Turns out the Apple Store Genius Bar is staffed by more than just tech-savvy hipsters. At least one of these "geniuses" deserves to be called "hero," after coming to the rescue of a citizen in distress.
That's what one Apple Store employee was able to do this past weekend in Louisville, KY. This "Genius," as some Apple Store workers are called, was able to help victim Brittany Carter escape her alleged kidnapper.
According to WDRB, Carter had met a man identified as "Greg" several week earlier. The man then contacted her and scheduled a date for Saturday night, August 4. But the evening took a dramatic turn when "Greg" showed up to Carter's house with a gun.
The man, whose real name is Victor A. Sarver, Jr., is said to have held the gun to Carter's leg and forced her into driving to several stores throughout area, purchasing cellphones with her money and in her own name. The spree ended at an Apple Store in Oxmoor Mall, just before 9 p.m.
The Courier-Journal obtained a copy of the police report and noted that "the victim had an opportunity to tell the clerk that she needed help." The unnamed Apple Store "genius" then discretely contacted security, who protected Carter while police arrived to arrest Sarver, who was charged with kiddnapping and robbery.
On a lighter note, Twitter found some humor in the situation. The Next Web noticed a few funny posts suggesting apple customers reach out to their iDevices in moments of need:
[Hat Tip: @MacMurmur]
Girls Around Me
Despite its name, the controversial <a href="http://girlsaround.me/" target="_hplink">Girls Around Me iPhone app</a> let the user find girls or guys near his or her location. The app used publicly available photos from Facebook and location check-ins from Foursquare, letting the app-user check out the faces of nearby strangers, who didn't now their data was being used in this way. <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/03/31/tracking-women-now-theres-not-an-app-for-that/" target="_hplink">According to the Wall Street Journal</a>, after stalking concerns were raised by sites like <a href="http://www.cultofmac.com/157641/this-creepy-app-isnt-just-stalking-women-without-their-knowledge-its-a-wake-up-call-about-facebook-privacy/" target="_hplink">Cult of Mac</a>, Foursquare cut off access to the app so locations would no longer be available to be paired with Facebook photos. The app's creators then <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-na-nn-girls-around-me-20120404,0,5284353.story" target="_hplink">pulled Girls Around Me from the App Store</a>.
Available for both the <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/catch-your-cheating-spouse!/id433654335?ls=1&mt=8" target="_hplink">iPhone</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bustedbooks.spyapp" target="_hplink">Android phones</a> for just $1.99,<a href="http://www.bustedbooks.com/cs/index.html" target="_hplink"> Bustedbooks.com's</a> <a href="http://" target="_hplink">Spy Guide app</a> gives users step-by-step directions on how to spy on text messages, email accounts, computers, cell phone records and more. It's more of an instruction manual than anything, but it's the perfect app to use if you suspect your lover is cheating. Way easier than talking it out, eh? (Yikes.)
Stealth SMS Parental Control
Sure, there are parents out there who are genuinely concerned about their child's well-being, but those who invest $4.02 in this app might possibly be crossing a line. According to the Google Play description of <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.mobilemonkeys.shadow.stealthsms&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwibmV0Lm1vYmlsZW1vbmtleXMuc2hhZG93LnN0ZWFsdGhzbXMiXQ.." target="_hplink">Stealth SMS Parental Control</a>, developed by Mobile Monkeys, this app will send all of a child's incoming and outgoing text messages directly to his or her parent's phone. All a parent has to do is sneakily install the app on the phone of his or her child. To be fair, the developers <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.mobilemonkeys.shadow.stealthsms&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwibmV0Lm1vYmlsZW1vbmtleXMuc2hhZG93LnN0ZWFsdGhzbXMiXQ.." target="_hplink">advise parents</a> thus: "Before you take any drastic measures and have your children grounded, spend a little time investigating in what is really going on."
At first glance, this Security Cam app, <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/security-cam/id300220373?mt=8" target="_hplink">developed by <a href="http://www.crowdedroad.com/" target="_hplink">Crowded Road</a> and <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/security-cam/id300220373?mt=8" target="_hplink">available for $9.99</a> through the App Store, seems like it could be a useful tool for security-conscious iPhone users. However, if you read what the app allows an iPhone to do, you'll realize the creepy implications. First off, the app enables your iPhone to take pictures at a specific frequency and have it start snapping when motion or a certain audio level is detected; the pictures can be exported later. Furthermore, the iPhone can be put in "Stealth Mode" so its display turns off even when the app is active. If you ever see a random iPhone lying around, be wary: It could be spying on you.
<a href="http://www.beenverified.com/iphone" target="_hplink">Available for both iPhone and Android</a> for free, Background Check was developed by public record search service <a href="http://www.beenverified.com/" target="_hplink">BeenVerified</a>. The app lets users perform one free background check every month (if you want to run more than one in a month, you'll have to pay) and allows them to access criminal records, social networking information, property records, and more of whomever they want. [via <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/296196/the-creepiest-apps-and-sites/4" target="_hplink">PCMag</a>]
Yes, you read that right. The Butt Analyzer app is <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=stu.app.ba&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsInN0dS5hcHAuYmEiXQ.." target="_hplink">available for free</a> on Google Play, and, let's you calculate the attractiveness of whichever derriere you choose -- including your own! -- on a scale of 1 to 10. All you have to do is snap a picture of said derriere. The developer, <a href="http://www.yausoft.com/" target="_hplink">YauSoft</a>, adds in: "It supports both men's and women's butts." Good to know. [via <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/rqpsf/worstcreepiest_app_youve_ever_seen/" target="_hplink">Reddit</a>]
While this isn't a mobile phone app, the desktop app <a href="http://ilektrojohn.github.com/creepy/" target="_hplink">Creepy</a> just couldn't be skipped. Developed by <a href="https://github.com/ilektrojohn" target="_hplink">Ioannis Kakavas</a>, Creepy is a chilling take on location-based social discovery apps like Highlight. But while those who sign up for Highlight select certain information to broadcast, Creepy pulls together all public information about one person that is available online and plots it on a map when possible. <a href="http://diveintoinfosec.wordpress.com/" target="_hplink">According to Kakavas</a>, one of his goals in creating the app was to raise awareness about one's privacy. "References in mainstream media (TV, newspapers, radio) and of course blogs/twitter gave the project enough exposure to send the message across," <a href="http://diveintoinfosec.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/creepy-0-2-or-your-set-was-cool-but-now-its-creepy-too/" target="_hplink">Kakavas wrote in a March 29 blog post</a>. "I have no metrics, but I think it was a good scare for social network fanatics and a wake up call for people to take their locational privacy a little more seriously. Or at least just a good step towards it. Or at least that's what I want to believe."