Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Apr 2011 21:59 UTC, submitted by Martin
Apple There's a bit of a stink going on - even in major media - about something iOS 4's been doing. Apparently, iOS 4 has been storing a list of locations and timestamps to a hidden, but readable file in a standard database format. The locations are triangulated using cell towers, and generally aren't as accurate as for instance GPS. Still, the file is stored without any form of protection on both your iPhone as well as your desktop.
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RE: why wait?
by darknexus on Thu 21st Apr 2011 23:44 UTC in reply to "why wait?"
Member since:

Why wait for apple to fix it when they want? You have to wonder.. it took effort to design and code this capability, one has to wonder why.

Get an open source OS and fix it quicker.

You would, of course, have a plausible suggestion as to how this would make a difference? The one open source phone os I can think of that is actually used is Android, and even if you knew how to change the code to prevent this in Android, you would have to:
1. Download the source, fix it, and rebuild it for your exact device. This entails installing all of the cross-compilation tools that are needed, as well as carefully considering whether your phone might be using proprietary drivers that you would lose. If so, you will have to live with whatever limitations that might be.
2. Flash the re-built Android on to your phone. The last time I heard, most phone manufacturers didn't exactly make this easy save for HTC. We'll see what happens with Sony/Ericsen.
3. Continue to roll your own updates from that point on.
From the end-user's perspective, this wouldn't help. They don't know what source code is, they don't know how to rebuild it let alone change it, and they won't want to roll their own updates. So, in practice, they can wait for Apple to fix it, wait for Google to fix it, or wait for their phone manufacturer to fix it. Either way, for most, it involves waiting and open source doesn't even enter into the picture. Before we start shouting open source at the top of our lungs, we need to consider whether it would make a difference to the people to whom we're preaching. Open source is not the cure-all, despite what some here seem to believe.

Edited 2011-04-21 23:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: why wait?
by kragil on Fri 22nd Apr 2011 00:07 in reply to "RE: why wait?"
kragil Member since:

Or just have a community that looks at the code and fix such "problems" before you install it. Works for all the distros.

And anyways, IF the code would have been open it wouldn't have had this "feature" in the first place. Apple thought they could get away with it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: why wait?
by galvanash on Fri 22nd Apr 2011 00:24 in reply to "RE[2]: why wait?"
galvanash Member since:

Is Android open in your opinion (serious question, opinions seem to vary on that)? It does exactly the same thing, only difference it is implemented sanely - it is limited to 50 fixes.

It does not get wiped nor does it expire though (it will prune the data during updates, but not when nothing is happening), so you can use it to figure out he last 50 towers a phone contacted... Even if the phone has been off for an extended period of time.

My point is only that keeping track of stuff like this for the purposes of faster location fixing is not inherently evil - there is a valid reason to do it. It's just in Apple's case they either have a bug (it should be clearing out old data but it isn't) or they are doing it on purpose. Their eventual solution to the problem will make it clear which one it is.

Hanlon's Razor - "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"

Edited 2011-04-22 00:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6