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Apple Speaks to Jan Brewer, Tells Her to Veto Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill

Earlier today we reported that the Arizona Chamber of Commerce was leading a call for Governor Jan Brewer to veto SB 1062, the heinous bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays based on religious beliefs.

AppleCompanies have been signing on all day and now Apple has joined the 83 other companies calling for a veto of the bill, the Arizona Capitol Times reports:

Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said the governor spoke on the phone with the company.

The request comes as Apple prepares to open a new sapphire glass manufacturing plant in Mesa. The plant, which Brewer and other political leaders have touted as economic development coup for Arizona, will employ about 700 full-time employees.

Also, Marriott, American Airlines, and the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) have called on Brewer to veto the bill. Scott Wooledge is keeping tabs on the state's top businesses insofar as who has urged a veto or taken a position on the bill.

Both Arizona Senators McCain and Flake have urged a veto. Three Republican state senators who originally voted for the bill have decided it was a mistake.


Watch Steve Jobs Unveil the First Macintosh, 30 Years Ago Today: VIDEO

Jobs Macintosh

The Macintosh was launched by Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984. Here's an amazing video of its unveiling complete with heroic Chariots of Fire soundtrack.

Watch the crowds go wild, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch Steve Jobs Unveil the First Macintosh, 30 Years Ago Today: VIDEO" »


Apple Asked to Cut Ties with Russian Phone Retailer Over Anti-Gay Creative Director

Okhlobystin

You may recall that last month we reported on popular Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, and his remarks to a cheering crowd in which he suggested that gays deserved to be burned alive in furnaces.

Tim_cookWell, Okhlobystin is the creative director of Euroset, the largest phone retailer in Europe, and a coalition of more than 15 Russian LGBT organizations have asked Apple to stop selling phones with Euroset, Mother Jones reports:

In an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook dated January 5, the LGBT rights coalition emphasized the dangerous potential of hate speech in an already volatile environment: "[Okhlobystin's] statements have been enthusiastically published by the Kremlin's propaganda press and distributed across entire Russia just adding additional fuel to the rampant homophobic campaign that already resulted in at least 26 murders and countless hate crimes against Russian LGBT population [sic]."

The letter calls on Cook to "set Apple as an example of a corporate citizen who supports basic human rights."

Activists are turning to Western suppliers like Apple after getting little response from Okhlobystin's employer.

The coalition says it also plans to reach out to Google, Samsung, and other companies that do business with Euroset.


Is This Apple's Best Ad Ever? — VIDEO

Misunderstood

Some are calling this Apple's best ad ever. The video in the ad was shot entirely on an iPhone 5S and the ad is a shout-out to those creative types who might feel a bit "misunderstood" over the holidays but still want to connect with their families.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Tonally, it feels a bit to me like the UK retailer John Lewis' brilliant and melancholy Christmas ads, one of which featured a Smiths track, and this year's which featured Lily Allen.

Continue reading "Is This Apple's Best Ad Ever? — VIDEO" »


Apple CEO Tim Cook: We Must End Anti-LGBT Discrimination and Pass ENDA — VIDEO

Tim_cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook accepted Auburn University's Lifetime Achievement Award from the College of Human Sciences on December 10. In his speech, Cook spoke about the values that guide Apple and that guide him personally - his belief in putting an end to racism upholding equality and eliminating anti-LGBT discrimination, and achieving justice in immigration reform.

Cook also said it is time to pass ENDA:

"These values have also recently guided us to support legislation that demands equality and nondiscrimination for all employees regardless of who they love. This legislation, known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. I have long believed in this and Apple has implemented protections for employees even when the laws did not. Now is the time to write these basic principles of human dignity into the book of law."

Watch his full speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Apple CEO Tim Cook: We Must End Anti-LGBT Discrimination and Pass ENDA — VIDEO" »


Apple Dictionary Includes Surprising Definition of 'Gay': 'Foolish; Stupid' — VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 10.49.13 AM

Becca Gorman, of Sudbury, Massachusetts, got a bit of a surprise while doing research for a high school project last week.  When she looked up the word 'gay' in her MacBook Pro laptop's dictionary, the first two definitions weren't too unexpected: "1 (of a person, esp. a man) homosexual," "2 lighthearted and carefree."  But the third definition shocked her: "informal foolish; stupid: making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule."

"At first, I was kind of in disbelief," the Lincoln-Sudbury High sophomore told Boston ABC affiliate WCVB.  Gorman's parents are a lesbian couple, and she was amazed to hear a slur that had been thrown around in high school included in a major company's electronic dictionary. "I felt like they had to take care of it," she said.  So she emailed off a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook:

"I assume that you are a pro-gay company, and would never intend for any one of your products to be as offensive as this definition was. Even with your addition of the word informal, this definition normalizes the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word 'gay.'"

As ABC reported, Gorman received a call from Apple only an hour after she sent the email:

"They told me it's so hard to track the dictionaries they're getting sources from," said Gorman. The representative was also shocked at the offensive definition, and that the company would look into the problem.

Earlier this month, Cook penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal encouraging Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, would would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  
"Those who have suffered discrimination have paid the greatest price for this lack of legal protection," Cook said in his opinion piece. "But ultimately we all pay a price. If our coworkers cannot be themselves in the workplace, they certainly cannot be their best selves. When that happens, we undermine people's potential and deny ourselves and our society the full benefits of those individuals' talents."

For now, even though the company Cook leads has robust non-discrimination policies, the questionable definition of 'gay' in its dictionary app persists.  In iOS7, the company's most recent mobile operating system, the third definition of 'gay' at least mentions that it is both "informal" and "often offensive." That's a start, but Apple still has a ways to go, and Gorman is committed to making sure the company expunges the definition.

"I feel like we're going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it," she said.

Watch ABC News' report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Apple Dictionary Includes Surprising Definition of 'Gay': 'Foolish; Stupid' — VIDEO" »


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