TMO Daily Observations 2015-03-04: Apple’s Pro-worker Stance in Silicon Valley

6 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple is making a positive move with contract workers in Silicon Valley by hiring its own security staff. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at Apple's decision to bring its contract security staff in house and how that fits in with the Silicon Valley economy. They also have some thoughts on Nissan-Renault's praise for Apple's plans for electric cars.

Apple’s Security Contractors are about to Become Employees

1 hour ago · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple has decided to transition its on-site contract security force into company employees at key Silicon Valley locations. Apple's decision follows a similar move by Google last October, and is being praised by local union representatives as a positive economic change.

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Seeing Apple take a positive stance on local employee conditions instead of just overseas factory workers is great. Hopefully moves like this from Apple and Google will set an example other Silicon Valley tech companies will follow.

Apple Working on Settlement with A123 after Hiring Battery Employees

2 hours, 8 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · News

A new court filing revealed Apple is working on reaching an out of court settlement with A123 Systems after getting hit with a lawsuit for hiring away key vehicle battery employees. Apple requested an extension on Tuesday for its response to A123's lawsuit saying it is exploring a potential resolution with the company.

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Apple had to know going into these hires that a lawsuit was a very real possibility. That means there's a good chance the company is ready to throw enough money at the problem to make A123 System's lawsuit go away.

Gartner Says Apple Beat Samsung in Smartphones in December Quarter

9:11 PM EST, Mar. 3rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Apple

Gartner announced on Tuesday that Apple topped Samsung in smartphone sales during the December quarter of 2014. While Apple has long made between most and all of the hardware profits in the smartphone industry, this is the first time in many years that Apple can claim to be the top smartphone maker in mere units-sold terms.

Nissan-Renault CEO Says Apple Car Is ‘Good News for Us’

5:38 PM EST, Mar. 3rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Nissan-Renault CEO Says Apple Car Is 'Good News for Us'

The CEO of the Nissan-Renault Alliance, Carlos Ghosn, said on Monday that Apple making an electric car would be "good news for us." During a keynote address at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, Mr. Ghosn effectively said that Apple's entrance to the market would raise awareness of electric cars, something that could help propel them into the mainstream.

White Hat Security Hacker Bundle: $49

5:08 PM EST, Mar. 3rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

White Hat Security Hacker Bundle: $49

We have a bundle of six training courses that will teach you to protect yourself on the Internet. There's a course on Word Press security, the command line in Linux, a technical and security course on OS X, a course on white hat hacking and penetration, a course on ethical hacking, and a course on Web scraping. Through our deal, this bundle is just $49, more than 90 percent off retail.

$415M Settlement in Apple, Google Anti-poaching Case gets Preliminary OK

2:34 PM EST, Mar. 3rd, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

The US$415 million settlement Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe proposed in the employee anti-poaching lawsuit brought by Silicon Valley employees has a preliminary greenlight. Judge Lucy Koh chose not to deny the settlement amount and instead has scheduled a new hearing where it will likely get her official nod of approval.

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The companies involved in the employee anti-poaching scheme were essentially caught red-handed. It's good to see this case closing in on a real settlement so everyone who was impacted by not being able to land a better job can finally move on.

Google Ready to Launch it Own Cell Service Network

9:52 AM EST, Mar. 3rd, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Google has plans to go beyond making the operating system for your smartphone and now wants to offer its own cell service, too. The Internet search giant said it plans to make an announcement in the coming months, and that it doesn't plan to compete with the current crop of cell service providers.

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Google launching its own MVNO cell service sounds like another shakeup for the market even though the company says this is a way for it to experiment. If Google offers price plans and features AT&T and Verizon customers find appealing, they'll have to respond or risk losing some of their marketshare—just as they've had to do with T-Mobile.

Pebble Adds Steel to its New Time Smartwatch Lineup

9:04 AM EST, Mar. 3rd, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Pebble clearly wasn't done with its new smartwatch announcements when it unveiled its Kickstarter for Pebble Time because now you can preorder Pebble Time Steel, too. The Steel version of Pebble Time comes with an all metal body instead of the Time's metal bezel on a plastic body, plus it sports longer batter life.

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Seeing people flip over Pebble Time and Pebble Steel doesn't necessarily mean the entire market has been holding out waiting for something besides the devices that are already shipping, but it does show that consumers who want certain brands are willing to buy without a second thought. That's a very good sign for Apple Watch when it goes on sale.

Apple’s World Gallery Highlights iPhone 6 Photographs

10:49 PM EST, Mar. 2nd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Apple doesn't attend things like CES or this week's Mobile World Congress, at least not in an official capacity, but the company has a knack for sucking the wind of their PR sails. On Monday, Apple launched the iPhone 6 World Gallery, a collection of beautiful photographs all taken with the iPhone 6. The beautiful shot below was taken by Renee M. using Camera, Instagram, and Flickr apps. There are dozens more in the World Gallery, and they're worth your time.

Dragon Dictate for Mac 4: $99.99

7:33 PM EST, Mar. 2nd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Dragon Dictate for Mac 4: $99.99

We have a great deal on Dragon Dictate 4 for the Mac from Nuance. these are the people Apple relies on for speech recognition in Siri—they're the best in the world at this stuff. Dragon Dictate 4 for the Mac retails for $200, but with our deal you can get it for half that, $99.99.