Tag Archives | Apple

Apple Patenting Technology To Spy On Device Users

indexYour iPod might be looking and listening right back at you — Apple is patenting creepy spyware that would “fight theft” and product misuse by enabling Apple devices to take photos of users, record users’ voices, and even detect and record users’ heartbeats, and transfer the data back to Apple. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports:

Essentially, Apple’s patent provides for a device to investigate a user’s identity, ostensibly to determine if and when that user is “unauthorized,” or, in other words, stolen. More specifically, the technology would allow Apple to record the voice of the device’s user, take a photo of the device’s user’s current location or even detect and record the heartbeat of the device’s user.

This patented device enables Apple to secretly collect, store and potentially use sensitive biometric information about you. This is dangerous in two ways: First, it is far more than what is needed just to protect you against a lost or stolen phone.

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Why the Web Isn’t Dead – A Few More Points

WWW_logoLast week Wired’s incendiary cover story The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet stirred up quite a bit of debate. Wired ran a debate between its editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, FM Media founder John Battelle, and O’Reilly Media founder Tim O’Reilly that was particularly illuminating. I made a few points here, and have a few more to make at Mediapunk:

First it was getting listed by Yahoo!, then it was getting a good ranking in Google, now it’s getting into the Apple App Store. In each case, the platform owner benefited more than the person trying to get listed. This is not new. That certain sites – like Facebook at YouTube – have become large platforms is certainly interesting. That Apple, Facebook and Google have a disproportionate say over what gets seen on the Internet is problematic, definitely. But there was never any golden age when the Net was truly open.

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The New Villains of New Media: Apple, Google & Facebook

Brent Lang explains why for The Wrap:
They’re supposed to be the good guys, right? No longer. Over the past year, several technology giants have begun to shed their status as white knights. And it's precisely because they've been held to such a high standard that when they behave like the multi-billion-dollar corporations they are, their image takes a shellacking. Move over, MIcrosoft. The tech triumvirate of Google, Apple and Facebook have surpassed even that longtime evil empire to become the new villains of New Media. “These companies have wrapped themselves in a lot of the idealism surrounding the web, but their business realities are beginning to be in conflict with the rhetoric they use to promote themselves,” Nicholas Carr, a technology writer and the author of "The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google," told TheWrap. By failing to live up to their lofty talking points...
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Apple Deleting Mentions of Consumer Reports’ Negative iPhone 4 Review on its Support Forums

Since when did Apple get in the Thought Police business? What happened to this company? Paull Miller writes on EndGadget:
Hold Different

In case Apple has somehow managed to perfect the art of selective disremembrance across a wide population, here’s a refresher: Consumer Reports has thrown down the gauntlet, stating that it “can’t recommend” the iPhone 4 until the antenna issues are fixed, issues that its labs and ours have verified quite substantially. Apple apparently isn’t happy about that, and has taken to deleting threads about the Consumer Reports article from its support forums.

Now, Apple deleting threads from its support forums is nothing new; outside of “regular” moderation, the company routinely deletes discussion of hardware flaws that it’s not ready to ‘fess up to, or just generally negative lines of thought about its products. Good thing the internet’s a big place, and if Apple’s not going to admit the antenna issue, there are plenty of ways to gripe about it.

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EyePhone (iPhone Parody) “Mysteriously” Disappears From Online Clips of ‘Futurama’

EyephoneThe Wrath of Steve Jobs! Laura June writes on Endgadget:
Remember how awesome and clever Futurama was? Well, if you missed it, your chances to see it in its original form might be slowly dwindling. It seems that Comedy Central has wiped out the reference in the dialogue to the "EyePhone 2.0." So, while we don't have any conspiracy theories brewing about what happened, it's a pretty odd thing to scrub, and we figure there are two possibilities: either Comedy Central is trying to cover their on this one, or they got a late night email from ... someone.
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James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ Censored Again — This Time By Apple

Definitely interesting, considering the publication history of this book (it was banned in the United States for over 10 years). Nick Spence writes on Macworld UK:

A comic book adaptation of James Joyce’s notoriously challenging epic Ulysses is now available on the App Store, but only after Apple demanded cuts.

Rob Berry and Josh Levitas launched the ambitious webcomic version of the classic novel, one of the most important works of Modernist literature, earlier this year under the title Ulysses Seen. The comic includes only cartoon nudity, which the pair had to remove before Apple would approve the app.

Ulysses Seen

“Apple has strict guidelines and a rating system to prevent ‘adult content.’ Their highest mature content rating is 17+, which doesn’t seem to be a problem since no one reads Ulysses at sixteen anyway. But their guidelines also mean no nudity whatsoever. Which is something we never planned for,” Berry told Robot 6.

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Apple iPad-Maker Foxconn Makes Employees Promise Not To Kill Themselves

The iPad KillsThe Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Apple manufacturer Foxconn was taking extraordinary measures to safeguard its business and workers following a spate of suicides at its sprawling plant in southern China.

Workers have reportedly been told to sign letters promising not to kill themselves and even agree to be institutionalised if they appeared to be in an “abnormal mental or physical state for the protection of myself and others”.

Nets were also reportedly being hung around buildings to deter suicidal employees.

The moves came after a 19-year-old employee fell to his death at the Shenzhen factory — the ninth apparent suicide at the enormous site this year.

The deaths have raised questions about the conditions for millions of factory workers in China, especially at Foxconn, where labour activists and employees say long hours, low pay and high pressure are the norm.

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald

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Life In Foxconn: Undercover In The iPod Factories

foxconnundercover05172010-1274313201A Chinese newspaper went undercover at a Foxconn factory, the production site for Western gadgets such as iPhones and iPods. The workers are an army of overworked, ill-treated, but optimistic twenty-year-olds whose existence is typical of many in China’s young adult generation. Translation via Engadget:

In front of a newly-opened phone shop, the sales assistant flashed an iPhone to the Foxconn employees, with everyone focused on his every “cool” gesture, as if it was something new. But actually every part of this “new” device would’ve come from the hands of these workers, except these guys had never thought of owning the final product. And now, this whole thing is right in front of their eyes with a “smashing price of ¥2,198 ($322)” — just above their monthly pay.

This super factory that holds some 400,000 people isn’t the “sweatshop” that most would imagine. It provides accommodation that reaches the scale of a medium-sized town, all smooth and orderly.

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Why Apple Hates Flash

No Flash!Steve Jobs himself, spell outs Apple’s reasons for not allowing Flash on their famed devices on Apple’s website:

Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Laserwriter printer. Apple invested in Adobe and owned around 20% of the company for many years. The two companies worked closely together to pioneer desktop publishing and there were many good times. Since that golden era, the companies have grown apart. Apple went through its near death experience, and Adobe was drawn to the corporate market with their Acrobat products. Today the two companies still work together to serve their joint creative customers — Mac users buy around half of Adobe’s Creative Suite products — but beyond that there are few joint interests.

I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

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Invalid Warrant Used in Raid on Gizmodo ‘Missing iPhone’ Reporter Jason Chen

The plot thickens. This isn’t looking like a publicity stunt by Apple anymore unless Steve Jobs has cops on his payroll. Beware the Power of Jobs! Kim Zetter writes on WIRED’s Threat Level:
New iPhone?

Police raided the house of an editor for Gizmodo on Friday and seized computers and other equipment. The raid was part of an investigation into the leak of a prototype iPhone that the site obtained for a blockbuster story last week. Now, a legal expert has raised questions about the legality of the warrant used in the raid.

On Friday, officers from California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team in San Mateo, California, appeared at the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen while he was not there and broke open the front door.

Chen and his wife discovered the officers when they returned from dinner around 9:45 that evening. According to an account he posted online, Chen noticed his garage door was partly open, and when he tried to open it completely, officers came out and told him they had a warrant to search the premises.

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