March 14, 2015

Link: USB Type-C Power Adapter Possibilities ☍

Thomas Brand:

Think of your standard MacBook Air power adapter. Now think of the new $79.00 USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter Apple makes for use with the new MacBook. The USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter gives you access to HDMI and USB Type-A, alongside a passthrough USB Type-C connection. Why couldn’t the functionality of the AV Multiport Adapter be included in the power adapter? After all they both use the same connection to interface with the new MacBook.

This isn’t a bad idea, but I think the same could be said about the iPad power adapter, when compared with the Lightning Digital AV Adapter. I like the idea of it being modular, but wish Apple would’ve included one in the box since there’s still a lot of flash drives and USB-A devices floating around.

Article: Force Touch

While visiting the Apple Store yesterday to see if they carried a Thunderbolt-to-USB 3.0 adapter (sadly, they don’t), I decided to check out the 13” MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I’m not looking to get a new computer any time soon (more on that later), but I was curious about Apple’s new trackpad technology. After Monday’s keynote, many were concerned that the new trackpad would be weird since it didn’t click

March 11, 2015

Link: Something’s Broken at Apple ☍

CNBC’s Everett Rosenfeld:

Several Apple services, including iTunes and the App Store, suffered outages Wednesday that began around 5 a.m. ET and extended through midday. […]

“We apologize to our customers experiencing problems with iTunes and other services this morning. The cause was an internal DNS error at Apple. We’re working to make all of the services available to customers as soon as possible, and we thank everyone for their patience,” Apple said in a statement to CNBC.

March 10, 2015

Link: Why Xcode’s Integrity Matters ☍

Craig Hockenberry writes from a developer perspective reports the CIA is trying to get into Apple devices (via John Gruber):

The article refers to “Xcode” generically, but as we all know, there are a lot of pieces to this puzzle: I’m going to examine a few of them below. It’s your job to think about how these things might affect your own products.

The fact that there is even the thought of compromising a complier is nasty business. It’s like a game of telephone where the second person in line ruins the message entirely on purpose, but also steals whatever information they want from everyone else participating in the game, followed by a kick to the groin to the first person fir the heck of it.

Link: The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets ☍

Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley for The Intercept (via 9to5Mac):

By targeting essential security keys used to encrypt data stored on Apple’s devices, the researchers have sought to thwart the company’s attempts to provide mobile security to hundreds of millions of Apple customers across the globe. Studying both “physical” and “non-invasive” techniques, U.S. government-sponsored research has been aimed at discovering ways to decrypt and ultimately penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. This could enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad currently masked by encryption. […]

The revelations that the CIA has waged a secret campaign to defeat the security mechanisms built into Apple’s devices come as Apple and other tech giants are loudly resisting pressure from senior U.S. and U.K. government officials to weaken the security of their products. Law enforcement agencies want the companies to maintain the government’s ability to bypass security tools built into wireless devices. Perhaps more than any other corporate leader, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has taken a stand for privacy as a core value, while sharply criticizing the actions of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

This lengthy article features a lot more damning accusations, and goes against Apple’s fight to protect privacy. This sounds more like a country that would try to prevent a stoner comedy from being released than America.

March 9, 2015

Link: Gigaom Shutting Down ☍

Om Malik:

Gigaom is winding down and its assets are now controlled by the company’s lenders. It is not how you want the story of a company you founded to end.

Every founder starts on a path — hopeful and optimistic, full of desire to build something that helps change the world for the better, reshape an industry and hopefully become independent, both metaphorically and financially. Business, much like life, is not a movie and not everyone gets to have a story book ending.

It’s a pity to see something like this end, but it was languishing from about the time Malik left.

Special: On Apple’s Spring Forward Event

It’s really starting to feel like 2008 once again. Not only could one argue that in the previous year, some priorities have been shifted away from Mac software development in favor of the new hot portable device, but there is a new aluminum-clad MacBook that is dropping ports. Additionally, we got to see further clues where Apple is going next and it’s an excellent mix of excitement, opinionated development, and the feeling that everything is even more cohesive across the product lineup…

March 6, 2015

Link: Apple to Replace AT&T in the Dow Jones Industrial Average ☍

Micah Singleton for The Verge:

Apple has been invited to join the Dow Jones Industrial Average, one of the most exclusive stock indexes in the world, according to The Wall Street Journal. AT&T is being removed from the Dow Jones to make space for Apple. The change will take place after the market closes on March 18th.

Getting invited into the 119-year-old Dow Jones Industrial Average is the latest accomplishment for the world’s most valuable company. Unlike the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ — where Apple currently sits — the Dow Jones Industrial Average only accepts 30 members at any given time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average doesn’t have a strong representation of modern tech companies, with Intel and Microsoft — who joined in 1999 — being the two most prominent members of the index.

Although I’m surprised to see AT&T go (they seem to have a slightly more promising future than Verizon right now), it makes a lot of sense that Apple is being added, even if it is long overdue.