Thanks to Apple, we already know the iPhone 8 will feature a display with almost no bezel, and a small notch at the top for the speaker, front facing cameras, and sensors. We’ve also heard reports that the iPhone will come in three colors, white, black, and a new gold color that combines the appearance of Apple’s champagne gold and rose gold colors. Some supposed leakers have stated that this iPhone would be called “Blush Gold.” Renders of it with a black faceplate look fantastic, with the device taking on a copper-like appearance. Graphic designer Jonas Daehnert created the render above based on previous leaks and rumors, as well as the ones below. Continue reading →
After the election of Donald Trump, Apple CEO Tim Cook was quick to speak out in defense of employees, who were scared of entering an era when diversity is seen as a bad thing, hate is empowered, technology held back, and womenand minorities are left with diminished rights and representation. Their fears were well founded, but Apple hasn’t allowed such divisive hate to infect company culture. Tim Cook has attended meetings on Trump’s American Technology Council, but still disagrees with him on many issues, most of them related to civil rights, which Trump is largely in opposition to. Cook has always defended diversity and inclusion, insisting that the fact that Apple welcomes diversity and engenders it at the company is what has made Apple great. He rarely speaks out about political issues, but Trump’s continual attacks on LGBTQ people, women, and racial minorities has Cook speaking out more now than ever before. His letter to employees condemns Trump’s refusal to paint the white supremacists who descended upon Charlottesville as the wicked people they are, and lambasts Trump’s insistence that there was violence on both sides, as well as “decent people” on both sides. Cook also stated that Apple will work harder than ever to combat the type of hatred Trump has now put on the same moral ground as protesting against that hate. Continue reading →
The stereotypes men in technology believe become reinforced.
Last week, the news was abuzz with the firing of ex-Google engineer James Damore. Damore sent out a 10-page screed to employees on why women were less suitable for technology jobs, and therefore less likely to pursue them. He used giant logical fallacies, unverified papers, and heavily disputed science to back up his claims that men were simply better suited for jobs in tech due to their logical nature and assertiveness. Women were just too emotional and neurotic. Of course, he ignored this is an industry literally built by women (the first computer programmer was a woman and it was women who programmed the computers who sent us to the moon). Most of all, James argued that tech didn’t need women, that diversity of talent was unimportant. Last month, Samsung made a mistake that’s now more relevant than it was then, for pointing out just how wrong the men like James Damore of the world are wrong. Samsung put out sexist descriptions for Bixby, it’s ill-conceived and widely bemoaned voice assistant on new Samsung devices. This is a mistake that wouldn’t have happened if they ran it by even just one woman who wasn’t afraid to speak up without repercussions.
The next Apple Watch could be just around the corner, and it could feature something new: an LTE data connection. Both Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a seasoned Apple analyst with connections within Apple, and KGI’s Ming Chi Kuo have confirmed plans for the next Apple Watch to feature LTE. Apple’s reasoning would be to allow the Apple Watch to be a standalone product. You could leave your phone on the table at home, go outside with your Apple Watch, hook your bluetooth headphones (Airpods!) up to the Apple Watch, and use it to stream music, call friends, read the news, and more. The Apple Watch Series 3 could be revealed alongside new iPhone models this September. No major hardware design changes are expected, but some sources have stated that it could undergo a more radical design change.
Late last week, a 10 page manifesto written by Jame Damore surfaced. It had been circulated around Google’s offices prior to being leaked by an employee who was troubled by it, and wanted to bring external attention to the views within it, which they thought to be offensive. The proclamations within the paper had to deal with Google’s diversity policies and the liberal nature of Google’s culture, and perhaps the culture of the entire tech industry right now. It accused Google of groupthink, of foolishly wasting time trying to recruit more women, more minorities, supporting them once they joined the company, and educating other Googlers on microaggressions in the workplace that can hold women and minorities back. Google’s aim was to aid in further recruitment, increase interest in technology education, and to address the unique needs of these groups. James Damore wasn’t just mad about liberal culture though, he also claimed that the reason Google had so few women engineers was not because they weren’t trying hard enough to hire women and incentivize women to pursue software engineering, but rather that women are biologically incapable of being good engineers. He gave no reason for why he believed Google had few minority engineers, likely because his beliefs on the topic are equally reprehensible, as his paper may have suggested.
Naturally, he created an unsafe and unwelcoming environment at Google. Many people called for his termination, as they did not want to work with someone who looks down on women’s contributions to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), and does not favor the countermeasures to systematic oppression minorities experience through racism. Women and minorities didn’t want to work with him, not even cisgender white men wanted to work with him. Google employees couldn’t see how he could contribute to the company without a team that wanted to work with him. No employee should be forced to work with someone who has shown coworkers such disrespect, nor should Google have to engender illogical complaints against the diversity programs they’ve worked hard on. Google agreed, and fired him, for the content of his screed, yes, but more for the way it hurt the company’s ability to produce results.
You’ve heard about the large display, the face detection, the new rear facing cameras, the wireless charging, but there’s one rumor about the iPhone 8 that I haven’t discussed at much length yet: the price. Steve Kodachrome of Business Insider believes the iPhone 8, if it’s the device it’s rumored to be, will be overpriced. The rumored cost for the device is currently upwards of $1,000, with one potentially reliable report claiming $1,200. This didn’t strike me as unreasonable at first. After all, I had to buy my iPhone 6s off contract for almost $900 (I went with the maximum storage option at the time, 128GB), so a 128GB iPhone 8 that costs over $1,000 didn’t sound too outlandish to me. If I bought an iPhone 7 Plus today with 256GB of storage, it would cost $969, and that’s the most expensive iPhone you can buy. Would the iPhone 8 still be worth potentially hundreds of dollars more than that, even with half the storage space and a smaller battery? Maybe if we’re thinking of it as a huge leap forward for phones, but it’s only a huge leap forward for iPhones. When you consider other Android manufacturers already have many of the rumored features of the iPhone 8 and charge just a little over half of $1,200, you may have to wonder if Apple’s infamous Apple Tax has finally gone too far. Continue reading →