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


  • Wireless Keyboard Security Vulnerabilities

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Bastille Networks ran an experiment where they tried to intercept transmissions of some wireless keyboards. This would let the bad guys capture a user’s keystrokes from a remote computer and even inject their own keystrokes on your device. It all comes down to poor encryption. They’ve got a list of keyboards they were able to intercept and it’s pretty spooky. ...

  • Is Gorilla Glass 5 the End of the road for Sapphire Screens?

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. A few years ago, Apple made a very interesting decision to pursue sapphire screens for use in iPhones. The reason is that sapphire is virtually scratch proof and one of the hardest materials next to diamonds. They had struck a deal with CT Advanced in Arizona who had proven to them they had the type of furnaces that could ...

  • Six Colors on Apple Quarterly Results

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Speaking of Jason Snell, his Six Colors website did a bang up job on coverage of Apple’s quarterly earnings call today. Not only does Six Colors make pretty charts, Jason’s knowledge and vast experience covering Apple make his commentary some of the best there is. It’s nice to see iPad results improving. I hope this translates into Apple putting ...

  • How to work between Pages 5 and Pages ’09

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Natasha Scott asks about finding a simple way to work between two different versions of Pages: Pages ’09 (version 4) and Pages 5. She writes: From my research online it appears that they do not work compatibly together; I need to be able to open the documents he sends to me and edit them. I was also curious if there was ...

  • QuickBooks Self-Employed: A much-improved business finance app

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. I’m away on vacation this week and too far away from my servers to make our last two NetInstall episodes work, so this week we’ll take a look at QuickBooks Self-Employed. Next week it’s back to the NetInstall service. It’s been about a year and a half since I last looked at QuickBooks Self-Employed, Intuit’s business finance app aimed directly ...

  • Announcing Lightroom for Apple TV

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. I use Flickr right now as a way to show off my images on an Apple TV but this would allow me to keep up with any edits I may make to them. ∞ Read this on The Loop Read more at The LoopThe Loop

  • Ford commits to Apple CarPlay, offering it with SYNC 3 for all 2017 vehicles

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Ford just made a big commitment to Apple CarPlay. The company announced that all 2017 models equipped with its SYNC 3 infotainment system will come with the ability to run Apple’s phone-to-car interface.  With CarPlay enabled, anyone running an iPhone 5 or later can connect their phone to their vehicle dashboard for displaying directions, using phone functions, listening to music, and accessing ...

  • The week in Apple news: More iPhone 7 rumors, iCloud Music Library matching, Apple Car slips to 2021, and more

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Apple headlines for the week ending July 22, 2016 The summer makes for a slow news season. The big news this week was the release of updates to the iOS 10 and macOS Sierra Public Betas. Apple also put out updates for iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, watchOS, tvOS, and iTunes. While you’re waiting for those updates to install, ...

  • Stagefright malware for iOS and OS X: Just be sure to apply updates

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Glenn Fleishman, writing for Macworld: Talos found that maliciously constructed data saved as BMP, Digital Asset Exchange, OpenEXR, and TIFF image files could outwit the operating and allow code to be written and executed, including opening up a system to remote exploits. The ancient lossless image format TIFF using, however, is the worst culprit as Apple’s OSes will access a ...

  • Apple regains status as world’s favorite company

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. CNET: Each year, FutureBrand looks at the 100 biggest companies by market capitalization, asks 3,000 consumers and industry professionals in 17 countries about them and produces a ranking of what it calls perception strength, rather than financial strength. This year shows Apple regaining the top spot, after last year’s painfully abject slide into second place behind Google. And: Those of drier countenance and ...