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


  • The world’s first website went online 25 years ago today

    August 6, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Wow. I’ve been doing a podcast for more than 22 years. I didn’t realize I had started so soon after the web went online. ∞ Read this on The Loop

  • Apple Announces Security Bounty Program

    August 4, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Russell Brandon, reporting for The Verge: The new program will begin as invite-only, including only a few dozen researchers. Still, Apple says the program will become more open as it grows, and if a non-member approaches Apple with a significant bug, they’ll be invited into the program to work it through. The invite system is unusual for a bounty program, but Apple explained it as necessary to weed out spurious ...

  • Samsung caught stealing… again

    August 4, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    This company is just unbelievable. ∞ Read this on The Loop

  • AgileBits Launches 1Password Subscription Service for Individuals at $2.99 a month

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. AgileBits, makers of the popular password manager 1Password, has today announced a hosted, web-based 1Password subscription service for individuals to manage their passwords. This new service follows the introduction of, and is quite similar to, their other two offerings, namely 1Password for Teams and 1Password for Families that were launched this year (collectively 1Password.com). Currently, individuals using the 1Password apps ...

  • Apple Releases New ‘Apple TV Remote’ App for iPhone

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Worth noting: it’s a brand-new app, not an update of the old Remote app.  ★  Read more at Daring Fireball

  • ∞ Apple’s new ad: iPad Pro — What’s a Computer?

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. I like it. Read more at The LoopThe Loop

  • Collecting Siri’s Supported Commands

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Useful site by Sandro Roth (via Six Colors) to browse every command supported by Siri in Apple’s apps. I almost wish iOS had a similar interface to explore commands. I wonder if we’ll start seeing more sites like this pop up after iOS 10 and SiriKit. → Source: hey-siri.io Read more at MacStories

  • Niantic ‘Fixes’ Pokémon GO Tracking by Removing the Feature

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Good news! Niantic updated the Pokémon GO app to address the three-step tracking bug. Bad news! They “fixed” it by taking the feature out. And the salt in the wound is that third-party Pokémon trackers stopped working, too. Good luck finding new Pokémon now. Read more at The Mac Observer

  • Your wireless keyboard could be giving your secrets away

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Every keystroke you make on some wireless keyboards can be spied on by hackers lurking nearby, according to research released by a cybersecurity firm. Read more at In Homeland Security

  • Apple’s employee number one

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Craig Cannon, interviewing Apples’ first employee (beyond Steve Jobs and Woz), Bill Fernandez: Craig: So at what point do Woz and Jobs come together and decide that they want to start working on Apple? Bill: Okay, well during this Hewlett-Packard period when Woz and I were both there, Woz in the after hours designed his own Pong game. Pong was the ...