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SumOfUs Watchdog Group Takes On Apple – Some Perspective

I just read this article from PC Magazine about watchdog group SumOf US taking on Apple for poor worker conditions in China.   I’m all for making the world a better place for mankind.  I also think some perspective is needed.

One of Apple’s biggest contract manufacturers [CMs] FoxConn has been under fire the last 12 months for employee suicides and a fire in a production facility.

It was reported the suicides are directly related to working conditions.  However, it’s important to keep some perspective.  FoxConn is an organization which employees well over 100,000 people.  I think it very likely a group of individuals from the 100K pool will find a common thread [depression] and lead their way to demise.  We’ve seen it before with other cult groups in the US.

I’m not giving Apple a free ticket, but I certainly don’t think Apple is to blame.  With the above situation, Time Cook, now CEO made the following statement [for the record I completely believe]

“We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain,” reads his letter; “Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.”

As for the Foxconn fire in one of their production facilities, this type of accident happens all the time.  In the US, Europe, Australia and of course Asia.

I fully support the motion which SumOfUs has started,  but at the same time, I’m not holding Apple completely responsible for working conditions at FoxConn.  Sure they are one element, but not the entire picture.

For those of you who are not familiar with FoxConn, it’s a CM which supplies many major companies in the US, not just Apple.

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“Cord-On-Board” iPhone Case

These iPhones run out of juice so quickly.  I’m not saying it’s a battery issue, I’m saying the devices are so adictive I use them all day long and drain the battery.  From getting directions, to checking status updates, to email, facetime and photo shots, it’s in constent use.

I’ve definitely spent extra money getting Apple 30 pin cables for charging at both home and work.  Caseinity has solved the consumer problem of over spending with the cord-on-board product.  The product is simple as you can see from this image.

The product is a case with the USB to 30-pin connector attached to the underside of the case.  Now we don’t see a width dimension of the picture, but it must be at least 7mm thick to handle the USB connector.

What I like most about this product is the

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Dream Cable: iPhone, microUSB And miniUSB All In One

I’m sure we all have our own definition of an ideal cable, meaning a cable which connects to more then one device. For me, the new 3-in-1 cable from USB Fever is it.

The 3-in-1 cable works with any iPhone or iPad type product, any device using a microUSB connector or any device which uses miniUSB connector.

What is great about this cable is that three different connectors are seamlessly integrated with the end part of the cable. You do not see three wires splitting off for different connectors. All in-line, tight and organized. Here take a look:

In addition the iPhone 3-in-1 cable is tethered to a retractable assembly to pull the wires in when not in use.

For me, all of the above is ideal because I have one station at home which charges my kids DS, my iPhone and my Nikon point-n-shoot camera. Now I can power all three with only one cable.

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USB OSX Lion Shipping Soon, But Do It Yourself For Less

Apple has made waves in the news with their stellar 2nd Quarter results, increased stock price, new MacBook Air and Mac Mini’s computers, no wonder many are talking about them.  In addition, Apple released another OS update, the OS X Lion.  Lion is available immediately via download off the app store.  Some may not want to download a new 4GB OS update.  For that, Apple will release their Lion on USB.

First off, lets get some pricing out of the way.  The download update is retail at $30.  The USB stick is set to be at $70.  Not bad, but seems like their math doesn’t add up.  Granted you get an 8GB stick, but lets take a look…$30 for update + $15 for an 8GB stick, the retail should around $45.  Oh, and the Apple logo, that’s another $25.  Okay, now my math is correct.  I apologize.

However, if you have an extra 4GB or 8GB stick you can create your own USB OS X Lion stick.  The USB tutorial isn’t that long and only involves three steps.  For the tutorial, I’m going to redirect you to

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Voltaic – Solar Charger For iPad & The Likes

Voltaic is a company that deals with voltage.  They specialize in the solar charging to create volts.  Their latest entry is the Spark.  The Spark is a solar panel design for tablet and notebooks.

Voltaic is marketing the Spark for the iPad – and why not as there’s plenty of marketing spin going on for Apple tablets.


The Spark will generate 8watts of solar power.  So for those who don’t have an electrical engineering degree, or simply can’t do the math – one hour of sun to the Spark will generate enough power to run one hour of video off the iPad.  Not bad.

  • Weather:  Panels are waterproof, lightweight and built to withstand abuse.
  • Charge times: About 10 hours in direct sun will fully charge an iPad, other tablets may take less time.
  • Peak Output: 6 Volts, 1,333mA or 12 Volts, 667mA
  • Connector:  USB and 5 standard adapters

So here is the price – $299 USD.  To learn more, visit

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