Breaking the broken


— 12:41 PM on February 16, 2011

Last week, Apple updated its iBooks app for all iOS devices. The world, even the book nerd world, did not break out into flash mobs of the happy dance. But then someone noticed something. That someone had a certain iPhone that said someone had jailbroken using the greenp0ison method. And, whilst said person was attempting read his newly downloaded copy of "The Rules According to JWOWW*," he ran across a warning that said he needed to restore his device in iTunes to correct an error that prevented the book from loading.

The error was not one of good taste.

No, the "error," as it were, was that the iDevice was jailbroken. Seems Apple programmed the newest version of the iBook app to run a bit of improperly signed binary code. If the code runs, the device knows (IT KNOWS, MAN!) you've been up to shenanigans and refuses to load your tomes until you revert to a non-JB version of iOS.

Dumb. On several levels.

First, regardless of how Apple feels about jailbreaking (and they're obviously fairly verklempt about the issue), the practice has been deemed legal by the undoubtedly super-hot-without-her-glasses-on Librarian of Congress. Of course, this doesn't mean Apple has to produce apps that support jailbroken iPhones, but to go out of their way to guarantee something won't run feels like someone who rhymes with Beave doesn't like the taste of his Shinola sandwich. Only that ain't Shinola.

Second, crippling legally purchased iBooks may be a violation in its own right. I'm no lawyer and I've never played one on TV, but I'm mildly certain you can't go out of your way to prevent someone from using a purchased product just because you don't like how they've customized another one of your products. Feels a bit like Ford somehow shutting down my sweet Tempo because I used a Fram oil filter instead of an OEM Motorcraft.

Third, iBooks? Really? I'm sure Apple has a huge list of ways to hose jailbreakers on a holographic whiteboard somewhere. Perhaps they even crowdsourced their angst across the entire Cupertino campus. And this was the best solution they came up with? I mean, seriously, lame. If Apple doesn't want their phones and pads jailbroken, make them harder to jailbreak. Beyond that, let it go, people.

Fourth, Apple did nothing more than make themselves look like a bully. Pwnage Tool already has a release out that corrects the issue and Cydia is about to release a new package to do the same. How long will it take greenp0ison to release a patch? I don't know, but not long. Unless they're just going to wait on 4.3 to be released before updating everything. Regardless, Apple's attempt failed to do anything more than poke a bear that no one even wants to bother going to the zoo to see. No, I don't know what that metaphor means. Come up with an original interpretation and post it if you like.

In the interest of full disclosure, my 3GS is not jailbroken. For now.

Later,

Fox

*Yes, this book is actually for sale as an iBook.

   
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