Remains of the Day: Surprises in store

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Apple Store secrets revealed—but are they really secrets? Also Apple pulls an app for collecting users’ personal information—surprise—and the government decides to do something ineffective about mobile privacy. The remainders for Wednesday, June 15, 2011 are right here, right now.

Secrets From Apple’s Genius Bar: Full Loyalty, No Negativity (The Wall Street Journal)

In the wake of Apple retail chief Ron Johnson’s announced departure, the Journal takes a look at why Apple’s stores are as effective as they are (the article is requires a WSJ subscription). Unsurprisingly, it’s all about control. Right down to the fact that employees aren’t supposed to use the word “unfortunately” when dealing with customers. That’s because Apple can neither confirm nor deny the existence of “fortune.”

Big Brother Removed From App Store (Daniel Amitay)

Developer Daniel Amitay posted on his blog that his iOS app, Big Brother Camera Security, has been removed from the App Store. That’s because his app, which prompted users to create a PIN in an interface similar to iOS’s own, reported those security codes back to the developer. Amitay maintains that the data was collected anonymously and was used to compile a list of the most commonly used passcodes in order to warn users when they were using an insecure one. In the spirit of warning people, here’s a tip for you, which I like to call “don’t give any information to an app with ‘Big Brother’ in its name.”

US Senators put forward Locationgate-prone privacy laws (9 to 5 Mac)

After holding hearings on mobile privacy, U.S. senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have proposed new legislation that would require applications ask for consent before collecting or sharing a user’s personal information—like location. Because there’s no problem dialog boxes can’t solve.

(We’ve got more details on the bill elsewhere on

Product News:

Twitterrific for Twitter 4.2 - Version 4.2 of the iOS Twitter client adds support for the service's new OAuth authentication method, the MLKSHK and Pikchur media uploading services, and ReadItLater. In addition there are several usability enhancements and improvements and several bugfixes. Free. The $10 Mac version sees most of these same changes.

AirPort Utility 5.5.3 for Mac The latest update to Apple's utility for managing its AirPort and Time Capsule devices has one fix, but it's a good one as it resolves an issue that caused the AirPort Utility to unexpectedly quit during setup. Free for Mac and Windows.

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