Patterico's Pontifications

4/20/2011

A Warning to Iphone Users

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:43 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Good news!  Your Iphone is secretly tracking your movements:

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.

Yeah, not at all creepy on Apple’s part.  And in case you are not an Apple user, and worried about this:

Only the iPhone records the user’s location in this way, say Warden and Alasdair Allan, the data scientists who discovered the file and are presenting their findings at the Where 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “Alasdair has looked for similar tracking code in [Google’s] Android phones and couldn’t find any,” said Warden. “We haven’t come across any instances of other phone manufacturers doing this.”

Yeah, so unless this story turns out to be a hoax, Apple just lost a customer.  Seriously, I have had Verizon forever and I was thinking about getting the Iphone on that service but not fraking now.

Also, it might be a good time to trot out a classic from Cracked: 5 Reasons Why You Should be Scared of Apple (language warning at the link).  So I guess they need to amend it to be six reasons.

H/t: Hot Air.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

53 Responses to “A Warning to Iphone Users”

  1. I do not get the pun at all I’ve read it like 27 times but nobody ever said I was the smartest pikachu in the deck

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  2. I do not get the pun at all I’ve read it like 27 times but nobody ever said I was the smartest pikachu in the deck

    Come up with one.

    iSpy?

    Kman (5576bf)

  3. This seems like something they would want to disclose, to make sure the owner was aware of. Is that on iPad and iPod too?

    JD (d56362)

  4. JD

    don’t know about ipad and ipod. does the ipod have gps capabilities? if not, its impossible.

    That being said, i kind of don’t care. i am seriously swearing off apple products over this. all of them. because if that is the crap we caught them at, what are they doing that we don’t know about.

    and if i was their lawyer, i would seriously worry about privacy violations. i wouldn’t be surprised if this was specifically illegal in some states.

    [Edited after the fact. –Aaron]

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  5. LOL. On the other hand, Aaron, Apple will sell lots of phones to insecure spouses, as ‘gifts’ for a suspected cheater.

    Only apple product I ever had was an older, black and white iPod my wife gave me. It was quite expensive for its amazingly limited functionality and terrible software (itunes). Maybe the extra money went into the surveillance package?

    They do have a great app store, though. I also think their products usually have an excellent finish and polish to their design. But there’s just this undercurrent of disdain for users like me who want to do things my own way. I don’t want itunes sorting my music the Apple way, locking me in. I don’t want to rely on apple docks that only work with apple things. I don’t want to be limited to the storage limits (I need an SD slot!). Etc. That whole single mouse button thing (yeah, I know, they let you plug in your own mouse… but it was a forced concept meant to control software devs).

    But I don’t blame Apple. They just need a competitor to get their act together and provide something more open, but with similar appeal.

    Anyway, if you want to know who she’s with, there’s an app for that.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  6. iPods don’t have a GPS chip. Even the ones that look like iPhones don’t. Unless there is some amazing wifi based geotag function (there isn’t), I don’t think that’s a concern.

    Ipads with 3g have that crude AGPS, so they probably have the same spyware included.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  7. And then there’s this wunnerful story:

    “The Michigan State Police have started using handheld machines called “extraction devices” to download personal information from motorists they pull over, even if they’re not suspected of any crime. Naturally, the ACLU has a problem with this.

    The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.

    Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20055431-1.html#ixzz1K5ahgyz6

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20055431-1.html

    rbj (487e2c)

  8. Rbj – can you imagine the OUTRAGE! if that had happened under the evil Bush?

    JD (d56362)

  9. rbj, that is nuts. I guess I’ll lock my phone in my glovebox when I’m pulled over in the future.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  10. My guess is that Apple will respond that it is a feature, not a bug. They wanted to make this information available to third-party app developers. So Apple created it as part of the iPhone’s core functions, but forgot to “turn off the file save” part before these went to market.

    I’m no Apple fan (I’m Android/Verizon), but I can’t imagine WHY Apple would want this information in the first place. The data doesn’t seem useful to anyone except for the IPhone user himself (or herself).

    Kman (5576bf)

  11. That’s why I stick to a simple cell phone. And I don’t own any Apple products either.

    either orr (6713b4)

  12. The data doesn’t seem usefu

    Seems extremely useful to me, from a market analysis perspective. This is the information age, and many companies find this level of data to be worth a lot of money.

    With this data, you can tell so much about what a person buys, where he shops, how long he spends doing it.

    BTW, my criticism of Apple products is not a request that Apple make a product I’d like. The fact is, they have a very happy customer base that is very lucrative. They should keep their brand as it is, though that means they just aren’t what people like me are looking for.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  13. the data is a lot useful you can see what businesses and such people are frequently in proximity to and target ads to them so if they go by a certain restaurant a lot you could pay apple to text them a coupon code

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  14. like if they go by cowboys and turbans alla time you can say hey buddy doesn’t a cauliflower burrito sound tasty and of course he’d be all hells yeah

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  15. I warned you all when Lenovo took over and started manufacturing computers in China.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  16. Exactly, happyfeet. Not to be rude, but the people who buy Apple products are precisely the customers business want to target the most. They spend more money than things really cost because of marketing and aesthetics. They like the kind of luxury stuff that is so profitable. That’s why Apple’s such a success story. They didn’t get there by accident, and they know that many businesses would love a piece of that action. A special backdoor into what these demographic is doing all the time? Or some custom coupon crap like Happyfeet smartly imagined?

    Yeah, that’s pretty lucrative.

    I guess Kman knows that. Let me check to see if he’s just saying the opposite of Aaron again. … … yep. LOL.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  17. With this data, you can tell so much about what a person buys, where he shops, how long he spends doing it

    Well, I thought of that, but you really CAN’T tell what a person buys, or even where he shops, from this data. My understanding is that it merely captures snapshots in time — not a full continuum.

    And GPS ain’t that accurate. I mean, if I spend two hours in the mall, the data will show I’m in EVERY store.

    I mean, I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s very marketable “market data” on my shopping habits. The noise-to-useful-data ratio strikes me as too high. Not like, for example, when people “check in”.

    Kman (5576bf)

  18. Paging Orin Kerr. Can the police search this part of your phone without a warrant?

    tomhynes (daebd2)

  19. Well, I thought of that, but you really CAN’T tell what a person buys, or even where he shops, from this data

    You’re just not thinking straight.

    GPS is quite accurate. It’s reliably 4 decimal, which is good enough for lobbing missiles hundreds of miles and hitting the right car, let alone knowing what store you are in.

    Sure it can tell what someone is buying, if you’re talking about ‘McDonalds’ or ‘Groceries’ or ‘Chevy’. No, it can’t tell what color Chevy.

    And Happyfeet’s right that even just knowing what region you’re in is quite valuable. you can get offers for products right in your vicinity, or the areas you are known to visit.

    The idea this is too much signal to noise ratio to make money is simply absurd. It’s like you’ve never paid attention to how Google markets to your geography. I’m not Aaron… it’s ok to agree with me sometimes. It won’t kill you.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  20. Can the police search this part of your phone without a warrant?

    I wonder. But I’m pretty sure if you lock it in your glovebox, they will need a warrant.

    I would also expect that if you use some kind of passcode that they override, that evidence is tainted.

    I do know in California, the courts say police can search your phone without a warrant, but only if you’re arrested. Frankly, there are a lot of screwed up aspects to data privacy. Did you know that if you leave emails on the cloud (such as gmail) for 180 days that it’s considered abandoned?

    Obama is fighting hard to make sure they can read your old email without a warrant.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  21. Is there any topic that kmart does not feel compelled to be aggressively wrong about? Reflexive contrarian is insufficient as a descriptor.

    JD (d48c3b)

  22. Kman

    I don’t think they would gather the data without a reason.

    and even sporadic information could provide alot of information. in my professional life i have put a “firewall” between the data and anyone who makes HR decisions. i don’t want someone to accuse us of firing a person because he went to a gay nightclub or a mosque.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  23. Just looked at the Google maps application and draws a circle around my house about 3 houses in diameter wether I’m using my house wifi or my phone’s tethering app. I don’t have an iPhone and the house wifi seems more accurate than the cell phone.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  24. The idea this is too much signal to noise ratio to make money is simply absurd. It’s like you’ve never paid attention to how Google markets to your geography.

    No, but that’s my point. It’s actually VERY easy to find out (or purchase) information on someone’s general geographical region — Google being an excellent example.

    This seems to me to have not enough GOOD information beyond that, and a lot of “noise”. Compare the iPhone data to say, the “check in” information from Google or Facebook or Foursquare. You KNOW that the person has gone there — the person himself has verified it. The iPhone data seems to be pretty weak tea by comparison. Were they actually IN the store, or driving by? Who had the phone at the time — was it necessarily the phone’s owner?

    AW:

    I don’t think they would gather the data without a reason.

    Well, that brings up another point that has me puzzled.

    Apple doesn’t seem to be gathering the data. The article says that the information is stored on the iPhone (or on a computer that you hook the iPhone up to). And it goes on to say there doesn’t appear to be any transfer of information to Apple, Inc.

    So aren’t we jumping the gun a little?

    Kman (5576bf)

  25. Someone that is directly involved in the use of that information told you that the information is valuable to advertisers, etc … Yet kmart continues to dispute. Go bugger your goat, kmart. Your arguing for the sake of arguing, and based in your profound ignorance, is tiresome.

    JD (604536)

  26. No, but that’s my point. It’s actually VERY easy to find out (or purchase) information on someone’s general geographical region — Google being an excellent example.

    No, actually, this is not the point you were making at all. you said that this information was not valuable, and now you’re saying drastically less precise information is valuable? No, you said something stupid, and now you’re too petty to just say you’re wrong. As usual.

    Were they actually IN the store, or driving by?

    That depends. sometimes you’re right. This actually isn’t the most precise location data out there. Sometimes you’re wrong. After all, some stores are huge, and happyfeet’s vicinity marketing makes sense. Also, it’s none of your business where I am right now. Imagine how horrified most people would be if someone like you knew they were near this store, or in this house? There are a lot of really disturbed kman types out there, and we want more security than this.

    You’re just reflexively disagreeing as usual.

    So aren’t we jumping the gun a little?

    Why? Aaron is smart enough to realize that someone wrote code that collected all locations an iphone has been. That they did this is contrary to his privacy expectations. So no one has proven (yet) that Apple did anything with that data. So what? It speaks for itself that Apple included this process. Hell, just from a security standpoint, it’s totally unacceptable even if Apple never uses the data.

    Only an idiot would say it’s too early to find this unacceptable.

    Also, you are disingenuous about the article’s contents. It notes that apple takes this data your phone has stored and moves it to your new phone. It’s not proven that it also transfers it to Apple, but it’s not like this is a forgotten mistake. It’s something Apple is actually seeking from your phone, specifically.

    BTW, you can download a program here to see what your ipad or iphone have on your behavior.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  27. Surprise: people who have access to your computer can get all sorts of data about you. Think what might be in your email! Oh, wait, that’s not a surprise.

    “Yeah, so unless this story turns out to be a hoax, Apple just lost a customer. Seriously, I have had Verizon forever and I was thinking about getting the Iphone on that service but not fraking now.”

    Absolutely. Buy some other phone that also tracks cell towers but which hasn’t been “exposed.” This is old forensics knowledge. Perhaps you should have asked a prosecutor about it. It’s no surprise that this is revealed on Hitler’s Birthday, ooops, I mean, Apple’s Quarterly Report Day.

    ErisGuy (35e007)

  28. Absolutely. Buy some other phone that also tracks cell towers but which hasn’t been “exposed.”

    Well, they looked at Android and other phones and it doesn’t appear that they save a record of all your locations over the last year. It appears they don’t do anything like an iphone does.

    Sure, you’re connecting your phone to a network, so on the other end, you could be tracked. You probably are. Ultimately, you’re right that there is no escape from data mining, but the Apple problem goes much farther than that. Any kook who gets this file, which appears to be kinda easy to get, has exposed tremendous information about your private actions.

    Do you want Kman to know where you spend your time? I don’t. At the very least, Apple’s saving this data in this sloppy fashion is a massive security problem. Creepy stalkers see this as a feature. I guess it’s no surprise Kman is defending Apple, LOL.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  29. It’s something Apple is actually seeking from your phone, specifically

    Dustin, a little common sense please.

    If Apple was “actually seeking” this data from an iPhone, and Apple did the programming, wouldn’t Apple programmed it so that the data transfers to Apple?

    What I think happened was that Apple envisioned some apps that would make use of this data. Google, by the way, has something similar. Google Latitude does passive tracking, and logs it, under the assumption that you might want it. So the idea of it isn’t that new.

    In fact, it apparently wasn’t a big secret that Apple had plans to do passive tracking/logging. This article from May of last year talks about it.

    So I don’t think this is the ooga booga that everything thinks it is. Apple’s crime here is (a) not adequately informing customers and (b) making that stored info crack-able.

    Kman (5576bf)

  30. I doubt it’s using GPS to record location. GPS is the last item on the list of tricks the iPhone uses to determine location:

    1. WiFi
    2. Mobile Towers
    3. GPS

    …each with increasing accuracy. More likely than not it’s just recording location using mobile towers as part of a signal strength diagnostic, but it will be interesting to hear further analysis and responses from Apple.

    Rick Ellensberg (13db86)

  31. I doubt it’s using GPS to record location. GPS is the last item on the list of tricks the iPhone uses to determine location:

    You’re right. I noted it was GPS, and I was mistaken.

    Anyway, you can download the data and see what’s being saved via my link in 26.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  32. So I don’t think this is the ooga booga that everything thinks it is. Apple’s crime here is (a) not adequately informing customers and (b) making that stored info crack-able.

    LOL, of course a creepy stalker isn’t upset about a valuable stalker tool. And I think it’s hilarious that you dismiss the problem while noting the problem.

    Apple very well could be taking in this data. It’s likely, even, though difficult to prove. itunes is very intrusive and bloated. But the real problem is that your phone isn’t secure. It’s not like your location isn’t already tracked by your phone company. Kman just doesn’t get it, I guess because he’s upset Aaron didn’t buy the iphone with the security flaw. Better luck next time, creepo!

    Dustin (c16eca)

  33. Ars Technica has a good article on this.

    Rick Ellensberg (13db86)

  34. Mr. Ellensburg is right. From the original article (not the Guardian piece) :

    As far as we can tell, the location is determined by triangulating against the nearest cell-phone towers. This isn’t as accurate as GPS, but presumably takes less power. In some cases it can get very confused and temporarily think you’re several miles from your actual location, but these tend to be intermittent glitches.

    So, for instance, if someone was posting blog comments from Brazil, and another person was posting similar comments, one could only conclude that they were near the same cell towers, not that they shared an IP address.

    And no, the data doesn’t transmit to Apple. Interestingly, the legal consent to the passive logging is found in one paragraph in the 15,000 words that you “agree” to when you load iTunes. Which is legally problematic for someone like Mrs. carlito, who doesn’t do iTunes with her iPhone.

    carlitos (28bbc0)

  35. And no, the data doesn’t transmit to Apple.

    Is that proven? I thought they simply found where the data is transmitted from one iphone to another if you replace it, but no one knows if Apple got the data.

    The truth is that your telco already has the data no matter if you have an iphone or not, but in this case, the iphone saves a copy too, and anyone who gets your phone gets that tracking. This is worse, rather than better.

    Also, apparently the security is so bad that even encrypted iphones and ipads don’t encrypt this info.

    So, for instance, if someone was posting blog comments from Brazil, and another person was posting similar comments, one could only conclude that they were near the same cell towers, not that they shared an IP address.

    I don’t understand this. The data logged is geographic. It’s not based on whether someone posted similar comments. I think you probably have a point that is simply flying over my head.

    anyway, this data actually is helpful in determining where a person goes.

    —-

    In fact, Apple openly admits that it keeps track of where you go with your iphone.

    That data is quite valuable, of course. But that’s not the real problem. It’s really sloppy security that is the problem, IMO. It shows a poor attitude towards customers, but that’s probably just sloppiness.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  36. btw, my link shows Apple uses that data to find out better places for hotspots (that’s marketing), but keeps the data anonymous. They also send you targeted ‘iads’ based on where you are, though so do non Apple phones, and the user is in control of that, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.

    But Apple does know where its iphones are.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  37. I think you probably have a point that is simply flying over my head.

    I was replying to Mr. Ellensburg. Explanation here – http://ace.mu.nu/archives/187216.php

    As for the data being transmitted to Apple, I just read three articles and none said that. The issue is that it’s in an unsecured file on your phone, and on your PC / Mac if you sync. Previously, that information was with your telecom carrier, and someone would need a warrant to gain access. Now, all you need is a good hacker.

    carlitos (28bbc0)

  38. Right now my iPhone thinks I’m about 50 yards South Southwest of my actual location. Or maybe that’s what they want me to think! Anyway, so Jobs tracks me to the grocery store and back. When it’s time to head for the hills, the iPhone is but one of many modern gadgets to be left behind.

    Chuck Roast (663ce8)

  39. carlitos, I’m just a little slow on the uptake sometimes.

    No worries.

    Anyway, you’re absolutely right that the issue isn’t Apple getting this data, but that’s because they already admitted they get this data some time ago. I’d be very surprised if it’s not this very file that they get, too (they track where iphones have been, so they probably have itunes forward this info).

    I even suspect the reason this file is not secure or encrypted (with the rest of the phone if you use encryption) is because they were trying to keep this file in a different little ecosystem to make it easier to assure it is anonymous (so Apple has a list of all the places a phone has been, but it’s not associated with any other data from that device, even the phone number).

    But, frankly, this is not news. Even dumbphones are being tracked this way if the telco wants. You’re right that the problem is just the security.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  40. Between this and the antenna fiasco, Apple is really pulling some bonehead stuff lately.

    I guess they just comfort themselves that they can look down on the marketshare suck of Windows Phone.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. rbj, that is nuts. I guess I’ll lock my phone in my glovebox when I’m pulled over in the future.

    Comment by Dustin — 4/20/2011 @ 11:36 am

    You need to turn the phone OFF if you are pulled over if you wish to prevent your information being taken.

    vor2 (f813ce)

  42. Unless you have built a Faraday cage into your glovebox…

    But if you did that, you might be a BIT paranoid…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  43. Doesn’t that device require the phone to be plugged in to it?

    JD (318f81)

  44. http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/1192398330/kitchen_reasonably_small.jpg

    It is not really difficult to figure out why he chose to attack and smear a 3 year old Down’s child.

    JD (318f81)

  45. I don’t get it. Are you looking at kiddie porn?

    Arizona Bob (911aa5)


  46. Is there any topic that kmart does not feel compelled to be aggressively wrong about? Reflexive contrarian is insufficient as a descriptor.


    I believe the term “congenital idiot” comes much closer to accuracy.

    No, but that’s my point. It’s actually VERY easy to find out (or purchase) information on someone’s general geographical region — Google being an excellent example.


    This seems to me to have not enough GOOD information beyond that, and a lot of “noise”. Compare the iPhone data to say, the “check in” information from Google or Facebook or Foursquare. You KNOW that the person has gone there — the person himself has verified it. The iPhone data seems to be pretty weak tea by comparison. Were they actually IN the store, or driving by? Who had the phone at the time — was it necessarily the phone’s owner?


    Yeah, people give others their CELL PHONES to carry around ALL the time. As a matter of fact, I have my friend’s cell phone right now. He has his girlfriend’s. Another girlfriend of hers has my phone. And I’m pretty sure her GF gave her phone to herWheee!

    Yep, “Congenital idiot“. Rolls right off the tongue and splats all over K-Down’s.

    First off, the info, as described, isn’t particularly “granular” — it would actually give a clear idea how long one spent in each place. And the accuracy of GPS ideally is 15 meters — about 45′. Assume it’s double that, 90′. That’s enough to specify which STORES of the mall you went into, and roughly how long you spent there. Yes, it might not be able to tell if you were standing outside the store for 10 minutes, or IN the store for 10 minutes, but, rather obviously, if you went to the Mall, and aren’t 13 years old, you probably WENT INTO stores, rather than hanging out in the corridors for 10 minutes outside most stores.

    ADD to this other information which one might get access to, such as if you purchased anything in store ‘A’, you can now estimate how long you spent in store ‘A’ before deciding on a purchase. THAT is useful information.

    Being a K-Down’s baby, of course, none of this will be “a given”.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)

  47. duh:

    “No, but that’s my point. It’s actually VERY easy to find out (or purchase) information on someone’s general geographical region — Google being an excellent example.”

    should be a part of the quoted indent.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)


  48. After all, some stores are huge,

    Dustin, this can still be useful info. 90′ would still give an idea of the section/department of the store you were in, and thus an idea (esp. when connected with other stores you “went very nearly into”) of what you were looking to purchase.

    Given that info, three Mall merchants may decide to send you a targeted advert for what they think you were interested in buying.

    Now, that may have some cachet… but the objection here is not that I’m getting marketed to, but that other people are connecting my movements with my interests. And maybe I don’t appreciate that invasion of my privacy.

    To that someone might ask:
    “Hey, what difference does it make?”

    To which my response would be:
    “Perhaps none, really. But that’s not for YOU or APPLE to decide. It’s for ME to decide”

    And frankly —

    If I WANT you to know what the hell purchase I’m considering, give me a channel for input, and I’ll let you know if I want you to know.
    Don’t think your desire to sell to me gives you the right to become some creepy little Peeping Tom into **my** life.

    Or, in two words: “Get Fukashima’d”

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)


  49. I guess they just comfort themselves that they can look down on the marketshare suck of Windows Phone.


    and

    But I don’t blame Apple. They just need a competitor to get their act together and provide something more open, but with similar appeal.

    What, you mean, like, oh, “Android“?

    It’s already happening, guys — this is the whole Macintosh-v-Windows fiasco written over again, and Apple is still blind and clueless.

    Yeah, Apple outsells any Android phone maker. But Android’s marketshare is growing about 3x faster than Apple’s in headcount. Sooner or later, there will be far more Androids out there than iP’s. And sooner or later, the developer’s market will ignore the Apple and develop first for the Android phones. And then there will be loads of apps that won’t run on iPs. And that will be the first deathknell for the iP.

    Apple’s greatest flaw is their arrogance.
    They Coulda Been a Contender

    It cost them the computer market. It’s going to cost them the phone market. And, by that time, Jobs is going to be in his 70s or dead. And where, then, will they find the guru who can spot the next “insanely great” idea?
    Hmmmm?

    .

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)

  50. “The issue is that it’s in an unsecured file on your phone, and on your PC / Mac if you sync. Previously, that information was with your telecom carrier, and someone would need a warrant to gain access. Now, all you need is a good hacker.”

    Are you serious? Almost all files on my computer are unsecured. Want to know why? The most secure location for a file is on my own computer.

    The idea that if the information was at a telecomm carrier then only persons with a warrant could get it is…, not to put too fine a point on it, a delusion comparable to believing in unicorns. Such information would be available to every untrustworthy employee, every executive, every spy, every social engineer, and every hacker. On my computer, none of them have access.

    “It’s already happening, guys — this is the whole Macintosh-v-Windows fiasco written over again, and Apple is still blind and clueless.”

    I’m pleased you admit that Google and Android is as open as Windows, which is, of course, not at all.

    Open software will rule the world. That’s why every one uses Red Hat. Oh, wait.

    ErisGuy (35e007)

  51. Apple has been the choice of the jet set crowd. Their products have ALWAYS been over priced, overhyped and made for the elitist crowd.

    In their early days they would not allow others to licence their technology. So Microsoft went on to become the dominant player in the Personal Computer market. By allowing everyone and their brother to build PC’s using their Windows operating system Microsoft now accounts for around 90% of the market.

    PC Magazine did a great acricle on why Apple sucks so much,

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371130,00.asp

    Ever try playing Crysis on a MAC? They have never supported the PC gaming community. Their hardware is also WAY overpriced.

    I recall a friend bragging about his I-pod years back. He was so excited about his library of 6000+ songs. At the time I used a 120GB Creative Labs Zen player. I had him listen to some of my uncompressed WAVE files and compare the sound quality to his crappy I-tunes downloads of the same songs. He was shocked at how bad his downloads sounded. Most were compressed at 128kps or 192 kps. The really sad part is he paid $1 ea for those crappy files to the tune of more than $6000.00 over a two year span.

    I still buy original music CD’s and rip them to both WAVE and 300+k MP3’s onto my Windows Home Server. The disc then goes into storage never to be seen again. If I want a copy to play in the car I use Media Center and burn one. No I-tunes gimmicks to deal with, no money going to Apple!

    I also just got the new Thunderbolt 4G phone on Verizon. In Chicago last weekend I did a Speedtest and got 15MB download!! The new I-phome is still 3G and on the crappy ATT network you MIGHT get 3-4MB on a good day!

    Anyone that buys into the Apple hype is simply a pawn of the great marketing machine that Job’s has created. Take the time to research your purchases and look for the best VALUE. It certainly won’t ever be an Apple product!!

    SacTownMan (0a0272)

  52. Gee, you might want to consider a smartphone with a non-proprietary OS – like, I dunno, Android?

    Bigfoot (8096f2)

  53. igotbupkis, I’m not going to laugh too hard at Apple, since they make so much money.

    Granted, they aren’t really innovative so much as they are very good at taking innovations and making them work very smoothly.

    They get a huge premium on their products because their customers like them. Whether they have been fooled by marketing or just know what to expect from the brand, that’s very impressive of Apple.

    It just doesn’t cater to me. Droid is better, and hopefully that or something like it comes to the point where it dominates the market with open, sophisticated, well priced options.

    Right now, I’m more concerned with telco choices.

    Dustin (c16eca)


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