Archive for April 14, 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Apple Sued an Independent iPhone Repair Shop Owner and Lost

Jason Koebler (Hacker News):

The specifics of Huseby’s legal case apply only in Norway, of course, but his case speaks to a problem faced by independent iPhone repair shops around the world. Apple’s use of the legal system and trademark law turns average repair professionals into criminals and helps the company corner the repair market for Apple products.

In the United States, Apple has worked with the Department of Homeland Security and ICE to seize counterfeit parts in the United States and to raid the shops of independent iPhone repair professionals. ICE’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center rejected a Freedom of Information Act request I filed in 2016 regarding Apple’s involvement in its “Operation Chain Reaction” anti counterfeiting team, citing that doing so “could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

“In this case, Apple indirectly proves what they really want,” Par Harald Gjerstad, Huseby’s lawyer, told me in an email. “They want monopoly on repairs so they can keep high prices. And they therefore do not want to sell spare parts to anyone other than ‘to themselves.’”

[…]

The legal status of many of these parts remains an unanswered question around the world, but the general consensus seems to be that a part is “counterfeit” if it is masquerading as an original manufacturer part rather than an aftermarket one. Counterfeit parts are “tangible goods that infringe trademarks,” the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a partnership between 35 countries and a United Nations observer, wrote in a report last year.

Previously: Apple Fighting New “Right to Repair” Legislation, Error 53.

High Sierra Help Breakage

Christian Tietze:

If you run macOS 10.13 High Sierra, try not to use the Help menu. It will appear to freeze the app for which you invoke the Help menu: it will not accept keyboard input anymore, emitting the NSBeep “invalid action” sound in most circumstances.

The reason seems to be that the nifty Search bar inside the Help menu will acquire focus so you can search for a menu item or help book entry. This is taking away focus from the app window.

[…]

You can fix this inconsistent state yourself: open the Help menu again, then hover over an adjacent main menu entry, like “Window”. This will apparently close the Help menu in a different, proper way, unlike clicking back inside the main app’s window.

Howard Oakley:

Somewhere between High Sierra 10.13 and 10.13.4, Apple has made major changes to the Help system. Unfortunately, these include radical changes in the undocumented file used by the Help system in ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.helpd/HelpCache.plist.

Those changes not only break my utility HelpHelp, but the information now accessible in those and other Help system files no longer contains that on which HelpHelp relies.

Update (2018-04-15): Daniel Jalkut:

Christian filed a bug, and shared a workaround: set the delegate of the Help menu to your app’s delegate, and listen for the “menuDidClose” delegate method. If it’s the Help menu, restore focus manually.

I generalized this workaround to an approach that should work for whatever window, and whatever responder is currently focused when the Help menu is opened. By saving the window and the responder at “menuWillOpen” time, it can be precisely restored afterwards[…]

Update (2018-04-17): Howard Oakley:

At some stage, between the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13 and the latest update to 10.13.4, Apple has replaced its Help system. I have checked through Apple’s release notes, including those concerning the SDK changes for developers, and have been unable to find any reference to such changes.

[…]

Another more pervasive change is the way in which these files refer to Help books. Previously this used their signatures, such as com.apple.Dictionary.help, which made it difficult for the Help system to cope with multiple versions of apps with different Help books. Now each Help book is known by a name which combines that signature with the app’s version number, such as com.apple.Dictionary.help*2.2.2.

[…]

Without watching the performance of helpd and HelpViewer over a period of time in the log, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions as to the practical effects of these changes in 10.13.4. However, simply opening a traditional local Help book shows some quite radical differences, suggesting that this is the largest overhaul of the Help system for some years.

Apple Warns Employees to Stop Leaking Information

Mark Gurman (Hacker News, MacRumors):

The Cupertino, California-based company said in a lengthy memo posted to its internal blog that it “caught 29 leakers,” last year and noted that 12 of those were arrested. “These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere,” Apple added. The company declined to comment on Friday.

Apple outlined situations in which information was leaked to the media, including a meeting earlier this year where Apple’s software engineering head Craig Federighi told employees that some planned iPhone software features would be delayed. Apple also cited a yet-to-be-released software package that revealed details about the unreleased iPhone X and new Apple Watch.

John Gruber:

Getting fired for leaking — we all knew that happened. But this is the first I’ve heard of leakers being prosecuted criminally and going to jail.

Previously: How Apple Plans to Root Out Bugs.

Update (2018-04-15): Amir Efrati (via Anil Dash):

And this notion that people who discuss company products will be arrested is preposterous. The arrests that Apple references, I’m willing to bet, are entirely related to the supply chain and theft of prototypes. Apple is lumping the two groups of people together for effect.

Update (2018-04-29): See also: The Menu Bar.

Update (2018-05-01): Joe Rossignol:

Ming-Chi Kuo, widely considered to be one of the best analysts covering Apple, might no longer focus his research on the iPhone maker.

China Times reports that Kuo resigned from Taiwanese research firm KGI Securities on Friday and, while his next move is uncertain, the publication suggests he will focus less on Apple and more on other emerging industries.

Kuo has been one of the most prolific sources of rumors about Apple’s unreleased products and services since as early as 2010, when he was a senior analyst at industry publication DigiTimes. He briefly covered Apple for Concord Securities in 2011, before moving to KGI Securities in early 2012.