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Judge Orders Gizmodo Search Warrant Unsealed

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the plot-thickens dept.

Crime 526

gyrogeerloose writes "The same judge who issued the warrant to search Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's apartment has now ordered it unsealed, ruling against the San Mateo County district attorney's office which had argued that unsealing the documents may compromise the investigation." You can read the entire affidavit here (PDF). It has a detailed description of the police investigation that led to the seizure of Chen's computers. It turns out Steve Jobs personally requested that the phone be returned, prompting Gizmodo's Brian Lam to try negotiating for a public acknowledgment that the phone was real. Apple was tipped off to the man who found/stole the prototype by his roommate.

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The cop committed perjury or he's very bad at math (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213974)

quote:
Martinson said Hogan later showed her a camera box that contained $5000.00 in $100 US Treasury Notes. Hogan told her that the money was a result of $8500.00 the sale of the phone, but that she is not sure of the source of the additional $2500.00.

quote:
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

Signed
Det. Mxxxxxx Bxxxx
San Mateo County Sheriff's Office

Last I checked, $8500 - $5000 is $3500, not $2500.
Goes to show: If you're bad at math, don't worry: Just become a cop and get a six figure salary anyway!

Re:The cop committed perjury or he's very bad at m (3, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213986)

best of my knowledge.

There's the problem.

Re:The cop committed perjury or he's very bad at m (2, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214074)

Last I checked, $8500 - $5000 is $3500, not $2500.

Calculated on an Intel chip.

Re:The cop committed perjury or he's very bad at m (2, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214082)

Where on Earth did they get $100 US Treasury notes?! Some fives were issued in the sixties, but all I have in my pocket is this Federal Reserve junk.

-Peter

FIrst POst (-1, Troll)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213976)

I keep reading the summary. Post first!

Hrmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214010)

What a jerk of a roommate. The worst I ever did was explode vomit in a bathroom then fall into a drunken sleep for my female roommate to clean up.

I'm sure getting the house raided and the guy near arrested tops that.

Re:Hrmm (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214052)

I'm sure getting the house raided and the guy near arrested tops that.

Not according to Steve Jobs ;-)

She did it to avoid getting caught up in the rest of this sht. Seems like she was the only one who thought that this could come back to bite them in the ass. She was right.

Re:Hrmm (1)

asto21 (1797450) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214134)

It only came back to bite him in the ass because she ratted on him

Re:Hrmm (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214264)

... and because they cooperated over and above the requirements of the actual search warrant, at other locations.

Read the part where the cops were allowed a warrantless entry into 247 Hillview. Dumb move. Hogan, by cooperating with the cops, ended up getting his own cell phone seized. He also ended up implicating himself. No warrant, no search. No statements unless legal counsel is present, who will tell you to SHUT YOUR F*ING MOUTH! Because nothing you say can be used to help you, but it can and will be used against you, as this case demonstrates.

Not to mention that you can't use a digital camera to "make a copy of the phone". It's a digital camera, not a replicator.

Re:Hrmm (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214312)

Not to mention that you can't use a digital camera to "make a copy of the phone". It's a digital camera, not a replicator.

Hey, it's the new 4G iPhone - anything is possible!

Re:Hrmm (0)

tattood (855883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214424)

There's an app for that.

Re:Hrmm (1, Insightful)

dj961 (660026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214618)

Grats on the selective quoting. It actually reads "499c(b)(3) PC - Theft; Without authority make or cause to be made a copy (definition includes photograph) of any article representing a trade secret (a felony)"

Re:Hrmm (4, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214300)

From TFA:

Martinson [the roommate] turned Hogan in, because Hogan had plugged the phone into her laptop in an attempt to get it working again after Apple remotely disabled it. She was convinced that Apple would be able to trace her Internet IP address as a result. "Therefore she contacted Apple in order to absolve herself of criminal responsibility," according to the detective who wrote the affidavit.

Seems to me that her roommates are the ones acting in bad faith here by using her computer while dealing with something that is obviously of shady legal ground.

Re:Hrmm (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214120)

The worst I ever did was explode vomit in a bathroom then fall into a drunken sleep for my female roommate to clean up.

I'm sure getting the house raided and the guy near arrested tops that.

Prioritees. I would rather be near arrested and have my 15 minutes of fame than clean up your puke.

Re:Hrmm (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214250)

Prioritees. I would rather be near arrested and have my 15 minutes of fame than clean up your puke.

Indeed, this persecution is better publicity than Gizmodo could have ever bought.
Now even the regular apple joe-sixpacks who aren't hardcore fanbois know about Gizmodo.

Re:Hrmm (1, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214442)

Now even the regular apple joe-sixpacks who aren't hardcore fanbois know about Gizmodo.

Right. But knowing about Gizmodo doesn't mean they'll visit. I know plenty of people who did read Gizmodo, but no longer will after this sordid publicity stunt. As for tipsters and potential leads, they are going to give Gizmodo a wide berth now. Lesson learned: deal with the Giz, you might be in the Shiz.

Re:Hrmm (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214494)

Unfortunately, all the people who send out press passes to industry events or who send them expensive review/preview items will also know about this.

It's not unthinkable they'll be blackballed. Even by Apple's rivals.

Roommates (4, Funny)

Elgonn (921934) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214026)

Before you let your roommates know you've possibly committed a felony make sure they won't turn you in.

Re:Roommates (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214072)

See, he asked the hypothetical "Would you help me bury a body" the week before and his room mate told him he would. So he thought he was in the clear.

He didn't know his room mate was a closet Apple Fanatic, and any chance to talk to Jobs and take him out to dinner would be worth it. ... Okay I added the dinner part.

Re:Roommates (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214092)

I prefer not to live with people who have no problem with "finding" other peoples' property. You have to invest in big locks.

Re:Roommates (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214528)

Remember: Friends help you move. True friends help you move bodies!

Greedy, but now without defense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214084)

Yea, I think its pretty clear what the journalist did was unethical. But to his defense he can claim he was trying to verify ownership of the item. Just because Apple claimed they wanted it doesn't initially mean it was theirs; it could have been a forgery (which Apple may have wanted, but not necessarily their property).

Re:Greedy, but now without defense (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214218)

But to his defense he can claim he was trying to verify ownership of the item.

Unfortunately this story makes it clear that the "finder" knew that the phone belonged to someone named Powell before he sold it to Gizmodo. Did Gizmodo know? Well they knew that the seller wasn't the owner. That's what the warrant and investigation are trying to find out. If Gizmodo knew the identity of the owner before the money changed hands, then they are in trouble.

Re:Greedy, but now without defense (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214302)

"But to his defense he can claim he was trying to verify ownership of the item."

No he can't. He specifically requested that the recognition be made *public*. Ownership could easily be verified privately, and even this was unnecessary because Gizmodo had already established to their own satisfaction that it really was an Apple device. He wanted *public* recognition for his own personal gain, and he suggests that he is unwilling to return property that he knows belongs to Apple unless he gets that recognition.

So in summary:
1. An Apple employee lost a prototype at a bar
2. A college student obtained the phone, became aware of its owner by looking at the Facebook app on the phone, yet made no effort to contact the owner. He further violated California law by failing to turn it over to the bar's proprietor (the place where the true owner was most likely to look), the police, or make truly reasonable attempts to contact Apple. Therefore, under California law, THIS WAS A STOLEN PHONE.
3. Gizmodo purchased the phone with the obvious hope that it was in fact stolen (in the sense that they hoped they would be able to discern that it truly belonged to Apple and would be able to use it for their own benefit before returning it.) After discerning that it belonged to Apple, they published information that was highly damaging to Apple's sales and their advantage over their competitors. Even though they were admittedly SURE that it was an Apple product, they were hesitant to return it until they got PUBLIC (not PRIVATE) acknowledgment, once again for their own personal benefit.

Solution? Asshole student who found the phone goes to prison. Asshole "journalist" who bought a device with the hope that it was stolen and the intent to use it for his own benefit goes to prison. Gawker Media is held liable for civil damages to Apple--likely they go bankrupt because of it.

They're all criminals, they should all pay.

Re:Greedy, but now without defense (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214502)

They're all criminals, they should all pay.

You obviously want your customers to do the same as much as possible, Steve. I didn't know a man of such importance posted on Slashdot, even anonymously. Perhaps you should establish check-in/checkout procedures in your sekrit laboratory so this won't happen again.

Re:Greedy, but now without defense (0, Troll)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214518)

Solution? Asshole student who found the phone goes to prison. Asshole "journalist" who bought a device with the hope that it was stolen and the intent to use it for his own benefit goes to prison. Gawker Media is held liable for civil damages to Apple--likely they go bankrupt because of it.

They're all criminals, they should all pay.

Would you be this vehement if it weren't an Apple prototype?

Re:Greedy, but now without defense (1)

Nahan (1811888) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214574)

I don't know, with the recent news of Apple "losing" yet another new iphone this seems more like a case of Apple strumming up free publicity. Well publicity at the expense of the Police dept. and of course the tax payers. Asking/negotiating the terms of the phones existence isnt the proper way to identify ownership. Apples tactics do tend to walk the fine line of entrapment.

Re:Greedy, but now without defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214628)

Loving this - apple fanbois bashing other apple douchebois (gizmodo). WIN!!

Re:Greedy, but now without defense (3, Insightful)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214324)

But to his defense he can claim he was trying to verify ownership of the item.

Except that they knew it was Apple's already, so the claim is simply bullshit.

Re:Greedy, but now without defense (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214378)

But to his defense he can claim he was trying to verify ownership of the item.

I've said it before and I'll say it again If Woody had gone right to the police, this would never have happened.

wow (1, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214128)

a lot of assumption in that document.

Seriously, they said it was invaluable? so if the SEC came down on your ass you couldn't get a number?
Please.

Ansd what's up with this:
"I therefor pray that a search warrant be issued so the items..."

Pray?

Re:wow (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214170)

Seriously, they said it was invaluable? so if the SEC came down on your ass you couldn't get a number?
Please.

Please tell how you would go about putting a value on a prototype.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214232)

Cost of development+manufacturing for it. So, probably several million dollars.

Re:wow (1)

Manfre (631065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214306)

Manufacturing cost is a good place to start. It's not like this is a one of kind prototype that took years to make and there are no schematics to build a replacement. Like most device companies, they sent an NDA and schematics to a manufacturer in china. I wouldn't be surprised if they had hundreds of these prototypes passed out for QA purposes.

Re:wow (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214448)

Please tell how you would go about putting a value on a prototype.

Well, Gizmodo paid $8500 for a _stolen_ prototype, opening them up for all kinds of risks. How much would Apple have received if they had started an auction for one iPhone prototype to the highest bidder? There were offers from other outfits for $10,000 (which were retracted when these guys figured out the phone was stolen). So obviously Apple had no intention to sell that prototype, but they could easily have sold it for say $20,000 to $50,000.

Or lets say Apple has a big event when the next iPhone is released, and one lucky journalist in the audience wins a real iPhone prototype (no trade secret anymore because it is the event of the actual release, just the rarity). You could probably sell that prototype for a few thousand.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214516)

well please tell how would someone put a value on your life? - after all you're so close to going under in the consumerist cesspit that i'd definitely say that life is wasted on you. fucking iturd.

Re:wow (4, Informative)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214222)

Ansd what's up with this: "I therefor pray that a search warrant be issued so the items..."

Pray?

It's a term of art [google.com] in the legal field.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214234)

Pray is legalese for ask.

It seems to me like this particular cop was quite diligent documenting everything he did. The spelling on the inventory sucks, but he's not responsible for this ridiculous crap.

I also don't blame the housemate.

Re:wow (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214240)

pray adverb formal or archaic used as a preface to polite requests or instructions : pray continue.

Also, "invaluable" is not the same as "infinite value".

Re:wow (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214282)

That's a legal term, actually. It figures a lot in pleadings.

A request attached to the end of a pleading asking for specific damages or relief to which the plaintiff believes he is entitled.

Re:wow (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214316)

Seriously, they said it was invaluable?

That's just credit card commercial things that you might encounter in a bar in San Mateo hype:

A good beer? $5

A plate of bar finger food? $10

A super secret prototype Apple Plan 9G iPhone? Priceless

Public acknowledgement? (5, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214176)

It turns out Steve Jobs personally requested that the phone be returned, prompting Gizmodo's Brian Lam to try negotiating for a public acknowledgment that the phone was real.

Let me make sure I understand this: these guys were in possession of stolen property, and they tried to negotiate conditions for its return? Gizmodo, you run a decent gadget blog, but Jesus Christ you need better lawyers. You are about to be one-two punched by the law, and you have no one to blame but yourselves.

negotiate conditions for its return? (-1, Troll)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214252)

"Hey, that thing you found? Give it to me."

"Is it your thing?"

"Shut up and give it to me."

"Look, if it's yours, just say so and you can have it. All you have to do is claim it. But I'm not handing it over just because you want it."

All Apple had to do was state this was their property, which is entirely reasonable. Until they do, they can't claim it's stolen property.

What I do know is that Apple's behavior has kicked me over to the Droid side of the fence.

Re:negotiate conditions for its return? (5, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214350)

All Apple had to do was state this was their property, which is entirely reasonable. Until they do, they can't claim it's stolen property.

If you've followed the story, and read todays affidavit, its perfectly clear that Gizmondo and Hogan both knew full well the phone belonged to Apple. The confirmation demand was nothing to do with establishing the owner for the purpose of return of the device, but to make something else for Gizmondo to post on their blog. Thus, no it's not in the slightest bit reasonable. In fact it may well add the crime of extortion to the list.

It's not ours. Now give it back NOW! (1, Informative)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214458)

You can't have it both ways. You can't publicly deny it's yours while simultaneously demanding the return of the phone.

Re:It's not ours. Now give it back NOW! (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214556)

Apple denied it was theirs? Really? When?

Re:negotiate conditions for its return? (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214372)

All Apple had to do was state this was their property, which is entirely reasonable. Until they do, they can't claim it's stolen property.

Just because the owner doesn't claim an item doesn't mean it's not stolen. If I take your car without you knowing, it's still stealing. If I then abandon your car, and some guy finds it and go to your house to give it back to you, and your drunken uncle says the car isn't yours, that doesn't mean the guy gets to keep it, either.

Re:negotiate conditions for its return? (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214426)

A ridiculous semantic argument that detracts from the point. If it was stolen, but not Apple's, they still have no claim to it.

Re:negotiate conditions for its return? (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214558)

True, but unless they were 100% sure it was Apple's wouldn't handing it over without verification simply have added to their list of crimes? Just because something looks shiny and has no sharp edges doesn't necessarily necessarily make it an Apple product. Heck it had a slot for an SD card, I wouldn't have believed it was Apple's either.

Re:negotiate conditions for its return? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214620)

True, but unless they were 100% sure it was Apple's wouldn't handing it over without verification simply have added to their list of crimes? Just because something looks shiny and has no sharp edges doesn't necessarily necessarily make it an Apple product.

Amazing the extent some slashdotters will go to to side with a criminal, just so long as they are in opposition to some hated company. Hogan knew exactly who the owner or keeper was because the phone was working initially and he established from the data in the apps that it was Gray Powell, anf from an internet search that Gray Powell was an engineer working for Apple.

You can twist and turn all you like to make excuses for criminals. But all that does is identify that your own morality is rather warped too.

Re:negotiate conditions for its return? (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214586)

If it was stolen, but not Apple's, they still have no claim to it.

But Gizmodo actions show that they had no doubt at all that the phone was Apple's. They offered to pay more than $10,000 for it, and actually paid some of that money. They wrote a series of news stories explaining how their disassembly of the phone demonstrated that it was an Apple prototype. They published a story detailing all the information they knew about the Apple employee who lost the phone.

Re:negotiate conditions for its return? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214406)

They said it was theirs, they just weren't going to do it publicly. No one should be defending this.

Re:negotiate conditions for its return? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214446)

They did state it was their property. Steve jobs made a personal phone call to the Gizmodo editor. Gizmodo employees knew the name and FaceBook account of the Apple engineer who lost it.

It wasn't a , "Hey give it to me!"

It was, "This is Apple property. We would like it back, please."

Gizmodo's reaction was, "Give us something in return for it"

This "something in return" was a legal letter so they could publish it online. They've even stated it on their their e-mail to Steve jobs that was just released. They wanted something to give them page hits, plain and simple.

It's called a "receipt" (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214578)

This "something in return" was a legal letter...

Receipts are common and sensible when passing items of value. You don't want Apple coming back the day after you gave it to them saying "You still haven't given us the phone..."

Re:It's called a "receipt" (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214652)

You might use your imagination to describe it as a receipt. But that's not what Gimondo asked for. They asked forr official confirmation form journalistic purposes that it was an Apple prototype.

Why are you making excuses for villains?

Re:Public acknowledgement? (0)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214288)

Before you can call it stolen property you need to confirm that it is actually something that was owned by the person claiming it was stolen. I don't care how over inflated Jobs's sense of self important is, if he were to call me and ask me to give him something I'd sure as hell want proof that it was his to begin with.

Re:Public acknowledgement? (4, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214396)

Before you can call it stolen property you need to confirm that it is actually something that was owned by the person claiming it was stolen.

There's was a big fucking Apple logo on the back, I think it's safe to say it was Apple's phone since no phone like that was supposed to exist. Second, there's a world of difference between proving that the phone belongs to Apple and what Gizmodo was asking for, which was a public announcement that the phone is theirs. That of course, would have done more financial damage to apple by raising the profile of this case even further.

Re:Public acknowledgement? (5, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214476)

There's was a big fucking Apple logo on the back

Oh, well, if there was an Apple logo on the back!

You heard him, all you millions of people who think you own an iPhone, or iPod, or Mac Book Pro... if it's got "a big fucking Apple logo on the back", it's reasonable to assume it belongs to Apple.

Re:Public acknowledgement? (5, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214440)

That argument falls down because in the email where Gizmondo demand official confirmation that it's Apple's phone, they already clearly accept that they already know it's Apple's phone. They are quite open about the fact that they only want the official confirmation for so called journalistic purposes.

That's just irrelevant. (5, Insightful)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214496)

Before you can call it stolen property you need to confirm that it is actually something that was owned by the person claiming it was stolen.

No. If the circumstances would have led a reasonable person to conclude that the item they were buying did not belong to the seller, nor that the seller was an agent of its owner, then they were buying stolen goods. Whether the owner has claimed it was stolen is just irrelevant--the owner doesn't even need to be aware that they've lost the item.

Think about it. You go on a backpacking trip to Europe, and your uncle the drunk stays at your house in the meantime. Some dude steals your car and abandons it at an isolated road, and your uncle doesn't even notice. Another guy finds your car, finds identification that ties the car to you in the glovebox, and drives it to your home to return it to you. But when they get there, your drunken uncle tells him that you don't have a car, and to fuck off. Does the guy now get to sell your car?

In the end, Gizmodo reported that they bought a phone for $5,000 from a guy that they knew neither owned it nor was an agent of the owner. That's basically an admission of a felony.

Re:Public acknowledgement? (5, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214554)

Before you can call it stolen property you need to confirm that it is actually something that was owned by the person claiming it was stolen. I don't care how over inflated Jobs's sense of self important is, if he were to call me and ask me to give him something I'd sure as hell want proof that it was his to begin with.

This had already been established. If you read the actual email, Gizmodo was asking for more information about the phone and their production of it:

Hey Steve, this email chain is off record on my side.

I understand the position you’re in, and I want to help, but it conflicts with my own responsibilities to give the phone back without any confirmation that its real, from apple, officially.

Something like that — from you or apple legal — is a big story, that would make up for giving the phone back right away. If the phone disappears without a story to explain why it went away, and the proof it went to apple, it hurts our business. And our reputation. People will say this is a coordinated leak, etc.

I get that it would hurt sales to say this is the next iphone. I have no interest in hurting sales. That does nothing to help Gizmodo or me.

Maybe Apple can say it’s a lost phone, but not one that you’ve confirmed for production — that it is merely a test unit of sorts. Otherwise, it just falls to apple legal, which serves the same purpose of confirmation. I don’t want that either.

This is not an innocent request from somebody who wants to honestly return the phone.

Re:Public acknowledgement? (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214310)

At least they ultimately got what they wanted, in a way.

Stolen? I don't think so. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214600)

From what I understand from the many stories that have been published the time line went something like this:

Apple employee in possession of prototype leaves it on a counter and forgets it.

Another guy finds it, tells Apple that he has a prototype.

Apple says, Nope. We know nothing.

Finder goes to Gizmodo guy and sells it to him for $5000.

Gizmodo guy publishes photos.

Apple goes, Oh Fuck! And calls the storm troopers.

Gizmodo guy, I guess hoping to get some sort of return for the $5000 he spent asks Apple at least to verify that it is a prototype.

Apple refuses, but yet, brings down so much fucking heat that it's obvious that the prototype is in fact something very very important.

The property was in fact offered to Apple. Apple refused. And now is acting like complete retards because of THEIR stupidity.

Re:Public acknowledgement? (2, Funny)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214642)

>> Gizmodo, you run a decent gadget blog

HA HA HA

HA HA HA

HA HA HA

Pretty .. (2, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214184)

Gizmodo dropped a bombshell on the gadget world April 19 with a detailed look at the iPhone prototype, which an Apple employee named Robert “Gray” Powell had lost at a bar.

Does anyone else think this whole thing is pretty fucking ridiculous for a lost prototype by a careless worker? A CELL PHONE prototype - not plans for a nuke or plans for a sub or for a stealth fighter - a stupid fucking cell phone.

A young man is in a shit load of legal problems because the cops think A STUPID FUCKING CELL PHONE is important. This STUPID FUCKING CELL PHONE is more important than the crimes going on in their area. If I were a victim of a violent crime in that area, I'd be throwing bags of dogshit at the cops and at the prosecutor.

Really, does anyone else think this is an idiotic waste of police and tax payer money to "protect" the property rights of some corporation?

There are many people who really need to get their priorities in order.

STUPID FUCKING CELL PHONE.

Re:Pretty .. (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214242)

A young man is in a shit load of legal problems because the cops think A STUPID FUCKING CELL PHONE is important. This STUPID FUCKING CELL PHONE is more important than the crimes going on in their area.

Whilst you and your hoodie friends might not realise it, stealing a cell phone *is* a crime.

Re:Pretty .. (0, Troll)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214348)

No one stole anything. A worker left it laying around and from the stories I read, there was an attempt to return it but Apple was too stupid to take it.

Whilst you and your hoodie friends might not realise it, stealing a cell phone *is* a crime.

I'll ignore the "hoodie" part. Let's say that is was stolen even though is WAS NOT, but let's say it was - do you really think all of this police and court attention is warranted for a goddamn cell phone? Over people who really need police help?

PRIORITES, bud.

Re:Pretty .. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214444)

So, the people doing this aren't the regular police, anyway - it's some sort of a high-tech taskforce, which I guess is appropriate to have in and around Silicon Valley.

Under CA law, it was stolen. Seems pretty cut and dried. There are things you have to do before you can just sell stuff you find lying around - give to the barkeep, successfully contact the owner, and then give to the police for 90 days.

This is a top-secret prototype for a business worth $13B last year. You could buy several small countries with that sort of cash - of course it's worth the police attention.

Re:Pretty .. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214450)

No one stole anything. A worker left it laying around and from the stories I read, there was an attempt to return it but Apple was too stupid to take it.

That's the story from the "finder", but one detail I read was that "finder" didn't talk to Apple directly but through someone else. And that someone else asked Apple for some sort of monetary compensation for the phone. The more details we get the better idea whether the "finder" truly wanted to return to Apple. The details leaked out today make it seem the "finder" knew all along the owner's identity. It is implied that the "finder" and an accomplice knew that they sold stolen property and tried to cover their tracks.

Re:Pretty .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214486)

Just because you find something doesn't mean it's not stealing.

Try saying you found that Porsche that was in the parking garage, see if you don't get arrested.

Maybe if the person who found it went to the cops and then sold it after Apple failed to claim it for 30 days then it would be different.

Re:Pretty .. (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214562)

No one stole anything.

I'm afraid you don't know the law, not to mention morals. If you take a cell phone that doesn't belong to you from a bar, and neither return it to the person/company you know it belongs to, nor to the police, you have stolen it.

A worker left it laying around and from the stories I read, there was an attempt to return it but Apple was too stupid to take it.

There is no evidence been presented of ANY attempt to return it. But even if there was a phone call to Apple tech support, and Apple tech support knew nothing about the phone, that doesn't make it the "finder's" property to sell. Many other reasonable avenues were open to return it to the owner or the police, none were taken. Instead it was sold as stolen property.

I'll ignore the "hoodie" part.

Don't ignore it. If you want to behave like you have no respect for the law, and back a thief rather than the victim, then the name fits. You could have "wannabe gangsta" instead if you prefer.

Let's say that is was stolen even though is WAS NOT, but let's say it was - do you really think all of this police and court attention is warranted for a goddamn cell phone?

Yes. This is a serious theft of a valuable item.

Over people who really need police help?

People who've had valuable items stolen from them are not deserving of the police investigating?

PRIORITES, bud.

Come back when you've grown a sense of morality.

Re:Pretty .. (2, Informative)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214610)

No one stole anything.

Yes, a phone was stolen.

and from the stories I read, there was an attempt to return it but Apple was too stupid to take it.

And yet, there is no evidence of any attempt to return it - and from the police documents that have been released, a ton of evidence that it was known to be stolen, and efforts made to cover the thieves' trail.

Re:Pretty .. (4, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214388)

Whilst you and your hoodie friends might not realise it, stealing a cell phone *is* a crime.

A crime that deserves worldwide news coverage that goes on for weeks and weeks? Please.

Next week, maybe we'll see 5,000 stories on Google news about how somebody stole a lawnmower.

Re:Pretty .. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214650)

And the lawnmower in question won't even support Flash!

Re:Pretty .. (3, Insightful)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214262)

so its trade secret and prototypes of new tech do have a considerable value hers a clue SV's major industry is tech and there are entities that go in for industrial espionarge.

Re:Pretty .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214304)

It's a cell phone that brought in ~$13B in money last year. That's enough to pay for several nuclear submarines...

Re:Pretty .. (5, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214336)

Do you know how much the cell phone prototype was worth? If you think that the cost of parts was a few hundred dollars, you'd be wrong. Prototypes like this phone might have thousands of dollars worth of parts. Since it was a prototype, parts of the phone had to be custom made and were not mass-produced. Apple probably only made a dozen or so prototype chips. That alone raises the nominal value of the cell phone.

Then there's the trade secrets aspect. Competitors knowing what features are present in the phone can duplicate quickly them reducing their catchup time from a few months to no time. Also Apple has a point: People knowing a new model is about to be released may not purchase a current model which means loss of sales to Apple.

Oh, I understand (1, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214474)

A corporate trade secret is worth more than catching murderers and rapists. Got it.

A prototype that I seriously doubt has any custom tech designed (Apple uses mostly off the shelf stuff, get over it) is more important than finding some missing child.

Gotcha.

Re:Oh, I understand (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214568)

So let me understand this correctly, you'd rather not have the police investigate a crime even though there is a high degree of possibility that evidence is being destroyed, even though this may fall under a felony, even though facts are publicly documented because . . . murders are happening or children are missing? Sure let's ignore all lesser crimes in society. Won't anyone think of the children? Policemen in Stolen Property Divisions: You've been reassigned from your primary function because is deemed not important any more. Any other crimes you want ignored? Patrolmen on duty: Ignore all traffic violations; they're not important anymore.

Re:Oh, I understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214606)

Nice try.

The cops doing the raid etc. are a specific taskforce for high-tech crime, not your usual suspects^W patrollers.

And you are aware that the whole freaking point of the new iPhone is that it uses the A4 processor, right ? A processor with an Apple label pretty clearly marked on it, as the photos had already shown by this time.

I guess there was some *real* confusion over who owned the prototype phone with a custom APPLE processor in it. Yeah. Right.

Just because Apple are a big company doesn't mean they have to get less protection from the law. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it wrong.

Re:Pretty .. (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214352)

Just think what would have happened if it had been "plans for a nuke or plans for a sub or for a stealth fighter". The guy probably would have disappeared and we probably never would have heard about it even.

Personally, I'd rather have the legal problems. But then, I hopefully wouldn't be stupid enough to get to that point.

Re:Pretty .. (1)

RearNakedChoke (1102093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214358)

Absolutely. I wonder how many investigations the government launches for lost property being sold on ebay or craigslist. This is a complete waste of tax payer money when the state of CA is freaking BANKRUPT. I know Apple is HURTING for money. Their stock prices will plummet, world economies will fail, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria, if we don't punish those involved in this despicable crime against humani...err Apple Corp.

Re:Pretty .. (0, Troll)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214414)

At least you understand. Watching how my comment and some of the answers above, it's pretty clear to me that the Apple fanboys consider Apple's property to be more important than public safety and they have no problem with taxpayer money being spent on protecting a company because of some carelessness by one of their employees.

Re:Pretty .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214360)

I am sorry I am without mod points.

The shit the Cops and DA's of California choose to pursue is insane. Any look at how much we spend on arresting, trying and locking people up will tell you one reason we are near an economic collapse of our state government.

The cops? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214398)

The cops don't think is important at all. They are ordered to, by people who owe their elections to donations by big business and when you make a low salary it is not wise to question every single order.

Not a single beat officer goes around in the morning thinking: "Geez, what am I going to do today, arrest a rapist or collect a mislaid prototype phone for Jobs".

And if you really don't like this abuse of privilege by Jobs, then don't buy any Apple products. Not even the really shiny ones.

Frankly I amazed that the press ain't all over this... oh wait the press that survives on Apple ads. Freedom of the press and all. The press gets stolen stuff all the time, most leaked documents can be considered stolen and of course there is no proof so far that theft has actually taken place. In a decent country a company calling a search warrant on a lost piece of property would be hounded to death. Bet that ain't going to happen?

Re:Pretty .. (3, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214418)

I disagree. I think it's very important that the baseline of what it acceptable, ethical journalism is made clear.

Today it's a prototype phone left on a barstool, sold to a tech blog, tommorrow it's Lindsay Lohan's pickpocketed Cellphone sold to TMZ so they can rifle through her text messages and voicemail.

Likewise the concept of 'finders keepers' needs to be constantly debunked as theivery. (Car analogy alert). If someone finds my car keys, I don't want them to drive it around for a week before returning it to me (after I go to a fair amount of effort to track it down)

Re:Pretty .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214598)

A STOLEN STUPID FUCKING CELL PHONE is probably worth more than $500.00 and therefore it's theft is a felony and therefore you are a STUPID FUCKING IDIOT

Re:Pretty .. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214630)

So, it shouldn't be a priority for the police to investigate the crime of theft? Rule of law should be suspended just because it's a "stupid fucking" phone?

Re:Pretty .. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214636)

Does anyone else think this whole thing is pretty fucking ridiculous for a lost prototype by a careless worker? A CELL PHONE prototype - not plans for a nuke or plans for a sub or for a stealth fighter - a stupid fucking cell phone. ...

Really, does anyone else think this is an idiotic waste of police and tax payer money to "protect" the property rights of some corporation?

They've sold over thirty million iPhones and it's still hugely popular. The success of that product helps keep roofs over many Californian heads and has accounted for a significant amount of badly needed tax income. I agree that this specific case is waste of taxpayer money, but your argument that it isn't a stealth bomber is a sign that you really understand what any of this is about. It isn't a 'STUPID FUCKING CELL PHONE' it's an entire product line.

Re:Pretty .. (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214656)

Exactly, it's not some secret classified military weapon, which is how it is being treated. It's a phone, slightly improved over a model that millions use, lose and break all the time. The police should have treated like every other report of a lost phone.

WARNING (1)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214256)

Do not use stolen iPhone with remaining roommate.

Apple just needs to stand down (0)

scottwilkins (1224922) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214392)

Jobs is going to end up (if not already) looking like a real jerk in this whole case. He just needs to swallow his pride and leave well enough alone. Apple will gain nothing by taking revenge on these people. And it is revenge. Sad.

Re:Apple just needs to stand down (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214514)

Jobs is going to end up (if not already) looking like a real jerk in this whole case. He just needs to swallow his pride and leave well enough alone. Apple will gain nothing by taking revenge on these people. And it is revenge. Sad.

The thief, Brian Hogan, was asked by his friends to return the phone, because the loss would likely destroy the career of Gray Powell. His answer: "Sucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn't have lost his phone." So to Brian Hogan I would say "Sucks for you. You stole the phone. Shouldn't have stolen the phone".

Re:Apple just needs to stand down (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214588)

Apple are doing quite well so far.

Their only communications regarding this are through legal documents. They've not released any statements thus, they're not getting into a war of words. As time goes on, the only extra information coming out is details of the crime.

It's possible a public trial will force them to start publically laying into the people involved though.

Gizmodo went wrong with disassembly. (1, Insightful)

Above (100351) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214408)

The guy who stole/found the phone doesn't look too good from this report, but remember when Gizmodo was talking to him they didn't have Apple's side, or a full police report. They believed the guy tried to return it to Apple. If he didn't, that's on him, not Gizmodo. In that sense I think the receiving stolen property charge is bogus, they didn't know it was stolen, and indeed, even based on what the guy did I'm finding hard to believe it was stolen. Should he have made a better effort to return it to the police or Apple, probably, but at the root it sounds like he did find it.

However, it's clear to me where the Gizmodo guys went wrong was to disassemble the device. Had they taken pictures of it intact, put it on their blog and said "can anyone help us find the rightful owner" they would be making an attempt to return the device in the same condition they found it. I think the journalism shield laws can and should have protected them from the trade secret charge. But on the damaging the property, they are out there all on their own. There's no reasonable way to think disassembling it would have told you more about who owned the phone, there was simply no reason to do that. Even with pictures of just the outside of the device they still would have had one heck of a scoop.

I do think the most ludicrous claim is that this cost apple millions of dollars in lost sales. This didn't hurt Apple sales one dime. This likely boosted interest in the next generation phone. It's totally made up solely to make law enforcement think the case was worth pursuing, and I wish law enforcement would take a more skeptical eye of such intangible damages.

So, the guy who found it, probably not guilty of theft in my mind, but probably guilty of not trying to return the property, which I'm sure is a crime somehow. Gizmodo, probably guilty only of damaging the device, they shouldn't have tried to open it.

All things considered some very poor decision making all the way around.

Re:Gizmodo went wrong with disassembly. (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214634)

The guy who stole/found the phone doesn't look too good from this report, but remember when Gizmodo was talking to him they didn't have Apple's side, or a full police report. They believed the guy tried to return it to Apple. If he didn't, that's on him, not Gizmodo.

Let's assume that the finder had in fact made extensive efforts to return the phone to Apple, and Gizmodo knew it for certain. That doesn't change the fact that buying stuff from a guy who doesn't own it is either theft or receipt of stolen goods. And they did it with the goal of appropriating it for their own use.

Spell check? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214412)

Whoever filled out the "Search Warrant Inventory" seriously needs to learn how to type...

  • "MediaSmart searver"
  • "exsternal HD"
  • "Canon reblel"
  • "Apple MacBook Pro e/ power cable"
  • "Apple airport exstream"
  • "Ioemega stor Center"

I thought you could get warrants thrown out for just that sort of error? Also, they took his "Ipad [sic]"... That's a dick move... Although it does also mean that the iPad is a business device now since it was, supposedly, "used as the means of committing a felony".

Where's your hope and change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214500)

Obama still supports the PATRIOT act! Why isn't KDawson putting up posts about that daily like he did when Bush was in office? What has really changed? Where is the outrage?

Priorities (4, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214612)

I had my motor home broken into in Sunnyvale and my possessions stolen. I called the police. They told me "Here is your report number. You have insurance right?" I said "No, not for theft." "Well then, why are you calling us?" they replied. "I thought you might want to come out and investigate. They broke the lock, left their tool, probably left fingerprints everywhere..." "No, we don't do that", said the cop, and hung up.

I guess the cops understand exactly who pays their salaries.
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