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AppleTV Runs iOS, Already Jailbroken

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the pick-the-locks dept.

Hardware Hacking 299

Wired has noted that "Soon, thanks to the tireless efforts of the iPhone Dev Team, you will be able to install apps on your AppleTV. An upcoming Jailbreak tool, called SHAtter, has already been used to unlock the new Apple TV's firmware." The units are supposedly now shipping. I have a lot of questions about the device (like how will it handle the photo screen saver if your local machines are offline) but hacking it might make the thing more usable (divx please, and how about letting my screen share my desktop to my TV?).

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299 comments

ARM (2)

dmitrygr (736758) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723590)

does it run ARM?

Re:ARM (4, Funny)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723644)

An arm and a leg.

Re:ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33723704)

An arm and a leg.

A hundred bucks is "an arm and a leg"? I don't wanna know what discount wholesaler you're getting your body parts from.

Prosthetics (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724860)

I don't wanna know what discount wholesaler you're getting your body parts from.

In some less developed countries, people with an amputation or congenital limb difference use a simple hook arm or a peg leg. But most of them probably can't afford an Apple TV.

it's an iPad in a box (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33723768)

Same CPU as iPad, including the amount of RAM.

It adds ethernet, HDMI and optical audio out, it loses a lot like bluetooth, motion sensors and of course the display.

So yes, it runs ARM.

Right place, right time (0)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723602)

I once went to a restaurant and ordered a steak, medium-rare. I know a lot of people would rather have their steaks cooked well-done, grey all the way through. I'm not one of them. I like the tenderness that a little undercooking provides. The blood filling the plate is a delectable gravy to be sopped up with some bread. There really isn't anything I like better than a thick slab of ribeye cooked crispy on the outside and pink all the way through.

You can imagine my surprise when they delivered a mash of ground beef and some wretched oil-soaked fries on the side. I said to the waitress, this isn't what I ordered. She was unmoved. I demanded that I talk to a manager. This little pissant 20-something comes out and asks me if there is anything he can help me with. I shoved the order in his face and asked him if he thought it was a steak, medium-rare.

No, sir.
Then why the hell did you serve it to me? Are you telling me I can't order my meal the way I want it and expect a modicum of service?
Sir, this is Burger King. You can have it your way, within the bounds of our menu.

I suppose I should have gone to the steak restaurant if I wanted steak.

Re:Right place, right time (3, Funny)

sockman (133264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723624)

I see what you did there! You said he should have bought the white-walled tires, instead of the plain black ones if he wanted to have the +1 Ego boost.

divx? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33723662)

What is this, the 1900's?

Gluttons for abuse (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723688)

hacking it might make the thing more usable

Tragic, of course, that people would buy something so crippled and locked down they must "jailbreak" it to make it more useful.

Certainly this is effort better spent improving solutions that are more open from the get-go?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33723818)

> Tragic, of course, that people would buy something so crippled and locked down they must "jailbreak" it to make it more useful.

Exactly. The solution to these kind of devices is *not to buy them*. If the mfg continues to own the device after you have "bought" it, then just say no thanks and move on to something that isn't so crippled from the start.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0, Troll)

Kristopeit, Mike D. (1900570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723870)

certainly you just made a statement and put a question mark at the end?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0, Offtopic)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723994)

That question mark at the end of a statement has the same meaning as a quizzical, puzzled or incredulous tone of voice and facial expression.

Basically, the statement counters or conflicts with the other persons statements or arguments and the other person should explain himself.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0, Flamebait)

Kristopeit, Mike D. (1900570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724150)

basically, that makes the use of the word "certainly" to lead off the statement completely ignorant.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724714)

If you've got some silly issue with the way I wrote a sentence, save it for some other time.

If you've got an issue with my point, please say it.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0, Flamebait)

Kristopeit, Mike D. (1900570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724946)

my point is you never made a point... you cowardly backed out of it at the end. do you think it is certain or not? if something might not be certain, then certainly you shouldn't make such an observation implying the certainty of either possibility.

as to saying something.... maintaining a platform layer that spans from the hardware to application software user interface is not something that works well when certain aspects of the platform are not locked down.

the real issue is whether you believe "possibly confusing a logical user" is something that should be allowed as a result of the platform.

certainly you do?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33725020)

you cowardly backed out of it at the end

Oh come the fuck on man.

maintaining a platform layer that spans from the hardware to application software user interface is not something that works well when certain aspects of the platform are not locked down.

Bullshit. Or are you saying that we should have our PCs locked down hard. You know, for our own sake. To save us from ourselves?

the real issue is whether you believe "possibly confusing a logical user" is something that should be allowed as a result of the platform.

How does having the option to not be forced through whatever monetized channels the vendor has set up qualify as "possibly confusing a logical user," unless you're arguing that all users are fucking retarded and need to be told what to do on a daily basis.

In which case you, I, and all of Slashdot are fucked as we're obviously not competent enough to live.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724000)

One thing I actually don't understand is how geeks keep rewarding Apple for their efforts of keeping their platforms locked. Just for the fun of "jailbreaking" them.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724136)

Separate demographics.

Demographic 1 is my parents. I'd easily get them one of these. Just like I got them a MacMini and put it in SimpleFinder or an iPod nano (1G) and Shuffle (2G). Say what you want about "Windows and Linux are just as easy", but I have never gotten a support call about anything. Heck my mom (technophobic) figured out her iPod all by herself. I had to walk my GF through Lucid's install. She was patient, but it's something my parents wouldn't have stood for.

They replace their BlockBuster/Redbox rentals with something 'On Demand'. Plug and play and I never have to figure it out again.

Demographic 2. Myself. Apple makes some great hardware. The fact that this is just an ARM processor with a GPU decoder means that tinkerers could get XBMC running on it. (They already have a BeagleBoard fork). My Gen 1 AppleTV is one of the best XBMC devices out there. It's TINY, easily fits under the TV. With the Broadcom chip it does 1080p. But I had to 'hack' it to do that. I built my own HTPC, but the smallest cases are still huge compared to the AppleTV. With the AppleTV I can pull it, toss it in my backpack and go over to a friend's house and watch something.

The cheapest ION boxes are $200+. The Boxeebox isn't even a box, it's a pyramid, and again is $229. The AppleTV IS one of the cheapest pieces of hardware out there that will do what I want it.

I just got an iPod Touch 4G to replace my iPod 4G which was on its last legs. It it unbelievably small. It has some great apps, but I want to use it as a GPS device over bluetooth. I did a bit of research, but I still haven't found any device out there that is comparable.

The Archos 43 looks close, but I can't find a price and only goes up to 16GB (*It does have a Mini SD slot)

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724636)

Say what you want about "Windows and Linux are just as easy", but I have never gotten a support call about anything.

I never got a support call from my grandpa about Ubuntu on his desktop either, and it's been there for years. He's the kind of user that scratches his head when you tell him to open a web browser. He stares at you blankly when you ask him to type something in the address bar. His eyes glaze over noticeably when you tell him to Google for something. If he can use Linux comfortably for years without issue, your parents most likely can too.

This threadjacking is now over. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724948)

Hint: He's not actually using it.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (5, Insightful)

tzhuge (1031302) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724224)

That's a straw-man.

'People' do not buy something 'they must jailbreak'. The vast majority buy a product that they want because it does enough of what they want for it to be worth the price. The jailbreakers do what they do because they find some enjoyment in doing it. The people who use the product jailbroken are often just messing around. They use jailbreak because the can. Those that buy a product that does not meet their need, then use jailbreak to make the product meet their need are mythical, except perhaps when there are in fact no alternatives at all.

Frankly what's really tragic is that so many people insist on whining about products they clearly don't want instead of just buying and enjoying what they do want. It's also tragic that so many keep rationalizing their 'superior' choice by denigrating others.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724262)

what's really tragic is that so many people insist on whining about products they clearly don't want

I'm more concerned about people encouraging and supporting Apple's attitude of lock down and customer control.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (3, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33725018)

I don't understand why Apple gets a free pass on everything from many otherwise intelligent people on here whereas MS gets demonized regardless of what they do.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

sjonke (457707) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724438)

Well, yes I agree... except that for those of use who've gone and jailbroken their iphones... now we (or at least many of us) find it hard to live without the jailbreak. I wish Apple would be forced (I can't reasonably expect them to choose) to allow Cydia in the App Store. But... I'm not disagreeing with you, because I love my iPhone even without the jailbreak and I bought it with no expectation of jailbreaking it. I just love it now even more with the Jailbreak... and so I anxiously await the release of a Shatter-based jailbreak so I can upgrade to 4.1 finally. And, moreover, its unlikely I'd buy a new iOS device if I didn't know that it could be jailbroken. It does create a dilemma....

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724502)

I'm more worried about idiots like you encouraging needless device lockdown.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724510)

Those that buy a product that does not meet their need, then use jailbreak to make the product meet their need are mythical, except perhaps when there are in fact no alternatives at all.

Perhaps you should check out the all of the people who buy vanilla routers and "jailbreak" them with aftermarket linux distributions (i.e. openwrt, ddwrt, etc...). Alternatives exist which have all the features that they are looking for... only they cost an order of magnitude+ more.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724570)

Perhaps you should check out the all of the people who buy vanilla routers and "jailbreak" them with aftermarket linux distributions (i.e. openwrt, ddwrt, etc...).

Even those don't require a jailbreak, since if you feed them a firmware they don't go and perform signature checks on the image or kernel or whatnot before deciding whether or not to program or boot.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

lophophore (4087) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724816)

Uhh. No.

A friend had one of the original Apple TV boxes. He jailbroke it to run XBMC on it, which he said made it much more useful. He told me he only ran the Apple TV apps when he wanted to access content from the iTunes store. Everything else, he used XBMC.

I jailbroke my XBOX to run XBMC. I had no interested in playing games, but the XBOX makes a decent media player with XBMC.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724850)

That's a straw-man.

'People' do not buy something 'they must jailbreak'. The vast majority buy a product that they want because it does enough of what they want for it to be worth the price. The jailbreakers do what they do because they find some enjoyment in doing it. The people who use the product jailbroken are often just messing around. They use jailbreak because the can. Those that buy a product that does not meet their need, then use jailbreak to make the product meet their need are mythical, except perhaps when there are in fact no alternatives at all.

Frankly what's really tragic is that so many people insist on whining about products they clearly don't want instead of just buying and enjoying what they do want. It's also tragic that so many keep rationalizing their 'superior' choice by denigrating others.

Spot fucking on.

Posting AC because I modded you up...

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724994)

I disagree. I know multiple people who bought a PSP for the sole purpose of jailbreaking it and loading emulators on it.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724232)

No kidding!

So I can only assume you've never bought a videogame console, right? Or a handheld videogame system... or a cell phone... or a PMP.. or a PDA...

Re:Gluttons for abuse (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724314)

or a cell phone

N900. Not locked down from the start.

or a PMP

Lockdown on the iPods was added eventually, but the first one I bought I loaded iPodLinux on. No battle for control against Apple.

or a PDA

iPaq. Again, no lockdown. No battle against the vendor for control.

Seriously, how did everyone become convinced that lock down was the default state for all things? Surely we have not been fooled so badly?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0, Flamebait)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724428)

First, buying an N900 and an iPaq puts you in such a tiny group I think we can safely ignore your opinions, as you're clearly a zealot to begin with. And yet you still bought an iPod, while railing against Apple... bizarre.

Meanwhile, have you or have you not bought videogame console or handheld?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (2, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724536)

buying an N900 and an iPaq puts you in such a tiny group I think we can safely ignore your opinions

Indeed, it's easy to ignore the minority, especially if they have a point.

. And yet you still bought an iPod, while railing against Apple... bizarre.

Indeed, back in 2003 before they released their later models and started on their lockdown kick.

Meanwhile, have you or have you not bought videogame console or handheld?

No, why on earth would I?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (0, Flamebait)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724602)

Indeed, it's easy to ignore the minority, especially if they have a point.

I grant, you have a point. But while you look at the rest of the world and wonder "why isn't everyone like me?", the rest of the world looks at you and thinks "wow, that guy is kinda nuts".

It's sorta like how most people view RMS. Is he, in his way, admirable? Yes. But he's an insane, impractical zealot. 'course, the world needs insane, impractical zealots, but they're zealots nonetheless, and can never, and likely will never, fully understand what drives normal, average people.

So, keep being a zealot. There's nothing wrong with that. But there's nothing "tragic" about people choosing a more pragmatic path for themselves.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724684)

But while you look at the rest of the world and wonder "why isn't everyone like me?"

I know they aren't like me. That doesn't justify Apple's (and Microsoft's, and Motorola's...) lock down. It serves only them and no one else.

the rest of the world looks at you and thinks "wow, that guy is kinda nuts".

That's fine. Maybe I'll accomplish something instead.

There's nothing wrong with that. But there's nothing "tragic" about people choosing a more pragmatic path for themselves.

Pragmatic, or foolish? All this does is push Apple to pursue the locked down route more and more heavily. I suspect once they reach a certain market percentage they just might apply the TrustZone stuff and start locking stuff down hard. Then where will people be?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724836)

I know they aren't like me. That doesn't justify Apple's (and Microsoft's, and Motorola's...) lock down. It serves only them and no one else.

I disagree. While I don't like involuntary lockdown (ie, I prefer the option to unlock my device if I so choose), lockdown serves one important purpose: It drastically decreases the likelihood of malware infecting the platform. You may see that as an insufficient excuse, but if I ever handed a computer to my grandmother, I'd rather it be a locked down iPad than a Windows PC that's rooted in her first five minutes reading spam from Nigeria.

Pragmatic, or foolish?

If the device works for them, it's pragmatic, end of story.

All this does is push Apple to pursue the locked down route more and more heavily.

Then don't buy Apple's hardware. That's the joy of choice, there's always a competitor, and if Apple's heavy hand becomes too much, people will move to another platform (like, say, Android).

Then where will people be?

Bailing and buying different hardware.

Seriously, you seem to live with this delusion that people are, apparently, under some form of mind control that prevents them from making choices that meet their needs. If Apple no longer meets their needs, they'll find another product. That's the beauty of a healthy marketplace.

So quit being so god damned paranoid and fatalistic. Enjoy the choices you've made, and let others enjoy theirs. And if Apple ties the noose around their own neck, you can feel free to dance around the corpse.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724934)

lockdown serves one important purpose: It drastically decreases the likelihood of malware infecting the platform.

Barely, as we have seen with Apple's pathetic attempts at controlling what goes into the App Store. At best it defends against PEBCAK errors by stripping of them power, but that's just a side effect.

Then don't buy Apple's hardware. That's the joy of choice, there's always a competitor, and if Apple's heavy hand becomes too much, people will move to another platform (like, say, Android).

And yet Android vendors all force the end user to root the device, or worse they go Motorola's route and make installation of 3rd party ROMs impossible. Microsoft is moving in the same direction as Apple. There seems to be this nasty, nasty trend of pushing mobile computing towards a state of lock-down-by-default with no means to unlock and I'm pretty sure that in a few years these devices (tablets, phones and all) will have computing power sufficient for the majority of people.

Seriously, you seem to live with this delusion that people are, apparently, under some form of mind control that prevents them from making choices that meet their needs.

Mind control, no. Completely ignorant and being taken advantage of, yes. They'll make choices that meet their needs, sure, but were systems this locked down ~20 years ago when I got into computers, I'd probably have gotten nowhere at all.

So quit being so god damned paranoid and fatalistic.

I have yet to see how I am being paranoid when the majority of vendors are locking devices down.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33725086)

They'll make choices that meet their needs, sure, but were systems this locked down ~20 years ago when I got into computers, I'd probably have gotten nowhere at all.

And, once again, I repeat, if the consumers don't like it, *they'll choose an alternative*.

20 years ago, lockdown was the norm. Finding a fucking *compiler* that didn't cost hundreds or thousands of dollars was completely impossible. But things changed. Why? Consumer choice.

So if the consumers don't like it, they'll choose something else. Meanwhile, there will always be niche products that are hackable, just as there's always been.

Frankly, the computing industry has *never been this healthy*. There's a broader choice of hardware vendor and operating system than there has ever been. Period. WinMo, WebOS, iOS, BBOS, Android, QNX, Symbian, soon MeeGo... the environment for competition and innovation is stunning. And if it turns out that that the locked down platforms become too onerous, then the open ones will win. End of story.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33725066)

Then don't buy Apple's hardware.

Likewise, don't want a locked-down game console? Then don't buy Sony's, Microsoft's, or Nintendo's console.

That's the joy of choice, there's always a competitor

What's the open competitor to the aforementioned consoles? What can I drag out to play video games on when my friends visit without PCs in tow?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724988)

Meanwhile, have you or have you not bought videogame console or handheld?

No, why on earth would I?

Consoles have far more titles in some genres than PCs do. What's a good PC alternative to, say, Smash Bros. or Animal Crossing or Super Mario Galaxy? As for gaming handhelds, the only open ones (GP2X, GP2X Wiz, and Pandora) aren't sold in U.S. stores.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33725046)

N900. Not locked down from the start.

Back in May, I went to three cell phone stores in my home town in the midwestern United States and none had an N900 for me to try.

or a PMP

Lockdown on the iPods was added eventually, but the first one I bought I loaded iPodLinux on.

No longer available for sale.

or a PDA

iPaq

Those are still in stock [hp.com], but the $299 model appears to have only 0.25 GB of flash compared to 8 GB of flash for the $229 iPod touch. And are there enough like-minded WM6 PDA owners to make developing software for WM6 PDAs viable?

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33725092)

Back in May, I went to three cell phone stores in my home town in the midwestern United States and none had an N900 for me to try.

Which, in the context of this argument, is beside the point.

No longer available for sale.

My point was that some time in the past, Apple sold hardware that wasn't locked down from the get go.

Those are still in stock, but the $299 model appears to have only 0.25 GB of flash compared to 8 GB of flash for the $229 iPod touch. And are there enough like-minded WM6 PDA owners to make developing software for WM6 PDAs viable?

Again, my point was to contradict the person I was replying to who suggested that all such devices were locked down. I countered with the point that this lock down trend is a completely new thing.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724256)

Tragic, of course, that people would buy something so crippled and locked down they must "jailbreak" it to make it more useful.

You're mistaking opinion for fact.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724306)

almost anything we buy can be modified to make it more useful.
doesn't mean that its not useful, or a good value to begin with.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724338)

Tragic, of course, that people would buy something so crippled and locked down they must "jailbreak" it to make it more useful.

The iOS device - like the PS3 or Wii - is pefectly tuned for success in its core markets - and there the jailbreak doesn't happen because no one gives a damn about the OtherOS - or whatever else it is that the geek is pining for.

Unless, of course, that what the geek is pining for is a free copy of Fallout: New Vegas or the Blu-Ray screener of Iron Man 3.

The geek buys into the walled garden because the hardware looks cool, stylish and well-built - and because he thinks, rightly or wrongly, that he can bend it to his will.

Re:Gluttons for abuse (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724482)

The iOS device - like the PS3 or Wii - is pefectly tuned for success in its core markets

The iOS device is not tuned like the PS3 or Wii, Apple is directly targeting iOS devices for general purpose mobile computing and home computing.

and there the jailbreak doesn't happen because no one gives a damn about the OtherOS - or whatever else it is that the geek is pining for.

Indeed, but this does not justify heavy lock down.

Unless, of course, that what the geek is pining for is a free copy of Fallout: New Vegas or the Blu-Ray screener of Iron Man 3.

You insult everyone who appreciates not having lock down, and everyone who has argued against DRM with that bullshit pro-MPAA/pro-RIAA style argument.

Want it. (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723738)

I knew this thing was going to be a cool hacking toy.

Might be good for games (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723794)

I knew this thing was going to be a cool hacking toy.
--
Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children and hitting them?

To hit your kids nowadays, you need to turn on the TV and put a fighting game into your console. Hacking gets the emulator to run so that you can play the fighting game.

Re:Might be good for games (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723886)

There are MANY good reasons why I have no children.

Re:Might be good for games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724126)

Lack of opportunity, for one, no doubt.

Re:Might be good for games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724398)

I'm married and don't want children.

Re:Might be good for games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724198)

Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children and hitting them?

To hit your kids nowadays, you need to turn on the TV and put a fighting game into your console. Hacking gets the emulator to run so that you can play the fighting game.

Actually, its the usual problem of "the kids know more than the parents".

A friend was having problems getting his son to do his homework. He pulled and hid the power cable of their 360. The son got a replacement behind his back.

I told him to just unplug the cable modem (completely disconnect it if he had to). Suddenly once it was off-line, his son was much less interested in the 360, and went back to studying when he was supposed to. :)

The trick isn't to PHYSICALLY hit them, just hit them where it hurts (social connectivity).

Honest question (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723772)

Does it bother anyone else that Apple products are so quickly hacked? I don't mean from a security standpoint, I mean because people feel the need to hack them so they can do what they want.

Doesn't that mean they should just buy something that isn't so limited in the first place? Or is this one of those "we buy a locked device because we want to hack it" sort of things...

Re:Honest question (2, Interesting)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723820)

Hackers target the audience, and that means whatever is popular. Apple is popular so it gets hacked earlier. Bragging rights etc

Re:Honest question (3, Insightful)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723936)

Apache is popular, but IIS gets hacked earlier.

Re:Honest question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724064)

Microsoft is a bigger target and as such the popularity of the individual product means little.

Re:Honest question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33725094)

IIS is Microsoft. 'nuff said?

Re:Honest question (2, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724278)

Hackers target the audience, and that means whatever is popular. Apple is popular so it gets hacked earlier. Bragging rights etc

This logic falls down when you consider the PS3 is/was fairly popular and yet took 4 years to hack.

Re:Honest question (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724360)

Actually, no. Have you seen PS3 sales charts? Everybody I know that has one only bought it to watch Blu-Ray.

Re:Honest question (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723864)

>> we buy a locked device because we want to hack

Pretty close, but more along the lines of we buy a locked device because it is a challenge

Re:Honest question (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723900)

Pretty close, but more along the lines of we buy a locked device because it is a challenge

That explains the hackers who crack the system in the first place.

It doesn't explain the hordes who go "now it's been hacked, I'll buy one".

Re:Honest question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724298)

That explains the hackers who crack the system in the first place. It doesn't explain the hordes who go "now it's been hacked, I'll buy one".

I love the Apple TV hardware. It's capable, it's tiny, and most importantly, it meets my price threshold for that sort of device. In its retail state, though, I prefer to continue using my Xbox 360 to stream divx videos from my computer (a Mac, even!) to my living room television, even though I have to jump through a few hoops to do that. A hacked Apple TV, with the right apps on it, could turn it into the device I actually want. This reasoning is probably why the hordes are psyched to get one now. The story may change once Google TV devices are out, depending on how well that works and meets everyone's needs.

A similar sub-industry that has already gone through this is the home router market. Lots of people want to purchase a router just to put DD-WRT on it and have new functionality that would otherwise cost them more. Depending on the functionality used, it may be a price difference of several hundred dollars, or as little as $30. I even bought my router pre-hacked off ebay for less than the cost of an unhacked router.

People get these hackable devices because hacking it turns it into the product they want. Sometimes (depending on the specific product) I can't understand why the manufacturer won't just include that functionality to begin with. While it's not exactly the grey market in this case, it's close.

Re:Honest question (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723874)

Does it bother anyone else that Apple products are so quickly hacked? I don't mean from a security standpoint, I mean because people feel the need to hack them so they can do what they want.

Doesn't that mean they should just buy something that isn't so limited in the first place? Or is this one of those "we buy a locked device because we want to hack it" sort of things...

Two angles on this. I had a colleague a while ago who chipped Playstations, and had hundreds of pirated games on CDR. He never played any of them: he just got satisfaction from getting one over on The Man, I suppose.

The other angle is that sometimes -- maybe not in the case of Apple TV -- but sometimes, the closed platform is cheaper to buy than the equivalent open system. I use a chipped Xbox as a video player, because it would cost me much more (either money or time/effort) to buy/build something similar with TV out. Or it would have done at the time I set it up.

PCs since 1987 have HDTV out (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723992)

I use a chipped Xbox as a video player, because it would cost me much more (either money or time/effort) to buy/build something similar with TV out.

That might have been more convincing before 2007, or for lower-income families that replace broken TVs with thrift-store specials. But since 2007, virtually all new TVs that I've seen in Walmart* and Best Buy stores have had PC inputs, both VGA (for a PC's VGA out) and HDMI (for a PC's DVI-D out). Your complaint might be that apart from Acer's Aspire Revo and Apple's Mac mini, small-form-factor PCs aren't often sold in big-box PC stores or local PC stores.

Re:Honest question (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723892)

Doesn't that mean they should just buy something that isn't so limited in the first place?

What set-top media player is not locked? Next to nobody has a home theater PC if other people's comments [slashdot.org] are to be believed.

Re:Honest question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33725084)

moreover, who want to sell content to non locked devices?

it's a market not going to happen for a looooong while.

Re:Honest question (2, Informative)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723924)

A small percentage of users will hack their device. Apple knows this and has procedures in place for denying support for modified devices. Ultimately this is free R&D for Apple. Let the hackers see what the device can do and include that capability in a future release.

Re:Honest question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724092)

Does it bother anyone else that Apple products are so quickly hacked? I don't mean from a security standpoint, I mean because people feel the need to hack them so they can do what they want.

Doesn't that mean they should just buy something that isn't so limited in the first place? Or is this one of those "we buy a locked device because we want to hack it" sort of things...

Frankly, the "security" standpoint is the only one that bothers me.

I suppose jailbreakers who buy Apple stuff fall into three categories

1. People who think that the jailbroken device meets their needs better than alternatives, even though those don't require jailbreaking
2. People who jailbreak because they enjoy a challenge, want to "stick it to the Man", or are just curious
3. People who didn't do their research, bought the product, and only afterward realized that the product didn't meet their needs without jailbreaking

On Slashdot, posters generally assume that everyone falls into category 3. I suspect that are a fairly small populations in reality.

I suspect a larger population feels that the product as delivered meets their needs just fine, and an even larger population just doesn't buy the product in the first place.

Re:Honest question (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724414)

4. People who don't want to pay for any app. I think this is the biggest lure.

Re:Honest question (2, Insightful)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724206)

Sort of like installing Tomato on Linksys routers? Oh, wait, we like that.

Re:Honest question (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724642)

Linksys routers don't fight you. Get back to me when Apple allows you to install software not from the App Store on your device without forcing you to Jailbreak.

Re:Honest question (4, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724214)

Does it bother anyone else that Apple products are so quickly hacked? I don't mean from a security standpoint, I mean because people feel the need to hack them so they can do what they want.

Doesn't that mean they should just buy something that isn't so limited in the first place? Or is this one of those "we buy a locked device because we want to hack it" sort of things...

The AppleTV isn't "limited" to most people out there, only to geeks who poo-poo any devices that do anything less than their custom Linux HTPC. I've said this before: Apple doesn't implement features unless it can make them easy to use and understand and nicely designed. They don't start with a feature list and then make crappy implementations of them so they can add a bullet point to the list. They also look forward not backward and simplify where possible (eg. mandating use of h.264 instead of divx and hundreds of other formats.) If you find this approach philosophically abhorrent then use something else please and accept there are those of us that like it that way.

I don't think that's the reason people hack them anyway, they hack them because they can and for bragging rights.

Apple "security" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724244)

The whole reason Apple locks down their products is because they are security doofuses that know they are incapable of protecting their delicate OS in an open environment. The fact that they are so quickly and easily jail-broken is proof of their incompetence at security. Just look at the results of every Pwn2Own contest...Apple products are always the first to fall.

Re:Honest question (2, Insightful)

kuzb (724081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724372)

Actually, it bothers me from both standpoints.

It bothers me that the device has to be hacked to do what people want, and it bothers me that they're insecure enough that they can be jailbroken and forced to run arbitrary code with as little as a webpage view (ala jailbreakme.com).

Because people want to use these devices to do whatever they want, enormous effort is spent on jailbreaking them. This means that people with potential malicious intent could start exploiting the holes to do very bad things.

Re:Honest question (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724762)

It bothers me that the device has to be hacked to do what hackers want

FTFY. Seriously, people who read Slashdot are not regular people. We usually expect more, though some of us can still buy things understanding their limitations. I didn't buy a Mac mini thinking I could run Starcraft II on Ultra video settings and I didn't buy a Wii thinking I could play Halo Reach.

Re:Honest question (1)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724606)

No, it doesn't bother me. Apple has been in two businesses in recent times. They make computers and they use their interface, operating system, and hardware experience in order to make specialized consumer devices that are adapted computers. Apple does not operate in a vacuum and Apple, like everyone else, prefers to sell things profitably which may lead to other profitable sales. As a result, license and contract terms and their own understanding of their business model mean some entertainment formats or some general computing functionality may be unavailable from the external interface or its stores. For people who are interested, as a challenge or because their entertainment is not in the "correct" format or for whom every computing device must be returned back to its essential nature, and who have the chops break the device so it behaves as the owner sees fit.

I see the merits of the device freedom people's case. Why last night I was using a computer book as a cockroach termination device. On the other hand, I don't buy toaster ovens with the thought that I should be able to convert them into blow torches. Were I McGyver in trouble, my perspective, of course, would be different. In Apple's defense, I can also see that they would consider it a ghastly error to find themselves seated in a courtroom one day, being asked "You knew that by doing x, y, and z, one could make ${device} damage my client, and you did nothing about it?" So when devices are jailbroken, and I believe it is uniformly through exploitation of bugs which could be security problems, Apple has to do discourage it and fix that flaw at their next chance.

Me. I say an AppleTV is for watching tv and I don't have a tv. I could buy one and turn it into something else. Or I could just skip the middle man and the fuss and just buy the something else.

Re:Honest question (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724802)

On the other hand, I don't buy toaster ovens with the thought that I should be able to convert them into blow torches.

No, but there's no EULA or locks on the device that prevent you from doing so. It's impractical, yes, but nothing is stopping you. Well, except maybe your better judgement.

In Apple's defense, I can also see that they would consider it a ghastly error to find themselves seated in a courtroom one day, being asked "You knew that by doing x, y, and z, one could make ${device} damage my client, and you did nothing about it?"

That's ridiculous, since such an argument could be made against any bit of technology created in the last thousand years.

So when devices are jailbroken, and I believe it is uniformly through exploitation of bugs which could be security problems, Apple has to do discourage it and fix that flaw at their next chance.

They don't do it to protect themselves from lawsuits or other such nonsense, I assure you.

So what? (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723776)

It's only "already jailbroken" because the same iOS 4.1 issue used with the iOS 4.1 jailbreak that has already been developed works on this device, which is also running iOS 4.1.

Re:So what? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724290)

It's only "already jailbroken" because the same iOS 4.1 issue used with the iOS 4.1 jailbreak that has already been developed works on this device, which is also running iOS 4.1.

Not quite. The jailbreak currently being worked on is actually based on a bootloader hole. So this thing is already jailbroken presumably because it uses the same firmware as the iPhone, iPad, and Touch.

photo screen saver (3, Informative)

Kristopeit, Mike Da. (1905342) | more than 3 years ago | (#33723802)

i have it set up with the photo screen saver and when local sources are offline it displays a black screen with small white text in the middle explaining the source is not available.

eh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33723978)

Personally I'm going for the Boxee Box. Already has a lot more features and a lot more of an open platform. Efforts like these while I think are nice are not the a real solution if you want a genuine htpc. Yes, I know it's $100 more but I'd rather support a more open platform.

Bingo! (1)

Kludge (13653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724592)

Why would I want to hack on a platform specifically designed not to be hacked?

There are plenty of hackable platforms out there for TV watching, Popcorn Hour, Captiveworks 4000HD, etc.

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724054)

AppleTV....

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

Re:No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724690)

Actually, the new AppleTV does have wireless just like the old one.

Common sense ain't so common anymore (1)

Xyde (415798) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724284)

like how will it handle the photo screen saver if your local machines are offline

Sigh, how do people this stupid even function? Yes that's right, the Apple TV has no storage whatsoever just because they removed the hard drive. Flash memory doesn't exist, certainly it's never been used before in an iOS device. I've seen similar bleatings all over the internet "BUT NETWORKS AREN'T FAST ENOUGH TO STREAM VIDEO SMOOTHLY WITHOUT A BUFFER, OMG APPLETV FAIL". Kill me now.

Re:Common sense ain't so common anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33724656)

Buffering? Really? What networks are you using?

Even OTA full HD TV broadcasts are only 19.39 mbps. And most stored, compressed video is under 4 mbps (for example, 1 GB / 44 minutes = 3.1 mbps). Which means that you could play back a typical compressed file with no buffering even on 802.11b @ 11 mbps or 802.3 @ 10 mbps, both of which are outdated, slow technologies compared to what the ATV supports. And with 802.11g/n or 802.3 @ 100/1000 mbps, which are pretty common these days, you could play back anything you liked, including full-size, full-rate, MPEG-2 HD.

Want Open - Get a Cheap NetTop (3, Insightful)

adisakp (705706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724670)

If you really want full control and open source, why not just get a cheap NetTop ? I just got a barebones dual core Atom 330 (looks like 4 threads) with NVidia ION GPU for $159 at NewEgg. It have DVI out, HDMI out, SATA, expandable memory, USB2.0, 802.11n (miniPCIe), etc. Fully configurable and very compact. If you get an AppleTV, you aren't going to get storage or tune / record capability (which you can do with a cheap USB tuner on a nettop).

DivX? (2, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33724680)

What next, RealMedia and VQF support?

There's basically zero legal sources for DivX files, so why would Apple support that old format? H.264/AAC is the standard and has been for a few years already.

Even Handbrake dropped DivX support, for crying out loud.

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