The Rotten Apple

It is not often that a company oscillates between global success and utter failure the way Apple Inc. did: if for no other reason, than because it was recently the richest company in the world and that position was not shared by many companies. While originally a producer of desktop and laptop computers, the Apple fortune has been built on top of the iPod, iPad and iPhone. This article is both about the company and its products: the company’s principles are what matter because they determine its impact on society, but it is mostly the products that reveal the company’s principles.

In a way it makes sense to mention how products are built before discussing how they work. A lot of work on Apple’s products is being done in various factories in China, most prominently, Foxconn‘s. The problem begins with 60-hour work weeks for $100 per month, half of which workers have to pay Foxconn back because they pay for accommodation and food at the factory. The problem is aggravated by child labour and finally culminates with Continue reading “The Rotten Apple”


Facebook: A Charming Girl Who Will Sell You to the First Bidder

The future is clear.On more than one occasion, when I answered “no, I’m not on Facebook”, people reacted almost as if I said I was Amish. Considering how ridiculous perceiving me as digitally disconnected is in spite of my quite extreme daily communication and technology overdose and in spite of the fact that Facebook is a communication tool only as a side effect, I thought the subject deserved a word or two.

To begin with, why would you want to do anything important counting on support from people you don’t trust? Given the amount of time people spend on the site, I doubt many users can deny they consider the service important. I find it difficult to find more than a few companies which give me less reason to trust them than Facebook. To begin with, the company founder and CEO (M. Zuckerberg) labelled users of his service using language I don’t care to repeat. Then, there is the fact that the primary goal of Facebook is to make money and it does that by selling information about its users. How does that work? The service gets free information about you, your social circle, the place you live, what you do for a living etc. and sells that data to advertisers so that they could entice you to spend more. Your best interest is not even a side goal of the company: why would you have anything to do with it?

Then there is the related issue of privacy. Continue reading “Facebook: A Charming Girl Who Will Sell You to the First Bidder”