avoids loosing (or severely limiting) these all-important packages while ensuring that any third party creating malicious software can still be blacklisted as soon as a threat appears.
Finally, and critically, Gatekeeper's restrictions can be completely overridden if advanced users want to run unsigned code. Giving the choice is good. For the most part, I suspect that users who are advanced enough to not be intimidated by switching off what sounds like (and is) an important security setting will also be knowledgable enough to safely judge what unsigned code is OK to run.