Sunday, July 02, 2006

iPOD PHONE HOME?

Possibly double-edged is the news coming from "Cupertino insiders" that the next versions of Apple OS X might be able to track stolen iPods and so on.

The idea is that the mapping capability of the operating system could use GPS in some way, but it does make us slightly nauseous: if you can tell where a stolen iPod is, then surely someone could tell where any iPod is?


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Except that OSX isn't what runs on iPods. Where the T3 article mentions "stolen equipment" I expect they are talking about half-inched desktop and laptop kit, which has the necessary communications, but lack GPS. In actuality, what this reads like is a load of hand waving BS based on someone seeing a screen shot of a map in a rumoured screen shot of the next release of OSX.

I mean, to make it work, you'd need to add some kind of communications to the iPod, then add the GPS element... and work out how to sell it to the punters.

karlt said...

True, but when the stolen iPod is connected to a computer, the OS could phone home...

simon h b said...

That's what I took it to mean, Karl - sooner or later you'd have to plug your iPod into some sort of machine to charge it or load it...

Codepope said...

And the vast majority of those iPods will be plugged into Windows machines, not OSX machines.

If you wanted to implement a stolen iPod tracker, you'd put it in iTunes, where it would check up on a list of lost/stolen iPod serial numbers. If the person plugging it in has an iTMS account, bingo, you have their home address. If they don't, you still have their IP address.

No need for GPS there at all. Heck, you could even implement a firmware kill switch to disable the iPod.

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