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


  • New Security Threat Targets OS X, iOS through Graphics

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. There’s a new security threat for OS X and iOS that could let attackers remotely control your device or install malware by sending you an image file. The threat is fairly serious, although so far it’s still just a proof of concept, and Apple patched the flaw in OS X 10.11.6 and iOS 9.3.3. The post New Security Threat Targets ...

  • Thought on Apple and Formula One

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Interesting piece from Joe Saward, longtime Formula One blogger: The suggestion last week that Apple may be discussing the acquisition of the Formula One group has led to a lot of interest and a lot of opinion. Traditional technology people argue it would never happen because it’s not the way Apple works. The company buys small clever companies and use ...

  • County Receives Approvals for Pedestrian Crosswalk on Washington Road in Princeton

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. For more great original content go to the source at Planet Princeton. Mercer County has received approvals from the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission to install a crosswalk and pedestrian-activated beacons at the Washington Road crossing, a crossing heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists. The approvals were necessary due to the proposed crossing’s proximity to the Delaware and Raritan Canal ...

  • iOS 9.3.3 Fixes Flaw That Allowed Attackers to FaceTime Eavesdrop

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Apple has just released fresh security updates for iPads and iPhones with its iOS 9.3.3 update, providing much needed security enhancements to boost user privacy. Apple’s iOS 9.3.3 security update is available for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch (5th generation) and later, and iPad 2 and later. iOS 9.3.3 addresses a combined 43 iOS Read more at ...

  • Adobe Lightroom now lets you edit RAW files on your phone

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. This could be a big deal for Lightroom users who want to edit photos while away from a computer. ∞ Read this on The Loop Read more at The Loop

  • A Deeper Look at Apple’s ‘Macintosh Problem’

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Apple’s overall Macintosh sales are in decline, for how long we don’t know. The MacBook Pro is long over due for a refresh. Apple’s Mac Pro has languished. The Mac mini, last updated in 2014, was less than intoxicating. What’s happening? John takes a look. The post A Deeper Look at Apple’s ‘Macintosh Problem’ appeared first on The Mac Observer. Read ...

  • When a Hardware Product is Done

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. We all know how software is really never done. There are always new updates to refine, fix and add another feature. But what about hardware? Are there some products you can say are mature and need no more changes? They are done, finished? That’s not something we frequently encounter when it comes to high-tech products. We’ve lived in an environment ...

  • Adobe Patches 52 Vulnerabilities in Flash Player

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Adobe today pushed out an updated Flash Player today that patched 52 vulnerabilities, most of which led to remote code execution on compromised machines. Read more at Threatpost | The first stop for security news

  • Little Snitch Bug Leaves Some Mac Systems Open to Attack

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Mac OS X firewall Little Snitch is vulnerable to local escalation of privileges attacks that could give criminals the ability plant rootkits and keylogger on some Mac OS X El Capitan systems. Read more at Threatpost | The first stop for security news

  • Ever Use Someone Else’s Password? Go to Jail, says the Ninth Circuit

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a case called United States v. Nosal, held 2-1 that using someone else’s password, even with their knowledge and permission, is a federal criminal offense. This dangerous ruling threatens to upend a good decision that the Ninth Circuit sitting en banc—i.e., with 11 judges, not just 3—made in 2012 in ...