Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
A group calling itself Apple Retail Workers Union picked up some nice press yesterday when they sent out their own form of a press release to some major media outlets. The goal? Simple. Unionize Apple retail stores. The chances of this happening? None to, well, none.
There are any number of reasons why Apple retail stores won't ever form a union, such as Apple's overall pay being much higher than the average mall store (you won't find any Genius salaries in The GAP), and benefits are good. But there are two key reasons any union effort for Apple retail employees will fail. First, Apple retail employees are a happy, satisfied bunch, because the atmosphere Apple has created for them is top of the class. Secondly, Steve Jobs has no love for unions (so it appears). In 2007 Jobs told a school-reform conference in Texas "I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way..." Jobs also added "This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy." As a result of Jobs public stance it would appear Unions have no love for Jobs either.
I had built my presentation in keynote, hooked up the projector just to make sure all was working with my newly acquired MacBook Air. I hit play in Keynote and then grabbed my Apple remote to begin forwarding slides... but nothing was happening.
“What’s going on here?” I thought. Maybe I had a remote with a dead battery so I grabbed another and tried again. Still nothing. To my horror, I quickly learned the newer MacBook Air's no longer have an infrared sensor. The sensor had been replaced with a second USB port. Zoiks! I had a presentation in 2 hours. What was I to do? No way I was going to look like a PeeCee idiot and walk up to my laptop and click the arrow keys every time I needed something to happen.
Adobe released version 10.3 of their Flash Player this week. The key areas of improvement are auto-update notification and security control. Both of these features are welcome additions to the Flash Player for Mac users. Does this new version have any new performance enhancements?
As with the last major release 10.2, it is time to run Flash Player 10.3 through its paces to see if there are any performance improvements for Mac users. The tests below were conducted on the same machine and webpages as our previous tests. The latest versions of Safari and Firefox were used to compare Flash Player 10.2.152 with Flash Player 10.3.181 on the chart below.
In the past, adding an external storage device was slow and cumbersome. Back in the day, users had to turn off the computer, plug-in and screw-in a connector, before turning the computer back on to add an external hard drive.
USB greatly helps the situation by allowing users to plug-in devices without having to turn off the computer. The connectors are smaller and don’t have to be screwed in. Laptop hard drives and USB 2.0 made it even easier by supplying power through the USB port, so these devices didn’t even need to be plugged into a power outlet. The next step is to remove one cable that is left.
Apple opened the Mac App Store in January of 2011. Since then, several big developers have added their applications to the store like Omni Group and AutoDesk. Still many more big and small developers have yet to add their applications. While the Mac App Store application quality has improved slowly, there is still a long way to go before it is the main place to get all applications on the Mac.
Even if the Mac Apple Store does not have all the best applications, there are still a lot of great new and old applications to be found there. Today, we will look at two new and one old utility that can be found in the Store.
Reuters is reporting that Apple isn't satisfied with the size of current SIM cards and is pushing for a smaller standard for the iPad and other iOS devices. The information comes to Reuters from an Orange executive.
Orange is one of the UK's major carriers along with T-Mobile and O2. Any validity to this? Who knows, as Reuters is an odd rumor source, and this is not typical for them. This could simply be an Orange executive with loose lips sinking ships.
Working at an Apple retail store in the past, I felt compelled to share some thoughts on the rumors hinting of a major event coming this weekend at the Apple retail stores. Computerworld's Jonny Evans shares some additional thoughts along these lines, but also shares information from ifoapplestore.com, which has been a faithful follower of Apple retail stores since they opened nearly 10 years ago.
Taking in the smoke from the rumor mill, don't get excited about Apple launching some form of anniversary Mac hardware, or delivering some surprise Apple HDTV product, that just isn't happening. Apple does not waste hundreds of millions of dollars in free press when launching into new markets, and pulling some surprise Mac launch over the weekend would be doing exactly that. What's more likely is a software/cloud initiative.
Based on BGR's claims, it appears Apple will actually be revealing pre-announcement information to a select group of Apple retail staff 12 – 24 hours ahead of a major announcement. This would be a first for Apple, and a bold move from the Cupertino machine. But this may be an Apple litmus test, and if successful may lay the groundwork for how future product launches roll out.
It appears Apple corporate does not trust their retail employees (smart move), in that BRG's source claims the 10-15 employees that will be pulling an all-night-er in the stores, must not only sign an NDA, but also lock their cell phones in the managerial office.
"Stay Tuned" says Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. Stayed tuned for what? A tablet. But before diving into that topic, I want to make one thing perfectly clear. No one in the tech industry is better positioned to take on Apple in the mobile computing space than Amazon – no one.