PMUG Blog

  • Competing Interests

    August 19, 2016
    Khürt Williams

    I enjoyed reading the Washington Post Tim Cook interview. The interview was wide in scope and really gives you a window into the mind of Apple’s CEO. I recommend it. One section that raised my eyebrows was the discussion of security and privacy. This issue is a fascinating one to me because Apple has taken such a leading role in advocating privacy rights for consumers. As Tim explaned in the interview, “Customers should have an expectation that they shouldn’t need a PhD in computer science to protect themselves.”

    Elsewhere in the interview, Tim talks about Apple’s mission.

    The DNA of the company is really what I was talking about there. The North Star has always been the same, which for us, is about making insanely great products that really change the world in some way — enrich people’s lives. And so our reason for being hasn’t changed.

    I absolutely believe the folks at Apple get out of bed in the morning to make great products. However, it really isn’t that simple. If you don’t believe me, perhaps I could interest you in a 16GB iPhone. Making insanely great products has always required compromises. Apple has to make a profit if they want to stay in business and every Apple product (just like any other company’s product) that comes to market requires thousands of small compromises. That’s always come with the territory but until recently, I’ve never really thought of Apple having a competing North Star. Now I wonder.

    Privacy is a big deal to Apple. Tim explained:

    Privacy, in my point of view, is a civil liberty that our Founding Fathers thought of a long time ago and concluded it was an essential part of what it was to be an American. Sort of on the level, if you will, with freedom of speech, freedom of the press.

    I think this is more than CEO puffing. I think Tim, and the rest of Apple leadership, feels this in their bones and they are absolutely willing to go to bat for consumers on the issue of privacy. They took a drubbing over the San Bernardino case and I suspect they’d do it all over again. The question, however, becomes what happens when protecting consumer privacy gets in the way of making insanely great products? If Apple’s unstoppable force hits its own immovable object, who wins?

    There are plenty of consumers already getting off the Apple services bandwagon in favor of Google precisely because the way Google does everything on its servers results in some insanely great user experiences. Apple is responding by trying to get those types of services on-device–as opposed to the less private cloud storage as Google does. We’re early days on this but it seems, at least for the immediate future, that the cloud service solution is better, faster, and more adaptable than on-device.

    If Tim Cook were sitting here right now, I suspect he’d argue that the 2016 version of an insanely great product is one that (in addition to many other features) protects user privacy and going back to the issue of compromises, it’s probably better that you not let somebody else index all of your photos, even if that would make it easier to search out pictures of canteloupes. I agree with that particular compromise but as we move into the next few years, I think the goals of great products and protecting user privacy aren’t always going to align.

    Read more at MacSparky


  • iPhone At 1 Billion. A Tipping Point.

    May 5, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    See on Scoop.it – From the Apple Orchard What can you do with a billion iPhones? What can all of us do with a billion iPhones?  Analysts, telcos, networking firms and research consultants expect more than 4 billion smartphones in use by the end of this decade, maybe sooner. Khürt Williams‘s insight: Put on a monocle, stick out a pinky and say "1 Billion 1iPhones". See on techpinions.com

  • John Paczkowski: No Wearable Device or New Apple TV at WWDC

    May 5, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    See on Scoop.it – From the Apple Orchard John Paczkowski, writing for Recode: If you’ve been anticipating the debut of some new category-defining hardware at Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, a word of advice: Dial back your expectations or be disappointed. Khürt Williams‘s insight: That’s no surprise.  WWDC = World Wide Developers Conference. See on recode.net

  • Review of vividHDR

    April 30, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    I love HDR photography. In case you don’t know what that is you can head over to Trey Ratcliff’s web site for an explanation. Here’s my quick version. In HDR photography the photographers takes at least two (three or more is better) exposure bracketed and through the magic of software algorithms combines them into a single image. As you can tell ...

  • Review of Eye-Fi Mobi

    April 27, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    One of the things that makes smart phone photography so popular is the near instant way in which one can snap a photo to share with family, friends, the world. It has led to the appearance and the rise of services such as Instagram and Pressgram and smart phone accessories like the Olloclip and the Glif. However, even though there are some great smartphone ...

  • This, That, and The Other — 2014 Edition with Bob (Dr. Mac) Levitus

    April 20, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Bob LeVitus, often called “Dr. Mac,” has written about Apple technology for over twenty-five years. He’s written or co-written more than 65 popular computer books, with over two million copies sold worldwide. His most recent titles include: iPad For Dummies, iPhone For Dummies, and Mac OS X Mountain Lion For Dummies, all for Wiley Publishing. For over 15 years Bob has been the Apple technology ...

  • March 11, 2014: eBooks and More on the iPad

    March 10, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Reading books in electronic form (eBooks) on a portable device has taken decades to develop and become practical. From LCD display research at RCA Labs in the late 1960s, to Alan Kay’s Dynabook concept in 1972, to the Project Gutenberg literature digitization efforts of the ’70s and ’80s, to MIT’s E Ink display technology and the first portable eBook reader (the Rocket eBook) in ...

  • PMUG Answers

    January 31, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Our discussion group begins before the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in a nearby room. Ask questions that you may feel take up too much time, are embarrassed to ask, or can’t be articulated well during the main meeting. PMUG Answers is led by Jeff Gorman of Creative Computing. As you meet your fellow members, you will find others with similar interests and those with ...

  • Making your digital life better with Breanna Johnson of LaCie

    January 17, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    PRINCETON MACINTOSH USERS GROUP PRINCETON, NJ 08540 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Khurt Williams PHONE : 609-375-8479 EMAIL: publicity@pmug-nj.org PMUG site: http://pmug-nj.org/ TOPIC: Making your digital life better SPEAKERS: Breanna Johnson of LaCie LOCATION: Stuart Hall, Room 6, Princeton Theological Seminary, (Alexander St), Princeton, New Jersey. See http://pmug-nj.org/ for map and directions. WHEN: Tuesday, Febraury 11, 2014, 7:30 p.m. ...

  • Apps for organizing, traveling, cooking, productivity, and more

    January 14, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    PRINCETON MACINTOSH USERS GROUP PRINCETON, NJ 08540 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Khurt Williams PHONE : 609-375-8479 EMAIL: publicity@pmug-nj.org PMUG site: http://pmug-nj.org/ TOPIC: Apps for organizing, traveling, cooking, productivity, and more SPEAKERS: Janet Hauge & Erica Bess of Princeton Public Library LOCATION: Stuart Hall, Room 6, Princeton Theological Seminary, (Alexander St), Princeton, New Jersey. See http://pmug-nj.org/ for map and directions. WHEN: Tuesday, January ...

  • Apps for organizing, traveling, cooking, productivity, and more

    January 11, 2014
    Aric
    TOPIC: Apps for organizing, traveling, cooking, productivity, and more SPEAKERS: Janet Hauge & Erica Bess of Princeton Public Library LOCATION: Stuart Hall, Room 6, Princeton Theological Seminary, (Alexander St), Princeton, New Jersey. See http://pmug-nj.org/ for map and directions. WHEN: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 7:30 p.m. FREE: Open to the general public Did you receive a new iPhone or iPad for the holidays this year? Now’s the time to fill ...