Maybe the Stuxnet virus made its way to China.
An explosion at the Chinese factory that manufactures Apple's iPad, among other devices, has reportedly killed two three* and injured 16, three seriously. The explosion at the Foxconn plant near Chengdu in southwest China occured around 7pm local time, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Foxconn told the WSJ that …
"Of course, it's obscene to look at the Foxconn explosion merely through the lens of how it affects Apple's profits – not when two workers are dead, and others are seriously injured. ®"
Seems to be a misquotation. You didn't copy the Registered (trademark) symbol, probably automatically added by software with a sense of irony, but I think it adds a nice touch.
... because just about every sizable electronic appliance or piece of computer equipment has Foxconn-manufactured components or assemblies in it, and there's nowhere else to vote with your cash.
I'm rather centrist, and generally support free markets, but the abject chain of events at Foxconn keeps getting longer, and I'd really like to buy products that haven't been built with blood investment...
There are indeed less bloodthirsty EMS's although not as successful. I don't know if it's prohibited to name names but think flextronics, jabil, sanmina and countless others. Alternatives exist and the price differences are marginal. Voting with one's wallet is certainly possible. The. big issue is that anybody who is anybody shops there. Apple maybe the focal point but there's an endless list of top brands working with foxconn (dell, for a start). And as for their previous measures they're smoke and mirrors. (i can elaborate on this if necessary).
I wasn't referring to China; I was referring to us here in the West.
That said, there can be no doubt that China's government has embraced (an admittedly very corrupt and twisted form of) capitalism... Otherwise, it wouldn't be the economic powerhouse that hit has become.
How many pious iOwners get a rush of endorphins every time they smugly boast to their iFriends how they never buy cheap clothes because doing so supports Indian sweatshops?
But get a bunch of Chinamen to work their bollocks off for a dismal pittance under brutal ganger-men the like of which became extinct in the UK when the last of the Irish navies finished digging the canals, and it's a completely different matter...
I've never seen a cheap clothes retailer who was exposed as selling sweatshop garments who didn't blatantly stick its fingers in its ears and move to reassure its customers with the standard-issue mantra of them taking every effort to ensure the safety and well being of those employed by their suppliers/partners etc etc.
That's fine and all Tom and yes, Apple users can have a air of sanctimony, but the 'mactards' (what's your PC religion tom? I bet you're a soporific 'wintard' or perhaps you are a beardy misanthropic 'freetard'; actually who cares, you're clearly a 'tard of some sort) generally don't claim that the manufacturing logistics are better than everyone else's*! Wind your neck in chap, every IT *consumer* (that includes BOFH's etc) is complicit here. Pointing at those that worship at the a alter of the fruit is is simply churlish.
*This isn't the same as better made or better engineered; a claim that they do make with at least some justification.
I don't know. How many do that? I'm a iOwner and I shop wherever I happen to like the clothes. Don't go around boasting about their social credentials.
You're also a bit overboard on all that ganger-men drama, these high-tech factories actually give those in China a decent living compared to actually digging canals, working the rice paddies or making junk for our 99p shops. There's a lot of competition for skilled jobs at these plants.
If you watch the video you'll notice it's not exactly a labor camp: people look clean, well dressed and fed properly.
Accidents like these happen everywhere, even in the UK, like the explosion at a food factory in Tamworth last year.
"people look clean, well dressed and fed properly".
Wow that's setting a new standard for employee remuneration.
Why don't you apply this standard to yourself and ask your boss for less money.
I assume your clean, well dressed and well fed.
You should be able to do all that on half your salary.
I've been sayin' it. The iPad is a dangerous device. Do you really want to buy a device that's going to explode when it accumulates a little dust? It's nothing more than a terrorist device designed to destabilize the Western world!
I'd put a second Joke Alert icon on here if I could, just to make sure.
From reading several of the post so far, it seems that several people consider the death of two unnamed persons something laughable.
It really gives me a measure of the contempt and utter ignorance which some people seems to observe the world that is far from the comfortable frontiers of the "civilized west world".
There was a huge fire near me, right here in the UK and people got hurt.
It's really not a laughing matter. Also how long will the others now be out of a job?
Companies don't pay compensation or benefits in China, hell last time I was there the employes didn't even get paid for when electricity was out.
My own experience of China comes from my previous company. We bought our batteries from a company in China. All the workers were over 20 and paid a minimum wage. OK so the minimum wage wouldn't buy them a pint if they went over the border to Hong Kong, but then they didn't live in Hong Kong. All lodgings and food were free. Typically they would work there for a few years, spending ZERO money, and then move back to their home town with a relative fortune. I wouldn't say that working conditions there were any worse than the factory my comapny had in the UK.
My company then also set-up their own subsidiary there. It was only running for about a year before the English guy running the show decided that his dividend was at risk of dropping below £10M for the year, so who swathes were made redundant both in the UK and China. One woman in China was on Maturnity leave, and the rules in China said that the company had to employ her for TWO years after the birth, so her redundancy payout was higher than anyone in the UK (who don't get any sort of guarantee of a job after pregnancy).
You need to take responsibility for your actions.
You purchased a product from a company, you knowingly has documented abuses of it's vendor's employees on record. You might as well of killed them yourselves.
It is just like "Blood Diamonds." You the consumer allows and encourage this to happen every time you purchase an Apple Products. If they didn't make money treating humans like this then they wouldn't do it.
Just a basic guide to the immoral consumer whores....
1 - Don't buy products were the employees are under paid or forced to sign away their overtime rights just to make a living.
2 - Don't buy products that use toxic chemicals in their products and then explode and kills humans.
3 - Don't buy products that are difficult to repair or non-replaceable batteries
4 - Don't buy from corporations that put their public image and share holder profits above their customers and employees.
Paris because she is the biggest consumer whore. Do you want to be Paris?
First of all, I used a conjunction "And." It ties two thoughts together. I didn't just say toxic chemicals. It is a very weak minded person who uses an invalid argument to prove their point. If you are going to argue the point then you have to use the whole sentence following the word "And."
Also to educate yourself there has never been a documented case of lemmings running off a cliff as a mass suicide. It was a hoax.
Paris because even she knows the truth about lemmings.
Can't you think, really?
How is it possible to use toxic explosive chemicals AND be 100% sure they won't explode and kill humans? That's a ridiculous argument. Not even nuclear power plants are accident free, let alone factories. There's always a risk that unfortunately comes with the business, be it China, UK or anywhere in the world.
Do you think they could make LCD screens out of pesticide-free organic fruit juice transported by donkeys, or what? While they would be delicious it's obviously not possible, so there'll always be some toxic explosive chemical involved.
I have always wondered why people post illogical statements on the net. It turns out is is poor reading comprehension.
I stated "2 - Don't buy products that use toxic chemicals in their products and then explode and kills humans."
This reads that the product has exploded already and has already killed someone. Your argument is flawed. It is a red herring. It is the same argument about natural selection that we descended from monkeys. The theory actually states we have a common ancestor.
You took part of what I said and applied it out ot context. Evidently what I stated is in the context of the Foxconn explosion and purchasing products from companies we know have poor track records. There was also 3 other points I suggested. So instead of confronting the whole argument you wasted my time, yours and the readers with your illogical arguments.
This is a false premise. So the question is can you read and comprehend?
The answer is probably "not", based on your previous actions.
Paris because she can even spot poor reading comprehension.
If you don't wish to buy product that expose the workers to that risk, I'm afraid you'll have to give up:
Wheat and wheat products (Grain Silo's have been going "Boom" for years and years)
Custard Powder (I remember the Birds custard factory going up some years back)
Oh and don't foret all the petrochemical refineries, storeage depots and chemical works that have gone splat over the years either
It's implicit in your statement that a buyer of goods containing toxic chemicals would actually recognise them. However, it's often the case that the consumer cannot recognise them.
Leaving aside discussion over the need for a lab and analytical equipment etc., there are two issues here:
FIRST: it's very difficult to determine exactly what goes into products today, as many of them are composite/mixtures of many chemicals and all sorts of other things that were unheard of in manufacturing 50-60 years ago.
For example, an egg-beater hand drill ca 1950 consisted of steel and possibly cast iron parts together with a wooden handle held on by a brass ferrule. If painted, the paint would contain lead and various coloured pigments, most having some degree of toxicity. Back then, such an item wouldn't be considered toxic by the user; even if he knew lead was toxic (which he certainly would have), every practical tradesman would have known that white lead pigment would have been tightly bound to the paint binder, linseed oil, which is a natural and very durable product. In practice, lead would have escaped into the environment but only in trivially small amounts. Moreover, he'd have understood the properties and durability of the paint, as he'd have mixed paints on a regular basis--even if he were not a painter (as that's what people regularly did back then).
That's not to say there weren't unrecognised dangerous/hazardous products about, there certainly were; asbestos for instance (although it's somewhat of a special case as it's only in recent years that we've figured out how its nano-sized fibres directly slice into DNA to produce mesothelioma).
Back then, people were much less afraid of chemicals than they are now, this was both good and bad--the bad side was that workers in some industries were exposed unacceptable levels of various chemicals, pesticides, toxins etc. The good was that just about everyone in society had some knowledge of industrial chemicals--for example, the three top acids, sodium hydroxide, ammonia and common solvents etc.--these were the working chemical of the day (and they didn't come in pretty coloured bottles on the supermarket shelf, rather they came pain containers marked with the real chemical name).
SECOND: students, workers and consumers of today, more often than not, only have a theoretical (and or most superficial) understanding of these same chemicals. They've fuck-all practical working knowledge of them, for example, when did you last clean the bath with cloudy ammonia? Never I suspect (even though you've knowledge of chemistry).
Over zealous application of Occupational Health and Safety legislation together with scientists and educators who failed to keep their eyes on the ball, have much to answer for. In fact, over the past 40 or so years, the technical world seemed to have dropped the ball completely when it comes to educating the next generation in practical science and engineering.
The tragic consequences of this are that there's been a dramatic decline in the education of school kids with respect to practical aspects of science training and that manufacturers have for years been ramming prepackaged, premixed/formulated but 'undocumented' chemicals onto the public which, all up, has led to a deskilling of the workforce and very significant decline in the public's understanding of many common chemicals and of their handling and use.
Also, the decline in knowledge about science across the general community has led to a concomitant INCREASE in fear over just about every chemical available on the planet whether safe or otherwise.
In the West, the problem is close to reaching epidemic proportions, and made even more so by an out-of-control, overly-regulated safety industry together with the widespread availability of mass spectrometers and gas chromatographs etc. These remarkably sensitive instruments in the wrong hands 'can spot a dioxin molecule at a mile' which sends many, especially Dark-Greenies, off into apoplectic states. ;-)
Anonymous Coward, to whom you have replied, has these fears in spades. Almost every word he writes oozes with fear of chemicals.
I've not time to develop this argument further except to repeat what ought to be mantra--education-education-education!
For chemistry, even going back to a high school chemistry book of the 1960s would be a good place to start. Of course, good teachers are needed too.
Foxconn (and like) make stuff that's in almost everything us IT folk like or use.
I mean, what did you use to type that post? a ZX 81? Ok, that's ridiculous, admittedly but even for the sake of argument, if you did, how many Chinese made devices and components did the bits of your message traverse thru'? Your modem router for example, to start with?
I'm not saying I do not agree with what you say - I do believe everyone should be treated fairly.
But the fact is, sweatshop products are likely everywhere and more pervasive than anyone of us are probably aware of or would probably want to acknowledge.
*WAKE UP* You probably use them yourself.
Yes sweat shops are probably been used to produce a lot of items in my home. But I am not so jaded and arrogant to think my actions do not affect others.
I don't buy products from companies with poor human rights violations. I keep my computers running as long as possible. I purchase computers that do not encourage the consumer to just buy a whole new product instead of being able to just replace the battery or even the hard drive.
And the advise isn't directed at you the weak minded. It was the 20% I am after. If Apple even looses 20% of it sales then they would change. If you have an Apple product then use it until it falls apart. When it time to buy a new one...look for an alternative.
Paris because she even thinks she can make a difference.
You seem to be stirring but not really with it yet. Choosing which brand to buy based on these values is very good for your soul and your integrity. However it makes bugger all difference to the bigger picture. You need to be more awake than that. The world is not this cosy place where a few bad people exploit some poor people for profit and enough do-gooders can put it right with their buying habits.
There is a powerstation spewing out nuclear waste because some greedy idiots built it on a fault line. But there is more, governments start wars and call it humanitarian aid. You need to learn how this all fits together.
It's going to take a massive awakening to shift the world on it's axis, not simply changing some buying habits for this years pocket toy.
In my post I never said not to buy anything from China.
There are good companies and there are bad companies. For example, I don't buy Nike shoe because of their human rights violations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike,_Inc.
It is a really sad human being who know a particular company has human rights issues and still buys their products.
I guess you are one of the people who thinks they cannot do anything. Very sad.
P.S. I don't own a game console and even a cell phone.
what is Intel's record regarding their chip and mobo plants ? .. how about Lenovo ?
are working and safety conditions significantly better in Taiwan ( though I know they contract a lot of stuff out to China as well ) ?
I think, due to worker conditions and general disregard of human life and basic human rights, China should have no place in the WTO .. what they do is NOT fair trade because it's very close to being a slave state for the vast majority there, yet much of the blame has to be placed on the multi-national corporations of the USA and Europe that have contracted and have actively participated in moving the manufacturing base for commodity products to China and other nearly-slave-state countries
USA should have *out-sourced" to Central and South America, and Europe to it's poorer counties, India, Russia and Africa .. we all should stabilize what is closer to home and to those that have a greater bond with our own cultures and values
"USA should have *out-sourced" to Central and South America, and Europe to it's poorer counties, India, Russia and Africa .. we all should stabilize what is closer to home and to those that have a greater bond with our own cultures and values"
and the result would be human rights issues in each of those countries...
its easy to blame the likes of apple and dell for doing business with companies with poor human rights records (compared to the western world) but if you have even half a clue in whats involved in geting a product to market you would understand that getting your manufacturing done at the lowest cost per unit is important.
We would still be doing all our own manufacturing in our own countries except the trade unions demanded more and more from the employers for the workers to a point that production costs pushed the retail prices so high that the customers would not be willing to buy a home grown product.
If you had the choice of buying a ipad or a dell laptop built in the UK for twice the price of one built in china, knowing the workers do not have the same rights that we have here at home would you honestly pay the premium?
I accept that in china they don't have the same levels of workers rights as they do here in the UK but I also accept that these workers are paid and are treated a lot better than they would have been before they started doing the manufacturing for the western world. And I will bet a pound to a penny if costs start to rise too high for manufacturing in china then the likes of apple and dell will move manufacturing to other locations sinking china into a recession that will cause more harm than good to China.
and can we have a big picture icon?
Yeah we clearly saw that in the video. Weren't they supposed to be chained to the machines? From all the media reporting it would appear so.
The hospital photos look better than many of NHS's!
Journalists love they sob stories, but in just a few years most of the Chinese will be better off than us. They're such a competitive society (and have to be given their huge population) , do you think they'll be shedding tears for our work conditions then?
Of course not, they'll be enjoying their schadenfreude too much for that.
We all want cheap goods, (myself included) so incidents such as this in cheap sweatshops where the elf and safety culture does not exist will continue.
Capitalism is the Lewinsky of democracy. Although this is a communist country, the Chinese are feeding the West's appetite for cheap goods. It's not just Apple who use these sweatshops, but it seems to be made worse by the fact Apple products seem to be a bit pricier than other manufacturer's items.
Paris... Because there isn't a Monica Lewinsky icon.
.. not to piss on your enthusiasm, but there are no facts available yet what caused it. I know from work in plastic manufacturing that it only takes a seal to pop and you have a flammable dust cloud - even when you maintain things well this can happen, and we're also talking about human operators who can make mistakes.
Until there is more detail it is not very grown up cooking up some conspiracy theories and start the beloved flaming or whoever is associated with it. Let's keep in mind that people died there, that's serious, even though you are fed a constant diet of TV shows and films where killing people is just entertainment..
um, the bofh asks the pfy who is busy grinding custom ipad plastic in the middle of the night, what in an ipad blows up?
I see nothing, too dusty to see, here let me turn on a ligh...
Hard to swallow this is for real, only slightly different from the man who washed out his garage with gasoline, all that hard work, then it's off to the kitchen for a refreshing beer, up the steps into the kitchen, close the door, and turn the ligh....
I seem to remember that Foxconn ChengDu was a recent addition to their line up of factories and, given the earthquake of 7.9R in 2008, a lot of new industry was using brown field building sites.
Foxconn also requires special conditions for it's plants - clean, for a start - and notwithstanding the penchant for the Chinese construction industry to cut corners or bribe inspectors to overlook deficiencies, so I doubt Foxconn building inspectors failed in their duty.
I witnessed a dust explosion when I worked at a farm during my school summer vacation and it was pretty dusty in the silo before the explosion, guess who carried the tea to the workers there, so I find it hard for 'good working conditions' to have existed prior to the Foxconn explosion. (See < www.latestgadgetsnews.com/wp-content/gadgets/images/7/foxconn-ipad-2-plant-explosion-video.jpg >)
Whilst I, and others, have disparaging comments to make about Jobs' mob, even if they had no hearts or feelings, it is simply not good business practice to have sloppy production lines - it can hurt profits.
I believe, strongly, that work transferred from or done by Western companies should be done under the conditions that prevail in the home country. China along with Bangladesh, India, Cambodia and VietNam have all been guilty of worker mistreatment in the name of profit and it is due mainly to NGO and public pressure that things have improved.
Western consumers have a moral obligation to consider their purchases origination - whenever I visit Toronto I rarely take more than a couple of shirts as I know I can buy a new shirt for about the same as dry cleaning a soiled one. How can a shirt be manufactured and shipped to destination with small margins for profit without workers paying a penalty?
Low retail prices come at the cost of workers. Besides, not even Apple could manufacture their products in the U.S.A economically.
"Low retail prices come at the cost of workers. Besides, not even Apple could manufacture their products in the U.S.A economically."
low retail prices also come at the cost of quality.
They say if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, but it really depends on the individual countries and the average rates of pay for manual workers in that country to decide what's peanuts or not. Also, If you don't give them enough peanuts they will go and find their own... choice is theirs to make...
I can almost guarantee that a worker in McDonalds USA gets paid peanuts compared to McDonalds in the UK. Food quality and service in fast food restaurants in the USA is far better than it is here, but workers have far better working rights in the UK than they do in America.
you cant compare our standards to those in china and judge them for not adopting our standards. Our standards have been worked on for a lot of years little by little, and I cant help but notice that manufacturing in this country had declined in correlation...
Which recent report detailed a dust explosion where 29 American lives were "paid with their lives for the corporate risk taking."
“Man, they got us up there mining, and we ain’t got no air,” the miner, Gary Wayne Quarles, told a friend, who talked to investigators. “I’m just scared to death to go to work because I’m just scared to death something bad is going to happen.” NYTimes May 19 2011
The Upper Big Branch Mine, West Virginia, explosion kills 29 but so so what, they only produce coal which powers the fondleslabs and everything else.
Instead of pointing the finger at China why not help stop the workers local to you being killed due to "corporate risk taking".
I've worked in pharmaceutical manufacture, and dust cloud explosions are a real danger (just like in grain silos and other such places).
If the right dust/air ratio is achieved then all it takes is one spark and BOOM. Really nice knowing that the rest of the factory is full of flammable and explosive chemicals. If the alarm goes then it is a bit of "run Forrest, run".
The solution is to wear grounding straps when working in these conditions, but these are uncomfortable and get tangled, especially when more than one is working in the room. Then you have to disconnect, untangle and connect again. Did you manage to build up some static charge? Bzzzt....BOOM!
This is a sad manufacturing accident. Horrible. And fairly probably has nothing to do with bad conditions of any sort. This is just a hazard when work which throws up fine grained dust.
Think about another aspect: Most of the techno stuff in your home has components which were made in China. Foxconn has come under scrutiny and Apple has run reviews of the practices surrounding the manufacturing of their gear. The workers on the Apple product lines have received raises and their working conditions are under scrutiny. This is a GOOD thing. Most other companies can do whatever they goddamn well please while staying under the radar. Foxconn can't, and Apple can't. Those conditions are not yet good enough, but they are way better than the norm over there. Have you heard from other companies who also use Foxconn or other offshore manufacturers? Is YOUR company of choice actively monitoring their supply line for working conditions?
It confusing trying figuring out whether so many ACs are all separate or one and the same.
How about automatically indexing names on a first-in-lower-number basis, Anonymous Coward-1, Anonymous Coward 2 etc. Only for single thread of course.
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