• 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

  • Geotagging Digital Photos on the Mac

    October 10, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    !( “image”) Digital photography is a popular hobby with new technology constantly improving the field. These advances usually involve the camera’s imaging system or processing the resulting photos—such as capturing more image data for greater editing freedom (with RAW format files) and gathering a wider range of brightness to make a photo look more realistic or surreal with high dynamic range (HDR). This month’s meeting ...

  • Plex

    July 11, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    As a firm favourite among movie-loving Mac users, Plex allows you to watch movies on your Mac from the comfort of your own sofa – It has support for the Apple Remote and accompanying iOS apps to improve the experience. To top it off, Plex even looks great. Could Plex be the media center app of my dreams? Let’s take a look! via (App Storm)

  • Time to move on

    June 15, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    Rosetta is a subject that often evades us since it’s optionally installed on Snow Leopard by apps that really need it. If you’ve recently purchased a Mac or only have purchased apps on the Mac App Store, you’ll never have to install Rosetta to use the most up-to-date applications. But for those still utilizing PowerPC compatible applications, it might be required that you simply ...

  • The future is mobile, and the path to that future is paved by the cloud.

    June 8, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    Shawn Blanc has this to say about WWDC and iCloud: iCloud cuts the USB cord between our computers and our iPhones. It “demotes” the Mac and the PC to the same plane as the iPhone and the iPad. It lets you activate and update your iPhone from inside the car when you’re on your way home from the Apple store. It is something that lets ...

  • “Demoted”

    June 8, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    From Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. Today’s was a jam-packed keynote. Apple announced a lot of news; there is much to talk and think about. But the key line was when Steve Jobs, describing iCloud replacing iTunes as your digital hub, said, “We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device.”

  • What happened today at Apple’s Developer Conference

    June 6, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    With today’s announcement Apple has further re-enforced the notion that we are living in a “Post PC” era.  The Mac is slowly becoming a “dumb terminal” for the iPad and iPhone.  Some notes I took from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. MobileMe has been re-branded as iCloud (iTunes in the Cloud) and offers the following for FREE: Email, Calendar, Address Book, Photo ...

  • June Meeting : Discover iPad 2 – Thinner, lighter and faster than ever!

    May 27, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    * TOPIC: Discover iPad 2 – Thinner, lighter and faster than ever! * SPEAKER: Dave Marra, Apple Senior Systems Engineer * LOCATION: Friend Center, room 006, , Princeton University, (35 Olden St), Princeton, New Jersey. See for map and directions. * WHEN: Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 7:30 p.m. * FREE: Open to the public Thinner, lighter, faster and packed with amazing new features, iPad 2 has ...

  • Malware on the Mac: is there cause for concern?

    May 20, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    Ars spoke with 14 different Mac support specialists—including several Apple Store Geniuses—in order to get a handle on whether things have changed when it comes to dealing with malware. Their experiences are all over the map, but the general consensus does seem to lean towards a low amount of malware problems—until you get to the Geniuses. via Ars Technica Read my earlier post regarding this.

  • MAC Defender anti-virus is a “Trojan Horse”

    May 13, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    Intego is reporting details about a new Trojan Horse software designed to attack the Mac. A “Trojan Horse”, or trojan, is a piece of malicious software that is designed to fool the user into thinking it is something else. In this case, the MAC Defender trojan is designed to look like anti-virus software. > Intego has discovered a fake antivirus program called MAC Defender, which ...

  • May 10, 2011: All-time favorite Mac, iPhone, and iPad apps & accessories, with Bob @LeVitus

    May 10, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    After nearly 25 years as a tech writer, Bob LeVitus has tested thousands of Mac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad products and accessories and has new and interesting products arriving at his office pretty much every day! This year his presentation focuses on the very best things he’s ever tested—his all-time favorite Mac applications, utilities, and peripherals, as well as his fave i-Device apps and accessories. ...