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Date: 18 December 2014

Today's Topic: Apple's Broken Promises

Triggers: Panorama program

My Grump: Just Apple

I don't like Apple, I don't own anything Apple, and probably never will.

I also accept that I'm in the minority (I usually am, so what's new?), and accept that Apple is the most valuable brand on the planet right now, making products that everyone wants, or at least, think they want.

I was already of the opinion that Apple was bad. The way that the advertising has made the world rush to the Apple counter just turned me off. Nothing is that good! The way everyone around me was rushing to throw away their CD's and convert them to mp3's, so say to save space, was mind blowing.

I literally have friends who were converting everything in sight, and giving away their CD's like they carried disease and were going out of fashion quicker than beta max videos. They then stick all this music on a little box, not much bigger than a matchbox. The ridiculously tiny screen meant you couldn't find what you wanted and when I ask them what is on there, they either can't remember, or couldn't find it.
Apple iPhone
And to top it all off, it was tied to a bit of software that you couldn't do anything with and was about as forgiving as Judge Dredd.

That's it really, isn't it? What I hate is something that takes what is yours, stuff that you've paid for, and then restricts what you can do with it. Thus, you have invented iTunes.

I think the same about that awful bit of software Norton Antivirus. It grabs hold of your computer like a hangmans noose and won't let go until you uninstall it from your computer. Every tiny little action you perform on your computer, whether you're online or not, up pops some bloody annoying box informing you that Norton has allowed it, disallowed it, held it in a vault, kicked it up the ass, or deleted it. I just hate it, hate it, hate it.

Anyway, then along comes Panorama with a program about how Apple has been using Chinese sweat shops to manufacture product, and children to mine the raw materials used in production. They don't employ children, you understand, but the people they use as suppliers, use children as labour.

Apple iPhone Secret filming from inside the Chinese high security factories shows rows of exhausted workers on the iPhone production line sleeping at their stations. This means that the conditions of employment would be completely and utterly intolerable in any civilized, or dare I say, unionized, country.

Then there are the children digging for the tin the industry uses in it's board solder, being buried in landslides, as they stand there with hoses that blast out the wall of a cliff face.

Not looking very good so far is it?

The suicide rate among employees at the factories are so bad that anti-suicide nets are placed around buildings so they can't jump off the roof. Apple acknowledges problems at the factories or long hours, bad housing, abuse of workers, and publishes acceptable employment standards, but who is enforcing them? Nobody. As the program points out, it is just a paper exercise.

All this just goes to ensure that the only apple in my house is going to be a cox's orange pippin.

I think the program will be available on the BBC iPlayer for most of the year 2015 if you want to see it repeated; it's quite an eye opener: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04vs348/panorama-apples-broken-promises

There is another way that Apple pisses me off. For the last 12 years I have been writing meditation and healing CD's that I sell online. There are mp3 versions of all the audio products that are available by instant download. They can be seen here: http://www.thehavenhealingcentre.co.uk/products.htm. When everyone had proper computers and laptops, this all worked flawlessly.

Then along came iPad! And all hell broke loose. I started getting complaints that people couldn't download their product. Most didn't mention they were using an iPad to make the purchase and download. Their complaint was that they couldn't save the download on their iPad, like it was my fault it all went wrong.

They could reach it, and play it, but they couldn't save the download location and they had to go back everytime they wanted to listen to it because there was no way of saving the download to the iPad. This was due to the wholly useless Safari browser that is pre-installed on iPad. This is Apple's way of stopping you from buying anything that is not supplied/sold by them, and so you can't share your purchases with anyone else.

But these inbuilt restrictions are seen by the consumer as my problem, and not, as the blame should be apportioned, to Apple, with their paranoid little browser. It's not just me that is receiving these complaints, but every other private producer who is trying to remain independent of Apple.

A work around has been made that works very well, called GoodReader4, which is an app that allows you to save the downloads you purchase and sync them with your iPad through iTunes. But it took someone else to come up with the app (or apparound), not Apple, who would prefer you not know about it.

It's only now, that I realize and am grateful for, just how versatile and well made my WINDOWS computer really is.

Please share your thoughts below, thank you.



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