Apple disables Walkie Talkie app for Apple Watch over eavesdropping vulnerability

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/11/apple-disabled-apple-watch-wal.html

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we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously

“thoughts and prayers”

blah blah blah.

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image

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I dunno, thoughts and prayers seems to be “we agree being shot with guns is terrible, but we don’t want to limit guns, so this is literally the least we could do”

This is much more like “we have temporarily made all .45 cal bullets disappear, when we figure out how to make then never hit ‘good’ people they will reappear, I hope you don’t need to shoot anything in the next few days/weeks”

An imperfect answer because maybe you really do rely on that walkie talkie mode (maybe you are motor control limited? Or an eight year old with an expensive watch?), but probably the right trade off for most people.

to me “we take our customer’s security seriously” is the bank, big business, tech sector version of “thoughts and prayers”.

They might as well say “we could put an end to this, but it wouldn’t align with our interests and doing things correctly would be slow and expensive, so we will say some canned quote, pretend we will do something better, and then business as usual”.

totally meaningless crap.

Sounds like they’re doing something about it.

Sounds like they’re doing something about it.

Yeah, but this is like soaking up the water in your basement every time the pipes leak but not fixing the pipes.

Having quick reactions to the shirt code you push out when it’s discovered to be a vulnerability is not the same as taking steps to not push shitty code out.

Having once worked at Apple, I can’t say you are entirely wrong. If you had said they don’t care about privacy I would have said they surely do (or to be accurate, did, I’m not there, and while I have no reason to believe it changed, I don’t actually know). However your argument is “they may care, but they care more about yearly releases with new features then getting to zero bugs in those releases”…and there, yeah. You are indeed right. Or again to be accurate that was true when I worked there, and while it may have changed I don’t see any reason to believe it has.

They want fewer bugs (and zero is fewer), but they don’t make a whole lot of changes to get there, and they always did seem to want features more (and sure they would say they want both, but if you spend time fixing bugs and not completing features the result was not nearly as good for you as if you spent time completing features and just slotted big fixes in “as best you can”).

I can’t really blame them, most of the time people are excited for features and just assume things are “bug free enough”. Occasionally performance becomes enough of an issue that it counts as a feature.

I would like less buggy software, but I don’t seem to reflect the majority of people (and Apple’s products seem more buggy over time, not less, which makes me sad…but at the same time the best I can say about my time at Apple isn’t that I fought the good fight and lost but that I “wasn’t the worst offender”).

“Your call is important to us.”

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90s cell phones didn’t have PTT. Many other radio transceivers do though.