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  • Apple removes iCloud Activation Lock status tool from website

    gatorguy said:
    ericthehalfbee said: we now have people fabricating stories how this will make it hard for people to buy "safe" iPhones.
    Of course it won't be hard to buy a safe phone, but it won't be as easy as it was before the page was removed for some buyers and sellers. If you were being honest you wouldn't disagree. You're trying to turn this into a "hater" thing? It's not.

    More than one current Apple user has wondered aloud why a useful tool was removed and they're not all "haters", but it doesn't make buying used iPhones all that much harder if you know what the current proper procedure should be. So yeah, I totally agree with that part.  My post to the OP was meant as a reminder that it wasn't just buyers who might be inconvenienced, not to invite a personal vendetta.  If my assumption that the Activation Lock status tool was known and used by many is off-base then no big deal. Opinions are very often wrong. And very often right. 

    My guess is either Apple will comment on why or offer a different solution in short order. It's removal got noticed right away so it's obviously used (or was).

    My haters comment is directed at the general response to this on multiple forums, not just here or to specific individuals. It's a tool that was MARGINALLY useful, yet the removal of it is making people act like it's the only way people can check an iOS device. The most common comments I've seen everywhere are: "Apple just trying to force people to buy only new iPhones to line their pockets" or "Now how am I supposed to see if a device is safe to buy" or "The resale value of used iPhones just plummeted since we can no longer check them". All lies. This will have next to no impact.

    - People who buy & sell in person (a large number do this) will continue to rely on existing methods to keep them safe (bill of sale, turning off Find My iPhone, meeting in public place or police station, actual physical inspection of the device, swapping drivers licenses/ID).
    - People who buy & sell online from reputable companies (like Gazelle) aren't affected by this. You won't buy a device that's locked or blacklisted and if you send in one locked to try and sell they'll refuse it).
    - People who buy & sell online from individuals or unknown companies have no protection regardless if this tool is available or not. It does nothing to help them avoid being scammed.

    About the only use I can see for this is to check an IMEI of a phone before you meet someone in person to make sure you don't waste your time going to look at a locked iPhone. And what benefit would there be to a seller to trick you into a fake meeting to sell something that didn't match what they said?
  • Apple removes iCloud Activation Lock status tool from website

    gatorguy said:
    Johan.G said:
    Johan.G said:
    This move makes sense, since you can no longer wipe an iDevice without logging out of Find My iPhone first. 
    New credo is "if it's not wiped, don't buy it".
    How exactly does this work? Last week I got locked out of my phone because it didn't like my passcode for whatever reason (I know I was entering the right one). Apple support had me use to erase my phone so I could set up a new passcode. When you do that does it automatically log you out of find my iPhone?
    No, it doesn't automatically log you out. We're talking about buying a second-hand iPhone, aren't we? When you do:
    Hold the device, confirm it's wiped, try to activate it … either you can or you'll see the activation lock. 

    I can't really think of a way to get duped when buying in person (as opposed to online).
    That's assuming others are even aware of that and most would not be. It's been common knowledge for some time to use Apple's Activation Lock Status page before buying used phones either in person or via eBay. That's the advice you'll find over and over on the web. What you've mentioned is not what used iPhone buyers are accustomed to looking for so it will take some time to get that word out. 

    No it's not common knowledge. Complete and utter BS. I've literally bought and sold dozens of iPhones and iPads. And I never knew this tool existed until today. The typical scenario goes like this:

    - Arrange to meet the person in a public place (THIS is common knowledge).
    - Examine the phone for proper operation (insert SIM and make calls and check if data access works).
    - Examine phone for scratches and condition.
    - Check if Find My iPhone is off, or better yet have seller turn it off proving they know the password.
    - Check the bill of sale the seller should have. Or proof that they've paid out their carrier contract and the phone is clear.
    - Reset/erase phone once you've both agreed on final price.

    The reason I know this is common is not just from my own experience but from looking at others ads to see what going prices are and what their terms are. People always add the same "notes" to their ads. Things like: "will not ship iPhone, only local buyers in person" or "have original packaging and receipt".

    Heres 3 random ads I clicked on Craigslist in my area:

    iPhone 7 Rose Gold 128 GB
    Locked to Rogers/Fido/Chatr
    with Receipt
    ID can be shown so buy in Confidence.

    For Sale
    Factory Unlocked Matte Black iPhone 7 128gb
    Can provide proof of purchase

    Iphone 6splus plus 
    Rose gold colour
    Condition 9/10
    Factory Unlocked to all carriers worldwide.
    16gigs memory.
    Very good condition. Please see pictures.
    Have original bill.
    No shipping or PayPal. Only cash.

    Only an idiot would buy an iPhone online sight unseen. How do you even know if the IMEI they give you is real? It could be for a "good" phone, but they ship you a different phone. Further, there's a popular scam where a person gets a free phone on contract, sells it and never makes payments. Carrier blocks the IMEI after a few months of missed payments and you're stuck with a brick.

    IMEI checks are useless since they don't protect you against any of the common scams. You need a bill of sale to prove the seller is the owner of the phone and you need them to turn off Find My iPhone. That's the only way to be sure the phone is safe to buy.
  • Apple's 'differential privacy' policy invoked for opt-in iCloud data analysis in iOS 10.3

    gatorguy said:
    MplsP said:
    One of the reasons I tend to stay away from Google is because of privacy/data collection concerns; If Apple can improve Siri while maintaining privacy it would be great
    Not that it likely matters. but Google has been using differential privacy in Chrome for some time (not exclusively tho). It's also meant to be used with Google's AI efforts from what I've read.

    Apple does have stronger user-facing privacy protections compared to Google, no question. Still neither one is bad when viewed alongside other data aggregators, and both companies are aggressively protective of any user data they've been entrusted with. 

    Google uses it in RAPPOR. Which makes sense. If I live in a certain city and start typing a search term in Google, then Google offers suggestions applicable to my city. But this is a fraction of Googles data collection.

    I haven't been able to find anything about Google using differential privacy anywhere else. And I don't think their primary business activity (targeted advertising) would even be compatible with differential privacy. The whole point of targeted advertising is that Google knows who you are so it can match ads specifically to you. Differential privacy is the opposite of this.

    People have been doing studies on differential privacy and targeted advertising, and it appears possible, but not at a level of granularity Google would like. So I doubt we'll see them using it anywhere else.
  • Insufficient Samsung security forces UK military communications project to switch to modif...

    saltyzip said:
    MnMark said:
    A secure version of Android. That's funny!
    Now if only appleinsider educated people, rather than playing a game of protectionism, we wouldn't get comments like this.

    Read this to educate ones self:

    We are educated. Which is why we know Android is a joke for security. You linking an article without context doesn't change that.

    First off, those aren't "Android phones" that a normal person might buy, like an LG or Samsung. They run highly modified versions of Android but are stripped of much of what normal users associate with Android or any smartphone. They then install their own custom software to replicate functionality that we get from "stock" Apps. They are completely and 100% locked down. The only reason they use Android is because it's a free OS with the source code provided for you to allow you to customize it how you like.

    Calling these phones Android phones would be like calling the Presidents limo a "Chevy" just because the base platform happens to be a Cadillac.

    Android that the general public gets with the phones they buy are a joke compared to iOS, and will never match the security of iOS. 
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  • Rumor: Apple working with Carl Zeiss on AR glasses to debut in 2018

    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    williamh said:
    cali said:
    If Apple enters the market I expect one MAJOR change:

    iPhone-less glasses.

    hooking up an android to bulky glasses is the past. I expect Apple's glasses to be more expensive and non goofy.
    Not sure if that would work. You would still need the phone hooked up to the glasses somehow. Only option would be a cable. That's more cumbersome than hooking up phone directly into the glasses. 
    We can ignore some of the limitations of current technology. Let's dream a little and assume the stuff in the works will be better.  Why would the only option be a cable?  Why wouldn't the glasses connect with a video version of the W1 chip?  The AirPods demonstrate an ability to stuff battery and whatnot into a very small package.  Many fashionable eyeglasses have very thick temples.  I think you could make a fashionable frame with plenty of stuff hidden. The trick will be to hide a camera in the bridge and it will have to be hidden very effectively to avoid the glass hole effect and so the wearer doesn't look like a freaky minotaur. 
    So if others couldn't SEE the camera on the man in the bar restroom then they'd be OK with Apple glasses in there? As I remember it the camera simply being there in the first place was the issue being promoted to fear Google Glass even tho it gave clear indication when it was in use. Why would folks accept an iWear camera, especially a hidden one?

    If Apple is developing a similar product to be used on the street and in public I think that's the PR problem that needs to be solved. 

    Because Apple isn't an advertising company. Google is.
    Sorry, but that's not what garnered the Glasshole moniker, with even threats of bodily harm to some folks if they were to walk into bars, restrooms, theaters or perhaps simply looking at someone while wearing them. Ads had zero to do with it. 

    Snap Spectacles are now being worn by a lot of people and I don't see them getting any derogatory nicknames or people threatening violence against them. Why do you think Google Glass was derided and Snap Spectacles aren't?

    Google makes its living on advertising. This requires them to suck up huge amounts of data on people and their habits in order to support their advertising business (basically their entire business). Google has been in the news numerous times for shady practices regarding collection of data.
    Apple makes its money on hardware, not on your data. And they are staunch supporters of user privacy and security and have been involved in high profile cases where they stood their ground (like the San Bernadino case). Apple has been promoting themselves as a company that values user privacy for many years, often taking swipes at Google in the process.

    Apple won't have nearly the same issues Google had if they introduce something like Glass. They will announce it with an emphasis on privacy and they'll have their company history on their side to back up the talk.