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When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president. But as Steven P. Jobs of Apple spoke, President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States? Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said, according to another dinner guest. Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight. A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day. “We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries,” a current Apple executive said. “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.”
According to this article in the Washington Post, Vivek Kundra, the federal chief information officer, on Tuesday announced a new Web site designed to track more than $70 billion in government information technology spending, showing all contracts held by major firms within every agency. The site shows detailed information about whether IT contracts are being monitored and budgets being met. The data also show which contracts were won through a competitive process or in a no-bid method, which has been criticized by good-government advocates for excluding firms from business opportunities. Each prime contractor is listed as well as the status of that project; sub-contractors are not yet shown on the site.
The website is http://usaspending.gov/. The view dashboard link has already been slashdoted."