Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class – The New York Times

Building Apple’s iPhone in the United States would demand much more than hiring Americans — it would require transforming the national and global economies.

What remains unknown, however, is whether the United States will be able to leverage tomorrow’s innovations into millions of jobs.

In the last decade, technological leaps in solar and wind energy, semiconductor fabrication and display technologies have created thousands of jobs. But while many of those industries started in America, much of the employment has occurred abroad. Companies have closed major facilities in the United States to reopen in China. By way of explanation, executives say they are competing with Apple for shareholders. If they cannot rival Apple’s growth and profit margins, they won’t survive.

Source: Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class – The New York Times

Apple’s supply chain flap: It’s really about us | ZDNet

Apple is under fire for its supply chain labor, but every tech item—and thing you own—goes through the same manufacturing paces.

Source: Apple’s supply chain flap: It’s really about us | ZDNet

 

Is this a self-reinforcing problem? Average Americans demand cheap products because their real wages do not rise and their real wages do not rise because corporations move jobs overseas in search of lower costs in order to provide the cheap products demanded by the American consumer?

The Coming War on General Computation

Because general purpose computers are, in fact, astounding — so astounding that our society is still struggling to come to grips with them: to figure out what they’re for, to figure out how to accommodate them, and how to cope with them. Which, unfortunately, brings me back to copyright.

In other words, an appliance is not a stripped-down computer — it is a fully functional computer with spyware on it out of the box. … Because we don’t know how to build the general purpose computer that is capable of running any program we can compile except for some program that we don’t like, or that we prohibit by law, or that loses us money. The closest approximation that we have to this is a computer with spyware — a computer on which remote parties set policies without the computer user’s knowledge, over the objection of the computer’s owner. And so it is that digital rights management always converges on malware. … And on the network side, attempts to make a network that can’t be used for copyright infringement always converges with the surveillance and control measures that we know from repressive governments.

Freedom in the future will require us to have the capacity to monitor our devices and set meaningful policy on them, to examine and terminate the processes that run on them, to maintain them as honest servants to our will, and not as traitors and spies working for criminals, thugs, and control freaks.

Source: 28c3-doctorow/transcript.md at master · jwise/28c3-doctorow

The Evil New Tactic Behind Anonymous’ Massive Megaupload Revenge Attack

The hacktivist collective Anonymous is in the middle of a huge revenge spree after the Feds shut down popular filesharing site Megaupload today. But they’re using an evil new tactic that tricks people into helping their attack if they click an innocuous link.

This is completely evil and could lead to huge numbers of witless internet users inadvertently attacking, say, the Department of Justice by clicking a random link they stumble across on Twitter.

Source: The Evil New Tactic Behind Anonymous’ Massive Megaupload Revenge Attack

Mike Warnke and Marriage Equality

Mike Warnke was a con artist. He traveled the country for years, packing the pews of evangelical churches with his message of salvation from Satan, selling thousands of books and records while hauling in millions in donations for the children he had supposedly rescued from the clutches of Satan-worshipping abusers.

But that huge eager audience he tapped into is still there. The fascination or temptation or corruption that made so many evangelicals so enthusiastically gullible, so willing and eager to believe stories of imaginary monsters, is just as pervasive and popular as it was in Warnke’s heyday.

That demand-side aspect of the story is a much stranger phenomenon than the supply-side con game Mike Warnke was running. It’s not hard to understand what he was after or what he gained from selling his lies. He got rich and famous and lived the life of a rock star.

But what did his audience gain? What were they chasing after in choosing to believe his unbelievable and implausible tales?

Source: Mike Warnke and Marriage Equality