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Future

Where's La Magia? Worldwide Reaction To Release Of Iphone 5

EL PAIS (Spain), ITWIRE, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD(Australia), THE GUARDIAN(UK), M.I.C. GADGET (HONG KONG), LIBERATION(France), MASHABLE (U.S.)

Worldcrunch

Apple has lost its magic, writes El Pais on Thursday. The Spanish daily asks what happened to the sparkle, where are the surprises with the release of the latest iPhone model?

The much anticipated presentation Wednesday was long, tedious and uneventful, reports El Pais. We knew the iPhone 5 was coming, had talked about it ad nauseam, but were expecting at some point a surprise from Steve Job’s disciple Tim Cook, that “one more thing…” But it didn't happen. Rumors were confirmed, nothing revolutionary.

Has Apple still got it?... asks ITWire, an Australian tech website. The Cupertino, CA-based company is still the undisputed leader of the smartphone pack, but rivals are catching up. Android is no longer a clunky geeky operating system for clunky geeky phones and Microsoft is –finally- getting its mobile act together. Apple now has to run faster to stand still. Your choice of smartphone now depends on other factors than Apple’s coolness. Has it done enough with this latest release?

Apple’s last wunderphone won’t disappoint the iPhone faithful, believes the Sydney Morning Herald. Despite Apple’s legendary veil of secrecy, there aren’t many surprises in today’s iPhone 5 launch – plenty of changes though. Enough to keep the faithful happy? Enough to hold back the Android hordes?

Two groups of people will be delighted to snap the new iPhone up, according to the Guardian: anyone with an iPhone from before September 2010 and anyone who wants to get 4G superfast mobile broadband speeds.

The Guardian wonders though, why we suspend our ethics when Apple launches a new phone. It’s a supreme piece of packaging design, but the reality is far from an immaculate conception: Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer of iPhone has faced a steady stream of criticism and concerns from poor working conditions to suicides.

M.I.C Gadget has a translation of a Shanghai Evening Post report, written by a Chinese journalist who went undercover in the Foxconn factory to find about how the iPhone 5 was produced. He describes the Foxconn dormitory as a garbage-smelling nightmare, and the conditions on the production line as exhausting and stressful: “This is the new unleashed iPhone 5 back plate, you should be honored to have the chance to produce it,” says his supervisor.

And if that isn’t enough to put you off … environmentalists and consumers are lining up to criticize the companies who deliberately render their products obsolete. So I guess we can chuck the iPhone 4S, even though it’s only just celebrated its first birthday, writes Liberation. Five smartphones in five years… and with each new one, a huge buzz and a marketing deluge. This has grave consequences for our planet, say sustainable development activists. To make matters worse, adds the French newspaper, is the iPhone 5’s new “Lightening” port, which is 80% smaller and makes the actual connector obsolete.

Can't wait for the new iPhone 5.I've had this mint condition, perfectly good, antique iPhone 4 for over a year now. Embarrassing.

— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) September 12, 2012

For a round-up of iPhone tech specs, see this funky musical explainer video by Mashable:

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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