Apple to build factory in Arizona creating 2000+ jobs

Apple announced a second Apple factory in the US, in Mesa, Arizona.

The purpose of the factory hasn’t been named specifically by Apple, though GT Advanced says it has entered “into a multi-year supply agreement with Apple Inc. to provide sapphire material.” Sapphire is used abundantly in Apple products, including the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and camera lens in the iPhone 5S. This gels nicely with the word about “components” Apple gave us.

Any chance of sapphire replacing gorilla glass in future iOS devices?

MacKenzie Bezos wrote an Amazon review of a book on Jeff Bezos and Amazon

MacKenzie Bezos wrote an Amazon review of *The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.

For example, when the author does include people whose accounts of a supportive and inspiring culture contradict his thesis, he refers to them dismissively throughout the book as robots. In an archive of the thousands of thank you messages written to Jeff over the years, a small sampling includes “I just wanted to thank you for giving my husband the opportunity to work for your company so many years ago and let you know that he always spoke kindly and enthusiastically of the distribution center, the people and you.” “Having finished my shift I thought I would send you a short email to say thank you. There is a fantastic team based here and we have super support. Our mentors are true Amazon angels providing guidance and showing great patience.” “I cried as I read the Career Choice announcement on Amazon today. What Amazon is doing to help its employees is affecting lives in the most meaningful way I can think of. It restores my faith in humanity.” It seems like unbalanced reporting to avoid including the point of view of more people like these (and to use narrative tricks to discredit those who are included), given how plentiful they are.

Bezos’s wife writes on his company’s site a review of a book about him and his company.

T-Mobile trashes the wireless business model

Businessweek reports on T-Mobile’s disruption of the wireless telecommunications business.

Legere has not been overcome by a temporary spasm of crazed generosity. His is merely the first company in the U.S. market to acknowledge reality. Wireless telecommunications in the U.S. is on its way to becoming what the industry has fought against for two decades: a commodity business, where carriers and un-carriers all look the same and prices keep going down.

Legere displayed his Jawbone bracelet and Samsung smartwatch. “People are going to have devices,” he said. “As a new connected capability comes about, customers should be able to use it. No reason they should restrict it.” By “they,” he means the carriers, the other guys, who are trying to cheat you.

Tim Cook supports workplace equality

Tim Cook writes about workplace equality on Wall Street Journal.

Long before I started work as the CEO of Apple, I became aware of a fundamental truth: People are much more willing to give of themselves when they feel that their selves are being fully recognized and embraced.

As we see it, embracing people’s individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights. It also turns out to be great for the creativity that drives our business. We’ve found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives.

This is a stark contrast to a certain CEO or a certain president.

Overview of iCloud Keychain

Jon Brodkin gives a good overview of iCloud Keychain.

It is a very good read to understand the function, and limitations, of iCloud Keychain. However, Brodkin needs to manage his expectations. You get what you paid for.

But in almost every other way, iCloud Keychain falls short of the functionality one expects from a paid password manager.

I think this is precisely what iCloud Keychain is built for: users who don’t have a password manager or refuse to pay for one.

iCloud Keychain is indeed a useful addition to OS X and iOS, especially for people who use Safari across both operating systems. On iOS, iCloud Keychain fills the chief gap in third-party password managers—the lack of integration with Safari. For something that comes free with the operating system, that’s a nice feature. Combined with the automatic password generator (despite its non-customizability), iCloud Keychain can help people who don’t already use a password manager improve their defenses against hackers.

BlackBerry new lease of life?

The Globe and Mail reports Fairfax injecting funds instead of buying BlackBerry

Instead of proceeding with a buyout deal, Fairfax and a group of unnamed investors – which sources say includes a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund – agreed to pump $1-billion into the smartphone maker, giving it more money to work with as it tries to arrest a downward spiral in sales and market share.

A second group, led by BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis and private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, came forward with a highly conditional takeover offer during a dramatic weekend of negotiations that also resulted in the departure of Thorsten Heins, who has been BlackBerry’s chief executive officer since early 2012.

This is probably a smarter move than to buy the company and watch it fail.

Desperate social media managers

Vice takes a look at social media engagements by large companies.

Tom McElligott, founding creative partner of the great Minneapolis ad agency, Fallon McElligott Rice, once said, and I paraphrase because this was pre-internet 1980s: I would much rather overestimate than underestimate the intelligence of the consumer. That quote really stuck with me in ad school, and McElligott became an early hero of mine. You can see some of his creative work, which includes the brilliant Rolling Stone “Perception/Reality” trade campaign, here.

McElligott was a very smart ad man. Today, many of the social media managers at large and important companies are, by contrast, not very smart ad men. To say that they regularly underestimate their customers’ intelligence would be a great understatement. They seem to believe their customers have the brain power of a baked potato.

I feel insulted each time I see blatant engagement baiting on social media. Do something smart or witty to make me want to respond.

Ditching Gmail for IMAP

Joe Kissell ditches Gmail.

Some of my complaints are specific to Apple Mail, and I did consider switching email clients. But though I’ve tried many other clients (such as Bloop’s $2 Airmail, the $10 Postbox, and Google’s $10 Sparrow), I’ve never found one that offers all the features I rely on from a combination of Mail and half a dozen third-party plugins. In any case, even a perfect client wouldn’t solve Gmail’s privacy issues, outages, and wacky IMAP implementation.

This is a very drastic move but I wonder how many others have felt the same way as Kissell.

Issues with Gmail when using Mail on Mavericks

In-depth reporting on the issues when using Mail on Mavericks with your Gmail account.

Now, here’s what’s going to happen. Mail — despite the fact that it has already cached all your Gmail messages — will download all of them again. For me, with about 321,000 messages totaling over 4 GB, that took nearly two full days, even with a super-fast Internet connection. That’s an unreasonably long period of time, and a crazy waste of bandwidth since I already had copies of all those messages! Mail actually does this in stages, and I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say that at a certain point in the process, your ~/Library/Mail folder could be twice as large as it should be, or even larger. Unless you’re running critically low on disk space, don’t panic about that, because it’ll eventually settle down — but be aware that it could take Mail a very, very long time to purge all those duplicate messages and return your ~/Library/Mail folder to a reasonable size.

I swore by Sparrow before it got bought over by Google. Now I reply on Airmail on Mac and Mailbox on iOS.

UPDATE: Apple has since addressed the issues by updating the Mail app for Mavericks.

The Nexus 5 still has an underperforming camera

I switched from an iPhone 5 to the Google Nexus 4 nearly a year ago, and by far the only major complaint I had was the camera. It’s really disappointing to see that Google still hasn’t fixed it in the Nexus 5.

Nexus 5 review

Let me just reiterate this point: in the right light, with a steady hand and no moving (or slow-moving) subjects, the camera can take excellent photos. It’s actually really upsetting because it suggests the Nexus 5 is capable of so much more — particularly with macro shots. But, in situations where those three factors are not in play, you will struggle to take a good photo. That means that by the time the lazy autofocus captures your scene, your kid will have stopped making that face, your friends will have thrown back their Jaeger shots, or your pet will no longer be doing whatever hilarious thing it was doing.