Apple Responds to BBC Panorama Allegations

Apple’s letter to UK staff over Chinese factory conditions – Telegraph

Jeff Williams email;

UK Team,
As you know, Apple is dedicated to the advancement of human rights and equality around the world. We are honest about the challenges we face and we work hard to make sure that people who make our products are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Last night, the BBC’s Panorama program called those values into question. Like many of you, Tim and I were deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way.
I’d like to give you facts and perspective, all of which we shared with the BBC in advance, but were clearly missing from their program.
Panorama showed some of the shocking conditions around tin mining in Indonesia. Apple has publicly stated that tin from Indonesia ends up in our products, and some of that tin likely comes from illegal mines. Here are the facts:
Tens of thousands of artisanal miners are selling tin through many middlemen to the smelters who supply to component suppliers who sell to the world. The government is not addressing the issue, and there is widespread corruption in the undeveloped supply chain. Our team visited the same parts of Indonesia visited by the BBC, and of course we are appalled by what’s going on there.
Apple has two choices: We could make sure all of our suppliers buy tin from smelters outside of Indonesia, which would probably be the easiest thing for us to do and would certainly shield us from criticism. But it would be the lazy and cowardly path, because it would do nothing to improve the situation for Indonesian workers or the environment since Apple consumes a tiny fraction of the tin mined there. We chose the second path, which is to stay engaged and try to drive a collective solution.
We spearheaded the creation of an Indonesian Tin Working Group with other technology companies. Apple is pushing to find and implement a system that holds smelters accountable so we can influence artisanal mining in Indonesia. It could be an approach such as “bagging and tagging” legally mined material, which has been successful over time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We are looking to drive similar results in Indonesia, which is the right thing to do.
Panorama also made claims about our commitment to working conditions in our factories. We know of no other company doing as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions, to discover and investigate problems, to fix and follow through when issues arise, and to provide transparency into the operations of our suppliers.
I want you to know that more than 1400 of your Apple coworkers are stationed in China to manage our manufacturing operations. They are in the factories constantly — talented engineers and managers who are also compassionate people, trained to speak up when they see safety risks or mistreatment. We also have a team of experts dedicated solely to driving compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct across our vast supply chain.
In 2014 alone, our Supplier Responsibility team completed 630 comprehensive, in-person audits deep into our supply chain. These audits include face-to-face interviews with workers, away from their managers, in their native language. Sometimes critics point to the discovery of problems as evidence that the process isn’t working. The reality is that we find violations in every audit we have ever performed, no matter how sophisticated the company we’re auditing. We find problems, we drive improvement, and then we raise the bar.
Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. Here are just a few examples:
Several years ago, the vast majority of workers in our supply chain worked in excess of 60 hours, and 70+ hour workweeks were typical. After years of slow progress and industry excuses, Apple decided to attack the problem by tracking the weekly hours of over one million workers, driving corrective actions with our suppliers and publishing the results on our website monthly — something no other company had ever done. It takes substantial effort, and we have to weed out false reporting, but it’s working. This year, our suppliers have achieved an average of 93% compliance with our 60-hour limit. We can still do better. And we will.
Our auditors were the first to identify and crack down on a ring of unscrupulous labor brokers who were holding workers’ passports and forcing them to pay exorbitant fees. To date, we have helped workers recoup $20 million in excessive payments like these.
We’ve gone far beyond auditing and corrective actions by creating educational programs for workers in the same facilities where they make our products. More than 750,000 people have taken advantage of these college-level courses and enrichment programs, and the feedback we get from students is inspiring.
I will not dive into every issue raised by Panorama in this note, but you can rest assured that we take all allegations seriously, and we investigate every claim. We know there are a lot of issues out there, and our work is never done. We will not rest until every person in our supply chain is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
If you’d like to learn more about our Supplier Responsibility program, I encourage you and our customers to visit our website at apple.com/supplierresponsibility.
Thanks for your time and your support.
Jeff

iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream: What’s the difference?

iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream: What’s the difference? | iMore

When Apple released iOS 8.1, the company included beta access to its new iCloud Photo Library service. With iCloud Photo Library, you can store all your photos in iCloud with no limits, unlike the traditional Photo Stream we’ve been accustomed to for the past few years. As long as you have enough iCloud storage, iCloud Photo Library will save all your photos. But what happens to your regular Photo Stream when you enable iCloud Photo Library? And more importantly, where did all your synced albums go? We’ve got the answers to these questions and more!

An overview of the differences between iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream

There are a few key differences between iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream that you need to remember. Before we start: It’s important to note that at this time iCloud Photo Library is still in beta form; as such, we recommend always backing up any photos you plan to store on the service. Okay, that caveat over with, it’s time to break down what each service offers and how they differ. Here’s a brief overview:

Regular Photo Stream:

Only stores your most recent 1000 photos or the last 30 days of images, whichever is greater
Does not use your iCloud storage allotment
Compatible across all devices including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC
Stores web-optimized versions of your photos, which may degrade quality
Does not upload and sync videos
You can still sync photos and albums from your Mac or PC via iTunes when Photo Stream is enabled
iCloud Photo Library:

Stores all your photos and personal video and has no limits as long as you have the iCloud storage space to support it
Uses your iCloud storage allotment
Accessible on iPhone, iPad, and online via iCloud.com; a new Photos app for Mac is coming in early 2015, and presumably iCloud for Windows will receive access around that time as well
Stores full-resolution photos on the server and on your devices and supports many file formats including JPG, RAW, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and others
Uploads and syncs videos as well as photos
You can not sync albums and photos from your Mac or PC via iTunes when using iCloud Photo Library, and any existing albums will be removed when you enable the service
I’ve enabled iCloud Photo Library, my Photo Stream is completely gone! Why?!

Your Photo Stream isn’t technically gone. Since iCloud Photo Library now stores all your photos instead of just the most recent 1000 or last 30 days, it’d be confusing to divide up your Photo Stream and Camera Roll. As such, anything that appears in All Photos is backed up to iCloud Photo Library and available on any iOS device with iCloud Photo Library enabled.

A good explanation from Allyson on the new Photo changes iOS 8. The key here is really to switch all devices to iCloud Photo Library and discard the old Photo Stream way of managing your photos.

Simple tweak lets you use your Xbox One controller on your Mac

 

Simple tweak lets you use your Xbox One controller on your Mac | Cult of Mac:

If you’ve ever dreamed of using an Xbox One controller to play games on your Mac, today is your lucky day — thanks to a new application which recently appeared on GitHub.

Created by user Guilherme Araújo, all you have have to do to use the controller is to open his code in Xcode and run it.

Happy gaming!

Shazam takes aim at iTunes with built-in music player

 

Shazam takes aim at iTunes with built-in music player – Telegraph:

However, the company is introducing a range of new features, including a new built-in music player that allows Shazam users who subscribe to premium streaming services such as Rdio and Spotify to play the tracks they have identified within Shazam itself. The new Spotify integration – which is available immediately to iOS users and will be rolled out to Android users in the coming weeks – also allows users to have all their Shazams automatically added to a Spotify playlist, or choose a specific playlist to add tracks to.

Very useful feature for Spotify users – to automatically add the track to a playlist. I like this.

Apple decides Notification Center buttons apparently now off limits

 

Drafts iOS widget to be removed as Apple decides Notification Center buttons apparently now off limits | 9to5Mac:

It seems Apple has ordered yet another developer to make changes to his app’s Notification Center widget even after it was approved for sale and adopted by countless users. Previously the company’s indecisiveness on the purpose of widgets led to an app called Launcher being pulled from sale, and a similar fate was almost met by the popular pCalc widget until Apple changed its mind (again).

The widget in question today was created by developer Greg Pierce and is part of the popular note-taking app Drafts. The app allowed users to create new entries in the app by pressing a button in the widget, which then opened the app’s composer (in the app, of course).

According to a series of tweets from Pierce, Apple has decided that widgets are solely for “information presentation” and should not contain buttons—a fact contradicted by the example eBay widgets demonstrated by Apple’s own Craig Federighi at WWDC this year.

Pierce says he’s already been through the appeals process and will be resubmitting a version of Drafts without the widget to comply with Apple’s new restriction. If this new rule catches on, we may see similar rejections for other popular apps, like Evernote and Fantastical, in the near future.

Unless Apple changes its mind again. Again.

Shame. Actionable widgets on the Today screen were a fantastic idea and hopefully a compromise can be met between Apple and developers going forward.

Twitter to add Report Abuse Option

 

Building a safer Twitter | Twitter Blogs:

In our continuing effort to make your Twitter experience safer, we’re enhancing our in-product harassment reporting and making improvements to “block”.

Everything that happens in the world, happens on Twitter – to the tune of more than 500 million Tweets every day. That can sometimes include content that violates our rules around harassment and abuse and we want to make it easier to report such content. So, we’re improving the reporting process to make it much more mobile-friendly, require less initial information, and, overall, make it simpler to flag Tweets and accounts for review. These enhancements similarly improve the reporting process for those who observe abuse but aren’t receiving it directly. And to enable faster response times, we’ve made the first of several behind-the-scenes improvements to the tools and processes that help us review reported Tweets and accounts.

Looks like the official Twitter app and via Twitter.com will be the first to have the option. Other 3rd party Twitter app clients will introduce in time.

Jason Snell’s iPhoto Calendar Idea

 

Six Colors: My Favorite Things: Services and stuff:

Every year, my wife and I go through all the photos we’ve taken during the previous year and construct a calendar made up of photos from each month, on the appropriate month, for the next year. Then we order a few, keep one for ourselves, and give the rest to a few close family members.

Fantastic idea from Jason and a real memento to keep for years to come especially if you have a young family.