The Twelve-Other-iPhones Edition Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Justice Department Seeks To Force Apple To Extract Data From About 12 Other iPhones, by Devlin Barrett, Wall Street Journal

The Justice Department is pursuing court orders to force Apple Inc. to help investigators extract data from iPhones in about a dozen undisclosed cases around the country, in disputes similar to the current battle over a terrorist’s locked phone, according to people familiar with the matter.

The other phones are at issue in cases where prosecutors have sought, as in the San Bernardino, Calif., terror case, to use an 18th-century law called the All Writs Act to compel the company to help them bypass the passcode security feature of phones that may hold evidence, these people said.

For Apple, A Search For A Moral High Ground In A Heated Debate, by Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

At what point is there a moral obligation for a company to help law enforcement, regardless of the business or privacy risk, in the event of a terrorist attack, or any crime?

Narrow Focus May Aid F.B.I. In Apple Case, by Katie Benner and Matt Apuzzo, New York Times

The limited nature of the request has helped the government portray this case as a one-time demand, without ramifications beyond the case at hand.

Apple Seems To Be Losing PR Battle Over Unlocking iPhone, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

Apple appears to be losing the public perception battle in its dispute with the Department of Justice, with the majority of those surveyed by Pew Research saying the company should unlock the iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

Apple In China, Part I: What Does Beijing Actually Ask Of Technology Companies?, by Samm Sacks, Lawfare

Only Apple and the Chinese government know for sure the nature of their relationship, and what Apple is willing and obligated to provide. But in the absence of that information, a close reading of China’s applicable laws and regulations is the best guide to understanding the obligations that foreign technology companies take on in exchange for access to China’s market. These laws and regulations leave plenty of room for interpretation and negotiation by individual companies.

To lend some needed factual basis to the ongoing debate, the following is a primer for understanding the legal and regulatory environment companies like Apple face in China.

Figuring Out The NeXT

What Comes After Apps, by Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal

The good news is that this is tech, so pretty much everyone has an idea of how to disrupt apps. Some of them might even work.

What’s Next In Computing?, by Chris Dixon

The computing industry progresses in two mostly independent cycles: financial and product cycles. There has been a lot of handwringing lately about where we are in the financial cycle. Financial markets get a lot of attention. They tend to fluctuate unpredictably and sometimes wildly. The product cycle by comparison gets relatively little attention, even though it is what actually drives the computing industry forward. We can try to understand and predict the product cycle by studying the past and extrapolating into the future.


All The Useful iPhone Landscape Features You May Have Forgotten, by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker

Back when it launched, Apple made a big deal out of the fact you could turn your iPhone sideways and get a different view of an app. These days, many of us keep rotation lock on and don’t switch to landscape mode unless we’re watching videos. If that sounds like you, you’re missing out on some useful features.

Apple Partners With ‘The 1975’ For First Live Streaming Beats 1 Concert, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The concert was confirmed on Twitter by the band and will be streamed live on Apple Music this Thursday, February 25th at 9AM PT/12PM ET.

Apple TV Universal Search Gains Watch ABC, Disney Channel And More, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

Calibre: How I Put Epub Books On My Kindle,by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I like reading books on my Kindle, but one of the drawbacks of the Kindle platform is that it doesn’t support the epub book format. Instead, Kindle supports the Mobipocket format and its Kindle-specific AZW successors. So when I get an epub book I’d like to read, I need to convert that book before I can load it on my Kindle.

For this (and many other ebook related tasks), I use the free tool Calibre. It’s a program that’s hard to love, because it’s a cross-platform open-source project and it really shows in the interface. While Calibre fancies itself a sort of iTunes for ebooks, I don’t use it as a catalog. Instead, I use it to convert books into different formats.

Fluid Browser For Mac Is A Multitasker’s Dream, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The Fluid browser works just like any other normal browser, except that it’s floating on top of all other windows and can even be adjusted to be transparent.


IBM Bringing Swift To The Cloud For Simpler Development Of Enterprise Apps, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

IBM has announced that it is bringing Apple's Swift development language to the cloud to simplify end-to-end development of enterprise apps. Swift will be available as a server-side language on IBM Cloud, and today's phase of the rollout includes a preview of a Swift runtime and a Swift Package Catalog.


Apple Stores Ready Pair Of Improvements To In-store Genius Bar Support Services, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

Starting in the coming months, Genius Bar technicians will be able to extend the length of a pre-booked appointment at the point of service, allowing the Genius Bar appointment to continue without the 10 or 15 minute constraint. [...] Apple is also preparing improvements to walk-in appointments, those not pre-booked online or via the Apple Store application.

Apple Halved Transaction Fee To Get Apple Pay Into China, Report Says, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Whereas Apple is thought to claim about 0.15 percent per transaction in the U.S., the equivalent fee is approximately 0.07 percent in China, sources informed Caixin. American merchants can sometimes pay up to 2 percent in overall fees for a card transaction, but in China, the total can be as low as 0.38 percent — making an extra 0.15 percent a comparatively large burden.

A Cancer Survivor Designs The Cards She Wishes She’d Received From Friends And Family, by Kristin Hohenadel, Slate

“The most difficult part of my illness wasn’t losing my hair, or being erroneously called ‘sir’ by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo,” McDowell writes on her website. “It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.”

The 38-year-old designer has been cancer-free ever since. But the emotional impact of the experience lingered, inspiring her to design a newly launched series of Empathy Cards—emotionally direct greeting cards that say the things she wanted to hear when she was ill.

Bottom of the Page

I sure hope the self-driving cars of today are not the updated version of the flying cars in the 1960s.


Thanks for reading.