iPhone 5 was launched yesterday to the usual Apple products launch frenzy. But already, there have been many iPhone 5 users reported they are having scuff marks right out of the box (brand new).
First of all, I will set the stage by laying out what Apple has claimed in its online marketing and promotional material. And then I will write about one particular Canadian user’s iPhone 5 experiences and what happened to him once he found the “scuff marks” problem and reported it. (note: see set of five scuff marked iPhone 5 photos here plus also posted at end of article) And then I will talk about cases of other users reporting similar problems. At the end, while I am NOT a lawyer I will briefly draw the readers’ attention to Competition Bureau Canada’s online resource “False or Misleading Representations and Deceptive Marketing Practices Under the Competition Act” in case they find they need some help to decide if the Competition Bureau can help.
Apple’s marketing and promotional claims
It is important to note that in Apple’s marketing and promotional page (design) for iPhone 5, Apple is claiming and advertising (emphasis),
“iPhone 5 is made with a level of precision you’d expect from a finely crafted watch – not a smartphone.”
You see, potential iPhone 5 buyers are actually told NOT to expect the level of precision of a smartphone but the of a finely crafted watch! I don’t know about you, but I have yet Read the rest of this entry »
To: Bloomberg reporters Ms. Shraysi Tandon & Mr. David Fickling and editor Mr. Michael Tighe [see Bloomberg article for email contacts]
copy: Mr. Steve Wozniak
I was in touch with Apple Co-Founder Mr. Steve Wozniak electronically yesterday [see lengthy exchange in this public post’s comments]. And I was very disturbed to hear Mr. Wozniak telling me his view on Facebook “investment” had been distorted by Bloomberg. At the core, Mr. Wozniak told me that he made it clear to Bloomberg’s reporters that any purchase of Facebook shares would be just “ceremonial” (he gave the analogy, like “waiting in line for iPhones“). The following are Mr. Wozniak’s words. Emphasis are added by me to draw your attention.
“if I bought Facebook shares (it wasn’t possible due to my schedule) it would not be as an investor but rather ceremonial, like waiting in line for iPhones. But that got missed by a lot of people. I’m very sorry if they duped you.“
This is in direct contrary to the video excerpt Bloomberg decided to include. Here is a transcript of the broadcasted video exchange between Bloomberg reporter Ms. Tandon and Mr. Wozniak re investing in Facebook (~00:22 to 00:37)
Reporter: “Would you invest in Facebook?” Answer: “I would invest in Facebook. I don’t care what the opening price is. I would, just for good reasons. Especially if was an investor looking to make money.”
Mr. Wozniak also wrote the following. And again, I have added emphasis to draw your attention. [see excerpt from public post’s comments]
“I have a great idea. Why don’t you contact the reporter and ask him if, before the interview, I told him how I don’t read financial papers and have never used the iPhone stock price app and that I couldn’t answer financial questions. He was a very good tech reporter but asked that question at the end. It was a trick and a setup, as he’d heard my explanation an hour before during my speech. I think this may have been in Singapore. You have to ask how ethical that was. He knew the truth but set it up in a way that would deceive you. And it was my intent at that time to buy Facebook stock, but not as an investment, and the reporter knew that well. I had told him that my wife and I don’t trade stocks and all we have is Apple and Fusion-io. So he knew the truth but published otherwise. Sorry, but at the end of a tired day one word may have been wrong (invest instead of buy) but 2 people, myself and the reporter, knew it was not an investment. I doubt I used the word “investment” since it’s a word not in my vocabulary. I have never in my life invested in stock. Please contact the reporter to verify this and let him know what you think. And ask him not to do it to the next “nice” guy.”
I personally don’t know Mr. Wozniak and had only got in touch with him yesterday. Mr. Michael Tighe, as the Bloomberg editor in charge of this article, can you please confirm with the Bloomberg reporters if Mr. Wozniak’s view got distorted seriously. At times I am a blunt reporter and based on Bloomberg’s original report, I had written,
“I love +Steve Wozniak for his tech but his investment “advice” was worst than idiotic.”
To me, Bloomberg’s reputation is on the line here. Distorting a “ceremonial” purchase of Facebook stocks and turning it into a story with title “Apple Co-Founder Wozniak Would Buy Facebook At Any [Price]” is a serious journalist blunder at least or an inexcusably unethical behaviour at worst.
Finally, Ms. Shraysi Tandon, Mr. David Fickling, and Mr. Michael Tighe, I hope if there was a mistake, Bloomberg will do the honourable thing and issue a formal correction and apologize. Since you are all professional journalists, I don’t need to remind why we in the business of reporting will all remember Jayson Blair (former reporter with New York Times) or Stephen Glass (former reporter with The New Republic) for a very long time to come.
Please kindly recheck the source and basis of your story and issue a correction and apology if a mistake was made. Please let me know an error was indeed made, I would like to promptly issue my apology to Mr. Wozniak in saying his “investment “advice” was worst than idiotic” based on Bloomberg’s May 13th report.
freelance TV reporter, commentator & blogger
P.S. Cross posted onto examiner.com. I am hoping to hear from Bloomberg really soon to set the record straight.
This chapter now completes my knowledge of the back story re the creation of the Think Different campaign. For this alone is probably worth the price of the book for me as I’ve spent many hours (without success) to find out the info in this chapter.
To me, this excerpt in the Think Different chapter is very telling in Jobs’ thinking (emphasis added),
Jobs couldn’t decide whether to use the version with his voice or to stick with Dreyfuss. […] When morning came, Jobs called and told them to use the Dreyfuss version. “If we use my voice, when people find out they will say it’s about me,” he told Clow. “It’s not. It’s about Apple.”
To me, this excerpt in the Design chapter is extremely telling (emphasis added),
They [Jobs and Ive] began to have lunch together regularly, and Jobs would end his day by dropping by Ive’s design studio for a chat. “Jony had a special status,” said Laurene Powell. “He would come by our house, and our families became close. Steve is never intentionally wounding to him. Most people in Steve’s life are replaceable. But not Jony.“
I admire Steve Jobs and have bought many Apple products over the years but I am not an Apple “fan boy”as I removed Apple from my list of admired companies last year.
But I still eagerly picked up a copy of Steve Jobs (biography) yesterday so that I can learn from it. I think Steve Jobs is an important book that it should be made required reading for all serious and self-respecting competitors of Apple. There are many good insights that entrepreneurs and business executives can learn from Apple and Jobs. It will be foolish to think we can replicate and copy Jobs but it will be stupid to not to try to understand, to learn, and may be to be inspired.
‘She [Laurene Powell, Steve Jobs’ wife] is one of the smartest and most grounded people I have ever met. ‘There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth,” she told me early on. “You shouldn’t whitewash it. He’s good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I’d like to see that it’s all told truthfully.”‘ Read the rest of this entry »
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
[…] Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
“Mona Simpson, Steve Jobs‘ sister, gave a moving eulogy for the Apple co-founder at the memorial service held on Oct. 16 at the Memorial Church of Stanford University, which the New York Timesposted in full.”
“The atmosphere changed in 2007 when Gates left Microsoft to set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife. “Steve and I did an event together, and he couldn’t have been nicer…I got a fair bit of time with him in his last year. Some months before Jobs died, Gates paid him a long visit. “We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future.” Later, with his old adversary’s death imminent, he wrote to him. “I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know.”
That last gesture was not, he says, conciliatory. “There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no [cause for] forgiveness.” After Jobs’s death, Gates received a phone call from his wife, Laurene. “She said; ‘Look, this biography really doesn’t paint a picture of the mutual respect you had.’ And she said he’d appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed.””
“HTC Corp. (2498), Asia’s second-biggest smartphone maker, is using nine patents bought from Google Inc. (GOOG) last week to pursue new infringement claims against Apple Inc.
Google had taken ownership of the patents less than a year ago, with four of the patents originating from Motorola Inc., three from Openwave Systems Inc. and two from Palm Inc., according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, wouldn’t discuss reasons for the nine transfers to HTC.
HTC now has more ammunition in its fight to fend off multiple patent-infringement claims lodged by Apple that contend phones running Google’s Android operating system copy the iPhone. Google’s involvement in aiding HTC represents a new front in an industrywide dispute over smartphone technology that has also ensnared Android customers Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.”
“Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iAd mobile-advertising business has cut rates by as much as 70 percent as some marquee clients are using rival services, two people with knowledge of the matter said, signaling the company is struggling to parlay its technology leadership into success in the ad industry.
When Apple rolled out iAd a year ago, companies such as Citigroup Inc. (C) and J.C. Penney Co. were being charged $1 million or more to run ad campaigns. Today those brands aren’t using iAd, and Apple is offering packages for as little as $300,000, said the people, who asked not to be named because the rates are private.
Even with lower prices, some advertising agencies are balking at iAd’s cost, especially because the promotions only reach Apple users. They’re turning instead to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s AdMob, Millennial Media and Greystripe, which serve a range of devices. That means Apple risks losing ground in a market that will generate $2.5 billion by 2014, according to EMarketer Inc.
“Apple’s closed ecosystem may have been interesting in the short run for advertisers, but in the long run they priced themselves out,” said Thom Kennon, senior vice president of strategy for the Young & Rubicam ad agency in New York.”
People don’t usually win by betting against Apple as Apple has shown the world so many great products in recent years. But I am going to join a critical Oscar editor and take my chance and bet my $1 against Apple. I say Apple may have materially damaged its Final Cut Pro brand/lovemark by giving Adobe and Avid some meaningful chances into retake some of the long lost market share. Assuming Adobe and Avid have good products and execute their plans well.
In fact, I am willing to go out on a limb and say Apple is giving “losers” Adobe and Avid new chances to refight their Battles of Waterloo in the field of video editing software. In the battlefield, your opponents are usually not too kind in letting you fight again and learn from your previous mistakes.
I think Apple has very much underestimated the influence of professional editors on prosumers and new beginning editors. For me, I remember years ago one of the reasons I took Final Cut Pro seriously and bought into it was because of FCP was being highly regarded and used by the professionals.
OK, NBA players have been locked out, but imagine if a brand of basketball shoes have been founded to restrict certain shots/moves by NBA players thus making them unable play their best games, will you still buy the shoes?
As my friend like to say, the following is my brand of poison/observations. Readers beware.
3) Adobe Premiere Pro on SWITCH discount at $400. Why $400?
Now moving on to Adobe Premiere Pro, if Adobe is smarter, they should just lower its price to $299 to match the FCPX price for new purchase!
We are talking about business strategy to regain long lost market share! A market that has been dominated by Apple Final Cut Pro for a long time.I don’t understand why Adobe Read the rest of this entry »
“Apple has been publicly silent since the legal threats were first publicised by worried developers earlier in May – likely less a sign of a lack of concern on its part, and more a sign that its lawyers are scrutinising the threats and the patent that forms their basis.
The EFF is not impressed, though. “Apple’s failure to defend these developers is troubling and highlights at least two larger problems: patent trolls and developers’ vulnerability when harassing and counter-productive patent litigation comes around,” writes Samuels, who links this into a wider trend of small developers without the resources to defend a patent infringement lawsuit being targeted.
“What’s different here, however, is that Apple provides this functionality to its developers and requires that they use it. Apple itself is protected from liability – Apple took a licence from Lodsys’ predecessor to use this very patent (which was likely part of a larger blanket licence). And the apparently one-sided Apple-developer agreement does not require that Apple indemnify developers from suits based on technology that Apple provides.“
The importance of in-app payments to the iOS platform – something likely to be repeated on Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone in the months ahead – cannot be overstated.“
1. Why does Apple collect and compile this location data? Why did Apple choose to initiate tracking this data in its iOS 4 operating system?
2. Does Apple collect and compile this location data for laptops?
3. How is this data generated? (GPS, cell tower triangulation, WiFi triangulation, etc.)
4. How frequently is a user’s location recorded? What triggers the creation of a record of someone’s location?
5. How precise is this location data? Can it track a user’s location to 50 meters, 100 meters, etc.?
6. Why is this data not encrypted? What steps will Apple take to encrypt this data?
7. Why were Apple consumers never affirmatively informed of the collection and retention of their location data in this manner? Why did Apple not seek affirmative consent before doing so?
9. To whom, if anyone, including Apple, has this data been disclosed? When and why were these disclosures made?
* [via @Quantel], Ian Vertovec, DI Colorist at Light Iron, will be on the Quantel booth at #NABShow today & Tuesday at 3pm talking about “The Social Network“. (see also “Five Questions: Ian Vertovec, Colorist, Light Iron Digital”)
“The patent covers a feature that previews low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at a high resolution. Higher resolution requires more processing power and storage space. Kodak, which generated $838 million from patents last year, contends the image-preview feature is used in every digital camera and phone with a camera.”
Jibbigo is a “speech-to-speech translation app for your mobile device. You talk in one language, it talks back in the other. […] No data charges required–just your voice. Jibbigo is available in eight different language pairs on iTunes and the Android Market.”
Machine translation is a very difficult problem even for desktop/large computers. I see translation in three levels of difficulties, beginning with the hard problem of text-to-text translation, then speech-to-text translation, and the toughest one is speech-to-speech translation (the one Jibbigo tries to do). Why? Because speech-to-speech translation requires,
1) the original (e.g. English/Chinese) human voice be recognized and converted correctly into (English/Chinese) text;
2) the translation of recognized text into target language text (Chinese/English) be performed correctly (very hard in itself); and
3) the translated target text being read out in the target language correctly (should be easier but not always as you will see here).
I’ve spent days and many hours testing and exploring the Jibbigo iPad app (feeling like testing software in one of my previous jobs). The following is my review plus an edited video highlighting some of the tests I’ve conducted.
*** The Good/OK ***
* Translation of simple greetings (“Good morning.”, “Good Afternoon.” etc) were done correctly most of the time.
* Some simple English sentences were picked up and translated to Chinese correctly.
(e.g. “How much?” ==> “多少钱？”; “How about two million five hundred thousand dollars?” was translated to “2500000美元怎样？” (note: ; 2500000 was read as 2 million, 500 thousands); “Do you have orange juice?” ==> “有橙汁吗？”; “I live in Canada.” ==> “我住在加拿大。”)
* Jibbigo allows user to enter names and their Chinese translations. For example, I entered my name Kempton and my name in Chinese. Jibbigo was able to recognize my name “Kempton” in English and translated it to Chinese. Unfortunately, Jibbigo failed to pronounce my Chinese name correctly. More on this in the next section.
* Some simple sentences were translated somewhat correctly.
(e.g. “What time do I need to get up in the morning?” was translated to “我想要什么时候起床？” The translation missed the word “morning” “早晨/早上” and confused “need to” with “想要” (the word for “wish to”).
“Where can I rent a car?” was translated to “我在哪能租车吗？” . This Chinese translation is understandable but a better one may be “我在哪里可以租到车？” since the “吗” at the end is not really necessary. And being the picky me, I think “哪里可以” is stylistically better than “哪能”.
* To “protect” the user :), Jibbigo won’t display or translate profanities. So if you said “F*ck off!”, the Jibbigo will show it detected/picked up “<beep> off.” and actually create a beep and display “<beep>.” instead of doing any Chinese translation!
*** The Bad/Not-so-good ***
* The simple sentence of “Do you have steak?” was translated to the non-sensical “你有排怎么做？” instead of the correct one of “你有牛排吗？”.
* “I am having steak for dinner.” was incorrectly translated to “我的牛排吗。”, missing the word/idea of “dinner” and adding the question word “吗” for no good reason. A better translation may be “我的晚餐是牛排。” or “我吃牛排晚餐。”
* “The machine part number is 123456789.” was translated to “这个机器号码是123456789分。” The last word “分” is not needed and indeed confusing and misleading.
* “How much is your machine?” was badly translated to “你是多少钱？” meaning “How much are YOU?” Jibbigo missed the important word of “machine”. A better translation is “你的机器是多少钱？”
* “I need it next month.” was incorrectly translated to “我需要它。” missing the translation for “next month”. A better translation may be “我下个月需要它。”
* I think this one may be tough but important to crack. Jibbigo has problems with proper nouns. e.g. “China Airlines.” was translated to “中国航空公司。” when the proper Chinese name for this Taiwan-based airline is “中華航空公司”. Imagine, someone at the airport trying to fly “中国航空公司” and being told there is no such airline!
* “How about two million Canadian dollars?” was badly translated to “加2500000美元吗？”, misplacing the word “加” (for Canada?) and missing the fact that it is “Canadian dollars” and not US dollars “美元”. The correct translation should be “2500000加元怎样？”
* When the Chinese tester said hello and her Chinese name (which was entered into Jibbigo), the app picked up, “你好。我交换怀孕。” and translated the words to, “Hello. I am exchange.” Jibbigo goofed badly because “交换” and “怀孕” are the words for “exchange” and “pregnant”, very far off from her name!
* “Bee” was translated as “啤酒”, the words for “beer”! The correct Chinese words for bee are “蜜蜂”.
* And for some strange reason, Jibbigo failed to translate the following list of words when they were said individually. “Talk, Speak, Speaking, Love, Month,
*** Software stability problems and errors ***
* When iPad went into sleep/auto-lock mode (I set my iPad to go to sleep in 5 minutes) while Jibbigo is running, it will crash and will fail to record voice/function properly when the iPad is woken up.
*** Concluding comments ***
As a computer geek and someone who wants to see Jibbigo‘s technology working, I am disappointed to find Jibbigo failed to work as advertised. Based on my extensive testing, I cannot recommend Jibbigo. And as one Jibbigo user commented in his review, “I wouldn’t dare use this on a trip for fear of getting laughed at or smacked!“. To be truthful, I don’t think he was being excessively harsh.
I think the Jibbigo English to Chinese translation app development team needs to spend some time in resolving the various translation and stability problems in the current version of the software (Jan 21, 2011, Version 1.12226). I wish the Jibbigo team the best of luck.
P.S. The user can choose one of two language pairs, “English International <==> Chinese” or “English USA/Canada <==> Chinese”, I picked Canadian English.