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johninnit

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About johninnit

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  • Location
    London
  • Your Current Device(s)
    HTC Touch HD
  1. Good points ta, and yes, have very much that suspicion with Apple. Wonder also if Taiwan is more expensive than PRC for manufacture - might be why Apple went to PRC based Foxconn if they could shave costs more. In following the money, so far as I know, HTC have a pretty good rep on treating their own people right - I even heard good things once from a senior manager in Europe about the importance of workplace democracy, and this seems borne out in the supplier code they've shown me. Just that they don't seem to be bothering to enforce their own code. HTC are paying YFO pretty well too, as I've read they're about to post record profits for Q3. So it looks like the subcontractor is earning but just not passing on to their own people. So whilst I'd deffo agree with you there's no such thing as proper ethical phone manufacturers - won't hold breath for the Desire FT (Fair Trade) - I'm more after something not actively evil than something positively good. To me the dodgy link seems to be the subcontractors. Whilst a company wouldn't do something behind its own gates, it's easier to stomach if it's out of sight and out of mind. In which case is a mobile from a more in-house outfit like Samsung's Galaxy S a better choice (tho not Samsung's other part-YFO supplied models)? Or are they really all the same, and the Samsung/Nokia/Motorola types likely to go the same way as the new outsourcing brands in a short while anyway?
  2. A request please for anyone who knows more about the ways smartphones are being made... I've been waiting for the contract on my HTC Touch HD to expire, and now it has, I was planning to upgrade to the new Desire HD. One thing has stopped me though, which is allegations of very dodgy practices at one of HTC's suppliers - Young Fast Optoelectronics - the people who make the touchscreens (not just for HTC, but also for many other Samsung/LG phones). YFO have allegedly been compromising safety, forcing people into long overtime, having kids working for them, and sacking union activists/members to stop people complaining about it. I've followed some of the story on social media as the workers there are quite plugged in as you might expect. (There's a blog at http://yfotu.blogspot.com/ unfortunately - for me at least - only about 10% in English). This has echoes of Apple's woes at Foxconn (who make their iphone screens), where high pressure and low pay have been driving workers to suicide as protest. In both cases, the brands themselves like to have a good corporate social responsibility profile, but aren't doing so much to enforce it on their suppliers too (tho looks like Apple are starting). I wrote to Samsung and HTC, and got back similar good words about what they expect of their suppliers. They just don't seem to have any teeth in the agreements to enforce this. Samsung went one further, almost implying the Galaxy S would be a more ethical phone choice as they've brought production for that model back in house where they can control it. So what I'm wondering - looking at recent reports on growth for HTC & Apple, and decline for Nokia, is will subcontractor sweatshops become a bigger and bigger problem if more smartphones are either from brands which now assemble purely from subcontracted parts, or (in the case of Google Nexus and network branded sets) another step further removed from this? I'd be happy to add the few dollars that it would cost to give subcontractor workers a more decent standard of working life to the cost of the Desire HD I'm after. Or does anyone else have ethical android tips? (pref ones that don't involve me wearing a hair shirt and living with my old handset!!) I realise this is an issue right across electronics, but it seems to me that smartphones could be right at the front of it, given the changes in the new industry, and the fact the products themselves are all about killing distance between people - helping connect people to find out about problems on the other side of the world or even do something about it.
  3. Hi, As HTC fanboi (on my 3rd HTC touchscreener now), I've always ribbed iPhone users that their touchscreens were made by a subcontractor with a dodgy workers' rights record, but it seems to be worse for HTC (inc Google) / Samsung / LG devices now. Young Fast Optoelectronics in Taiwan have sacked a bunch of their workers for forming a union. This is against a background of allegations of child labour, enforced long hours overtime and poor safety. The union have started an email campaign with the activist group LabourStart, to persuade the YFO management to talk to their workers, and a key target of this campaign is some of YFO's major customers. If you use an HTC, LG or Samsung touchscreen device (or even if you don't!) and have a few minutes spare, please read a bit more about it and consider sending a message of support here: http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidar...paign.cgi?c=675 And if you're on Twitter, there are some Act.ly petitions here too: http://www.unionbook.org/pg/pages/view/22243/ HTC have a reasonable record apart from this on labour rights I think, and I've heard some very positive words from their people in the past, so it would be great to get them to look more closely at this one of their suppliers. Thanks for checking this out. John
  4. Hi Paul, A quick question about your Mobiles.co.uk affiliate please, as I've only ever used high st or retentions for upgrades/changes before, not a 3rd party. The deals look great (well negotiated you!), but there's no way to add data bundles for o2 or Orange whilst buying. Are the networks likely to get sniffy if you go to them to request the bundle after renewing elsewhere? cheers, John
  5. thanks for that. oh well :) guess there's also the issue of which 2 giggers will be compatible. Vodafone/iMate weren't very helpful when i tried to sound it out about my Magician, saying only that they'd heard of people using 512kb happily. maybe in a few months a few more brave Orbit owners will have had a crack at it. I've just found I'll have to wait til end Feb anyway for my contract to expire (had 2 contracts confused & thought I was up already!). cheers, John
  6. Hi everyone, Am thinking of swapping my Magician (Vodafone VPA compact) for a snazzy new O2 XDA Orbit. I'd like a lot of storage for MP3s in it though, but annoyingly it's micro SD, which doesn't seem to have anything over 2GB. With the Magician, I found the modaco forums invaluable in checking out who had tried which large memory cards (sucessfully or not) and settled on a 2GB ADATA MMC+ as a result. What's the biggest card anyone's managed to get working in an Artemis so far? Cheers, John
  7. ;) Oh no! Sorry to hear that. My ADATA 2GB (MMC+ not SD) works, but I should probably also add that my version of the Q100 is a vodafone VPA Compact, not an Orange SPVM500. Don't know if that makes any difference - maybe there's some difference in the custom software the network puts in.
  8. Hi all, Here's a page from the TUC's website: http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-11773-f0.cfm They've launched an appeal for your old phones, to give to people who are starting up democratic trade unions in Iraq. Independent unions were crushed under Saddam, with lots of organisers jailed or killed. They're trying to re-establish as they're a useful part of a democratic civil society, and a lot of Iraqis have terrible working conditions. But they're stuck in the middle of the conflict and are getting problems from all sides - the US turned over their offices last year and people at work are being killed in 'friendly fire', and they've been targetted by parts of the insurgency. Seeing as; A) this is a meeting place for a lot of people who have a lot of old phones lying around, and B)even a very old smartphone is a fantastic tool for a local organiser, I thought I'd let you know. I just ebayed my sonyericcson, but they're getting my old Nokia. Not sure how they plan to convert them to work in Iraq (or even what band they use there), but they claim to have a method. Iraqi unions site (in English) is at http://www.iraqitradeunions.org/en/ if you want to read more about what they're up to cheers, John
  9. Thanks rkdp & adamliddy. Being a cheapskate I just bought the 2GB version of the ADATA 200x Turbo MMC Plus card, and it works nicely - bargain for
  10. Oh no! now even more confused. An SD is better than a turbo MMC, no? Doesn't it have a faster transfer rate, so make for a better working machine, or am I wrong? (would be nice if I'm wrong, as this seems cheaper than the SD option) cheers John
  11. Hmm, I tried to get some info out of Qtek, but not much joy - here's what they said... "Until now, we tested two 2 GB SD-Cards with the VPA compact (S100). One SD-Card was from TwinMOS (Ultra-X 66X) and the other one from SanDisk (I can’t remember the exactly type name). Principle 4GB SD-Cards should function with the VPA, but unfortunately we have no 4 GB SD-Card samples." Will hold I think & see if any more info arises on 2gb cards to make sure - can't afford a 4gb, sob! cheers, John
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