Tag: apple

Canadian coppers start spying on journalists

mountiemaintainThe Canadian press is rather miffed that one of its number is being spied upon by Montreal’s coppers.

Patrick Lagacé’s iPhone was tracked by Montreal police even though many people believe that the Apple’s flagship phone is safe.

La Presse reported Monday at least 24 surveillance warrants were issued for this year at the request of the police special investigations unit. That section looks into crime within the police force.

Lagacé’s doings were tracked using the GPS chip in his iPhone. The warrants used to obtain the identities of everyone he spoke to or exchanged text messages with during that time.

Tom Henheffer, executive director of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression said that the new powers that the police have to spy on Canadians were absolutely horrifying.

“They’re basically limitless, there’s very little oversight, and when that happens the system will be ripe for abuse, and this is just an example of how it’s abused. What’s even more worrying about it is the fact that this is a justice of the peace who actually authorised this.”

Lagacé thinks he was put under police surveillance as part of an ‘attempt to intimidate’. It’s part of a “culture shift” among law enforcement and judges that began with the passing of Bill C-51 under the previous Conservative government, he said. ​

The idea is to scare the hacks into turning over their secret sauce recipes.  Apparently it is getting worse. In September, the Sûreté du Québec seized Journal de Montréal reporter Michael Nguyen’s computer because they believed he illegally obtained information cited in a story he wrote.

Meanwhile the Mounties are trying to get a reporter from Vice News to hand over background materials used for stories on a suspected terrorist and spied on two hacks for more than a week without any authorisation.

The government has promised to change “problematic” parts of bill C-51 in the 2015 election, but have not done anything yet.

Lagacé said police told him they obtained the court-authorised warrants because they believed the target of one of their investigations was feeding him information. However, the story was not broken by Lagacé but one of his rivals.  This makes him think that the investigation was a thinly veiled attempt to learn the identity of his sources within the police department.

Apple does give user details to coppers

Apple-New-North-Korea1A leaked email shows that Apple’s claims not to help coppers is mostly spin and the outfit behaves pretty much the same as any  other company facing a court order.

An email from Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, who reports directly to CEO Tim Cook and  which has ended up in WikiLeaks shows that Apple is working with law enforcement.

In the email the Apple executive writes “we work closely with authorities to comply with legal requests for data that have helped solve complex crimes. Thousands of times every month, we give governments information about Apple customers and devices, in response to warrants and other forms of legal process. We have a team that responds to those requests 24 hours a day.”

The email was supplied to Wikileaks by Russian hackers working for Putin’s propaganda arm and was addressed to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. As such, it was designed to show Hillary Clinton was soft on encryption, but what it showed was Apple was spinning the encryption thing big time.

Jackson writes that at Apple, “We share law enforcement’s concerns about the threat to citizens… Strong encryption does not eliminate Apple’s ability to give law enforcement meta-data or any of a by number of other very useful categories of data.”

The email also compliments Clinton for her “principled and nuanced stance” on encryption in a December debate against Bernie Sanders.

Clinton had said “maybe the backdoor is the wrong door, and I understand what Apple and others are saying about that. But I also understand, when a law enforcement official charged with the responsibility of preventing attack…well, if we can’t know what someone is planning, we are going to have to rely on the neighbour… I just think there’s got to be a way, and I would hope that our tech companies would work with government to figure that out.”

IPhone make-overs are apparently a thing in China

lipstick-on-a-pig-1Fruity tax-dodging cargo cult Apple is facing a huge problem with its Chinese sales – not only are the Chinese not interested in its products, they are actually using common sense to avoid an expensive upgrade.

Chinese iPhone owners are giving their old models a makeover to look like the latest iPhone 7, rather than buying new.

Online sites offer shoppers makeover kits, false cameras and even dust plugs to hide the removed headphone jack to give their iPhone 6 or 6S the appearance of the iPhone 7.

Apparently, the Chinese think that the iPhone 7 doesn’t have enough new features to convince them to trade up, but it is worth looking like you have money to spend to do it.

Searches on platforms including Alibaba’s Taobao showed a range of products to transform older phones to an iPhone 7 – from stickers and engraving services to replacing the outer casing and hardware.

Apparently the iPhone 4 is the best used iPhone out there because it is more durable than the later incarnations.  Tarting up the phones show that really Apple has made sod all difference to the thing over the years.

Hopes that Apple might convert a few Samsung users behind the bamboo curtain after the Note 7 fiasco have also been dashed.  As one Chinese bloke told Rueters: “It is better to have a phone that explodes than an iPhone 7 which lacks any innovation.”

Shine goes off Apple

poison-appleApple has finally admitted that growing sales are a thing of the past and it reported its first annual sales decline since 2001.

Annual sales fell to $216 billion in the 2016 fiscal year ending September 30, from a record $234 billion in 2015.

The sales decline is closely connected to the falling sales for the iPhone, which remains Apple’s largest source of revenue.

Apple sold 45.5 million iPhones in the September quarter, down from 48 million iPhones in the same quarter a year earlier. That marks the third consecutive quarter when iPhone sales and overall revenue have declined from a year prior.

The Tame Apple Press has rushed to say that the global smartphone market is saturated and customers are taking longer to replace their phones. However everyone has to admit that Jobs’ Mob didn’t help its case by releasing the iPhone 7 which is a “dead ringer”  for the previous two models.

Of course Apple CEO Tim Cook kept on spinning claiming that demand for the new iPhones is “outstripping supply in the vast majority of places, particularly on the iPhone 7 Plus”.

However, the reality is that Apple’s sales in China, once a promising area of growth, fell 30 percent year-over-over year.

Cook claims that next year will be better in China as the country gets a stronger middle class which can afford to waste money on its products.

“We are very bullish on China,” Cook said on the call, noting the vast number of “people growing into the middle class”.

Apple is projecting that it will post sales of $76 billion to $78 billion in the upcoming quarter, up from $74.8 billion a year earlier.

The holiday quarter is typically Apple’s largest as it represents the first full quarter when new iPhones are on sale. Apple’s guidance suggests it is expecting greater demand for the iPhone 7 than its predecessor.

Apple stock was down 2.5 percent in after hours trading following the earnings release.

iOS writes nonsensical science paper but gets accepted

mad scientistA Kiwi boffin was somewhat surprised when a paper, which he wrote using Apple’s auto-correct formula was accepted for a prestigious science conference.

Christoph Bartneck, an associate professor at the Human Interface Technology laboratory at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, received an email inviting him to submit a paper to the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics in the US in November.

Since he had no knowledge of nuclear physics he used iOS autocomplete function to help him write  the paper.

“I started a sentence with ‘atomic’ or ‘nuclear’ and then randomly hit the autocomplete suggestions… The text really does not make any sense.”

For example:

“The atoms of a better universe will have the right for the same as you are the way we shall have to be a great place for a great time to enjoy the day you are a wonderful person to your great time to take the fun and take a great time and enjoy the great day you will be a wonderful time for your parents and kids,”

The conclusion of the paper was that “Power is not a great place for a good time” which is a lesson for us all.

The paper “Atomic Energy will have been made available to a single source” was illustrated using the first graphic on the Wikipedia entry for nuclear physics and he submitted it under a fake identity – associate professor Iris Pear.

But when he submitted the paper it was not only accepted three hours later but he got an email asking if he could do an oral presentation on the paper at the international conference.  All he had to do was pay a grand to register.

“I did not complete this step since my university would certainly object to me wasting money this way,. My impression is that this is not a particularly good conference.”

The International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics will be held on 17-18 November in Atlanta, Georgia, and is organised by ConferenceSeries: “an amalgamation of Open Access Publications and worldwide international science conferences and events” and was established in 2007.

Wasting cash on an expensive smartphone makes you happy

Clown A report suggests that punters who waste their money on expensive smartphones are generally happy to do so and Apple fanboys are the most incandescently joyful people in the whole world.

Beancounters at J.D. Power added up some numbers and divided them by their shoe size and found that Samsung phones rank highest in overall satisfaction among AT&T and Sprint customers. T-Mobile and Verizon customers liked Apple iPhones best. Those who spent the most on their phone were happier than those who made a more sensible financial decision.

J.D. Power customers who pay more for their phones report higher satisfaction.  Logically, the analysts think,  this is because the high-cost phones perform better. Of course there is very little difference technology wise why higher price phones would perform much better. The flagship phones often have marginally better stats than mid-range phones.

What J.D. Power should have looked at was the pyschology of the people who buy expensive phones.  If having spent more than $300 more than they need to, do they have to justify their purchase?

The premium phones often have a few more bells and whistles than the mid-range phones but do punters actually use them or can they spot the difference between a few more pixels on the cameras.

The Tame Apple Press is furious at the study because it suggests that people will be as happy at wasting their cash on a high end Samsung as they would be an iPhone 7.

“The figures are for August, I wonder how much that will change when the exploding Samsung Note 7 fiasco is taken into account,” sulked one Apple fanboy, er technology reporter.

 

 

Apple supplier issues profit warning

confusingtrafficsignSigns are that all are not as well at the fruity tax-dodging cargo cult Apple as one of its suppliers has issued a profit warning.

Apple supplier Laird issued a warning on its full-year profit, saying that acceleration in production for mobile devices this year had come in much later than seen in previous cycles and that it had “poor” visibility in order volumes.

The electronic components maker said it expected full-year underlying profit to be about $61 million, also partly blaming margin concerns due to increased pricing pressure. Laird had not previously given any guidance for the full year.

Some of this margin pressure would be from Apple leaning on its suppliers to reduce their prices. But the disappointing results could also indicate that things are not working as well as Jobs Mob hoped and sales of the iPhone 7 were not doing as well as expected.

Apple has indicated that it does not expect this year to be as good as the last, in fact its iPhone 7 is a stop-gap product to keep its toe in the water until things pick up a bit.

 

Clinton wanted Gates or Tim Cook for Vice president

main-qimg-c3c35d5a1a6001a0fcf594c49a5af26fAn email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta released in the recent WikiLeaks dump shows that Clinton wanted Bill or Melinda Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns for the Vice-President role.

There were 40 names on the list, so it was more like my Amazon wish-list, and there were signs that some of the names were not well researched. Apple’s supreme dalek Tim Cook is currently raising money for Ayn Rand–influenced ideologue Paul Ryan who shares similar views about stuffing up the great unwashed for a rich elite of self-serving bastards.

Bill and Melinda Gates are too busy saving the world to be bothered with the job of Vice-President, which unless the president gets sick is more of a ceremonial role. Even Dan Quayle managed to be a vice-president and he could not spell potato.

Burns probably does not want to leave Xerox where she earns on average $13 million a year. In fact her and her management team have all received salary increases over the last six years, but staff has not.

Apple’s cultish behaviour lost its entire networking team in a week

apple-cultFruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple lost its entire networking team in a day after it refused to join the Open Compute Project. (OPC)

Apple’s networking team was apparently told by management to make its network 100 percent reliable – a virtual impossibility given the fact that it used Apple hardware.  To reach the target the networking team asked to join the OPC.

The OPC is the open source for hardware which provides designs for free so that anyone can modify them.  The Apple team wanted to solve their networking problem by contributing to the project and receiving help. However, when they asked Apple, the managers had a fit. It would mean breaking Jobs’ first law, which states that everything must be done in secret and if any two people share the secret one of them must be shot.

However, when the Apple team were told “no” by their boss they suddenly realised that they were working for a bunch of idiots who were setting impossible targets using an out-of-date technology approach and all quit.

Suddenly when it found it had to hire a complete network team, Apple sheepishly joined the OPC project.  Oddly the Tame Apple Press is citing this story as a “cultish” behaviour on the part of OPC rather than idiotic cultish behaviour on the part of Apple.

 

Burns to Samsung from Note 7 less than expected

fire-intro-picSamsung is warning that the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco will set it back $5 billion dollars, which, though terrible, is much  less than the $15 billion the Tame Apple Press has been claiming.

Samsung said that that it will take a hit to its operating profit of about $3 billion over the next two quarters. The outlook brings to about $5.3 billion the total losses the global smartphone leader has forecast as a result of the overheating issues.

Samsung shares, which have fallen about eight percent this week, edged up 0.6 percent as people realised that the cost to Samsung was not going to be as high as expected.  Park Jung-hoon, a fund manager at HDC Asset Management, which owns shares in Samsung affiliates, said that although future losses would not be as bad as the third quarter the company had to work hard to rebuild confidence.

“What’s important is whether the flagship S7 can fill the gap left by the Note 7, and how much trust Samsung can regain from consumers by the time the S8 comes out,” he said. Analysts expect the S8 to be released in the first quarter.

To make up for the lost revenue, Samsung said it would expand sales of gadgets like the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phones, and make “significant changes” in its quality assurance processes to improve product safety.

The Tame Apple Press is now widening its net to include other Samsung products and imply that they might suffer as a result of the Note 7.  There have already been some stories implying that Samsung’s appliances might also suffer, which is rather over egging the pudding.

Samsung posted earnings of $7.2 billion in the second quarter, with mobile profits – its biggest earner – soaring 57 percent.

The Tame Apple Press had been hoping that Samsung users would defect to the god awful iPhone 7. So far that does not appear to be happening. Samsung is offering financial packages for those who stay with the Samsung brand. Samsung users are more likely to move to other Android brands before thinking of Apple.