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back to article Apple store detains teens for installing iPhone game

Four teens in Palo Alto, California, say they were detained and photographed by an Apple store after they downloaded a third-party application to an iPhone demo unit. The youngsters told Mercury News that a manager of their local University Avenue Apple store called for police reinforcement after discovering the racing game, " …

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Anonymous Coward

Been there, done that

Gotta love a store manager on a power trip who comes out with the first excuse in his head to have a go at kids smarter than him - in this case, 'hacking'.

I'd hardly call downloading a game onto a phone hacking, and calling the police was a slight over reaction. Security, perhaps, to throw them out, but the police?!

I've done my share of things when I was young to annoy store staff... like setting BIOS /boot up passwords on computers, then beating a hasty retreat.

Just think, those boys could have been so persuaded by the fact that the iPhone could play that game that they'd buy it. Oh well, Apple's loss of some more Mactards *ahem* converts!

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Stop

Tsk!

I think someone better alert Mr Jobs

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Si
Jobs Halo

That'll learn 'em

The only applications an iPhone needs are the ones God^h^h^h Steve Jobs gave it. The Apple Store employees acted quite rightly when they saw heathen software being loaded onto the Jesus-phone. Ex-communication from all local Apple stores was clearly the right thing to do.

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Get them in the dock

Sounds like false imprisonment to me. Get those Apple bastards up before the beak.

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Detain them?????

The store should have employed them. They've obviously got talent that should be harnessed by Apple rather than crushed by some over-zealous store manager

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so much for USA

Going a bit totalitarian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarianism

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Anonymous Coward

Mallrats!

I know everyone will say 'oh since when do void EULAs get enforced at gunpoint' etc etc but I have sympathy with the manager, who was probably having a bad day before pinky and perky turned up and put several hours' work re-installing all the software on the iPhone onto his store's budget. A bit of old-fashioned policing is I know ignorant of the distinctions between civil and criminal law sometimes (or am I confusing UK and US legal systems there?) but without it our lives would be a preposterous and endless round of civil litigation.

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@ spineless teens

I recall my reaction on the few occasions an employee attempted to "detain" me, in my teenage years. It usually entailed a simple, verbal response. "Fuck off." In the US (unless some goofy states have other laws that I don't know of) a civilian can only detain another civilian as the result of a felony.

Grow a pair, know your rights, and defend them.

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Re: Mallrats

"""several hours' work re-installing all the software on the iPhone"""

It hardly takes several hours to reinstall all of the software on a desktop computer, or even some servers. I work with people that can build a new Mac from install DVD to our full baseline software suite in 30 minutes. I would imagine that the iPhone is about as difficult and complex as plugging it in and hitting 'restore.'

Plus, why would you need to reinstall all of the software just because someone installed a game? They weren't actually 'hacking', so it isn't as if there was any threat to the existing software. They didn't jailbreak it or anything like that, they just browsed to a site and hit 'install.'

And notice that they were already out of the store when the manager got mad at them. Anyone with half a brain keeps on walking at that point, or calls the cops on the manager if he continues to harass you, since he really doesn't have any special status on the sidewalk.

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Anonymous Coward

Ah yes - the tragic story of yoofs in Shallow Also with time on their hands

When I was their age, I had to build my own iPhone by hand, every day...

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@Jacob Lipman

"I recall my reaction on the few occasions an employee attempted to "detain" me, in my teenage years. It usually entailed a simple, verbal response. "Fuck off." In the US (unless some goofy states have other laws that I don't know of) a civilian can only detain another civilian as the result of a felony."

Its called citizen arrest. If the have lawfully detain you for a crime and you run they can add resisting arrest .

With that said I would told you have right to detain me or touch me. Take your hands off me

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Kidnap

Won't someone please think of the children?

Hopefully they'll get a nice fat wad of dosh to compensate them for their harrowing ordeal.

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@Nexox Enigma

I didn't see the part in the article that said they just installed the game by browsing an clicking install. If I saw unauthorized applications on the phone they I would wipe it out and start fresh, you never know what nasties could lie in wait for other customers to discover.

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re: Nexox Enigma

"It hardly takes several hours to reinstall all of the software on a desktop computer, or even some servers. I work with people that can build a new Mac from install DVD to our full baseline software suite in 30 minutes."

I'm sorry, but I have to call bullshit. It's quite clear that you have never had to wipe and reload a system. Anyone who tells you they can fully reload a system from scratch in 30 minutes is either lying or restoring from a pre-made image (which would be called a "re-image" not a "reinstall". Depending on how much software a person uses, it can take up to 8 hours (perhaps even more) to reinstall all of their software. Yes, on modern hardware. No, that's not an exaggeration.

------------------------------------------------------------

From the MercuryNews article:

"Earlier this week, the four teenagers said they were depressed about not being able to visit their favorite store again. 'I can't walk down University Avenue without going in there,' said Paly senior Daniel Fukuba, who camped out for the first iPhones last year."

So he's depressed about not being able to visit a store, and he is unable to walk down a street without going into a store, not to mention camping out just to buy some overpriced tat. Sounds like this individual is in serious need of mental health treatment.

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Gates Horns

@zaax

Put a watermark M$ Windows symbol in their picture. And if they do walk in with their parents and are spotted, they are forced to wear a Windows sticker on their lapel... or a goofy hat.

@Si

Goddamn Steve Jobs!!

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Paris Hilton

wow... they got it pretty hard!

I'm the sort of guy who either browses a store with a couple of ubuntu live cd's ready for those unsuspecting machines. Or simply a password hack disk, ready to send the PCworld machine to Porno heaven. Never once have I been stopped or chased. Poor kids, I'm glad nobody ever tried that with me.

PH, well, you know...

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Linux

@ all those complaining about the time a reinstall takes

Nexox Enigma is right - at least where the iPhone is concerned.

Here is the iPhone recovery/reinstall process:

1. Press and hold the Home and Power buttons. Keep holding, even when the phone turns off. Let go when the iTunes logo appears on the display.

2. Plug into iTunes and click Restore (Shift/Option click restore to select a custom firmware first).

3. Have a QUICK cup of tea

4. Return to find your iPhone, good as new and ready to go (well... After activation etc)

Not hours to do THAT. So unless they plan to reinstall the core FreeBSD as well...

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Coat

re: Chris C

"Sounds like this individual is in serious need of mental health treatment."

He's a mac fanboi...nuff said isn't it.

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Jobs Halo

Jailbroken

To install a game on an iphone requires jailbreaking it, so they must have done that first. In which case it would count as hacking it and it's fairly legitimate for the apple store bod to get in a flap.

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Jobs Horns

Bloody idiots in that store

I've demonstrated a Jailbroken, unlocked iPhone in a CPW store in the past - not an Apple store, admittedly, but still firmly disproving the BS that CPW were spreading about the handset stuch as "no SIM card" etc. - and as far as I can tell it resulted in another handset sale, rather than a lost one.

And it may even have resulted in a sale with a contract, since Jailbreaking doesn't necessarily mean you can't use the O2 contract.

Sounds incredibly stupid of that Apple store, and Apple should be calling that manager in for discussions about the concept of "Public Relations".

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Linux

That isn't anything to what I did :)

Bored with my mate one day. Got the console up, run the unix folk bomb on an iBook it and left. No problem (Y).

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display models

I thought the display models of pretty much any hardware would have to be re-installed/re-imaged (whatever) each day, thanks to the numpty public messing with them.

What happens if a (possibly underage) chav photographs their nether regions, and another member of the public 'sees' it - oh nooooeeessss...... couldn't they sue the shop/management for displaying (child) pornography?

It makes sense for the management to make sure the products on display - AND IN THE PUBLIC'S HANDS is cleared/cleaned whenever possible, because we all know what idiots the public can be :) In which case - no damage done. What's the problem?

On a similar matter - one of the reasons I didn't end-up buying an iphone was the feature and software lock-in. So I bought as close to an open-source phone as I could (Nokia N95).

What the hell is all this application signing bollocks?

If I decide to install an application, then so be it. I understand it might keep all sorts of scary programs off my phone, but since there are freely available cracked applications available which somehow have been signed?!?!? and yet I can't install a simple bloody theme without getting it signed *somehow* WTF???

Nokia is another phone manufacturer who can suck my balls (along with apple) while *they* decide what I can and can't install on *MY* phone.

/rant over

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Black Helicopters

Rotten spoilsports

So does that mean I can't keep going into Apple stores and copying all their MP3/MP4 onto my memory stick any more then? 'Cos it's been working a treat so far......

Pah!

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Idiots

I'll agree, if they just installed a game, the manager overreacted. But then again, the kids didn't have the right to install whatever they wanted on a demo unit. If the kid really wanted to show his friends what it could do, do it on one he owned. The Apple store guys were lucky it wasn't a virus or anything. This may start out as a game, but there can be a chance it could escalate to something much, much worse. I'm sure the Unabomber didn't just wake up one day and be like "Oh, I think, I'll blow stuff up today."

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Apple : worse then crack

From the mercury news :

Earlier this week, the four teenagers said they were depressed about not being able to visit their favorite store again. 'I can't walk down University Avenue without going in there,

Looks like a serious case of addiction.

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Boffin

@Chris C re:re:Nexox Enigma

i call bs on you calling bs

i have many times installed a complete XP system including basic software (office suite, drivers, media software) in under an hour. What usually takes up time is if you have to download updates for everything, which is why i have a slipstreamed install disc, and a disc of software installers. OSX is just as easy. and in both cases you can shove the disc in, leave it for half an hour, then do your configuring, and with windows the configuring can be pre-done on custom install media (using nLite(free software)).

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Anonymous Coward

Yummy, unlawful detention..

I had some fun once walking out of a US store. Paid, was about to leave the store when some uniformed oink wanted to check my bags (note, this is AFTER point of payment, and I'm out of the physical store in the mall). Playing along I asked him to identify himself, but he got very tense when I took out a pen and made note of his name and proceeded to threaten me that he had hold me and call the police if I "didn't cooperate".

I am *really* the wrong guy to mess with on that topic (think "Do you feel lucky, punk?") but I was short of time so I straightened my back and only gave this guy a blast lecture on law and order at full military volume and pitch, right in front of all the customers coming out of the store. Normally I would have then called the police myself and have him taken in for impersonating an officer of the law, but I was short of time.

For all I know he's still standing there, frozen.

I positively *detest* little jerkoffs who equate a uniform to a personality, so one getting in my way is an invitation for trouble. It appears the smarter ones have learned to recognise that..

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Hello Apple Manager Guy! What is Demo Kit?

Please. Do me a favour. You expect a piece of communications technology in the hands of youths not be modified in some way? The purpose of demo gear si to ...demo! If it b*ggers up you reset it. There is no data of value on the device as it is a demo unit.

Regarding the financial impact of this...I would say that was moot as pressing a button (I assume that is the case for the device) to reset back to factory settings requires little monetary expenditure.

The manager needs to be mocked for being a prat.

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Stop

Unlawful arrest

"Its called citizen arrest. If the have lawfully detain you for a crime and you run they can add resisting arrest ."

In the England and Wales a citizen only has the right to arrest if a indictable crime has is being or has been committed, or a person has reasonable grounds for believing so. Im pretty sure downloading a game to an Iphone is not a indicatble offence and no "reasonable" person would consider it to be hacking. Furthermore as the arrest would be unlawful in said circumstance, it would not be an offence to resist the arrest so long as reasonable force is used.

I of course have no idea what the law would be in the US but would imagine it would be similar.

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Re-install

Surely the Jesus-phone would automatically re-anoint it-self with the blood of Jobs in the event of a Judas Install? Let us learn from this blasphemy and anoint ourselves, unto the skies, that we may be cleansed with His attractive and tactile products once more.

On a serious note, neither windows XP nor vista will fully install and update itself within 30 minutes, let alone putting on your office suites and other softy wares on. I can't speak for the Mac since I've never installed one.

Going by how long it took me to reinstall my PDA once, and put the necessary software back on it could be a while.

But then if you ran the MAC store you'd probably have an image which you flash them with every night to ensure that they are tippy top for the next day....? In which case you would be looking at 30 minutes tops, and they'd probably be doing it anyway.

Its a poor way of justifying this supreme overreaction.

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Alert

Uh Oh!

I went into the O2 and Carphone Warhouse Stores in Macclesfield and set the Safari browsers to www.meatspin.com, what would of happened to me if I were caught! haha

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Alert

Blue Box

I think store manger should do some research on founders of Apple.

Steve and Woz (the main man) and there BLUE BOX.

http://www.woz.org/letters/general/03.html

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Anonymous Coward

downloading games? boring...

?&FE40=0

surely the best value-per-keystroke computer-shop hack of all time?

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For fucks sake

Kids like games.

Kids test out if games work ok on demo unit, if so will probably buy a phone.

Manager overreacts, sales lost.

Its not their fault it takes a jailbreak. No "official" games have yet been shat out by Jobs minions, but after just a visit to a jailbreakme.com a whole new world opens up.

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Anonymous Coward

Mugshots

Did the teens (minors?) sign a model release form before the pics were circulated, or were they just for the managers private collection?

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Boffin

Reminds me of the good old days of BBC Bs and Vic20s

when a few minutes' work in any branch of Dixon's would result in whole shelves of monitors resolutely scrolling the words I AM SKILL, with minimal detention at the hands of store detectives

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@ac

You just knew i would have to find out what was at meatspin didnt you !!!

Please DO carry out your threat and then video the customers/staff reactions LOL

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What's the fuss about?

Heck, it was a demo unit. If you leave any hardware device around for the great unwashed (and IT literate) to tinker with you'd better be prepared to sanitise it by re-installing everything when they've finished. Basic hygiene really.

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Several Hours' Work to Rebuild the Software?

I didn't know the iPhone ran Windows....

Same with the comment about viruses. Surely not on the j-Phone? Or even on anything remotely fruity.

What this is saying is a lot about how we've grown so used to computers being vulnerable to exploits and taking ages to rebuild. Windows is truly the standard by which we judge every other comptuer systems. I wonder if the Apple Stores' Point of Sale systems run Windows....

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Paris Hilton

Re: Uh Oh by AC

>>I went into the O2 and Carphone Warhouse Stores in Macclesfield and set the Safari browsers to www.meatspin.com

....DAMN YOU, and DAMN MY NAIVETY..

May I have the mindbleach please....or is there a cillit bang brain version?

< Paris, because at least she is somewhat pleasant to the eye.

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@kain preacher

> Its called citizen arrest. If the have lawfully detain you for a crime and you run they can add resisting arrest .

And if you have been unlawfully detained, you can sue...

@AC "Mallrats!"

> A bit of old-fashioned policing is I know ignorant of the distinctions between civil and criminal law sometimes (or am I confusing UK and US legal systems there?)

THere's no such thing as the "UK legal system" - there's one in England & Wales, and a completely separate and different one in Scotland (and, for the pedants, a third in Northern Ireland, which *is* part of the UK). Scotland's civil and criminal legal system is unique. Until a few years ago, police officers in E&W had no jurisdiction whatsoever in Scotland, and vice versa.

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@Nexox Enigma

'It can take up to 8 hours (perhaps even more) to reinstall all of their software'

I guess you must pay/get-paid by the hour then... if you can't figure out how to do a vanilla install of windows or a modern linux distro in 30-60 min then you obviously know nothing about IT and hence should not be reading this site. Perhaps you would be better off here...

http://www.cutelittlekittens.com/

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Re: Unlawful arrest

As far as I am aware the UK law for citizen's arrest requires that you be able to prove that an offense has been commited and have reasonable cause to suspect the person arrested commited said offense. It is not sufficient to have reasonable cause to suspect an offense has been commited.

On top of that if the "teenagers" where under 16 then they cannot give consent to be detained putting the store in a very dodgy position. (Although in this case I presume they were older).

I would strongly suspect that US law is different.

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Job Vs Gates

I don't know you but these days I like Bill Gates a lot more than Steve Jobs. At least Gates gives hundreds of million of dollars to research possible cures to common diseases.

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Stop

Peanuts

While it may take several hours to completely reinstall everything onto an XP system including updates etc, it most definitely does not require several hours of *work*.

You spend five minutes, go do something else, spend another minute, etc. In all the actual amount of time you spend interacting with the computer is on the order of half an hour. It may take eight hours before it's done, but it doesn't take eight hours of work.

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Flame

Mirror Mirror who is the most evil of all

Apple of course and this is another proof. Kid Don't toche the cheap49.99$ phone, it might be worthless, but we are selling it for 600$.

I hope this manager get sued for illegal detention, Apple should be sued let such a idiot (the manager) run a Apple store...

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@Adam Johnston

"'It can take up to 8 hours (perhaps even more) to reinstall all of their software'

I guess you must pay/get-paid by the hour then... if you can't figure out how to do a vanilla install of windows or a modern linux distro in 30-60 min then you obviously know nothing about IT and hence should not be reading this site."

It takes a truly gifted mind to quote someone then reply with an inaccurate comparison, all while maintaining a condescending tone and an air of superiority. Since you quoted me, please do us all a favor and read the second half of that sentence you quoted. That's it, you're almost there... Don't stop now, you can do it... Yes, that's it, right there -- "to reinstall *ALL* of their software". I certainly can perform a "vanilla" install of Windows rather quickly, but that's not what I was commenting on, and that's not what the original commenter mentioned. If you cannot even bother to read what you're quoting, then perhaps it is you that should not be reading this site.

But since you think I'm so slow doing a reinstall, how long do you think it should take to reinstall Windows, download and install the latest drivers for all hardware, then install 57 applications and 18 games? Here's a hint: longer than an hour.

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PH

Messing with the Apple pies

Though I'm greying nicely if I'm bored I still get a kick out of taking a screengrab of the Finder (couple of windows open, maybe) then setting that grab as the desktop pattern. Broken? Hilarious!

A long time ago it was rumoured that you could POKE a Dragon 32/64 with a certain "smoke poke" and the showroom device would literally short-circuit.

Ah, those were the days...

/cardigan

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

What were the police thinking?

Why did they turn up?

"Officer, some kids have installed a game on a demo phone we let them have! Quick arrest them!"

"Right away, Sir"

Paris would have done the right thing and played it.

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Paris Hilton

OJ

US law is different - I mean, if it's fine for a major film and sports personality to shoot dead their spouse and her lover, then I'm sure these kids have nothing to worry about.

PH. Because I didn't visit Meatspin.

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