The latest is the hullabaloo over the FBI's request for Apple to create a special version of iPhone update software so it can unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino Islamist murderers. It is not a trivial request and would involve a few weeks of work for a couple of engineers, but then again, Apple is the most profitable company in the world, not to mention being world-class at avoiding taxes. Most Americans agree with the FBI that unlocking the iPhone is important.
But the biggest snicker over CEO Tim Cook's wailings is that Apple has already turned over the source code to the Chinese government which is not known for treating its citizens well.
Cook remarked that he is merely a "country boy" who fights back when threatened. He opined that encryption is as important as the "sun, the air, and the water."
Too bad he does not feel the same way about the subcontractors who supply Apple with products. He declared that he was "deeply offended" by a BBC News Panorama report that Foxconn employees regularly work 12-hour days, often 18 in a row without a day off, and work so many hours that they fall asleep at their workstations. The worst might be that Apple is involved with subcontractors which employ children to mine for tin, often in illegal mines with no protections whatsoever.
The letter which Apple sent to its employees noted that Cook was "deeply offended" at the allegations. Too bad Apple management is not "deeply offended" at the thought that their salaries are gathered through the blood of foreign workers.
But at least Cook does not equal his predecessor, Steve Jobs, who presided over the deaths of at least 18 employees, with most of them dying after jumping from the roof of a Foxconn factory and the rest being killed in industrial accidents. Saint Steve assured fawning Apple devotees at a U.S. technology conference in June 2010: "Foxconn is not a sweatshop" and "We're all over this." As I wrote before, the only thing which was "all over" was the blood of the 18 workers.
Saint Steve also said at the technology conference, "It is very troubling," in the first generation of weasel words that Apple uses so effectively regarding its customers who remain unconcerned over the process that creates their precious toys.
Saint Steve had a limitless capacity for sustained and gratuitous lying that came to be nicknamed the "reality distortion field." Cook may not quite equal Saint Steve in that respect, but he compares favorably to another unattractive person, North Korea's Kim Jong-un, who also has been known to be "deeply offended" when people make fun of him. Cook and Kim have demonstrated a unique ability to gather all wealth for themselves and their associated parasites regardless of the effect on the people on the other side of the food chain.