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Posts Tagged "Apple"

Steve Jobs responds to iPhone tracking story

Steve Jobs told the New York Times that Apple does not and never has tracked people’s data and never will.

Mr. Jobs defended the timing of Apple’s response to the controversy, saying that “rather than run to the P.R. department,” it set out to determine exactly what happened.

“The first thing we always do when a problem is brought to us is we try to isolate it and find out if it is real,” he said. “It took us about a week to do an investigation and write a response, which is fairly quick for something this technically complicated.”

He added, “Scott and Phil and myself were all involved in writing the response because we think it is that important.”

Some privacy advocates who were harshly critical of Apple last week praised the company’s response, saying it was a step in the right direction.

Anyway, this story isn’t going away.

Al Franken wants answers from Apple on iPhone tracking

Remember the creepy story about your iPhones and 3G-enabled iPads tracking your every movement? Well, you’re not the only one concerned, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., wants answers from Steve Jobs and Apple.

Among Franken’s specific questions to Jobs are:

  • Why did Apple choose to initiate tracking this data in its iOS 4 operating system?
  • Why were Apple consumers never affirmatively informed of the collection and retention of their location data in this manner? Why did Apple not seek affirmative consent before doing so?
  • Does Apple believe this conduct is permissible under the terms of its privacy policy?

Read Franken’s letter here.

Oh, hey, Apple is tracking your movements through your iPhone

If you own an iPhone, then here is something that should scare the crap out of you. Your iPhone is tracking your every movement.

It turns out that all our iPhones are keeping a record of everywhere you’ve been since June. This data is stored on your phone (or iPad) and computer, easily available to anyone who gets their hands on it.

You know, AT&T and other cellphone providers can always store this data, for any cellphone. And law enforcement can get to it when they need to. But I don’t want this information bouncing around on my computer and in pocket, too, for no good reason, with no way to opt out. That’s just not right.

The privacy startle, apparently enabled by this summer’s iOS 4 release, was discovered by two security researchers, one of whom claims he was an Apple employee for five years. They’re equally puzzled and disturbed by the location collection: “By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple have made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements,” they explain. All it would take to crack the information out of your iOS device is an easy jailbreak. On your computer, the information can be opened as easily as JPEG using the mapping software that the security experts have made for download—Try it yourself.

So, yeah, Apple is evil. But we all knew that already, right?

How to print from the iPad

I’ve always wondered how Apple can have these wonderful gadgets that are better than anything else out there at the time… and yet leave out some basic functionality. 

The iPhone? No copy-and-paste or SMS messaging. Things that every other smartphone, and many not-smart phones, had at the time.

The iPad? No USB connection and no print capability. That is, there was no printing option until an ingenius workaround was found.

H/T to Boing Boing.

Note: consider this my weekly iPad post.

Why I won’t be buying an iPad

Before I start, I want to say that this is why I won’t be buying an iPad. If you want to buy one, good. Go get one. I’m just putting my two cents in because of the new law that says all bloggers must talk about the iPad at least once a week or they will be put in jail. 

I haven’t touched (or, for that matter, even seen in real life) an iPad. I have played with an iPhone for maybe two minutes total in my entire life. I have a netbook that I use when in a pinch, but usually lug around a big laptop.

But after reading this review (from a NHB, or Normal Human Being) of the iPad, I’ve realized a few things about the iPad.*

Apple likes to promote that their things Just Work and that they can do everything (the There’s An App For That advertising campaign). But this isn’t true, and everyone knows it; how long did it take to get simple things like copying and pasting or MMS messaging on the iPhone?

Hell, the iPad, which is all about the screen, doesn’t even have a camera! When something is presented as being the ultimate multimedia toy doesn’t even have a camera, that should set off some red flags to early adopters (who have been burned with severe price drops on Apple products before).

It isn’t a laptop killer. In fact, I’m not even sure if it is a netbook killer, as many are saying (not saying that it WON’T decimate the netbook market, I’m just saying that I don’t think that it SHOULD). 

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First reviews of iPad coming in

The New York Times tech writer David Pogue was among the first to get his hands on an iPad for review. He actually wrote two reviews in one — one for techies and one for non-techies.

This part, from the non-techie review, caught my eye:

And the techies are right about another thing: the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience — and a deeply satisfying one.

Pogue also mentioned another way in which the iPad is not like a laptop; the keyboard is horrible. An external keyboard will be available, but why would you want to carry around two things instead of one?

The big question is if this will be a fundamental change in the portable computer market away from laptops and netbooks like the iPhone was a change in the phone market. 

The Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg, who likes the keyboard,  says it depends on how you use your laptop.

If you’re mainly a Web surfer, note-taker, social-networker and emailer, and a consumer of photos, videos, books, periodicals and music—this could be for you. If you need to create or edit giant spreadsheets or long documents, or you have elaborate systems for organizing email, or need to perform video chats, the iPad isn’t going to cut it as your go-to device.

It will all depend on how people use their internet time. With young people writing less and less blogs and more and more tweets, maybe it will change the laptop industry as much as the iPhone changed the phone industry. 

With all the tablet computers coming out in the next year (and the inevitable Apple upgrade in 6 months to a year that will once again anger the early adopters), it will be something interesting to track.