The new iMac is what the Mac Pro used to be

New iMac 

Apple’s matchless iMac with Retina 5K display is its most expensive ever
[Via MacDailyNews]

// <![CDATA[

google_ad_client = "ca-pub-9654279268749293";
/* Article Body, 336x280, Above the fold */
google_ad_slot = "0670981169";
google_ad_width = 336;
google_ad_height = 280;
//-->

// ]]>

“Apple yesterday launched its most expensive-ever iMac, the $2,499 iMac with Retina 5K display, a desktop that will appeal to not only professional creative customers but also well-heeled consumers who want the very best money can buy, analysts said,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “‘Clearly, it’s a good machine for creative professionals,’ said Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research, in an interview yesterday. ‘But it’s also for those where money is no object, who want a very good PC.’”

“‘It’s both a niche product and a premium mass-market product,’ said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. ‘It’s for professionals who don’t need the absolute best, like a Mac Pro, but also for prosumers who just want the best,’” Keizer reports. “Not surprisingly, Apple spent much of the iMac’s time in the spotlight yesterday touting the display, which offers 5120-by-2880-pixel resolution. ‘This is the world’s highest-resolution display,’ boasted Philip Schiller, Apple’s top marketing executive, who presented the 5K Retina iMac at Thursday’s event.”

[More]

I’m in the market for a new computer. While still very productive with my early 2008 Mac Pro, it  is beginning to slow down some. I looked at the new Mac Pro, because that is what I have always used for work – that is, the top of the line Macs with respect to speed, etc.

The current Mac Pro is just way too much muscle for me and way too expensive.

So I looked at the new iMac. And it fits exactly what I need. At close to the price I have always paid. 

Now when to pull the trigger?

How distributed democracy permitted a team to play top flight soccer

 Soccer 286

Meet the smallest team ever to play in elite European soccer
[Via Quartz]

Barcelona’s soccer team later today will host a match in its legendary stadium, Camp Nou, where the club regularly plays in front of 98,000. Barcelona has won La Liga 22 times and the European Cup four times. Its opponents are much less renowned, though, in their own way, no less remarkable.

The club from Eibar, a small town in the Basque country, is playing in Spain’s top division for the first time ever. Last year, its budget was €3.2 million ($4.1 million), which wouldn’t cover the annual salary of Lionel Messi, Barcelona’s star player. The team’s stadium holds 5,200 and average attendance last year was 2,900—which makes Eibar the smallest team ever in the history of La Liga. It is quite likely that that it is the smallest team ever to play in any of the top divisions of the major European leagues of England, Spain, Italy, and Germany. For example, in England, you have to go two divisions below teams like Manchester United and Chelsea to get to attendances below Eibar’s.

[More]

They qualified for the top division but did not have the money. After osing in court, they needed several million dollars to play.

Luckily for them, we now have to the tools for people around the world to support organizations that they like – the team crowdfunded the money.

The plucky team had the lowest budget of the 80 teams in the second division. They have no debt.They are a great example of how to succeed without  needing to spend huge amounts of money.

Yet they won enough games to be promoted up to the top league. So they used that same attitude to ask people from around the world to help.

And they did.

A 90-year-old who has been a member since 1945 bought the share that let the team reach its goal. Now all the names of the shareholders are on a wall in the Eibar stadium, primarily featuring locals but—in a sign of how much this plucky team caught the imagination of soccer fans everywhere—also people from more than 50 countries.

This is how distributed approaches can overcome obstacles to achieve success. we continue to see more of this every day.

Unbreakable Apple encryption – 80 milliseconds may be key

System Lock 

 Why can’t Apple decrypt your iPhone?
[Via A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering]

Last week I wrote about Apple’s new default encryption policy for iOS 8. Since that piece was intended for general audiences I mostly avoided technical detail. But since some folks (and apparently the Washington Post!) are still wondering about the nitty-gritty details of Apple’s design, I thought it might be helpful to sum up what we know and noodle about what we don’t.

[More]

Nice explanation of how Apple has secured the iPhone. No backdoors. Apple holds no keys. The phone takes your password, mixes it with a specific number for each phone (UID), and runs it through a slow derivation function to get the passkey used for all on phone encryption. What does the slow derivation function do?

The Apple Key Derivation function ‘tangles’ the password with the UID key by running both through PBKDF2-AES — with an iteration count tuned to require about 80ms on the device itself.** The result is the ‘passcode key’. That key is then used as an anchor to secure much of the data on the phone.

Apple used a dedicated line on the chip to put the key into the secure enclave. Software can put it in when you change a password but cannot extract it out. The only thing that can be done is to brute force the password by trying every single combination.

Now, normally, the authorities can use a class F supercomputer, capable of trying a billion passwords a second. This means that even if your password mixed lower case, upper case and special symbols and was 8 characters in length – 96 possible characters and a whopping 7.2 quadrillion possible combinations – the class F could find it in less than 3 months.

The authorities know that any phone they want to crack can be with a brute force approach. Well, that used to be true.

See that 80 ms requirement. Since the only thing to do is brute force the password, that 80 ms becomes important, as I wrote before. It slows down even the Class F. Instead of a billion tries a second, it can only do 12.5. 

This means that even an 8 digit passcode using only numbers would now take 3 months. Instead of instantly.

Before, they could just ask Apple to crack it for them. Because it held a backdoor key. But now Apple no longer can do that.

It means that pretty much no one can get the data off your phone, especially if you use even a simple password with 6-8 characters.

And Apple lets you use a passcode up to 37 characters long.

The only way to get an iPhone cracked is to get a warrant requiring the owner to open it. No more being able to use a third party to do it for the authorities.

So we are back to what used to be the status quo.

Apple wins at Global Thermonuclear War by refusing to play the game the FBI wants it to.

 War Games (1983)

iPhone Encryption and the Return of the Crypto Wars
[Via Schneier on Security]

Last week, Apple announced that it is closing a serious security vulnerability in the iPhone. It used to be that the phone’s encryption only protected a small amount of the data, and Apple had the ability to bypass security on the rest of it.

From now on, all the phone’s data is protected. It can no longer be accessed by criminals, governments, or rogue employees. Access to it can no longer be demanded by totalitarian governments. A user’s iPhone data is now moresecure.

To hear US law enforcement respond, you’d think Apple’s move heralded an unstoppable crime wave. See, the FBI had been using that vulnerability to get into people’s iPhones. In the words of cyberlaw professor Orin Kerr, “How is the public interest served by a policy that only thwarts lawful search warrants?”

Ah, but that’s the thing: You can’tbuild a backdoor that only the good guys can walk through. Encryption protects against cybercriminals, industrial competitors, the Chinese secret police and the FBI. You’re either vulnerable to eavesdropping by any of them, or you’re secure from eavesdropping from all of them.

Backdoor access built for the good guys is routinely used by the bad guys. In 2005, some unknown group surreptitiously used the lawful-intercept capabilities built into the Greek cell phone system. The same thing happened in Italy in 2006.

[More]

WarGames was a prescient movie. The scene above could almost be used today, with authorities complaining about iPhone security.

We have fought this battle many times. Personal security always wins and the authorities find other ways to legally do their business.

All this means is that the authorities can no konger go around the user and seek out third parties to threaten, third parties who seem to have no skin in the game,

But, in the post-Snowden age, this approach has signifiant and detrimental effects on the business models of the third parties. Now they do have skin in the game as countries where they sell their goods become suspicious.

So, Apple takes the very smart path – simply remove itself. The only way for it to win is to not play the game.

Now the FBI and others still have lots of access to data – anything on the cloud or in teleco servers.  They just need to get a specific court order to access a smartphone from Apple.

Distributed democracy wins again. For now.

DEA creating fake social media pages – another reason to lockdown your phone

 Handcuffs

 

Drug agency sued over its fake Facebook account
[Via AP]

The Drug Enforcement Administration set up a fake Facebook account using photographs and other personal information it took from the cellphone of a New York woman arrested in a cocaine case in hopes of tricking her friends and associates into revealing incriminating drug secrets.

The Justice Department initially defended the practice in court filings but now says it is reviewing whether the Facebook guise went too far.

Sondra Arquiett’s Facebook account looked as real as any other. It included photos of her posing on the hood of a sleek BMW and a close-up with her young son and niece. She even appeared to write that she missed her boyfriend, who was identified by his nickname.

[More]

Yep, they simply created a fake Facebook page using photos from a confiscated phone:

In a court filing in August, the Justice Department contended that while Arquiett didn’t directly authorize Sinnigen to create the fake account, she “implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cellphone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in … ongoing criminal investigations.”

The photos showed her in sexy, provocative positions as well as including family members  who appear to be underage.So if you ever give the DEA access to your phone, they can use whatever information they find. For anything if they call it an ongoing criminal investigation.

Glad I have an iPhone 6. That way they will have to get a warrant which should spell out exactly what they can and cannot do.

Why upgrade to iOS 8 when I’m getting a new iPhone 6 anyway?

iPhone 6 - najlepsze gry 

Apple iOS 8 adoption around 50%, iPhone 6 adoption sets record
[Via MacDailyNews]

// <![CDATA[

google_ad_client = "ca-pub-9654279268749293";
/* Article Body, 336x280, Above the fold */
google_ad_slot = "0670981169";
google_ad_width = 336;
google_ad_height = 280;
//-->

// ]]>

“Within the first twenty-four hours, iOS 8 update appeared to be slower than its predecessors. A few weeks in, this continues to be the case says analytics firm Fiksu,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac. “After twelve days, both iOS 6 and iOS 7 had comfortably crossed the 50% mark for iOS usage. By contrast, iOS 8 is yet to hit the 40% mark according to Fiksu’s measurements. An independent study from Mixpanel says iOS 8 is closer to 50%, but it is still far behind iOS 7’s rate of uptake.”

“Meanwhile, iPhone 6 adoption is record-setting,” Mayo reports. “The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s followed near-identical growth path, but the iPhone 6 is more than double that rate. As of 17 days since release, the iPhone 6 has touched the 4% level. For comparison, the combined share of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c was about 3% in the same period.”

[More]

I think that may be why it is slower in adoption. I did not upgrade to iOS 8 because I knew I was going to be getting an iPhone 6. I love the new phone. Fits in my pocket fine. Love ThumbID.

Activating at home was painless and lawless.

Only problem is how thin it is. It kept slipping out of my hand because I actually have to hold it rather than let friction  keep it in my hand.

I wonder how much Samsung has funded ‘bendgate’?

Bent Screw Hole Backyard Metal Macros April 01, 20104 

Consumer Reports test shows iPhone 6 Plus less ‘bendy’ than iPhone 6, suggests ‘Bendgate’ may be overblown
[Via AppleInsider]

Adding its voice to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus “Bendgate” debate, Consumer Reports on Friday released results of a scientific test showing the handsets may not be as “bendy” as some claim.

[More]

Samsung has a history of putting up poorly edited ‘ads’ against the iPhone. I would not be surprised if they put some money behind this.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 449 other followers

%d bloggers like this: