February 9, 2012
Apple fans protest
Apple’s retail stores have long been a place for fans of the company’s products to gather, but today, they may be crowded for a different reason. CNN reports that protesters will be gathering at a half-dozen of Apple’s retail stores around the world to demonstrate against the working conditions in the Chinese factories that manufacture iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks. Like most major tech manufacturers, Apple builds the bulk of its products in China, but the Cupertino company has come under specific attack lately after a recent New York Times piece criticized the work environments in Apple’s supply chain. CEO Tim Cook responded to the piece saying that he and Apple “care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain” but the letter was evidently not enough to curb ill will. Recent worker’s rights petitions on Change.org and SumOfUs.org have drawn more than a quarter of a million signatures.
Google attacks back
Apple’s competition is rising up as well. Google, irked by Apple’s attempts to attack manufacturers using its Android operating system, says it has no intentions of backing down on Motorola’s patent lawsuit against the iPhone maker. Motorola is demanding 2.25 percent, or about 15 dollars, for every iPhone sold. Though Apple has been suing Android manufacturers left and right for alleged patent abuse, and going so far as to try and halt sales of Android tablets and phones around the world, it has argued that Motorola’s demands for 2.25 percent of sales are excessive. A letter from Google contends that the company would love for the patent system to be reformed, but it will honor Motorola’s ongoing lawsuits.
Google will pay to track you
Google may want 15 dollars per iPhone from Apple, but it’s willing to pay anyone 25 dollars if they’re willing to give up their Internet privacy for a few months. The search company is now offering a 5 dollar Amazon gift card to anyone who will sign up and download the company’s new Google Screenwise browser extension. Another 5 dollar gift card is awarded for every three months that the tracking browser extension remains active. Google says its goal is to learn more about how people use the Internet beyond Google properties. Ars Technica reports that the company also plans to install a black box in some participant’s homes, which would completely monitor all Internet habits. Compensation for the extended program is not known.
iPad shots indicate new screen
In our final story on Apple, a site called Fix-iPhones.com has published pictures of what appear to be components for the upcoming iPad 3. The photos show that Apple’s next tablet may look the same on the outside, but feature a new screen, camera, and a larger battery. The iPad 3 is likely to be released sometime in March.