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Another quote from Linus that's relevant:

"Imagine being an engineer at a company at Apple, and it being your job to design the mechanism that makes it so that machine cannot start up unless the chassis is fully sealed. Apple spent actual fucking money making sure that product would not work unless it is in the exact chassis they shipped it in."

That goes beyond not caring.




Apple's consistently demonstrates that their most important customers are their shareholders. They are experts at walking the line between maximizing profits and alienating their regular customers. If they felt that a modular computer would have a higher ROI, they would be all over it.

Honestly, I would not be surprised if Apple 'invented' the idea of 'integrated dongles' before their next keynote so they could sell you a $95 usb 2.0 port.


To be fair, Apple did make a modular computer. Except only Industrial Light and Magic can afford it.


That's the motto of any for-profit company, you vote with your money.


For what it's worth I don't think Apple has actually ever done this, and whatever made him believe they do was probably some other oversight during their disassembly/reassembly of the laptop


> For what it's worth I don't think Apple has actually ever done this

I'm willing to bet real money that they did.


Please show some evidence - MacBooks are so widespread that it should be very easy to find something backing this up if it were the case.


An oversight is not the case. This is an annoying problem for actual repair technicians, not just a mistake by a beginner.


But it's literally not true. I am typing this from my M1 MacBook with the bottom panel open just to prove this point.


To be fair, if a company wants to produce something that only works on one set of hardware, that should be fine. We simple choose not to use it, right? And many of us /do/ choose to use it? But why do we choose to? Because we find that we're too busy to maintain a Linux-based workstation.

While there are questionable practices by Apple and many other machine producers, what you can't argue against is that in limiting the hardware that MacOS has to work with, they're able to deliver a level of stability and user experience that you don't get with Linux.

Sure, it would be great if we could replace the batteries, if we could upgrade the memory, and easily fix broken parts, but that isn't the company's ethos. The company produces devices that are plug and play, high grade consumer electronics. Nobody forces us to buy these products.

Anyway, that being said, the framework machines look super interesting and if they were UK available, I'd probably get one for a non-critical Linux-based workstation.


> We simple choose not to use it, right?

As if choosing a $1k+ computer to use for years was equivalent to choosing the flavor of ice cream scoops.

The "voting with your wallet" argument doesn't work when there's several variables in play, and the optimal configurations don't exist on the market. Like e.g. I'd like to buy a computer that's just like Macbook, except with repairable/swappable/upgradeable components. Or a phone that's just like iPhone, except with replaceable battery, a headphone jack, and repairable home button. But I can't have them - even if I'm ready to pay a bit extra, and if I'd welcome a thicker device. These options literally don't exist. Nothing similar to them exists. Particularly on the repairability front, every vendor is choosing to just not offer it.


> The "voting with your wallet" argument doesn't work when there's several variables in play, and the optimal configurations don't exist on the market

I am against billboards in space but I would make an exception for this quote.


> I'd like to buy a computer that's just like Macbook, except with repairable/swappable/upgradeable components

That's the thing, making something plug and play and mostly "driver-free" would be very hard to almost impossible. Framework laptops look amazing but they will require at least a bit more maintenance and knowledge, and that is fine too.


You say all this, but you would agree; We really can't be telling private companies or individuals what to and what not to do with their technologies, right?

1) How do we enforce that at smaller scales?

2) How would we prevent our regulation from squashing innovative solutions to problems, or enhancing safety in critical applications?


I agree with your larger point, regarding limited hardware support, etc.

I agree that Apple shouldn't have to support random mods / hardware components / etc and that their selling point is "it just works".

But then again, they don't have to be dicks about it. If they're able to detect that the hardware has somehow been modified, maybe just show some message along the lines of "you've modified the hardware, we're not supporting this anymore, you're on your own" instead of bricking it.


Where is that quote from? I wasn't able to find it via Google. Anyway, a computer that refuses to turn on after been tampered with does have its uses, particularly if your threat model is government secret services.


> threat model is government secret services

Realistically, if your threat model is government secret services, and you're using unmodified consumer grade electronics, then you're in 'danger' no matter what. You can't effectively mitigate a threat at the state level using resources produced under the watchful eye of the same state. All they have to do is ask the producer to swap out the device they gave you with a device that comes compromised out of the box. And that's assuming the tech is perfect. Most likely they just hire someone to defeat the countermeasures. However many resources Apple has, I assure you even the most janky state has more.


Special hardware seems 007 childish to me. What's better, having a high-tech tricked-out phone/laptop, or to just have a random stock Android with an inoffensive sim card in it? It seems obvious to me that if you're being targeted, tailed and tracked and probed, you've already lost.


No, I mean if you're buying a laptop off the shelf and not ripping telemetry components and whatnot (WIFI card/airgap for example). Customizing hardware to foil any out of the box attacks, rather than some sharks-and-lasers config to 'protect it'. Governments do this all the time for even slightly sensitive information.

Commenter above was saying though that the device's anti-tamper tech would save you from state level attacks. I'm just getting at the fact that that's not going to work, since if a proverbial 'they' want to take you out, there's other ways to do so you can't overcome. Just a few examples that came to me about how easy it is to foil anti-tampering measures.


Your "random stock Android" likely has a boatload of exploits open unless it's a Google Pixel.

> It seems obvious to me that if you're being targeted, tailed and tracked and probed, you've already lost.

Depends on which government agency watchlist you are. If you are some sort of Islamist terrorist, the tools that are open to the government are far more capable than if you are some sort of low level drug dealer.


From his latest video where he disclosed / explained his philosphy in investing into Framework.

> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSxbc1IN9Gg


It was from the WAN show. https://youtu.be/B7f3DTDsocA?t=339


If that's your threat model: - You are fucked - You are fucked, and there is nothing you can do about it - The government won't care about some chassis check - The government will use methods that nobody else has even considered possible yet - There is literally nothing you can do, unless you have the backing of another nation.

I find it ridiculous that people build threat models around organisations with almost unlimited resources that will only care about you (enough to tamper with your hardware) if you have done something very, very wrong.


I wonder if government secret services are purchasing retail MacBooks


That looks like a security measure to me.


There are legit security reasons you’d want this. Giving the owner of the equipment the ability to manage this would have been the appropriate solution.


Yeah isn't chassis intrusion detection fairly common? I feel like it's been an option to enable in most BIOSs I've seen.


There are legit security reasons to employ platforms that accommodate in-house repair. 'Security' can also include requirements for traceability at the component level.

Security isn't a product.


This. Purism offers anti-interdiction services [0] for their laptops and you still can open them and upgrade RAM/SSD.

[0] https://puri.sm/security/


The point is to take control away from the owner though.


That company only inherited the worst from its deceased co-founder!




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