Tag archive for "Apple"

On Writing

Is Writing Dead?

No Comments 01 February 2012

Have you got one of the new i-phones? The one with Siri, Apple’s new voice recognition technology which, whilst still a work in progress is also pretty impressive. You can ask it questions and also issue simple instructions, ‘please text my wife and tell her I am running late for dinner.’ Apparently it learns as it gets to know your voice and also your habits. Scary in one sense but very exciting in another. Continue Reading

Future Tech

Apple and the environment: things are looking up

No Comments 27 January 2012

I’ve criticised Apple for its environmental practices in the past, but it’s time for me to give credit where credit is due after reading last week that the company has finally released an extensive list of its suppliers for the first time. The report also includes labour conditions at Apple’s contract manufacturers around the world.

The good news is that Apple is at long last moving toward better working conditions. Continue Reading

Future Tech

Is Apple still rotten?

No Comments 18 November 2011

Let’s give praise where praise is due: a new Greenpeace report seems to reveal Apple is greener than I thought. In my recent blog, ‘Where’s the Green in Apple’ I looked into the fact that it had refused to participate in The Carbon Disclosure Project. Add in the alleged poor safety record and well-documented environmental issues within their supply chain, and a rather different Apple appeared to emerge, somewhat in contrast to the innovative and progressive brand image that is marketed to the world.

 Continue Reading

Future Earth

Are companies the new countries?

No Comments 31 October 2011

Earlier this week I concluded that globalisation is bad for the environment. I also considered how geographical boundaries are becoming increasingly less relevant in a world that demands global solutions to global problems.

If individual countries are becoming powerless to respond effectively to problems such as global warming, who can help? Continue Reading

apple and the enviroment

Future Tech

Steve Jobs’ legacy: how green is Apple?

1 Comment 11 October 2011

Perhaps it was fitting that when I read of Steve Jobs’ passing on Wednesday morning, I did so on my much-loved iPad. Like many others I was saddened by the news, for all the reasons that have been blogged and tweeted over the last seven days. I have and will remain a huge admirer – and I have to confess there is more than a little of Mr Jobs in Ethan Rae, the reclusive billionaire who Uma Jakobsdóttir approaches in The Human Race to launch her device that will stop global warming.

Ironically, the one area that Apple has never dominated and really should is the green one. In fact when I blogged recently about the Carbon Disclosure Project, I was quite shocked to learn that Apple had refused to participate. Add to this the well-documented environmental issues alleged to exist within the Apple supply chain, and perhaps the company is not as green as we might expect for a company with a reputation for innovation.

When it comes to Apple and the environment, does any of this matter to the brand? In one sense, no. The numbers speak for themselves. At the time of writing nearly 300 million iPods, just shy of 400 million iPhones and 30 million-odd iPads have been sold. With such market domination, perhaps Apple believes it can ignore the “green brigade”.

You might argue that the environment issue has nothing to do with the business’ priorities. Apple’s focus is design and marketing. The dirty bit – manufacturing – is outsourced overseas, to others. But Apple has done a poor job of managing its outsourced work. Such a disregard for wider responsibilities is both naïve and wrong.

It reminds me of another famous American brand with a very similar business model. Nike ignored the back end practices and, following a Greenpeace campaign, became mired in bad PR and changed its practices. I have to say I would be pleased to see Apple do the same.

Of course you could argue that Apple and the environment are not easy bedfellows, because Apple’s entire business model is anti-green. Convincing millions of us – me included – to buy things we never knew we needed is mass consumerism at its most extreme. True, most Western firms (particularly consumer ones) do that in one form or another. Yet somehow I expect better of Apple and their enigmatic leader. Perhaps that is the real triumph of the Apple brand: that I assumed it would be progressive in every field. Such is the cult of personality. After all, why should I hold Steve Jobs up on a higher pedestal than, say, the CEO of Shell, HSBC or Sainsburys?

And so the question remains: what am I, the reluctant environmentalist , going to do about it? Do I care deeply enough not to buy the products? Gulp. That is where Apple has, for the time being, done its job. I didn’t own an Apple product until 2004 (a beautiful, ice-blue mini iPod), but I was immediately addicted. More recently I fell in love with the iPhone and then the iPad. Next on my shopping list: the iPhone 4S…

I am papering over the cracks. I have, for instance, taken the first steps to reduce my energy consumption. Just this week I signed up for electricity from the only energy company in the UK to generate 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy.

Perhaps the only thing that will stop me buying Apple products is my suspicion that with the loss of Steve Jobs, Apple has become little different from all the other faceless, corporate juggernauts out there.

Image credit: Y.

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Reviews of The Human Race

Unputdownable. Yes, I know it's not a word, but it definitely applies here, anyway. That's the word I'm going with, to describe The Human Race by O.C. Heaton. - Hira N. Hasnain

An outstanding first novel from O.C. Heaton that catapults him into the Best Seller league… - Justine Bond

"This is an exciting, fast-paced read. The Human Race is a book that is very easy to forget to put down. Bring on part two!" - L. H. Bowers

"If you are looking for a well-plotted and well-written thriller to while away the hours of a long flight, this offering might suit you very well." - David Bryson, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

For further reviews of The Human Race by O.C. Heaton click here.

Author Bio

Charles Heaton British thriller writer O.C. Heaton, author of The Human Race, is fascinated by the past, present and future of human evolution. (Image credit: Ross Parry Agency) Read More>>

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O.C.'s bookshelf: read

The BeachThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeLife of PiOuter DarkThe FirmAlexander 3: The Ends of the Earth: A Novel

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