To kick off Halloween today, Betanews’ Managing Editor Joe Wilcox gave us a lighthearted list of 10 things about Microsoft to be scared of. Here’s a slightly more grim list of stories from the Infinite Loop.
HORROR FACTORY— Though nearly every consumer electronics company uses some Chinese contractors for parts or manufacturing, Apple has a black mark on its ethical record for the unsafe working conditions at Chinese factories that supply parts for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod product lines. Stories of labor horrors include rash of employee suicides, and fatal explosions at Foxconn, and fatalities from exposure to neurotoxin N-Hexane at touchscreen supplier Wintek.
MEET THE PRESS— Journalists who have published articles about leaked Apple products often don’t find themselves in the happiest of situations. After ZDNet writer Jason O’Grady wrote in 2004 about a leaked GarageBand FireWire breakout box called Asteroid Apple issued ISP subpeonas to try to have the identities revealed of 20 “John Does” who may have leaked the information with O’Grady and other writers. When gadget blog Gizmodo got its hands on a prototype iPhone 4 that was lost in a Silicon Valley bar, the San Mateo Police broke down Gizmodo Editor Jason Chen’s door when he wasn’t home and confiscated his computers and servers.
EAR WORMS— Repeated studies have shown that portable media players are correlated to increased hearing loss in all users. Though the iPod cannot be found directly responsible for more hearing loss than other types of portable media players, Apple’s iPod and trademark earbud headphones dominate the portable media player market with nearly an 80% market share, it’s not a long leap to make from iPods to hearing loss.
HE DIED WITH HIS iPOD ON— In 2009, a 17 year-old UK teenager walked into the path of an oncoming train without knowing it was approaching. The location where Gino Shepherd crossed did not have any signs or warnings, and authorities said his iPod blocked any auditory cues the train would have given him.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN—- In 2006, 60-year old Michael Katz was hired as a Mac Specialist at the Apple Store at the Millenia Mall in Orlando, Florida. For two years, Katz tried to get promoted to the position of “Creative,” and though there were openings and he formally filed applications for promotion twice, he was passed over by younger, ostensibly less qualified employees with no explanation of why he was denied promotion. Katz sued Apple in 2010, and his case will enter the mediation phase this December, which might ultimately result in a monetary settlement from Apple.
This last one is not really a tale of horror and gore, but considering the frightening state of United States job market and the aging population, it’s a chilling story of getting “too old” for modern tech.
Art Credit: RevolutonGFX (for T-Shirts)