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Apple boss: We have a human right to privacy

Posted on February 28th, 2015 at 14:50 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

“None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn’t give it up. We shouldn’t give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.”

[..]

“Apple has a very straightforward business model,” he said. “We make money if you buy one of these [pointing at an iPhone]. That’s our product. You [the consumer] are not our product. We design our products such that we keep a very minimal level of information on our customers.”

It also means that Apple’s strategy has made it less profitable than it otherwise might have been, at least in the short term (and even though few shareholders are likely to have noticed, given its massive cash pile).

“We don’t make money selling your information to somebody else. We don’t think you want that. We don’t want to do that. It’s not in our values system to do that. Could we make a lot of money doing that? Of course. But life isn’t about money, life is about doing the right thing. This has been a core value of our company for a long time.”


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This might be the worst argument against the Apple Car

Posted on February 26th, 2015 at 20:27 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

There are dozens of ways in which Apple’s apparent effort to build an Apple-branded car could go wrong, but there’s one argument against the idea that I’m hearing a lot of that really doesn’t make sense. From Henry Blodget to former GM CEO Daniel Akerson to the LA Times to Yahoo Finance people are saying this won’t work because the car industry is a “low margin” business in contrast to the fat margins Apple is used to earning most of all on its workhorse iPhone.

The misperception here is that Apple earns high margins because Apple operates in high margin industries. The truth is precisely the opposite. Apple earns high margins because it is efficient at manufacturing and firmly committed to a business strategy of sacrificing market share to maintain pricing power. If Apple makes a car, it will be a high margin car because Apple only makes high margin products. If it succeeds it will succeed for the same reason iPhones and iPads and Macs succeed — people like them and are willing to buy them, even though you could get similar specs for less.


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Comments:

  1. The shrieking virgins notwithstanding, the car industry isn’t a “low margin” business by any means. The cars may perhaps be sold at a low margin (some models), but the financing, parts, service and leasing etc. make loadsamoney.

    This is one of the good things about our mercantilist system; if a corporation wants to go into a new market they can do it.

Former GM CEO on Apple Car: ‘They Have No Idea What They’re Getting Into’

Posted on February 18th, 2015 at 20:54 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

danakersonAmid rumors that Apple is developing an electric vehicle, former General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has shared his opinion on Apple’s plans, suggesting the Cupertino company avoid getting into a business with such low margins.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Akerson said that Apple may be underestimating the difficulty of operating in the car business, as it’s hard to navigate regulatory and safety requirements. “A lot of people who don’t ever operate in it don’t understand and have a tendency to underestimate,” he said

Okay… Here’s Ed Colligan, Ex-Palm CEO on November 16 2006:

We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.

If history repeats itself on this one I will laugh soooo hard…


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Comments:

  1. Apple has an ability to make healthy profits in otherwise low-margin businesses by bypassing the existing practices and creating a vertically integrated “experience” around each product, like the Mac, iPod, and iPhone.

    One might argue that Tesla is already the iPhone of cars: no dealerships, no need for gas stations, and they’ve started building their own “supercharger” stations. They also charge a premium amount for what’s considered an exceptional experience. Interestingly, they also make only 1 model (with various submodels).

  2. @JimM: Some analyst predicted in the past week that Apple would buy Tesla within the next ~2 years using its crazy amount of cash on hand.

    Will Elon Musk get bored enough to sell out that soon, I wonder.

  3. @JimM: It’ll be a bit much to have to buy a car to charge a computer to charge a phone to charge a music player…color coordinated, natch.

Motivational poster inside Jony Ive’s office

Posted on February 16th, 2015 at 22:01 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

But perhaps the most interesting thing inside Jony Ive’s office is a motivational poster.

good-fucking-design-advice-print_grande


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Comments:

  1. No mention of fucking, then.

  2. Shurely that should be, “Use fckuing spell check”.

  3. Can I get a copy of that fucking poster?

  4. “Make it F_cking sustainable.” Typo – should be: “Make F_cking sustainable.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook Speaking Live at 2015 Goldman Sachs Technology Conference

Posted on February 11th, 2015 at 20:46 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Privacy

[Quote]:

Following up on the payment space, most of your competitors are collecting personal data. You’re not.

We believe customers have a right to privacy, and the vast majority of customers don’t want people knowing everything about them. When you make a purchase, we make a little bit of money. It’s very simple, very straightforward. You are not our product, that’s our product. There’s no need for us to know what you’re buying, where you’re buying, I don’t want to know any of that. We think customers will rebel on that. Similar with HealthKit…you want control over that. So we think over the arc of time, consumers will go with people they trust with their data. People are unknowingly sharing things with others, and info can be pieced together. Over time people will realize this more and demand privacy.

So with Apple Pay we needed something easier than pulling out a credit card, we knew it needed to be secure as well. We never give the merchant your credit card number. We don’t even have it. We’re making up a proxy for each transaction. Think about it…how secure is a card with your number on the front, and then a security code on the back! So Apple Pay had to be private. We’re facilitating a transaction between you, the merchant, and the bank.


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Comments:

  1. From the Dutch newspaper AD today:
    Anonimiseren
    Apple neemt ook op wat mensen zeggen als ze via hun iPhone of iPad gebruikmaken van de dienst Siri. Zij sturen niet direct herkenbare informatie eveneens naar servers op afstand om te vertalen. De telefoongigant anonimiseert de gesprekken door ze te koppelen aan een ander telefoonnummer dan dat van de gebruiker. Apple bewaart de informatie, volgens sommigen tot wel twee jaar, wel om meer te leren over de voorkeuren en patronen van de gebruiker.

  2. Loosely translated: “Using the Siri service, Apple records what people say when they are using their iPhone or iPad. They send information to remote servers to translate. Apple anonymizes the information by linking them to a different phone number than that of the user. Accordingly, Apple stores the information up to two years to learn more about the preferences and patterns of the user.”

    Which begs the question: If they anonymize it, what good is it if the user cannot be identified? Sounds like bullshit.

  3. @Mykolas: It’s the fig leaf if the data get stolen. “We made it hard to read.”

Tim Cook’s big day: Apple hits $700 billion

Posted on February 10th, 2015 at 23:46 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

By any measure, it was an epic day for Tim Cook.

On Tuesday he was sitting on stage at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco being interviewed by Goldman Sachs president Gary D. Cohn when Apple became the first U.S. company to close at more than $700 billion in market value on Tuesday.

“You will always remember exactly where you were,” Cohn said to Cook.

The milestone caught the attention of the financial world, some of whom had flocked to the Goldman Sachs conference to hear Cook speak on a wide range of subjects from the growth possibilities in China market to the upcoming Apple watch.

Ears perked up when Cook said cash-rich Apple would announce its cash distribution plans on its quarterly earnings call in April.

But Cook also made headlines with what he called Apple’s “biggest and boldest project ever.”

Apple has formed a partnership with First Solar to build an $848 million, 1,300-acre solar farm in Monterey County to power its headquarters, data center in Newark, Calif., all Apple offices and 52 Apple stores in California.

The solar farm will result in significant energy cost savings for Apple, Cook said.

“We know at Apple that climate change is real. Our view is that the time for talk is past and the time for action is now,” Cook said.

List to the interview


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Comments:

  1. Just to put the $700 billion in perspective, that’s more than twice the market cap of Microsoft, which is the third largest company. (Microsoft closed today at $349.5 billion)

  2. Unbelievable, making those crummy products and still progressing. It’s like Coca Cola….

DOJ Tells Apple Kids Will Die Because of Their Encryption Stand

Posted on November 21st, 2014 at 18:40 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Security

[Quote]:

This week the Wall Street Journal reported that Department of Justice officials recently met with Google and Apple, and basically told them that their decision to empower consumers would result in the death of children:
quote:

The No. 2 official at the Justice Department delivered a blunt message last month to Apple Inc. executives: New encryption technology that renders locked iPhones impervious to law enforcement would lead to tragedy. A child would die, he said, because police wouldn’t be able to scour a suspect’s phone, according to people who attended the meeting.

The Journal reports that Apple wasn’t moved by the DOJ’s argument, and found the “dead-child scenario” to be “inflammatory.”


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Comments:

  1. “Think of the children!” has got to be the penultimate refuge of the scoundrel.

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Posted on October 30th, 2014 at 22:16 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

“Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” he wrote in a column in Bloomberg Businessweek.

In his column, the Apple chief said that he had tried to maintain “a basic level of privacy.” But he said he decided that desire for privacy was stopping him from working for the benefit of others.

“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others,” he said. “So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”

I’m not surprised for a second, and I’m very happy he took this step.


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Comments:

  1. “Well I’m gay too!”

    – The CEO of Samsung

China collecting Apple iCloud data; attack coincides with launch of new iPhone

Posted on October 21st, 2014 at 14:28 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

After previous attacks on Github, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, the Chinese authorities are now staging a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack on Apple’s iCloud.


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Apple killed Finland’s two biggest industries, says Prime Minister

Posted on October 13th, 2014 at 20:52 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

In the early 00s, Finland’s two biggest industries were paper manufacturing and cell phones, led by the then-dominant Nokia. A decade later, both industries are in trouble — and as the country’s prime minister suggested in a recent interview, Apple might be to blame in both cases. “One could say that the iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the Finnish paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” Prime Minister Alexander Stubb told CNBC on Monday. “We just have to keep at it.”


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Comments:

  1. One could say a lot of things. The guy has a gift for getting attention.

1997

Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 20:03 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


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3 Years ago today

Posted on October 5th, 2014 at 10:06 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

Remembering Steve


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Eric Schmidt on Google privacy: We’re ‘more secure’ than Apple

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 at 22:18 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google

[Quote]:

The seemingly ongoing battle between Google and Apple has been well-documented, but it’s always at its best when the CEOs start trading blows. In an interview with Charlie Rose last month, Tim Cook took Google to task for its data collection practices. Unsurprisingly, Eric Schmidt wasn’t too pleased with Cook’s representative of his company, so he took the time to respond on a CNN Money segment this week.

[..]

“Someone didn’t brief him correctly on Google’s policies,” Schmidt quipped. “It’s unfortunate for him. In the first place, in Google’s case, we have always been the leader in security and encryption. Our systems are far more secure and encrypted than anyone else, including Apple. They’re catching up, which is great.”

First, Tim Cook wasn’t talking about how well they protect data from others – he was talking about how well they protect data from themselves… here’s what he said:

[Quote]:

Cook said Apple makes most of its profits by selling hardware, unlike many of its Silicon Valley neighbors that profit from advertising targeted at their users.

“Our business is not based on having information about you. You’re not our product,” Cook said. “I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried.”

So, Let me summarize this back-and-forth:

“You’ve been spying on your users!”

“That’s not true! We protect our users from being spied on by other people all the time!”

So, Schmidt, you’re a deceptive little douche.


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Apple Watch Sneak Peek

Posted on October 1st, 2014 at 10:46 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, batshitinsane

If you thought people waiting in line to buy an iPhone 6 was batshitinsane, check this:

[Quote]:

Apple invited people to check out the new Apple Watch in person — for one day only — in Paris during Fashion Week, at the Colette boutique on Rue Saint Honoré.

large


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Comments:

  1. No one creates buzz like Apple. It’s the 8th wonder.

  2. These look like genuine hipsters not placeholders.

Inside the building where Apple tortures the iPhone 6

Posted on September 29th, 2014 at 23:59 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

If you use enough force to bend an iPhone, or any phone, it’s going to deform.”


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iPhone hoax: No, you can’t recharge it in the microwave, LAPD warns

Posted on September 24th, 2014 at 14:29 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

No, the latest iPhone software does not allow for the device to be quickly charged by heating it up in the microwave, despite some convincing, but very fake online ads.

Microwaving the phone will not only ruin the device, it could cause a fire or explosion, authorities said.

But a hoax floating around the Internet seemed so legitimate to some that even police are spreading the warning, as noted by the Los Angeles Police Department communications unit on Twitter.

So clearly, as if there was any doubt, iPhone users are not smarter than average.


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Comments:

  1. Apparently the fix for a bent iPhone 6+ is to put it in the microwave for 3 seconds.

  2. Wood grain finish? ZOMG, did I miss a trend or something?

Black Market Takes Over the iPhone 6 Lines

Posted on September 21st, 2014 at 14:16 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


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Joan Rivers posts from the grave: ‘I’ve just bought an iPhone!’

Posted on September 20th, 2014 at 15:29 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, If you're in marketing, kill yourself

[Quote]:

Comic legend Joan Rivers has been dead for over a week now, but apparently that hasn’t stopped the Fashion Show star being chuffed to bits with her new iPhone 6-feet-under.

In a warning to PR companies everywhere, sponsored scheduled posts appeared on Rivers’ Facebook and Instagram accounts on Friday morning – before they were quickly taken down.


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Comments:

  1. She would have died laughing!

Apple’s “warrant canary” disappears, suggesting new Patriot Act demands

Posted on September 19th, 2014 at 11:58 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

When Apple published its first Transparency Report on government activity in late 2013, the document contained an important footnote that stated:

“Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us.”

Writer and cyber-activist Cory Doctorow at the time recognized that language as a so-called “warrant canary,” which Apple was using to thwart the secrecy imposed by the Patriot Act.

Warrant canaries are a tool used by companies and publishers to signify to their users that, so far, they have not been subject to a given type of law enforcement request such as a secret subpoena. If the canary disappears, then it is likely the situation has changed — and the company has been subject to such request.

Now, Apple’s warrant canary has disappeared. A review of the company’s last two Transparency Reports, covering the second half of 2013 and the first six months of 2014, shows that the “canary” language is no longer there.


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Sep 18, 2007, seven years ago

Posted on September 18th, 2014 at 9:27 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Microsoft


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Comments:

  1. Of the characters in this wee psychodrama a couple are deceased; Mr. Jobs and Nortel. I guess you could also say that Mr. Ballmer and Microsoft are gone from the game.

  2. 2007?? Now way, this is late ’70s or earyly’80s. Jobs sais Apple has 500 people working. He talks about the Apple II. This is pre Mac (i.e., pre 1984).

  3. Sorry, I must have clicked on some link after the Balmer video. :-) It’s good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfxxRKBgos8

  4. @Jan-Mark: Hmm…1970’s…Did Mr. Ballmer have hair?

How do launch numbers for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S phones compare?

Posted on September 16th, 2014 at 11:42 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google

[Quote]:

Some rivalries will never die — chocolate vs peanut butter, Yankees vs Red Sox, and iPhone vs Android, just to name a few. With the announcement of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, many Android users took to the Internet to loudly exclaim how underwhelmed they were by the devices. Its new features were things they’d already had for years, except for all the ones that weren’t, of course. Rivalries are fun, but the musings of voices on the Internet aren’t nearly as important as the voices of the buying public. And when you compare the launch numbers of various Samsung Galaxy S phones to the iPhone 6 and earlier iPhones, there’s absolutely no competition.

BxlYi5LIUAEt6l5

And still the overall market share of Android is higher. I think it’s because people who get an iPhone make a conscious choice to do so, and (most) people who get an android do so because they walk into a store and tell the sales rep they want “a phone”. They will make calls, use facebook, make a selfie, and that’s it. They never download an app unless recommended by a friend (“get snapchat!”), and just use the phone as a phone and are very happy with it.


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Comments:

  1. I don’t think that android users are attached to a brand. In my case, I have chosen between several brands before buying the phone, (Samsung, Sony, LG…). In addition, I’ve chosen and “old” model that runs smoothly the latest Android version, I’ve been waiting and studying several models. I would say that buying an iPhone the first day is not a conscious choice but an impulsive one. In addition, just released products have flaws, so buying it the first day is more like being a tester.

    I use several app, all free, among them you can find the “Rain Alert”, Maps (also offline), email, google drive (spreadsheets, documents), games…

    In Android, there are plenty of choices of high-end and other market segments phones. There are a lot app, but I think that Android users usually go for the free ones.

  2. Purchasing of iPhones may be social signalling of wealth and taste for some. Other people are excited by technology and like to try out new stuff. These are conditioned reactions to marketing not actually impulses. All these users are wealthy enough to make that choice and regularly buy new devices. These are nice products for nice people.

    What’s the marketing opposite of the “long tail”?

    Disclaimer: I bought my Android phone from a yard sale. I forgot the brand.

  3. One very simple factor: in the iOS ecosystem, there are 3 viable models right now. How many high-end-ish phones does Samsung have? S4 and S5 in several editions (regular, mini, active); Edge; Note; Duos… AT&T wireless has 10 listed as currently available. Sales in the Android domain are split over more models.

  4. There’s another gotcha in this graph: the Apple numbers are all for the first 1-3 days only, and the Samsung numbers are for 30-60 days. But the numbers are *per*day* sales. So Samsung had those lower numbers consistently over 30 days, and we don’t know what the drop-off was in Apple’s numbers. I don’t doubt that Apple’s numbers are higher, but this chart is deceptive.

  5. No, I don’t think that’s the gotcha. That’s the whole point of the graph. the iPad 3 had 1 mil of sales in 3 days, the S5, in 30 days, has yet to reach that number. Maybe it would have been clearer to have all bars at the same number of days, but then the samsung stuff would be 1 pixel on the left side of the graph..

  6. You are not comparing like with like. It’s a false comparison and the sort of sub high school use of stats that Apple cultists trot out to prove that their gang is the bestest ever, like deranged One Direction fans.

    When I upgraded from my Samsung S3 earlier this year I had a wealth of options to choose from (of which the Iphone was one) offering different combinations of features, allowing me to select the one that best suited me.

    With Apple, an upgrade means a choice of 1. New iphones are an event. So yes, if you are a devotee you are naturally going to want the latest iteration and you will want it as soon as it comes out. With Android there is no such pressure to upgrade to the latest model, as there are new and improved models coming out all the time. A new Samusung simply is not a big thing that will drive people to preorder.

    I can’t wait to find out what is wrong with the new iphone as 4 million people at once find out that holding it the wrong way cuts the signal, or syncing it with the cloud wipes everything or some such.

    For the record I switched to HTC.

  7. @John: The graph clearly says “units/day”. It’s meant to deceive.

  8. Or rather, it says “units/day” once you pay attention. It’s not actually *clear*, which is that makes it deceptive.

Apple Pay Details: Apple Gets 0.15% Cut of Purchases, Higher Rates for Bluetooth Payments

Posted on September 13th, 2014 at 10:34 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

According to a new report from The Financial Times, Apple stands to make quite a bit of money from its payments service. Banks and payment networks will be forking over 0.15 percent of each purchase to Apple, which equates to 15 cents out of a $100 purchase.
They are also paying hard cash for the privilege of being involved: 15 cents of a $100 purchase will go to the iPhone maker, according to two people familiar with the terms of the agreement, which are not public. That is an unprecedented deal, giving Apple a share of the payments’ economics that rivals such as Google do not get for their services

According to bank executives, Apple was able to negotiate with so many partners and receive choice deals because the industry didn’t see anything threatening in Apple Pay. One executive suggested that Apple’s payment model continued to put banks “at the centre of payments.” Apple may also have been able to negotiate better deals due to the tight security it has in place for Apple Pay. Payments will be made via NFC with a one-time token, and also secured with a Touch ID fingerprint.


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Comments:

  1. Whatever threats they saw were probably overcome when they were offered an apparently magical solution to a problem that is considered perpetual, boring and difficult in banking.

  2. Yeah. And let’s see just how fast a man-in-the-middle attack will be successfully made. I would guess less than a month from when the phone is released to the public. 1. Intercept token. 2. Re-vector it to credit the malefactors instead of the real store. Oops – where did my $$ go? Why does the store want their $$? I paid, didn’t I?

  3. It’s cool that they managed to negotiate that, but it’s going to be noise on Apple’s income statements for a looooong time.

Why the iPhone 6 Plus is the must-have phone for Manchester United fans!

Posted on September 12th, 2014 at 12:35 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

r0hG9l4


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Cyanide & Happiness #3678

Posted on September 10th, 2014 at 9:36 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

910


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Comments:

  1. I bought Apple stock a couple of weeks later. It had fallen to $15 per share in post-9/11 trading.

Images of apple wearables confirmed

Posted on September 9th, 2014 at 9:17 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

There’s not much time now before the announcement, and some pictures of the apple wearables have leaked. These are confirmed as having come from Apple.
1. http://i.imgur.com/DOwUPh.jpg
2. http://i.imgur.com/5aAu9h.jpg (apple logo clearly visible)
3. http://i.imgur.com/XrFzih.jpg (showing range of colors)
4. http://i.imgur.com/PpLv1h.jpg (hinting at a future google glass competitor?)


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Comments:

  1. oh god i hope these leaks are true; I’ll buy that white one immediately!

  2. *cough* :-)

  3. @des – clearly you don’t realize that the new Apple wearables allow you travel back to the ’80’s.

  4. S’OK, I owned enough apple schwag in the 80s, don’t need to live that again. I’ll take the watch instead. :)

    I thought Tim Cook was going to pay U2 for the album by giving them each a watch, but no.

The Joy of Tech comic… Apple Event Survival Kit!

Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 9:17 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Cartoon

[Quote]:

2043


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Apple courts fashionistas as smartwatch expectations mount

Posted on September 6th, 2014 at 21:41 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

Apple Inc has invited top fashion editors and bloggers in unprecedented numbers to its Tuesday launch gala, further evidence that the iPhone maker is preparing to take the wraps off a smartwatch.


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Wearables

Posted on September 4th, 2014 at 10:49 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

[Quote]:

According to a designer who works at Apple, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, in bragging about how cool he thought the iWatch was shaping up to be, gleefully said Switzerland is in trouble — though he chose a much bolder term for “trouble” to express how he thought the watchmaking nation might be in a tough predicament when Apple’s watch comes out.


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Comments:

  1. They are going to release a $50,000 watch?

The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple’s iCloud

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 at 10:18 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Do you feel safer yet?, Privacy, Security

[Quote]:

As nude celebrity photos spilled onto the web over the weekend, blame for the scandal has rotated from the scumbag hackers who stole the images to a researcher who released a tool used to crack victims’ iCloud passwords to Apple, whose security flaws may have made that cracking exploit possible in the first place. But one step in the hackers’ sext-stealing playbook has been ignored—a piece of software designed to let cops and spies siphon data from iPhones, but is instead being used by pervy criminals themselves.

On the web forum Anon-IB, one of the most popular anonymous image boards for posting stolen nude selfies, hackers openly discuss using a piece of software called EPPB or Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker to download their victims’ data from iCloud backups. That software is sold by Moscow-based forensics firm Elcomsoft and intended for government agency customers. In combination with iCloud credentials obtained with iBrute, the password-cracking software for iCloud released on Github over the weekend, EPPB lets anyone impersonate a victim’s iPhone and download its full backup rather than the more limited data accessible on iCloud.com. And as of Tuesday, it was still being used to steal revealing photos and post them on Anon-IB’s forum.

[..]

The fact that Apple isn’t complicit in law enforcement’s use of Elcomsoft’s for surveillance doesn’t make the tool any less dangerous, argues Matt Blaze, a computer science professor at the University of Pennsylvania and frequent critic of government spying methods. “What this demonstrates is that even without explicit backdoors, law enforcement has powerful tools that might not always stay inside law enforcement,” he says. “You have to ask if you trust law enforcement. But even if you do trust law enforcement, you have to ask whether other people will get access to these tools, and how they’ll use them.”


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Apple Issues Media Advisory Related to Celebrity Photo Theft

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 at 0:11 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Privacy, Security

[Quote]:

Apple issued a media advisory related to recent celebrity photo theft, saying the accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on users names, password and security questions and was not related to any breach of Apple’s systems, including iCloud.

Over the weekend a number of nude celebrity photos appeared online. Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Lea Michele, Victoria Justice and Kirsten Dunst all had their photos comprised, among others.

We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website athttp://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.

If you are a celebrity, it’s more likely that people know the name of your first pet, or your mothers maiden name…


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Comments:

  1. Right John, it is why I advise people to make up random letters and numbers for those all too frequently used security questions. Also, never use the same answer twice.


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