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.

GoPro Stock Price Skyrockets

GoPro stock price skyrocketed by 16 percent after rumors of an Apple acquisition. Analysts are saying that GoPro will fit as a glove in Apple’s line of products. GoPro had a revenue of $400 million in the last quarter, and has a market capitalization of $2.6 billion. GPRO is currently at $93.85, an all-time high.

Apple Store

If you’ve seen the Apple website lately, you probably haven’t notice anything new. However, there’s a somewhat significant but subtle change on Apple’s website. Gone is the Apple Store tab. You won’t find it on the top menu. It doesn’t mean Apple no longer has an online store. They still do. The store is now fully integrated on the entire website with Buy buttons on each product page. Also gone is the store.apple.com domain. It’s no longer being used. Lastly, the Add to Cart button is now called Add to Bag.

iPod Touch 2015

Apple just released a new version of the iPod touch. It’s powered by an A8 chip. It comes with a 8mp iSight camera. It’s available in 5 colors. The retina display has a 1136 x 640 resolution. Most importantly, the new iPod has been updated to match the iPhone 6. The only difference with iPhone 6 and the iPod touch is phone capability.

iWatch 76% Markup

If you ever wonder how AAPL, Apple’s ticker symbol on Nasdaq, has done in the last 5 years. It started out at around $40 per share five years ago. It’s currently priced at about $130. That’s 3 times the value. Part of the reason why Apple has so much revenue, they place a huge markup on their products. Consider the latest and greatest, the iWatch. According to Geek.com article, the iWatch costs only $83.70 to manufacture. As the article mentions, it does not put into account the cost of development, support, packaging, etc. If you put that aside for a moment, the cheapest iWatch you can buy from Apple retails for $349, a 76% markup. That’s the just cost of using Apple products. In spite of the cost, consumers still buy Apple products for quality and support. I think consumers value that. That’s the reason why people still flock to buy Apple products. But 76% is a crazy value.

Xbox May Be Spying On You

First it was the Samsung TV, now they’re saying your Xbox may be spying on you as well. And it doesn’t stop there, sources are now saying that Microsoft and Apple devices, and Samsung phones are also snooping on their customers.

For the Xbox, Microsoft uses Kinect to activate spoken commands for the console. Unfortunately, Microsoft is able to listen to conversations as well. Read the article.

OS X Update 10.8.3

I’m currently updating OS X Mountain Lion on my Mac. The update is 567MB and takes about 15 minutes based on my connection. The OS update includes features and fixes such as:

  • Redeem iTunes gift cards in the Mac App Store using your Mac’s built-in camera
  • Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8
  • Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3TB hard drive
  • A fix for an issue that could case a file URL to quit apps unexpectedly

And a few more….

Here’s a snapshot of the update.

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 1.32.50 PM

For detailed info about the update, visit the following links:

Mac Mini With USB 3.0

Along with the iPad mini being introduced on October 23rd, Apple also plans to upgrade the Mac Mini with USB 3.0 ports. Will there be processor and storage upgrades for the Mac Mini? There is no telling at the moment. I guess, we just have to wait until the October 23 announcement. Regardless, the USB 3.0 upgrade is good news for prospective Mac Mini buyers, like me.