This Week in Geek: Some Apple computers now made in America
by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star
Dec 09, 2012 | 4470 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Apple’s recently updated iMac desktop computer is getting noticed for more than its slender frame and innovative hard drive.

A few eagle-eyed reviewers have noticed that the new machines are being made in the United States, which Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed in two separate interviews last week.

Photographs taken by several tech news websites show the back of some iMac computers emblazoned with the words “Assembled in USA” alongside the typical “Designed by Apple in California” inscription.

Cook confirmed Thursday that the company would ramp up U.S. production of Mac computers in 2013.

This signals a marked change in Apple manufacturing practices under the leadership of Cook, the Alabama native and Auburn alum who took over for the late Steve Jobs in August 2011. Under Jobs, Apple assembled virtually all of its products in Asia.

And it appeared unlikely, with Jobs at the helm, that the company would ever consider bringing manufacturing work back to America. When asked by President Obama at a dinner event in early 2011 what it would take to make Apple devices in the U.S., Jobs replied, “Those jobs aren’t coming back.”

The iMac, Apple’s all-in-one desktop computer, was updated several weeks ago with a slim profile measuring 5 millimeters around the edges. Also available on the iMac is a new hybrid hard drive which Apple says will load programs almost twice as fast as a traditional hard drive would.

Redbox to unveil streaming movie service

The company powering those hulking, red movie rental kiosks outside countless stores is expanding to the Web.

Redbox, owned by Coinstar Inc., is working with Verizon to create an online video streaming service called Redbox Instant by Verizon that could launch as soon as next week.

Expect a Redbox Instant subscription to cost somewhere between six and eight dollars per month, with unlimited access to its online video catalog and optional DVD rental credits at Redbox kiosks.

Subscribers will be able to stream movies through a Web browser or with apps for Android and iOS devices, the Xbox 360 and some Blu-ray players.

Redbox Instant will compete directly with the likes of Netflix, which in a Bloomberg report claimed more than 24 million subscribers, and Amazon Instant Video, which is bundled with free two-day shipping and e-book rentals through the retailer’s Prime membership package.

Congress opposes UN Web regulations

Members of the House of Representatives and Senate sent a bipartisan message to the United Nations last week: Don’t tread on my Internet.

The House on Wednesday unanimously passed a Senate resolution to oppose a UN takeover of the Web.

The organization’s International Telecommunications Union has been discussing in recent days whether to pass Internet regulations, which Congress and the Federal Communications Commission have said would lead to the Web coming under the control of the UN.

Since its inception, the Internet has had a “non-governmental organizational structure,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said last week.

ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Touré wrote in Wired magazine last month that the organization seeks “to support future growth in global communications,” but Congress disagrees.

“Given the importance of the Internet to the global economy, it is essential that the Internet remain stable, secure, and free from government control,” the text of the unanimous Senate resolution read.
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This Week in Geek: Some Apple computers now made in America by Whit McGhee
Special to The Star

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