Posts Tagged ‘Iphone’

The Iphone salvation.

July 15, 2014

imagesmobile

It finally had to happen. After weeks of absence in more ways than just physical, I took the plunge. I bought a ‘refurbished’ Apple IPhone from a large toy and game shop. Perhaps they were called a B and D games shop. I could look up the receipt but won’t in case I lose the impetus to go on with this tale of woe and joy.

We were overseas and as I needed to contact urgently some of my contacts by e-mail, I was looking around for a techy device I could use. Most tourists still doing the usual clicking, swiping and tweexting. Why could I not enter that same sort of world? I have a mobile phone that is a phone and doesn’t allow e-mails or give location maps.(Tweet and text) I had been warned not to get caught in an outrageous mobile bill and had taken the precaution in switching off my ‘roaming capability’ believing that I could still use my mobile but without the exorbitant high charges. It turned out my phone was switched off. It took five days for my brother in Australia to get my phone back on roaming with much relief of woe replaced with a drop of joy.

I still had more than 36 dollars of re-charge left so managed to make the necessary calls including to Telstra not to ever switch off my ‘roaming’. If nothing else, aimless roaming is the essence of life, surely! Is there any other way through life than to roam?

After our return to Aus and the grim reality and horror of Abbott’s gaping mouth on TV and the triumphant Chris Morrison regaling his killing of refugees, I took the plunge and with total disregard for the state of my future mental health bought the IPhone. It was very sunny. There was a blinding reflection from the concrete parking lot in front of the toy shop. After entering the shop one was greeted by lots of pink coloured wares. Most of the shop was bathed in a pink halo and I am sure that would have added to this lapse in my mainly purposeful directional sanity. The salesman was aware of my diminished being and knew there was the perfect customer. I had entered his lair openly and without hesitation.

He addled up to me and asked if I wanted anything. Was I perhaps after a computer game or a good game console? Do you have grandchildren, he asked sweetly? He had a broad smile and pearl white teeth, perhaps of an Afghan ascendency. I have noticed that endless wars seems to bring out the best in smiles and white teeth. No amount of indefinite detention seems to diminish their good cheer and friendliness( there is lesson for us here, surely)?

I now have the device and it works. In public I make a show of swiping and acting out the world of the esoteric and well informed, of all that is IT and has a coloured screen showing Apps. What next? Should I get a gleaming white pair of ear phones and walk past a Dick Smith store?

I am one of them now!

Steve Jobs and the Art of Spectacle making.

May 4, 2012

Steve Jobs and the Art of Spectacle making.

I have changed my mind about ‘Apple’. Steve Jobs was a creative genius and may his soul rest in peace. I watched a program about Steve’s life on TV last night and it just blew me over.

If ever there was proof of ageing stultifying opinions, my previous haughty disdain for any gadget with little buttons, was in the pudding. The proof of the pudding is that very often, people with advancing years resist the jigging about of the younger ones and fresh ideas. It must be a form of dormant jealousy that pops up when it starts to dawn on us, that that’s it, the fag end of life is nigh. There is little I can do about it now except repent and try and improve, become tolerant of little buttons and their pushers. Perhaps take up dancing lessons or knitting.

Years ago, on the train chockers with passengers I once stood up for a woman who looked a bit pale and tired. I was perhaps seventeen and working for Spectacle Makers and Co, a company in Clarence Street. My job was to grind lenses to their prescribed specification. A horribly dirty job that included splashing slurry of water and fine grinding powder on the future lenses of chunks of glass that were fastened on a metal rotating chock with the use of hot tar. It was then a world of concave and convex measurements with strange and exotic workers initiating ceremonies involving blue ultramarine dye rubbed around the novice apprentices’ private parts.

When I stood up, gallantly offering my seat, I was astonished by the reply,’ do I look that bad, she said?’ I mumbled something like’ no-sorry, you look OK’. Of course, I moved carriages and never stood up since, even if they were pregnant and close to breaking waters. The world of convex surfaces taught me a lesson and pregnant women did not break my resolve to remain seated.

Some many years later, with the Balmain local ALP Branch firmly in the hands of right wing crooks and welders of steel containers smuggling drugs and importing loose women, I queued up to renew membership. Suddenly a few large burly blokes entered the Balmain Town-Hall. One came behind me and said ‘make room for a pregnant lady, you poofter.’ I retorted, ‘you are not pregnant and you are not even a woman but could be a poofter’.

Pandemonium broke out, especially when a fire extinguisher was pulled from the wall and hurled through the upstairs window. The police, who were next door never even turned up. They were in cahoots with the punch throwing right-wing thugs. All the women at the meeting turned pale. The member books were stolen, lights switched off and we all (the bleeding left wing faction) adjourned to the local William Wallace for schooners and solace. My bleeding nose was soothed by a woman called Elisabeth, I remember it still. My pain started to wane after the fourth schooner coinciding with Bridie King’s band starting up a wild and tempestuous blues number. It shows that the world of pregnant ladies and my cruel refusal to get up for them in trains finally caught up with me.

It came back to me on the train last week, this time between Mortdale and Central Station. There I was, standing up swaying amongst all the Iphone pushers and shakers. I was hoping a young person would get up and gallantly offer an elderly gent a seat. No, not even a hint of respect, they kept bent over their world of Apps and GPS’s. “It tells me I am on the train”, someone whispered to a friend; really, wow?

Perhaps pregnancy and old age used to be neck and neck during the past when it came to standing up in public transport.

I’ll try it on crutches next time or shall I just faint and dribble a bit?

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Going Dutch ( with an ageing Uncle)

April 24, 2012

With European markets spooked again, it’s the Dutch that are the culprits this time. The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has offered his resignation when the support by Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party was withdrawn. The markets dropped over 2% and with an early election now looming, the predictions are that the winners will be the Socialist Party with a possible doubling of seats from 15 to 30. Geert Wilder’s Freedom Party is on the wane and predicted to lose some seats.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-24/dutch-pm-submits-resignation-to-queen/3967930

If elections are held in the Netherlands, possibly as early as September, the most likely scenario will be a copy of the present French election with a big increase in both the left and right vote and the traditional liberal or conservative vote ending up the losers.

What makes the recent Dutch upheavals interesting is that the austerity measures needed to bring back its deficit to a maximum of 3% of GDP is being exploited by the extreme right. Their opposition is based on the same principles that the Liberals are opposing some of the economic measures here in Australia; that economic growth is more important than bringing budget deficits down.  Economic growth above all is the mantra owned by the right.

In Australia the proposal to tax the mining industry more vigorously together with the introduction of a carbon tax on polluters is being opposed by those believers in ‘economic growth above everything else’, even if, as we all know, the continuation of polluting our earth will make the world unlivable for our grandchildren. It seems almost beyond belief that there are political ‘leaders’ who don’t belief in climate change no matter what the science is telling them.

The dogged and obstinate stance of those ‘economic growth ‘believers are what seem to be bedeviling many countries and it will be interesting to find out who will be the winners. The danger is that unless solutions are found and the people reassured that all will come good, a rise in those tens of millions of seething and restless masses could turn very nasty. We don’t have to go back all that far to see similarities cropping up that resulted in some very nasty wars.

It was perhaps never a good idea to promise lower taxes and at the same time fan material expectations of voters riding towards the horizon with more and more goodies with a never ending wealth. We now can have not one massive TV but TV’s in every room. Not just one simple modest car but multiple ones and SUV’s to boot. We expect an Iphone for the ten year olds going to private schools and our cupboards are full of tangled battery chargers and dated electronics with small buttons.

Fiscal prudence together with taxing the obscene wealthy, who are always best able to afford contributing to societies, might give the opportunity to give the restless masses seething with discontent a much needed relief and reassurance that all will come good again.

There are some who hold the view that economic growth is old hat and that governments ought to become more aware that the world is precariously close to losing out to an inevitable closing down of its support system.  Ecological balance ought to be as important as economic prudence. We can’t continue taking out more than putting back. Something has to give way. Let’s hope the seething masses will sway towards demanding its representatives to heed what the world’s ecology is telling us. Give up your squandering ways. Tighten up and balance things out. Don’t spend more that what you’ve got. Prudence even abstemiousness might give us a way out in the nick of time.

There are no other solutions that can avoid disaster.

The sad Case of a drowned Mobile.

February 14, 2012

 

I don’t think that those mobile phones are always kept so close to the heart as we imagine. In my case, in my shirt pocket. I see most people on the street carrying them in their hands. It’s almost as if people are afraid of the device escaping. The mobile phone has almost become a bit of an extra body-part, like an artificial hip or implant. Some aficionados of the mobile have special ear-plugs and can receive orders or demands without actually holding the mobile to their ears. Most people like to hold and fondle them though.

The latest phones have become much less a phone and more of an extension of doing the living for the person. Many, many, especially the young, now allow living to be done by this mobile gadget. By the way, why do we still call it a ‘mobile’? Mobile seems to indicate something large or cumbersome, indicating it can be carried, but only just. The more articulate in Europe call them ‘cell-phones’ which is indicative of something more macro-biotic or at least ‘small’.

The ‘living’ done by cell phone is not about having an artificial heart or even a bypass but more like enjoying two hearts or three legs. If the battery runs out or one takes a long bath, life still manages to go on, a bit precariously may be, hovering on the edge of a fatal abyss, but it still survives. At the moment it is a neck on neck race by young people holding on to their Coke bottle and the Iphone. Notice the change from ‘mobile’ to ‘cell-phone’ and now to ‘Iphone’.

Iphone means ‘I am the phone,’ the phone and I are inseparable and are now one. To see those Iphone and Coke holders crossing the road with kids in tow is awesome. I saw one mum crossing a busy intersection while, amazingly, texting on her phone with the hand that held the Coke bottle AND acrobatically sipping the Coke in between texting words while her kids were holding on for dear life lashed onto her threadbare and torn jeans. What I would not give for a peek at her text message. What was so burningly urgent it all had to be done while crossing the road and what level of unimaginable dehydration she suffered that she could not cross without sipping the Coke?

Perhaps the next generation of those bodily addendums will be the Uphone. A phone for U (you). It’ll be a gift phone that you sprinkle around the Christmas tree. The grandchildren will love you. They can twitter and tweet, twixt the tree and the kitchen tap, an insurmountable distance to overcome without a quick tweet first. A bit like the Volvo car ad where the kids on the back seat secretly phone the driving dad at the front, dad picks up the phone through the Blue Tooth ‘special’ Volvo capability. The whole family breaks out in unrestrained happy mirth all meticulously filmed, as always, on a peaceful deserted Swedish road. The week after the advertisements many couples in their new Volvo are all sour faced now, dead- locked in a traffic snarl with little relief from the Blue Tooth…No one films that oracle.

My own fourteen year old Nokia had an amazing escape from death by drowning. As is my want, I am an early riser and scan the laptop for any dire news. The break-out of war perhaps, or another Arab Spring country uprising /rioting, all reported on Iphone. Journalists are not allowed in, so all that footage can’t be verified, the newsreader solemnly declares. As if Mr. Murdoch’s journalists are any more trustworthy of news than the rioting Arab holders of Iphone. It seems strange that when the news is told by the people who make the news, somehow, it can’t be verified.

When I have finished verifying all the misery on the lap-top, coffee has generally percolated and the day starts in earnest. I quickly scan my old Nokia for any missed calls and then generally waste an hour or so just pacing between the bedroom and kitchen, moving a fork here or teaspoon there, rinse a plate and try and work up enough courage and chutzpah to finally get going.

The day of the near drowning of the Nokia was the same as any other day. Nothing was there to indicate anything abnormal or different from thousands of other mornings. The ABC news ‘Just In’ had yet again given the usual diet of hundreds dying of war and riot, the weather forecast was for more rain and a Liberal Party minister had visited  another factory in Queensland somewhere and  was shown wearing a miner’s helmet with the usual awkward confidence of a cow before the stun gun.

My morning coat that had survived so much bad news now needed a good solid wash with both water and temperature on the washing machines set at ‘high’. I nonchalantly chucked in the garment together with other light coloured items. I had totally forgotten that my faithful old Nokia was in its top pocket. The poor old sod went through the complete program including a ferocious mad spinning cycle.  And this, dear readers is how my mobile came (almost) to such a sad end.

I now have an Iphone. Soon I too will be crossing a road and will text like mad, even tweet.

Why do those things happen?

Ps. The old Nokia did a complete Lazarus and after drying it on a warm electric blanket for a few days, somersaulted back into life, even its memory of old phone numbers.

They work till they drop.

February 8, 2012

They stand until their legs swell and they can’t walk, and they perform repetitive motions on the production line for so long that some permanently lose the use of their hands

According to the New York Times, that’s what life is like for people working at a factory in Shenzhen, China, where Apple manufactures iPhones, iPads and other devices. To cut costs, managers even make workers use cheap chemicals that cause neurological damage.

Apple is hyper-conscious of its brand and reputation — so after this unprecedented international scrutiny, they’re scrambling to persuade the world they care about their employees. There’s never been a better time to demand Apple look after its employees.

Mark Shields, a self-described member of the “cult of Mac,” started a global petition on Change.org demanding Apple exert its influence on its suppliers to improve working conditions — click here to sign Mark’s petition right now.

Conditions are so bad, that there has been a rash of suicides at the Foxconn plant, and 300 workers recently threatened to jump off the roof over a safety and pay dispute.

In short, as one former Apple executive told the New York Times“Most people would be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from.”

But Apple knows it can play an important role in ensuring safe and fair working conditions for the workers at its suppliers, like Foxconn. Since 2005, the company has performed hundreds of audits of their Chinese suppliers — exposing numerous violations.

But that’s where Apple’s commitment falters: the number of supplier violations has held steady year to year and Apple hasn’t consistently publicly stated which suppliers have problems or dropped offending suppliers.

Click here to sign Mark’s petition demanding Apple change the way it does business.

The bottom line, Apple executives admit, is that they’re not being forced to change.

One current executive told the New York Times that there’s a trade-off: “You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories,” he said, or you can “make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards.

And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.”

That means public pressure is the only thing that can force Apple to ensure its suppliers treat workers humanely. If enough people sign Mark’s petition — and tell Apple they care more about human beings than they do about how fast the company can produce the next generation iPhone — the company could be convinced to make real change for the workers at Foxconn and other factories. Sign the petition now.

Thanks for being part of this,

Nick and the Change.org team