6 months ago

Chronicle 17-18 Issue 07

6 The

6 The Chronicle February 27 - March 5, 2018 Opinion Big 'Mac' attack DC student and employee debate the merits of Apple Apple has predatory business practices. Apple has changed the world for the better. Photographs by Conner McTague Durham student Tiago de Oliveria (left) goes head-to-head with DC tech specialist, Jim Ferr. Tiago de Oliveria The Chronicle Dear Mr. Ferr, This is in defense of my piece; Apple is rotten to the core. I believe I followed my due diligence in researching Apple and communicating my opinion while not diving into a full-on slander article. I’d like to state that I, myself use a 2016 MacBook Pro as per the requirements of my program and am mostly satisfied with its performance, unlike I am with its price. My experience as an Apple customer is the foundation for my opinion and criticism of the tech giant. Apple’s prices are simply unfair, Jim Ferr. Apple not only “costs more” but rather it may cost several times more than competing technology. For comparison, the Dell Inspiron 15” Laptop is a computer in the same performance area as the new MacBook Pro 15”. This computer also has one terabyte of internal storage unlike the 256GB SSD storage device you find on the lowest end of the new MacBooks. The low end of the MacBook Pro has a 2.2 gigahertz (GHz) quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, the Dell’s is a 2.4 GHz 7th Generation Intel Duel Core i3-7100U. Best Buy recently had a sale on Dell for $549.98, with a reported saving of $250. The overall cost of this laptop would it be bought normally would be around $800 plus taxes. The cheapest MacBook Pro at 15” is $2,449.00. Before taxes. This price is over three times more than the competitor. The Dell laptop is just over one pound heavier than the MacBook. So, what do you mean when you say “premium product” and “superior engineering, design and software?” Are these not just buzzwords that confer no inherit value to Apple’s product? Is the extra $2,000 for the additional two cores in the processor or the extra 8GB of RAM? Apple makes money off its brand, not its product, that is the crux of this argument. I take issue with your proposition that without Apple the computer market would not have advanced past old school terminals running Microsoft disk operating system (MS-DOS). Apple does not have innovation and it is useless to debate what could have been if Apple had not succeeded as a company. However, when I said “Apple is a company that is not innovative,” I was not referring to Apple’s past accomplishments that they currently rely on to excuse they’re inflated prices. I’m talking about the way they’ve designed their computers and phones in these last few years. I see the removal of legacy ports in the most recent MacBook Pros as evidence of cutting corners to make the computer lighter. They say they’re “brave” to be leading the tech movement away from compatibility but at the end of the day it’s the consumer who pays more money. You want to hear about “predatory business practices?” Apple admitted in 2017 that they’ve been purposely slowing down older models of iPhones to provoke people into buying the new models once they’re released. When a new phone comes out, Apple would send out an operating system for mobile Apple devices known as an iOS update that would degrade the performance of their own machines. They are currently facing class-action lawsuits seeking millions in damages. It is because of behaviour like this I call Apple “pretentious liars,” as their continued self-association with famous humanitarians and artists in their advertising is disingenuous with their actions. Now I’m glad Apple gave $10 million to hurricane relief recently, but this company also recently posted $52.6 billion in profits in its November 2017 quarter. Doing the bare minimum in disaster relief and progressive policy does not excuse Apple’s business practices, including the issue of extreme labour conditions causing suicides in Chinese factories. While as you noted, FoxConn is not Apple, Apple does in fact still use them for cheap manufacturing and workers still are not paid fair wages, having to rely on excessive overtime. That isn’t even to mention Apple’s history in hiding profits offshore to ignore U.S. tax law. Apple recently announced in January they plan to pay $38 billion in deferred taxes as a result of President Trump’s new tax code giving them the opportunity to make amends. Good journalism does call for research and a balanced approach, thankfully I’ve got plenty of both and charm yet to spare. Cheers…Not a fan of Apple. Jim Ferr Technical coordinator/server specialist Dear Chronicle, I’m responding to “Apple is rotten to the core,” from your last issue. Full disclosure: I worked for Apple from 1988 to 2001, when I began my position at Durham College. I’m proud to be an ex-Apple employee. I feel Apple has changed the world for the better. Mr. de Oliveira: Yes, Apple costs more. It’s a premium product. You’re paying for superior engineering, design and software. Support costs on an Apple product are less. Is the Mac easier to use than a Windows machine? I believe it is. Apple’s operating system (OS X, now macOS) still has no viruses or worms in the wild, ten years after it was released. Zero. Yes, there is some malware but it is all of the Trojan Horse variety - it requires the user to do something inadvisable to have any effect. Viruses, worms and malware are a much larger problem with Windows. Ah, Tiago, you’ve but scratched the surface in your comparisons on Dell versus Apple. Giving the user a one terabyte hard drive invokes a huge performance penalty on users. Apple has left hard drives in the dustbin of history where they belong. The Solid-State Drives in the MacBook Pro are among the fastest in the industry, with peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) interfaces exceeding the capabilities of the serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) interface used in the machine you are comparing. To compare prices, you need to go down to the component level. Yes, Apple’s machines are premium products with premium prices. Probably about 30 per cent more than competing products with the same specifications, but not “several times” more expensive as you write. You say, “Apple is a company that is not innovative...” Really? If it weren’t for Apple, you’d probably be reading this on a green phosphor cathode ray tube on an international business machines professional corporations running Microsoft disk operating system (MS-DOS). Apple has led the way in UI (User Interface) design since the 1980’s. Apple didn’t invent the Graphic User Interface but they brought it to the personal computer. Windows would not be the product it is today without imitating Apple’s constant innovations through the years Micrsofthas a long history of borrowing Apple’s innovations, not to mention “predatory” business practices. Remember Netscape? Look it up. Yes, Apple had public relations issues with FoxConn, but FoxConn is not Apple, and Apple isn’t their only customer. Apple has committed to supplier responsibility and does progress reports, site audits and shows constant improvement. I don’t think anyone at Apple deserves to be called, in your words, “pretentious liars.” The lack of legacy ports on the new MacBook Pro is annoying. But I believe a world without Apple would be a much smaller place. You say, “Apple has predatory business practices...” Sounds like you are describing Microsoft. You criticize Apple for “posters of people like Gandhi, John Lennon, and Pablo Picasso hanging on the wall...” So? It’s called advertising. Apple wins awards for its advertising. “They are not a charity,” you write. Correct. Apple is a publicly traded company whose first loyalty is to its shareholders, but Apple does give to charity. In 2012, Apple gave $100 million to charity. Apple recently gave $10 million to hurricane Harvey and Irma relief in the United States. Apple is a leader in manufacturing of circuit boards devoid of toxic metals and chemicals, not to mention a leader in recycling, equal access and diversity. Good journalism calls for research and a balanced approach. Cheers...Jim Ferr, Technical Coordinator/Server Specialist School of Media, Art & Design

Community February 27 - March 5, 2018 The Chronicle 7 'Strong voices' speak to MPP Aly Beach The Chronicle After hosting a town hall meeting, New Democrat Party MPP Jennifer French had no trouble recognizing the “strong voices are in Oshawa.” French hosted the meeting at the South Oshawa Community Centre Feb. 15, where she listened and addressed the concerns of many residents. Many topics were discussed including education, poverty, health care, social assistance, public transit, the minimum wage cuts, Ontario’s debt and animal welfare. She explained that she wanted to speak to Oshawa riding residents before heading back to Queen’s Park to deal with broader provincial issues. “I get to be loud in the legislature, but the power of those words are when they’re real people stories and they’re actually not my words,” said French. She says her local office, 78 Centre St., can help connect Oshawa residents to other ministries and social services. French, a former public school teacher, said she picked south Oshawa for the town hall because it is familiar territory. “We picked this area because this is an area where I have personal connections. My students from Glen Street (Public School) and their families and neighbours - I wanted to come back and connect,” said French. She took three questions or comments at a time and then responded. Oshawa Mayor John Henry was also in attendance. There were many concerns over education in Oshawa, both on the high school and the post-secondary front. One resident, a student from G.L. Roberts high school, said she feels schools in south Oshawa do not receive equal educational The land where we stand is the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. Uncovering the hidden stories about the land our community is built on is what the Chronicle’s new feature series, The Land Where We Stand, is about. Chronicle journalists have knocked on doors, raided archives and put boots to the ground to find stories about places like the Ajax Hospital, which used to be a part of a World War II bomb factory called Defense Industries Limited opportunities, adding students from her school were limited in their additional course offerings. “I think this as fundamentally unfair…that the fundraising potential in a community should not determine the resources provided at a school,” said French. There were concerns over the amount of debt modern students are facing at post-secondary institutions. (DIL). Without this factory, Ajax would never have existed. We’ve done our research, interviewing people like Louise Johnson, a 96-year-old Ajax resident who was the last person to work at DIL. We have talked to Oshawa Mayor John Henry, Oshawa Museum archivist Jennifer Weymark, former city councillor Louise Parkes, chair for Heritage Oshawa, Laura Thursby. The Chronicle launched this project with Julie Pigeon, an advisor at the Aboriginal Student Centre. We sat down with Pigeon to participate in a smudging ceremony, to expand our knowledge of the history of the land and to learn how to make tobacco ties to give to elders when asking for information and stories about the land where we stand. We look at Durham Region’s lost stories and explore the impact history has had on shaping where Photograph by Aly Beach Oshawa MPP Jennifer French speaking to residents at the South Oshawa Community Centre. “When I look at the cost [of my post-secondary education], the allin cost to feed myself and live in there and take courses and buy my books, was like nothing compared to now,” said French. Many residents raised concerns over social assistance. French commented on how the confirmed living wage in Oshawa is $17 per hour, or $136 a day. According to one resident, someone on social assistance will bring in a average of $27 a day. “The numbers tell a real story there,” said French. One resident, a landlord, was concerned about how it doesn’t seem like social assistance has been keeping up with rise in prices over the years. French says the first step to fixing the low-income problems in Oshawa is creating more affordable we live. You’ll read about famous buildings like the Hotel Genosha and Regent Theatre and discover places such as Harriet House, Oshawa’s first post office and the Oshawa skate park. The Land Where We Stand explores themes such as the impacts of World War II in Durham Region, businesses’ role in shaping our communities, the development of farm lands and maintenance and abandonment of historic buildings. We share Land Where We Stand stories so you can understand that housing. “What needs to be done is to have a system that actually is fair, that is not going keep folks stuck in a cycle of poverty and it actually gives them a chance to build out of that,” said French. The topic of health care was met with frustration among residents after many stories were shared about lack of health coverage or funding. One woman shared a story about how she had to pay more than $3,500 for hearing aids because assistive devices benefits only cover $1,000 every four years. One resident asked why dental is not covered under OHIP, given teeth are so important to overall health. Another resident wanted to know why certain diabetic supplies were not covered even though they are necessary. “When you start looking at the human body and you say ‘OK, this is OHIP and this is whole body wellness and whole body health - wait but not your mouth, and by the way, not your feet. That’s not ‘healthcare’, that’s ‘kind of-healthcare’,” said French. The impact of Ontario's recent minimum wage hike to $14 per hour was also an issue. French described the reaction of businesses cutting full-time jobs, paid breaks and benefits as "overkill" and companies are "doing damage to their employees." She said although businesses were left out of the decision-making process by the government, but the hourly wage hike was necessary. French encourages residents of Oshawa to get involved and continue telling her office their concerns. “Some of you have already been sending emails, angry or otherwise, keep doing that. We’ll be glad to have those letters, stories, concerns,” said French. The Chronicle explores the land where we stand See stories on pages 10-12 it’s not just us standing here, but those who stood here in the past who shaped what we see today. The series will be published over the next four print issues of the Chronicle. We have a story map for you to check out online at www.chronicle. Tune into Riot Radio Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. for segments with guests like mayor John Henry. Follow us @DCUOITChronicle and use #landwherewestand to join the conversation, ask questions or send us more information.

Durham Chronicle 17-18 Issue 12
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Innovative - City of Oshawa
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