Friday, May 7, 2010

Apple Moving Headquarters to Dubai

Concerned by the recent outing of the fourth generation iPhone prototype on tech blog Gizmodo, secrecy obsessed Apple is moving its headquarters to Dubai.

The Middle East emirate has long been known for its ultra luxe amenities, including an indoor snow resort and the world's largest man-made islands and the tallest building. But more recently, they were in the news for using their sophisticated security tracking system to determine that the death of a senior Hamas figure was carried out by a over a dozen Mossad agents, and was not as initially believed to be the result of natural causes.

The pairing of Apple and Dubai comes as the United Arab Emirate's most ostentatious city struggles to recover from the global downturn and attract foreign business. The deal to move the headquarters to Dubai came this past week after a visit by Steve Jobs and his associates, where they apparently stayed at a seven star hotel and ate in an underwater restaurant that they reached by submarine. But what sealed the deal, according to an employee of Dubai's sophisticated security system who declined to state his name for fear of death by firing squad, was a behind-the-scenes tour of the thousands of surveillance cameras that allow for the tracking of people. "It's more intrusive than Bill Gate's house," Jobs reportedly exclaimed in admiration.

Apple suffered great embarrassment after a software engineer left a prototype of the yet-to-be-released fourth generation iPhone at a bar in Redwood City, Calif., which was subsequently sold to Gizmodo for $5,000. The resulting video of an unshaven geek displaying the prototype went viral and led to mass hyperventilation of Apple groupies worldwide.

Using Dubai's tracking system, the man who found the iPhone would have been tracked down and jailed under trumped up charges before he had time to get home, said the employee. "There would be none of this legal nonsense over whether the search warrant was legal."

Apple has already begun relocating employees as well as making some local hires. Both groups will undergo intense cultural sensitivity training, with the former learning about verboten customs such as kissing in public and the latter learning to avoid speaking positively about Adobe Flash.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spanish Intern Tasked with Planning Cinco de Mayo Celebration

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Carolina Pascal recently called her aunt in Barcelona to wish her a happy birthday. Little did 21-year-old intern for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) expect that her overheard "feliz cumpleaƱos" would lead to her planning the office's Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

The agency's celebration of the Mexican holiday is a newly instituted practice, according to Smithson Jamesfield, the recently promoted Tourism and Recreation Department director within SCPRT.

"Nothing gets my blood boiling hotter than when people claim that South Carolina is backwards and filled with local yokels. Asheville is fine, but the Obamas should really try vacationing in Charleston for a truly cosmopolitan experience, Jamesfield said, referring to the First Family's recent getaway to North Carolina. "We celebrate people of all origins and their respective customs."

Mexico's victory over French forces on May 5, 1862, is not one that is typically celebrated outside of Mexico and the United States, and awareness of the holiday is not widespread in Europe. "It's a little befuddling because I'm Spanish, but they still assumed that I celebrated Cinco de Mayo," said Pascal. "I hadn't even heard of it before I came to the United States. I was like, what's so cool about fifth day of May?"

Despite her initial befuddlement, Pascal has embraced her responsibilities, which include ordering the food and entertainment for the celebration. She had wanted to order paella and pass it off as coming from the Catalan region of Mexico, but she wasn't able to find any Spanish restaurants. Instead, celebrants will chow down on Cubano sandwiches from Real Mexico Restaurant Y Tienda.

Pascal's status as a proxy Mexican is not unprecedented. Risa Fukuyama, the IT manager for SCPRT, was charged with hosting the office's Chinese New Year's celebration, despite being of Japanese descent. And Jamesfield drafted Stan Porter, a native Kansan and office receptionist, to organize the Canadian Thanksgiving potluck buffet after heard him end a sentence with "eh?"