Date Archives March 2016

Apple: This Case Should Never Have Been Brought

Apple on the dropped case against the FBI:

From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.

We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.

Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.

This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion.

This battle may be over, but we’re clearly not done with this war yet.

FBI Accessed San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone Without Apple, Drops Litigation

Buzzfeed:

The Justice Department (DOJ) announced Monday that it had successfully accessed data on the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and that it was dropping its case against Apple to help unlock the phone.

Investigators are no longer seeking Apple’s help to penetrate the device, according to a court filing by the DOJ Monday.

In a call with reporters Monday evening, a law enforcement official said the FBI is currently reviewing the iPhone’s data, which it obtained through the assistance of an outside party. The method they used, he said, worked on an iPhone 5c running iOS 9, but added that it was “premature to say anything about our abilities to access other phones.”

And there you have it.

My Heroic And Lazy Stand Against IFTTT

The developer behind the Pinboard service, Maciej Ceglowski:

Imagine if your sewer pipe started demanding that you make major changes in your diet.

Now imagine that it got a lawyer and started asking you to sign things.

You would feel surprised.

This is the position I find myself in today with IFTTT, a form of Internet plumbing that has been connecting peaceably to my backend for the past five years, but which has recently started sending scary emails.

This entire post is one massive zinger against IFTTT. Here’s hoping it works.

How Nike Lost Steph Curry To Under Armour

ESPN:

The pitch meeting, according to Steph’s father Dell, who was present, kicked off with one Nike official accidentally addressing Stephen as “Steph-on,” the moniker, of course, of Steve Urkel’s alter ego in Family Matters. “I heard some people pronounce his name wrong before,” says Dell Curry. “I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised that I didn’t get a correction.”

It got worse from there. A PowerPoint slide featured Kevin Durant’s name, presumably left on by accident, presumably residue from repurposed materials. “I stopped paying attention after that,” Dell says. Though Dell resolved to “keep a poker face,” throughout the entirety of the pitch, the decision to leave Nike was in the works.

I bet someone is kicking themselves after this.

N.F.L.’s Flawed Concussion Research

The NY Times reporting on the N.F.L.’s concussion problem:

With several of its marquee players retiring early after a cascade of frightening concussions, the league formed a committee in 1994 that would ultimately issue a succession of research papers playing down the danger of head injuries. Amid criticism of the committee’s work, physicians brought in later to continue the research said the papers had relied on faulty analysis.

Now, an investigation by The New York Times has found that the N.F.L.’s concussion research was far more flawed than previously known.

For the last 13 years, the N.F.L. has stood by the research, which, the papers stated, was based on a full accounting of all concussions diagnosed by team physicians from 1996 through 2001. But confidential data obtained by The Times shows that more than 100 diagnosed concussions were omitted from the studies — including some severe injuries to stars like quarterbacks Steve Young and Troy Aikman. The committee then calculated the rates of concussions using the incomplete data, making them appear less frequent than they actually were.

Stories such as these keep coming out – and they aren’t going to stop unless the N.F.L. does something about it.

Which iPad Pro?

David Sparks on why he is sticking with his larger iPad Pro:

The new 9.7 inch iPad Pro has some additional features in terms of a better camera and a screen that adjusts ambient light but none of that is really a reason to choose one over the other for most people. To me, the big question is whether you want it really big or just kind of big. I can understand why some people hate the big iPad because of the unwieldy screen size but I’m just so damn productive with it.

It seems this is the common consensus of iPad Pro users.

Pebble Laying Off 25% Of Its Staff

Tech Insider:

Pebble, the buzzy startup credited for being one of the first companies to launch a modern smartwatch, is laying off 40 employees this week, CEO Eric Migicovsky told Tech Insider in an interview. That’s about 25% of its total staff.

Turns out, competing against Apple, Samsung and Google isn’t easy.

Mossberg: The iPhone 7 Had Better Be Spectacular

Walt Mossberg from The Verge:

I stand by my view that the premium iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are the best smartphones on the market.

But the top-of-the-line iPhones were challenged impressively just two weeks ago by rival Samsung’s beautiful, carefully engineered new Galaxy S7 phones. A Verge test showed the Samsung’s cameras are better. Only the sadly typical software mess on those phones makes them lag behind Apple’s long-superior iPhone.

If the smartphone category is to take a leap forward, and the iPhone is to maintain its ever-thinning lead as the best smartphone you can buy, Apple needs to impress big time in the fall.

Something tells me Apple isn’t going to rest on their iPhone laurels. In this article, Walt goes on to list some of his ‘wish list’ features such as: a thicker phone with longer battery life (not going to happen), wireless charging and banishing the top and bottom bezels.

I see where Walt is coming from, but hoping Apple makes a thicker iPhone with better battery life is the wrong way to look at the future.