Sunday, 30 May 2010


"Three cheers for the BOH team! They've just had their audit and they're 99.05% good at counting boxes!!"

Amazing, a result I could have delivered at 11 years old. They should get off their arses and spend 20 mins on the shop floor and actually do some fucking work. In my store, the BOH team are particularly good at watching YouTube, leaving shit on the floor and not answering the phone.

For any external people reading this wanting a job as an 'Inventory Specialist' at Apple, you may have already seen the video on the recruitment part of the Apple site. For those that haven't seen it, it's a bit long so I've just cut the most important bits out and presented it here.


N.B. Worth noting that the '99.05%' figure is not an actual statistic, I made that up and it's not true.

The iPhone 4 screen - a multimedia flop?

    We all know that iPhone started out with that is know as the lowest resolution ever used on a modern touch screen phone - 480x320px and a non-standard 3:2 aspect ratio. Why apple chose this format  is not sure but it's certain that most Chinese gadgets and knock-offs use non standard screens and they are cheaper to get than the standard ones; we should also keep in mind that the success of the first iPhone was somewhat mediocre when compared to it's non-touch counterparts like N95 and later models.
     What does that mean for the end-user? First of all it means that watching shows on either iPhone or iPad will give you two nasty horizontal thick black stripes that will pointlessly draw power while not displaying anything and that the faulty aspect ratio leads to loss of screen estate. Second, the abysmal resolution in the first iPhone made it very hard to distinguish page elements without zooming in as most web-pages retain a compatibility width of 640px. Another fun thing would be for the fourth iPhone to be called HD as it's aspect ratio resembles more to TV's from the 80's than to anything we consider HD today.

     By now you must be thinking how about the screen size? Could Apple really switch to a standard resolution like 800x480 since there's plenty of devices out there using a 3.5" screen? The short answer is no. The long answer is that the iPhoneOS does not use a scalable UI and not having a scalable UI means either the iPhone UI will either have black bars like movies currently do or the UI elements will be stretched and deformed while the applications that aren't re-coded will suffer the same faith as the UI.
    So what did apple do to overcome this huge drawback? Well so far they have done nothing as the average iPhone user doesn't even know what resolution means. But now with the fourth device of the series, that has a surprising resemblance with Nokia's internet tablet N800, Apple seems to have decided to give iPhone an internet tablet worthy resolution that other OSes (Symbian and Android) have had for years.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Credo Card

Every employee gets a little booklet of lies, the biggest one being:

"At Apple, our most important resource, our soul, is our people."

Is that why managers will always believe the customer first? Or why anyone instore who can swap an iPhone is worked to the fucking bone? Or why all the staff feel so unappreciated?

I found this the other day:

Is this a page from the new credo card?

The iPhone AppStore myth

    A ridiculous race is going on in the world of smartphones, with each competitor boasting about the number of available apps for his platform. Apple is talking about 200.000 apps, similar to Symbian and probably what Palm used to offer in earlier years. As a software developer and user I'm having a hard time believing the programming upsurge Apple is talking about. It is high time to debunk the app numbers craze as a high number of apps reflects the shortcomings of a platform as much as its mass market success. 

    This article mainly looks at the iPhone AppStore (and you should too), however it looks like the beginning of a trend as the situation with Android is quite similar; we'll just have to wait and see what Microsoft & WinMo are going to do.
    One in six apps in the iPhone AppStore is an eBook. “Jane Eyre” alone is available through over a hundred apps. How ridiculous is this? Taking an eBook and packing it into an app? 36.000 books as individual apps?
On "older" platforms as well a on your PC or MAC you get good e-book readers, then you simply download whatever free e-book you want. Yes, no paid eBooks (no DRM) yet, but 30.000 eBooks alone from Project Gutenberg, downloadable through the default browser. However due to the well known censorship such applications usually never find their way into the AppStore (see Eucalyptus). To this you can surely add another 16.000 audiobooks since yet again a simple audiobook player would really hurt the numbers and it's easier to install and uninstall apps than to copy and delete an mp3 file... right!

   One in six apps is a game. Some of them are absolutely fantastic, innovative and close to the PSP ones regarding graphics(control is another story) while most many others are imitations, variant 283 of Tetris or Bejeweled, crude mini-games, free, lite and full versions of the same game, and quite often Flash or old JAVA games ported and rebranded. Unfortunately in this situation independent companies and studios (eg. not EA games) have no chance of ever getting noticed or downloaded. My collection of nice 3D games sums up to roughly a dozen - heck, even a good variant of Tetris is hard to find!

Well, if you consider a platform that has:
  • e-book readers
  • flash support

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Store Meetings

A typical store meeting for employees.
"Hey team, there's a store meeting this Sunday. Everyone should attend unless you have pre-booked holiday"

No worries, I'll just come in at 8 a.m on my day off, on the day of rest to be brainwashed, yeah that'll happen.

Here's a list of things you're guaranteed to see at a store meeting:

1. Managers justifying bullshit, 'thanking' you for working so hard for their bonuses without mentioning bonuses.
2. Ron Johnson's face (on video of course).
3. Apple employees sighing and muttering shit under their breath.
4. Managers not working that day showing off their expensive day-off clothes.
5. Lots of figures.
6. At least one technical hiccup (usually involving volume, Genius Bar screens or Keynote issues).
7. Low morale (standard).
8. Only half the Genius Team.


Apple vs. human rights - How unaware are you?

Eight suicide attempts seen at iPhone manufacturer in Q1 2010
     Already 8 new suicide attempts among the iPhone manufacturers at Foxconn in Cina in 2010. Six attempts have been successful. Its most publicized such death came in 2009 when a worker, Sun Danyong, 25, jumped off his dormitory roof after losing one device out of a set of iPhone prototypes
     Sure losing one iPhone prototype might not strike you as a big deal... well China is one big place where Apple goons can enforce company policy on  employees without being mediatized - or so they thought.

      According to the reports, Sun was given 16 prototypes by his superior. A few days later, Sun could account only 15 of them and reported about the missing iPhone to his higher-ups on July 13th. It is alleged that some Apple security employees searched Danyong’s apartment illegally, detained and even physically abused Sun.
     Going back on this old story(2009) makes no sense since a lot has been written about the first uncovered iPhone suicide and instead of repeating all this I’d rather like to refer you to Perspective on the iPhone Suicide, written by Jason Chen (the guy in who's house Apple just broke in to - great coincidence) on Gizmodo. 

      However if you live in the US, where the press has every company under a spyglass 24/7 and your work place does not resemble to a concentration camp, you can afford to play drama queen:  
Gray Powell's father: 'He was devastated'.

      So yes, it's ok to lose the million dollar prototype while you're getting drunk as long as you are a fat f*ck with an US citizenship. Take care Gary, people get run over by cars, mugged and shot in dark alleys for a fistful of bucks every day and get "devastated" for good; we wouldn't want for something bad to come to you, if you get our drift.

      But as Apple never forgets, and the same Jason Chen had "the luck" of recovering the lost iPhone for no less than 5000 US dollars, returning it was useless as Apple declared the prototype stolen. The San Mateo police reached the front door of Gizmodo's editor and blasted through it with an illegal search warrant, as part of the investigation, and took three MacBooks, one iPad, one iPhone, three external USB drives, Motorola A855, IBM ThinkPad, two Dell desktop PCs, HP MediaSmart server, two digital cameras, three USB sticks and more.
      According to Gawker Media the search warrant is invalid, because the Californian law protects the journalist's source. But we guess Apple probably used a tiny little trick called bribery to go above the law and find the guy who found the prototype and get even with Gizmodo since unlike and GSMArena(more like AppleArena), they are one of the few technology sites that wasn't "bought" by Apple... yet.
     But wait! This doesn't just end here!

Staff discount on APP

    Working for Apple, you will quickly realize that the products are in fact, not akin to the second coming of Jesus Christ but will break like any other mass produced cheap Chinese shit. So to keep the staff happy, you'd expect the discount to extend our warranties would be pretty reasonable right? Maybe even free? Wrong.

    When you can easily pick up AppleCare on eBay for less than half price, it probably means some rich corporate prick at Apple, who has never considered APP because they get a new machine for free, is taking the piss.

[iPhone Jokes] It's just the internet, without Flash...

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Behaviour Scan

A typical iPhone suffering from 'will not power on' issues.

      Behaviour Scan has always been a chore to use, but now it's ridiculous. You have to type a specific link on the customer's phone, then put their serial into your iPod touch, get a ticket, wait for the ticket, then type the ticket into the iPhone, then fucking typ.... ....

Just put 'will not power on'.

How much of a hypocrite is Steve Jobs? [about Flash and censorship]

      Steve Jobs has posted a defence to his position on Flash and not surprisingly it’s full of errors and misrepresentations.
Let’s look at the points he makes:

First, there's open
      He asses that “Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc.”
      Sure, Adobe’s Flash products are only available from Adobe. That’s what makes them Adobe’s.
      But there are many open source IDE’s, compilers, RTMP servers and players available.
      Also he claims that “By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.”
      Flash is a complex system made up from many parts, but the most important part is the swf format. That is an open format, and you can write both a compiler and a player
without needing a license.
So if the swf is open what is Jobs referring to when he says “100% proprietary”?
It cannot be the RTMP and AMF formats since they are open. And the whole SDK with compiler and Flex framework is open.
     The one thing that is not fully open is Adobes own implementation of a Flash Player. Since Apple is one of the licensors behind H.264 one would think that Jobs would be aware of why Adobe cannot release it publicly. It contains proprietary codecs and hence cannot be made open by Adobe.
But if Jobs is concerned with proprietary products, maybe he should work for making H.264 open to help Adobe open the Flash Player as well?
And let’s not forget that the canvas is Apple’s proprietary technology.