• 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 Mac App Store

    February 6, 2011
    Khürt Williams
    It’s been about a month since Apple launched the Mac App store on January 6. The Mac App Store is Apple’s attempt to bring the same easy of use of the iTunes App store to Mac app purchase and installation. While it does not quite deliver on that promise it does make things simpler than they have been in the past. ...

  • The Feed for iPad

    December 5, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    My friends and family know that I am a news junkie.  I have over two hundred RSS feeds in Google Reader. I’ve tried quite a few iPad and iPhone RSS readers.  While there are quite a few RSS functional readers for the iPad, most have poor user-interfaces and or lack important features.  Some, like Pulse, have a beautiful user interface but are not quite useful for people ...

  • My TSA iPhone App

    November 24, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    With the start of the holiday season a lot of use are traveling to visit with our families and friends. The TSA has new security screening procedures in place that you may not be aware of. This app may come in handy during your travels. With MyTSA, from the Transportation Security Administration, you can: + Check approximate wait times at TSA security checkpoints at ...

  • Incognito protects your online privacy

    October 12, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    When browsing the web, you are continuously being tracked. Not only by the websites you are visiting, but also by major companies that embed their ‘content’ into other websites through ads and analytics. As a result, companies like Google and Facebook have an almost complete picture of your online activity. It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

  • New software: Sparrow

    October 5, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    New software: Sparrow

  • Forget the Apple Remote App – Get ZumoCast

    October 1, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    Bakari Chavanu writing for AppleMatters Remote’s deficits are made crystal clear in comparison to a free app called ZumoCast, which streams your entire collection of video and music tracks on your computer to your iPhone, iPad, and web browser without the need to upload or sync. I’ve been using ZumoCast for a few weeks and I love it. I installed it on my iMac and linked it ...

  • Review: Camera+ for iPhone

    September 19, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    The Camera+ app from model and photographer Lisa Bettany is the app I prefer to the built in camera app. It has a cross hair and hand shake feature that helps me with composing and the built in image filters allow me to add an artistic touch to my photos.

  • PixelPipe: Upload 720p HD video from iPhone 4 to YouTube

    September 3, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    I saw an episode of Apple Byte in which host Brian Tong mentioned that there is no way to upload a full 720p HD copy of a video captured on an iPhone 4 without first syncing to a computer. I can imagine why he would think that. Just a few days after getting my shiny new iGadget I shot a video of my nephew ...

  • Facebook Privacy: We know what you did last summer.

    July 27, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    Facebook privacy presentation to PMUG View more presentations from Khürt Williams.

  • Reeder for iPad

    July 4, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    I’m a tech news junkie. I want to know what’s going all the time. One of the first apps I installed on my iPad was NetNewsWire. That is my favorite RSS reader for my Mac and it made sense to use it on the iPad. NetNewsWire syncs my feeds across multiple computers via Google Reader. I can read my ...