[MyAppleMenu] Jan 21, 2012

applesurf at myapplemenu.com applesurf at myapplemenu.com
Sat Jan 21 18:59:00 EST 2012

**** Jobs Was Told Anti-poaching Idea "Likely Illegal" ****
Dan Levine, Reuters

> In the summer of 2007, Apple's Steve Jobs received a note from then-Palm chief executive Ed Colligan, according to correspondence revealed in a lawsuit over employee poaching.

> The note was made public in a court filing on Thursday in a proposed class action brought by five software engineers against Apple Inc and other tech companies including Google Inc and Intel Corp.

**** Apple's iCloud User Experience Far From Heavenly ****
Allan Hoffman, The Star-Ledger

> The various pieces of iCloud have been released in recent months, and I'm not impressed. In fact, I've been frustrated, more than anything else, when using iCloud. Apple talked this up like it would do for the cloud what it did for music and the phone, and it hasn't, not by a long shot.

**** How Santorum Gets Apple To Move From China To Charleston ****
Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Fortune

> "Apple, you have all those employees over there, you make all those profits over there. If you want to bring that money back, right now you pay a 35% tax. Under our plan, if you bring it back and invest it in plant and equipment here in Charleston – you pay nothing. You put that money to work, if you invest it, you pay nothing – it's a powerful incentive."

The problem, as mentioned by Apple, is not (just) money, but also skilled staff.

**** The Price Of Apple ****
James Kwak, The Baseline Scenario

> I have a MacBook Pro and an iPad (and an LG phone, and a Samsung monitor, . . .). While I think OS X is far better than Windows (or Linux if, like me, you’re not a power user), I would gladly switch back if I had confidence that my computer’s manufacturer was an appreciably, demonstrably better employer than Foxconn. And I would pay more, too, just like I pay more for free-range eggs and organic food (which I buy for the environmental impact, not the health benefits). But while there are certification programs that provide some confidence that your coffee isn’t the product of imperial exploitation, I’m not aware of such programs for electronics. Maybe there are already, and I just don’t know about them.

**** Review: Corel AfterShot Pro ****
IT Enquirer

> Corel has released its first professional photo catalogue and RAW editing software, AfterShot Pro. It’s fast, extremely flexible and has powerful technologies under the hood. It has everything to be a real winner, except perhaps for its interface which to my personal taste needs a bit more polish.

**** On The Proprietary Nature Of The iBooks Author File Format ****
John Gruber, Daring Fireball

> As with the end-user licensing kerfuffle, it’s worth noting that the app’s name is iBooks Author, not eBooks Author. Just because there’s demand for an open-standards-based e-book production and layout tool of the scope and caliber of iBooks Author, doesn’t mean Apple has any interest in making such a tool.

**** A Practical Guide To Silencing Your iPhone ****
Glenn Fleishman, The Seattle Times

> I've been involved in a debate for days on Twitter and on comment forums with those who think the gentleman was an idiot who should have read the manual before ever daring touch his phone, those who think all phones should be powered fully off (not just have the ringer silenced for calls) while attending performances, and those who think Apple's operating system failed to give the owner enough warning.

> I leave it to you to decide with which of those or other alternatives you agree. But forearmed is forewarned: I have found that many people are confused about the states in which an iPhone makes a squawk. Here's a guide to shushing your iPhone.

If you are going to a concert, a movie, or a funeral, you have to know how to make your iPhone completely silent.

**** Hands On With iBooks 2 ****
Leah Yamshon, Macworld

> What I found were books that feature stunning images and impressive graphics that make traditional printed textbooks feel out-of-date.

**** Hands-on: iBooks 2 Introduces Interface Changes, Pop Quizzes ****
Cesar Torres, Ars Technica

> Reading in iBooks 2 feels very similar to reading nonfiction books in iBooks (or any other e-reader), but its seamless design offers lots of multimedia without making it feel like a moving billboard. Users don't have to interact with the new features unless they want to. The features that students will use often to study, such as annotating and highlighting, feel a little basic and could benefit from sharing capabilities. E-mailing notes from the text could become cumbersome, especially since so many students nowadays collaborate using Dropbox, wikis, and other collaborative tools.

**** Apple's Announcements Further iPad Revolution In Education ****
Fraser Speirs, Macworld

> I understand why Apple is pushing on this: the textbook is culturally and politically embedded in the American education system. It’s also an obvious and easily understood way to sell the benefits of the iPad to the people who control educational spending. Such people are often not ready to hear a pitch about teachers and pupils creating their own materials, using the Internet for learning, and communicating with peers and experts around the world.

**** Apple's Textbook Plan Feels Like A Blast From The Past ****
Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

> What Apple demonstrates with a textbook-optimized version of iBooks is nothing special in this context; only the iPad makes it a new proposition. Making interactive multimedia available as part of education, whether in the context of a lesson or a course of study isn’t new. The power, portability, touch interaction, and immersion of the iPad relative to what it can perform is different. But that has more to do with how frequently and readily a student pulls out a book to study (digital or otherwise): a laptop isn’t inherently more tedious to use when that’s the format in which a textbook or instructional program is made available.

> Apple seems to think that making the tool available solves the problem of pedagogy. Textbook makers and perhaps entrepreneurs have been just waiting for the moment in which they could take all this media and stick it together. It’s as if Apple has forgotten interactive CD-ROMs, and isn’t aware of the current generation of textbooks as Web apps, easily available from any desktop or laptop computer in a school.

**** Enthusiasm For iBooks Author Marred By Licensing, Format Issues ****
Chris Foresman, Ars Technica

> e-book publishing experts have concerns about the formatting that iBooks Author can output, which isn't fully ePub 2 or ePub 3 compliant. Furthermore, Apple has added a clause to iBooks Author's end user license agreement that prohibits selling e-books created with iBooks Author anywhere but the iBookstore.

**** Pixelmator 2.0 Provides Powerful Image Editing In A Sleek Package ****
Chris McVeigh, Macworld

> Pixelmator 2.0 provides an incredibly rare combination of ease of use, powerful features, and a low price tag. It doesn’t offer the complete feature set of its more robust competitor, but the features it does provide rival those you’ll find in Photoshop.

The Tomorrow Weblog
**** E-Testing: The Future Is Here ****
Sam Kilb, New York Times

> E-testing centers may be the future of assessment. The idea is not just to advance test-taking through technology, but to free up class time.

MyAppleMenu Reader
**** Haunted By The Handmaid's Tale ****
Margaret Atwood, The Guardian

> When asked whether <i>The Handmaid's Tale</i> is about to "come true", I remind myself that there are two futures in the book, and that if the first one comes true, the second one may do so also.

**** Book Review: 'The Fat Years' By Chan Koonchung ****
David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

> More essential is his portrayal of contemporary China as a place of laughter and forgetting, in which acquisitiveness and creature comforts have insulated the population — at least, the socially mobile, urban population — from larger questions of liberty and identity.

**** An Honourable Man By Gillian Slovo – Review ****
Clare Clark, The Guardian

> Against the backdrop of Gordon's magnificent, misguided ambitions for Khartoum, Slovo explores the essential nature of goodness. All three of the novel's primary characters – the military hero, the selfless doctor, the Angel in the House – represent paradigms of Victorian virtue but, as Slovo shows, goodness is not an absolute. It is subjective and conditional, its value often quantifiable only after the event.

**** French Children Don't Throw Food By Pamela Druckerman – Review ****
Michele Hanson, The Guardian

> New Yorker Pamela Druckerman married an Englishman and lived with him in Paris, where she had a baby, closely followed by twins. In England or the US she might have found sympathy and chummed up with similarly sleep-deprived, frazzled new mums. But motherhood in Paris was different.

**** The Offer ****
Olivia McCannon, The Guardian

**** Lawrence Wong "Surprised" By WP's Pay Clarification ****
Channel NewsAsia

> In a post made on Saturday on his Facebook page, Mr Wong highlighted a point Mr Giam made in the report - that WP had chosen the MX9 pay even though it was pegged to that of high income earners in the private sector.

> Mr Wong said this differs from its explanation in Parliament, where Mr Giam and his WP colleagues claimed MX9 represented the "general wage level" of Singaporeans.

**** Cut In Ministers’ Pay Is Good, But Detailed Mechanisms Matter ****
Alex Au, Yawning Bread

> The incentive structure appears hard-wired to reward ministers for “business as usual”: Widen the income gap, keep up immigration, continue shovelling profits to corporates at the expense of personal pockets, and raise taxes and government fees.

Anytime you tie rewards to a measurement, the measurement can then be tweaked to give higher rewards. Whether it's number of complaints from customers per month, number of solved programming bugs per week, or unemployment figure.

**** Post On Burger King A Hoax ****
Annabelle Liang, The New Paper

**** Chefs Keep Meals On Right Course ****
Ronnie Crocker, San Antonio Express-News

> At stake were not an aspiring chef's dreams of fame, but the comfort and entertainment of travelers on some of the world's longest airline flights. Sanamvenkata is the executive chef of Houston-based Chelsea Food Services, which prepares and packages meals to be served aboard Singapore Airlines' flights from Bush Intercontinental Airport to Moscow.

**** Bus Liberalisation Plan Shelved For Now ****
Christopher Tan, Straits Times

> A plan to liberalise the public bus market by getting new and existing players to bid for the right to run services along routes looks stuck in neutral gear.

> The change, to have been in place in 2010, was to have cast the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as the master bus-route planner, which would eventually package routes in parcels for which bus operators would bid.

> The LTA has since been made master bus-route planner, but the other half of the plan has been put on the back burner.

If I recall correctly, no new bus routes were introduced since LTA took over the job of route planning a few years back. No long-distance routes were also broken up or removed, as planned by LTA earlier in this failed exercise.
In my opinion, the route-planning job should be given back to the two bus-transport operators, but more leeway should be given to the two operators to have bus routes that overlaps each other's bus and rail services.

**** Mosque: We Tried To Help Man Who Stole $32 From Donation Box ****
Tham Yuen-C, Straits Times

> The man who was jailed a year for stealing $32 from a donation box at a mosque was a recalcitrant it had tried to help for years - without success. Darussalam Mosque issued a statement on Friday to explain why Noraizam Abdullah was turned over to the police for what seemed a minor theft.

**** WP Should Explain Change In Position ****
Andrew Loh, Publichouse.sg

> The WP’s shift in policy on the issue of ministerial salaries – of benchmarking it to MP allowance and not “internationally against the political office of developed countries” – is one which is under scrutiny and the party should explain its new position, in the name of accountability and transparency befitting, as the party itself says, a first world parliament.

> The public, and its supporters, deserve to know.

**** En-Bloc Fever Receding? ****
Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore Government

> It looks like the en-bloc fever is receding. If so, it signals the increasing stabilisation of our property market. This will be a good development for Singapore in the Year of the Dragon.

**** Learning To Cope Alone ****
Seah Chiang Nee, The Star

> After reading about China’s strong growth and predictions of its longer-term future, I am convinced that the flow of “cheap unskilled” workers from China will dry up in another generation.

> This means that the shortage we are experiencing during this Chinese New Year will be many times more serious in possibly 20 years.

**** Lawrence Wong - Change Also Must Explain ****
Chua Chin Leng, My Singapore News

> As the ruling party and govt, and the champion of transparency and clean wage and clean everything, perhaps the PAP should take the lead to show the smaller parties what transparency and accountability mean. Before the WP try to explain anything, which may not be up to the standard of the PAP’s KPI or sort of, and be asked to explain more, PAP may want to set a few examples like say, why the change to cut ministerial pay when the pay was actually raised recently, including those of the President? And there should be more disclosure of what the ministers were actually paid over the last 3 years, 2008, 2009, and 2010. The people are still in the dark despite all the claims of transparency and clean wage. Set the example by explaining and telling the people about them.

Less secrets please.

**** 厨房占学院土地 “纸包鸡”餐室前途未卜 ****
胡洁梅, 联合早报

> 富有甘榜特色,以“纸包鸡”闻名的友联农场餐室,因厨房占据了已属于新加坡管理学院的土地而得拆除,让学校进行扩充工程。位于金文泰的餐室要继续营业,就得在剩有的土地另造厨房,或另觅新地点。

**** PAP MPs Not Being 'Adversarial' But Pointing Out Flaws In Argument ****
Lou Woei Cherng, Today

> I have no problems with a robust debate: Civility does not mean keeping silent. It is the duty of MPs to point out flaws in any argument, so that only good ideas go through. I am glad that PAP MPs are taking their duties seriously.

The <a href="http://www.todayonline.com/Voices/EDC120120-0000040/Why-the-adversarial-tone-during-salary-debate?">original article</a>, on the other hand, observed that there is a difference between PAP ministers and PAP backbenchers in "pointing out flaws".

**** Police Question Filmmaker Again Over Political Forum ****

> In a statement yesterday, SFD executive director James Gomez claimed that Mr See was told by a police officer that getting a foreigner to talk at a private forum may tantamount to an offence if it is done without any clearance.

> A police statement had said then that "the organisers of the forum are being investigated for possibly organising a public assembly without a permit, which is an offence under Section 16(1)(a) of the Public Order Act 2009. Indoor public assemblies are only exempted from requiring a permit if the exemption criteria are met. These criteria include a requirement that the organisers and speakers are all Singapore citizens".

**** Singapore Hawker Stalls Move Indoors ****
Gisela Williams, New York Times

**** WP Clarifies Gerald Giam's Remark In Parliament ****
Tessa Wong, Straits Times

> The Workers' Party (WP) has clarified a controversial remark its Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam made in Parliament this week about the formula used for its proposed ministerial salary framework.

> Mr Giam had said that he did not know how the salary levels of MX9 (Superscale) civil servants - which the WP had used as its benchmark - were derived.

> On Friday, he said the WP knew this MX9 salary benchmark was pegged to private sector pay, but did not know the details of how it was pegged.

**** Inconvenience May Be The Price For More Banking Security ****
Kai Fong, Yahoo!

> Banks will confine the usage of all new and existing ATM cards only to Singapore by end-June this year, unless otherwise instructed by customers, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) announced on Friday.

> By the end of this year, all member banks will be issuing new tokens with enhanced security features for online banking transactions. It is understood that customers with more than one bank may then have to carry around more than one token if physical tokens are issued.

My one concern is this: my iPhone has great accessibility features, for people that have sight problems. These tokens probably don't. Banks need to make sure people with sight problems can continue to make use of online banking services.

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