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How Apple’s iCloud Drive deletes your files without warning (txfx.net)
221 points by markjaquith on July 14, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 137 comments



And iBooks dropped all metadata at some point. The wrong network setting on iTunes nukes all your album art. iCal sync is a cruel joke. The moral is don't use Apple cloud services for anything you care about.


Apple doesn't have the right organizational structure to support cloud services across apps to a level of consistency and quality that Google and Amazon does. Nathan Taylor explains this quite well.

http://praxtime.com/2013/11/03/apple-strat-tax-voice-as-god-...


Speaking as a former resident deep in Cue's org, I believe this is common knowledge internally, but there isn't alignment on how to address it. Even at the IC level, most people I spoke with are aware of Apple's shortcomings in services. Services are not the favored child at Apple. iOS and hardware are, because of revenue. Services ICs know that, and it hits morale directly; I saw (and felt) this. There are attempts to fix it, too, but those manifest as reorganizations. I was subjected to four in a year and a half.

You hear pains from teams like Maps, who were moved from iOS to services during my tenure, and who immediately ran into serious organizational problems, dried up budgets, and so on. The gettin' is good in iOSville, and once you leave iOS, it's a whole 'nother Apple. There's a common story about the origin of Maps at Apple where Maps was basically given a blank check, and they're still mopping up some of that excess to this day. That doesn't happen in services.

Meanwhile, organizationally, Siri is kind of outside the typical services structure for various legacy reasons and they're off iterating like all getout and having a blast without the encumberance of the services organization. Every time I met with Siri I always came away with questions like, in this organizational climate, how on earth are they getting so much done?

Apple needs a serious Microsoftism on services. If you would have told me five years ago that Microsoft under Nadella would completely reverse course and embrace the living hell out of services while Apple meandered in the "let's buy companies to implement our services strategy" grasslands, I'd have said the opposite is more likely, yet here we are.


"dried up budgets" is a phrase I never would have thought would be applicable to anything Apple Corp related.


It seems like the organization has developed a culture where the closer you are to the pipe that has the money flying in, the more rewarded you are. Because services that support each other are difficult to measure in these terms, they get treated as something less than the others that are. It's a blind spot where they are vulnerable.


Seriously, how can any teams inside apple have dried up budgets? It does not make sense to me when i see their profits!?


Companies that hardly give out cash have the most cash :)


It's not like it was good before Cue either (see MobileMe) - as you said it's the general culture of Apple as a whole.

Not sure how that gets fixed.


I think this is true, but Microsoft has their own issues. OneDrive for Business will do similar things with the garbage sync client.


"And iBooks dropped all metadata at some point"

The worst part of that is that there is no way to manually export that data and back it up yourself.

Its worse now because Apple is only providing some information as ebooks and not pdfs. So, I get something that can loose my notes and I cannot print out (sorry, I sometimes like to read on something without an LCD).


I really hope to see in my lifetime a move back to user owned data and a distributed internet again. This whole centralization and proprietary nature of things is really not to my taste. If anyone is going to lose my stuff, I want it to be me or at the very least allow me to back up all my own data to my own backup.

Maybe I'm totally wrong, but I just don't like this whole move to cloud computing and centralized data store.


If anyone is going to lose my stuff, I want it to be me

Tragically, the modal user has no backups and is more likely to lose their stuff than the cloud providers, at least in the medium term. This and the security issue lead to what Schneier calls the "feudal system": pick a provider, trust them with everything, hope for the best.


You can have it both ways though. Apple tends to make it difficult for users to be able to have a choice in the matter so you're forced to commit to their services. They do it for commercial reasons (platform lock in = good) - but then they're not great at services so consumers are left with a lot of risk.


iTunes also used to randomly delete music on updates. And they deliberately deleted non-iTunes Store music at one point (which AFAICT was a separate thing).


Do you have a citation on the deliberately deleting non-iTunes Store music? I've used iTunes since version 3 and updated along the way. I've NEVER had a file deleted (and 95% of my music is non-iTunes Store)


Purely anecdotal, but it happened to me. I had ripped (using iTunes) about 200 CDs I own, over the course of a couple of months of throwing in a CD whenever I wasn't doing anything too important otherwise. These 200 CDs were joined by about 10GB of legally purchased MP3s from sources other than iTunes. In fact, I've only ever bought two albums on the iTunes store.

Anyway, some time after I had ripped and cataloged all of that old music, I decided it might be a good idea to back it all up to an external hard drive for safekeeping. I hadn't really paid much attention to file sizes or anything, but I knew I had about 36GB total. Curiously, after copying to the hard drive, I saw I only had about 25GB on there. This was too big a discrepancy even knowing I hadn't really looked at my library before copying. So I dug in, and I realized that the vast majority of MP3s purchased online were missing completely. There was an odd song here or there, but there wasn't a complete album (and I almost always buy the whole album in MP3 format) either on the backup or in iTunes itself. From what I could tell, all of my ripped music was there, but it was as if iTunes decided to "forget" that I also had all those purchased MP3s, and somehow had deleted them from my library without asking me.

Further investigation revealed that the few remaining MP3s were all available in the iTunes Store for purchase, and almost all the missing music was not available for purchase from Apple. It's mostly indie and obscure stuff so that in itself isn't surprising, but I found it intriguing that iTunes somehow deleted music that it couldn't have sold me. I honestly think that's more coincidence than anything, since a small percentage of the deleted music was available from Apple at the time, but it was frustrating nonetheless.

The story has a happy ending though: I had previously backed up my purchased MP3s onto DVD-R media, so I never actually lost anything. But that was the last day I ever used iTunes for anything.


I've got a very similar anecdote.

Added songs to iTunes outside of the iTunes store, and months later went back to play the song but couldn't find it in iTunes.

The first few times I chucked it up to me being crazy and misremembering but by the third and fourth time I was sure I wasn't.

I started putting my iTunes directory in a git repo but that didn't highlight any files that got spontaneously deleted which made me wonder if they were really gone. I checked the filesystem and they were right there where they should be.

I'm glad to hear that it wasn't just me, for the longest time I though I messed something up because my friends who use the iTunes store almost exclusively had no such problem.

I'm still on the lookout for an acceptable iTunes replacement that is open source and that can talk to my newish iPod. (Smart playlists are a must)


I've used iTunes since OS 9 and have had a number of songs go missing over the years. This hasn't happened in a long time, but I always suspected that iTunes had somehow removed them due to mismanagement of the library. I didn't investigate further, but now I'm interested to hear how many others might have run into similar issues.


It's happened to me as well, with albums I purchased from iTunes. It may be anecdotal, but I've heard it enough to take it as fact.


Lawsuit Claims Apple Deleted Users' Songs From iTunes Competitors

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/lawsuit-apple-delete-...


The music itself or the playlist? I've seen iTunes corrupt its playlist, but the physical music files always remain. Don't get me wrong, it is still a huge pain in the butt, and one of the reasons I uploaded all of my music to Google Music and got an All Access subscription.


I had the underlying files deleted - 1-2 songs missing from what used to be a full album, and iTunes' XML index still had references to the files. This was several years ago, long enough that I don't remember what the iTunes version numbers.


This is the truth.


> The moral is don't use Apple cloud services for anything you care about.

The moral is don't trust ANYONE for anything you care about [1]. Especially free services - the free service you use can go under or away in a matter of days. Example: google code.

I'm not saying don't use "cloud" services - but always think about what will happen if someone attempts to delete the wrong LUN on some random SAN.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-lost-data-2011-4


> Especially free services - the free service you use can go under or away in a matter of days. Example: google code.

Google Code is a bad example, as it was announced 9 months before the actual closure, and it's pretty easy to take out your data from there. But, I get your point completely.


Well...kind of. When they announced they would be dropping support for downloads - at that point I know it wasn't if but when they were going to shut down google code. Also, if you look at their issue tracker - it's pretty clear there isn't anyone on the other end [1].

I mean I could probably come up with pages of instances where services are changing features, remove features, or go under. Remember Google Wave (I know people in business context that was using it)? How about when Github pulled uploads (but then reintroduced them later as "Releases") [2]?

[1] https://code.google.com/p/support/issues/list?can=2&q=&sort=...

[2] https://github.com/blog/1302-goodbye-uploads


Happened to me. Besides being an unbelievably irresponsible bug, the core functionality is terrible. I had an important document in my iCloud Drive and needed to send it urgently via email. This isn't possible on an iDevice. There is no file browser, you just have to open the file in the appropriate host app. And if that file type isn't one that can be opened by an iApp you are iFucked.


This is changing in iOS 9 which has an iCloud Drive app, thankfully.


I hope the will address some of the larger issues as well like version control.


I don't know why I haven't heard it called iFucked before but that is brilliant. Please create an entry in Urban Dictionary for that.

The same with G Drive btw, it keeps wanting to send an f'ing G Drive link. It is such a denial of reality, this pretence that email attachments don't exist.


https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201104

>If you need to access a file that you recently deleted, you might be able to recover it from iCloud.com. Sign in to iCloud.com, click Settings > Data & Security, then browse the list of files in the Recover Documents tab. Files will be removed from Recover Documents in 30 days.


So, I verified the bug, but this happened to a friend of mine (she lost gigabytes of data). And Apple Support tried to help, and couldn't, and as a consolation prize she got a Thunderbolt external drive. Which was particularly insulting. "We suck so much at handling your data, you should probably do it yourself!"


That is not particularly insulting. That is the support agent doing more than any other company to compensate for a fuckup.

Particularly insuting would be if they shut down your account after making the complaint, or something like that.


Sounds solid. Did someone try it out?


So I just tried it. Uploaded 200 MB file through web. Checked that my MacBook shows the .icloud file. Moved whole folder with it. Was gone from the iCloud web BUT my laptop kept downloading it. Also it is in the Settings > Data & Security.

So. What is the fuzz?


I think this is a sync issue. What happens when the files are still uploading on one device, while being donwloaded on another. Will the files waiting to uploaded disappear?


1) Other devices don't see the files that are still being uploaded

2) Tried creating a folder, uploading 200 MB file in it and moving the folder to to local drive. Works as expected. After upload finished, the folder reappeared with the file in it.

So, the files waiting to be uploaded won't disappear.


This seems to contradict the claim in the article. Am I interpreting it wrong?


I think you are interpreting it wrong. The article is talking about all your files are already in iCloud Drive, and then you get a new Mac and move stuff around.


See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9888649 The article is wrong. You can recover the files on icloud.com


Perhaps the author is experiencing a bug and you are not. Your inability to replicate the bug does not prove it doesn't exist. Though many helpdesks would take your side.


I'm leaning towards the author just not knowing about the recovery feature.

Not that he/the article is wrong. After all, how good can a recovery feature be if you don't know about it when you need to recover data?


Dropbox's event log has saved me so many times. I have recovered pictures of my family that mean a great deal to me. I even get an email if lots of files were deleted, and the API is amazing. That's why I love Dropbox, the file sync is their bread and butter, their core business and not just a feature.


Just wonder how long they will manage ? Their competition is fierce and cloud storage is indeed an additional feature of their competitor products.

A bit like standalone digital camera losing out to smartphones despite obvious quality difference. In this case, dropbox does not even have an obvious quality benefit: syncing is a bit of a lemon market and in any case it works perfectly for most people the majority of the time.

I'm both an iCloud and a Dropbox customer. The fact that I chose to pay for iCloud despite paying for Dropbox is my anecdotal evidence of the perceived value of iCloud "other services" (which I admit is Apple ecosystem prison - just sweet enough a prison you don't want to break free). I trust Dropbox - but I know that eventually, if iCloud does not betray me for a while I will be tempted to save some money on it.


"Dropbox is a feature, not a product" - Steve Jobs


This is a thread about how poorly Apple has managed to implement this as a feature rather than a product.

The context makes your quote sound like hubris rather than wisdom.


"Not losing my data" is a feature, too.


I don't think you could call iCloud Drive either.


So if I move a folder out of iCloud before the sync finishes every pending file is lost? Did I understand the article correctly?


That seems to be pretty clearly what this article is saying.

And it's a goddamm disaster if that's the case.


I just tried that (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9888649) and it finished syncing the moved files. So no harm done and it even appeared in the iCloud.com Settings > Data & Security where I could recover it.


It's possible they fixed it or it's isolated to specific versions.


That was what happened to a friend of mine. And I reproduced it reliably, with data loss.


Yeah, I'm not too interested in using any cloud storage:

1. slow 2. bugs that delete your data 3. company goes bust or dark for whatever reason 4. your private data is available to voyeuristic employees, hackers, spies, advertisers, researchers, monetizers, anyone who offers to buy it, stalkers, dragnets, and anyone who buys their used disk drives on ebay.

No thanks.


For personal backup of key files (not endless GBs of movies, just documents and precious pictures) I usually sync a Sparse Disk Bundle[1] with a good AES key. Sure, you have to trust Apple's AES implementation (I don't to any great extent) but it gets you some degree of privacy without much hassle. It is a cheap insurance policy.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparse_image . It uses 8MB chunks by default which sync quite quickly.


I wrote a FUSE filesystem (https://github.com/netheril96/securefs) to secure the data that is meant to be synced to the cloud. In principle it is more secure than alternatives because the randomization and authentication of encryption. It encrypts file by file so that no need to sync a huge data when you only change a single file.


I see you submitted this a while back, it's a shame there wasn't much discussion! Seems like a neat idea and (to my naive knowledge of cryptography) a solid implementation.


Thanks for your interest! I would also like it to receive more attention, but I guess technical superiority isn't much correlated with popularity.


I think it's fine if you treat the services as dumb remote hard drives, meaning you expect them to fail at any time and that anyone can simply browse it at will, so you keep other copies elsewhere and encrypt before uploading.

I have my important files backed up to S3 and to a VPS, besides a local HD, using git-annex, and it suffers from none of those problems. If my VPS provider goes bust or S3 eats my data, I just open a new account elsewhere and "git annex copy" the files to it.


iCloud is a disaster. I can't even remember the things it does to address books, calendars and notes. I am trying to block the memory of having to explain to my MD wife why almost her entire calendar, address book and notes EVAPORATED when she decided she did not want her phone to connect to iCloud. In this case 100% of her data had been entered through the phone. However, iCloud somehow decided anything that lived on iCloud and had been updated in any way from any machine had to be deleted iCloud AND the phone once she turned off iCloud.

I think iCloud is quite revealing of Apple's incompetence as well as the contempt they have for the very users they claim to love. The fact that they think this is OK and normal is, in my opinion, quite disturbing. The same applies to changes made to OSX over the last few years. Incomprehensible, arrogant and full of contempt for users.


Isn't this exactly the same thing as someone reported with Google Drive? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6612854


Well, not exactly, since GDrive just moves the files to the Trash, it doesn't delete them immediately. The user had to manually purge the Trash after moving the files.

That said, they're both brain-dead UIs, yes.


iCloud only moves to the trash too, see here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9888496


No, when Google does it, that's the whole point of cloud storage. When apple does it, that's proof they don't understand services.


I think it is safe to say that Apple iCloud is not a backup product, but merely a file synchronisation tool.

I never liked the idea of stub files with tools like this. I used Livedrive a few years ago and the whole stub files gives a false sense of security. The only benefit it provided was I could double click the stub file and prioritise the download.


But I don't think the user was using it as a backup, it was using it as a storage product. As in, I'm working on a file across multiple devices, so I'm going to store it in iCloud Drive so everything is kept up to date.

Theoretically.


I do understand that, hence why I was highlighting that if anyone were to think this tool will cover you for data loss, it wont.

Personally, any product that allows accidental deletion in one place that gets synchronised across all devices is a bad, bad thing. It only takes one virus or rogue app to delete the contents of a directory and the iCloud software will do it's thing and spread it.


I noticed this same phenomenon with all three of the auto-syncing cloud storage services I tested: Apple's iCloud, Google Drive, and Microsoft's SkyDrive.

During testing, all three of those services incorrectly deleted files when the cloud service got confused about synchronization. So for the particular application I had in mind, I wasn't able to use any of them and had to write scripts to handle the synchronization myself.


How did Dropbox do on your test?

I'd love to see a blog post describing your test protocol, if you have time to write one.


Software having bugs is understandable and people live with it. But there are a few areas where such fuckups are just unacceptable. Deleting files, photos, security stuff etc fall in that category. And as more and more stuff move to the cloud, companies better understand the priority of this.


I think the lesson here isn't that iCloud is unreliable, but that any data storage is unreliable. Syncing isn't backup so you still need a backup.


Title is misleading. This is an isolated edge case, although clearly one that should be addressed.


Agree, this is an awful long article for a bug report. Sure, it's a bad bug, but it's still a bug. Treating Apple like they wronged us morally isn't exactly the most effective path to a timely solution.


Hmm, dragging and dropping files on a Mac isn't an edge case, it's a common activity. The question is, is this bug reproducible?

Also, it's reminiscent of the Steam on Linux bug (though not as catastrophic); it's well within the realm of possibility.


Just read other comments - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9888496 It is reproducible, it is recoverable, it is not a problem.


> It is reproducible, it is recoverable, it is not a problem.

I can't wait to use this excuse for any future bug. "Yeah, it happens, but you can recover from it, so it's not a problem".

Let me try it now with a problem we're having in staging: "You keep getting kicked out, but can log in again and keep working? Yeah, it happens, but you can recover from it. It is not a problem"


If you keep getting kicked out once a year then yeah, it's not a problem.


I question how common it really is. I, for example, rarely move anything out of Dropbox. Further, you have to have not synced the files AND say ok to apples warning. I'm sticking with edge case, albeit one that violates expectations and should be fixed.


I've never used iCloud drive, and now I'm very happy that it's the case. It seems like a very incompetent bug, once they implemented the .iCloud files they should have seen this.


One of the main reasons to stick with Dropbox at this point is they have the UX figured out. Everyone else even with better specs/features is still playing catch up to that.


Google Drive does something very similar. Never use their Windows drive client unless you want gross permanent and/or silent partial deletion. The iOS and android clients seem more robust, but neither can handle syncing >1000 files without crashing, or handle large files like videos efficiently (iOS version at least can't do partial uploads or continue uploads). The single upload queue also prevents user-requested immediate sync. Basically, it's horrible.


Had a similar problem with the dropbbox linux client from the early days.

I installed the script and ran "dropbox" on a new machine. Maybe It was because I created the destination folder before maybe because I had to kill the deamon at sometime to restart... no idea. It begun to delete my entire stuff in the dropbox.

Not really a problem for me because I store no important stuff in it, but i was kinda buffled. Even it could be a mistake by me, this stuff should not happen so fast.


> Fine. That’s what dragging a file from one place to another generally does!

To me this is not fine. Usually dragging from a different device(USB Thumbdrive <-> hard drive, SD Card <-> Thumbdrive, ....) should copy the files, and the cloud should be considered as another device.

Could a Mac user confirm if this is the default behavior on Mac devices?


I can confirm that dragging between devices does 'copy' by default. And dragging from iCloud to local drive does 'move' by default.


In general 'modification' by default is bad.


It is what you expect on local drive. Windows do the same.


It is. That's why I quoted 'modification'. It's not a sensitive issue if it's easy to undo. Which is the case on a user selected files on a drive (unless it's between naive FS or sluggish drives). On a remote system, you'd have to reup the whole thing.


Dragging from Dropbox, One drive, hubic all act as a move, not copy.


When finding a new bug, isn't the best thing to report it to the software provider (rather than blogging about it) ?


Apple's Deep Insight Into User Interface Design

http://www.warplife.com/mdc/essays/jump-the-shark.html


There is a straightforward fix for this:

  C T Corporation System
  818 W Seventh St Ste 930
  Los Angeles CA 90017
C T Corporation System is Apple's Agent for Service of Process.

Don't Say I Never Did Nothin' Fer Ya.


[flagged]


Is there some reason you are downvoting this?


While I didn't downvote this, I can't see your comment as remotely relevant to a story about an iCloud syncing bug.


My point is that data loss can lead to more than inconvenience and expense, it can lead to the loss of cherished, irreplaceable memories.

While I have since backed up my friend's photos, there are ways they could have been lost forever.


What is the relevance of the bit about AMCC? I don't ask with hostility; I really can't figure it out.


My apologies, I will edit to make my point clear.

A common application of RAID is fault-tolerant storage.

If one does not test one's product in the same configuration as used by one's customers, one's customers may find a failure mode that one's tests are incapable of finding. In AMCC's case I was concerned about the Special Magic that Apple used to convert 64-bit system calls to 32-bit.

The opinion of the engineer who originally wrote the driver I maintained was that a 32-bit tool was sufficient to test a 32-bit driver.

My opinion is that a 64-bit tool was required to test Apple's Special Magic. I have found and reported numerous bugs in Apple's kernels, all but two were promptly fixed.

I struggled to convince Apple to fix the other two, but was refused. One was fixed a year later after someone else reported it, the other is a spectacular zero-day that I could exploit in a heartbeat but I won't tell you what it is not so much because Apple refuses to fix it but because the fix would break a lot of existing code.

In 1990 I was testing MacTCP 1.0.1 or maybe 1.1. My manager Bruce Southwick suggested I beta test A/UX 2.0, in large part so I could help with A/UX' MacTCP emulation which was a wrapper around Berkeley sockets.

Among the first things I did was to verify A/UX' compliance with each of the CERT recommendations. When I found a security hole I dropped a dime to some random A/UX team member:

"May I speak to your Security Manager?"

"What's a Security Manager?"

Me and the A/UX people went back and forth for quite a long time until I attached a 12 or maybe 15 line remote root exploit to a Radar bug report. I then blasted an eMail all over G-d's Creation that pointed out that "The United States Air Force isn't going to want to pay seventy million dollars for this."

Their reply?

"We'll let the Air Force take care of it."

I could have fixed the zero day in ten minutes without breaking anything whatsover. Even so it was not fixed until A/UX 3.0.


Giving your data to a third party is a very difficult thing to do. Either their policies and heuristics are not perfect (like this article), they go under and you lose your data and service (probably not the case now with Apple) or they will be compelled by law to share your data with law enforcement.

On this last issue, Apple has the reputation of being one of the best technology corporations. However according to their legal guidelines (http://images.apple.com/privacy/docs/legal-process-guideline...) they will and do give at least:

    Device Registration (name, address, email address, and telephone numbe, iCloud Apple ID)

    Customer Service Records

    iTunes (name, physical address, email address, and telephone number, purchase/download transactions and connections, update/re-download connections, and iTunes Match connections, iTunes subscriber information and connection logs with IP addresses, specific content purchased or downloaded).

    Apple Retail Store Transactions (cash, credit/debit card, or gift card transactions, type of card, name of the purchaser, email address, date/time of the transaction, amount of the transaction, and store location, receipt number)

    Apple Online Store Purchases (name, shipping address, telephone number, email address, product purchased, purchase amount)

    iTunes Gift Cards (sixteen-digit alphanumeric code, nineteen-digit code, any purchases, name of the store, location, date, and time, user account

    iCloud (music, photos, documents, iCloud email, encryption keys, Subscriber Information, iCloud feature connections, connection logs with IP addresses, Mail Logs, records of incoming and outgoing communications such as time, date, sender email addresses, and recipient email addresses, Email Content, Other iCloud Content, Photo Stream, Docs, Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks, iOS Device Backups, stored photos, documents, contacts, calendars, bookmarks and iOS device backups, photos and videos in the users’ camera roll, device settings, app data, iMessage, SMS, and MMS messages and voicemail)

    Find My iPhone (including connection logs

    Other Available Device Information (MAC Address for Bluetooth, Ethernet, WiFi, or FireWire)

    Requests for Apple Retail Store Surveillance Videos

    Game Center (Connection logs with IP addresses, specific game(s) played)

    iOS Device Activation (including upgrades the software, IP addresses, ICCID numbers, and other device identifiers)

    Sign-on Logs (iTunes, iCloud, My Apple ID, and Apple Discussions, Connection logs with IP addresses, Sign-on transactional records)

    My Apple ID and iForgot Logs (password reset actions, Connection logs with IP addresses)

    FaceTime (logs when a FaceTime call invitation is initiated, content protected by 15 bits of entropy if secure enclave baked key is obtained from manufacturer)
According to Apple: "Extracting Data from Passcode Locked iOS Devices For all devices running iOS 8.0 and later versions, Apple will not perform iOS data extractions as data extraction tools are no longer effective. The files to be extracted are protected by an encryption key that is tied to the user’s passcode, which Apple does not possess. For iOS devices running iOS versions earlier than iOS 8.0, upon receipt of a valid search warrant issued upon a showing of probable cause, Apple can extract certain categories of active data from passcode locked iOS devices. Specifically, the user generated active files on an iOS device that are contained in Apple’s native apps and for which the data is not encrypted using the passcode (“user generated active files”), can be extracted and provided to law enforcement on external media. Apple can perform this data extraction process on iOS devices running iOS 4 through iOS 7. Please note the only categories of user generated active files that can be provided to law enforcement, pursuant to a valid search warrant, are: SMS, iMessage, MMS, photos, videos, contacts, audio recording, and call history."

But this blurb fails to mention that the user provided passcode can only be about 15 bits of user supplied entropy - the rest is provided by a hardware manufacturer that is also obligated by law to respond to legal request.


> But this blurb fails to mention that the user provided passcode can only be about 15 bits of user supplied entropy…

How do you figure that?


Four digits, choice of 10 for each digit.

log(10000)/log(2) ~ 15.


You are not limited to four digits.


I see. Is there a limit? Does it approach 128 bits?


"Over 90 characters" [1]. At roughly 5 bits per character, that puts it at more than 450 bits.

[1] http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/05/how-to-set-up-a-complex-p...


Nice!

Of course this isn't ever actually used - in practice users choose four to eight digit passcodes.

Users should, if they want to secure their information, use a randomly chosen passcode of approximately 30 digits long.


You can choose to set a complex password which can be as long as you want and use the full keyboard


How difficult is it to configure this? Users should definitely choose passphrases of sufficient length and sufficient types to be secure. This is unfortunately an infamously tricky area of security to get right - and the password ought not be reused or used for the Apple Id login or anywhere else.


Did you factor in the possibility that after ten fails the device is wiped?


This would be for a cryptographic attack - not someone with the hardware.


Let's admit it, Apple makes good hardware, but that's about it.


Don't know about that. OS X is a mighty fine OS, iOS is the best mobile OS, Logic gets top points as a DAW, etc etc.


OS X was mighty fine. It's been getting progressively worse in my opinion.


I don't see anything really worse about it.

That's just what people like to say without any quantifiable metrics (usually just with some random data points about this or that bug, but not quantifiably compared to previous releases).

Millions of people use it everyday for professional work, including in film and music studios, where stability and timely performance are much more paramount than for some corporate cubicle running Excel.

I've not seen anything actually actively deteriorate. The Finder is much better, Spotlight is much more robust than before, apps run fine, etc.

There have been bad moves, like the change to their custom DNS responder thing which was not ready for production. Or some glitches here and there. But I've seen such things all the way down to 10.1 were I started. There will always be bugs when you add new features (and even when you don't add anything, as technologies around your OS also change).

Plus the upcoming release is a "Snow Leopard" like bugfix affair too, which will help things.


> Millions of people use it everyday for professional work, including in film and music studios, where stability and timely performance are much more paramount than for some corporate cubicle running Excel.

This can be said about Windows


So? Windows is pretty solid too, after XP, and especially post Vista.

The main issue with Windows, if there is one nowadays, is some UI cohenrece, not bugs and stability.


So, it is an irrelevant argument.


"Plus the upcoming release is a "Snow Leopard" like bugfix affair too, which will help things."

It is ? You are referring to Yosemite ? Genuinely curious...


El Capitain is the next release.


No, to El Capitan. It's a bugfix release mostly, with few new features and changes introduced.


So you mean you have some 'quantifiable metrics' when you say OS X is a 'mighty fine' OS?


I use Mac OS X for more than 10 years and I have seen no problem other than normal sporadic bugs that are always fixed in the next minor version. I don't see any reason to believe that it got worse over the years.


I've been using OS X for under a year, and I've run into two major problem that, in my opinion, are completely inexcusable.

* Trying to save files in Pages/Numbers, I get an error "Cannot save file. File does not exist." (Well of course it doesn't exist, I haven't saved it yet!) Lost several hours of work multiple times because I couldn't save files. And that is a total shit error message.

* Trying to move folders on a remote server. I get a dialog that says "Finder wants to make changes" and asks for my admin password. (What changes? WTF?) Files got deleted when moved. And also a total shit 'warning' message.

OS X is far more frustrating and useless than any other OS I've ever used. It doesn't give reasonable error messages, and it doesn't keep your stuff safe. It's a confusing minefield.

As long as everything I do is in a non-Apple application, I can get things done. And don't even get me started on OS X mouse support.


> OS X is far more frustrating and useless than any other OS I've ever used. It doesn't give reasonable error messages, and it doesn't keep your stuff safe. It's a confusing minefield.

All software sucks. The only reason you think OSX sucks more than other OSs is because you haven't had time to discover the work-arounds for annoying buggy behaviour.


Only on OS X have those bugs involved deleting my data and wasting my money.


Both of your issues have to do with files, and I'm guessing you have some exotic setup, with the remote server and such.

Extrapolating from that experience (which might be entirely to the remote server setup or network issues) is not exactly scientific.


No, the saving issue is stock OS X. I don't have an exotic setup. See: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6043029

The server file deletion might be, but I'm doubtful. In either case, it was OS X that was giving useless error messages. Like this, except I wasn't moving it to trash:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/RmGAy.png


That's the best thing about Windows. It works even for the things that are called 'exotic' in the Mac world (which is a euphemism for 'sloppy programming')


My MBP tends to lose connection with my external trackpad after coming back from sleep. In fact, Bluetooth stops responding entirely.

The only way to fix it AFAIK is to reboot. (Doesn't that remind you of Windows?)

My colleagues have encountered the same issue.


Sounds like that could be trivially solved by restarting bluetooth.

In any case, it's not something that ever affected me.


Trust me, I've tried restarting Bluetooth. It doesn't work.

Also, stay classy, downvoters.


Really, totally out of my understanding. Even if you are listing facts, but just because they happen to be against the revered MBP, you get downvoted.


Apple is one of the top product makers period. Products are more than just hardware or even software. If you doubt me, look at their market capitalization.

Individual products will always have their pros/cons, and the company will have strengths (design) and weaknessess (social, some cloud services).

But to say they're bad at software just isn't true.


This isn't just an Apple thing. iCloud was designed for mobile, and one thing I've observed about mobile OSes is that (so far) they treat user data with an indifference that is approaching contempt.

Mobile devices/OSes are for consuming and messaging or accessing remote systems as a glorified ultra-portable dumb terminal. They're not designed for creating or handling/storing important data.


> This isn't just an Apple thing.

Who else deletes your files with no ability to roll back? OneDrive allows it[0]. DropBox allows it[1]. Amazon allows it[2]. Google Drive kinda allows it[3].

The rest of your post is built on that faulty assumption ("everyone is just as bad"). I've proven that that is untrue, therefore your whole "but mobile!!!" justification is wrong.

[0] https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Delete-or-restore-f...

[1] https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/296

[2] http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=2...

[3] https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2405957?hl=en


It's not as easy to find as it should be, but you can recover deleted files on iCloud.com: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201104 (search for "recover")

Whether that only works with intentionally deleted files or it would help with the ones in this post that were deleted because of system error, I'm not sure.


More photos are taken using mobiles than ever have with cameras. If photos of your children aren't important then I don't know what is.




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