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  • FBI Director Comey calls 'emotion' surrounding Apple case unproductive, says encryption needs legis

    From the very beginning when Apple implemented strong encryption, Comey has been upset. For years, the government got away with things of questionable legality. All that changed with Snowden. Comey and other people in the government were livid that they couldn't hide behind secrecy in the name of national security to cover up their actions. They would actually have to start showing some proof. Meanwhile, tech companies started locking up their systems and throwing away the keys. 

    Comey tried to appeal to emotion. He used the buzzwords-rapists, child pornographers, terrorists, murderers. Then came San Bernardino. Comey thought he had the perfect case. He thought he could use the media to sling mud at Apple, hoping Apple would capitulate for fear of alienating the public and its customer base. We don't know what happened but evidently, the public wasn't overwhelmingly on the FBI's side. For whatever reason, the FBI withdrew the case. 

    The government has seen limited success in the courts so far. It seems that Comey has turned to Congress only after all of his other options are exhausted. If any of this other tactics had worked, he definitely wouldn't be calling for a legislative solution. 
  • President-elect Trump considers potential Apple manufacturing in US a 'real achievement'

    Trump is barking up the wrong tree. It's not in Tim Cook's hands where iPhones are made. People like to think Apple closed down its American factories and moved them to China to save money. That's not what happened. Apple closed down every single one of its factories in the entire world. Apple doesn't want to be in manufacturing. Apple designs all the components for its devices. It then pays component manufacturers to make them according to Apple's specifications. Those component manufacturers are located all over the world. Some of them are even in the USA.

    Bottom line is that Apple cannot "move manufacturing back to the USA" because it doesn't own any manufacturing plants to begin with. 
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  • Another F for Alphabet: U.S. Marines reject Google's other android as too loud to use

    Here's how the media will view it. Google made a major investment in advancing robotics technology and continues to make some major investment while Apple is using existing robots to make a thinner iPhone. Google is investing in the next big thing while Apple is simply using yesterday's technology to make an obsolete product. 

    brakkencapasicumdjkfisherbobrooredgeminipalostkiwiargonautDan Andersen
  • Donald Trump promises to make Apple manufacture in US instead of China

    tele1234 said:
    Putting aside the fact the guy is a colossal bigot, what's wrong with trying to encourage bringing industry home?

    It's stupidly idealistic to say have it done 100% by tomorrow, but something like "50% USA-based profit has to come from USA-manufactured goods by 2023" or something is more realistic, and impose a tax penalty for those that don't - the proceeds of which go towards aiding in funding US-based manufacturing.
    First of all, Foxconn doesn't manufacture anything. Foxconn ASSEMBLES the iPhone. The distinction is very important. Manufacturing involves taking raw materials (e.g. steel) and creating a component out of it. Companies all over the world MANUFACTURE the the individual components that go into the iPhone. They're shipped to Foxconn, which takes those components and assembles them. 

    Apple doesn't own any production factories. Apple pays component manufacturers to build them to its specifications. The company has no choice but to simply go wherever the best manufacturer is located. If the best manufacturer can't be found in the USA, it's not Apple's fault. Apple has sourced things from American manufactures before. If GT Advanced had worked out, it would have been a great partnership. 

    Show me what Apple can do to "bring manufacturing home" when it doesn't own any of that manufacturing. 

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  • Google I/O 2016: Android's failure to innovate hands Apple free run at WWDC

    brakken said:
    And yet my Twitter feed is full of tech writers and Apple bloggers talking about how great I/O was and how Apple really has to bring it at WWDC. The last ATP podcast was all doom and gloom, and Marco even has a post up now comparing Apple to Blackberry. https://marco.org/2016/05/21/avoiding-blackberrys-fate

    I wish there was some place we could get decent Apple reporting that wasn't either D&G silly panic or everything's great Apple's the best they make all the $$$ blah blah blah. If these AI pieces are meant to reassure I don't think they do. If everything was peaches and cream there would be no need to write these pieces in the first place.
    And this is what I really appreciate about Dan's perspective - he analyses I/O in an historical context, while Twits are in-the-moment reactions to new/shiny. Goog really is looking flaky and desperate - where are the initiatives announced last year, even? By looking at repeating situations - announce wow, announce new wow, never mention old wow, silently delete old wow, announce new wow - ms and now goog are building a smoke-screen of bs that never results in a new product or service. Even Facebook has done better than them! 

    I'm really disappointed that few, if any, people - bloggers or otherwise - connect the dots of past behaviours to adjust future expectations. Goog has consistently failed, despite changing management, to develop any initiatives brought over the past ten years that have gained any tractionl apart from gmail and maps on the consumer end. On the business end, it has certainly improved upon its invasive anti-security and anti-privacy initiatives. This does not bode well.
    I totally hear you. It seems that people do indeed have a short memory. How many times has Google announced a product years away from being in the hands of a customer to great fanfare, only to all but kill the project and mention it only in passing after the initial announcement? I've lost count-Google TV and Google Glass are just a few examples. What's it going to take for people to change their expectations of any Google announcement? 

    The author does make use of hyperbole and exaggeration but he raises some important points. The media has said for years that Apple's business model was finished because people weren't going to shell out big bucks every year for new iPhone that has just a bigger screen, better camera and thinner design and Apple needed to start catering to the low-end market or else it would slide into obscurity. It is certainly valid to question why anyone would be willing to pay extra money for VR functionality if they weren't even willing to shell out money for a high-end smartphone. 
  • Apple's first AI research paper focuses on computer vision

    cali said:
    I don't get what the advantage of spilling your work to the enemy has.

    imagine if the U.S. military published papers on what we were working on?
    Apple's AI ambitions require the expertise of some talented PhDs on computer science. Good luck getting those kinds of people if they can't talk about any of their work, especially when there are so many jobs in computer science. 
  • Apple, Inc CEO Tim Cook's piqued peek at Peak iPhone

    There isn't that "get in now before it's too late" feeling with Apple stock like there is with Amazon, Google, or Facebook or other tech companies that command higher multiples. The bottom line is that people don't think Apple will grow by leaps and bounds in the future. Apple's famed secrecy doesn't help and neither does Tim Cook's private, low-key personality. People are convinced that Apple intends to sit back and milk the iPhone, never mind that Apple has spent more than it ever has on capex and R&D. How much does it cost to make a thinner iPhone with a better camera? All that R&D has to be going to something. 

    In spite of that, the worst thing Apple can do right now is to start trying to play the game of directly influencing investor perception. Investors are sometimes slow to come around. That's why we have asset bubbles all the time. Investors don't take the time to ask some important questions. Apple should reject the experts and work on making good products. 

  • Another F for Alphabet: U.S. Marines reject Google's other android as too loud to use

    Jeff D said:
    I would like to point out that Google chose to leave the Chinese market years ago rather than capitulate to the Chinese government's ridiculous privacy restrictions. They wanted Google to block a very large portion of the internet, and report anybody attempting to view anything deemed "dangerous" (AKA critical of the government). That Google rejected these terms and Apple embraces them is a win and a source of pride for Google, not Apple.
    Oh please! Do you seriously think Google did that out some altruistic intentions of standing up for human rights? It is complete garbage. Google is rotten from the top down. At the time, Baidu, China's homegrown version of Google was growing by leaps and bounds while Google was languishing. Google walked away from China because it would't have made a big difference to the bottom line to stay in China, simple as that. That the media would glorify Google was a welcome side effect.

    Eric Schmidt is on record for saying that if someone had something they didn't want anyone knowing about, they wouldn't be doing it in the first place. Schmidt was CEO at the time. Although he's no longer the CEO, he's still in a position of importance at Google. The people in power at Google have that kind of an attitude about privacy. 

    Sometimes, I get the feeling that Google engages in all of its R&D in order to distract the public from how rotten its core business really is. It's definitely working. Google is synonymous with making the world a better place in the eyes of the media despite its core business being built on selling users' search habits to the highest bidder. 
  • Google plans to sell Boston Dynamics robotics division - report

    sog35 said:

    but, but, but, but, Apple Watch is a failure.....only sold 12 million units in its first year.....

    Another multi-billion loss for Google.  Add this to the Motorola disaster and soon to be Nest disaster.
    How do you figure Motorola was a disaster? They developed some amazing models at fair prices, creating another major and more importantly, pure, Android handset manufacturer. And if you think the price they paid was to much, just do the maths - they took several billion in cash, several billion in deferred taxes, sold off a couple of divisions for a couple of billion, kept the patents and sold it for the balance. They buy companies, try some things, sometimes keep them and sometimes don't. Look at some of the successful ones - Youtube, Picassa (now Photos), Keyhole (became Earth then Maps), Android, Waze. I wouldn't say Google is a company like, e.g. HP or even Microsoft that overpays then writes them off a couple of years later.
    Maybe the OP is being a bit too liberal with the English language, but Google doesn't deserve an ounce of praise from the media (which it got) for the acquisition. To begin with, Motorola wasn't an acquisition. It was a shakedown. Motorola was losing money on smartphones-everyone but Samsung and Apple was. Then-CEO Sanjay Jha was looking for his red carpet exit. At the time, the patent wars were in full swing and Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle had their sights set on Android. Motorola threatened to ally with Microsoft and Google couldn't have that. Motorola had some valuable patents and was a well-known Android OEM. Sanjay Jha made Google cough up billions for the money-hemmorhaging Motorola. Motorola wasn't some "moonshot." It was a distress buy.

    Again, the OP was probably exaggerating. But I think the OP was poking fun at the media's attitude regarding Google's M&A strategy. The media praises Google's M&A strategy to a point that it says Apple should emulate it. You say that "they buy companies, try some things, sometimes keep them and sometimes don't." This is true when a company buys a startup that's testing out a prototype.That's not the type of companies Google is buying out. A company worth billions of dollars has a product on the market. At that kind of valuation, we're talking about revenue streams. Companies don't buy revenue streams just to "try some things." For some reason, the media thinks it's a great thing that Google buys revenue streams just to dabble. 

    macky the mackycornchip
  • Lack of 'creativity and enthusiasm' prevented big tech antitrust law overhaul

    physguy said:
    It would be nice the the interviewee actually said something substantive. “ They've been allowed to acquire competitors, destroy competitors, favor their own goods and services, engage in very anti-competitive conduct”. Every company in the world does that. It’s called competition and running a business, successfully. It’s only deigned to be a problem when one company has a monopolistic position in a given market. No where in this article, and presumably in the interviewee’s responses do they address why any of these companies are monopolies, and in what market. I believe a good argument can be made that Google is a monopoly in search, that FB is in social media. Beyond that I don’t see it for the tech companies. Amazon certainly isn’t in online retail as there are numerous competitors large and small. Walmart is a significantly bigger company in retail than Amazon. Apple certainly is not a monopoly in phones or apps as they remain the smaller player in both markets. They just provide such service that they get the profitable sectors of those markets. AWS might be in web services,  but I doubt it given google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Rackspace, etc. 

    When politicians say this stuff, they're not looking to make a substantive argument. For that matter, there isn't a lick of proof that Apple or other tech companies acquired competitors simply for the purpose of destroying competition. But that doesn't matter to them. They're trying to appeal to emotion-in this case, anger. They are trying to get people like you and me to get angry at tech companies. They're trying to arouse the inner bloodlust in us. An informed populace that exercises critical thinking and understands business is their worst enemy.