Apple vs FBI

The FBI has been trying to get access to an iPhone owned by a terrorist in the San Bernardino attacks. The phone has a passcode that prevents anyone from accessing it. The FBI can’t do a brute force attack, by having a person or a computer try thousands of combinations to guess the password, because the iPhone has a feature that prevents brute force attacks.

The iPhone place timeouts in between each unsuccessful try. The iPhone can also be set to erase data after 10 unsuccessful tries. The only way for the FBI to gain access to the phone is to flash it with a firmware that bypasses the passcode. Apple is unwilling to comply to the FBI demands, even with a court order. This case will most likely go to the Supreme Court.

Most tech leaders uniformly support Apple in its stance to protect people’s privacy. But this is not just any other case, this is a case that pertains to national security.

This case has become fodder to many conspiracy theorists.

Some argue that Apple doesn’t have technical ability to crack their own phone. Programmers often place backdoors on systems to gain quick access to their systems. The other argument is, the FBI already knows how to get around the system, but just they’re pretending people’s privacy are secure, but it actually isn’t.

It will be interesting how this case develops especially if it reaches the Supreme Court.

Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS

Canonical just released Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS. This is the 4th update to the 14.04 series which was originally released back in April 2014. It’s probably the most stable Ubuntu to date, after being baked in the oven the last 2 years. I don’t think they will release another one with this series since Ubuntu 16.04 just around the horizon.

The Google Unsend

I sent a rather important email the other day. After hitting the Send button, I watch Gmail post a message saying, “Your message has been sent. Undo. View Message.” I paid particular attention to the Undo message. It lasted for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 seconds later, it was gone. It seemed like an eternity if you’re watching it. The Undo Message feature is a nice to feature to have knowing that, you may accidentally send something you rather keep.

You have a 30 second window to decide to undo the send. In order to take advantage of this feature, you have to enable it because it’s not turned on by default within Gmail. To turn it on, go to Settings. It’s the one with the Gear image. Under General and look for and click on the Enable Undo Send. Enjoy the Gmail safety feature just in case you change your mind. You have 30 seconds to decide.

Cowells Live

This is Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz. The live stream is courtesy of Surfline. This is the free version. It streams for about 30 seconds at a time. Ads are sandwiched in between the streams. At the moment, there’s a big swell from the WNW bringing 3-5 foot waves, and occasional 6 foot waves. If it’s going good at Cowell’s, Mavericks at the moment is firing at 20-25 feet, with occasional 30 foot waves.