Apple Software Update has stopped working

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Apple Software Update FailJust incase you thought eveything in the Cupboard was running smoothly, here is error of the day “Apple Software Update has stopped working”. This is how the story unfolded

Avoid using any Apple products or services because they:

  • are rumoured to treat their employees, vendors, contractors etc rather poorly
  • do not systematically promote and drive socially responsible behaviours – Bill gates rocks!
  • target being a monopoly. For example they undermine multiple hadware manufacturers. By contrast, companies such as Microsoft promote partnerships with other companies that sell Hardware (e.g. Dell, HP, Nokia, HTC etc). This approach enables those companies to thrive rather than competing with them. This strategy cost’s Microsoft in terms of time – the liaison and planning required and the lack of control leading to lack of consistency that introduces more potential for ‘errors’

Captured by BBC evil alliance

Unfortunately, when I started wanting to use BBC’s iplayer the only way to view the programs that my Licence had helped fund was to use Apple’s quicktime. Furious that the BBC chose to align with a company’s product rather than an industry standard. Darn, effectively the BBC was saying download Apple’s quick time or eff off.

For a while I managed without the BBC iplayer and just fumed until the lure of quality drama on-demand got the better of me. I installed Quicktime and lost a little of my self-esteem in the process.

Pompositively indignant

When I buy or use Microsoft services, part of their profit goes to causes I support. Microsoft products may not be beautiful to look at and they may be error ridden but they genuinely show social values that I respect.  They can have my money and time before Apple anyday because of how they spend my commitment

Excellent

Apple Software Update has stopped working
1 vote rating 5

16 bits of lovely banter on “Apple Software Update has stopped working”

  1. Bux writes:

    Well Wendy, I was not aware of the downside of Apple until you enlightened me. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying an iPhone. Your blog, coupled with the fact I heard many people complaining that iPhones actually die in very cold temperatures, (so not good here in the frozen wastes) that I’m now going to make a more informed choice.

    You’re a good apple Wendy 🙂

    Bx

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    wendy writes

    Hi Bux, I’m undoubtedly prejudiced and it’s impossible to research the businesses of all the things that you buy but it’s great that you’re actually considering the production process aswell as the end-product in your decision – Good stuff. I try to do that whenever I buy from a ‘Big’ company. So, for example, I| never shop at Tescos / Asda because I’ve read so many articles that suggest they are systematically bastards….

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  2. James writes:

    “Darn, effectively the BBC was saying download Apple’s quick time or eff off.”

    Of course, the same’s true of any application distributing Windows-only software – at least Quicktime’s a *free* download and multi-platform! Apple give to charity too – most recently, tens of millions of dollars towards building two new hospitals – and as for Microsoft not aiming for a monopoly, they spent years and millions fighting that in court, eventually having several rulings that not only do they do that, they do so illegally. Yes, they keep close to the *customers* you listed – but try talking to Logitech, Digital Research/Caldera, Novell, WordPerfect, Sun or Netscape about that. Remember the infamous phrase “cut off their air supply”?

    It’s funny, though: back then, I laughed at the idea of the browser being a threat to the operating system. They managed to kill off Netscape, of course, seizing an almost total monopoly with a browser so bad even Microsoft themselves are now urging, anticipating and celebrating its demise at ie6countdown.com – but really, it was the web itself rather than the browser which posed the actual threat.

    I do share the objection to the BBC plugging proprietary protocols and formats. They’ve taken steps towards standards, like HTML5 video tags – but guess which browser is holding people back there, as always, forcing the use of proprietary cruft instead? Not Apple’s…

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    wendy writes

    James, It would probably take me a long time to research the stories you mention so I’m not going to start, though obviously there’s been nasty doings along the way. But when it comes to the ehtos of the respective companies for treatment of their employees, suppliers and use of their current ethics – Microsoft wins handsdown. My belief is based on using sources like:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/microsoft-most-ethical-company_n_837003.html
    And talking to Microsoft employees about thier experience of the business practices which include things like ensuring all vendors are vetted to make sure the vendor provides adequate benefits for thier employess (healthcare, training etc) this means their suppliers are expensive – but they care for their employees…
    Apple didn’t even get on this ethical companies shortlist…

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  3. Karl writes:

    I can’t decide if this post is satire or real.

    Don’t use Apple because they are RUMORED to treat people poorly? How about the poor treatment MS has handed out to employees of all the companies they have acquired over the years?

    Don’t buy from Apple because they want to be a monopoly? And Microsoft doesn’t? Seriously???

    I worked for MS for a while (no longer, thank goodness) and my very clear impression was that MS management is driven, every day, by the desire to crush every competitor for fear that that competitor will take away market share. I have never seen such an institutionally insecure organization (although I hear that Intel is as bad or worse). As for the ethics training, yes, they do make a real effort there; but I am convinced that it’s motivated mostly by a fear of lawsuit. They are an awfully big target after all. The message came through very clearly in the training, “don’t do these things or we could all get in trouble”. Not exactly the purest of motivations.

    If this post was meant seriously, I fear that you are misinformed.

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    wendy writes

    Karl, you clearly feel very passionately against Microsoft and haven’t commented on my information sources (linked in the post).
    How do you feel about Apple?

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    Karl writes

    Apple clearly needs to do better or be vigilant (depending on the truth level of some of the reports) regarding conditions at their suppliers. Keep in mind, though, that MS doesn’t really have an equivalent situation because they are not in any volume hardware businesses with intense margin pressure. (With the possible exception of the XBox, which I know nothing about.) I don’t particularly care for some of Apple’s control-freak policies either.

    On the other hand, at least their stuff works. I can forgive a fair amount of questionable policy if it produces results. I think the only Microsoft products I’ve been able to use for more than an hour without my blood pressure going up have been SQL Server and Excel. And Apple doesn’t have a history of buy-and-crush, nor “embrace, extend, extinguish” — both of which MS have done repeatedly.

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    James writes

    “Apple clearly needs to do better or be vigilant (depending on the truth level of some of the reports) regarding conditions at their suppliers. Keep in mind, though, that MS doesn’t really have an equivalent situation because they are not in any volume hardware businesses with intense margin pressure.”

    Actually, MS are more similar in that respect than you might expect … in fact, you’ll find Microsoft use *the very same* Chinese company, Foxconn, that Apple does! That threatened mass suicide that made a few headlines? It was the Wuhan factory which makes the X-box for Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft did make Ethisphere’s “ethical companies list” for one year – and Google did for three years; amusingly, Microsoft don’t actually meet the stated inclusion criteria at present, so should certainly be back off that list again for the next five years.

    As you point out, pushing non-standard formats is indeed Microsoft’s usual modus operandi – and indeed in Wendy’s particular case, it looks like Quicktime was only needed to compensate for IE’s lack of VIDEO tag support and enable it to play standard h264 video files like the proper browsers can. I still recall a delay in (court-ordered) documentation release because Microsoft refused to use normal formats, insisting on using their own home-brewed files which only IE could read!

    (Wendy: SQL is the database language itself, implemented by Microsoft’s SQL Server, IBM DB2, PostgreSQL and various others. It looks as if you’re using Sun/Oracle’s MySQL for the blog, which is the most popular, and you hit problems migrating from the 2003 release to the current one. I do depressing amounts of this for the day job, including one MS SQL Server database inherited from somewhere.)

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    wendy writes

    thanks Karl, that helps me understand and it’s always good when people come back to answer my questions too…. 🙂

    Off topic:
    SQL
    I think I’ve experienced SQL, I think its the datatbase my web host supplies via another hosting service for all my blog related stuff. So I’ve only seen it via a web interace that may have been written by the service provider and the whole set-up totally hosed my blog for 3 months once. It was a nightmare where each serivce provider said another one should help me with the solution…
    http://wendyhome.com/2010/05/16/database-access-story-this-weekend/

    Excel
    You probably know that love it – it makes so many things I do easier, I can program advanced statistcs, filter, search, make fancy graphs, make it look like word documents (easy formatting) etc. Just love it. It’s often psychic.
    http://wendyhome.com/tag/excel/

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  4. ExpatEgghead writes:


    foreach (Supplier supp, AllSuppliers)
    {
    if (valid.Supplychain(supp)
    {
    try
    {
    Validate(supp.monopolyState);
    }
    catch (LegalException e)
    {

    }
    catch (…)
    {
    GiveUp();
    }
    }

    }

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    wendy writes

    YAY! Expat – you’re an inspiration – I may not know how to code but I can be inspired by the structured ideas expression……

    VAR
    Company 1: Company supply product Wendy might buy / use
    Company 2: Alternative company supply product Wendy might buy / use
    Company 3: A new company or product – no real time to build a reputation or kudos
    Employee: Employee benefit scheme includes training and inducements for social responsibility
    Philanthorpy: Profit proportion invested in charity
    Purchase: buy the thing from the company
    Litigation: Legal cases for nastiness that adversely impacts users
    Monoply: Monopoly in one or more markets
    Suppliers: Suppliers are checked to ensure they maintain humane working conditions

    BEGIN
    IF Company 1 = Monopoly
    THEN (for last 3 years) Employee, Philanthropy, Litigation, Suppliers
    ELSE purchase, GOTO END

    IF Company 2 = Monopoly
    THEN (for last 3 years) Employee, Philanthropy, Litigation, Suppliers
    ELSE purchase, GOTO END

    COMPARE Company 1, Company 2

    IF significant difference
    THEN Purchase (least offensive), goto END
    ELSE rename Company 3 to Company 1, GOTO BEGIN

    END

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    ExpatEgghead writes

    Excellent pseudo code wonderfully expressing the concepts and obvious enough even to a marketing type. Much better than my poor effort which suffered from insufficient research and an inability to do tabs in HTML.

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    wendy writes

    I may have to borrow a library book on programming in C++ so that I can learn enough to invent my own Wendy House Blog Code which I can then use write more unambiguous scribbles and will have its own bugs and built in error messages..

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  5. ExpatEgghead writes:

    That’s what I get paid for! Writing bugs and strange error messages in C++. You are very welcome to join in. May I recommend the Daily WTF? Easily found on the web.

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  6. wendy writes:

    James, I’m learning stuff from you guys. I suspect my current views are most heavily influenced by the news sources I’m reading. For example on http://www.change.org:

    According to the New York Times, factory workers making iPhones in Shenzhen, China, regularly work sixteen-hours, seven-days per week.

    They are forced to stand until their legs swell and perform repetitive motions on the production line for so long that some permanently lose the use of their hands. To cut costs, managers make workers use cheap chemicals that cause neurological damage. Some workers in the factory have threatened to commit suicide en masse as a protest against working conditions.

    As one former Apple executive told the New York Times, “Most people would still be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from.”

    After hearing this story, Mark Shields, a self-described member of the “cult of Mac,” started a petition on Change.org demanding that Apple exert its influence on its suppliers to improve working conditions for the factory workers that make iPhones, iPads and other Apple products.

    On Thursday there will be a global delivery of Mark’s petition, including to Apple’s UK flagship store in London. Click here to add your name to Mark’s campaign now.

    In 2005, Apple released a supplier code of conduct, and now perform hundreds of audits each year to confirm that the standards they set are being met. But the number of supplier violations hasn’t decreased and Apple hasn’t consistently dropped offending suppliers.

    As Apple executives admit, they’re not being forced to change.

    One current executive told the New York Times that there’s a trade-off: “You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories,” he said, or you can “make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards. And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.”

    Public pressure is the only thing that can force Apple to ensure its suppliers treat workers humanely. If enough people sign Mark’s petition — and tell Apple they care more about human beings than they do about how fast the company can produce the next generation iPhone — the company could be convinced to make real change for the workers at Foxconn and other factories.

    There’s plenty of precedent for moves like this: companies like Nike and GAP have overhauled manufacturing processes overseas to ensure better worker protections — but only because tens of thousands of their customers told them to.

    Click here to sign Mark’s petition demanding Apple change the way it does business.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/apple-ceo-tim-cook-protect-workers-making-iphones-in-chinese-factories?utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert

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    James writes

    It’s interesting reading, though not news – I just wonder why that coverage neglects to mention that they make Xbox 360s as well as iPhones? Not your fault, I know, just an interesting choice of focus on their part. I did find one news report which mentioned that the mass suicide threat was actually on the Xbox 360 production line – there could have been more than one such incident, of course, but the Xbox one seems to have received far less attention.

    What really surprises me was just how concentrated manufacturing is, now. We’ve all heard “oh, everything’s made in China now” – but how many people on the street know that the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii are all made by the same Chinese company?! I remember being surprised by a product recall a few years ago: a manufacturing error in a Sony battery plant meant a huge batch of Sony laptops were affected – as were HP laptops, Apple laptops, Lenovo laptops… Whichever “rival” product you chose, the battery still came from the same factory.

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