how Apple iPWNED my iPhone

Thu Oct 01 21:00:00 EST 2007


Apparently, I'm a hacker (at least according to Apple). Every blog headline out there seems to indicate that. I downloaded and installed third party software onto my iPhone, an act that took me all of 3 clicks to do, and therefore I am a l33t iph0n3 h4x0r!

Here is the order of events in my iPhone extravaganza experience:

  1. Work tells me I need to buy a phone as a result of changes in tax laws.
  2. I google the iPhone. It looks sexy.
  3. I google "iphone +ssh"
    1. I get this: - NO THANKS, not giving you my passwords
    2. I find this:
  4. After an intense orgasm over the fact that I could have native ssh, I hit up the AT&T store.
  5. iPhone in hand, I install this crazy (all gui, all real easy), then install OpenSSH and a Terminal.

All worked well. Two days later, an update shows up in iTunes when I dock the thing, as well as the following message:

WARNING: Apple has discovered that some of the unauthorized unlocking programs available on the Internet may cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software. IF YOU HAVE MODIFIED YOUR iPHONE'S SOFTWARE, APPLYING THIS SOFTWARE UPDATE MAY RESULT IN YOUR iPHONE BECOMING PERMANENTLY INOPERABLE.

Yikes! 400$ for the phone, and a nice 2 year contract with AT&T, and I'm a going to be punished with a bricked phone for installing OpenSSH? Could someone explain to me how installing an application on a UNIX-based system (iPhone) constitutes damaging it? I've never seen OpenSSH go that awry.

I immediately started searching for forums and blogs covering the subject. Needed to find out if installing OpenSSH meant I was perma-screwed. Luckily I wasn't. But regardless...

Why the hell can a third party not develop software for the thing? Clearly it's not only possible to develop decent applications for it, it's proven. Apple won't invest the time to write a decent SSH client, but others are ready and willing. Shit, I'd pay for one.

All that aside, I have no intention of returning the phone -- I have the coolest phag-phone out there, even gimped to only run phag-apps, like gay-iTunes and gay-iCal and gay-iMail. All these iPhag apps work awesomely, and soon they'll be corporate-whored with gay-Starbucks rounding out the gay-iExperience nicely. I'll be sure to drive my Volkswagon Beetle over there with my MacBook and order my MocaChocaLatte and update my iLife while tweaking my latest GarageBand tune. I might even take a gay-iCall or two, email a buddy, send a non-MMS SMS, check the gay-iTraffic, and laugh while I flirt with Bruce in the corner on his gay-iPhone. (Bruce depicted below on my gay-iWallpaper)

Then I'll go home and fire-up the iPorn Browser and get my fill of iPhags humping other iPhags.

Or I could have a SSH client, and be able to respond to a fucking page about a web server being down, or an MTA needing a restart.

Don't get me wrong, I love the iGay features of the iPhone. It's just if that's the only thing to it, if I can't put non-iGay applications on there as I had initially thought, then I sorta wish I'd have gone with a less iGay phone. I'd have missed out on iTunes and the browser, but I wouldn't have had to carry my laptop with me everywhere I go and hunt down wifi when I get paged.

Interestingly, I decided to make my own posts to the Apple forum. They were erased about 30 minutes later. Said posts were significantly more diplomatic than this rant, obviously, but that bought me little. Apple's forum police are in full force and appear to be eradicating any hint of unhappiness.

Then there's those Apple-whores who say the following, quoted from an Apple forum:

You bought a phone you knew was closed to third party developers and now seem to be unhappy with the fact that it really is.

I didn't know it was closed to developers. There were third party apps available when I googled, hence why I bought the thing. Unlike you, who has 4,748 posts to the Apple forums, I don't spend my day scouring for shit like that. I prefer porn.

People have applied software of an unknown nature to their phones in a ridiculously trusting manner, leaving the phones in a state that cannot be predicted by the manufacturer... and then want to blame the manufacturer who told you not to do it when things go catastrophically wrong?

If a person "hacks" their phone to join some other cell network, that's understood, but Apple doesn't seem to differentiate between third party applications and SIM-card hacking. I don't like being bundled up with folks who played with their SIM cards. Installing a third-party application is vastly different. I just want SSH, damn it. I had it and then I lost it. Now I'm forced to use less secure, slow-assed AJAX driven options -- yuk.

If you modified your car, brought it in for service, and it came back broke 'cause you never told them of your modification, it's your own fault.

Agreed, fucktard. But they can't void your warranty for changing out the head-unit, can they? I can't blame god if my condom breaks while f-ing your mom when she gets pregnant, but if I was f-ing her in the ass I could. Apple in no way differentiates third party software from SIM hacks. Why should installing a piece of software void my warranty?

Apple's stance seems rigid at best, infantile in my estimate, and downright retarded at worst. One would think a company like Apple would embrace third party development, as it relieves development burden internally, and also spurs interest and free publicity. "Look what I can do on my iGayPhone!". Instead, Apple gets commentary and articles like this. Clearly this sort of publicity isn't what they'd prefer! Rather than investing time in developing a third party API, they waste time squashing development entirely. Open phones like the Nokia N-Series will likely capitalize on Apple's 'shove-it' stance, well... were they not priced out of reach, that is.

You're all a bunch of whiners! That's what you get for tinkering!

Yes, yes I am a whiner. 'Tinkering' is also what brought us all of these marvelous technologies in the first place. I hardly call downloading something, clicking a few times, and having multiple successive orgasms as a result 'tinkering'.

So much for my daily : ssh, cat ~/ASCII-porn;.

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