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Sep
22

How Is Apple On The Environment?

One of the greatest concerns in the age of technology is the affect that these amazing inventions will have on the health of human beings and the world that we live in. So how does a company like Apple, which is so vast and broadsweeping, do when it comes to taking care of the environment and people?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged to regulate chemicals and protect human health by safeguarding the natural environment: air, water, and land.  It monitors companies and other agencies to ensure that businesses in the U.S. are seeking to keep people and the natural environment safe.  According to MacObserver, “The EPA rates Apple Computer highest amongst producers of notebook computers, and fairly well compared to producers of desktop computers and LCD displays.”

Other organizations however, such as GreenPeace, have scored Apple low on their environmental care scale. They claim that, “Despite being a leader in innovation and design,” the non-profit organization said, “Apple has made absolutely no improvements to its policies or practices since the ranking was first released three months ago.”

So which is it? Is Apple a leader in environmental care or a deceitful international company that destroys the earth and humans while making money from them? Is GreenPeace target large corporations simply to bring them down and is the EPA turning a blind eye to the issues with Apple?

I would say that most likely the answer is, ‘Yes’. Somewhere in the middle, Apple is both having a negative effect on our environment and seeking to better it. This is where we, the consumers, play an integral role. It is the spending and living choices that we make that determine how companies like Apple reac to environmental issues. It is the suggestions that we make and the way in which we ‘speak with our wallet’ that shape the policies of these major companies.

At the risk of sounding optimistic and democratic, the consumer system is based on serving the needs of individuals and their spending habits. Therefore, if you and I are seeking to buy products and support companies that are environmentally minded, and are informed as to what that means, then perhaps we have a chance at keeping companies like Apple and others accountable.

Its something to think about.

What do you think?

Sep
15

The Evolution of iTunes

In 9 years we have seen possibly one of the greatest transitions in music media history. In 2001, Apple debuted their new product, iTunes, a place to store and organize your music on your computer. 8 years later, Apple has rolled out iTunes 09, a program that has advanced and improved music and media to a whole new level. iTunes has moved to a product that handles music, movies, TV shows, music videos, podcasts, audiobooks, iPhone applications, iPod games, ringtones, and Internet radio. It supports purchasing, renting, and importing. It manages iPods, iPhones, and the Apple TV. It coordinates the syncing of contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, mail accounts, and even photos. And it manages wireless streaming to remote AirPort and Apple TV units. This is a long list of features and the updates are growing as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Event of last week introduced new features that have been on wish lists for some time now. Here’s a look at a few updates:

-Trying To Get The Interface Right-One of the most difficult parts of any program is getting it to interact properly with its users. iTunes is trying again with new ways to explain how to get music if you don’t have any, as well as easier ways to categorize and browse the music and movies that you do have.

-Working with the iPhone-is one of the newest features that iTunes promotes. When you select the Applications item in the iTunes sidebar, you can now view your purchased iPhone apps in list, grid or Cover Flow mode. But the most exciting part of the iTunes/iPhone relationship is the chance to control the new tools for managing what gets synced to your iPhone or iPod touch and how those apps are organized on the device.

-Syncing new music-iTunes 9 also improves the options for choosing which media are synced to your iPhones and iPods. For example, the Music tab now lets you choose to sync any combination of playlists (Genius mixes and playlists included), artists, and genres. So, for example, you can easily copy just your favorite three playlists, along with everything by your favorite band, and all tracks classified as Alternative; there’s even a search field for the Artists list to make it easier to find particular artists.

Check out macworld for more on the iTunes9 updates.

Sep
09

What Will Today’s Rock’n'Roll Event Bring?

lets-rock1

Apple is planning a special, invitation only, rock ‘n’ roll event today to roll out new products and innovations. The event will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, Calif., located in the same complex as the Moscone Center, site of Macworld Expo and Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). It will occur at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2009.

In the past, these special events have been used by Apple to renovate its music products, iPods and iTunes to name a few. Look for similar trends to continue today as the ‘big holidays’ are just around the corner. Here’s three things that we hope to see.

1. iTunes Upgrade: The increasingly complex and cutting edge way to store and play your music is in need of a new edge. While the ‘genius’ feature and other gadgets on the iTunes are cool, we’re looking for the next neat feature.

2. iPod Touch Facelift: This product has become on of Apple’s most important for revenue stream. It’d be nice to see similar upgrades to the Touch as occur on iTunes.

3. The Touted Tablet Device: The Device has been long-rumored and is becoming long-awaited. A new type of device that will be cutting edge, as Apple usually is, allowing iPhone like movement on a computer apparatus. This thing would be sure to be a must have by Apple lovers this fall.

The party’s about to start! Get ready to rock’n'roll! Check out macworld for live updates.