Tag Archives | Apple

Happy Bloomsday, America!

Hand drawing of Bloom by Joyce

Hand drawing of Bloom by Joyce

June 16th is the annual celebration of Leopold Bloom’s doomed wanderings through Dublin in 1904, as chronicled in James Joyce’s classic novel “Ulysses”.  And in the 21st century, reality finally catches up with and overtakes fiction.

In 1921 a U.S. court banned Ulysses on the grounds that some of its graphic depictions of nudity and sexuality constituted pornography under the Postal Code. And while that decision was reversed in 1933 by a judge who could only have failed today’s more rigorous selection processes for illiteracy and cretinism, the private sector came to the rescue of public morals when Apple banned an online illustrated version from its iStore last year.

However, that victory had an even shorter half-life. A couple months later, presumably realizing that it would lose it’s investment completely if it maintained the ban, and that nobody would likely access anything remotely smacking of literary merit anyway, Apple decided to give it a go after all.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Chinese Teenager Sells Kidney For iPad

iWTFA teenager in China has sold one of his kidneys in order to buy an iPad 2, Chinese media report. BBC News reports:
The 17-year-old, identified only as Little Zheng, told a local TV station he had arranged the sale of the kidney over the internet. The story only came to light after the teenager's mother became suspicious. The case highlights China's black market in organ trafficking. A scarcity of organ donors has led to a flourishing trade. It all started when the high school student saw an online advert offering money to organ donors. Illegal agents organised a trip to the hospital and paid him $3,392 (£2,077) after the operation. With the cash the student bought an iPad 2, as well as a laptop.
Continue Reading

Brain Scans Show Apple Products Triggering The Same Parts Of The Brain As Religion

1816630067_c70cddc78fGo figure — scans taken when Apple devotees were shown the company’s logo and products demonstrate that we literally worship our favorite brands. Digital Trends writes:

UK neuroscientists suggest that the brains of Apple devotees are stimulated by Apple imagery in the same way that the brains of religious people are stimulated by religious imagery.

Alex Riley contacted the editor of World of Apple, Alex Brooks, an Apple worshipper who claims to think about Apple 24 hours a day, which is possibly 23 hours too many for most regular people. A team of neuroscientists studied Brooks’ brain while undergoing an MRI scan, to see how it reacted to images of Apple products and (heaven forbid) non-Apple products.

According to the neuroscientists, the scan revealed that there were marked differences in Brooks’ reactions to the different products. Previously, the scientists had studied the brains of those of religious faith, and they found that, as Riley puts it: “The Apple products are triggering the same bits of [Brooks'] brain as religious imagery triggers in a person of faith.”

This suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religion,” one of the scientists says.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Why Do Gadget Makers Wield A ‘Kill Switch’?

Photo: Stahlkocher (CC)

Photo: Stahlkocher (CC)

Mark Milian writes on CNN:

When you buy a video game from Best Buy, you don’t give the retailer the right to barge into your house whenever it wants. So why do we give that permission to software companies?

Most popular smartphone operating systems and other electronic gadgets include what security researchers refer to as a kill switch.

This capability enables the company that makes the operating software to send a command over the Web or wireless networks that alters or removes certain applications from devices.

Apple, Google and Microsoft include this function in their platforms, along with a few lines in their usage agreements describing the policy. Google and Apple executives say this feature is important in order to protect against malicious software.

“Hopefully we never have to pull that lever, but we would be irresponsible not to have a lever like that to pull,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs told The Wall Street Journal in 2008.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Department of Justice Asks for More Data from Apple and Other Smartphones

Crap Futurism Today the United States Department of Justice took an alarming stance on the subject of data collection during a Senate hearing on mobile privacy.  Rather than chastise Apple, Google, and other smart phone manufacturers over their data collection practices, the DOJ felt it was a better idea to encourage MORE data collection. Kashmir Hill writes on Forbes:

During a Congressional hearing today about how much privacy you deserve when it comes to your smartphone, senators made clear that they were uncomfortable with the sensitive location and personal data that iPhone and Android phones are collecting and to whom that data gets passed along.

During one panel, the senators grilled Google and Apple. During another, they had representatives from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission give the government perspective on data collection via mobile devices. While Jessica Rich of the FTC hinted that her organization would be investigating Apple soon, and urged companies to minimize the data they collect to protect the privacy of their users, Jason Weinstein a deputy assistant attorney general from the DOJ’s criminal division had a very different message: “MOAR DATA!”

More on Forbes

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Apple’s Chinese Workers Treated ‘Inhumanely, Like Machines’ — Some Sign ‘Anti-Suicide’ Pledge

Magical iPadWondering how that Apple “magic” happens at that “unbelievable” price? Gethin Chamberlain writes in the Guardian:

An investigation into the conditions of Chinese workers has revealed the shocking human cost of producing the must-have Apple iPhones and iPads that are now ubiquitous in the west.

The research, carried out by two NGOs, has revealed disturbing allegations of excessive working hours and draconian workplace rules at two major plants in southern China. It has also uncovered an “anti-suicide” pledge that workers at the two plants have been urged to sign, after a series of employee deaths last year.

The investigation gives a detailed picture of life for the 500,000 workers at the Shenzhen and Chengdu factories owned by Foxconn, which produces millions of Apple products each year. The report accuses Foxconn of treating workers “inhumanely, like machines”.

Among the allegations made by workers interviewed by the NGOs — the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (Sacom) – are claims that…

Read More: Guardian

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Verizon To Put Location-Tracking Warning Sticker On Phones

Verizon WarningJulianne Pepitone reports in CNN:

In the wake of a giant brouhaha over the news that Apple’s iPhones record and store users’ locations, Verizon Wireless says it will start slapping ‘we can track you!’ warning stickers on its products.

Verizon’s announcement came in the form of a letter to Representatives Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Joe Barton, a Texas Republican. In March, they asked the four major wireless carriers to explain how and why they track mobile location data.

All four carriers acknowledged that they store location data for varying periods of time, but Verizon was the only company to suggest a warning label. The company says it will begin including the removable sticker on all new devices it sells.

The sticker warns: “This device is capable of determining its (and your) physical, geographical location and can associate this location data with other customer information. To limit access to location information by others, refer to the User Guide for Location settings and be cautious when downloading, accessing or using applications and services.”

Verizon also disclosed that it stores location data and other customer information for seven years.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The iPhone Tracks Your Location Without Your Consent

HAL-iPhoneCharles Arthur writes in the Guardian:

Security researchers have discovered that Apple’s iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner’s computer when the two are synchronised.

The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone’s recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner’s movements using a simple program.

For some phones, there could be almost a year’s worth of data stored, as the recording of data seems to have started with Apple’s iOS 4 update to the phone’s operating system, released in June 2010.

“Apple has made it possible for almost anybody – a jealous spouse, a private detective – with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you’ve been,” said Pete Warden, one of the researchers.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Imagine Free Beer At Your Office, But You Are Recorded For How Much You Drink…

Photo: Strom Carlson (CC)

Photo: Strom Carlson (CC)

Ryan Flinn reports for Bloomberg:

At Yelp Inc.’s San Francisco headquarters, a keg refrigerator provides a never-ending supply of beer to employees, letting them drink as much as they like.

They just have to be comfortable with full disclosure: Workers badge in to an iPad application attached to the keg that records every ounce they drink.

“If you’re at the top of the leader board consistently, I don’t know if that’s a place that you’d want to be,” said Eric Singley, director of Yelp consumer and mobile products. “Luckily, that hasn’t really even been an issue.”

In a contemporary version of “Mad Men” and its bibulous ad executives, more dot-coms are embracing the idea of drinking at work. That means keeping bars stocked at all hours, installing kegerators and letting programmers tip back a few while they code. It also raises questions about the effect of alcohol on productivity and the safety of employees.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

iPhone App To ‘Cure’ Homosexuality

Straight_And_Supportive_FlagNo longer want to be gay in the 21st century? There’s an app for that. While it’s hard to believe that anyone would buy this to be used seriously, it’s encouraging to see how many people were so quick to demand it’s removal. Over 90,000 people have already signed a petition against it. The Atlantic reports:

Gay rights activists are outaged — and rightfully so. More than 90,000 people have signed a petition hosted on Change.org demanding that Apple remove an application from the iTunes Store that promises to deliver “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”

Developed by Exodus International, an Orlando, Florida-based Christian organization, the application claims to be “a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.” But Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit organization that defends the LGBT community against anti-gay misinformation campaigns, finds the app offensive at best. “Exodus’ message is hateful and bigoted,” the petition states.

Read the rest
Continue Reading