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6 posts from September 2007

September 30, 2007

iPhone to iBrick: Warning to Those With Unlocked iPhones

Published: September 29, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 28 — Since the iPhone hit the market in June, tech-savvy owners of the phone have been busy messing with its insides, figuring out how to add unauthorized software and even “unlock” it for use on networks other than AT&T’s.

But the Web was filled Friday with complaints from people who had installed the latest iPhone software update, only to see all the fun little programs they had been adding to their iPhones disappear — or, still worse, see their phones freeze up entirely.

Should they have known better?

Since Monday, Apple officials have been warning iPhone owners that using unlocking software could cause the phone to become “permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed.” But in many cases those warnings went unheeded.

People who had unlocked their phones to use them with another carrier ran the greatest risk of, in techie terms, having them “bricked” — rendered about as useful as a brick. Most of those who committed the lesser transgression of installing programs not authorized by Apple simply had those programs wiped out.

People have created dozens of programs for the iPhone, ranging from the useless but entertaining (a virtual popcorn popper) to the decidedly practical (a screen-shot capture program).

But for anyone who upgrades the iPhone’s system software, a routine process that adds Apple’s latest fixes and improvements, those programs can no longer be used. The update has made the iPhone “almost impervious to any third-party hacks,” said Erica Sadun, a technical writer in Denver who has created more than a dozen programs for the iPhone, including the screen-shot program and a popular voice recorder.

Jennifer Bowcock, an Apple spokeswoman, said that when people went to update their software with their computer through iTunes, a warning appeared on the computer screen, making it clear that any unauthorized modifications to the iPhone software violated the agreement that people entered into when they bought the phone. “The inability to use your phone after making unauthorized modifications isn’t covered under the iPhone warranty” Ms. Bowcock said.

There were reports online that employees at Apple stores were reviving or replacing some dead iPhones. But Ms. Bowcock did not offer much hope to iPhone owners with problems: “If the damage was due to use of an unauthorized software application, voiding their warranty, they should purchase a new iPhone.”

Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, has said the company wanted to maintain control over the iPhone’s functions to protect carrier networks and to make sure the phone was not damaged.

Ms. Sadun said the community of people who write unsanctioned software for the phone knew the update was coming.

“We had about two weeks’ notice,” she said. Yet Ms. Sadun and others said they were surprised by the extremes to which Apple went to shut them down. “We tried to think well of Apple,” she said. “Denial is a very strong part of the human spirit.”

Until Friday morning, Ms. Sadun had a contract with the publishing firm Addison-Wesley to write a book about creating applications for the iPhone. After the news of Apple’s crackdown spread, she received a note from her editor that suggested that they think of a different topic.

It was not unexpected that Apple would try to stop people from unlocking the phones, as this threatened to cause problems for AT&T, Apple’s exclusive United States partner for the iPhone.

“I don’t blame them for fighting the unlocks,” said Brian Lam, editor of Gizmodo, a blog devoted to gadgets. “They are trying to make money, as a business. I get that.”

Still, he said, that disabling someone’s phone, “instead of just relocking it and to wipe out the apps, it seems like Apple is going way too far; I’d call it uncharacteristically evil.”

In some cases, the apparent punishment for installing unapproved software was harsh. Ross Good, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, had added several programs, including one for instant messaging. After the upgrade, the phone went into a semifrozen state.

When Mr. Good called Apple, the reception was cool. “They said I put third-party software on my phone, and so it was my fault no matter what.”

Joel Robison, a systems network engineer near Seattle, said his phone stopped working immediately after he installed the upgrade. He said that when he took it to an Apple store, he was accused of having unlocked the phone. But he said that with the exception of one aborted attempt to install a piece of outside software, he had made no modifications to the phone.

“Their accusation was very damaging to my opinion of Apple’s service,” Mr. Robison said.

J. Noah Funderburg, an assistant dean at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa and a longtime Mac user, had little sympathy for iPhone hot-rodders.

“Anyone who hacks must know that they are taking certain risks,” Mr. Funderburg said. ”If they aren’t willing to assume the risks upfront — like a brick iPhone — then maybe they should not hack the device.

“We have a free marketplace,” he said. “Buy a product, including using it on the terms accompanying the purchase, or don’t buy it. And learn to live with not always getting everything you want.”

Saul Hansell contributed reporting from New York.

Other Related Links to Articles and Blogs

Iphone_warranty

Associated Press: Update Shuts Down Some Hacked iPhones

Wired Blog Network: iPhone Update -- Hackers' Edition

Machinist Tech Blog: If you care about your rights, don't buy an iPhone

ZDnet: Apple's Growth, An Unwinnable iPhone War and a Reputation at Risk

Wired Blog Network: Apple's IPhone Warranty Threats Legally Sound, Lawyers Say

The Information Week Blog: Apple Users Talking Class-Action Lawsuit Over iPhone Locking

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com 

September 26, 2007

Vehicle Crash Safety Video from General Motors

General Motors produced this video which examines the causes of major injury and death in auto accidents.  They go into detail, both in audio and visually, about the role of seat belts, air bags and stability control in reducing the risk of injury and death.

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If you're having trouble seeing the video above, click here.

Wear your seatbelt!!!

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

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September 24, 2007

Understanding the Severe Forces in Motor Vehicle Crashes (Graphic Video)

I found this graphically enlightening video on www.youtube.com : Understanding the Severe Forces in Motor Vehicle Crashes, A Non Profit Educational Public Service Mini Movie, August 3, 2007.  Edited by Matt Flournoy of Marietta, Georgia.
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If the image is incomplete, please click here to watch the video directly on Youtube.

Quoting from the copy that accompanies the article:

1) It should not be called a motor vehicle accident. It should be called a motor vehicle crash, collision or wreck.
2) The force of a crash is measured by the Delta V (the change of velocity).
3) The human body is not designed to handle the severe forces (as much as four tons) generated in a motor vehicle crash.
3) There are actually three collisions in one crash.
4) Rapid deceleration (such as 50 MPH to 0 in a few feet) causes injury to the human body.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com 

September 20, 2007

American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Other Pain Management Sites

Physiatrist The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is the national medical society representing more than 7,000 physicians who are specialists in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. They are called physiatrists (fizz ee at' trists).

Physiatrists focus on restoring function. They care for patients with acute and chronic pain, and musculoskeletal problems like back and neck pain, tendonitis, pinched nerves and fibromyalgia. They also treat people who have experienced catastrophic events resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or traumatic brain injury; and individuals who have had strokes, orthopedic injuries, or neurologic disorders such as multiple sclerosis, polio, or ALS.

Other links to information in Physiatrists

Association of Academic Physiatrists

Wikipedia on Physiatrists and Physical Medicine

Spine Universe has a wonderful article which describes the medical training and types of injuries treated by a physiatrist

Ohio State University College of Medicine

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com 

September 16, 2007

Dr. Barry Carlin on Living Pain Free After an Auto Accident

Barry_carlin_2 YOU ACTUALLY CAN LEAD A LIFE

FREE OF PAIN AND DISCOMFORT AFTER A  CAR ACCIDENT

HERE IS HOW YOU CAN DO IT!

               

                                                   

Dr. Barry Carlin practices in

West Los Angeles

If you have any questions he can be reached at  310-478-1234 or barry@bestperformancesystems.com

When you are in an auto accident, there are a number of unique aspects of the injury that make it impact more on your life than the average sports, work or lifting injury; and frequently cause the injuries to become a chronic problem that effects your quality of life for years, sometimes forever.

Why is it that so many of you live with discomfort and sometimes limitations in sports, social and work activities after a car accident? Should not modern medicine be able to fix these aches and pains?

Due to the tremendous forces applied to your body, generated by two vehicles colliding, you do not have an injury. You have thousands of small injuries that not only cause pain, but cause instability in the soft tissue stabilizing structures in your body.

That is why you hurt so much, your symptoms flare so easily while performing normal activities, it takes so long to get better, and you often then have chronic or recurring problems for years or forever.

You are told you have to live with the pain. Worse yet, some of you have been told you probably will develop arthritis, and have worse problems in the future.

Click here to read the rest of Dr. Carlin's informative article in Adobe Acrobat Format.  If you do not have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, click on the link to the left to download the Reader for free.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100 or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

September 14, 2007

'Hands-off' driving law in California is OK'd for ages 16, 17

Cellphone2 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (California) has sent a message to young drivers: no text messaging, no cell phone calls, no using laptops.  At least not while behind the wheel.  Schwarzenegger signed legislation yesterday that will make it illegal for drivers younger than 18 to engage in such activities. Reported in today's issue of SignOnSanDiego.com.  This law will take effect on July 1, 2008.

Violators face a fine of $20 for the first offense; $50 for each additional ticket. There is an exemption for emergencies.

The article goes on to say: "The dangers of sending text messages via cell phones or other electronic devices has been documented regardless of age.

"Last month, an 18-year-old driver in Phoenix who was text-messaging hit another car, killing herself and the other driver. In 2005, a Sacramento area police officer was struck and killed by a 26-year-old driver who was texting a friend while driving. Police suspect text-messaging played a role in a horrific head-on crash this summer in New York state that killed five teenagers who had just graduated from high school five days earlier. The 17-year-old driver had been text-messaging just moments before. She was among the dead."

Please, folks, regardless of when the law goes into effect, use your cell phones judiciously.  I was personally involved in an accident a few months ago where the other driver was so engrossed in her cell phone conversation that she blew right through a red light. 

Text_messaging_accident And the text messaging!  How nuts is that?  To text message and drive at the same time -- what are those people thinking?  The problem is that they may wind up unable to text message or think or both after they veer into an oncoming car (see photo on left).  It only takes a second.  Please please please be safe.



Update: 2009 Law Bans Text Messaging while Driving - See Video

Here are some interesting links to articles and videos related to the issue of cell phones and text messaging while driving:

Insurance Information Institute: Cell Phones and Driving

Video: Cell Phone While Driving: Courtesy of YouTube.com

Cell Phones and Highway Safety: 2005 Legislative Update: National Conference of State Legislatures

Video: Driving and the Cell Phone - Hidden Dangers: Courtesy of Youtube.com

Cell Phone Accidents and Stories: www.Car-Accidents.com

Video Expose: LA School Bus Drivers Driving While on Cell Phone: Courtesy of Youtube.com and KCAL Channel 9

Drivers on Cell Phones Kills Thousands: LiveScience.com

Video Dr. Phil: Teenage Girl Texting While Driving: Courtesy of Youtube.com

Cell Phones As Dangerous As Drunk Driving: BicycleUniverse.info

Video High School Commercial: Don't Text While Driving (Graphic): Courtesy of Youtube.com

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com 

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