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


  • Sony Unveils the RX100 II: Better Sensor, Wi-Fi, Hotshoe, and a Tilting Screen – PetaPixel

    June 27, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    Sony Unveils the RX100 II: Better Sensor, Wi-Fi, Hotshoe, and a Tilting Screen http://bit.ly/12n0rGy(http://petapixel.com/2013/06/27/sony-unveils-the-rx100-ii-better-sensor-wi-fi-hotshoe-and-a-tilting-screen/)

  • Seth’s Blog: Respect and love

    June 27, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    Without respect, don’t expect love. There are too many options and too much information for me to fall in love with something incomplete or incompetent. But respect just isn’t enough. Meeting spec will get you respect, without a doubt, but stopping there will never earn you love. http://bit.ly/10YqJR8[It’s nice when someone loves your brand or your restaurant or your project. But we don’t get ...

  • You Can Control Your iPhone Or iPad With Head Movements In iOS 7

    June 27, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    The feature is reportedly accurate enough, but can be a little repetitive to control your iPhone or iPad with left or right head movements since it cycles through all of the options on your screen and you move your head when it borders around the option you want. You can also use left and right head movements to act as a home button, start Siri, ...

  • 645 PRO Updated. Sleek New Interface and A Lot of New Features – Life in LoFi: iPhoneography

    June 27, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    There are nine new (or improved) Film Modes that provide spookily accurate recreations of classic film stocks as varied as Kodak Tri-X Pan, llford XP2, Kodak Portra and Fuji Velvia. These aren’t exaggerated for effect—they’re designed to look as though you are really shooting to negative or transparency.[One of the most powerful camera replacement apps has just gotten a great new update. 645 PRO ...

  • The clamor for RSS reader dominance is getting out of hand

    June 27, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    Thanks to Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and other news recommendation services, RSS readers just aren’t as important as they used to be.(http://feedly.com/k/121l3zI)

  • Apple’s iTunes Radio terms with record labels revealed

    June 27, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    Apple won’t have to pay royalties for some performances of songs that are already in listeners’ iTunes libraries, or songs that might be on an album that a listener owns just part of. Similarly, “Heat Seeker” tracks selected by iTunes for special promotions, are also exempted. Apple also doesn’t have to pay for songs listeners skip before 20 seconds have elapsed. The company only ...

  • Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Backup and Recovery tools with Gordon Bell, President of Prosoft

    June 21, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    LOCATION: Stuart Hall, Room 6, Princeton Theological Seminary, (Alexander St), Princeton, New Jersey. See http://pmug-nj.org/ for map and directions. WHEN: Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 7:30 p.m. COST: Free and Open to the general public Gordon Bell, President of ProSoft, will present their award-winning line-up of utilities including: Data Rescue 3, Drive Genius 3, Data Backup 3, Klix and Sound Bunny. These programs allow ...

  • iOS 7

    June 13, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    A new iOS feature, called Activation Lock, disables the iPhone even if a thief has turned it off or erased the data on the phone. Some police officers have called for a feature like this — a “remote kill switch” that renders the stolen phone useless and difficult to sell in the black market. The phone can be reactivated only after the user logs ...

  • iOS and OS X Convergence

    June 13, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    Ive — and Apple as a whole — is fond of saying that design is about more than the way something looks, it’s the way something works. OS X Mavericks might be the most iOS-looking version of OS X to date, but it’s a fundamentally different operating system built for a different type of input. It doesn’t matter how many notifications roll across your ...

  • June 11, 2013: John LeMasney presents Inkscape, an open-source, vector illustration program

    May 24, 2013
    Khürt Williams
    John LeMasney will introduce (http://inkscape.org/), an open source, vector-based illustration program similar to Adobe Illustrator and Corel DRAW. Vector graphics programs allow for high resolution images, even when enlarged, because only basic shape combinations are used (like lines, boxes, and polygons) and are filled in by the computer. Bitmap graphics programs (like Photoshop and GIMP) not maintain their resolution when enlarged, because groups of pixels ...