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MacBytes
Jan 11, 2008, 10:44 PM
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Category: 3rd Party Hardware
Link: Is Apple Soft on Crime? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080111234426)
Description:: But here’s the real question: could a climbing crime rate and the rise of the iPod be related? Has the iPod's design increased its likelihood of theft, and if so, what role could Apple's designers play in developing solutions?

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

jhu
Jan 11, 2008, 11:04 PM
what the crap? this happens with popular items. you might as well mandate nike installing anti-shoe-theft devices.

taylorwilsdon
Jan 11, 2008, 11:26 PM
what the crap? this happens with popular items. you might as well mandate nike installing anti-shoe-theft devices.

Well, no. Thats a stupid example because shoes get stolen far less frequently then iPods in my experience. However, this isn't Apples fault at all and this article is one of the "dumbestest" things I've read all week.

arogge
Jan 12, 2008, 12:21 AM
How about The North Face (http://www.thenorthface.com/) jackets? The iPod is simply a hugely-popular item, and thieves want to steal it because it seems to be worth money on the black market. Unfortunately, the victims sometimes lose more than their iPods or hugely-popular jackets.

CalBoy
Jan 12, 2008, 12:25 AM
I'm guessing that some of this is worsened by the fact that people resist handing over their iPods. It's just a small material object. It's certainly not worth your life. If someone is threatening your life, give it up. $300 now is certainly worth less than your life.

jhu
Jan 12, 2008, 12:29 AM
How about The North Face (http://www.thenorthface.com/) jackets? The iPod is simply a hugely-popular item, and thieves want to steal it because it seems to be worth money on the black market. Unfortunately, the victims sometimes lose more than their iPods or hugely-popular jackets.

or their nike sneakers

Lumeswell
Jan 12, 2008, 12:55 AM
Oh please. The problem is with society (and courts etc) being soft on crime - not manufacturers. Realistically what sort of punishment can the theif expect even if he is caught for what is viewed as a petty crime. A slap on the wrist and request to please dont do it again.

Here in New South Wales, Australia, the goverment proposed imposing on the spot fines for some crimes (to free up courts from having to deal with such 'petty' crimes) - and the immediate response from ciminals was that it just meant they had to steal a bit more to cover the fine - assuming they gave their real name in the first place.

I dont have a solution, but blaming the manufacturer - get real. Lets start with blaming the people who commit the crime, in the knowledge that even if they are caught the punishment will not be that serious.

QuarterSwede
Jan 12, 2008, 12:59 AM
Oh please. The problem is with society (and courts etc) being soft on crime - not manufacturers. Realistically what sort of punishment can the theif expect even if he is caught for what is viewed as a petty crime. A slap on the wrist and request to please dont do it again.

Here in New South Wales, Australia, the goverment proposed imposing on the spot fines for some crimes (to free up courts from having to deal with such 'petty' crimes) - and the immediate response from ciminals was that it just meant they had to steal a bit more to cover the fine - assuming they gave their real name in the first place.

I dont have a solution, but blaming the manufacturer - get real. Lets start with blaming the people who commit the crime, in the knowledge that even if they are caught the punishment will not be that serious.
Good point. Anyone remember what they do to you in Singapore (I think)? If more modern societies started caning or had a lot harsher punishments, crime would go way, way down. Heck, fining someone for stealing isn't a deterrent when people would rather pay a speeding ticket than stop speeding. I mean, that's just common sense.

back again
Jan 12, 2008, 03:05 AM
Ah Yes! the Shangri La of Singapore

but I don't think they give the lash so much to thieves, rapists, etc. as much as vandals, people spitting or chewing gum ...

... and I'm not too sure what the punishment is for an unlicensed 'gathering' of more than 5 people - but I know it's illegal ...

yes, I'm sure all the ne'er-do-wrongs would love it out there ... :rolleyes:

Linkster82
Jan 12, 2008, 03:06 AM
in its ability to refocus an age-old problem on a company that has returned to the forefront of technology. Classic fear mongering and rampant speculation, especially considering the FBI just reported violent crimes were at an all time low in this country. slow news day?

back again
Jan 12, 2008, 03:10 AM
Oh please. The problem is with society (and courts etc) being soft on crime - not manufacturers. Realistically what sort of punishment can the theif expect even if he is caught for what is viewed as a petty crime. A slap on the wrist and request to please dont do it again.

Here in New South Wales, Australia, the goverment proposed imposing on the spot fines for some crimes (to free up courts from having to deal with such 'petty' crimes) - and the immediate response from ciminals was that it just meant they had to steal a bit more to cover the fine - assuming they gave their real name in the first place.

I dont have a solution, but blaming the manufacturer - get real. Lets start with blaming the people who commit the crime, in the knowledge that even if they are caught the punishment will not be that serious.

Maybe you should deport them all to an island halfway around the world?

ZiggyPastorius
Jan 12, 2008, 10:35 AM
Ooh, I have an idea. Apple should put a taser-device on the iPod, so that if it detects when different fingerprints are touching it, and then it tasers the new holder if a pass code isn't entered in 10 seconds :p Maybe that will help Apple control thieves and be a more "socially concious" company. I mean, what kind of company doesn't make their products resistance to being taken? Even better, let's have them put a mind-control device in it, so that if it hears the threat "give me your iPod, or else..." it will take control of the owner's mind and make them give it to the thief. [/sarcasm]

Do these people who write this seriously think that Apple is responsible for thieves stealing popular things? That's the kind of thinking that breeds the, we-need-a-law-for-everything-so-we-can-control-society-to-exactly-what-I-want way of thinking. Ugh..

Eraserhead
Jan 12, 2008, 10:40 AM
Ah Yes! the Shangri La of Singapore

It's more a cultural thing to be honest, pretty crime is low throughout south-east asia, its not just Singapore.

mrkramer
Jan 12, 2008, 10:45 AM
I think this is the mos rediculous article I have read in a long time. The manufarcturer has nothing to do with the theft of their items, if you are going to blame anyone other than the theif then you should blame the owner for not concealing it well enough.

AlmostThere
Jan 12, 2008, 12:07 PM
The manufarcturer has nothing to do with the theft of their items, if you are going to blame anyone other than the theif then you should blame the owner for not concealing it well enough.

Yes, the thief is still to blame for the crime but you can still ask what the manufacturer or distributor is doing to help reduce the chances.

A simple example is car theft; car manufacturers are not to blame for the theft of cars but by ramping up security through immobilisers and fitting tracking systems, they make casual car theft harder and increase the chances of criminal and property being found. Looking at the statistics of stolen cars http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6201797.stm you can see that it is older cars without these measures that tend to get TWOCed.

In the UK the major phone networks immobilise 80% of stolen phones within 48 hours of their reported theft. This isn't a perfect mechanism and is also supported by new legislation to prevent re-programming phone's IMEI numbers but it serves to deter casual theft (I believe these measures came into effect mid-2006 so we will have to see what the overall effect is).

The point here is that Apple, especially with the end-to-end system they produce for the iPod, could develop measures to disable stolen iPods, thereby reducing the incentive to steal them. Apple aren't to blame for theft but, so far, they have apparently chosen not to help reduce the problem.

sailnavy
Jan 12, 2008, 12:39 PM
It's easy. Just have iTunes check the serial number when connected to the internet, and have it disable the iPod, if the customer reports it as stolen.

j26
Jan 12, 2008, 12:46 PM
It's easy. Just have iTunes check the serial number when connected to the internet, and have it disable the iPod, if the customer reports it as stolen.
That's fine and would be of benefit to a lot of people, but what about when I ring up for the fun of it and report your iPod as stolen?

jimN
Jan 12, 2008, 12:53 PM
That's fine and would be of benefit to a lot of people, but what about when I ring up for the fun of it and report your iPod as stolen?

How do you know my serial number, who told you?

Apple: soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime. They need to start supporting literacy classes and drop in centres for young ne'erdowells.

j26
Jan 12, 2008, 12:54 PM
How do you know my serial number, who told you?

Say I'm a friend of yours who fancies playing a joke, so I have a look at your iPod and get the serial number.

jimN
Jan 12, 2008, 12:56 PM
Say I'm a friend of yours who fancies playing a joke, so I have a look at your iPod and get the serial number.

With friends like you, who needs enemies.

You could of course do the same with someone's mobile phone, it would make you a wan*er of course.

j26
Jan 12, 2008, 12:58 PM
With friends like you, who needs enemies.

You could of course do the same with someone's mobile phone, it would make you a wan*er of course.

This is what people do, sad but true.

I know people who broke into my voicemail and changed the welcome message.

thegman1234
Jan 12, 2008, 03:18 PM
That's fine and would be of benefit to a lot of people, but what about when I ring up for the fun of it and report your iPod as stolen?

That alone wouldn't get your iPod returned to you however. My first iPod was stolen because I left it somewhere (I know dumb move, it was unintentional) and I had hoped that Apple had a system like this but of course they don't.

If reported stolen, they would have to track the serial number through iTunes, and then verify by IP address if the iPod is connected to a computer other than the owners. Then a police report would have to be filed by Apple, the thief would then have to found, and the iPod would have to be returned.

Not only is that a lot of work for a 350 dollar or less device, but it's not full proof, and I'm not too sure Apple could get the rights to do this. And even this type of procedure would still be left open to pranks.

Disabling the iPod would just get the thief mad, and most likely make him/her break it or throw it out.

A POP insurance plan would probably be a better idea. Apple could use the serial number to disable a lost or stolen iPod, then replace it with the insurance policy. This way you couldn't use your insurance policy to get a new iPod for yourself, and give your friend the old one.

This kind of scheme is probably the reason why cell phone companies insurance policies are so terrible. Five dollars a month every month, and then you STILL have to pay about half price for the new one, and it isn't even new, it's refurbished.

As nice as it would be for Apple to have a theft policy, there's really not much they can do IMO.

CJRhoades
Jan 12, 2008, 03:29 PM
I'm guessing that some of this is worsened by the fact that people resist handing over their iPods. It's just a small material object. It's certainly not worth your life. If someone is threatening your life, give it up. $300 now is certainly worth less than your life.

LOL. I'd like to see what happens to the guy that kills somebody over an iPod...

CalBoy
Jan 12, 2008, 03:31 PM
LOL. I'd like to see what happens to the guy that kills somebody over an iPod...

The article indicated that a woman did die because her daughter cried out for help...

CJRhoades
Jan 12, 2008, 03:32 PM
I didn't read the article...

Sherman Homan
Jan 12, 2008, 03:44 PM
And the reason that Zunes don't get stolen is because...?!
:cool:

huperniketes
Jan 12, 2008, 04:00 PM
Say I'm a friend of yours who fancies playing a joke, so I have a look at your iPod and get the serial number.

You think Apple would put into place a procedure to answer telephone calls just to handle stolen iPods, when they already have a system to authorize content for, and update the firmware of, iPods?

Note in the prefs, the Apple TV tab will list authorized units. iPods and iPhones are similarly listed in the Syncing tab.

In a list of authorized devices (AppleTV, iPods, iPhones, etc.) an item could be selected to display relevant info about that device, among them a button:

"Click Here to Report this iPod Missing or Stolen"

Done.

solvs
Jan 12, 2008, 11:18 PM
Apple should put a taser-device on the iPod

Somebody did that already:

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/next/archives/2008/01/the_new_leopard.html

killerrobot
Jan 12, 2008, 11:37 PM
In a perfect world Apple should create some recovery system for stolen products.
However I don't believe we live in a perfect world so why should Apple be responsible for irresponsible owners that leave their stuff out in the open or thieves that steal Apple products?

solvs
Jan 13, 2008, 12:25 AM
Not to mention the privacy issues, even if it was an opt-in only situation.

Ish
Jan 13, 2008, 01:34 AM
I'm thinking of a police campaign here to deter mobile phone theft where as part of it they advise not to use them out in the open. Isn't the whole point that that is where they are designed to be used? Not using ipods in public isn't much of an option.

I think the point of the article is that ipods could be made to be unusable by thieves, unless of course they are happy with your music! and as such, less likely to be stolen in the first place. It's worked for mobile phones - I'm not saying they never get stolen, just that it's helped a lot and the value of many mobiles is a lot less than ipods.

ga1lyons
Jan 13, 2008, 12:29 PM
Well it sounds like you are a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The CFSM doctrine notes that the lack of pirates creates global warming. This is expressed in an inversely proportional ratio. You suggest that the development and sale of ipods is directly proportional to that of crime. Interesting, interesting, I guess my owning 2 pods and 3 mac systems would essentially make me a crime lord.
I guess it would make Steve Jobs the prince of darkness, i mean yea he wears alot of black but come on.

And the reason that Zunes don't get stolen is because...?!
:cool:

Only 3 Zunes have ever been purchased by people not affiliated with Microsoft. The others are purchased by Microsoft employees and hired contractors and returned to the ware house in an attempt to increase the sales figures and build brand notoriety.

thegman1234
Jan 13, 2008, 12:36 PM
Only 3 Zunes have ever been purchased by people not affiliated with Microsoft. The others are purchased by Microsoft employees and hired contractors and returned to the ware house in an attempt to increase the sales figures and build brand notoriety.

An acquaintance of mine went on to tell me about how she was going to be buying a Zune because it's better than the iPod.

The Toon Master
Jan 13, 2008, 02:18 PM
Ooh, I have an idea. Apple should put a taser-device on the iPod, so that if it detects when different fingerprints are touching it, and then it tasers the new holder if a pass code isn't entered in 10 seconds :p Maybe that will help Apple control thieves and be a more "socially concious" company. I mean, what kind of company doesn't make their products resistance to being taken? Even better, let's have them put a mind-control device in it, so that if it hears the threat "give me your iPod, or else..." it will take control of the owner's mind and make them give it to the thief. [/sarcasm]

Oh, someone is already ahead of you there.

http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/681972/CES_2008_Taser_Gun__Rockin___Fun.html

I hope they do somethin bout it. I lost my 2G Nano last week at school..

Sherman Homan
Jan 13, 2008, 02:22 PM
Only 3 Zunes have ever been purchased by people not affiliated with Microsoft. The others are purchased by Microsoft employees and hired contractors and returned to the ware house in an attempt to increase the sales figures and build brand notoriety.

Even the guy who puts everything into a blender hasn't bought a Zune!

http://www.willitblend.com/

:D