Is Apple Falsely Claiming Increased Storage Capacity for its Mobile Devices?

A Class action suit over false advertising of the memory in iPhones has Apple scrambling to explain. The newest update for iOS 8 is the root of the problem, as it eats into the memory of the phone, using the memory which is supposed to be available to the phone’s owner for their own storage.

Memory Problems

It’s not just a teensy bit of memory the new operating system is hogging…it’s almost a quarter of total memory on the device. Turns out the upgrade is memory hog and that has iOS users experiencing problems from the minute they start using the phone after it’s been updated.

Last December, a class action lawsuit was brought against the manufacturer, Apple, in California. The suit states that Apple “fails to disclose” to its customers that almost a quarter of the storage space on their devices would be taken over by the operating system, iOS 8.

Not only that, abut the case states that there’s a huge difference between what Apple says their customers will get in terms of storage, and the actual space that ends up being available to them.

To make matters seem worse, Apple pushes device owners to purchase more storage on the iCloud rather than attempting to ameliorate the problem.

So…How Much Memory Does iOS 8 Require?

The operating system, which is used on iPhones, iPads, and iPods, was updated last September. Almost immediately after the update, consumers reported having issues with their devices.

The updated, latest version of iOS 8 uses 1.1 GB of space. It needs 5.8 GB to install wirelessly. A lot of people couldn’t make space on their phones for the new update, and ended up deleting photos, apps, and more.

For users of the older 4S iPhone, matters were even worse. They were even advised not to download the update because the storage capacity on those older phones is even less. A 6 GB or 16 GB phone will probably have trouble with the new operating system.

Apple’s Solution is to Buy a New Phone

Apple will make $3 billion dollars when people with older models or models with less storage space upgrade in order to accommodate the memory-hogging iOS 8 operating system.

It costs an extra $100 to $200 to get an upgraded version of the iPhone 6, to get 64 GB or 128 GB models. The basic model comes with only 16 GB of storage.

Apple issues a new Operating System (OS) every year.

The Class Action Lawsuit

To quote the class action directly,

“In reality, nothing close to the advertised capacity of the Devices is available to end users. Indeed, the discrepancy between advertised and available capacity is substantial and beyond any possible reasonable expectation. For the Devices, the shortfall ranges from 18.1-23.1%”

The case also cites Apple for not disclosing to its consumers that the iOS 8 upgrade would take up so much memory, eating into their storage capacity.

Not only are consumers unable to store as much as they’d previously thought, but they are also reporting sluggish downloads, keyboard issues, and slow-as-molasses performance since the upgrade.

The final insult, of course, was the aggressively-marketed iCloud storage service, offered at a monthly fee to customer with storage issues.


Lenovo and Superfish Are Giving Us Deja-vu

lenova superfishEver since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s extensive spying program, security has been in the spotlight. Over the past several weeks, the adware known as Superfish has been the hot topic.

Back in 2014, China-based OEM admitted to pre-loading Superfish adware on Lenovo PCs during the second half of 2014. Two new lawsuits were filed on February 23, 2015 against Lenovo and adware maker Superfish in the federal courts of California for putting consumers at risk of information theft and hacker spying.

One plaintiff, David Hunter of NC, claims that both Lenovo and Superfish violated the U.S. Electronic Communications Privacy Act among other laws and has requested that the court demand for the firms to hand back any revenue acquired by selling consumer’s browsing data and also the money earned from the adware advertising.

Another plaintiff, Jessica Bennett, stated that her laptop was damaged as a result of Superfish. She further accuses Lenovo and Superfish of making money at the expense of invading her privacy.

Security researcher Marc Rogers wrote that it’s “quite possibly the single worst thing I have seen a manufacturer do to its customer base…I cannot overstate how evil this is.” The Superfish adware is said to be more than just pesky. It’s the most virulent, evil adware you could find.

By installing a single self-signed root certificate across all of Lenovo’s affected machines, Superfish intentionally pokes a gigantic hole into your browser security and allows anyone on your Wi-Fi network to hijack your browser silently and collect your bank credentials, passwords and anything else you might conceivably type there.

This can be even more of a nightmare for companies who risk their private information, and their employees, from being exposed.

Errata Security’s Robert Graham said, “I can intercept the encrypted communications of Superfish’s victims (people with Lenovo laptops) while hanging out near them at a café wifi hotspot.”

Our deja-vu comes from the Sony DRM rootkit scandal of 2005, in which Sony automatically installed malware onto users’ computers whenever someone loaded certain CDs. That rootkit malware could be hijacked by another hacker and in its greed, Sony did nothing to stop piracy and compromised the security of millions of users.

Lenovo claims it installed Superfish to “enhance our user’s shopping experience.”


Google’s one-hour policy to counter Facebook’s offers to employees

Google Poaching CaseFollowing the $324 million settlement of the employee wage conspiracy lawsuit in 2011 that involved Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe, four of the biggest Silicon Valley corporations, new emails concerning the case have revealed that in November 2007, Google policy’s was to counter offers made by Facebook to its employees within an hour. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has confirmed in emails that the policy had existed only for 24 hours before it was leaked outside the executive management group’s emailing list. Schmidt’s anger was obvious: “Since I announced our 1 hour policy exactly 24 hours ago we should be embarrassed and disgusted by this leak.”

The lawsuit concerning Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe was about current and former employees accusing their employers of agreeing not to poach each other’s workers in an attempt to limit playing against each other with the goal of raising salaries. Although US District Judge Lucy Koh has yet to approve the settlement, both sides have agreed to settle the case for a sum of $324 million. The disgruntled employees sought an initial $3 billion, which could have tripled under current antitrust statutes, if the trial had begun. After a motion from Google in an attempt to seal incriminating emails, Koh made the emails public.

Judge Koh has questioned the fairness of the settlement in a June hearing. Some of the plaintiffs have rejected the amount and have hired attorneys to argue against the offered sum.

In one of the emails released this Friday, it is revealed that Google directors Paul Otellini who serves as Intel CEO and venture capitalist John Doerr have made the suggestion to Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to approach Facebook workers on an one-on-one basis with the effort of recruiting them.

“Paul/John asked who was reaching out to the target Facebookers,” Prasad Setty, Google’s vice president of compensation, wrote to several Google executives on April 19, 2010. “They suggested that we have Larry/Sergey and Eng execs reach out rather than the Staffing leads.”

Shannon Deegan, a Google security operations director cautioned against this, saying that “I don’t agree that we should be asking Larry and Sergey to reach out to Facebookers, that will quickly be leaked and I believe [it] won’t look great.

No evidence has been found to suggest that either Page or Brin have done such a thing.

The newly released evidence also points to the fact that Google staffing employees had personally confronted Facebook recruiters and cautioned them about poaching current employees. In March 2008, Arnnon Geshuri, Google staffing director writes “Even though it was an open event, we approached the recruiters at the time and … gave them a warning to (sic) we would be watching them.”

Intel, Facebook and John Doerr could not be reached. Google declined to comment on the matter.

Judge Lucy Koh is expected to rule on the proposed settlement at any time.

The 2011 case had caused wide coverage in the media because of its high-profile figure involvement and the potentially high damages award. It offered a unique glimpse into the lives and workings of the Silicon Valley elite. The case was in most part based on emails that circulated between Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and other big name players from Adobe and Intel. The conspiracy was hatched in order to avoid employee poaching which in turn would have raised salaries for workers across the whole tech sector.

Court documents show an email exchange where one incident is described when a Google recruiter requested an Apple employee. Schmidt told Jobs by email that the recruiter would be fired for this. Jobs had forwarded Schmidt’s mail to a top Apple human resources executives appending a smiley face.

In another exchange, we find out that Schmidt, now the company’s executive chairman, advises discretion after a Google human resources director asks him to share its no-cold call agreement with other competitors.

According to a court filing, the HR director said “Schmidt responded that he preferred it be shared ‘verbally, since I don’t want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?'”

The defendants had acknowledged entering into some no-hire agreements but countered the allegations that they had “hatched a conspiracy to drive wages down”. Adding to this, they claimed that employees should not be able to sue as a group.