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


  • 2014 PMUG Holiday Party

    December 3, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    PMUG Holiday Party Dec 9, 2014; 6-9 pm Location: Griggs Farm Clubhouse, 205 Griggs Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540  Time: Tuesday, Dec 9; 6 – 9 pm  Attendees & Volunteers: Please sign up on http://whosbringingwhat.com/pmug() Parking On the access roads, Griggs Dr, Billie Ellis Dr; Some spots in Jonathan Dayton, William Patterson, David Brearley Cts; Beware NO PARKING or ASSIGNED PARKING areas are subject to towing. Agenda 6 – 7 pm: PMUG ...

  • Cyber Monday: Staying Safe from Hacks and Scams This Holiday Season

    December 1, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Cyber Monday: Staying Safe from Hacks and Scams This Holiday Season

  • Holiday Gadgets & Wireless Accessories 2014

    November 18, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    2014 Holiday Gadgets & Wireless Accessories: http://buff.ly/1EZeF1S

  • Making Makers Mainstream | Tech.pinions – Perspective, Insight, Analysis

    November 18, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Making Makers Mainstream http://buff.ly/1xj1Dde

  • What to do when you can’t update to Yosemite

    November 16, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Unfortunately, nobody knows for certain how long Apple will continue to release security patches or XProtect updates for any given operating system. Although Microsoft publicly announces its support timetables for Windows, and the Ubuntu Linux company Canonical does likewise, Apple has never given any official word to the public regarding how long each version of Mac OS X or iOS will continue to receive security ...

  • WireLurker Mac OS X Malware Shut Down

    November 10, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    After causing an overnight sensation, the newly disclosed family of Apple Mac OS X malware capable of also infecting iOS devices has been put to rest. Researchers at Palo Alto Networks confirmed this morning that the command and control infrastructure supporting WireLurker has been shut down and Apple has revoked a legitimate digital certificate used to sign WireLurker code and allow it to infect ...

  • Photographers: Don’t waste your money on a Mac Pro

    November 10, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Photographer Terry White on why the 27” iMac may be more than enough for the professional photographer. I’m sure if we just ran processor and benchmark test that The NEW Mac Pro is the fastest Mac that Apple has ever created. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Do I run benchmark tests or do I use applications on a day to ...

  • Droplr for Mac 4.2

    November 10, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    The OS X Yosemite specific features introduced in this release are support for Yosemite’s dark mode and a system-wide sharing extension, that lets you quickly share any file, folder or URL from your Mac. Clicking on the menubar app also now displays your most commonly used sharing actions. If you haven’t use Doplr in a while, now might the right time to check ...

  • Microsoft Releases New Office for iPhone Apps, Makes Office Free for Mobile Users

    November 10, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Following the news of Dropbox integration from earlier this week, Microsoft has today announced new Office apps for iPhone with full creation and editing capabilities and changed the entire pricing model for Office on mobile devices (iOS and Android). Office for iPhone, iPad, and Android is now free for basic creation/editing/printing features for personal accounts (that includes the new Dropbox sync), but an Office 365 ...

  • Pixelmator 3.3 Limestone Out Now

    November 10, 2014
    Khürt Williams
    Pixelmator 3.3 Limestone has been redesigned with an all-new look and feel inspired by OS X Yosemite. It keeps the black interface Pixelmator fans love, but enhances it with translucent elements to cohere with OS X Yosemite’s fresh and modern look, all while maintaining the power and speed users expect from Pixelmator. http://buff.ly/1xe55r4