updated 04:45 pm EDT, Thu April 5, 2007
Apple Denies Spying on ATV
Apple on Thursday afternoon denied allegations that it was undoing hacks on the Apple TV. A company spokesperson asserted that Apple has a resolutely hands-off approach to the media hub, choosing not to monitor or control user habits through users who allow the device on to the Internet. Owners can modify both the hardware and software as much as they like as long as they understand the risk of voiding the warranty, Apple said.
The statement all but puts to rest earlier claims that the ccmpany was spying on systems for supposedly illegal uses and instead points to a feature inherent to Mac OS X and its FreeBSD roots. A bulit-in maintenance utility known as "cron" is scheduled to perform routine OS maintenance if the device is left active overnight, and in many cases will reset file permissions and other security components that may have been changed or left active earlier in the day.
Most modifications to the compact version of Mac OS X installed on the Apple TV involve installing and using an SSH shell server on the device, which allows the remote install of software for supporting different video formats or third-party utilities. Those who have installed an OS have yet to report such problems themselves. [via Engadget]