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


  • Apple confirms unencrypted kernel intentional ↦

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. by Dan Moren TechCrunch has confirmed that Apple deliberately left iOS 10’s kernel unencrypted to help make it easier to spot security vulnerabilities and to speed up the OS: “The kernel cache doesn’t contain any user info, and by unencrypting it we’re able to optimize the operating system’s performance without compromising security,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. [Read on ...

  • ∞ Apple’s official statement on why the iOS 10 kernel is not encrypted

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. An Apple spokesperson sent us an official statement about the lack of encryption of the iOS 10 kernel. Read more at The Loop

  • The best uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. A UPS is one of those unsexy things you don’t know you need until you need it. If you live in an area with spotty power or frequent weather-related outages (I live in an old apartment building that frequently has power outages for seemingly no reason), a UPS can save a lot of aggravation and frustration. ∞ Read this on ...

  • NASA launches Apple TV app

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. NASA PR: The agency released on Tuesday its popular NASA app for a new platform, the fourth-generation Apple TV. This version joins the app’s other versions available for iOS in iPhone and iPad versions, Android and Fire OS. The NASA app has been downloaded more than 17 million times across all platforms. “The NASA app has been ...

  • Early 2001: The iMac G3 goes psychedelic

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. At Macworld Tokyo 2001, Steve “Business Suit” Jobs showed off what would be the last two new iMac G3 designs: Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power. Like Sage and Ruby before them, Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power were used for just one generation of iMac: the Early 2001 models. According to Jobs, the new cases took 18 months to develop. They weren’t ...

  • Apple might be quietly preparing an assault on the cable box via its Apple TV

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. On the surface, Apple TV seems increasingly focused on cable subscribers instead of cord cutters. Since its launch last fall, the fourth-generation Apple TV has added several features that provide more convenient access to “TV Everywhere” apps (such as WatchESPN, FX Now, and HBO Go) that require a cable or satellite login to access. Siri is becoming more effective at ...

  • Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.9

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Fixes some bugs in the backup utility. ($39.99 new, free update, 12.4 MB)  Read the full article at TidBITS, the oldest continuously published technology publication on the Internet. To get a full-text RSS feed, help support our work and become a TidBITS member! Members also enjoy an ad-free version of our Web site, email delivery of individual articles, the ability ...

  • Apple Pay arrives on Bank of America ATMs to make cash withdrawals painless

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. Apple Pay isn’t accepted everywhere (yet), but the day I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: Bank of America is now letting you withdraw cash from its ATMs using Apple Pay. No more digging for your debit card and glancing behind you to see if anyone is hovering too closely. Now you really can leave your wallet at home. Finding ...

  • Apple is Taking a Different Stand on Artificial Intelligence Agents

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. In the science fiction of yesteryear, artificial agents were presented as helpful, local companions. The scope of the internet and its ability to drill into our private lives wasn’t a pervasive theme. Nowadays, we have AI agents built by giant technology companies that want to build AI agents to learn about us, store that data, and sell things instead ...

  • Myths and misconceptions about macOS Sierra

    August 3, 2016
    Khürt Williams
    Featured articles from around the web. It’s sadly typical that, with anything Apple announces, there’s always a segment who will rend their garments and cry to the heavens about how much they hate whatever it is Apple is doing. The reaction to macOS Sierra is no different. As Adam points out, no one is forcing you to use macOS Sierra or any of its newest ...