Weekend Humor: Smartphone Companies Brick Devices in Massachusetts

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM1 Product Photos (2 of 8)ISO 2001-40 sec at f - 2.8

Weekend Humor isn’t meant to be taken seriously. So don’t, ya rube.

Shortly after the highest court in Massachusetts declared upskirt photos fair game, smartphone companies responded by releasing a firmware update that would brick devices that took such photographs. There was a sharp uptick in upskirt images uploaded to the likes of Facebook and Instagram, but there was just as steep a falloff the firmware updates were pushed out.

“Women have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and men should have a level of common f***ing decency,” said Jared Nichols, a software engineer at Apple. The folks at Cupertino were the first to release a firmware update for all manner of iPhones. The update was only made available to people in Massachusetts by tracking the GPS signal, and it appeared as an update that was for “bug fixes” and “improved camera functionality”.

The new firmware analyzed analyzed each new image for offending material. If a person took an upskirt photo, the firmware would overload the hardware, causing it to overheat, and ultimately shut down. Any attempt to turn it back on would be met with a sad face that x’s in place of eyes. Before bricking the device, the firmware would update the linked Facebook account with a status that read, “I’m a pervert. I tried to take an upskirt photo.” Each affected Facebook account lost a sizable number of friends.

The new firmware also opened the front-facing camera to take a picture of the offender as he went to open the photo he thought he took. Those portraits were uploaded alongside the preset statuses. Most of the portraits were of guys licking their lips.

“No girls will talk to me now,” said Danny Maxon, a 17-year-old upskirt photographer, over the phone. He went on to explain how popular the images made him online, and that he’s incensed at Apple for bricking his iPhone. “Who am I supposed to take to prom?”

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