TagApple

Hands off my Apple

Yesterday, Apple posted a letter to its customers. This letter talks about the current San Bernardino terror case and what it means for all of us. The U.S. Government is asking Apple to build a backdoor into the operating system. Currently, there are parts of the devices even Apple is unable to get access to. The government wants to change that so only they can get into them. But that’s not how back doors work.

The backdoor into your phone is like the door on your house. You can walk in the door. You can lock the door. You can add another door to it but it’s still a door anyone can use. This is a hugely important issue. Encryption gives us privacy. In this age where every last private detail is up for sale, I appreciate Apple taking a stand.

For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.

Apple doesn’t need to know the contents of my iPhone.

The FBI is requesting a backdoor be built into the iPhone/iPad operating system. This would allow anyone to bypass all the security features on those devices.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

The U.S. Government wants access to iPhones. Now you may not think that sounds so bad. But once a backdoor is opened, you can’t close it.

The U.S. Government will have a backdoor to get access to iPhones and bypass all security features of the device. Does that sound good to you? Law Enforcement should have this access to fight terror and apprehend criminals, right? That’s great! I’m all for catching criminals and fighting terrorists. But what about this?

The Chinese Government will have a backdoor to get access to iPhones and bypass all security features of the device.
ISIS will have a backdoor to get access to iPhones and bypass all security features of the device.
Hackers will have a backdoor to get access to iPhones and bypass all security features of the device.

There is nothing to prevent others from using this same backdoor to get access to your phone. Once the U.S. Government can walk in, so can China, or Iran or ISIS or Anonymous. Anyone with the technical ability can find and access the backdoor and all of your private information is now public.

Once you make a door, that door is open to anyone. Right now, that door is a steel-enforced concrete wall. Don’t smash a hole into it and install a door.

It Just Works (for someone)!

Apple Music confounds me.

I just figured out how to rate songs in it tonight. You click the artist/title and it swaps to ratings. There’s nothing to give a hint that it’s there. There’s no way for me to find it unless I click random things in the interface. Which I did tonight out of frustration.

Rate a song

My wife asked me, “How can I play all the songs by a certain artist?” You used to be able to select an artist, and play everything you had by them. Now, the best we came up with is to add all the songs to up next. But it still doesn’t pay anything. You have to select a song, then Music will ask if you want to add X number of songs to your Up Next list. Which I already asked it to do.

Play entire artist?

Her solution was to go out and buy Cesium, a third-party music app just to regain a function she lost in the upgrade. It’s how she listens to music and Apple Music broke how she listened to it before. My solution was to continue using Groove.

Apple Music was clearly built for people who stream music. We are not those people.

But this got me to thinking about Apple. I stopped reading Apple blogs last year. Much of this coincided with moving to a job where I support a single application and no longer service computers for a living. So I didn’t need to be up on every latest move by the company.

Now, I don’t read anything regularly by Apple bloggers. I will dip a toe into the Apple stream periodically but I’ve found that if any of the heavy hitters writes something particularly good, I’ll find out about it another way.

I’ve crowd-sourced my Apple news.

This accomplished my goal of not seeing every news story about Apple blogged 15 times. Someone pointed out in a Slack room I hang out in today it was Apple Earnings Day. I had no idea. And I consider that a win.

Since I went on my Apple diet, I no longer read all the explanations of Apple’s new software. It’s been over a year and I no longer read through the long pieces on every change and tweak in the new versions of Apple’s software. So many of the little tips, tricks and hidden parts are lost on me.

The things I used to be able to answer without a second thought now lead me to Google. Did Apple’s software “Just Work” or did it only work if you were part of the club?

I honestly don’t know. But looking at it from outsider’s eyes, Apple Music is a convoluted mess of an application.

Crate of Penguins — What The Church Can Learn From Apple

I will never tire of reading Sid’s writing. He’s a smart guy with a view completely opposite of my own on many topics. He’s a great communicator and thinker. I love to debate with him because he comes from a place of love. I know we’re not going to see eye-to-eye and that’s not the goal.

The goal is to put our beliefs into words which both helps us reaffirm and refine them. But it also allows us to see where each other are coming from. I respect his views, even if I don’t agree with him.

In his latest piece, he writes about The Church (Catholic in this case) and Apple. There are similar communities around both and they’re both selling a product, an experience, and in many ways, an entire life style.

The Church, I believe, has some great products. The best, in fact.

WHAT ARE WE SELLING?

What are those products? Truth is one. Community is another. Depending on your tradition, Sacraments might also be available. Love is the flagship. It’s a rock solid lineup.

Even I have to agree, that’s a hard lineup to beat. But as he goes on to say, the message is often fractured and translated through many others.

Imagine how much you’d want to buy an iPhone if the only things you read about it were written by Samsung employees! This is precisely how the majority of the Western world hears the Christian viewpoint. So it’s not really surprising that in a lot of people’s minds the words “Christian” are synonymous with the words “hatred and intolerance”.

I won’t spoil his entire post, and it’s a good one. He’s looking for other writers to share ideas and write about their experiences. Authentic voices. Real people writing from their own place of love.

A sort of Read & Trust for The Church.

 

I can’t hear you Tweeting

I have Twitter filters. I love my Twitter filters. It makes the service bearable to me. I thought about it this morning when I was reading TweetBot as I waited for the train this morning. TweetBot is where I have most of the filters setup because it’s easy to do.

It’s also where I interact with Twitter most. When I got to work, I booted up my computer and opened TweetDeck, and the noise went to 11. I’ve written about Mute for a happier Twitter before. But on the verge of the Apple Watch event, I’ve added some new filters.

With all the Apple Car (???) talk, someone posted this wonderful filter: (?i)(Apple.*Car)

I added that immediately and all the car talk stopped (for me.) From there, I added Apple Watch because I can’t care about the watch. I don’t want something on my wrist that does anything but tell the time. My watch is e-ink. It tells time. It does nothing else. It’s perfect.

Since I last wrote about this in December, I’ve added a few new filters that makes my life more sane.

  • LRT
    I don’t care about your Last ReTweet (which is what LRT means. It’s ok, I had to ask too.) I turn off Retweets for most people so I don’t need to hear the commentary on the Retweet I didn’t see.
  • Game of Thrones
    First, I muted it because I didn’t care about the show and was tired of hearing people talk about it. Then I watched the entire series in a couple of weeks. So I keep it muted because I still don’t want to hear people talking about it non-stop. I don’t even care about spoilers. I’m just not that interested.

  • Apple Watch
    The same thing goes for the Apple Car. I don’t care about these things. I especially don’t care about them before they’re even released. It’s not a product I care about and the religious fervor around it isn’t interesting to me. So I mute it because I just don’t care.

  • Apple
    Yes, in a fit of frustration and exhaustion I muted the word Apple. So I’m sorry if you’re raving about some delicious honey crisps, or your distaste for Granny Smith. I’m not going to see it. I’ve hit Peak Apple News. And I’m over it. I don’t care about Apple. I don’t care about the company. I don’t care about the products. I don’t care about the executives.

The rest of the things I’ve muted lately are short-term things. Usually it will be something from a TV Show, a conference or something else I either don’t understand or don’t want to see in my stream. I mute them for a week, figuring the conference will be over by then and the TV show meme will have run its course.

If I am going to use Twitter, I am going to use it on my terms. I used to feel guilty about muting people’s Retweets or unfollowing people I wasn’t interested in following anymore. But now no longer worry. I create the Twitter I want to use. And I’m not going to worry about it.

Love the tech you own

I’ve seen a lot of people feeling cheated or ripped off by Apple releasing a new iPad less than a year after the latest one was released.

Are you enjoying your iPad any less today than you did yesterday?
Are you getting less value from the device?
What can it no longer do that it could before the announcement on Tuesday?

The reality is you wanted the iPad enough to buy it. You’ve owned it for a few months and used it. You’ve loved the screen and the speed and the apps. You had the newest toy on the shelf.

And now you don’t.

It doesn’t make your iPad any less valuable. It doesn’t decrease your enjoyment of it. It hasn’t slowed down or stopped running the games and apps you bought it to run. Nothing has changed with the device you own.

It is still the same product you happily bought. Your iPad is not obsolete There is a model that’s newer than yours and there will also be a model newer than yours.

This is the reality of the Android world. Whenever a new, speedy phone or tablet is released, it gets one-upped within the month if not the week.

Apple is in the business to make money. They’re also in the business to put out the best product they can. And if that means putting better components into an iPad 7 months after the last model is released, then so be it.

Your iPad is still just as good as the day you bought it. I get along fine with my 1st Generation iPad that can’t run iOS 6 and the newer apps like iPhoto. Instead of blaming or buying new technology, sometimes the best upgrade you can make is you.