The MacValley blog
Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.
The MacValley blog
Editor: Tom Briant
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Apple patches FREAK vulnerability on Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite
What The FREAK Is Going On?
There's been a lot of digital ink spilled on this over the last week or so, and I think it's time to weigh in on exactly what's going on with this vulnerability and its consequences.
There's been quite a lot of noise made about various browsers being vulnerable to this. But focusing on that is exactly backward, and here's why.
FREAK requires that someone be able to "get in the middle" of the connection, intercept the request, and then issue it with an "Export grade" (that is, very weak) cipher request. The server, if it accepts it, is then allowed to reply back to the client (which may not have included that in its list of proposals) and the client (if it accepts that) now completes the negotiation. The "man in the middle" now passively listens without interference, smug in the knowledge that it can then run that encryption through its cracking software and decrypt the transmission.
FREAK only works if the server is either misconfigured or is required to support weak ciphers intentionally. If the latter there is nothing to fix since the server is intentionally set up to serve clients in places where strong encryption is not permitted. If the former fix the damn server configuration!
Apple's MacBook Air: Once a darling, now a budget laptop
I lusted after the new MacBook, but here's why I won't buy one
5 everyday technologies Apple killed in the 12-inch MacBook
Apple's quest for ultra-thin simplicity in the new 12-inch MacBook has left a lot of technology in a shallow grave, replaced by a single Type-C port.
Apple's new super-thin MacBook may be a bad deal now, but just wait
It's gorgeous, and people were going bonkers over this thing, even though it will sell for a hefty $1,300 or more starting April 10.
Still, I have three major concerns about the new MacBook:
First, there's the price.
Then there are the ports. Or, rather, the lack of ports.
Finally, Apple did away with the MagSafe charger.
For now, the MacBook Air will remain the best laptop you can buy, just as the old plastic MacBook was when the Air originally launched in 2008. The new MacBook is a glimpse at the future, but you'll probably want to wait until the rest of the world catches up.
London police are going to abandon their notebooks in favour of iPads
London's Metropolitan Police force wants to extend its trial of using iPads to fight crime.
Officers have responded positively to the iPads.
There's a new Apple app you can't delete. And it'll be stuck on your phone as soon as you download the latest software update, iOS 8.2.
The Apple Watch App.
Apple's most important announcements at its Apple Watch event
Must-see video: Sex, luxury and the $10,000 Apple Watch
Scott Galloway makes the case for the Apple Watch Edition in 4 minutes and 52 seconds.
Scott Galloway starts talking about Apple at 11 minutes into this YouTube video.
Scott Galloway said "Luxury brands give you self expressive benefits. They signal something about you ...... The most powerful luxury brand in the world is Apple ...... Luxury is in the business of propagation ...... First year, Apple will be the biggest watch company in the world. Who does this hurt? Everybody."
With Its $10,000 Watch, Apple Has Lost Its Soul
With “Think different,” Apple was at the very least addressing itself to people who were not incumbent. (That status quo, unnamed in the ads, was of course Microsoft—which made serious machines preferred by people of business.) Apple made technology for people who wanted to change the world, not the people who ran it.
The Apple Watch prices grate. And they grate not because they’re so expensive, but because they’re gratuitously expensive.
Apple is manufacturing a $10,000 status symbol. Instead of telling users to pay up because they’ll get a better quality experience, it’s telling them to pay up because they can, and because a more expensive watch is …
I know which kind of consumer pays $10,000 just to have a nice watch which will be obsolete in a year. Not a misfit or a rebel.
Reader Response to an article about the Apple Watch:
"If the government required you to wear a tracking device that also could listen in at any time, read all your mail, know your most intimate secrets...would you wait in line to get one?"
Apple doesn't want to talk about the real use for the Apple Watch
the best thing about the watch, according to the Apple employees who’ve been demoing it, was that it let them basically stop using their phone. Instead of fishing their phones out of their pockets every couple minutes, they could check incoming notifications on the watch and choose to ignore or respond to them.
The Apple Watch is just the beginning for wearables
The Wearables Revolution is built upon and therefore an extension of the App Revolution
The Apple Watch is just the first iteration of a wearables computing device with mainstream potential. There will be many others…
The Apple Watch is just the beginning of a multi-decade Wearables Revolution.
I, for one, am very excited about the upcoming Apple Watch. I mean, come on, the App Revolution on your wrist?
This Apple Watch is going to evolve like the iPhone has before it. Look out into the year 2020 when you'll be able to buy the new Apple Watch 6 Plus with a holographic projector and predictive capabilities that know what you want to know before you can even ask to see it. There's an unstoppable Wearables Revolution coming down the pike. The Apple Watch is just the beginning for wearables, indeed.
3 reasons not to buy the Apple Watch
First-generation devices have fewer features
It’s a fitness — not a health-care — device
Apple may know more about you than you do
Apple Could Lead In Healthcare. Here's Why It Won't
the richest tech company on planet earth won’t allow millions of people around the planet to watch their own product announcement (which they broadcast live over the internet) simply because many people don’t use Apple's web browser.
The statement we absolutely have to avoid in healthcare is the one that Apple appears to not only embrace – but openly fosters:
Nurse: "We’re sorry Mrs. Jones, but your lab results and data from your hospital visit are only available on an Apple device using an Apple ‘app’ ".
10 mind-blowing facts about the Apple Store
Neighbors And Fans Are Curious About Apple's Massive New HQ
In Silicon Valley, the world's largest Apple product is taking shape — a glass and concrete ring wider than the Pentagon.
Netflix Flip-Flops On Net-Neutrality
Netflix isn't "pleased" about the Federal Communications Commission's recent vote on net neutrality, which slapped strong new rules on Internet providers.
That's because what Netflix wanted was a way to continue ramming their costs down other people's throats -- particularly but not exclusively Verizon's and Comcast's.
They thought they could get that through their lobbying effort and getting their customers to advocate based on lies, but what they got is going to utterly derail the company down the road -- and they've just woken up to that.
So-called "unlimited" Internet at very high speeds but low prices only works if the actual presented load profile is reasonably-bursty and thus the average presented load is low and the presence of short delays (or, in the technical parlance, jitter) is acceptable and causes no material disruption in the user experience.
Essentially what Title II is going to do is destroy the consumer "all you care to eat" bandwidth model.
When that happens, my friends, Netflix' forward business prospects go straight down the toilet and so does the stock price.
CIA researchers have worked for nearly a decade to break the security protecting Apple (AAPL.O) phones and tablets, investigative news site The Intercept reported, citing documents obtained from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Efforts to break into Apple products by government security researchers started as early as 2006, a year before Apple introduced its first iPhone and continued through the launch of the iPad in 2010 and beyond.
A man was arrested for refusing to give his phone’s passcode to border agents
Alain Philippon, a Quebec man that had flown back to Canada’s Halifax International Airport after a trip to the Dominican Republic, was stopped and arrested by border agents after he refused to offer up his phone’s passcode.
Philippon, 38, faces a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $25,000 with possible jail time.
Here’s what the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says on this issue:
Courts have generally accepted that telling the government a password or encryption key is “testimony.” A police officer cannot force or threaten you into giving up your password or unlocking your electronic devices. However, a judge or a grand jury may be able to force you to decrypt your devices in some circumstances.
Hanni Fakhoury, senior staff attorney at the EFF, told CNET that “the standards for search and seizure are relaxed” at the US borders, and agents don’t need a warrant, or even suspicion, to search your devices.
in the case of the Canadian border, where laws may be pushed back in favor of national security, the power to demand a person to offer up their password has “yet to be constitutionally tested