FBI Chief Asks Congress to Mandate Smartphone Backdoors

Colin Lecher, reporting for The Verge:

FBI Director James Comey has been on a media tour lately, making an anti-encryption pitch to the public. Apple’s new encryption standards, Comey has argued, are an unnecessary hurdle to law enforcement — and the FBI needs an easy way to bypass them. Now Comey is bringing the argument straight to Congress, asking them to update a law to allow backdoors in smartphones.

What the FBI (and the NSA) don’t get is these encryption methods actually make people safer.

(via 512 Pixels)

‘The Difference 30 Years Makes’

Kent Akgungor compares the 2014 Retina 5K iMac to the 1984 original Macintosh:

When first released in 1984, the Apple Macintosh shipped with a black-and-white 512 x 342 display. Fast forward 30 years to the release of the iMac with Retina 5K display, which ships with a 5,120 x 2,880 display with support for millions of colours. That’s an increase from 175,000 pixels to more than 14.7 million – an 8,400% increase. 80 of the original Macintosh displays fit within a single Retina 5K display1.

I’ll repeat the last sentence: 80 of the original Macintosh displays fit within a single Retina 5K display.

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On the World Series and Apple Pay

Chris Welch, writing for The Verge:

MasterCard and MLB Advanced Media have announced that contactless payments are now supported at Kauffman Stadium and AT&T Park. They’re the first professional sports venues to roll out support for Apple Pay, which became widely available to consumers with yesterday’s launch of iOS 8.1.

[...]

Come next season, MasterCard says fans will be able to buy tickets for individual games with Apple Pay when ordering through Tickets.com. MLB is promising Apple Pay support for its own At the Ballpark app, too.

I noticed FOX ran a lot of ads for MasterCard-Pay during last night’s Game 1.

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‘How One Boy With Autism Became BFF’s With Apple’s Siri’

Judith Newman for the NYT, “To Siri, With Love”:

It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.

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‘I’m Never Going to Upgrade My First-Generation iPad’

Karyne Levy for Business Insider, on why she isn’t compelled to upgrade her iPad 1 from 2010:

I don’t need an upgraded iOS to display recipes while I putz around in the kitchen. And I can keep it on the coffee table if I need to look up something online and want a bigger screen.

An interesting, reasoned take for keeping an relatively ancient device.

Levy’s stance is interesting insofar that it’s so true in so many ways. Even on iOS 5.1.1, she can still get email and browse Safari. She can still tweet and use Facebook. Put another way, the essentials are still plenty viable and productive, even four years later.

On iCloud Drive

Graham Spencer for MacStories, “iCloud Drive: What It Is, How It Works, & Its Fundamental Problem”:

Cloud Drive sits awkwardly as a solution to a problem that Apple created. Apple at first tried to avoid implementing a file system on iOS but have now realised that some users need it and have created iCloud Drive in a way that tries to hide what is ostensibly a file system, ultimately making it more complicated. The problem is that files still get stuck in these weird app folders, which frankly makes no sense to me. If I have multiple text editors or spreadsheet apps, how am I supposed to know which app I created the file in?

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John Gruber at XOXO 2014

If you read my piece for Jason Snell’s Six Colors blog, you know that I attended the XOXO Festival in Portland, OR, last month. Since the conference ended, The Andys have been posting the guest speakers talks on YouTube.

Here, John Gruber discusses running Daring Fireball and being “indie”.

It was after this presentation that I got to meet John and shake his hand, which was a huge thrill.

Remembering ‘The Greatest Trade Show on Earth’

Chris Breen eulogizes Macworld Expo for Macworld:

At Expo careers were launched, plots hatched, businesses created, minds changed, and friends made. It was an event that we looked forward to for months and whose ideas resonated for years. And it wasn’t just us shmoes. I saw countless Apple employees who were just as excited about the show as I was. It was the center of the Apple universe. It mattered. And it mattered because it was about more than just products and promotion. It was equally about people.

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The Problems With Safari on iOS

Bradley Chambers, “The App That Holds iOS Back”:

When the iPhone was released in 2007 with a “desktop class” web browser, it was widely praised. You could view entire websites on a mobile device. Coming from the days of WAP optimized sites on my Motorola Q, this was incredible. If we fast forward to 2014, Mobile Safari has become the app that is holding the iPad back from becoming a fully featured laptop replacement for a lot of people. While Mobile Safari is fast and loads website reasonably well, it cannot upload and download files. It can upload pictures, but that is it. Mobile Safari needs a way to upload and download any type of file into iCloud Drive (a mirrored from the Mac downloads folder).

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‘Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent’

Nick Bilton, writing for the New York Times:

“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

The former early childhood development major in me thinks it’s so cool that Steve Jobs, of all people, saw the value in limiting his children’s access to technology.