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  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 7:28 am on March 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , , , , LibreKrsnah Desktop OS, , ,   

    I Got A New Laptop 


    Here we go!

    I finally got a “brand new” laptop.
    I spent a lot of time procrastinating on the announcement because I was working on some other things.

    Like my previous netbook, I will not be revealing any specifics at this point.
    As far as I can remember, I’d never mentioned specific details regarding my netbook, until I was finally in the process of moving away from it.

    Now that I’ve switched devices, I can finally make the announcement.

    I know this sounds ridiculous but this is part of my privacy-security threat model.
    Writing articles in my no-nonsense, straight-forward, factual style is a dangerous hobby. It could get me killed.
    Don’t believe me? Just look at China, India, Thailand, Egypt and a dozen other countries where bloggers have been arrested, jailed, or assassinated.

    So I will not be discussing which laptop I finally managed to procure. At least not yet.

    I will say this – I had to hassle a lot to finally get my hands on this device.
    Had to go through a lot of hurdles to buy it.
    First of all, all the stores that I visited had Intel laptops.
    And once I mentioned that I wanted a dedicated GPU, they directed me to the gaming sections, with the Lenovo Legions and HP Omens.
    I was disgusted!

    It’s going to get worse from now on. Because laptop manufacturers have finally found a new way to scam consumers with yet another useless genre – laptops for creators, which are becoming increasingly popular in demand.

    Remember when they came up with the ultrabooks? Then they invented the convertibles.
    Now, they’ve invented laptops with microbials. Have you heard of this shit?
    Pretty soon, they’ll invent laptops with retractible silicon hands targeted towards the basement dwelling neckbeards.

    The first thing that I did was to look up the prices of all the laptops online.
    Then I went to all the stores in my area and gathered their prices.
    All the local stores had jacked up the prices by a significant amount compared to online stores.

    I’m not a rich bastard.
    And every online site I visited had some bad reviews from customers regarding opened packages and faulty devices and receiving devices with different specs…
    I didn’t have enough money to tolerate all these fucking problems, okay?
    I just wanted a brand new device with no problems! Delivered ON TIME.

    Now I did order a laptop online.
    But I did it directly from the manufacturer’s. Figured I’d have less problems in doing so. Buoyiyiyiyiy! Was I so wrong!
    But that’s a story for another day.

    And then I pulled a real gangsta move: I went to a couple of stores, showed them a different manufacturer’s laptop and asked them if they could get me one and for how much.
    Imagine going to an Apple store and asking if you could buy a Surface Pro.

    They all agreed. All I had to do was pick the one with the lowest estimate.
    In doing so, I was able to avoid getting ripped off.

    Now I chose a 2 year old laptop model, because it’s the only one I could afford. And that really sucks because I spent 800 bucks on a 2 year old model that sold for really cheap in the US.
    In fact, I could get a refurbished laptop for 600 bucks with better specs!

    A part of me has some percentage of buyer’s remorse because the laptop that I bought has now been made obsolete by newer better models at the same price point.

    And I feel like an idiot because now, my new laptop is literally old and the only consolation I can give myself is that maybe it suits me because I’m a minimalist. But we all know that’s bullshit. I got conned.

    Had I waited until now, I could’ve got myself a hexacore brand new 2021 edition laptop or at least the powerful Ideapad gaming 3.
    And, on that line of thought, if I could wait a few more weeks or months, I could get an even more powerful laptop!
    Jesus Christ!
    Where does this all end?

    In the market today, CPUs get obsolete really fast! GPUs are likely to stay relevant for at least 2-3 years. But new CPUs are been churned out annually so it kinda sucks for people who don’t have money to buy a new laptop every year or so.

    So this machine has a quad core processor, a dedicated GPU, a single channel 8 Gig RAM and a slow ass HDD.
    That’s right folks, I couldn’t afford an SSD. And I couldn’t afford 16 gigs of dual channel memory either.
    BUT, it is upgradable. So in the future, I could add another RAM stick, an SSD and so on.
    The NVIDIA GPU wasn’t compatible with LibreKrsnah Desktop OS v0.1 beta. I did spend several days working on LibreKrsnah Desktop OS v0.2 beta but the GPU problem still isn’t fixed.
    So, I have to switch to Windows whenever I want to use the GPU.

    In hindsight, perhaps I should’ve chosen an AMD CPU – AMD GPU config since I primarily run Linux. AMD CPU – NVIDIA GPU configs have a lot of problems on Linux. AMD GPUs though, aren’t as powerful as NVIDIA’s.

    AMD CPUs just became faster than Intel. Up until 2019, Intel chips were still more powerful than AMD’s.

    So, how does my “new” laptop stack up against my old ones?
    Well, the CPU is at least 500% faster than my HP laptop and over 1300% faster than my Lenovo netbook!

    The integrated GPU is at least 900% faster than the integrated GPU in my HP laptop and over 1000% faster than the integrated GPU in my Lenovo netbook.

    The dedicated GPU is at least 2800% faster than the integrated GPU in my HP laptop, and over 3000% faster than the integrated GPU in my Lenovo netbook.

    So, is it an upgrade? Of course!
    But is it the best upgrade I could’ve made? No.

    At the time of my purchase, the Ideapad Gaming sold for around $850 which was already over my $800 baseline. I’m quite surprised that Lenovo dropped the prices so quickly. I think this only goes to prove how Lenovo pricks can’t be trusted. I’ve heard this from several reviewers as well – Lenovo keeps changing their prices all the time. If the Ideapad Gaming started selling so well, I bet they’d bump the prices up to $1000 the very next day!

    I’ll be adding an additional RAM stick in the future, and get an SSD. That should significantly bump up the performance.

    It’s very weird that LibreKrsnah Desktop OS v0.1 beta took longer to boot on the “new” laptop than my old netbook. I think there will be some optimizations in the future.
    I do have a roadmap for the upgrades coming next year, so maybe I’ll write an article about that.

    Footnote: In explaining the details of the specs, I believe I’ve already doxxed my laptop. Oh well!

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 11:12 am on February 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Apple, Apple M1, , , Graphics cards, , , , M1, , , , SoC,   

    Apple M1: The Greatest Chip Of The Decade 

    The M1 is an ARM based SoC designed by Apple inspired by their ARM A14 chip.

    It has four high-performance Firestorm and four energy-efficient Icestorm cores.

    The Firestorm cores have 192 KB of L1 instruction cache and 128 KB of L1 data cache and share a 12 MB L2 cache.

    The Icestorm cores have a 128 KB L1 instruction cache, 64 KB L1 data cache, and a shared 4 MB L2 cache.

    The Icestorm “E cluster” has a frequency of 0.6–2.064 GHz and a maximum power consumption of 1.3 W.

    The Firestorm “P cluster” has a frequency of 0.6–3.204 GHz and a maximum power consumption of 13.8 W.

    The M1 comes with unified 8 GB or 16 GB RAM. The RAM and the SoC are combined into a single chip.

    The M1 has an integrated Apple-designed 7-core/8-core GPU.

    And that’s the specs sheet.

    This chip is faster than any Intel and AMD chip of it’s class.
    In fact, this chip is in it’s own class with it’s 5 nm architecture.

    This chip is also faster than any NVIDIA and AMD dedicated graphics card in a special way.

    The M1 can consume a maximum of 14W.
    In fact the M1 Macbooks don’t even come with a fan! My crappy Lenovo S20-30 netbook also came without a fan but it had a crappy slow piece of Intel garbage.

    The battery life for M1 powered laptops is the outstanding.

    The M1 Macbook Air was reportedly launched at the price of $999.
    At this price point, I’d say this was an acceptable deal, BUT the Macbooks aren’t great.
    Don’t get me wrong – the M1 chip is the greatest, so far. If I had the money, I’d buy a laptop with an M1 chip.
    But Apple Macbooks aren’t a great purchase for consumers. And for several reasons; one being, very poor maintenance, repair and upgradability options.

    The M1 is a trendsetter. It’s a spaceship in a world of supercars.

    I’m excited to see what the competition will now bring on the table.
    It’ll take AMD perhaps another 5 years to get their equivalent of an M1 chip.
    It’ll take Intel 10 years or more. Because Intel sucks and FUCK INTEL!

    Everyone was talkin’ about how cool AMD chips are. I mean, look at this! It’s more powerful than anything AMD came up wih and doesn’t even need a fan! If AMD is cool, then Apple’s M1 is ice-cold. And Intel – oh bugger! Intel may shut down by the end of this decade. Their CPUs are way overpriced and Intel HD Graphics is completely useless when the M1 is taken into consideration. And the Iris crap isn’t any better. No praise for Intel and their new generations of the same overpriced bullshit every year!

    I mean, look at the performance vs power consumption here, both on the CPU and integrated GPU.
    The Zen 3 products are the last great thing from AMD for the next few years. Because now they’ll have to go back to the drawing board, and redesign an entire new SoC that can compete with Apple’s M1. And compatible graphics cards that can go along with those.
    Because that’s where the money is.

    The M1 chip just falls short of AMD and Nvidia’s most powerful dedicated GPUs that were released late last year. That’s a big deal. Apple singlehandedly designed a chip with an integrated GPU that beat all the dedicated GPUs before it’s launch.

    Nvidia will have to go back to the drawing board as well. Every company that wants to survive will have to do something! And if they don’t, rest assured that Apple will gain a whole lotta new consumers. Well that can’t be good for AMD, Intel or Nvidia, right?

    Fanless SoC that runs like a beast! The entire motherboard is so small, they make desktop computers look like dinosaurs.

    Now I don’t like Apple’s tiny motherboards and terrible upgrading designs. I hope the other companies would make better choices.
    Imagine a 16 core M3 chip, with a fan and the same chassis as today’s average laptops. The thing would be a beast with the best cooling possible.
    And I hope there would be upgrading options with RAM slots in addition to the integrated RAM. That’d be nice.

    I think this new decade will bring along some of the most powerful chips we could ever have imagined. And the longer those are delayed, the larger Apple’s customer base will grow.

    Apple’s 8 core M1 chip is already here.
    Now we just have to wait and see when they’ll release a 12 core M2 and 16 core M3..
    By the time those come out, if AMD and Nvidia haven’t released something as good, then dedicated graphics cards will become obsolete.
    I mean, if there was an option for the M1 chip in a Lenovo, Asus or Dell laptop when the M1 Macbooks came out, I’d have bought one.

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 4:44 am on January 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, environment, Fairphone, , , phones,   

    Tech Companies: The Fad Of Going Green 

    Last year, Apple dropped the bomb on their fanbase that they wouldn’t be shipping the chargers and earpods along with their new iPhones.

    “Apple is also removing the power adapter and EarPods from iPhone packaging, further reducing carbon emissions and avoiding the mining and use of precious materials, which enables smaller and lighter packaging, and allows for 70 percent more boxes to be shipped on a pallet.”

    Now how much of this is true?
    None of it. I’ll explain why in a bit.

    This year, Samsung announced that they wouldn’t be shipping their new phone with a charger either.
    The same company that was mocking Apple for not including chargers with their phones is now copying that move.
    Is it because they’re also “reducing carbon emissions and avoiding the mining and use of precious materials”?

    A few years ago, when Apple removed the head jack from their phones in the interest of saving space and making “technlogical progress”, Samsung and other companies made fun of them.
    We all know this was a load of crap because they were simply pushing consumers to buy their wireless earpods.
    Lo and behold! Samsung and the other companies did the same shit.

    Here’s the truth; and everybody knows this, but nobody’s saying or doing anything because they’re blinded consumers – tech companies don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment.
    It’s all about the profits – how can we make more money from the consumers? That’s what they’re thinking.

    Any company that really wanted to make progress by going green, would design phones with a modular design. All upgrades would be made by simply replacing individual modules.
    Such a phone would last for decades.
    Customers would spend less money each year, and tech companies would actually be helping the environment.
    But y’know what the problem is? The problem is that these companies wouldn’t be making a lot of profits.
    Their highest revenue would be the year they sold the phones, and after that, profits would trickle down to a minimum as customers would only buy individual modules when needed.
    Now there’s a phone that comes to mind when I said this: the Fairphone.
    Now I read about the Fairphone a long time ago, back in 2013, when they launched their first phone.
    Within a span of 7 years, Fairphone has only released 4 models. And I think that’s commendable, considering that Apple, Samsung and other phone companies release dozens of phones every year.

    If Apple gave two shits about the environment, the iPhone would’ve been designed like the Fairphone and a new model released every 5 years.
    I’ve had a smartphone for 5 years and it still works like a champ.
    Now when I got my phone, the Fairphone 2 was out. And I wish I’d asked for a Fairphone instead of a Samsung.
    On the positive side, I’ve treated my Samsung the same way I’d have treated my Fairphone. I rooted it and installed custom ROMs all the way through. In fact, mine’s now running a personalized custom ROM with Android 10.
    Another consideration is that my Samsung cost like 230 bucks while the Fairphone 2 cost 635 bucks. So, there’s that.
    Now I feel better about owning my crappy Samsung. The price matters.

    Anyway, Apple, Samsung and all the other companies have gone in the opposite direction of the Fairphone.
    While the Fairphone was modular by design, one can’t even open the back of an iPhone to replace the battery.
    Everything is soldered onto the motherboard, except for the battery and the cameras.
    If you wannna see how crappy phone designs with respect to going green, check out Zack aka JerryRigEverything’s channel on YouTube.

    What’s the deal with releasing a new phone every year?
    Like how much tech progress could you make in a year?

    While we’re discussing soldering, can we talk about laptops?
    These days, a lot of laptops have soldered memory. That means you can’t even upgrade the memory.
    And almost all laptops these days come with an internal battery. You can’t just slide and pop the battery out like my HP Pavilion from the last decade.

    There was a time when laptops were modular. You could replace the battery, swap the hard drive, replace the keyboard, screen, almost everything, with relative ease. That’s what old Thinkpads are famous for.

    Remember the days when laptops were rugged, made of strong plastic or aluminium? They were chunky bricks designed to stand the test of time.
    They could last a decade.

    How long does an average laptop last these days?
    With all the soldered memory and sealed design, I doubt they’re used for more than 3 years.

    Consumerism is on the rise, and it has been propelled by Tech companies like Apple and Samsung. Instead of releasing products that would last a long duration, they design products that hardly last a year before they have problems. That way, the consumer is forced to buy the new one when it’s released.

    I’ve read stories of Apple intentionally slowing down old phones to make consumers buy new ones.

    Look at the Apple repair costs on the Apple website.
    It costs more than my phone to repair an iPhone.

    What was Apple’s annual revenue for 2020?
    How did they make that money? By screwing over the consumers? By screwing over the workers in Apple factories?

    I look at the Macbook prices and it’s disgusting.
    I could get a similarly spec’d laptop for half the price.

    Anyway, there’s the article. Apple sucks. Samsung sucks. And anyone who buys into this “going green” bullshit has a very low IQ.

    My Samsung’s going to last another couple of years. But when I do get around to buying another phone, if I ever do, it’ll be something along the lines of Fairphone or whatever phone that comes at the right price with a modular design.

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 6:09 pm on January 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , , corporate, , , engineer, , , , ,   

    Exposing Apple’s Corporate Culture: My Experience @ Apple 

    The following article initially appeared on medium.com by an author named Ex Apple Engineer.
    The article is gone. But copies of it are floating around the internet.

    It is a very interesting read, that gives insight into the capitalist corporate world.

    My Experience @ Apple
    by Ex Apple Engineer

    Apple was my first job. A dream that came true after many years of hard work, sacrifices and a PhD in computer science under the supervision of one of the best and most well-known professors in the field.

    Unfortunately, Apple became the place that I lost feeling of physical and psychological safety and the terror that it inflicted on me has impacted me on such a core level that the painful memories and flashbacks have replaced my dreams and they will hunt me until I am alive.

    Every second of my time at Apple, was spent on preparing for the worst and only when I thought it cannot get any worse, something worse happened. My Apple experience not only put my career in the wrong path but also robbed me of peace, joy and hope and showed me humans at their most disgusting level of darkness, deceitfulness and cruelty.

    Although time has passed by, I have not healed from the trauma. I have not found closure to the experience and I believe telling my story is an essential step in my healing journey. I no longer want to remain silent about the abuse. Silence turns abuse into a norm and enables abusers. Abusers are in minority; it is the silent majority who make the big difference and disarm them by exposing abuse.

    Telling my story will make me free and I hope it helps others with similar workplace trauma. I hope that my story shines light on the dark and force employers like Apple to stop abuse in the workplace.

    While I understand that this post is long and reading it might be painful, I wanted to give full details and context of what happened. I would like to use my story to initiate change. I want my readers to develop awareness about workplace abuse and if they are doing it or seeing this happening to anyone, I urge them to stop it. Workplace abuse can cost lives and at minimum it will leave major trauma needing years to recover from the invisible wounds.

    In this post you will read about how a team at Apple fabricated results for a project, their history of abuse, scapegoating, firing and forcing out employees, nepotism and corruption in the organization and contribution of senior management and HR to further worsening the situation.

    If you are an Apple employee, please send this story to your upper management particularly Tim Cook.

    My Experience @ Apple — Part (1)
    The first day of my job, I got to know that I was hired in a team of 3 including my manager. My manager and one of the team members were remote employees and living in a different city. My manager had suddenly decided to take a vacation and did not show up for my onboarding. An “iBuddy”, the other member of the team, showed up for onboarding me. She started my onboarding at Apple by telling me that I was hired as a replacement for a guy they just fired and that I should watch it as the company fires people left and right!

    My first interaction with my manager happened when she finally showed up on my third day and started laughing and making fun of my last name and that the last name must be the reason, I had difficulty setting up my accounts!

    Until the third day of my employment at Apple, I had no idea what I will be working on. First two days, the iBuddy said it was a secret and confidential and she cannot tell me what I will work on even though I had already started working in the company. On the third day, my manager emailed me a deck containing slides with few lines of text as introduction of the project. No explanation, no context, no data and no code. Just a deck that was emailed.

    There was no code repository for our project and the page that was listed as the project page only had script names in it but no code was linked. For example, you could see name of the scripts such as garbage.py but there was no code! The page looked like a placeholder with no functionality or value.

    The guy who had done most of the work for the project had got fired, my manager and other remote teammate did not know much about the project and were often out of office on vacation. My iBuddy was the only person who had all the information and resources on a project. It was very hard to make sense of the project with no documentation and the iBuddy was my only source. Any questions I asked the iBuddy would answer by “you do it better if you know better”, “that is why we hired you”, “this is going to be your job to do that”, “ you do not get to decide that”, “You do not need to know that” or “you do not need to have that”, “I do not know”. Our conversations were very tense and upsetting and I did not gain any more information by asking questions.

    There was great amount of nepotism in my team and in the organization. My manager and the other team member had known each other as best friends for over 20 years, and they both knew the iBuddy for more than 10 years and soon there was a new hire who also was strongly connected to the iBuddy and other members in the organization. In the organization, there were many close relationships such as husband and wife who worked in the same teams and on the same projects. If you looked closer, you would see how most people have known each other for years and are a part of a clique. The attitude of the team was forming cliques and excluding whoever that does not belong to the their circle. This exclusion was very broad and included group lunch/coffee, work conversations in meetings, work meetings and after work events.

    During my first few months, I got a lot of unnecessary information from iBuddy, the manager and the other team member about the guy who was fired including his name, his specific health condition and reason and full graphic description of his termination. Most faults of the project was also being blamed on him. The most disturbing part was the joy and laughter that was expressed while describing it.

    I also got to know about another intern who also worked in the team a few months prior to my start date and was overworked up to 70 hours a week. It turns out the guy had been falsely accused of a serious violation and while it was not proved, he spent hours in workplace investigation and HR during his short internship. He was also abused in the team and had a very bad experience and had suffered continuous tension. He was also blamed for faults in the project. He had lost his chance to work at Apple as the manager had given him a very negative evaluation. Accusing people and scapegoating seemed like a pattern in this team. I started to fear that they will pull something serious on me too, then fire me and blame everything on me just like what had happened with the previous two guys only a few months before I joined.

    My Experience @ Apple — Part (2)
    My access to data and resources was still being limited and controlled by the iBuddy. She would give me access to a document and send an email to me and cc manager that she gave me access, then she would revoke my access when I was looking at the document. I had no interaction with my manager and she was refusing to have regular 1:1 meetings with me and was not responding to my emails. My manager was giving indirect negative feedback through the iBuddy rather than speaking with me and did not change this despite my formal request.

    I was constantly being excluded from work meetings and events. There were meetings that I would be the only one who was not invited to and considering the size of the team (4 people) and the that there was only one project we were working on, this was very upsetting and strange. I would enter the meetings and they would stop talking and make really strange gestures. I was ignored, ridiculed and attacked in the team meetings. I was being assigned to do tasks such as manual annotation of the data and was being forced to complete my coworker’s tasks on top of my own tasks but was not given the credit after I was done. One day the coworker would be sick, next day she would be in a car accident and next going through a breakup while the week after that she would go car shopping or get busy on her phone shoe shopping while the other teammate would have a family issue or just not in the mood to work. I was also constantly being compared to the previously fired employee which felt terrible.

    I had joined Apple on a student OPT visa which was authorized by my university and was valid for one year. It was extendable by having a valid offer by a qualified employer for another two years upon approval. To maintain this visa the employer and the student have to regularly report to USCIS and if they miss one or do not do it on time, the visa can be revoked. This reports are signed by student’s direct manager.

    As I am born in a certain country, I need an additional clearance process called obtaining “export license” which is necessary to join majority of technical jobs in the united states. This process takes about 3–9 months and with a chance of taking more time or being rejected. Hence, many companies do not hire us on a visa and for the ones who hire, we need additional time to allow the process be completed and at times we lose the job opportunity because of delays in this process.

    When I joined Apple, I had used some of the allowed unemployment time of my OPT visa waiting for my position to start and was left with very limited days of allowed unemployment. I had shared all this information with my manager right when I joined to make sure that my mandatory reporting will be on time and with no mistake as it could put me at risk.

    Given the description above, losing my position at Apple or resigning from it before being cleared for another job would technically mean I am at risk of losing status and deportation. Also given that the Muslim ban has been in place since 2017, if that had to happen obtaining another visa would be practically impossible for me and if I had to leave USA at the time for any reason, it would have been a permanent decision.

    So, hearing about firings in the company as an orientation and onboarding process, constantly being compared to the guy they had fired and being told I will be fired was more painful and damaging to me than people with no visa problems.

    The more I was seeing from the project, data or results, the more confident I was that they are seriously troubled. Anything I would try to do would achieve 50% of their accuracy and I could see that there are serious interventions such as removing particular data points to achieve the results while remained unreported and was denied even when I directly asked, multiplying by a factor somewhere in the code, mixing features, etc. This completely changed the results, trends and conclusions. I brought this up multiple times and they said that higher ups are not technical to know this and they do not care. It made me worried because they knew about it and did not correct. At times the real result was as good as a random guess but was reported much higher and with knowledge of it, it meant they were cheating and fabricating results. Everything up to that point was blamed on the two previous guys and they both got into serious messy situations. The team had started my onboarding with firing threats and I was the only outsider in the team. How would I know their plan is not to scapegoat me if they get caught and get me fired for misconduct?

    After a few months, the constant tension in the team started to affect me very badly. I sent an email to my manager and told her that I was uncomfortable and would like her to intervene and help solve the problems that are happening in the team. In response, my manager told her manager and the senior director of the organization and then told HR. Then, she went and told the iBuddy that I have called HR on her!

    HR scheduled a confrontational meeting between me, iBuddy and the manager where the HR lady looked at the evidence of all the listed issues and concluded that the iBuddy just does not know how to speak English and that she does not have to like me! Most of the evidence such as being excluded from the work meetings, not having proper access, troubled results, etc. was written and provable. HR lady and the manager also told me that I cannot tell anyone about the abuse and that it is confidential!!

    My Experience @ Apple — Part (3)
    After the confrontational HR meeting, things got even worse.

    The first time I spoke to my manager after the HR meeting, she started yelling at me and kept raising her voice in the meeting. I asked my manager and HR to change my office and put me in an office with a person from a different team or let me work from home for a while. The environment of my team was toxic, and I did not want to deal with that in my office too. The request was denied, and my manager told me that the senior management and HR have told that I can only be officemate with a member of the team. She told me that if I cannot come to the office, I should officially ask for accommodation which they do not have to meet and it will lead to my termination since I am not able to do my basic job functions! It was interesting to see sitting in a two person office with a team member was a basic job function and I could be terminated for not wanting to do that. She assigned the other member of the team to be my new officemate.

    The new officemate had previous harassment history at Apple as well as criminal history and arrest. She took pride that she does what she wants, and nobody can do anything about it. She also shared that my manager has asked her to report on when I come to the office and when I leave, what tabs I have open on my monitor, who do I talk to, if I work hard, etc. She described that she was assigned to watch the previous guy who just got fired and report all these metrics about him too.

    I was the youngest member of the team and did not have any work experience prior to Apple and I was also the only member who did not have strong connections to anyone in the team or in the organization. The new officemate called me names, made hurtful comments about my home country, encouraged me to leave Apple, threatened to get me deported. She had claimed multiple disabilities and everything she said or did was being justified by my manager saying “X is just being X!”.

    I cannot find words to describe how sad and stressed I felt being stuck with her in that windowless office and under her watch and that my manager’s opinion of me was dependent on what she told her.

    Some examples of what she used to tell me:

    “You are a skinny kid with no experience. Nobody cares about what you do. Just put your head down, shut your mouth or get yourself fired”.
    “You escaped a war zone; it is obvious you have many mental problems. ”
    “Just leave Apple before they kick you out. This is exactly what happened to the previous guy we fired.”
    “My husband worked for FBI and I can get you deported on a cargo boat if I want.”
    “How much do you drink? Do you do drugs?”
    Senior manager was added to my 1:1 meeting and my manager was doing her absolute best to point out any flaws she could find at all in my work which often meant typos. She then would send emails cc’ing senior manager and talk about the “mistakes” I have made in writing my email!

    The senior manager and my manager were counting minutes and hours of my work and setting up multiple meetings for justifying why I need that time (1-day!). This is while the rest of the team were taking weeks and months to complete a task that takes an hour, were on vacation or just out of office or out of touch. The time they were out of office was more than 2 months in one year! I asked for vacation once and my manager did not respond to my request and emails. After couple of weeks of resending it and asking senior manager, I managed to take 2 days of vacation!

    On one occasion I had to obtain data from my iBuddy and officemate, I found a serious bug that was a complete mismatch in data and labels and had to be corrected. The bug was caused by my “iBuddy” and the new officemate. I reported the bug and there was a meeting scheduled by “iBuddy” for 5:00 pm in my office to close the bug as she was going on vacation the next day. The whole team including the manager were invited to the meeting. In that meeting, I was being yelled at and the conversation was getting very heated. My manager had not joined the meeting, I texted the senior manager and asked him for help, but he had already left work. My officemate was incredibly angry and was constantly yelling and she finally got super close to me and posed to punch me in the face. The other teammates did nothing and watched it happen. I proposed to postpone the meeting and left work that day.

    I sent a summary of the meeting to my manager and senior manager and once again asked the senior manager to help me transfer to a different team. I did not hear back on what is going on. I was worried and I scheduled a meeting with HR and described what had happened.

    Senior director of the organization sent a meeting request out of nowhere saying he has not met me and want to meet and greet me! I went to that meeting and faced an emotionally charged person who was constantly attacking me and intimidating me. I could see on calendar that my manager had previous meetings with him prior to my meeting and it was very obvious that she had described me very negatively. He started talking about when layoffs happen in organization and he must let people go. Then he told me not to go to HR and go to him if I had any questions. He said HR does not know anything and he knows much better. Letting people go and not going to HR was the dominant topic of my “meet and greet” meeting with the senior director.

    My Experience @ Apple — Part (4)
    After what had happened, I was experiencing severe panic attacks and was not able to sleep or stop thinking about what happened. I went to see a doctor at Apple wellness center. While I was waiting for the doctor in the room, my manager texted me and asked me to go to a meeting with her, senior manager and senior director. I started to have a panic attack. I was shaking, was not able to speak and my heart rate was abnormally high and it went on for more than an hour. It was bad enough that they called the director of the center and an on-call counselor to help me and eventually sent me home with beta blockers to keep my heart rate in check. My doctor gave me a note to work from home for 3 weeks and not be in the workplace.

    In those 3 weeks, I worked from home and did not have any meetings and there was an investigation in process. After three weeks, I heard back from an Apple investigator that he sees some frictions in the team, and I should just assume positive intent and everything will be fine!

    Immediately after that, my manager scheduled a call with senior manager in it. She called and read a pre-written document over the phone full of accusations with no chance for me to respond and she immediately sent it via email cc’ing the senior manager. I was sad that not only I was being abused but now I was also being blamed for it and told that I caused it! After two days, my manager sent me an email to do my first formal performance evaluation.

    After that, in every meeting she would accuse me of something and send an email about it. I would reach out to ask about what happened and rather than responding to my questions they would accuse me of being argumentative, wasting their time and not being able to take feedback which would be additional emails where HR and senior director were also bcc’d. In one occasion they cc’d them instead and in another occasion one of the bcc’d HR individuals responded to the email. I knew that they are making a paper trail as this is something my manager had described to me as a part of my onboarding process in the first few weeks that they need paper trail to get a person fired and not get into legal trouble.

    I asked HR and senior management to help me change teams since it clearly was not working, but they said you are bad at teamwork and we will not help you transfer. Teamwork with people who call me names, threaten to beat me, falsely accuse anyone who will not cover for them, get me to do their job and in return threaten me to get deported on a cargo boat and now hold power of evaluating my performance and future opportunities?

    The tense meetings continued. I was yelled at, belittled, made fun of, kept under extreme scrutiny and called names. The senior manager was aware that I experience panic attacks and meetings are hard for me to attend. He was also aware that I am taking medications to sit in the meetings, and I needed time in advance to take my medication and calling a meeting only a few minutes before that will not give me time to do it. He also knew cancelling and rescheduling meetings will force me to take more medication that had serious side effects for me. I had spoken to him that the medication makes me tired and has other side effects and had asked to schedule meetings in advance if necessary but for things that can be handled in an email I preferred emails.

    After speaking with him, he seemed to use that information against me. In a team meeting he was obsessed with why I am taking 1-day to do a task. He then accused me that I have changed the time which was not true and the program manager pointed that out. Rather than apologizing he said we need to have a meeting about it. Nobody else was asked any questions about their timelines or tasks in the meeting and the entire time of the meeting was spent questioning and accusing me in front of the team. I was having another panic attack in the meeting and my iBuddy was laughing about it. Then the senior manager scheduled a meeting to discuss he then cancelled it. I suffered multiple panic attacks that day and felt very unwell. I emailed the senior manager and wrote to him what sub tasks are involved, why I had allowed that much time (only 1-day) and suggested that he asks his questions in an email. I also said that I was unhappy about how he treated me in the meeting, how unwell I was feeling and that I do not understand why he is making a huge deal of 1-day that I needed to complete that task. He emailed me back and said I was resisting attending meetings and explaining what I am doing. This was absolutely not true. I had given a timeline for all my tasks and subtasks with estimate of time which they had approved and we reviewed them twice a week.

    Even though the tasks and timeline was clear and I had already explained why I needed that 1-day to complete the task, he scheduled another meeting, then he cancelled that meeting too only hours before the meeting. He then scheduled another meeting that me and the program manager went to but he bailed last minute and said he cannot attend. I explained to the program manager what I already had told in the meeting and to the senior manager in the email. But he did not let go. The scheduling and rescheduling went on for multiple times in that week and finally we had a 10-minute meeting where I explained the same thing, I had emailed him a week ago. Then he sent another email accusing me of not doing my basic job functions (explaining my task and timelines) and threatened to put me on a performance improvement plan!! He told me that if I cannot attend the meetings, I should officially ask for accommodation which they do not have to meet and it will lead to my termination since I am not able to do my basic job functions! He then sent an email with list of my benefits and cc’d HR!

    The senior manager also said that the program manager has complained about me and that I have created tension with her. I was shocked because there was absolutely no problem and nothing had happened between us. I emailed the program manager to ask what the problem was, but she did not respond to my email and declined my meeting request and said that the senior manager has to be in the meeting. The senior manager sent an email and told me that I cannot meet the program manager without him being present in that meeting as I clearly was causing issues with everyone!!!

    One day I went to use the woman restroom my “iBuddy” was there. She told me “die!” and slammed the door in my face. From that point I was afraid to use that restroom and had to go across the building not to face them. It was extremely uncomfortable even being in that environment.

    A few weeks after the previous incident, I was looking at work on Radar which my “iBuddy” had copied directly from what I had done, and I noticed a note under the note section of a hidden slide on a deck that she had uploaded and it was an indirect suicide/murder threat. Given the history of the team, I felt worried sick and stayed home that day from fear of showing up to work and being harmed. I alerted the senior manager who told the iBuddy. The “iBuddy” followed up with another email about a child who was murdered by her parents and was thrown into the river and a person who had committed suicide by hanging himself.

    HR and the senior management said it was very normal and it happens in all teams and organizations and is not a big deal. They said there is not “enough evidence” the iBuddy will harm me and that I have to stay in the same team and physically show up to work and sit in the same office.

    During this time there was only 3 months left on my visa and no company wanted to hire me before my extension is approved. In order to qualify for applying for an extension I had to be employed at a qualifying company and the time frame happened to be at the exact time. Either I had to resign and forget about all the dreams I had, leave USA and go back home or I had to show up to office. Everyday of being in that team and sitting in that office was taking a toll on me.

    My Experience @ Apple — Part (5)
    Time passed and we reached October. The senior manager scheduled a meeting with me and my manager for my first performance evaluation. He handed me a piece of paper in the meeting and asked me to read it and they both stared at me with a big smile on their face as I was reading it. My performance review had 2 lines in the results and innovation and big multiple paragraphs on the teamwork. They had not included anything positive. It was hard for me to even sit there and I barely held my tears. I asked my manager once again, examples of what she is accusing me. She refused to give me examples and said that I just carried negative energy and the mirror neurons in team members brain mirrored that negative energy which ruined teamwork!!!

    I scheduled a couple of follow up meetings with the senior manager and the senior director and went over the events that had taken place at my employment at Apple with written proof and timelines. I had also obtained three independent testimonies from three senior scientist, manager, and software developers at Apple who knew me and had worked with me who testified against their statements. They also testified that I exceeded their expectations in teamwork. I gave the documents to both senior director and the senior manager. I asked them to reconsider my review and help me to transfer to a different team. They said that they will not change anything about my review and will not help me transfer and will continue to provide negative feedback when I try to initiate the transfer process myself. I emailed HR about it and HR said that no matter what other people think of you, if the manager feels that you deserve a bad review you will have a bad review.

    Senior manager and senior director told me that for anyone who does not meet expectation in any category, there is a mandatory review in 90 days which determines if the person will be fired or continue employment. They also said if I cause issues by going to HR, they will count those against me in performance review.

    45 days passed by and I asked the senior manager for a written evaluation of where I stand. He scheduled a meeting to go over it. In the meeting he said that I am meeting expectations and there was no problem. I was so stressed that I fainted after the meeting ended. The senior manager helped me walk to a break room and he said that there will be another review in 45 days and that one is the official one.

    I had talked to several managers in the organization and outside of the organization. Everyone was getting feedback from my manager and was thinking that I am a difficult person. People were missing the context and history of the team and that I was in constant fear of being accused of something serious, getting fired and facing deportation and always had to be on guard and watch what’s coming next. There was no way that I would trust that team or would be calm and do my best work. I tried to explain this to HR and senior management multiple times but they did not care.

    Tense meetings continued to happen. I was given undesirable tasks. Urgent task would fall on my shoulders. My manager had forced me to share my calendar with her to see all contents of my calendar. If I had booked my calendar for a doctor appointment or meeting someone, the manager or senior manager would schedule a conflicting meeting for the same time or would come and interrupt my meeting with the other person. If I had a doctor’s appointment, senior manager would tell me to take the whole day off if I had a one hour appointment. After they abused the information from my calendar, I stopped sharing my calendar with them but they could still see that I am busy at a certain time. In a meeting she was almost trying to physically snatch the laptop out of my hand to re-share the calendar and and then she threatened to give me poor teamwork again because of this.

    My manager asked me to violate Apples policy regarding data protection and send her screenshots/copies of data which not only would get me fired but also get Apple in serious trouble as it would have been a violation of GDPR. She had access to the server where data was but was refusing to learn how to work with the server even after we had training sessions and I offered to show her how. She threatened me again to give me another poor performance evaluation because I was insubordinate and bad at teamwork.

    My manager continued to abuse me in the meetings and would assign me urgent tasks in group emails. My manager manipulated the meeting notes and summary of meetings in a way that was giving the impression that I am making mistakes in completing my tasks while it was not true. When I reached out and ask her to correct, she refused to do so and told me it is just a difference in wording!

    My manager and iBuddy were changing results of my work to something incorrect in shared documents and when I called them out, she again would say that I am just arguing for something insignificant. My manager had put iBuddy in charge of evaluating my work and she was automatically cc’d in all my Radars even though she had nothing to do with that specific project and was not working on it.

    After that 90 days of my first review, I was waiting for the mandatory review to be scheduled and feeling terribly stressed about it. I had cried the Christmas and New years break waiting for extension of my visa to come in and for the review. The senior manager was avoiding me and was not responding to my emails. My manager was also again on vacation and had taken another full week off for jury duty. I sent email to HR and asked about the process and HR said there is no such a policy of mandatory review in 90 days!

    This meant that my manager, senior manager, and senior director had lied about the company policies and the senior manager refused to let go of the lie even after he saw closely how it impacted me and a human being fainted from stress in front of his eyes because of his lie.

    After a week the senior manager, scheduled a 1:1 technical meeting with me for end of the day 4:00 pm — 5:00 pm. The meeting room was in an abandoned suit at apple that not many people had access to, including myself. The suit had about 20 offices and all of them were empty and people had moved out of the suit completely and nobody else was there at the time. Since I didn’t have access to get in the suit, the senior manager had to let me in.

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    Halfway through my meeting, the senior director joined the meeting. I said I was not comfortable him joining my meetings without being invited to or letting me know that he is coming to my meeting but he stayed in the room anyway and said that it was not illegal and he was not breaking any law. I tried to leave but they said we first had to speak before I can leave and it was very important.

    The room was already small but the senior director was sitting so close to me that his knees were touching mine and I could smell his bad breath. He was repeatedly saying he is going to fire me if I do not leave by myself. The senior manager left after sometime and I was left with the senior director alone. I first started to review the facts with him, but then I thought to myself that they already are aware of the facts, have seen all written proofs and know about the team’s history. If a senior director goes around and spends hours to intimidate engineers and make them leave rather than ethically manage an organization, more discussion will not serve any purpose. If the senior director himself was a fair individual, things like this would never happen and if they did, they would not be tolerated and would be solved properly. I left that meeting and lost the last bit of hope.

    This meeting invitation was deleted from my calendar later but I kept the picture of it. Disappearing meetings had happened to me before and if I talked about those, the management would say there was no such a meeting or conversation and I am just imagining it. After sometime I thought I am losing my mind and started to take pictures, record, collect human witness, write details, etc. of everything happening for my personal record and specially in case I get harmed …

    I felt sick for the next couple of days and took time off trying to think about what just happened. I was not able to perform normal life activities and certainly was not able to relax. I had a friend who was watching me 24/7 and I was feeling suicidal.

    My Experience @ Apple — Part (6)
    I returned to work for a couple of days but was constantly thinking about suicide. I had a clear plan and had planned multiple ways in case one failed, I would not survive the next. I had all details about it and that was all I was thinking about. I went to see my doctor and when he became aware of how I felt, he put me on medical leave and a cocktail of medication.

    Next couple of months was a serious struggle for me. I was convinced life does not worth living for someone like me. I was reviewing my life and how hard I had worked to make a good life for myself and get where I am and how easily and unfairly it was being taken away.

    I was born to a middle-class family in a small town when there was a war happening. My family was not rich or well connected and I was in no way privileged. I went through a lot of unfortunate events and had worked hard to get anything in life. Despite all of that, I never accepted that something was not possible for me. I dreamed of becoming an astronaut as a 5 year old, I built my first robot when I was 12, I studied for science Olympiads in high school and became successful in it, I was accepted to one of the most prestigious universities in my home country and after that I came to USA to pursue my PhD in computer science on a full scholarship and then got my first job at Apple.

    But this was different. I was just tired and did not see myself fighting an unfair battled longer. The worse part was that there were many people who witnessed the situation and knew details of what is happening and could have taken a step but chose to remain silent, contributed to the corruption or used it for their own benefit. Their intervention could have made a very big difference but they made a decision to do nothing.

    During my medical leave, I was on a high dose of medication but I did not feel any better. I just felt numb. Before, I struggled to narrow down my interests and just focus on one main interest. Those months I did not feel interested in anything. It was a strange, unfamiliar but extremely unpleasant feeling that I did not know what to do with. I felt dead.

    While I was on a medical leave, I was still reading the meeting notes and could see that the team is blaming me for several failures in the project and accusing me of different things. I also received another performance review while I was on medical leave!

    In the meanwhile, 2 people from our team were taken out of my managers direct report and had formed a new team and the iBuddy was promoted to management position who would report to the senior manager. 2 people who directly witnessed the situation had resigned from the organization and our program manager who also witnessed what is happening got promoted and transferred to a different country. This time was not any time close to normal review/promotion cycle.

    After a couple of months my doctor cleared me to go back to work but strongly recommended leaving that job if I did not see significant change or improvements. When I went back to work, people who witnessed the situation were scattered, had resigned, were given promotion, were transferred, etc.

    I was still in the same team under the same manager and was welcomed by another series of yelling in the very first team meeting and was assigned tasks with hourly/daily deadlines. The tasks were sent in an email on a Friday evening at 10:30 pm right before my manager took off again for another vacation. I resigned the Monday after I went back and gave my two week notice. There was an exit interview scheduled. Once again in my exit interview, I spoke with HR about everything that had happened which they already knew about and I also filled the written exit interview email as well. After the exit interview, the senior manager responded to my email and said that my resignation was accepted and he wants me to give back my laptop and badge. Later I was escorted out of Apple facilities by the senior manager.

    Although after my resignation, I left state of California and physically moved away in hope of a recovery, there has not been a single day that has passed by that I don’t think about what happened. There are many days that I think about what happened and grieve. What if my manager had showed up for my onboarding and had shared project info with me directly? What if the team was inclusive and the clique and gang mentality did not exist in the organization? What if people did not judge me and call me names based on where I was born, my age, experience level and had accepted me as a person in the team? What if I was safe and was treated respectfully and fairly? What if when the problem started to happen, it was solved properly? What if someone from all who witnessed the situation had spoken up and helped? What if HR had a close look and called it what it was and had helped me to transfer to a different team? But none of this happened.

    Apple was such a waste of my mental energy. The energy I had to spend on survival and planning my next move for the next crazy thing, could have been spent on building my dreams and bringing them to millions of people. I had so much to give and so much to build. It is such a shame.

    I know for a fact that I am not the only person who has been bullied in this organization. There were multiple individuals before me in the same team under the same manager who had similar experiences. Senior management has also been doing this to many employees over the years. If this situation sounds familiar to you, now is the time to speak up. Do not let the bullies get away with their cruel actions and abuse more people.

    I expect Apple to take actions that they should have taken years ago to prevent more people experiencing abuse. It is such a big shame and disappointment that my experience of working for a company who pretends so hard to portrait its work culture as inclusive, diverse, collaborative and fair turned into such a terrifying experience and even though senior management and HR were involved, they themselves contributed to the corruption.

    Stop pretending and using Blacks, trans people and Muslims on your cover videos, those diversity charts, numbers, percentages, fancy words or those gender pronouns on your profiles to show how cool you are. Do not go behind the scenes abusing your employees and telling them abuse is confidential; they will find their voices someday and will tell their stories as public and as loud as they need to. Let go of the advertisement and building the image and instead see the problems, solve them and build the capacity and culture for real.

    If Apple refuse to take actions, I will interview with major media outlets describing the experience in more details and I will release a list of all individuals involved from senior management to the HR director and all the evidence as public record.

    Written by

    Ex Apple Engineer

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 5:18 am on December 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple, , , IMac, , , iPhone, Macbook, , ,   

    Investigating Apple’s iPhone Manufacturing Plant In India 

    Here’s another article I’d bookmarked from HN.

    I’m going to start quoting because I don’t want to waste my time typing.

    “While an engineering graduate was promised Rs 21,000 per month, his/her salary had reduced to Rs 16,000 and, subsequently, to Rs 12,000 in the recent months. Non-engineering graduates’ monthly salary had reduced to Rs 8,000. The salary amount being credited to our accounts have been reducing and it was frustrating to see this,” an employee alleged.

    So iPhones are expensive, yet they still can’t pay their workers minimum wages.
    Is this how Apple increases it’s annual revenue?

    But wait! There’s more!

    On Friday night, the employees started discussing about their salaries on their floors and some alleged that they had received only low as as Rs 500 in their bank accounts. The anger turned into violence by the time the shift ended, the employee added.

    Can you believe this?
    ‘Cause I can’t.
    Imagine paying a worker 6 bucks at the end of the month – for working 10 hours. Or how many hours is it? Let’s find out!

    More serious was the move to increase working hours from eight hours to 12 hours on a continuous basis without informing the department and without seeking the necessary exemptions under the Factories Act for overtime work. It also found that there was no assessment of the repercussions of moving from eight-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts. The company was found not to have followed statutory compliance pertaining to the requisite number of safety officers, welfare officers, and medical officers as stipulated by the Factories Act.

    So they earned $6 for working 12 hour shifts the entire month.

    Here’s another quote:

    While each shift had two 30 minute-long breaks for meal times and two 15 minute-long tea breaks, employees took time to travel to and from the facility, which meant that they were out for about 15 hours everyday. “Some people had to travel from places as far as Chintamani, Mulbagal and Kolar Gold Fields, so it took them even longer. Employees had no life outside of work and would end up sleeping on their weekly offs. When we joined, we were not told about the 12-hour shift,” Abhishek says.

    And another:

    “I know my friends received only ₹300 and ₹600 as salaries for the full month of November. Overtime in October and November did not reflect in the salaries of many people. These people’s families depend on their salaries,” says Nithin, a B.Com graduate employed in the FATP department. As an incentive, the company had introduced a monthly attendance bonus of ₹1,000 for those who did not take any leave.

    That’s 4 bucks working 12 hour shifts with no leaves in a month.

    What can I say?
    India and Apple, the gifts that keep on giving!

    Now is this corporate wageslavery or what?
    Yes it is!
    Capitalism at it’s finest!
    Yay education!
    Yay jobs!
    I can’t wait to move to this place – where is it? Narasapura, 70 km from Bengaluru.
    I’m going to book a flight to Bengaluru and then ride a donkey to Narasapura!
    Apple, are you ready for your newest capitalist corporate wageslave?

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