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Cellphones Patents Apple

Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones 371

theodp writes "Evil is in the eye of the beholder, but there's certainly not much to like in the newly-disclosed Apple patent applications for Systems and Methods for Provisioning Computing Devices. Provisioning, says Apple, allows carriers to 'specify access limitations to certain device resources which may otherwise be available to users of the device.' So what problem are we trying to solve here? 'Mobile devices often have capabilities that the carriers do not want utilized on their networks,' explains Apple. 'Various applications on these devices may also need to be restricted.'"
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Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones

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  • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Friday October 02, 2009 @09:35AM (#29615949)

    However, if this serves to keep others from implementing carrier-based restrictions, I'm all for it: implementing this is going to hurt Apple and help everybody else.

    That was exactly my first thought. However, you know it's not going to go down like that, because everyone else is going to want the feature. Instead, all the phones will end up with the feature anyway, and you'll just pay more for Apple's licensing fee.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 02, 2009 @09:41AM (#29616011)

    My last phone from T-Mobile is hardware capable of MP3 playback and ringtones. It is however flashed with T-Mobile firmware locking those features out *unless* the ringtone in question is purchased from T-Mobile.

    This has nothing whatsoever with them provisioning services and everything to do with them wanting me to pay extra for permission to use my own music files or pay extra for permission to use their music files.

  • by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <> on Friday October 02, 2009 @11:35AM (#29617419) Homepage

    No they can't. There's no way the network can prevent your phone from sending as much data as it wants. It can refuse to pass all of that data on to the internet, but by then it's too late, your phone has already taken up the wireless bandwidth. The only way to throttle your iPhone's "upload" usage is to put software on the iPhone that does it. They can throttle your download usage, but that would have little effect on a web server app.

    Umm... Since the radio bandwidth allocation is mediated by the network, not the phone, there is nothing stopping the network simply not giving you that bandwidth. For example, in WCDMA the network hands out one or more PRNs to the device on the fly, to meet the device's bandwidth demands. The more PRNs you have allocated to you, the more bandwidth you get. Of course, the more devices there are wanting to use bandwidth, the more thinly those PRNs are spread between them. So if you have a misbehaving device, the network can simply stop allocating (as many) PRNs to it. Of course, whether they have the infrastructure in place to exercise this amount of control over the network is another question, but from a technical standpoint there is no reason why they can't do this.

    So sure, the network can't ask your IP stack to stop chucking out UDP packets (or various other protocols) as fast, but it can throttle you in the data link layer.

    As far as your web server example goes, that _is_ trivial to throttle at the IP level anywhere along the route - start chucking away a proportion of the TCP packets and the TCP stack will throttle back the transfer rate.

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