Sunday, February 28, 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Despite claims to the contrary, making tech companies build backdoors to their devices or platform is the ultimate goal of the government. However, a recent development in the fight between Apple and the FBI shows that the government cannot be trusted to use the technology correctly much less responsibly.
The government has a tough job fighting crime and keeping the public safe in light of the recent events of terror on both sides of the Atlantic. With both the Paris and San Bernandino attacks fresh in minds of the public, the government is making a push to gain a technical advantage over an increasing use of encryption in operation systems and apps that prevent government intrusion.
While Apple believes it stands on the right side of the issue, the bottom line still figure into Apple's opposition as well. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has made privacy a theme that Apple takes to heart and why users should buy iPhones and iPads over competing devices where intrusion on almost every level is expected (a claim rightly made or not is still subject to debate).
For the government, in a presidential election year, this seems like the right time to change the dynamics of this discussion over backdoor access, use of encryption, and striking the right balance between privacy and protecting the public from acts of terrorism.
What Tim Cook said about backdoors is correct: if the government has access, any government, criminal syndicate, hacker group, or anyone else regardless of their intent will find their way to these backdoors as well. On a whole, it makes user data vulnerable. It will not only the good guys with good intentions with access but bad guys as well. Any claim that the government will protect the key as closely as Apple or Google should they ultimately be forced to provide the pertinent information to the government is false.
Consider the latest development over the fight regarding the iPhone 5C owned by one of the San Bernardino terrorists: the government mishandled the iPhone by resetting the password to the iPhone resulting in themselves not being able to access the latest data on the mobile device and locking themselves out, leading them to go to Apple. If the government's own experts could not even handle a routine every day task a major of iPhone users are capable of performing, how can Apple expect the government to save guard a backdoor and make sure they do not misuse or mishandle it?
When the mobile phone companies owned every aspect of their customers' experiences, it was a blissful world. They get to maximize their investment, squeeze every last cent out of their customers, and hardly had any competition. Along came Silicon Valley, and the struggle continues to this day over the mobile experience which has largely been revolutionary. So, what else is new when telecoms complained about Whatsapp, a $20 billion buy by Facebook, that continues to be one of the top go-to app for messaging and voice calls.
Here is the real news alert: telecoms don't like Skype, Facebook, Google Hangout, iMessage, Line, and any dozens of messaging and voice apps that exist. No longer can companies charge 10 cents per message or charge users a monthly allotment of texts. No longer are voice calls metered (most plans anyway).
And here is the shocker to come: mobile payment. More control will be wrestled away from telecoms and the users will have more choices over how they pay for apps and products. And telecoms will continue to devolve into the dump pipes that they deserve to be.
All of this is their own doing. Had they treated users better and at more reasonable prices, users would not be looking elsewhere for apps and services as much as we do today.
If anything, telecoms should promote competition on their platforms that encourage usage. Continue to innovate in ways that they can. The best ways they can. That is how they can best serve us. And yes, we may even one day learn to appreciate them.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Apple is the richest company in the world by valuation and wealth it has on hand in terms of cash, product profolio, and, more importantly, the following that is the envy of just about everyone in the world. So, when two high-profile Apple executives go onto a popular fan/Apple centric podcast instead of CNBC, Bloomberg, BBC, or another national news organization, you have to wonder who Jon Gruber is and why he was selected for this interview that is a must-listen episode even if you're not a fan of his blog, Daring Fireball, or his podcast, The Talk Show.
Here is the link for this week's episode where Gruber interviewed Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi.
I love to get into it more when I listen to the podcast again. It was a very unique experience for Gruber and the listeners. Apple fans are familiar with the top echelon of Apple who brought us so many of today's best consumer products but it is almost always in a setting that is carefully controlled and choreographed. I'm sure Cue and Federighi were coached by Apple's publicity and marketing teams and they know their stuff, but it was still good to hear them address some issues that a few have brought up like Apple's software quality, which recently has been questioned about their unofficial "it just works" motto.
It does feel that Apple need to look at they balance between giving users options and not overwhelm them while not breaking anything else in the process.
Some of the criticisms are well deserved and I'm sure Apple appreciate it. Others, however, not so much. You'll have to decide that for yourself.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Friday, February 5, 2016
Sent from my Mobile
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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