Failure to reach settlement could cost high-tech industry $9 billion
Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe are among the high-tech companies working to settle a class action lawsuit over their hiring practices within the next several weeks, according to the New York Times. The suit covers some 100,000 people, and alleges that anti-poaching policies agreed to between the companies deprived workers of higher wages they would've got had the businesses had been hiring competitively. If a settlement isn't reached, the firms could owe as much as $9 billion in damages, or $90,000 per person.
Security practices allegedly costing some workers thousands of dollars
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in a class action suit filed against Apple are seeking to delay the case until a US Supreme Court ruling is handed down, says The Recorder. The suit, filed in the Northern District of California last year, accuses Apple of failing to pay wages for time workers spend waiting in bag-check lines. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case called Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc. v. Busk, and deciding whether hourly workers must be compensated for work-related security screenings. Should the Supreme Court agree, the plaintiffs' attorneys in the Apple case suggest it will strongly influence their own progress.
Messages describe 'irate' calls from Steve Jobs
A newly-published set of emails explicitly detail the anti-poaching agreements reached between Apple, Google, and a collection of other high-tech firms. The companies settled a US Department of Justice investigation on the matter in 2010, but are still dealing with class action litigation. One of the instigators of the anti-poaching deals appears to have been former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who made "irate" calls to Google co-founder Sergey Brin in February 2005, complaining that Google was trying to hire away members of the Safari development team. Brin mentions "veiled threats" from Jobs; after a second call, he adds that "Basically, he [Jobs] said 'if you hire a single one of these people that means war'."
Company so far focusing on small buyouts
A new Apple job listing is calling for an "acquisition integration analyst." The successful candidate will help to "deliver the successful integration of acquired companies," Apple writes, and "drive multiple integration work streams, identify issues and drive decisions while coordinating with experts throughout Apple," acting as a "central point of contact for integration information." The person will presumably report to the company's Mergers & Acquisitions head, Adrian Perica.
Outlet should be ready within months
Progress is already well underway toward the first Apple Store in Dayton, Ohio, reports say. The shop is replacing a former Lane Bryant at The Greene, an outdoor shopping center. A signature black construction facade has already been put in place there, and 12 job openings for a Dayton store have been posted on Apple's website. Sources for the Dayton Business Journal also point to The Greene, but neither permits nor construction workers are naming the mall's future tenant.
New hires will support current, future content offerings
Recent Apple job listings suggest that the company is looking to improve its support of third-party content on the Apple TV, notes AppleInsider. One opening is for a "content partner engineer," expected to "provide technical support to external vendors as they integrate their content." This includes testing apps and streams, functioning as a liaison, and gathering feedback on possible platform features.
Candidates, watch may need to meet strict standards
Apple has published new job listings on its website calling for physiologists and engineers to handle tests connected to health and fitness tracking. The physiologist opening asks for someone to "design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements." Given Apple's other recent hires, it's believed that the jobs are directly related to the iWatch project.
Company aiming to power all datacenters with renewable energy
Apple has opened up three new positions for its upcoming datacenter in Prineville, Oregon. These include two maintenance technicians, as well as a chief engineer. The company has actually been trying to hire a chief engineer since early 2013, but doesn't appear to have had any success. The person will have to oversee many datacenter operations, including testing and monitoring, and implementing new projects.
Technology seems directed at Apple retail stores
Apple is searching for a "payments software engineer" who will "help build a next generation payment platform," according to a new job listing. The platform is said to integrate payment devices, middleware, and acquirers that will "push the boundaries in new markets for Apple Retail." Candidates will ideally have experience in fields like banking, e-commerce, card industries, and/or retail, and familiarity with technologies such as chip-and-PIN systems, bank messaging, and regional payment standards like Interac (Canada) and EFTPOS (Australia).
Hiring already underway for retail jobs
Apple has started hiring for the first Apple Store in Columbia, South Carolina, notes local TV station WLTX. 13 job openings have appeared, although Apple has refused to confirm or deny any plans for a store. The company typically avoids announcing Apple Stores until construction facades are in place, but there have been exceptions in the past.
Location expected to become new Brisbane flagship
Apple has started posting job listings for its third store in Brisbane, Australia, reports note. The outlet will be based in the MacArthur Chambers building, a 10-story structure dating back to 1934. Previously-submitted plans indicate that within its space, Apple is expected to make some architectural changes affecting windows, a stairway, and a wall in the mezzanine.
iPhone app promotes hiring through LinkedIn
LinkedIn has introduced two new mobile services. The first, Recruiter Mobile, is an iPhone app that manages job applications, as well as talking with candidates and hiring managers. Recruiters can track candidates' profile updates, and respond to people via phone, text, email, or LinkedIn's own InMail. The app is a free download, but requires a special link provided by LinkedIn.
Product could be new Mac Pro
Flextronics America is in the process of hiring close to 1,700 people to work on a "next generation desktop computer" at its factory in Austin, Texas, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The company has declined to go into any more detail on the product, but filed a presentation with Travis County commissioners on Monday, as part of a bid to have its facilities declared a foreign trade zone. At least 879 jobs have already been created, and Flextronics says it could add another 815 if it hits peak targets.
Sends private invites through LinkedIn
On September 26th, Apple hosted a recruitment event aimed explicitly at BlackBerry workers, says Canada's Financial Post. The event took place at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre in Cambridge, Ontario, a little over 14 miles from BlackBerry's Waterloo headquarters. To attract people the company is said to have sent out invitations to BlackBerry employees via LinkedIn.
Asks for experience with TD-SCDMA
Apple is looking to hire an engineering manager familiar with China Mobile's TD-SCDMA 3G standard, Bloomberg notes. The person's job will be to "support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones;" notably, Apple is asking for experience with TD-SCDMA, even though China Mobile has yet to carry the iPhone. The listing backs several reports pointing to an imminent China Mobile iPhone launch.
Company looks to go beyond Haswell improvements
Apple is searching for two power engineers to "help improve the performance and battery life of OS X," according to a Twitter post by OS X team member Anthony Chivetta. Both jobs will be based at the company's Cupertino headquarters. Listings ask one of the engineers to "design the latest tools to automate the collection of power information," and the other to improve the power efficiency of both OS X and its included apps.
Works towards next-gen graphics technology
Six more jobs have opened up for Apple's GPU design office in Orlando, notes AppleInsider. All of the positions are within the Hardware Engineering department, and connected to developing chips used in devices like the iPhone and iPad. One such opening is for a site manager, while another is for a program manager who will handle "SoC [system-on-chip] embedded silicon design."
Could indicate an interest in solar power or super-thin conducive materials
Apple has posted a job listing on its website for a "thin films" engineer with experience in the solar industry to join the company's Mobile Devices group and "assist in the development and refinement of thin films technologies applicable to electronics systems." While many outlets have assumed that the listing may hint at the company's use of solar power in future products, it is also possible that Apple seeks to apply the thin-film technology used in solar panels to be applied in other areas, including display and touch technologies.
Team expected to work on web design, video tutorials
Apple is working on greatly increasing the size of its internal ad design team, sources say. For years the company has reportedly kept the team capped at about 300 people. An executive described as familiar with Apple, however, claims that the team could soon grow to as large as 500 or 600 people.
Some hires meant to help outside parties produce more effective ads
Apple has been searching for dozens of new people to boost its iAd team in preparation for iTunes Radio, according to Ad Age. The publication notes that in August, Apple posted just five iAd jobs on its own website, but another 35 on LinkedIn. The company is hunting for people such as account coordinators, ad design managers, and project managers and engineers.
Hints at changes to external designs
Apple is hunting for a senior materials engineer to work on plastics for the iPhone and iPad, according to a new job listing. The person will be assigned to the iPhone/iPad Materials team, and must have "extensive experience in plastic material properties, part design and fabrication." Although Apple devices have some plastic internal parts, the listing indicates that external aesthetics will be a focus.
First major job losses at Sprint since Softbank became majority shareholder
National carrier Sprint is letting go of 800 employees from its customer support section, the first major reduction in staff since Softbank acquired a majority stake in the carrier in July. Most staff affected by the change have already been warned about the loss of jobs, with the remainder of the employee cull apparently being informed next month.
Positions suggest more work on pollution, worker rights
Apple now has over 200 job listings active in China via LinkedIn, notes the Wall Street Journal. The influx started roughly three weeks ago, with a number of jobs having been added within just the last three days. At least some of these appear to be addressed at dealing with pollution and workers' rights abuses in Apple's supply chain; the company is for instance hiring supplier responsibility product managers, and an environmental affairs program manager.
Complex expected to be iPhone-focused
Apple is currently hiring a team to help start a research and development facility in Taiwan, a local report says. The office will allegedly concentrate on new iPhones, but may handle other tasks as well. Although no listings have appeared on Apple's website, recruitment efforts are said to be focusing on management and engineering positions. Such secrecy would be consistent with Apple's past behavior, especially if the company is trying to poach from other technology firms.
Apple still overcoming spam-related issues
Apple is looking to build better protections against spam and other abuse in iCloud Mail, a new job listing suggests. The company is hiring a senior software engineer who will help "define and implement new mail anti-abuse systems" for iCloud. The person is expected to have experience with email and spam technology, and qualities like "a strong background in building high-performance, scalable and extensible systems."
OS already up to over 50 languages
Apple is looking to further improve the language support in iOS, new job listings suggest. The software already supports over 50 language options, including ones that require handwriting recognition, like non-Pinyin Chinese. The listings call for more engineers on the iOS keyboard and text team -- as well as the UIKit Frameworks team -- in order to "work closely with international teams and native speakers to accommodate all the world’s script systems."
Florida set to become important Apple hub
Apple is planning to set up chip development facilities in Orlando, Florida, seven job listings discovered by AppleInsider indicate. Most are related to developing and testing processors. One of them calls for a "GPU Csim/Reference Model Engineer" who would specialize in "modeling GPU hardware;" the listing also mentions running iOS on "pre-silicon platforms." Two other jobs involve design verification, and ask for people to "develop verification plans, create verification test bench components, generate tests, run simulations, and debug design issues," among other responsibilities.
May mean facility close to booting up
Apple is escalating its search for people to work at its under-construction Prineville, Oregon datacenter, notes AppleInsider. The company recently posted a job listing for an operations planner, as well as a site services technician. In late March, the company started looking for a chief engineer.
Company making unusual Florida hires
A new Apple job listing may hint at some of the company's plans for fingerprint technology, notes AppleInsider. The company is currently searching for a software engineer, to be based in Melbourne, Florida. The successful hire will be required to work on software related to integrated circuit design, including LabTool, an app used at Apple's "Melbourne Design Center."
Decision may be reversed later on
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has denied class action status for workers wanting to sue several major technology and film companies over anti-job poaching practices, Reuters reports. The plaintiffs have accused Adobe, Apple, Google, Lucasfilm, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar of conspiring not to poach workers from each other. While such practices might help stabilize corporate environments, they also reduce the need for employers to compete with each other on wages and benefits.
Looks to improve global accuracy of Maps
Apple has begun hiring for Maps "ground truth" workers in several more regions around the globe, expanding beyond recent Australian recruiting. The new regions include the US, eastern and western Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and the Middle East and Africa. In each case Apple is searching for a manager whose team is expected to test new code and data, comparing remotely-collected maps against "known truths" about a region's geography, as well as content in rival mapping applications. In the US, a team must use "local expertise" to gather additional feedback.
Attention turns back to stereo systems
Apple has opened up yet another automotive-related job position, notes AppleInsider. The company is currently searching for an In-Car Software QA Manager, who will help "drive iPod/iPhone/iPad integration testing with car stereos." The person is specifically expected to help test stereo compatibility with iOS products.
Dispels rumored Apple security measure
Apple isn't assigning "fake" projects to new hires at the company, say Apple workers in contact with Ars Technica. Last year, Inside Apple author Adam Lashinsky spoke with an ex-Apple employee during a Q&A session; the person claimed that the fake projects are assigned to people during a probationary period. The comments were made in response to Lashinsky's own assertions that workers are sometimes hired to "dummy positions" where they don't know what they'll actually be working on until they start with Apple.
Supports indications of new device in development
Apple is searching for an Apple TV software engineering manager, a new job listing reveals. The successful candidate will have to "lead a team of engineers working on exciting new features and functionality" for the product line. Potential hires must also demonstrate experience "juggling multiple (simultaneous) high priority projects," among other qualities.
Hints at broad expansion of existing app, greater integration
A raft of positions available with Apple at its Cupertino headquarters dealing with nearly every aspect of the company's iOS Maps program have been revealed through new job postings. A total of ten engineering positions dealing directly with Maps suggest either that Apple is replacing those hired for nearly identical jobs in September, or expanding the team significantly in another push to help the program realize its potential. While Apple's Maps has improved significantly from its debut, it still lags behind Google, Nokia and other competitors in a number of aspects.
Siri for iOS also slated to get more features
A new opening for a UI engineer at Apple indicates that the company has major plans for Siri, says AppleInsider. The person will be expected to work on the presentation of results in Siri's conversation view, integrating new apps and services into the voice command system. Apple describes Siri as "an entire miniature OS within the OS."
Company also searching for other regional positions
Apple is looking to hire a Russian chat team manager for its still-unlaunched Russian online store, reports observe. Although the person will be based in Cork, Ireland, he or she will "lead a team of 12/15 dynamic advisors," according to the job listing, pushing them to "meet or exceed business goals ensuring that all Apple customers are receiving an excellent service." As a part of the job, the manager will have to conduct his/her own hiring.
Clip reverses inventor's view on future 'social impact' of computing
The widely-publicized first scene released from Ashton Kutcher's jOBS biographical feature on Steve Jobs is said to be "not close" to the actual relationship between Jobs and Stephen Wozniak, according to Wozniak himself. The film will be shown at the Sundance Film Festival, with Kutcher and co-star Josh Gad appearing at the Macworld conference next week to promote the picture.
Details of tech still kept quiet
Apple is searching for an "iOS Frameworks QA Engineer" who will have the chance at working on "the very first iPhone/iPad app that uses a new API/framework in the next version of iOS," notes AppleInsider. The person will have to cooperate with different engineering teams to ensure the quality of APIs and frameworks. The job listing -- quoted above -- doesn't specify what a next-generation API might contain, but offers a first hint at Apple's development of iOS 7.
Job listing effectively confirms ac-equipped Macs
Apple is searching for a system test engineer with knowledge of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, reports note. The person will in fact have to specialize in Wi-Fi, and work at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, where they will be tasked with "testing, automating, leading, and working closely with the entire cross-functional team to ensure quality for Macintosh products." The opening may all but confirm that Apple plans to update 2013 Macs with 802.11ac.
Ashton Kutcher Jobs biopic set for April 2013 release
The filmmakers behind jOBS, the independent biopic on late Apple founder Steve Jobs, have announced that the film will be released in cinemas in April of this year. As MovieWeb reported today, the film will screen on the final night of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and open with Open Road Films handling distribution in the United States, with Inferno Entertainment handling international sales. A different Jobs biopic, with Aaron Sorkin adapting Walter Isaacson's Jobs biography, is still in development and does not yet have a release date.
Project may be important to city's economy
Construction work has started on Apple's expanded presence in Austin, Texas, the Austin America-Statesman reports. Crews are said to be doing earthwork at the new West Parmer site, and have already erected a concrete shell for what appears to be a three-story office building. So far, though, no signs have identified the project, its future occupant, or even the company doing the construction, although the developer is known to be Conor Commercial. A security guard has refused to say whether or not Apple is involved.
Central location offers one million job postings, Google apps
Google has launched a central service to help veterans into civilian employment, that uses already built support tools. Dubbed VetNet, the site leverages Google+ and Google apps to provide resume-building assistance and help finding jobs to ex-military personel and their families, by moving all of the existing Google-connected tools for these purposes into a single hub.
Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish versions planned
Apple is working on adding another six international translations of Siri, a job listing reveals. An opening for cloud services engineering interns became available on November 13th; candidates are expected to "join the team responsible for delivering Siri in different parts of the world for an exciting 6 month internship in Cupertino, California." Candidates must be "native or fluent" in Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Korean, Norwegian, and/or Swedish, and fluent in English. The requirement is telling since Siri still isn't available in Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish.
iOS Maps tech still distant from Google level, source comments
Apple is actively recruiting people with Google Maps experience to work on the iOS 6 Maps app, a source says. The person reportedly has connections with both teams, and goes into detail, noting that Apple is specifically targeting people who are/were working on contract with Google, rather than permanently. "Many" of the prospective hires are said to be eager to join Apple, since Google Maps generally only requires minor updates while iOS 6 Maps is a new product.
Apple allegedly pushing profit at expense of workers, maintenance
The labor situation in Apple Stores is still in a rough state, despite promises by the company, according to sources for ifoAppleStore. For example, contrary to statements by Apple retail head John Browett, workers were recently laid off or fired, but later just rehired -- and while interstore transfers are now going through, demotions aren't being reversed, overtime is still limited, and managers are assigning minimum hours to part-timers. Apple is thought to be trying several methods of maximizing retail profits, including changing how worker performance is rated.
Apple allegedly citing 'business reasons' for firing
A former Apple worker -- Wayne Goodrich -- is suing the company over breach of contract and unfair business practices, claiming Apple co-founder Steve Jobs promised him he would always have a job, Bloomberg reports. In a complaint filed with the California state court in San Jose, Goodrich says he was fired in December for what Apple said were "business reasons" unrelated to his performance. Goodrich describes himself as a confidant and close adviser to Jobs, and someone who worked under him from 1998 until Jobs' retirement and death in late 2011.
Browett insists no one was laid off
Reports of layoffs and reduced hours at Apple Stores are misleading, Apple is said to be telling store leaders. Two sources tell Dow Jones that Apple's head of retail, John Browett, sent a memo to the leadership teams explaining that the company recently tried a new staffing formula, with the result that some workers saw their hours cut back, and some outlets were undermanned. The situation lasted a few weeks before the company went back to its old model.
Topic key point of America-wide Apple Store meetings
One of the key subjects of US-wide Apple Store meetings on Sunday night was a new worker training program, called Pathways, 9to5Mac reports. Sources in the retail chain say that the objective of the initiative is to give workers a career path. In practice, new hires will now be considered in training for their entire first year after joining an Apple Store.
Intent of Israeli expansion still unclear
Apple has started hiring for two new chip engineering jobs in Israel, notes AppleInsider. The company is looking for two "SoC Backend Physical Design Engineers," to be based in the Haifa and Herzliya Pituah regions of the country. People hired for the jobs will be required to handle "physical implementation of a complete SoC [system-on-chip] from net list to tape-out," including aspects like clock and power distribution, and power and noise analysis. The openings join five others in Israel, all involving engineering. Most of these are situated in Herzliya Pituah.