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


  • Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 7:30 p.m – Converting Mobile Me to iCloud account on iOS 5 and MacOS devices

    December 10, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    Jeff Gorman is the owner of (http://creativecomputing.com/), Princeton’s only Apple store and dealer for the last twelve years. He majored in computer science at the University of Buffalo, graduating in 1989. Jeff then worked as a software engineer for a small Mac based software development company before founding Creative Computing in 1996. A PMUG member for sever years, he has been running PMUG’s ...

  • How to use iTunes Match to upgrade audio quality

    November 23, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    >Accessing your iTunes library from other computers and iOS devices is the chief benefit of iTunes Match, but it’s not the only benefit. You can use iTunes Match to upgrade the low-bit-rate tracks in your library to 256kbps AAC files. Great how-to article from (http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57326759-285/how-to-use-itunes-match-to-upgrade-audio-quality/).

  • AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule Firmware Update 7.6

    November 13, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    Note: This firmware update is for all 802.11n capable AirPort base stations and Time Capsules. For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

  • Java for Mac OS X 10.7 Update

    November 10, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    Apple issued and update for Mac OS X that includes several bug and security fixes. Java for Mac OS X 10.7 Update 1 delivers improved compatibility, security, and reliability by updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_29. Please quit any web browsers and Java applications before installing this update. See (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4883) for more details about this update. See (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222) for information about the security content of this update.

  • Nov. 8 PMUG hosts William DeLamater in #Princeton – “From E-Book to App: A Short History of Information Mobilized”

    October 31, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    #MEETING: Tuesday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m., STUART HALL# ##Presentation## From E-Book to App: A Short History of Information Mobilized The mobile revolution is upon us, and industries across the spectrum are finding new ways to make information available to users in situ, pushing data to users via mobile devices that understand where they are and what the options are for, say, parking in that place or what ...

  • PMUG Election Results

    October 31, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    ##NEWLY ELECTED## Results of the elections held in October. Leading the PMUG for the 2011-2012 year are: * President : Khürt Williams * Vice President : Aric Pedersen * Executive Secretary : Ben Britt * Treasurer : Dee Silver * Community Representatives : Ewa Zak, Jack Wenzel and Rob Golding PMUG is asking for members to step forward and volunteer with several positions.

  • Inside iCloud

    October 13, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    The concept is deceptively simple, but it involves quite a bit of thoughtful engineering on Apple’s behalf. There needs to be support built into both the desktop and mobile operating system, as well as a web interface for the cloud-based storage. Third parties also have to incorporate support for iCloud’s Documents & Data in their apps. Apple has demonstrated how to do with with ...

  • iCloud now features Find My Mac service

    October 13, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    iCloud now features Find My Mac service: With iCloud comes Find My Mac, a feature that’s essentially identical to what’s been offered for iOS devices. If you have a free iCloud account and your Mac is running OS X Lion 10.7.2 or greater, has Wi-Fi access, has a recovery partition installed (more on that later) and has been set up beforehand in the iCloud preferences, ...

  • iCloud’s PhotoStream

    October 12, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    iOS 5 was released today with a large list of improvements and new features. One new feature that I’ve come to love immediately — I have used the iOS 5 developer beta — is the PhotoStream feature of the update Photo app. Smartphones have grown in popularity and so along with the resolution and sensitivity of the cameras in those devices. My iPhone 4 has a ...

  • Newsstand For iOS 5

    October 12, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    Newsstand is a new feature of iOS 5 that collates all of your magazine and newspaper subscriptions for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and puts them all in one place for easy management. The new app also automatically updates the periodicals that you have subscribed to quietly in the background, so that they are there waiting for you when you want to read ...