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Apple Blocks Lawrence Lessig's Comment On iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch 326

Posted by timothy
from the greater-good dept.
destinyland writes "A glitch in iOS7 has cost "a significant number" of Apple users their Wi-Fi access, according to ZDNet. But they also report that Apple is now censoring posts in their "Apple Support Communities" forums where users suggest possible responses to their loss of WiFi capabilities (including exercising their product warranty en masse). "We understand the desire to share experiences in your topic, 'Re: wifi greyed out after update to ios7,'" read one warning sent to Lawrence Lessig, "but because these posts are not allowed on our forums, we have removed it." Lessig — who co-founded Creative Commons (and was a board member of the Free Software Foundation) has been documenting the ongoing "comments slaughter" on his Twitter feed, drawing attention to what he says is the Borg-like behavior of Apple as a corporation. Lessig "is now part of an angry mob in Apple's forums who upgraded to iOS 7 and lost Wi-Fi connectivity," ZDNet notes, adding that as of this morning their reporter has been unable to obtain an official response from Apple."
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Apple Blocks Lawrence Lessig's Comment On iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch

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  • Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by war4peace (1628283) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @11:36AM (#45269727)

    Walled garden is walled.
    What did you expect?

    (EVE Online oblig: Damage Control II works in PvP!!11one)

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @11:37AM (#45269745)

    Apple is really strict about not letting people give out certain kinds of technical advice or speculation on their support forums, on the not-unreasonable basis that things posted there have Apple's tacit approval. When I hung out on Nokia's support boards it was similar.

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @11:39AM (#45269765)

      ...on the other hand, the Warranty information page would seem to be exactly the sort of thing Apple should not be deleting.

      • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @11:55AM (#45269973)
        Are you sure that is what they were objecting to? Honest question, BTW.

        I've been having wifi issues since upgrading to iOS7, but only intermitently. I could not connect to wifi at all for the first 2 days, but now it connects most of the time. About once a week I have to power the phone off and on to get wifi working again. I saw a thread on the discussion pages during my first 2 day outage (maybe the same one, maybe not) that was telling everyone your wifi chip had physically been damaged by the update and to go to the Applestore for a new phone. Presumably my wifi chip hasn't been physically damaged because it works the vast majority of the time, and if they are telling everyone something that is demonstrably false (in Apple's opinion anyway), the I could see why Apple might intervene.
        • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @12:05PM (#45270097) Homepage Journal
          I could not connect to wifi at all for the first 2 days, but now it connects most of the time.

          The vacuum tubes Apple uses for their wifi radios are known to take a while to warm up. You should have fewer (or no) problems from now on.

          .
          • by StikyPad (445176) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @04:41PM (#45272963) Homepage

            It's worth it though. Streaming audio just feels so much "warmer" than the harsh sound from transistor-based transceivers. The soundstage feels much more natural, and I can distinguish characteristics of the music that just aren't there on other devices. The tubes recreate the missing detail from lossy encoding, and I can hear the faint heartbeat of the musician, and even perceive what kind of mood the musicians were in during the recording. (Spoiler alert: The Lumineers are actually seething with rage in "Ho Hey.") If you place an earbud into a nostril instead, you can literally smell the aromas present in the studio, like the haze of Jamaican Gold during No Woman No Cry, or the remnants of Ringo's bio break wafting after him as he sneaks back into the studio on Hey Jude. Really powerful stuff. This works for highly compressed video too. If I watch a video of some Mario Bros. gameplay on YouTube, I can see the individual hairs in Mario's 'stache, or the wet spot on the ground after the Goomba's guts get squished out.

            Pro tip: to double the detail, use 5 GHz instead of 2.4 GHz.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sarten-X (1102295)

        User error? Use the warranty!

        Software bug? Use the warranty!

        Scratched display? Use the warranty!

        Just don't like it any more? Use the warranty!

        If you have any problem whatsoever, use the warranty! Now you have two problems.

        Honestly, I just can't get worked up about this justified censorship. Until Apple releases some kind of official solution (which might very well be "send it in for repair"), giving out wrong solutions just increases the amount of trouble involved. Having managed a help desk before, I've se

        • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @12:31PM (#45270403)

          By resorting to the warranty's options, Apple's operational cost rises, and the user still doesn't have wi-fi on their phone.

          If I'd spent the best part of $1,000 on a phone and the wi-fi stopped wroking, the last thing I'd care about is the manufacturer's operational costs.

          Perhaps if enough people send their phones back, they might not release an operating system that breaks peoples' phones next time.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            punish the vendor so that the vendor hurts.

            pain is a GREAT motivator.

            its a valid way to 'fix' a problem. if that's what it takes to get apple to improve their quality, so be it.

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            I'm not saying that you should care about Apple's costs, but Apple probably does, so they have no reason to allow posts encouraging unnecessary warranty claims. You would likely care that you're going through extra hassle when an official solution will likely be released soon. It was broken by software, so it can probably be fixed by software.

        • waste time undoing users' community-given fixes for problems, like adding RAM to remove a virus

          Did it help when you made them remove the added RAM?

          Great example, man.

        • by RedBear (207369) <redbear@redbearn e t . c om> on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @01:07PM (#45270821) Homepage

          User error? Use the warranty!

          Software bug? Use the warranty!

          Scratched display? Use the warranty!

          Just don't like it any more? Use the warranty!

          If you have any problem whatsoever, use the warranty! Now you have two problems.

          Honestly, I just can't get worked up about this justified censorship. Until Apple releases some kind of official solution (which might very well be "send it in for repair"), giving out wrong solutions just increases the amount of trouble involved. Having managed a help desk before, I've seen how often we had to waste time undoing users' community-given fixes for problems, like adding RAM to remove a virus (thanks, Geek Squad!). By resorting to the warranty's options, Apple's operational cost rises, and the user still doesn't have wi-fi on their phone.

          I have been a satisfied Apple user for over a decade now, but I came in here to say that Apple's discussion forum censorship is for reals one of the worst things about the company. But then I read a few posts like yours. Your post is a prime example of why I keep coming back to Slashdot despite the dupes and terrible editing and clickbait content. Instead of having my biases reinforced, I often have my mind expanded and my thoughts provoked by reading interesting alternative viewpoints here.

          Thanks, man. *brofist*

        • I looked up the links in the article, and it seems he had bought the 4s second hand so he doesn't have warranty. It worked before the OS update though.

        • by X.25 (255792)

          Honestly, I just can't get worked up about this justified censorship. Until Apple releases some kind of official solution (which might very well be "send it in for repair"), giving out wrong solutions just increases the amount of trouble involved. Having managed a help desk before, I've seen how often we had to waste time undoing users' community-given fixes for problems, like adding RAM to remove a virus (thanks, Geek Squad!). By resorting to the warranty's options, Apple's operational cost rises, and the user still doesn't have wi-fi on their phone.

          So, how long do you think people should wait for Apple to give "some kind of official solution"?

          A day? Week? Month? Year?

          I mean, I can't see why people would be upset that device which they paid hundreds of dollars for does not work and they also have no idea how long before they would be given "some kind of official solution".

          It is just natural to wait for weeks/months in such situations, isn't it?

      • by jythie (914043)
        From what I gather it was not the Warranty page, but information about how local laws could be used for a refund. While it is something consumers should know (unless it is a shady use of the law, I do not know the details), I can not blame Apple for not wanting to spread such information in their own forum.
        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          The internet has come to expect companies to display criticism and things that are generally detrimental to themselves on their web sites. Amazon is the leader in this area, often having overwhelmingly negative reviews of products displayed as the "most helpful". It gives customers confidence that they are not being bullshitted or ripped off, and that if there really were any major flaws in a product people would have publicised them.

          Aside from anything else you can't cover this sort of thing up any more. Y

    • users posting on a support forum are NOT speaking for apple!

      censorship is censorship, that's all there is to be said about this.

    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @01:02PM (#45270755) Homepage Journal

      I'm not at all surprised that Apple or Nokia behave this way. But, my goodness, Lessig was on the FSF board and now he's using an Apple phone?

      His comments would not be deleted from a Replicant mailing list or a xda-developers - they'd be dealt with by engineers (at least acknowledged/triaged). If that's the kind of experience he wants, he's using the wrong phone.

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      No, the reasonable assumption is that the forums are there for users to post, and so the content there does not represent apple's position unless the poster is an apple employee authorized to speak on behalf of apple.

    • by sg3000 (87992)

      Apple is really strict about not letting people give out certain kinds of technical advice or speculation on their support forums, on the not-unreasonable basis that things posted there have Apple's tacit approval.

      No kidding. I don't think the submission helps by being vague about what was being posted:

      Apple is now censoring posts in their "Apple Support Communities" forums where users suggest possible responses to their loss of WiFi capabilities

      Possible response? I wasn't sure what that meant, so I read Lessig's blog to get an idea of sort of "possible responses" Apple was cruelly censoring. If his post is any indication of what he posted on his forum, no one should be surprised the Apple deleted it:

      I skipped all the drastic steps others seem to have taken such as putting in freezer or the one where I guy heats his wifi chip up to 300degrees which by the way seem to have worked quite well.

      Heating up the WiFi chip to 300 degrees? And it worked "quite well??" No surprise at all that Apple deleted this kind of "advice" from their official support for

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @11:39AM (#45269787)
    The Apple forums are not the place to criticize Apple or its products.

    .
    I, for one, applaud Apple's efforts to keep the Apple support forums all singing praises for Apple and its products. When I visit those forums, I do not want to see critique of Apple and its products. I want my visit to be positive and cheerful.

    I am so happy that Apple is providing such a wholesome environment for me to visit and discuss Apple's products.

    • ^Funny

    • by cdrudge (68377)

      Why would Apple even need a support forum? Having an entire forum would seem to indicate that there could be issues, or people might need help doing something. Surely a product that's as awesome as the iWhatever is perfect and such a forum would be completely unnecessary.

      Instead of being called a "support forum", how about we call it a "awesomeness forum" for people to proclaim their undying love for Apple.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        Why would Apple even need a support forum?

        Maybe smug Apple fans need a place to go and blast non-believers, so they can feel superior. It's kind of like when Christians host fake atheist forums to proselytize.

  • It's funny that they'd censor the iOS7 forums given the nasty language bandied about in the iWork forums about the evisceration of the office suite. I suppose that they don't care about iWork (it certainly shows).

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      That's why I find this whole story suspicious, because there's plenty of bashing of apple products going on on the forums. Why they would censor complaints of only this issue seems strange and highly unlikely
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        That's the point - they're not censoring complaints - there are plenty of those on those very boards. They remove specific things that break the posting rules (and note; criticising Apple or its products is not against the rules). One of those rules is saying something like "the iOS7 update damaged your wifi hardware, so get your phone exchanged under warranty", when no such thing is indicated right now.

        Even if that does turn out to be the eventual outcome of the bug, posting that sort of information now an

        • Re: How about iWork? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @01:09PM (#45270847)

          I don't think anyone said "the iOS7 update damaged your wifi hardware". Here's one post that got removed:

          Before I have another post removed I urge all those affected with wifi issues to exercise your rights as I have done as published on apples vet own website.

          http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/ [apple.com]

          There are far too many of us affected for this to be a coincidence or consumer caused problem, I had a 16gb white 4s purchased in July 2013 and wifi was completely greyed out no matter what fixes I was advised to try.

          I have been successful in my claim and am now in receipt of a brand new iPhone 5, this was provided to me by the phone shop I signed my O2 contract with last year.

          Good luck and persevere

          Lessig went back to ask a question and found that the post had been deleted, so he re-posted it and that one got deleted also. It's not about spreading false information, Apple just doesn't want people to use the warranty route (for possibly a good reason, since they did end up replacing the above device and thereby possibly admitting that it's their problem).

  • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @11:46AM (#45269879)

    ZDNet notes, adding that as of this morning their reporter has been unable to obtain an official response from Apple.

    Maybe their wi-fi doesn't work.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @11:50AM (#45269917)

    I've read about glitches when one does an update, so I wonder if the Wi-Fi problem would go away if someone backed up their device (would have to be dumped to a computer with iTunes), did an erase all, then followed it up by a DFU restore. This method pretty much ensures that all data stored on the device is erased. Then the device can be restored, apps/music reinstalled, and things back to normal.

    This also stems from a general IT lesson I learned. If possible, when it comes to OS upgrading time with major number versions [1], one is best off rebuilding a server from scratch than updating it, due to cruft left behind from the previous OS, and other inconsistencies which might cause issues later on. Sometimes this isn't possible, other times, it is easily done.

    [1]: The cautious exception are RPM based Linux distros which are really just stacks of filesets snapshotted and regression tested at a certain point in time. Those, I can just increment the version number, run yum upgrade, and be done with it, since it is more of a large update than a major version upgrade. Even with these, it doesn't hurt to install from scratch since it seems that RPM databases tend to get corrupted over time.

  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @11:55AM (#45269971)

    Applies to the guy who owns the press.

    Apples behavior is pretty much expected, I doubt few if any companies would ever let people use their resources to organize action against them. It seems Lessig is going a little over the top in his reaction to this. It can hardly come as a shock to him.

    • by n1ywb (555767)
      A predictable outcome does not necessarily lessen the importance of the effort. You can see this kind of thing coming from a mile away but I'm still glad Lessig is doing it.
    • Applies to the guy who owns the press.

      Apples behavior is pretty much expected, I doubt few if any companies would ever let people use their resources to organize action against them. It seems Lessig is going a little over the top in his reaction to this. It can hardly come as a shock to him.

      Apple equals eyeballs, whether it is here or someone's blog. Dell, Microsoft, HP? Boring. Apple? Adrenaline. People just need to chill sometimes.

  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @12:00PM (#45270043)

    Especially if you write that everyone should return their phones.

    Use another forum to get your word out Lessig. You know how this game is played.

    • by sqlrob (173498)

      If only some major tech site would get the word out. Any you can suggest?

      • by Ecuador (740021)

        Why be a smart-ass and not recommend one yourself? I mean a lot of us here waste enough time with the likes of slashdot that we don't have time for reading major tech sites etc.

  • Buy a new iPhone........
  • at broken shiny things I wodner if they would do the same against NSA supplied iphones.

  • by mugurel (1424497) on Tuesday October 29, 2013 @12:21PM (#45270271)
    Check with Apple if you're holding your iPhone correctly.
  • Disclosure: I am an Apple fan -- but I absolutely will not defend the practice of purging negative comments from community forums. I think censorship is probably the single most frustrating experience anyone can have in a forum, warranted or not. I speak from experience: I've been censored recently as well -- in an entirely different forum, and for reasons which seemed entirely unreasonable to me. Ironically, I had made the egregious error of trying to help.

    In responding to a thread about a bug, I descr

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      They're not purging negative comments, they're purging comments that are telling people to take their phones into Apple to have them exchanged under warranty because the update physically broke the wifi chip.

      There are plenty of critical comments of Apple and their products on those boards.

      However, that doesn't make for very effective click bait.

      • by Arker (91948)

        "There are plenty of critical comments of Apple and their products on those boards."

        As one should expect. Support forums are where people having problems with the products are supposed to go.

    • by Valdrax (32670)

      I described one software development methodology (scrum, if that matters) to a crowd of discontent gamers in the Steam forum. I then painstakingly crafted a reasoned explanation for why that process necessitates that this particular bug in an older game (Half-Life: Opposing Force, which had been recently ported to both Linux and Mac) simply won't be fixed anytime soon, because the Steam developers are almost certainly entirely wrapped up in the development of Half Life 3.

      What does Scrum have to to with allocation of development resources between development and bug fixing? I do mostly bug fixes rather than new feature development at my company, and we use scrum methodology for our maintenance team. I'm not sure how this would be even related to HL3, much less why you would think that HL3 is drawing resources from other projects to the point that bug fixes must stop.

  • At times like this, I am reminded that the alternative to fragmentation and forking and all manner of inconsistencies is monoculture. When monoculture works, it works nicely and that's all that most people have in mind when they strive for it. But the other side of that coin? What affects one, generally affects them all.

  • Posters are not allowed to attempt to compromise the lingering Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field, Apple is perfect, and perceived issues are figments of your imagination. Please remit all your money to Apple and thank us for the privilege to partake in our excellence. Thank you. :p
  • he was made whole (got a 5 instead of the 4s he purchased in July 2013 (a 4s? this year? really?)
    and continued to complain (in a non constructive/technical way) despite the fact that he was made whole by his carrier... so if it works for the VAST majority of users, and his problem was resolved by getting new hardware.. why continue?

    stopped reading after the first few lines - Lessig is a fucking crybaby.
    http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/65338904338/wow-or-from-the-when-apple-became-the-borg-department [tumblr.com]

    There are f

  • Or rather it used to.

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