Apple is Dodgy

Leo

Well-known member
sadly, I'm all-apple. a compromised individual, made my deal with the devil, try not to think of the circumstances. I'm not fanboy proud of it.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
I had four of these at one point. Never used them. They were about a decade out of date by that time and someone just dumped them on me.

Power_Mac_G3_B%26W.jpg
If you're not using those, you can take out the hard drives and use them as external storage devices, just just need to get certain adapters (Either SATA to USB, or PATA to USB, depending on the drive's tech, I believe. PATA and IDE may refer to the same thing).

Anyway, you can use those drives to back stuff up. In my case, I just put a couple thousand PDFs on one, as an emergency offline library.

edit: its actually more than just an adapter, its a whole little rig.
 

beiser

Well-known member
the iCloud backup question is funny. it’s documented and can be turned off, but it is true that your counterparties need to as well in order to keep things properly secure. when I really need it, it’s easier to just go to Signal for something properly OTR.

It’s not a back door though, in the sense that it’s more of a front door; the documents tell you it exists.

My guess is that the iMessage keys eventually leave the iCloud backup, and that it’ll cause quite the furore when it happens. The key is to time it with a change that makes a substantial change to how iMessage works and necessitates no longer having the type of keys that are uploaded in question; you need to play a little lawfare.

It’s not quite as simple as just turning it off as it does do something—but they’ve been chiselling away at the parts of the system that they have access too. Most notably, a year or two back they shipped the ability to transfer all your files to your new device without uploading them to Apple at all, which is key for getting rid of the backups.
 

beiser

Well-known member
Apple is unusually interesting as an example for theories of value; they consistently refuse to play by the same rules as other companies. One of my favorite theories of them comes from perhaps the only early Apple employee who was a Trotskyist; this whole piece is good but the important part is at the bottom of the page, where the man himself shows up to discuss “products as they would exist under socialism”: https://louisproyect.org/2015/08/28/steve-jobs/
 

beiser

Well-known member
A piece of software is a sort of bureaucracy, and therefore it encodes a certain set of restrictions onto the life of the user of it. As a result, what you need to make good software is a theory of representation. Linux operates on a kind of anarchist theory that leans heavily on the idea that if your wifi is broken, you should rewrite the driver yourself. Windows and Android also try to offer some form of “freedom,” which is ultimately a hopeless ideal in software if not tethered to a concrete outcome. You are free to be required to choose your browser, but can you be free from that requirement?

Apple, on the other hand, operates on a theory of representation a bit like “People’s Democracy”—the people have no direct say, but the intention is to reflect and satisfy their desires, or perhaps what their desires should be. It is not a coincidence that the only other major organization to take this stance in the world is the only one that has been more successful than Apple over the last 20 years—the Chinese party-state.

Compromise cannot be evaded; you cannot run everything democratically or through “free choice”; there is no free choice between bureaucratic systems. Building an “opt-out” to a bureaucratic system is itself a bureaucratic system. At some point, to build something great, you must lay yourself down in the service of the people, whether they like it or not.

Good piece on a similar topic here, another of the best in the “theory of apple” genre: https://rampantinnovation.com/2014/05/13/design-is-about-intent/
 

catalog

Well-known member
Apart from my phone, I'm all apple (desktop, work laptop, work ipad). Ipad is a totally useless invention cos the file system is such a drag. But the desktop I've had for 10+ years with no issues (touch wood) and although it can be a pain to run bent software on it, seems to be doing OK and I love how there's no viruses like I had with my PC.
 

suspended

Well-known member
Apple, on the other hand, operates on a theory of representation a bit like “People’s Democracy”—the people have no direct say, but the intention is to reflect and satisfy their desires, or perhaps what their desires should be. It is not a coincidence that the only other major organization to take this stance in the world is the only one that has been more successful than Apple over the last 20 years—the Chinese party-state.
Aren't all companies basically this model of beneficent (i.e. incentives aligned) authoritarianism, with Hirsch-style exit reducing coercion? Or is Apple's design approach more "this'll better you" than "this is what we've heard in user feedback"?
 

beiser

Well-known member
Aren't all companies basically this model of beneficent (i.e. incentives aligned) authoritarianism, with Hirsch-style exit reducing coercion? Or is Apple's design approach more "this'll better you" than "this is what we've heard in user feedback"?
Two distinctions:
- At Apple, the beneficience happens on the top level. The whole company is trying to maximize outcomes. In a typical company, that happens within the divisional level—as the Computer Products Division at Samsung, you’re trying to max out Computer Satisfaction, so you might not prioritize a feature that benefits phone users. Apple, of course, does not have a “Computers” division; software is produced across devices by the same teams.

- Amazon, for example, has multiple P&Ls. The planning that goes on at a top level is dollar-denominated—“fashion products are increasing revenue fast, and so we will increase capex there”—and not experientially-demoninated. Therefore, benificence can happen only on a local level; if you are on the Alexa team, you might want to improve experience, but the mechanisms of coordination don’t exist to call for or justify cross-company efforts to do so. All experiential initiatives must flow into a direct revenue-capture bucket, which must almost always be your own.
 

beiser

Well-known member
Most companies prioritize their ability to attribute revenue to a single source, and therefore plan individual products as if they are independent companies. Apple prioritizes their ability to maximize capital infrastructure, and therefore has little ability to attribute outcomes to any individual source. They therefore direct investment largely on aesthetic- and theory-driven grounds.
 

beiser

Well-known member
If you're not using those, you can take out the hard drives and use them as external storage devices, just just need to get certain adapters (Either SATA to USB, or PATA to USB, depending on the drive's tech, I believe. PATA and IDE may refer to the same thing).

Anyway, you can use those drives to back stuff up. In my case, I just put a couple thousand PDFs on one, as an emergency offline library.

edit: its actually more than just an adapter, its a whole little rig.
Don’t do this. Old mechanical drives are unreliable, and will sometimes silently fail—so you risk losing it all fairly quick. The amount of space you’ll get off one of these is less than you’d get on a thumb drive that costs less than the adapter.

If you’re looking for a good use for these, consider running a big piece of wood across the top of a pair to make a bench.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Yeah best not to say too much you are right, it will be used against you. Also I wanted to apologise for what I said about your Nigerian music thread, you should carry on with it.
 

version

Well-known member
Apple lobbyists are trying to weaken a bill aimed at preventing forced labor in China, according to two congressional staffers familiar with the matter, highlighting the clash between its business imperatives and its official stance on human rights.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would require U.S. companies to guarantee they do not use imprisoned or coerced workers from the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang, where academic researchers estimate the Chinese government has placed more than 1 million people into internment camps. Apple is heavily dependent on Chinese manufacturing, and human rights reports have identified instances in which alleged forced Uighur labor has been used in Apple’s supply chain.
 

suspended

Well-known member
Yawn. None of us has any idea whether the changes Apple is proposing (extended deadlines and official lists of blacklisted sources) are reasonable or not.
In a document reviewed by The New York Times, some of Apple's proposed changes include extending compliance deadlines; releasing certain supply chain information to Congress and not the public; and requiring Chinese entities to be "designated" by the U.S. government as helping to surveil or detain Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Apple disputed the claim that it tried to weaken the bill, the Times reported. In a statement, the company said it had the strongest supplier guidelines in the industry and added that it regularly audits its supply chain partners.
"Looking for the presence of forced labor is part of every supplier assessment we conduct and any violations of our policies carry immediate consequences, including business termination," Apple said. "Earlier this year, we conducted a detailed investigation with our suppliers in China and found no evidence of forced labor on Apple production lines and we are continuing to monitor this closely."
Is anyone here an expert to weigh in on whether this is just reasonable customization of a bill to better fit on-the-ground business
realities, vs an actual human rights violation?
 
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