eXtensions - Thursday 24 November 2022
Thursday Comment: Covid measures and China; Apple and Unix; AirTag Batteries
By Graham K. Rogers
There will be effects for Apple as production was already falling, but now with the dissatisfaction reportedly now turning into rioting, the wait for iPhones is bound to increase. That in turn will put pressure on Apple share prices. The latest report I have seen from the Guardian with its sloppy title referring to "protesting iPhone workers" shows a lone protester being arrested by guards in protective clothing. Another photograph shows lots of people in protective clothing and a few protestors, although the text does tell us that "thousands of employees walked away from the factory in the central city of Zhengzhou last month after complaints about unsafe working conditions." That does not sound unreasonable. That may well be why there are thousands in the streets. But Apple.
Note that over the last few months (or more) Apple has been arranging for production to be shifted to other countries, including India, Thailand, Vietnam and the USA where TSCM has a factory that will soon be producing chips made with the 3nm process.
Apple M1 Ultra chip - Image courtesy of Apple
In those early days, few people used OS X. Or System 9 for that matter. Only a few people were using Macs back then. I used the UNIX quite often and was fairly comfortable as only a couple of years before, entering UNIX commands was the only way to use the internet. It was all text, including the first browser I used: Lynx. I did install this on a Mac a couple of years ago, but the early magic of linking to other countries (as had already been done with Gopher - a library system) was gone. We demand graphics these days. Loder spends a lot of time on the use of invisible files, and this will be useful for some, particularly if you are hunting for a specific file that Apple hides in a nested directory system.
Command line UNIX - easy to use, but easy to make mistakes
I smiled when I read that as in the early days of OS X there were a lot of new users who changed things without really understanding what they were doing. In one case a local user decided to change the permissions on the hard disk as he did not want Everyone being able to read what was on it. The UNIX "everyone" is not the same. Having changed the permissions, he was unable to start the Mac and there was a frantic messaging session (pre-iPhone and on small green screens). I sent him the commands to log in using Single User Mode, to unmount the disk (or it could have been mount) and then change the settings. Reading from the phone screen, he laboriously typed the commands into the command line interface. The relief was palpable. My motorcycle maintenance adage applies: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The Boston TV station WCBV5 has a report with several video clips embedded. One witness estimated the speed across the parking lot of the vehicle across the parking lot at 50mph (80kph) which sounds high to me, although the massive hole in the toughened glass of the Apple Store window and where the vehicle finally stopped does suggest the vehicle passed through that glass quite fast. The facts will be confirmed one way or another. Apple sent a message of condolence to the TV station:
We are devastated by the shocking events at Apple Derby Street today and the tragic loss of a professional who was onsite supporting recent construction at the store. Our hearts go out to our team members and customers who were injured and all of those who were affected by this terrible incident. We are doing everything we can to support our team members and customers at this very difficult time.
Thinking back to death by dangerous driving files that I put together (in the UK these were sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions - the DPP), as the driver was conscious after the event, unless there is a fault with the vehicle there would seem to be an element of recklessness here: a reasonable person would imagine that there might be people inside the store and a moving car would hurt them. The driver was charged with reckless homicide, I note in a MacDaily News report. That report also suggests there is a need for bollards outside the store as is the case in other locations.
A later report from MacDaily News tells us that, the driver's "right foot became stuck on the accelerator as he drove through the lot" and was unable to brake. This sounds dubious, but a full investigation will prove this one way or another.
Limited size and range of sliders in Crop
Changing the battery was fairly easy: press the shiny side and turn it clockwise and it soon becomes free. I swapped the battery and then put the silver cap back but had to try two or three times to be satisfied that it was secure. As the back makes contact with the battery there is a little chirp. The second AirTag battery change was easier.
I also have a spare AirTag, but the devices I want to track, like cameras, have nowhere I can hide the AirTags. If I put them on the outside and the camera is stolen, the AirTag is the first thing a thief would remove. I did see a camera cap (DP Review) that had a secret compartment for the AirTag, but I have lenses attached to my cameras all the time.
It is a pity camera makers do not include some detection system which should be easy enough to do these days with the size of electronic components. If you are paying over $1000 for a camera, a few dollars more would be nothing if there is a theft risk.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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