iParliament

9 07 2015

or

Angela, Arnold, and the iPad

Nearly all members (631) of the German parliament use iPads even when joining full sessions. Only devices without fan and keyboard are allowed in the plenary, speeches are allowed to be read from a tablet.

Early beginnings in 2010 …

It’s been called the “Jesus Tablet,” the “iGod,” and more than two million of them have been sold already, but don’t try to bring your iPad along with you to Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag.

Jimmy Schulz, a member of parliament with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), drew criticism this week after using his new iPad during a speech before the Bundestag. “One of the presidents of the Bundestag told me that the iPad usage had violated policies,” Schulz told the Berliner Kurier newspaper.



Schulz had been the first member of parliament to eschew pen and paper and instead use an iPad as the cue card for his talking points. The issue is to be taken up by the Bundestag’s Committee on the Rules of Procedure, a parliament spokesperson told the newspaper.

Germany’s Bundestag has a blanket ban on the use of computers by anyone but journalists inside the parliamentary plenary hall, where traditional, memorized rhetoric is the preferred method of speech-giving.

But 41-year-old Schulz would like to see the Bundestag get wired. “The age of the telefax and telex has passed,” he told the newspaper, taking a swipe at parliament’s Luddite rules. “The Bundestag also needs to open itself up to new media.” The FDP’s parliamentary group is pushing for permission to use digital files in Germany’s legislative body.

“It is not acceptable that we have to continue schlepping mountains of files around with us,” Schulz said.

(Source Spiegel, 2010)

Rules of procedure were changed after MP Jimmy Schultz made his first speech in the plenary hall with an iPad in 2010. 

Angela goes Hollywood …

It was Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of US state California, who donated an iPad to Dr. Angela Merkel, chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, in April 2010, shortly after the initial launch of Steve Jobs masterpiece. She studied physics and in many cases this goes along with becoming a tech nerd.

And there’s even more …

Doesn’t the German parliament look as futuristic as Apple’s spaceship?

Other countries …

According to Kenya’s Standard Digital News, the government has purchased 450 iPads; and, due to the higher cost of electronics in the country, that will add up to somewhere around $350,000. Each tablet ranges in cost from 55,000 Kenyan shillings (~$640) to 70,000 shillings (~$815). That is a fairly high cost for the devices, but Kenya’s GDP has been skyrocketing recently. In 1993, it was a mere $5.75 billion, by 1999 it was up to $14.09 billion, and as of 2012 it had hit $37.23 billion. And, giving members of government iPads will seriously cut down printing costs of course. 

Apps not only for MPs …

There are many apps available at Apple’s App Store referring to work of politicians in parliaments. Here is just one example:

My Constituency – UK Parliament

There are 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK House of Commons. Each MP is elected by voters in 650 constituency areas. CurrentLy 533 constituencies in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern ireland.

The ‘My Constituency’ iPad app has been created in the House of Commons Library to display key statistics for each constituency area. These include election results, unemployment, youth unemployment and population, in this version new datasets have been added and improvements to the dispLays have been made.

Other apps are Bundestag (Germany), Swiss Parl, Governing Australia, Parliament of Mongolia, Parliament of Singapore, Parliament of South Africa, etc.

Reducing costs …

A UK government experiment with iPads has resulted in major cost savings and an enthusiastic adoption of the tablets by politicians, the head of IT in parliament has said.

Politicians have been using the tablets to store notes for debates as part of a year-long experiment that began in spring 2011. 

“We’ve been looking at the investment cost of iPads versus printing, and we’re coming up with a good story,” Miller, head of Parliamentary ICT (PICT), told the audience in London. “Even if I replace iPads twice a year, it’s cheaper than our encrypted laptops.”

Finally …

As you can see it’s not only the business sector, the educational sector, the health care sector, schools and universities, etc. where iPads are the preferred devices.

The well-known slogans of Apple 

Thinnovation.
There’s something in the air.
State-of-the-art meets state-of-the-art.
Redesigned. Reengineered, Re-everythinged.

regarding the MacBook Air could be easily re-activated for the new iPad Air.

Related links …

About the iPad
iPad @ Universities

Thanks for surfing by.






20 Years Later

30 04 2015

an opinion which came up in the Stone Age of Mobiles must be revised.

The New York Times Sep 17, 1995 …

The Newton, Apple’s hand-held computer, is on the brink of a second life, and industry analysts who have seen prototypes say the new version comes significantly closer to meeting its original promise than the first model, which was widely derided as John Sculley’s folly.

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At a closed meeting for about 400 software developers in San Francisco early this month, Apple Computer Inc. introduced new Newton software. People close to the company said the new operating system, called the Newton OS 2.0, will go on sale in November.

People who have used the new Newton say it does a better job of recognizing handwritten input, exchanges data with desktop computers more efficiently and has an improved user interface. But the personal digital assistant or P.D.A.,

is still a technology in search of a market.

“In the long run there is no doubt people will carry around small computers much like pagers today,”

said Amy Wohl, president of Wohl Associates Consulting Group.

“But it’s still not clear that Apple will be one of the major providers of these systems.”

Credits …

As always, Apple is responsible for the track record but we should also give credits to Microsoft. Companies always stimulate each other to innovate. That means:

Something original and more effective and, as a consequence, new, that “breaks into” the market or society and initiates a significant impact.

There is no doubt that the iPad was not only a shining example for innovation but also for disruptive technology.

Related links …

Ap(pl)es

About the iPad

Thanks for dropping by.





Happy Birthday iPad

3 04 2015

A shining example for disruptive technology.

I’m talking about the iPad launched on April 3, 2010 designed by Apple in California and assembled by Foxconn in China.

It’s easy to forget that people once marveled at the interactive tablets carried around by characters in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, or the touch screens in Spielberg’s Minority Report – dream futures that have become reality. In 1983 Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stated that his ultimate ambition was

to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes…

That vision would take him 27 years to realize and after the first launch even orangutans in the Smithsonian National Zoo have worked out how to use this new category of portable devices and part of the e-loot of many human beings.

  

Apple’s way through all areas of life started in 2007 with the iPhone and got a significant improvement with the release of the iPad in 2010. This all was made possible by a large number of excellent scientists and engineers who developed the touch screen which today serves as a basis for a new style of connecting people with each other and more.

The iPad became a transformative tool in education as it can house all resources (books, readings, video, audio), connects to the internet for doing research, provides a vehicle for maintaining communication, replaces ‘dead tree’ paper versions of resources and does it all in an easy to carry around, quick starting, and simple interface.

The triumphal march of the tablet through people of all ages is because a touchscreen is much nearer to human activities than any other device or textbook can be. 

What we do is mostly what we do with our hands.

It’s our first approach to new things. Creating artworks, modeling new devices or writing down all the ideas leading to the E=m c c equation on a sheet of paper while walking through the room and reflecting our thoughts is almost always done by hand.

More …

Ap(pl)es

About the iPad

iPad @ Universities

Thanks for dropping by.

It’s likely that you found the way just with your fingers.





iOS in the car

20 03 2015

or

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This can happen if a high-tech car (a brand new Audi A3 with state-of-the-art security features), an iPhone (a generally disturbing factor like any other electronic device in the hands of humans), and an experienced driver (but inattentive for just a second) come together on a German Autobahn (freeway) and cause a rear-end collision with an extremely high deceleration. See the photo, does it look like a heavy impact? No, but it was horrible and fortunately the car got sidetracked because the other party drove a brand new Volkswagen designed to redirect forces.

It was on February 11, 2015 and the car (fortunately a fully insured rental car) was a total loss. The driver, it was me, still suffers from lots of bruises and a breastbone fracture caused by various airbags which opened in a jiffy to prevent the loss of an Apple fan.

You might call me a moron but you shouldn’t forget that humans frequently are as buggy as iOS 8. Shit happens Crashes happen.

Here is the recommendation for all of you based on my experience:

Your iThing is a really useful e-helper but neither an iPhone, nor an iPad, nor a Watch, nor any other iOS based feature (except navigation) should be used in a moving 4-wheel mobile device.

The human brain is a processor with a single CPU (nevertheless in some way much more powerful than any 64-Bit iThing ever can be) and it’s not capable of multitasking. It either focuses on the traffic or communicates with your iThing regardless of talking to SIRI or listening to Apple’s voice assistant intensively.

Whatever Apple will tell you

“Invite more apps along for the ride.”
or
“CarPlay The best iPhone experience on four wheels.”

iOS in the car is only helpful if it’s working quietly in the background, giving you some short audio advices, or just monitors what you are doing. Users are acquainted with all the security advices but often do not act rational. That’s what vendors of infotainment systems know but ignore when advertising their products.

Some headlines showing the facts …

Thats what I found with a quick Google search:

  • Distractions caused by smartphones contribute to about 25% of U.S. automobile accidents
  • Wake-up call: Accidents linked to smartphone use rising in Tokyo
  • Some 40 million Koreans now have smartphones, and an increasing number of them are causing accidents in busy areas
  • Germany’s Autobahnen are getting more and more dangerous because of the usage of smartphones. It’s unjustifiable that e.g. Ford allows the forwarding of an SMS to the navigation display.

… and uncountable more publications.

Definitely not the right way to solve the problem is to separate the normal people from the addicts like the city of Chongqing in China reportedly did when setting up the country’s first sidewalk for ‘mobile phone addicts’, with a lane specifically dedicated to those glued to their screens.

There is just one solution.

First think wether you really need a constant incoming bit radiation.
If it’s relevant, stop before using your mobile device.

Do you know that mobiles can be powered off?

It saves lives, yours, others, and that of your battery.

Steve Jobs take …

“My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules…
That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand.
I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

Just adopt Steve’s belief for yourself.

Note …

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

originally the title of a well-know 1966 Italian Spaghetti Western means in this context

The Audi, me, and the pain.

Related links …

Multitasking

China sets up first ever mobile phone lane

I hope you didn’t read this post in your car while driving.

Thanks for dropping by.





Activation Lock Status

10 02 2015

In November 2014 Apple added a new tool to further increase the security of iOS devices. It’s called ACTIVATION LOCK STATUS.

Activation Lock is turned on by default since the launch of iOS 7 and with iOS 8 it comes together with a new feature called Send Last Location (Settings – iCloud – Find My iPhone – Send Last Location) which transmits the last known location of an iOS device before the internet connection is cut off or the battery is empty.

Apple’s Craig Federighi (CEO Software Development) …

We think this is going to be a really powerful theft deterrent.

Apple on it’s website …

Losing your iPhone feels lousy. Thankfully, Find My iPhone can help you get it back. But if it looks like that’s not going to happen, new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased. And your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your iPhone is still your iPhone. No matter where it is.

Many users, once they find out that their iOS device has been stolen, completely erase it from iCloud or another iOS device with Find My iPhone installed. Erasing of a device is followed by Activation. This feature forces users to enter the Apple ID and password associated with that device to regain access.

IMG_3613.PNG

The new web-based tool allows you to check whether a device is currently locked for activation or not. To use the tool, users are asked to enter an iOS device’s IMEI or Serial Number, which is then cross-checked with Apple’s internal database to ensure that Activation Lock is not currently turned on for that device.

Summary …

Activation Lock Status is a further sophisticated step to secure your Apple device.

Related links …

Security made by Apple

2-Step Verification

Security made by Apple

Activation Lock Status

Apple about Activation Lock

Thanks for surfing by.





Out of the Box

20 11 2014

Apple’s packaging is brilliant and a lesson for packaging design. The boxes are about as small as they can get and all the parts are very thoughfully placed and pieced together in the box in the most efficent and space-saving way possible.

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Apple’s products and packaging is mass produced. The company sells millions of products but even though they are mass produced they don’t look like packaging just needed to protect a product on its way to customers. You feel like you’re holding a quality product, hand-made for you even when you open the box. If you take out an iPhone or an iPad the packaging then seems to be the perfect lid line of your purchase.

Unboxing …

Unboxing is the unpacking of new products, especially high tech consumer products. The product’s owner captures the process on video and later uploads it to the web. No wonder the phenomenon’s principal exponent, Andru Edwards – chief executive of the specialist, Seattle-based website unboxing.com – calls it geek porn.

Indeed, his website’s dedicated unboxing video channel, Unboxing Live!, boasts the tagline “Vicarious thrills from opening new gear.” (“It’s similar to an experience you’d have in a strip club,” Edwards said. “It’s stuff that you’re lusting over – you can’t have it, but you want it.”)

See an example of a fanboy who just got his brand new iPhone 5S Gold from an Apple Store in St. Louis. The video was published on September 20, 2013 and had about 2.5 million views until September 2014.


(3:33 min)

Some consider the popularity of this practice is due to the ability of showing the product exactly for what it is without any adulteration advertises usually make around the product. Being able to see what you are getting can contribute to the decisional process. So unboxing is a very special kind of advertisement done by many fanboys each time a new Apple product comes to life.

IMG_3059.PNG

Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology, How Everything We Believe About Why We Buy Is Wrong, is an expert in neuro-marketing, “where science and marketing meet”. He claims the unboxing phenomenon is a result of so-called mirror neurons.
“Mirror neurons mean, in principle, that when I observe other people doing things, I feel that I am doing the same,” he explains. “When I scratch my head, and you watch me doing it, the same regions in your brain will be activated as would be if you were actually scratching your head.”

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy (published October 2008)
is a bestselling book by Martin Lindstrom, in which he analyzes what makes people buy.

Apple’s packaging …

Apple’s classic packaging design makes it the unboxing market leader, but Lindstrom cautions against crediting the company with originating the trend. “Let’s not be fooled here – the concept of the portable player came from the Walkman, and the MP3 player was around for six years before the iPod arrived. The iPod wheel was invented by Bang and Olufsen in 1986, but it forgot to put a patent on it.

“Apple adapts a message very cleverly, about five minutes before it breaks through, and I have great respect for that. They’ve done it with packaging design, too, but in Japan you could have seen beautiful concept packaging design as long ago as the Seventies. It also appeared in the fashion and perfume industries long before Apple went into it.”

Apple and its rivals have made unboxing a mainstream pursuit, but they’ll have to be careful: if too many of us discover that we can just stay in and watch a video, will we still bother to buy the company’s beautiful gadgets?

The environment ….

Since 2008 Apple publishes environmental reports for all its products. Is there any competitor doing so? No, and sorry for the dig at Samsung.

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Smaller packaging means smarter packing.
Making thinner, lighter, and more material-efficient products not only reduces their carbon footprint and conserves resources, but also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced during transportation. Apple ships more and more products per trip, and the savings is adding up. Along with designing the iPhone 5s box to be 41 percent smaller in volume than the first iPhone box, Apple also redesigned the iMac packaging. The slanted shape of the iMac box makes it easier to stack more on each shipping pallet. So more products can be shipped in one trip, resulting in fewer emissions.

IMG_3058.PNG

60 % more iPhone 5s boxes in each airline shipping container saves one 747 flight for every 416,667 units Apple ships.

Climate change …

Optimizing the packaging is one side of the coin. The product itself plays the more essential role in the fight against pollution of any kind.

There are still climate change deniers.
This is what Tim Cook told them at the annual shareholder meeting 2014 in Cupertino:

If you only want me to make things, make decisions that have a clear ROI, then you should get out of the stock.

Greenhouse gas emissions have an impact on the planet’s balance of land, ocean, and air temperature. Most of Apple’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions come from the production, transport, use, and recycling of its products.

IMG_3061.PNG

Apple seeks to minimize greenhouse gas emissions by setting stringent design-related goals for material and energy efficiency. The charts (source Apple) above provide the estimated greenhouse gas emissions for the iPhone 3G and the 5S over its life cycle. Apple put the focus on reducing emissions during customer use which usually is a quite long time of 3 years according to Apple.

Summary …

No one spends more time with an Apple product than an Apple customer. By minimizing or outright eliminating many harmful toxins, Apple ensures that each product is safe to use, year after year. Power cords are PVC- and phthalate-free, touch screens are arsenic-free, cases and enclosures are BFR-free. No other company does more to keep its products free of so many toxins like Apple and the company does it already since decades.

So it’s not only better for the people who use the products but also better for the people who make them and better for the environment.

Related links …

Publications on Apple’s website …

Apple’s Environmental Responsibility

Articles on iNotes4You’s blog …

The Hidden Price

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility

About the iPhone

About the iPad

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





Fatty Touch Screens

11 11 2014

Touch screens like to forward our commands to the operating system but sadly they also like to get dirty.

I hate this kind of oily coating compromising your identity with every tap and swipe and coming back in a jiffy after an intense cleaning procedure.

20140806-203544-74144071.jpg

That’s why Apple adds a lipophobic coating to the touch screens of iPhones since the 3GS launched in 2009 and their iPads, to repel fingerprint oil. It aids in preventing and cleaning fingerprint marks. Most “oleophobic” coatings used on mobile devices are fluoropolymer-based solids (similar to Teflon which usage is well-known for pans) and are both lipophobic and hydrophobic.

See applications of oleophobic coating in this video

or this video about super hydrophobic surfaces the Slo Mo Guys made at GE

Apple’s patent …

In 2011 Apple filed a patent application to apply an oleophobic coating to the surface of a material and to improve its effectiveness. In particular, this is directed to using a direct liquid application in a Physical Vapor Deposition (“PVD”) chamber to apply the coating to the material.

Apple states that as the user touches the surface of a device such as an iOS device, oils and other particles from the user’s fingers could be deposited on the surface. This may adversely affect the appearance of the surface, especially if information is being displayed. One way to limit the amount of oils and particles deposited on the surface of portable devices is to apply an oleophobic treatment to the surface. However, this approach could be difficult to accomplish.

Apple states that to prevent the deposition of oils on an electronic device surface, an oleophobic ingredient could be bonded to the electronic device surface. The oleophobic ingredient could be provided as part of a raw liquid material in one or more concentrations. To avoid adverse reactions due to exposure to air, heat, or humidity, the raw liquid material can be placed in a bottle purged with an inert gas during the manufacturing process.

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The bottle could be placed in a liquid supply system having a mechanism for controlling the amount of raw liquid material that passes through the liquid supply system. Upon reaching the vaporizing unit, the liquid could be vaporized and the oleophobic ingredient within the liquid can then be deposited on the electronic device component surface. As the liquid supply is drained from the bottle, additional inert gas is supplied in its place to further prevent contamination.

The reality …

I purchased my iPhone 4S in November 2011. iPhones’ touch screens are made of a highly resistant material, Gorilla Glass, which lets the device look beautiful even after heavy usage over years.

Gorilla Glass is the registered trademark for an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet toughened glass manufactured by U.S. glassmaker Corning Inc. Engineered for a combination of thinness, lightness, and damage-resistance, it is used primarily as the cover glass for portable electronic devices including mobile phones, portable media players, laptop computer displays, and some television screens. It is manufactured through immersion in a molten alkaline salt bath using ion exchange to produce compressive residual stress at the surface. This prevents cracks from propagating – for a crack to start, it will first have to overcome this compressive stress.
(Source Wikipedia)

I don’t really understand the discussion about Sapphire Glass for touch screens because Gorilla Glass does it all for the majority of users. If the device hits the ground in an adverse angle Sapphire Glass doesn’t prevent the touch screen to get damaged.

A really innovative feature would be an oleophobic coating which upholds its properties for a much longer time than the actual coating.

My experiences with an iPhone 3GS and a 4S showed that the effectiveness of the coating decreases dramatically after about a year of intense usage. It’s increasingly difficult to clean the screen and you need a very, very clean cloth to get rid of the biological evaporations. It’s like a vicious circle, to clean the screen you press harder and harder and as a result the coating becomes thinner and thinner.

Here is what Apple published about cleaning the touch screen …

Clean iPhone immediately if it comes into contact with contaminants that may cause stains, such as ink, dyes, makeup, dirt, food, oils, and lotions. To clean iPhone, unplug all cables and turn it off. Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings. Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, or abrasives to clean iPhone. The front glass surfaces have an oleophobic coating. To remove fingerprints, wipe these surfaces with a soft, lint-free cloth. The ability of this coating to repel oil will diminish over time with normal use, and rubbing the screen with an abrasive material will further diminish its effect and may scratch the glass.

To clean the Home button (allowing Touch ID to work optimally), wipe it with a soft lint-free cloth.

I thought about a replacement of my 4S’ screen but after reading this on iFixit I immediately cancelled my ambitious project:

iPhone 4S Display Assembly Replacement
Author: Walter Galan
Time required: 1 hour
Difficulty: Difficult

If you let a specialized company replace the touch screen it costs between €70 and €100 in Germany which is equivalent to $90-$130.

But there is an alternative. iFixit explains the technique of “How to apply anti-fingerprint oleophobic coating” on its website.

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This is an easy and cheap way to refurbish an iOS device. But don’t ask me whether it works or not. I didn’t try it out because the original process is much more complicated and don’t believe that this simplified method fulfills my personal quality requirements.

Climate conditions …

Clammy fingers are like brakes when using gestures like drag, flick or pinch. This is what I painfully recognized when visiting Thailand, my second residence, shortly after purchasing my iPhone 4S in 2011. Although the oleophobic coating was straight from the factory it hampered the usage by a ฝรั่ง (phonetic spelling: FARANG, that’s the term Thai people use for foreigners) drastically. Subtropical countries are hostile environments for touch screens of Apple’s mobile devices.

Because even Apple cannot redesign the way our body works I personally need an innovative feature implemented in an iPhone, which works like a wiper, a sweat-sensing wiper.

Summary …

I would like to see an innovative approach to the problem of cleaning touch screens but I don’t think that we will see a perfect solution because this feature is not promotionally effective.

Related links …

Apple: How to clean Apple products

iFixit: iPhone Display Replacement

Apple Patent: Direct Liquid Vaporization For Oleophobic Coatings

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.
Before you leave please remove your fingerprints from my website.








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