07.31.10

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Apple Spies on Users, Sued for Alleged Defect in hypePad, Even Tries to Break Existing Laws

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google at 2:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ShoesSummary: Some of Apple’s latest unethical and freedom-violating moves, as covered in the news very recently

According to the Australian press, Apple keeps data about people’s deleted items and also spreads data around.

Apple has sold more than 50 million iPhones since 2007 but few users know how much information they collect. The keyboard logging cache means an expert can retrieve anything typed on it for up to 12 months. Its internal mapping and ”geotags” attached to photos indicate where a user has been.

An iPhone has up to 32 gigabytes of data that can be ”imaged” or decoded with the right equipment, Mr Coulthart said, even if it has been deleted.

This is good because it helps us understand malicious features advocated by proprietary software companies.

“Class action lawsuit filed over ‘overheating’ iPads,” says this other new report.

Three iPad users claim that because the iPad will shut itself off after remaining in direct sunlight for long enough, it fails to meet the promises Apple made about using the iPad as an e-book reader. The group has filed a federal class-action lawsuit in the Northern California district to “redress and end this pattern of unlawful conduct.”

When the iPad’s operating temperature reaches a critical level, it will force itself to shut down and display a message warning the user to let the device cool down before trying use it again. This warning is the same that iPhones and iPod touches give before shutting down when they overheat, often after being left in direct sunlight.

One debate that we covered before revolves around Apple’s threat to laws that protect people’s right to do as they wish with devices they bought. Apple lost and here is its response.

Apple is likely angered over federal regulators’ ruling that iPhone owners can legally “jailbreak” their smartphones, but one analyst suggests there’s little the company can do to directly affect the ruling. Apple says jailbreaking an iPhone will void its warranty.

Google — unlike Apple — does not do this. Motorola is the exception. To say more on the same subject:

I dashed off a piece for CNET today on the Copyright Office’s cell phone “jailbreaking” rulemaking earlier this week. Though there has already been extensive coverage (including solid pieces in The Washington Post, a New York Times editorial, CNET, and Techdirt), there were a few interesting aspects to the decision I thought were worth highlighting.

[...]

A third interesting aspect to the Copyright Office’s rulemaking has to do with the highly-confused question of software ownership. For largely technical reasons, software has moved from intangible programs that must of necessity be copied to physical media (tapes, disks, cartridges) in order to be distributed to intangible programs distributed electronically (software as a service, cloud computing, etc.). That technical evolution has made the tricky problem of ownership has gotten even trickier.

Under copyright law, the owner of a “copy” of a work has certain rights, including the right to resell their copy. The so-called “first sale doctrine” makes legal the secondary market for copies, including used book and record stores, and much of what gets interesting on Antiques Roadshow.

Apple’s arrogance (not allowing customers to do as they wish with equipment they bought) could backfire because the Linux-based Android provides a more user-respecting substitute. As Ghabuntu put it, Apple is “getting all the buzz” as Apple’s massive marketing budgets still interfere with fair and balanced assessment.

The Evo 4g, the DroidX, and a host of other very powerful phones running Android have been making headlines for sometime now. That is a good thing. However, something that bogs my mind is why Apple is allowed to almost always steal the buzz with its not so open gizmos?

The site also says that Apple may have lost an opportunity.

A Vodafon Ghana commercial on TV triggered a comparison in my mind between the now defunct Ghana Telecom (the predecessor of Vodafon Ghana) and MTN. Back in the early part of this decade, Ghana Telecom had a chance to dominate the mobile phone market here.

[...]

Fast forward to ending of June 2010, and MTN has more than 50% of Ghana’s over 16 million mobile phone users, followed by Tigo with less than 4.5 million AND then Vodafon (formerly Onetouch) with about 3 million or so. Substitute Onetouch/Vodafon with the iPhone and MTN with Android and you have a similar scenario unfolding in the fiercely competitive smartphone market in the US!

Judging by existing trends, Linux will continue to gain faster than Apple, if not directly at Apple’s expense. Many people publicly dump hypePhone and move to Android; moves in the opposite direction seem rare as we can’t think of any.

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