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


  • My first 31 days with the iPad

    June 2, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    It’s been exactly one month since I received my iPad 3G on April 30th.  In the last 31 days the iPad has become my go to device for almost everything.  Each morning, after I prepare for my day, I walk over to my night stand where I lay the iPad before I turn out the lights to sleep.  It’s been charging over night with ...

  • Using Google Apps on the iPad

    May 21, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    Google provides a method for accessing their Gmail service via the IMAP protocol. IMAP is a standard protocol for accessing email but unlike POP3 the email stays on the remote server. With POP3 you are limited to reading your email from one location. With IMAP the email stays on the server and you can read it from any computer. IMAP is the method I ...

  • My iPad 3G: The first two days

    May 4, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    My iPad arrived just after noon On April 30th. I worked from home that day, ears keenly tuned to the sound of my doorbell chime. From my window seat I saw the Fedex truck pull up and ran to open the front door before the delivery man had time to ring the doorbell. My wife took a photo as I eagerly opened the ...

  • The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

    February 13, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs View more presentations from Carmine Gallo. Communications expert Carmine Gallo has studied and analyzed the very best of Jobs’s performances, offering point-by-point examples, tried-and-true techniques, and proven presentation secrets that work every time.

  • A round of iPad news and commentary.

    January 28, 2010
    Khürt Williams
      Apple announced yet another revolutionary product yesterday- the iPad. Patrick Rhone, a technology consultant and author of the minimalistMac blog had this to say about the negative reactions to “missing features” such as the lack of a camera, multitasking, and keyboard: It may come as a shock to us geeks, but many people can’t handle multiple choices on a computing device. They learn the one way ...

  • How to secure your Mac – Part 1

    January 12, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    So you just got your new Mac and are excited to start using it. You’ve heard a lot about how Macs are easy to use and how secure they are. You’ve seen the ads on TV showing how Windows is susceptible to viruses and hacking and Macs are (supposed) immune. Apple’s marketing machine and Steve Jobs reality distortion field are in ...

  • How to create an HTML signature for Mail

    January 12, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    I use email quite frequently and the appearance of my email signature is very important to me. It provides more information than just a standard name and email address from the sender.  I also include links to my online social profiles to provide other ways that people can reach me.  For the new year I decided to create a new email signature for ...

  • ShareTool – remote access for any Mac application or service that uses Bonjour

    January 4, 2010
    Khürt Williams
    When my MobileMe account came up for renewal, I let it expire. I did not need it. I had found cheaper and better alternatives. When Apple’s $99 MobileMe service was released I was quick to register. With MobileMe I could access my mail, contacts, and calendar information in the “cloud” and keep everything in sync across my Macs, my iPod Touch (no ...

  • OmmWriter Beta – Zen writing for the Mac

    December 30, 2009
    Khürt Williams
    I was catching up on reading the news feeds this morning when I came across a post on the smoking apples blog about a new text editor called OmmWriter. I’m not sure why I downloaded it. Maybe because of what OmmWriter’s cleanly designed web site promised. So here I am writing this blog post in what so far, has been the most ...

  • Chrome: Google’s fast browser

    October 27, 2009
    Khürt Williams
    For me the word Chrome evokes images of the shiny, the futuristic and the fast. Clean, efficient and well built. Google Chrome developer preview doesn’t disappoint. Google has taken WebKit, the same Open Source browsing engine that Safari is built on, and in a very short time developed a browser for Mac and Windows that is winning converts everywhere. On ...