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Breakfast Briefing: iPhone factory report, McAfee's condoms, Raspberry Pi projects

Breakfast Briefing

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 at 09:01

This morning in the world of tech, the iPhone 5 only arrived yesterday, but its production is already being criticised, plus the "condom for your digital life," ten Raspberry Pi projects, and how EVE Online players were among the first to know about the Libyan consulate attack.

iPhone 5 production under spotlight

Apple and Foxconn might be moving to improve conditions in factories, bringing the Fair Labor Association on board to audit its factories, but according to an undercover reporter working inside the iPhone 5 production facility, building the devices remains a properly thorny bed of roses.

A report from the Shanghai Evening Post, spotted by MIC Gadget details the recruitment and working process and describe filthy conditions. Among the initial mental aptitude questions - "Have you got into a state of mental trance recently?"

"McAfee Social Protection – it’s like a condom for your digital life"

With the Intel Developer Forum well under way, the company has been announcing hardware developments left, right and centre, but the company also moved to explain developments with its McAfee security division and the Social Protection app.

The soon-to-be-released app applies DRM to photos uploaded to Facebook to stop them being spread far and wide around the web. As Intel explained in a keynote reported by Hot Hardware: "McAfee Social Protection – it’s like a condom for your digital life."

Gamers first to find out about Libyan consulate attack

Players of EVE Online were among the first to find out about the Benghazi attack that killed a US ambassador, because the consulate’s information management officer, Sean Smith, played the game when stationed overseas - and was online when the attack happened, according to The Verge. A fellow player said Smith shouted about gunfire over his headphones, then "disconnected and never returned".

Ten brilliant uses for the Raspberry Pi

We're big fans of the Raspberry Pi cheap computing board, and are consistently impressed with the creative tasks it's put to by users. Many projects are just plain fun, but DesignSpark has a list of ten rather practical uses, from automating your home to managing LEDs - and even creating your own gaming controller.

Adam Banks’ iPhone 5 rebuttal

If you read Dan Lyons’ - aka The Fake Steve Jobs - rant about Apple and the iPhone on the BBC, you should definitely follow it up by reading the much more reasoned rebuttal from Adam Banks, editor of our sister title MacUser. "It's a matter of record that Apple spends less on R&D than rivals like Google," he notes. "But anyone who's taken a look at what Google has actually produced in recent years will wonder if Apple might simply be spending its money more wisely."

Software patents on EU agenda

Software patents have long been a bone of contention, but the subject is back on the agenda with moves afoot in the EU to introduce a standard "unitary patent".

While there are two sides to every argument, especially the need to patent programs, according to free software developer and analyst, Karsten
Gerloff
, the proposals – to be discussed by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee next week - need real change to prevent more entrenched patents in the EU, with a lack of transparency and politically driven short-cuts.

Apple to mop up business budgets

The PC industry might be struggling but it's been buoyed by the business market. Now research group Forrester has reported that the only growth in the business sector is likely to come from Apple devices – a view point that would have been laughed out of the boardroom just a couple of years ago.

As The New York Times points out, Forrester is predicting a dismal year for PC in the workplace, with the minimal growth in the sector driven by iPads and other Apple offerings.

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User comments

Software Patents

As a developer with more than 30 years experience in the industry, I have to say I am against software patents.

Copyright is good enough in most cases and easy enough to defend.

The patent process is just money for lawyers. It makes software more expensive, because the developers spend more and more time writing up patent applications, you have to pay lawyers and the patent office.

On the other side, if you are writing code, you are then nervous about infringing other peoples patents, or you to spend hours and hours trawling patent filings, hoping you will find nothing, so that you can finish writing your code.

Given that a modern patent, especially in software and consumer electronics has a shelf-life of a year or two at best, patenting it for 17 - 25 years is silly and strangles innovation.

Leave software with copyright protection, BASTA!

By big_D on 13 Sep 2012

DO
Y = Y + 1
WHILE X < 100

I am going to file a patent application for software bugs... I'm going to be rich... RICH I tell you!!!!

By AlphaGeeK on 13 Sep 2012

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