NYU grad student goes undercover in Chinese iPhone factory and it ain't pretty

NYU grad student Dejian Zeng worked undercover at an iPhone factory in Shanghai, China for six weeks, and "grim" is a nice way to describe it.

Zeng was in charge of one screw per phone, fastening the speaker to the back of the iPhone case. He had to show up at the factory at 7:30 and work 12 hours per day, but was only paid for 10 1/2 hours per day since breaks are unpaid. And his work week consisted of 6 days per week, for which he only gets paid $450/month, including overtime.

The workers live in prison cells, er, I mean dorm rooms that are as bleak as hell. They have only one uniform to wear all week, as well as a pair of slippers. But they do not receive an iPhone as a perk – it's rare to see anyone with a personal iPhone at the iPhone factory. Most workers have a phone that is cheaper.

The thing that shocked Zeng the most was the managers' attitudes - "yelling at the workers is kind of routine in the factories." But the good thing is that the company has installed nets around the stairs to prevent people from committing suicide. Oh, and the windows have cages around them so no one can jump out and kill themselves.

There are more fascinating details in this video. Good undercover work, Zeng! Read the rest

If you want to build an iPhone from scratch, you have a lot of tiny parts to deal with

Last week Carla posted Scotty's amazing video about building an iPhone from scratch. Scotty just sent me a couple of photos that show just how difficult it was to build the phone:

The attached photos are from one of the booths that sells screws and brackets and other accessories for repairing and refurbishing iPhones.

The first photo of the laminated card is showing "foam, stickers, and dust mesh accessories". These are all the little bits of adhesive and foam and mesh hole coverings you need to make an iPhone totally perfect. Most notable are the two grids of pink dots. Those are water damage sensors, which turn red when you get them wet (the other side is faces up when installed, and is white). This is what Apple looks at to see if your phone has gotten wet.

The other photo is a bin of brackets for iPhone. They're mostly coverings for connectors, or to hold the camera or other parts in place. The baggies in the upper right are camera covers - they glue into a hole in the metal shell, and are the round piece of glass that prevents the actual camera itself from getting scratched.

Read the rest

Flexible iPhone cable acts as a stand

I have been enjoying this bendable iPhone lightning cable. It is great for keeping the phone where I can see it.

Using it with a 20000mAh USB battery as a base works well too.

Not rigid enough to work as a stand in my car.

COMROLL Cable Charger Holder Flexible Holder Stand Up USB Desk Charging Sync Data for iPhone 5S 6 6S 7 Plus 50cm via Amazon Read the rest

News groups sue FBI for iPhone hacking details in San Bernardino case

VICE Media, USA Today owner Gannett, and the Associated Press today announced a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI. The news organizations want to how much and who the government paid to hack into the San Bernardino shooters' iPhone, during the government's investigation into last year's mass shooting.

Read the rest

Apple’s iPhone 7 event in under 5 minutes

If you missed the iPhone 7 event, this five minute recap will fill you in. Read the rest

Four USB-to-Lightning cables for $16

I just stocked up on USB-to-Lightning cables again, as they tend to disappear around my house. A 4-pack of the RAVPower MFi Certified cables (the kind I usually get) are on sale for $16 if you use code 2DCN7DO4 at check out. Read the rest

1ft Apple MFi Certified Short Lightning to USB Cable

I feel like you can't go wrong with Anker charging cables. I have found them to be more durable than Apple's own cables, which tend to tear over time. I wanted a short cable to charge my phone from a portable charger, so I bought a 1-foot Anker PowerLine for $9 on Amazon. The housing around the connectors is very sturdy, and has a 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. Read the rest

FBI has no plans to share how it hacked into that iPhone with Apple or anyone else

Bless their cold, spyin' hearts. The FBI suddenly cares about the rights of technology developers.

On Wednesday, the official word came from the federal agency that it will not be disclosing what vulnerability it exploited to force its way in to the San Bernardino attacker's iPhone, because -- can you hear the gentle clutching of pearls?-- “it did not own the rights to the technical method a contractor used to open an Apple iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and therefore could not submit details of the mechanism for an interagency government review,” as Reuters puts it.

Read the rest

Listen to heavy metal covers of iPhone ringtones

ToxicEternity plays a metal medley of iPhone ringtones.

Read the rest

FBI may have dropped one iPhone case against Apple, but the battle is far from over

The Justice Department says that security features on a San Bernardino attacker's iPhone were bypassed by an ‘outside party’, making that one important government case against Apple moot. But many other similar cases, including other cases involving Apple, are going forward. The war on your phone's security is just beginning.

Read the rest

Justice Department to drop 'FBI vs. Apple' case, because they've unlocked the iPhone

The #FBIvsApple legal case may be over, but the fight over security, privacy, and the right to live free of surveillance has just begun. The Justice Department is expected to drop its legal action against Apple, possibly as soon as today, because an 'outside method' to bypass security on the San Bernardino gunman's iPhone has proven successful, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.

Read the rest

FBI may not need Apple's help with that iPhone after all, nevermind, maybe

In a surprising turn of events, the U.S. government on Monday paused its battle with Apple over an iPhone, and what may be its greater goal of mandating “backdoors” in consumer encryption. On Monday afternoon, the Justice Department told a judge it needs a couple weeks to try 'new' ways of accessing whatever may be on the device, without Apple's help--and with an assist from unnamed experts from outside the agency.

Read the rest

Portable USB battery with Apple Lightning input port

This is the first USB battery I've seen with a Lightning input port (instead of a micro USB port). It's got 3600mAh and you can buy it for $8 when you use the YCOIWN27 coupon code at checkout. Read the rest

Feds say Apple's pro-privacy response to iPhone hacking order is a 'marketing stunt'

Apple said no to the government, and the government is pissed.

Read the rest

The government was pushing Apple to break iPhone security long before San Bernardino attack

They're not comin' for your guns, America. They're comin' for your phones.

Read the rest

In FBI vs. Apple, New York Times editorial board sides with the tech resistance

“Apple is doing the right thing in challenging the federal court ruling requiring that it comply,” reads a New York Times editorial today on the battle of the backdoors brewing between the government and the iPhone's maker.

Read the rest

IOS 9.3 will let you dim display's blue light to help your brain shift towards sleep

Apple today unveiled a teaser of what's in store in the latest iOS release, 9.3. Among the “numerous innovations” promised: a blue light dimmer to “help you get a good night’s sleep.”

Read the rest

More posts