Steve Wozniak: Apple Isn’t “Changing the World” Any More

Steve Wozniak – who, alongside Steve Jobs, co-founded Apple – thinks that his former company is not the one he and Jobs set up, is no longer “changing the world” like it once was, and that the Apple Watch merely a vanity item.

During an AMA on reddit, Wozniak – affectionately known as ‘Woz’ – was asked how he thought Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple, was doing in the role. While Woz was complimentary about Cook’s support for both employees and customers of Apple, he criticised its current business model for following trends, rather than setting (or, as some may accuse the company, ‘stealing’) them:

Woz wrote:

“Tim Cook is acknowledging the employees of Apple and the customers of Apple as real people. He is continuing a strong tradition that Steve Jobs was known for of making good products that help people do things they want to do in their life, and not taking the company into roads of, “Oh, we’ll make all our money like by knowing you and advertising to you.” We’ll make good products. And you know, I started out as a hardware product guy, so I’m glad to see that.

I worry a little bit about – I mean I love my Apple Watch, but – it’s taken us into a jewelry market where you’re going to buy a watch between $500 or $1100 based on how important you think you are as a person. The only difference is the band in all those watches. Twenty watches from $500 to $1100. The band’s the only difference? Well this isn’t the company that Apple was originally, or the company that really changed the world a lot. So it might be moving, but you’ve got to follow, you know. You’ve got to follow the paths of where the markets are.

Everything else, I’m very approving of Tim Cook, because every time we have a new iOS update, I’m very happy that it’s doing things that really affect people. Like transferring calls from my phone to my computer, etc. I really love even the Airplay, and all that. So, I love the software, and I love the hardware, and nothing’s letting me down. So I approve very strongly of Tim Cook and the new Apple. I dearly miss Steve Jobs too, but, that’s all.”

Woz says he’s very supportive of Apple in its fight against the FBI, though, and believes that backdoors in encrypted systems are too much of a risk, writing, “if some code gets written in an Apple product that lets people in, bad people are going to find their way to it, very likely.”

Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo.

Florida Sheriff Said He Would Arrest Apple CEO Tim Cook

This feud between Apple and the FBI is definitely drawing a lot of attention all over the world, and while plenty of influential people such as Edward Snowden and even Barack Obama have voiced their opinions on the issue, it looks like we still have a bit of waiting time ahead of us before a conclusion will be reached. It is worth mentioning that the government has managed to obtain a court order under the All Writs Act, which would force Apple to create a special iOS firmware in order to remove the passcode on a seized iPhone 5C. Even though most people are on Apple’s side of the argument, there are some people out there that think that the company should comply with the FBI’s request.

During a recent press conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, described an unrelated murder case that involved suspects taking photos of their victim using iPhones, and when he was asked about Apple’s refusal to help the government in this controversial case, he said that he would actually lock up CEO Tim Cook if a judge gave him permission to do so. His exact words were the following:

“The CEO of Apple needs to know he’s not above the law, and neither is anybody else in the United States. But believe you me, if I get a toehold in this county and I can get the state attorney’s office to prosecute, and a judge to back us up with it, I’ll lock the rascal up.”

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, I guess.

Tech Giants Plot to Stop Trump

The CEOs of Apple, Tesla Motors, and Alphabet joined a group of tech industry leaders and politicians at a secretive event where the key agenda was to stop Donald Trump from becoming the Republican Presidential candidate.

Tim Cook, Elon Musk, and Larry Page rubbed shoulders with the likes of Napster founder and Facebook investor Sean Parker, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), political guru Karl Rove, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican Senators Tom Cotton (Ark.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio), and Ben Sasse (Neb.) at the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum, which was held on a private island of the coast of the US state of Georgia, according to the Huffington Post.

“A specter was haunting the World Forum–the specter of Donald Trump,” wrote Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, in an emailed report from the conference. “There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he’s done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated.”

“The key task now, to once again paraphrase Karl Marx, is less to understand Trump than to stop him,” Kristol added. “In general, there’s a little too much hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, and fatalism out there and not quite enough resolving to save the party from nominating or the country electing someone who simply shouldn’t be president.”

According to a presentation at the event by Karl Rove, former Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush, Trump’s weakness is the perception of him by the general public that he does not appear “presidential”, is not a strong role model for children, and should not be trusted with his “finger on the nuclear button”.

Image courtesy of Vanity Fair.

Tim Cook Urges Apple Employees to Stand Firm Against FBI in Leaked E-Mail

Following Apple’s refusal to bypass the decryption of its iPhones in order to comply with a legal mandate on behalf of the FBI, the company’s CEO Tim Cook has sent an internal e-mail to Apple Employees in the US explaining its defiant position and calling for unity.

The FBI took legal action in order to force Apple to decrypt the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook, a suspect in the tragic San Bernardino shootings in December 2015. In order to provide the FBI entry to the phone, Apple would have to create a backdoor into its iOS software, a backdoor that the law enforcement agency “promises” to use only once. Apple has so far refused to comply, citing its users’ security and privacy as paramount.

Now, Cook has written to Apple employees – in an internal e-mail obtained by Buzzfeed – to clarify why the company is resisting the FBI’s attempts to bypass iPhone encryption, and promising to protect the “civil liberties” of millions of Americans:

Email to Apple employees from Apple CEO Tim Cook

Subject:  Thank you for your support

Team,

Last week we asked our customers and people across the United States to join a public dialogue about important issues facing our country. In the week since that letter, I’ve been grateful for the thought and discussion we’ve heard and read, as well as the outpouring of support we’ve received from across America.

As individuals and as a company, we have no tolerance or sympathy for terrorists. When they commit unspeakable acts like the tragic attacks in San Bernardino, we work to help the authorities pursue justice for the victims. And that’s exactly what we did.

This case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation, so when we received the government’s order we knew we had to speak out. At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties.

As you know, we use encryption to protect our customers — whose data is under siege. We work hard to improve security with every software release because the threats are becoming more frequent and more sophisticated all the time.

Some advocates of the government’s order want us to roll back data protections to iOS 7, which we released in September 2013. Starting with iOS 8, we began encrypting data in a way that not even the iPhone itself can read without the user’s passcode, so if it is lost or stolen, our personal data, conversations, financial and health information are far more secure. We all know that turning back the clock on that progress would be a terrible idea.

Our fellow citizens know it, too. Over the past week I’ve received messages from thousands of people in all 50 states, and the overwhelming majority are writing to voice their strong support. One email was from a 13-year-old app developer who thanked us for standing up for “all future generations.” And a 30-year Army veteran told me, “Like my freedom, I will always consider my privacy as a treasure.”

I’ve also heard from many of you and I am especially grateful for your support.

Many people still have questions about the case and we want to make sure they understand the facts. So today we are posting answers on apple.com/customer-letter/answers/ to provide more information on this issue. I encourage you to read them.

Apple is a uniquely American company. It does not feel right to be on the opposite side of the government in a case centering on the freedoms and liberties that government is meant to protect.

Our country has always been strongest when we come together. We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms. Apple would gladly participate in such an effort.

People trust Apple to keep their data safe, and that data is an increasingly important part of everyone’s lives. You do an incredible job protecting them with the features we design into our products. Thank you.
Tim

Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Refutes Tax Avoidance Claims

Apple has been accused of tax avoidance and exploiting loopholes in US legislation to move profits to tax havens. For example, Apple’s tax base is in Ireland with a 12.5% corporate rate while the US taxation figure is around 35%. As a result, some critics have argued this is a sophisticated way to either delay paying tax or reduce Apple’s bill. Recently, Tim Cook described the current US tax system in an interview with Charlie Rose on the programme 60 Minutes:

“This is a tax code, Charlie, that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.”

Cook became quite aggravated and described the claims of tax avoidance as:

“total political crap.”

He also went onto say that moving the assets into the US would have severe financial implications:

“Because it would cost me 40% [in taxes] to bring it home. And I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do,”

Clearly, Tim Cook believes that the current US tax system is completely broken and in need for huge reforms. Not only that, he made bold statements about Apple’s behaviour and the amount of tax they put into the US economy:

“There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe,”

“We pay more taxes in this country than anyone.”

This is an interesting statement to make, and the idea that Apple pays a large amount of tax seems fairly credible. However, the amount paid is due to how successful Apple is compared to other companies. What really matters is the percentage of tax paid in regards to Apple’s total earnings. Are they actually paying the full amount, or employing complex schemes to maximize profits? Sadly, I don’t think we will ever know unless there is an independent investigation.

Image courtesy of newspaperplus.com

Dell CEO Says “Post-PC” Era has been Great for PCs

Despite what the folks at Apple are thinking, it looks like there are still plenty of companies that believe the PC market is still pretty vibrant. CEO, founder and owner of Dell, Michael Dell has come out and expressed his confidence in the PC. This is in stark contrast to Apple CEO Tim Cook who said there is no reason to buy PCs anymore.

Despite some doom and gloom about shipments, Dell notes that since Apple first declared the PC “dead” half a decade ago, PC shipments have largely grown. With the continued innovation in both performance and aesthetics, Dell believes that newer PCs are going to be more attractive to consumers than ever. While there are now many devices competing with the PC for consumer’s attention, it just means that PC makers will have to step up their game and face their competition head on.

On a separate note, Dell spoke out against the Snooper’s Charter being contemplated in the UK. On this note, Dell and Cook are on the same page, both adamantly opposed against the surveillance law. Dell noted that backdoors would allow both legitimate and illegitimate access to systems and are fundamentally flawed. Even with many experts and officials already speaking out against the wide range of new powers being granted, the recent events in Paris may yet exert their impact.

Tim Cook Describes Microsoft’s Surface Book as ‘Deluded’

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook appears to be on the warpath of late and becoming quite outspoken about the PC platform and Microsoft’s hardware endeavors. Only yesterday, he described PCs as ‘pointless’ and an outdated premise compared to the iPad Pro. There’s a huge sense of irony here as the term PC refers to computer hardware, and Apple’s role involves creating their own operating system for heavily restricted PCs. These remarks have made Tim Cook look extremely foolish, and I cannot understand his bizarre thought process.

Microsoft’s Surface Book is certainly one of the most impressive hardware reveals I’ve seen for some time. However, Tim Cook disagrees and made some fairly disparaging remarks about the device during an appearance at an Irish college. He criticized the product and said:

“It’s a product that tries too hard to do too much,”

“It’s trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither. It’s sort of deluded.”

For all Apple’s posturing about their “really good” relationship with Microsoft, Tim Cook isn’t speaking on amicable terms and behaving in an appalling manner. It’s hilarious to think the iPad Pro is a different, more streamlined device than the Surface Book. If anything, the Surface Book has even more potential and I believe it’s probably the best piece of hardware Microsoft has designed. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with Apple and Tim Cook, but it seems the company’s aggressive attitude is coming to the forefront.

Apple CEO Believes PCs Are Pointless

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is a divisive figure and has now predicted the fatal demise of the PC platform. In an interview with The Telegraph, he made a number of outrageous comments and said:

“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”

“The iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.”

According to Apple’s CEO, the PC is an outdated piece of hardware and he believes it’s ridiculous to consider even buying one. I’ve heard some laughable statements from Apple employees in the past, but this really does set an unassailable standard of idiocy. Tablets and smartphones are usually supplementary devices and cannot replace the traditional desktop in terms of power, or usability. They are wonderful for quickly checking e-mails, or viewing YouTube videos, but you really need a keyboard and mouse to efficiency complete business tasks.

On another note, PC gaming is continuing to flourish and attracting more people to the platform. It seems bizarre for Tim Cook to directly attack the PC, considering their market share is very small. It’s a completely different sector and the statistics illustrate how many people use PCs in comparison to Apple devices. Rest assured, the PC isn’t going anywhere, and low sales are down to two major factors.

Firstly, most people don’t feel the need to upgrade on a regular basis due to the power of budget CPUs. Furthermore, building a PC is incredibly easy, and consumers are less reliant on vendors. Even if you’re not comfortable with the process, most people should know at least one person capable of making a custom machine.

This is certainly Tim Cook’s largest blunder and it’s bound to reaffirm Apple’s out-of-touch attitude with the hardware market.

Tim Cook Tells NSA That Good Guys Shouldn’t Get Backdoors

Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken out against proposals for backdoors in encrypted systems for intelligence agencies to exploit. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live technology conference in Laguna Beach, California, Cook spoke out in support of encryption and posited that any backdoor would never benefit just “the good guys”.

“You can’t have a back door in the software because you can’t have a back door that’s only for the good guys,” Cook told the events audience.

Cook’s speech occurred shortly after NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers took to the stage to talk about encryption. Rogers, responding to a question regarding his previous statement – “strong encryption is in our nation’s best interest” – as to whether he supported impenetrable encryption, said “That’s not what I said, strong encryption is in our nation’s best interests,” adding, “Security, encryption: good. The ability to generate insights as to criminal behavior and threats to our nation’s security, also good.”

But Cook disputed the idea that privacy and national security were mutually exclusive, saying, “Nobody should have to decide privacy and security. We should be smart enough to do both,” branding any compromise of user privacy as a “cop-out.”

“Both of these things were essential parts of our Constitution. It didn’t say prioritize this one above all of these,” he said. “I mean, these guys were really smart folks and they held all of these things and said all of these are what it means to be an American,” Cook added. “It will become increasingly more important to more and more people over time as they realize that intimate parts of their lives are in the open and being used for all sorts of things.”

Image courtesy of Valery Marchive.

Apple Reigns Supreme at US Tax Avoidance

The legality and moral outrage surrounding tax avoidance has been a hotly-discussed topic throughout the world. Many leading corporations from Apple to IBM exploit loopholes in the tax system to reduce their bill and hold assets offshore from their US base. As a result, this net revenue isn’t taxable and allows for increased profits. Sadly, many companies refuse to publicly disclose the nature of moving assets offshore, but new data provides evidence regarding the top 30 US companies who didn’t object to this information going public.

In the US, this data was collated by the Center for Tax Justice’s analysis of SEC filings. As you can see from the graph, Apple came in 1st place moving $181 billion of taxable assets offshore to avoid paying taxation. This is a significant margin ahead of other companies but might simply refer to Apple’s financially strong situation. The chart contains a wealth of technological companies and signifies how tax avoidance is commonplace in the industry. In recent years, governments have promised to clamp down on tax avoidance due to public pressure.

However, very rarely does this result in any meaningful change. Only recently did Amazon start paying corporation tax in the UK after a long period of employing complicated tax schemes. I highly doubt the data will deter people from buying Apple products but it emphaizes how their company and similar technology behemoths are run. From a business standpoint, if a company can maximize their profits, they will within the confines of the law.

How do you feel about technology companies avoiding taxation?

Thank you Quartz for providing us with this information.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Donating Fortune to Charity

In a recent interview with FortuneApple CEO Tim Cook revealed that he will be donating his wealth. He currently is worth roughly $112 million, and the restricted stock he holds carries a value of roughly $665 million, and has already been making some donations quietly, but wants to start making bigger splashes. One possible way would be following suit with what Bill Gates did with his wife in starting an entire foundation that will manage his philanthropic endeavors. By being so open about it, Cook is acting differently than Steve Jobs before him. Jobs had gotten criticized for not being known to donate, but after he passed, his wife, Laurene Powell, revealed they had made many donations totaling in the tens of millions in an anonymous fashion.

Source: Engadget

Apple Investing $2 Billion in 100% Renewable European Data Centres

Apple has announced that it is to invest $2 Billion into two new data centres in Europe, that will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, says that the new centres will bring great benefits to the local communities surrounding the new buildings as well as to Europeans as a whole.

The centres will be built in Athenry in western Ireland and in Viborg in Denmark, and are planned to be up and running by 2017. It’s said that the new buildings will add capacity to Apple’s online services in Europe; including iMessage, iCloud, Siri, Photos, iTunes and more.

“We are grateful for Apple’s continued success in Europe and proud that our investment supports communities across the continent,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This significant new investment represents Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date. We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet.”

This marks Apple’s largest ever investment into a European project, and it’s clear that it will certainly be of great benefit to the local communities that surround these new centres.

Source: The Verge 

Apple’s Tim Cook Named ‘CEO of the Year’ by CNN

US news outlet CNN has named Tim Cook, the Chief Executive of Apple, as its ‘CEO of the Year’ for 2014. Over the last twelve months, Apple has enjoyed an upsurge in stock price and record-breaking sales with its iPhone 6 iteration, for which Cook has been rewarded.

CNN posits that Cook did “an amazing job” and cite the hype for the forthcoming Apple Watch next year as a major victory.

Cook has arguably the toughest CEO job in America. He’s had to convince skeptics that Apple can still innovate after the death of Steve Jobs. He’s proven all the naysayers wrong.

Cook has garnered a number of other accolades this year, including the Financial Times’ ‘Person of the Year’ 2014, and a nomination for TIME magazine’s 2014 ‘Person of the Year’, losing out to the Ebola Fighters.

Source: MacRumors

Mark Zuckerberg Scoffs at Tim Cook’s ‘People are Products’ Claim

Back in September, Apple CEO Tim Cook launched a veiled attack on sites like Facebook that are free but carry ads. Cook claimed that “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.” He expanded on his point, saying, “I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried.”

Now, Chief Executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has hit back. He defended his company’s operating strategy, saying, “A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers.” Then, in a direct swipe at Cook’s company, Zuckerberg said, “What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”

Zuckerberg summed up the ideology of Facebook: “Our mission is to connect every person in the world. You don’t do that by having a service people pay for.”

Source: The Verge

Apple Doesn’t Want to be a ‘Treasure Trove’ of Data For the NSA

Being the biggest tech company in the world isn’t easy. Apple has been under hawk eye vision by both users and the press since the dawn of the iPod. The latest incident involving leaked celebrity nude photos via iCloud has only increased user security concerns regarding Apple’s services. CEO Tim Cook today spoke with journalist Charlie Rose regarding such matters – and went into great lengths outlining the importance that the company places on user security.

“Our business is not based on having information about you. You’re not our product. Our product are these, and this watch, and Macs, and so forth. And so we run a very different company. I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried. And you should really understand what’s happening to that data, and the companies — I think — should be very transparent.”

“I don’t think that the country, or the government’s found the right balance,” Cook told Rose. Continuing with “I think they erred too much on the collect everything side. And I think the president and the administration is committed to kind of moving that pendulum back.”

It’s evident that the Cupertino based company has user data privacy high on their responsibility lists – if you’re picking up a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus model, how important is digital security to you?

Thank you Charlie Rose for providing us with this information

Apple iMac Spotted Running Windows XP in Austin, Texas Production Line

Microsoft products running on Apple hardware might not have been seen as a big thing, but given the ‘flavour’ added by Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, towards Microsoft during Apple’s WWDC, things are looking a bit awkward. Last Thursday, Cook apparently tweeted a photo of himself touring Apple’s Austin, Texas production line where the Apple Mac Pro is manufactured. This might not be such a big announcement if it wasn’t for something seen in the background of the tweeted photo.

Looking closely on the iMac in the background, it is clearly noticeable that the Apple hardware is running on Windows operating system. Whether it is Windows XP or 7, one guess is as good as the other. However, given the style of the bottom bar, most best are on Windows XP, which is funny since the OS has been discontinued by Microsoft some time ago. Cook looks to have not even seen the ‘issue’ here, but tweets and retweets have been issued, having people buzzing about the Microsoft operating system present in Apple’s production line.

As far as the application running on the Microsoft operating system, reports are that the operating system was used in order to run electronic design automation software (EDA), or something similar in the embedded analysis program software range. As for Apple’s PR, things are not looking so great, since the shot could have been taken from a different angle or at least the ‘issue’ could have been easily spotted before the image was tweeted.

The irony in all this is found in Cook’s speech during WWDC, having the chief executive mocking Microsoft’s poor adoption of Windows 8. Given the tweeted image, Apple might consider adopting Microsoft’s latest operating system themselves, given they are running on a 13 years old operating system with no further security support available.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of PCWorld

Tim Cook Commemorates Anniversary Of Steve Jobs’ Death

Wow, has it really been two years already! I have to admit that I am far from being an Apple fan, but I have nothing but respect for what they have created, the iPad, iPhone and iPod have dominated markets for ages now, millions upon millions of Apple fans appear to agree.

Tim Cook took the top spot at Apple and the Apple CEO took to twitter today to share his thoughts on the anniversary of Jobs’ passing.

Tim Cook also shared an internal letter to Apple employees last Friday, just one day before the anniversary.

Team-

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of Steve’s death. I hope everyone will reflect on what he meant to all of us and to the world. Steve was an amazing human being and left the world a better place. I think of him often and find enormous strength in memories of his friendship, vision and leadership.

He left behind a company that only he could have built and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We will continue to honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to the work he loved so much. There is no higher tribute to his memory. I know that he would be proud of all of you.

Best,
Tim

I’m still not a fan of Apple, but only time will tell if Tim will ever be able to fill the boots left by Steve. What are your thoughts on the anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death? Do you think Tim cook is doing a good job as the new CEO?

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Joins Twitter, 154K Followers Already

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently joined Twitter as @tim_cook and took the opportunity to “brag” with his first tweet. The Apple CEO’s first tweet read:

“Visited Retail Stores in Palo Alto today. Seeing so many happy customers reminds us of why we do what we do.”

Interestingly the Apple CEO has only been on Twitter for around a day but has already notched up over 154,000 followers. His first Tweet bagged an impressive 6600 Retweets and 3200 Favourites.

The Apple CEO even went to great lengths to ensure his account got up and running straight away as a verified account so people know it is genuine. His account comes just after the release of iOS 7 and the iPhone 5S. No doubt his Twitter account will be used as a medium for delivering important Apple news in future.

Image courtesy of the Telegraph.co.uk