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262 comments

Brilliant! (5, Interesting)

grape jelly (193168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929215)

...because nobody would ever find the owner's fingerprint in their home!

This is yet another case of legislation coming up with the wrong solution to the right problem.

Revocation (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929575)

"I'm sorry sir. Your identity has been compromised, and we are revoking all known authenticators. Your physical characteristics are no longer valid to autheticate your personal identity. You have been added to the list of unconfirmable citizens. Please turn in your face and fingers to the Department at the earliest possible opportunity."

Re:Brilliant! (5, Funny)

Azarael (896715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929581)

Home..? Have you ever seen how many finger prints there are on the *back* of an IPod? Sounds about as effective as hiding a key under the front mat, except the mat is also see through.

Re:Brilliant! (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929975)

How are you going to get the finger print off the device
so that it authenticates the device?

Mythbusters (1)

Erioll (229536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930033)

The Mythbusters already proved that the fingerprint scanners are ridiculously easy to defeat. Why are people still promoting this?

Frustrate Criminals with DRM and Rootkits... (2, Funny)

DBCubix (1027232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930251)

...that'll teach them criminals for sure!

Where is the Free Market? (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930295)

If people wanted this.. Apple would make it. They apparently don't, why force them to have it?

Useless (4, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929221)

There is no such thing as security when you have physical access to the device. It's a useless "summit" that will do little more than raise the cost of these devices on consumers.

Re:Useless (1, Offtopic)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929399)

Sure there is, encryption is one example.

Re:Useless (4, Informative)

geek (5680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929487)

Wipe the flash. Force a reload on the firmware etc etc etc etc. You can not secure a device when the theif has physical access to it. Anyone that has worked with ATM's knows this.

Re:Useless (0)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929621)

How does reloading the firmware decrypt encrypted data?

Re:Useless (4, Insightful)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929747)

It doesn't, but it's a pointless example in the case of iPods, thieves aren't trying to steal the contents of the drives, they're trying to steal the device itself.

Re:Useless (0)

CatsupBoy (825578) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929681)

Wipe the flash. Force a reload on the firmware etc etc etc etc. You can not secure a device when the theif has physical access to it. Anyone that has worked with ATM's knows this.
I think an encrypted filesystem is what the parent was talking about. Such as this: http://arg0.net/encfs [arg0.net]

Re:Useless (3, Informative)

Retric (704075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929795)

An encrypted filesystem does not help when it's the device and not the data that people want.

Re:Useless (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929551)

Oh, I don't think that's really true.

What you have to do is make it more trouble to get around the security than the value of the device. So, if you can pin-reset the device, obviously the security measures aren't worth squat. But let's say you have to open the device, and the case is designed to break when that happens. Sure, as a geek you might no mind walking around with the guts of your gadget hanging out, but it does put a crimp on the resale value.

The real problem is figuring out effective security measures that won't bite legitimate users thousand of times more often than they bite thieves.

Manufacturers barely have the capacity to make usable devices as it is. Adding security that will thwart a thief is sure to earn them legions of incensed users.

In any case Homeland Security doesn't really want really secure devices, because one of the unauthorized parties that might want to look at the contents of your device is ... Homeland Security.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18930065)

In any case Homeland Security doesn't really want really secure devices...
Just a minor nit...this isn't DHS [dhs.gov] that's organizing this effort, it's the Home Office [homeoffice.gov.uk] .

Re:Useless (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930085)

You'll never defeat the professional thief, but casual ones, you just need to make it more hassle than it's worth.

Crimping resale value (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930333)

Why not provide a way to have your iPod customized to the point that it would dent resale value?

If only Apple provided a way to have something like "grahamsz is da c00lest evar" permanantly engraved on my ipod then nobody would want to be seen dead with it (especially not me)....

Re:Useless (1)

bdjacobson (1094909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929633)

That's ok. The idea is to simply make it more difficult than not for a nabber to access the device. It's somewhat like having a lock on your house. Is that going to keep the determined robber out? Of course not; anybody in their right mind would just jump through the window rather than try to crack the lock. Having a lock simply protects you from the joe shmo "hm lets see if there's anything good in there" type that enters on a whim.

The same would apply to a fingerprint activated ipod. If someone sees an ipod lying there and nobody around, they'll be much less likely to take it if they know it's going to take a fair amount of work to actually use.

I fail to see how these would be bad. As usual, the market would determine how much it's worth.

Re:Useless (2, Informative)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929979)

I fail to see how these would be bad.
http://www.spritesmods.com/?art=biostick/ [spritesmods.com]
Cracked almost as fast as the previous one which got posted here on /.

As usual, the market would determine how much it's worth.
The target audience are all complete laymen who believe in any notion of "secure" with enough PR and handwaving. The market doesn't have a clue and there's no standard.

Re:Useless (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929727)

One-Time Passwords are the answer to this problem. It would mean the thief would have to steel your OTP card, as well.

But, as has been pointed out, no device is truly secure, especially with a thief who really wants your data.

Fingerprint reader = lame. Thermite = cool. (4, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929967)

There is no such thing as security when you have physical access to the device. It's a useless "summit" that will do little more than raise the cost of these devices on consumers.

Well, maybe not security ... but there could be punishment!

I propose that we build a small quantity of plastic explosives or thermite into every new portable device. They will take commands from the GSM cellular network and, upon command from the manufacturer, on receiving word from the original purchaser that the device has been stolen, explode/melt and blow/burn pieces of the device into the criminal's (or person who received said stolen property) face/hands/thighs. It will also have the handy side-effect of securely deleting confidential data. We'll just need some laws to indemnify manufacturers and owners from said criminals' lawsuits, and after that, we'll just let the problems work themselves out.

I foresee this having a slight negative impact on the used-equipment-on-eBay market, but overall I think it'll be a good thing.

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Fingerprint reader = lame. Thermite = cool. (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930275)

Brilliant! Then you could sell or give it away to one of your enemies, then activate the anti-theft and BOOM!

Re:Useless (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930337)

Declare it to be a way to help Global Warming. You will get funding, PR and a million drones to push it through...

The issue here is not technology..it is MARKETING!

In resoponse to the added security... (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929227)

...thieves have not only been stealing the iPods, but cutting off their victim's fingers as well. Given this new threat, the Home Secretary is calling for iPods controlled by brain waves.

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (2, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929305)

...great, no iPod for me then

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929379)

Given this new threat, the Home Secretary is calling for iPods controlled by brain waves.


I guess the Current Occupant of the White House won't be getting a new iPod after all...

And as citizens of the USA... (1)

i_like_spam (874080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929405)

Let's demand fingerprint-activated guns!

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929425)

the Home Secretary is calling for iPods controlled by brain waves.
... And also iPods that *control* brain waves...

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929427)

Off with their heads!

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929497)

In other news a law is passed to require bulletproof vest, cup and helmets with the use of ipod.

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (2, Funny)

Meadowhog (1094993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930045)

I can't wait until I can listen to my music from within the safety of my iBunker.
--
CashCrate [cashcrate.com] : Earn money for filling out surveys/forms, real info not required

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929509)

I done what you told me to Morris, but now that 'is 'ead is lopped off, the bloomin' iPod don' work...

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (1)

ashtophoenix (929197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929473)

Recently there has been reported a profileration in decapitation of citizens, mostly in the at of 12-28. Some attribute this to the dead horseman from sleepy hollow...a few have hinted it maybe be something to do with the new defense rule of securing iPods via brainwaves...

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (2, Informative)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929711)

I don't know if you were kidding about the fingers, but it's already happened for luxury car owners! [bbc.co.uk]

Re:In resoponse to the added security... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18930323)

In Colombia we use fingerprints to verify important documents. Upshot: People without right index finger. Lots of cadavers found w/out the finger. Not so much now as things are relatively quiet at the moment, but when the big mafia guys were in power here...
Yeah I know, extreme case. Thought I'd mention the experience, though.

Ah yes... (1)

KeHobbs (912448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929243)

"Our systems are full of vulnerabilities, our windows don't lock, and you can open the door to the main office with a credit card, but at least my iPod is secure!"

I might have missed something.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929269)

.... But how does this stop criminals/terrorists/undefined bad guys?

Obligatory "In communist Russia" (0, Offtopic)

kiyoshilionz (977589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929291)

In communist Russia, phones steal YOU!

Re:Obligatory "In communist Russia" (2, Informative)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929517)

In communist Russia, phones steal YOU!
that's not how the joke goes, it's SOVIET russia...

Re:Obligatory "In communist Russia" (1)

aurb (674003) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929643)

I for one welcome our in-soviet-Russia joke nazis!

Hey, disarming your citizens is working... (2, Funny)

ZWithaPGGB (608529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929293)

For the criminals!
And the solution is to force vendors to give the government more tools to monitor you!
Oh, wait, you aren't citizens, but subjects. Your rights are privileges granted by the monarch, and so can be revoked at the pleasure of the government.

Re:Hey, disarming your citizens is working... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18929403)

Yeah, it's great. Far fewer fuckwits shooting up our schools.

Re:Hey, disarming your citizens is working... (2, Informative)

ydrol (626558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929521)

Oh, wait, you aren't citizens, but subjects. Your rights are privileges granted by the monarch, and so can be revoked at the pleasure of the government.


Nice try [wikipedia.org]

Re:Hey, disarming your citizens is working... (0, Troll)

ZWithaPGGB (608529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930211)

OK, so you're called "citizens" but without the basic premise that creates citizenship: that you, not the state, are sovereign. How can you be "citizens" in the traditional sense of the word, when you don't live in a Republic?
Last I checked, the UK doesn't have a written constitution (a contract between the sovereign people and their government).
Doesn't change the fact that, by trampling on individual rights to self defense, Blair et al have increased, rather than decreased, crime. The solution to which is more and more surveilance by the police.
As Ben Franklin said: "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." What he failed to mention is that they usually get neither, often becoming victims of the very "security" apparatus they create by giving up liberty.

Home run (1)

Vollernurd (232458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929315)

What's a Home Secretary?

Re:Home run (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18929375)

What's a Home Secretary?

That's your wife. As opposed to your Away Secretary at work, who is a lot more fun.

Re:Home run (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929583)

It's what the Minister of the Interior is called in the UK. i.e. the one responsible for police etc.

Re:Home run (1)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929749)

I realize Slashdot caters to an international audience, and, therefore, submitters should make clear what country they refer to when discussing governments. However, Slashdot's parent company is based in the U.S., so I have to assume that the Home Secretary is part of the U.S. government. (I guess they've split a big bureaucratic department into two big bureaucratic departments at the taxpayer's expense again.)

Or perhaps we're expected to know the names of all obscure goverment officials worldwide.

Re:Home run (2, Funny)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929973)

Or perhaps you could read the linked article. Oh wait this is Slashdot, nevermind.

Re:Home run (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930021)

It's OK, I had to look it up too:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/organisation /ministers/john-reid/ [homeoffice.gov.uk]

Sounds like something similar to the Dept of Homeland Security.

Re:Home run (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930161)

It might also be relevant that there's an election soon here in the UK, the government is very unpopular, and the home secretary has had his department split into two, and half taken away from him, because of the mess that it has got into. So he is desparately looking for any sound-bite that will sound good to his friends in the right-wing press. Hence this nonsense.

After the election on Thursday we will hear no more about this.

Re:Home secretary (1)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930235)

In this case (John Reid), a government minister who is the parliamentary rottweiler - he orchestrates the UK part of the "war on terror", coming up with random "solutions" like this.

Why? (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929319)

Why fingerprint-activated iPods? So no one but me can find out what's on my iPod? (Like I care if anyone knows that I listen to Disturbed, Metallica, or Puddle of Mud?) So no one will steal it? How fast before the thieves figure out how to disable the fingerprint scanner? All this'll do is drive up the cost of iPods, as if Apple didn't already charge and arm and a leg for the things.

Re:Why? (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929539)

Why fingerprint-activated iPods?

I'm guessing that the ipods are being used as portable storage. I think the bigger problem is allowing government employees being able to copy over sensitive material on an mp3 player in the first place.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929591)

Basically it's to gear up the public to be accepting to fingerprint scanning as part of everyday life. You don't need a fingerprint scanner on an iPod. Same reason they're putting RFID chips in credit cards and passports -- to get people so used to them, there will be no problem when they want to implant them in our hand.

Remember, the Total Information Awareness project [wikipedia.org] is alive and thumpin' !

Re:Why? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929655)

Screw that. iPod parts are a big business out there. Steal ipods, sell them to a guy taht parts them and sells the seperate parts.

This will not even slow down the thieves. What will slow them down is to sell all ipods with C4 packed in them and a keyfob that allows the owner to detonate it.

thief steals ipod, owner presses button, KA-BOOM! no more ipod and thief is dead or at least missing an arm. now you can go over and either kick the corpse or the bleeding thief.

That would significantly reduce ipod thefts.

Re:Why? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929797)

What will slow them down is to sell all ipods with C4 packed in them and a keyfob that allows the owner to detonate it.


Heh heh heh. I like how you think! The only problem is what to use as a detonator... imagine leaving the thing in your car on a hot sunny day...BOOM! goes the car. Not good.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18929811)

It'd bring a whole new meaning to charging "an arm and a leg", it would be a finger too!

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18929849)

All this'll do is drive up the cost of iPods, as if Apple didn't already charge and arm and a leg for the things.

YOu can say that again! I have two and now I'm in a wheelchair!

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18930137)

I believe the point is not to make it difficult to access data on the ipod, but to make it difficult to use a stolen ipod at all, therefore significantly hampering the thieves' ability to sell said stolen merchandise.

Arm and a leg and ... (1)

kybred (795293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930169)

All this'll do is drive up the cost of iPods, as if Apple didn't already charge and arm and a leg for the things.

Yeah, now they'll cost an arm, leg and finger! As in, I assume that your finger will allow me to play your iPod, even if it is not attached to your hand!

Alternatively (2, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929351)

Wifi enabled players + municipal wifi + device ID + central revocation list = frustrated criminals.

Re:Alternatively (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929481)

And if you hack into that central revocation list, then you're like a god!

No iPod for you!

Re:Alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18929593)

Wifi enabled players + malicious hacker = frustrated legitimate owner of expensive paperweight.

Re:Alternatively (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929691)

doesn't stop Cellphone thieves.

cellphones, espically the expensive and popular ones already have hacks for the black hats to change the esn and get them de-blacklisted to be resold.

Re:Alternatively (1)

iksbob (947407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929771)

I don't think you even need to go that far. The DRM schemes I've read about keep a list of authorized devices, hard copies, ect. All you need to do is keep that list on a server instead of the home computer (assuming they aren't already). If a device is stolen, the owner reports it's device ID to the central server. If someone tries add a stolen device ID to a DRM'd file's authorized list, it logs their IP/routing/whatever and flags an admin, who can report it to proper authorities.

What a fantastic idea (2, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929359)

Now when they steal my iPod not only will they get a few thousand pounds worth of music, they will also get the fingerprint data I was forced to use as the password for my bank account.*

You don't have enough fingers to generate unique passwords for everything!

*Yes, I am aware they could be stored as a hash. Some electronics companies will probably do so - but all of them? And how many will use a good hash that has decent properties for the application? I'm guessing at one, and that will only be due to an accident.

Re:What a fantastic idea (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929511)

More than that, didn't anybody see MythBusters [wikipedia.org] ? Fingerprint readers are nearly worthless as a security mechanism. They are notoriously easy to fool.

of course, an iPod suppository (4, Funny)

The Mutant (167716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929367)

would offer the ultimate in security for the theft adverse iPod owner.

So why mess about with half measures like fingerprint activation? After all, if you stick it someplace where the sun don't shine, ain't nobody gonna know you're iPodding. Ignoring the obvious question of who the hell would try to steal an anally inserted iPod, who would purchase an (obviously) stolen / used anally insertable iPod?

Why the market for stolen iPods would close up tight.

Re:of course, an iPod suppository (1)

cswiger (63672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930043)

Umm...what? :-)

I already find it a bit odd to exist in a society where it seems to be of great importance for things like a cup of coffee to come with a "WARNING: contents are hot!" statement, and where a pack of toothpicks comes with warnings about not sticking them into your ears or your eyes.

Anyway, so I spent a moment trying to figure out how Apple might write a disclaimer suggesting that you probably shouldn't insert an iPod up your butt, even if for some reason someone thought that doing so was a good idea. Fortunately, my mental censor starting activating....

Re:of course, an iPod suppository (0, Redundant)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930167)

who would purchase an (obviously) stolen / used anally insertable iPod?

This guy [goatse.cz] , or maybe his missus [femse.com] ?

Grabbing at liquid (2, Insightful)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929385)

Trying to get a handle on this kind of theft is like trying to get your hands around some liquid. There's just no way to contain the stuff, it's going to come leaking out between your fingers somehow.

This reminds me a bit of the statistic I heard where more and more people are, in the face of those microchip car keys, just breaking into homes and stealing the keys rather than breaking into the car. If they need me to activate my device before they can take it, they're just going to pull a gun or knife on me.

Re:Grabbing at liquid (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929731)

Trying to get a handle on this kind of theft is like trying to get your hands around some liquid. There's just no way to contain the stuff, it's going to come leaking out between your fingers somehow.

This reminds me a bit of the statistic I heard where more and more people are, in the face of those microchip car keys, just breaking into homes and stealing the keys rather than breaking into the car. If they need me to activate my device before they can take it, they're just going to pull a gun or knife on me.
- Yeah. Trying to stop crime is hard. Let's not try. I don't know whether the statistic about chipped car keys is true, but if it is then the obvious next step would be to increase home security - something which is a hell of a lot easier to do than increasing car security. Suddenly it really is a lot harder to steal a car.

Requiring it to be activated might mean that it becomes more likely they'll pull a weapon. On the plus side that means a mugger now has to be willing to up the stakes on their crime from simple robbery to threatening with a deadly weapon which of course is a much more serious offence. At the very least it means they won't be able to just attack first and then rob you since they'll need you conscious and coherent to activate it, which of course then increases the chances of you identifying them later.

I'm not saying that fingerprinting is necessarily the way to go, but there is merit to the idea of at least allowing high-tech devices like iPods to be lockable in some way.

Simple Solution... (2, Interesting)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929455)

A user activatable but then non-reversible lock that requires your iPod to check in with Apple every time it syncs to ensure its serial number isn't on a list of stolen ones. Then provide a means to access any/all serial numbers you have registered to you and lock them down.

If you don't want your iPod tied to to needing a net connection to sync, don't enable the feature. If you want to know that anyone who mugs you for it gets a worthless lump of metal and plastic - and you're fine with the trade off - turn it on.

It doesn't even need to be that universally used to take a bite out of crime. If people quickly learn the $50 iPods guys in the pub offer them (which, let's face it, they know are stolen but think they're getting a great deal and so don't care) may well not work, they're not going to hand over the $50. You don't have to disable every last stolen one to make buying a stolen one enough of a gamble that people stop doing it and thus they stop being desirable to steal.

Yes, it would become a potential pain for retailers who accept returns but a simple app could let retailers check the iPod hadn't been locked down before accepting returns. Given Apple "authorizes" retailers, this would give them a finite list of people to distribute it to and increase the value of being an authorized retailer.

Re:Simple Solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18929647)

cos that worked for mobile phones...

Re:Simple Solution... (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929987)

I was about to say the same thing...they do have serial numbers...plus they give you the option to have it engraved.

Something about this.... (4, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929595)

...just won't work. I can't quite put my finger on it though.

Revokation of Biometrics (5, Insightful)

mwilliamson (672411) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929617)

One of the biggest problems with biometric authentication is the lack of ability to revoke a compromised biometric key. Sure you can revoke rights based on a fingerprint, but then you've no way to use it again. Lifting fingerprints with gelatin isn't really that hard. See http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0205.html#5 [schneier.com] for more information on the gummy-bear fingerprint reader bypass technique.

Personally, I think biometrics are great as a username equivalent, but should not be relied on for authentication. There is sound reason to have (1) something you have with (2) something you know in a good authentication system. The ability to revoke and re-generate either component is needed.

-Michael

Uhmmm... (2, Insightful)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929631)

Why finger prints?! Why not just use the good `ol numeric 4-digit password? Seems to be working fine for the majority of people who use banking machines every day.

But surely... (1)

Catmeat (20653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929707)

Thief-proofing and iPod reduces the chance of a mugging victim needing to go out to buy another iPod.

Re:But surely... (1)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929939)

Yes, but you're forgetting the number of iPods that are sold because (a) there is a new "thief-proof" iPod (OMG! I just gotta have one!!!) and (b) I want to share my music with my (friend, spouse, child, etc.), but now only I can used this iPod.

Along with (b), you also get users "re-buying" the iTunes tracks they can't transfer.

Anothering Useless feature that will drive up $$$$ (1)

digital photo (635872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929839)

So, a faulty and easy to defeat mechanism will be added to an already paying-for-premium device to raise the cost even further without providing true benefit to the consumer. Lovely. Just lovely.


The question becomes... will this information(the fingerprint information) be sent back to Apple via an update? Will this be tied into law enforcement systems so that non-criminals are indexed along with criminals? Will this be used to produce defacto arrest warrants for people, based on their music consumption?


But mainly... just an expensive add on bloatware that shouldn't be there in the first place.

You want my iPod? (1)

Gilatrout (694977) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929905)

You will have to pry it from my cold dead fingers.

Perhaps they should allow self-defence instead (-1, Offtopic)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929945)

This whole robbery problem in the UK is a result of their strict anti-self-defence stance (I'm spelling "defence" in the British way since the article's about Britain).

This is a country where, if someone breaks into your house, you could go to prison for using any force against them instead of just cowering and pleading for your lives. Criminals' rights are sacrosanct in the UK. With a worldview like that, how could one expect anything different from the current situation, where criminals run around and commit their crimes with impunity?

In many (most?) states in the USA, a person attempting to rob someone is liable to be shot, thanks to concealed-carry firearms laws, and laws that put the burden of proof on the prosecution to prove that the victim did not fear for his life. Any would-be ipod thieves are gambling with their very lives, not just the remote chance of a short prison term. Consequently, street robbery like this is actually quite rare. When it happens, it's usually in cities such as Chicago, where the victims are not armed by law, and the courts are rather unfriendly to those who defend themselves.

But mass murders are down... (0, Flamebait)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930095)

Nobody went on a rampage in England...killing 33 college students and wounding even more.

Kind of hard to do that with a knife, or a bow and arrow.

um... maybe they are securing the wrong thing? (1)

Fritz T. Coyote (1087965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18929963)

Instead of securing iPods, and eventually TVs, Blenders, Toasters, Cars and Flashlights (or 'torches') maybe the Home Secretary could try securing Criminals in Jail. Besides, I am sure that turning over an unusable iPod to a mugger would be prosecutable as fraud.

Education system (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930007)

Wouldn't it be much better to improve the education system and take other measures to actually reduce the level of crime?

What Mr. Reid proposes is that I should take measures that cost me money to reduce the value of my possessions to criminals. It would make it also harder for me to sell my iPod on eBay if I want to replace it with a better model. It would be much better to give kids a decent education so they can find decent jobs instead of becoming criminals, and/or to make the risk of detection and the punishment for crime higher to actually deter criminals.

Re:Education system (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930191)

Now where is the profit in that idea?

--jeffk++

Technological solution to social problem (4, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930081)


Like the endless parade of anti-IP-infringement measures, like the endless surveillance and mail-sifting programs, this is yet another result of a bunch of people facing (or creating) a social problem, and then trying to convince themselves that a nifty gadget will fix it.

And it's the latest in a long parade.

What they've got is a culture that favors the instigator, rather than the victim, in robbery, street violence, and general antisocial behavior. Here are their solutions so far:

--Cameras
--Electronic tags
--New Databases (rather like many large companies, the UK government loves greating A New Database to solve any kind of problem)
--Magic dream iPods that can't be stolen or some such rubbish

It's a simple choice -- you can either address a problem, or you can talk about how cool it would be if a gadget would make it go away.

Home Secretary Requests Fingerprint-Activated iPod (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930117)

Only if I can use both of my middle fingers to unlock it.
I'm ambidexterous, you know.

Bluetooth (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930131)

What, you mean my car's head unit's non-changeable bluetooth pin of 1234 isn't secure?

The MythBusters where able to beat Fingerprint ... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930135)

lock and that was a high end door lock that the according to the manufacturers, the "liveness-sensing" reader has never failed.
the ones likely to be in ipods are likely to be a lot less costly and are like a lot easer to beat.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(season_4 )#Episode_59_.E2.80.94_.22Crimes_and_Myth-Demeanor s_2.22 [wikipedia.org]

only a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18930187)

This has been seen through out history. as an advancement in security increase, theives also use increased technology. there for this is not a perminent fix and to be honest there never will be. it is a matter of staying one step ahead in a world where technology grows exponentioally.

Frustrate criminals, or legit users? (2, Insightful)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930199)

Hmm... I have a strong feeling that, like all other security measures we encounter, they will be far more inconvenient to legitimate users than they will be to "criminals".

It's such an old story in the tech industry, and probably spans back throughout most of mankind's recent history now that I think about it. Just that little bit of extra hassle to do what you're trying to do, that actually won't do much of anything against your average "criminal". For a quick example, note the fact that effectively all computer games since the late 90s require that you keep the game CD-ROM in the CD drive while you play the game.

It's not a huge deal, per se, but it's yet another one of those things that we put up with in order to "stop the criminals", or whatever (even though the so-called criminals laugh at the pathetic "security" as they remove it with a couple clicks).

iPod add-ons (1)

javalizard (781952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930201)

Then Homeland Security suggested building a stun gun into the ipod for a nasty shock if the finger print security check fails 3 times.

This isn't going to stop the majority of thieves (1)

ethicalBob (1023525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930293)

Most thieves (in break-in/burglary scenarios) don't give a rats-arse if something is thumb-print protected. They merely look for shiny, valuable looking objects to take.

silly, silly, silly.

Normalisation (3, Insightful)

Gumshoe (191490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18930309)

John Reid is really, really keen on keeping Biometric information for all UK citizens as part of a national ID project. Naturally enough, a large proportion of the UK population is uncomfortable with the idea. I suspect that this new idea is an attempt to encourage people into thinking that biometric identification is a part of everyday life.

As other poster's have pointed out there are other methods of protecting these sorts of devices (think of your car stereo for example) so it's reasonably clear to me at least that Reid has an ulterior motive.

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