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Businesses The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry 268

chicksdaddy (814965) writes "Given Apple's status as the world's most valuable company and its enormous cash hoard, the refusal to offer even meager support to open source and industry groups is puzzling. From the article: 'Apple bundles software from the Apache Software Foundation with its OS X operating system, but does not financially support the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in any way. That is in contrast to Google and Microsoft, Apple's two chief competitors, which are both Platinum sponsors of ASF — signifying a contribution of $100,000 annually to the Foundation. Sponsorships range as low as $5,000 a year (Bronze), said Sally Khudairi, ASF's Director of Marketing and Public Relations. The ASF is vendor-neutral and all code contributions to the Foundation are done on an individual basis. Apple employees are frequent, individual contributors to Apache. However, their employer is not, Khudairi noted. The company has been a sponsor of ApacheCon, a for-profit conference that runs separately from the Foundation — but not in the last 10 years. "We were told they didn't have the budget," she said of efforts to get Apple's support for ApacheCon in 2004, a year in which the company reported net income of $276 million on revenue of $8.28 billion.'"
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Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry

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  • Wait...what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chas ( 5144 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:04AM (#46739891) Homepage Journal

    Okay, you're stunned that a company as culturally blinkered and rapacious as APPLE isn't turning over some of their huge cash hoard to fund Open Source projects that are outside of their control and might sabotage their patent warchest?

    Why not just walk up to Smaug, kick him in the eyeball and demand the Arkenstone "OR ELSE" there Bilbo!

    As long as you are witholding something Apple wants, they're either charming as fuck or litigious as hell in an effort to acquire it.

    Once they have what they want out of you, you're a one-night-stand, it's the next morning and they can't be rid of you fast enough.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:06AM (#46739897)

    It's my understanding he wasn't big on giving money away.

    Your understanding is incorrect.

    He didn't like telling everyone about his donations.

    He didn't like doing it to show off or for politics, he preferred to donate to the actual cause, not so other people would think he was a good person.

    He didn't donate so you liked him, he donated to accomplish things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:39AM (#46740061)

    Apple doesn't have a "spotty record", they have a dismal record. Most of OS X is modified open source software. When Apple has released stuff as open source software, it has either been because they were forced to by the license, or because it was for software that primarily runs on OS X. Steve Jobs even tried to weasel out of the GPL with gcc.

    Apple treats FOSS as a zero-sum game, when the intent of FOSS is positive-sum: by growing the pie, everybody should win. FOSS developers should treat Apple like Apple treats everybody else: as a competitor to be destroyed.

  • by The123king ( 2395060 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:45PM (#46740517)
    Apple didn't just "contribute" to Webkit, they pretty much created it (from KHTML, also open-source). Apple might not contribute financially to open-source projects, but they certainly contribute code-wise. The whole Darwin kernel is open-source, that's how the Goto fail bug was found. I don't see many other big-name corporations developing their own kernel in-house and then open-sourcing it (Android doesn't count)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:55PM (#46741083)

    Apple is behind the CUPS project, and I see it every time I set up a printer on using Linux.

    Each company can't be everything to everyone. Thanks, Apple, for your contribution.

    P.S. I don't own a single Apple product, and don't bash those who enjoy them.

  • Re:Inspiration (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @05:12PM (#46742339)

    I think thats down to Xerox Parc, not Apple

    Umm, other than spouting a cliché, have you ever seen what PARC designed? No such thing as direct object manipulation (you clicked on an icon and then got a menu; you couldn't do anything with that icon. Couldn't drag it, move it, double-click it.). No hierarchal space, nothing analogous to QuickDraw, etc. I could go on...

    Just because a buggy also had 4 wheels doesn't mean your BMW is much of a derivative.

  • by Antonovich ( 1354565 ) on Monday April 14, 2014 @02:52AM (#46744761)

    This is too long, sorry I can't help myself...

    Ok. I'll assume you are an Actually Interested Person and not just a fanboy in disguise. Maybe you can clear up a possible misunderstanding I have with some facts, or at least give a compelling alternative interpretation. I was a fan of Apple until a little after they really took off. Yes, I'm a fan of FOSS, and let's face it, I'm a bit of a Google fanboy. I don't need to hate everyone though, and Microsoft was doing a sterling job of being my pinup demon.

    Then I read about about Guru Steve's Mercedes Manoeuvre. While I didn't grow up with rich parents in a privileged area, I did grow up in a highly educated family in the West, and the only thing I wanted for was the most expensive Reebok's or latest gadgets. While I'm not particularly beautiful, I am physically fit and healthy, have white skin, am male and heterosexual. In the grand scheme of things, I've got it pretty damn good - I don't suffer from any discrimination and all the doors are open for me. I believe that all people should be treated equally but I also believe that some people have not had the same cards dealt to them I have. I think that society as a whole benefits when we make the lives of those who haven't had such luck a little easier - the more productive people there are, the better for all, including me personally.

    So, many people have heard about Steve's Mercedes manoeuvre - California law allows owners of new vehicles to drive them around without number plates for 6 months. Steve strikes an agreement with a company (a dealership?) to change his new Mercedes every 5 months and 29 days, so in reality he can drive without ever having a number plate. Why would he do this? One reason could be he doesn't want people to know who owns the car. Possible, and I don't know how common it is in California, but I would have thought not having a number plate would draw considerably more attention than having one, and Steve definitely wasn't stupid. Then you look a little and you start seeing pictures around the web of a Mercedes with no number plate in handicapped parking spots. And yes, Steve was regularly seen getting in and out of said Mercedes.

    Having worked for several years for a company owned by a non-profit whose sole purpose was to give handicapped (of all sorts) people a chance to get some confidence in the workplace by giving them a job with enough support that they could gain valuable skills, this needed some explaining. Why would he do this? I read that he simply wanted to save time. Ah.... WTF? So Ok, you want to save time. I can accept that. You are a multi-millionaire, and then you are a multi-billionaire, what do you do? You get a driver. Very simple. What does Steve do? He parks in handicapped parking spots. Now this is my interpretation and I don't know how it works in California but my further assumption was that the lack of number plates meant that he would avoid getting parking fines. It might just be so that it's impossible to tow, which would fit nicely with the time thing. Even the possibility that it was to avoid getting fines has meant that Apple has been firmly off my shopping list. Whether it was to avoid the fines or just the towing, I can't find a remotely passable excuse for what he did - I find it completely morally repugnant.

    Is this collection of facts incorrect? What about my interpretation? Did he secretly donate millions to handicapped charities? Something else I might be missing?

I've got a bad feeling about this.