Company specifically worried about Congo
Apple has published its eighth Supplier Responsibility report, based on data including 451 audits of its suppliers. The company claims a 95 percent compliance with the maximum 60-hour work week in its Supplier Code, a slightly improvement from 92 percent a year ago. Notably, Apple says it is now keeping a closer watch on where suppliers pull minerals from, in a bid to avoid "conflict" minerals -- minerals from regions where their sale may be used to fund ongoing wars. In particular, the Apple is focused on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Most new storefronts in Asia, Africa
As promised at WWDC 2012, Apple has expanded the App Store to 32 more countries. Most of the new storefronts are located in Asia and Africa, though some South Pacific nations have been added, along with Albania and the Ukraine in Europe. The complete list of regions includes Albania, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.
Confesses 'no way' for suppliers to be sure
The iPhone 4 -- and other Apple products -- should be free of so-called conflict minerals, says CEO Steve Jobs. In a recent article, the New York Times profiled the situation in the eastern Congo, where warlords may fund extremely violent campaigns by selling minerals to suppliers who build phones, cameras, computers and game systems. The situation echoes that of blood diamonds, which are coming under better though not complete control because of laws and certification.
MSI X610 uses low-power AMD CPU
MSI on Monday announced the upcoming release of the X-Slim X610 ultrathin notebook, an AMD-powered version of its currently available X600. The same 15.6-inch, 1366x768 resolution screen is used, though the Intel Core 2 CPU and related mainboard are replaced with AMD's Congo platform with an Athlon Neo processor. Other specs are shared, including the 1-inch thickness, 4.6lb weight and standard six-cell battery.
MSI X410 now official
MSI this morning took the X-Slim line into AMD's territory by officially launching the X410. The crossover, 14-inch ultraportable uses the lower end of AMD's Congo ultrathin platform and uses both an Athlon Neo processor and the newer chipset to reportedly get twice as much battery life as a regular 14-inch notebook, although MSI is silent on actual numbers. The system uses the older Radeon X1250 for integrated graphics but claims its power is enough to decode 1080i video smoothly.
AMD Congo platform
AMD this morning kicked off the launch of an updated notebook offering and headlined it with Congo, the nickname for its next-generation Ultrathin Platform. The new architecture includes AMD's faster 1.6GHz Turion Neo X2, found in the HP dv2z, but focuses on graphics performance and battery life. It uses a Radeon HD 3200 much like AMD's fuller-size notebooks and as a result can decode 1080p video smoothly in hardware; at the same time, AMD estimates about an hour more of battery life than its earlier platform.
AMD Dual Core Neo Soon
AMD is on track to release a dual-core version of its Athlon Neo budget ultraportable processor in just a few months, company spokesman John Taylor has said at a CES press conference. Having just launched the single-core version and its initial platform, the semiconductor firm says it fully expects to launch dual-core Athlon Neo and Sempron editions, codenamed Congo, that will be significantly faster in most cases than the single-core model. They shouldn't cost more or generate more heat than the simpler design, AMD says.