The Go-To-Court Edition Wednesday, March 2, 2016

FBI Is Asking Courts To Legalize Crypto Backdoors Because Congress Won’t, by David Kravets, Ars Technica

"Can you appreciate our frustration that this case appears to be a little more than an end run around this committee?" Conyers asked.

Comey replied, saying he should be "fired" if he didn't go to court. "We're investigating a horrific terrorist attack," he added.

FBI Director Comey Admits ‘Mistake Made’ In Changing Apple Password, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

“There was a mistake made in the first 24 hours, where the county, at the FBI’s request, made it hard to make the phone back up by [changing the password of] the iCloud account,” Comey said in testimony.

[...] Comey quickly added that experts say a backup of the iPhone 5c would not have yielded all the information investigators hope to retrieve from the device.

Here Are The Most Interesting Things Apple And The FBI Said About Encryption, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

“I don’t have a solution,” Sewell said, at one point in testimony Tuesday. “What we need to do is give this an appropriate and fair hearing.”

That didn’t satisfy Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who introduced the Patriot Act expanding surveillance in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“You’ve told us what you don’t like. You’ve said you want Congress to debate,” Sensenbrenner said. “You haven’t told us one thing that you do like, so that Apple has a positive solution to what you are complaining about … All you’ve been doing is saying ‘no, no, no, no.'”

Apple Follows Up Earlier Motion To Vacate FBI Court Order With Formal Objection In Order To Guarantee Appeal, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Shortly after yesterday’s Congressional hearing, Apple filed a formal objection to the court order instructing it to assist the FBI in breaking into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

We Can Decrypt It For You Wholesale

The Cloud Loophole, by Walt Mossberg, Re/code

The company says its security policies for the phone are based on the fact that it’s a physical object that can be lost or stolen, so the need to protect the mass of personal data a typical iPhone contains compels the strongest possible measures.

However, it says, in the case of iCloud, while security must also be strong, Apple must leave itself the ability to help the user restore their data, since that’s a key purpose of the service.

Abort, Retry, Fail?

Typos In Disk Utility, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

While this may seem silly, it's this attention to detail stuff that worries me about Apple software.

Too Social Media

The Creepiest App You'll Ever See, by Meredith Cunningham, Komando

Part art project, part iPhone app and all parts unsettling, Follower is a "stalker service" that lets you sign up to have your own, out-of-sight, personal stalker for the day. Once you sign up, your GPS location will be sent to your follower who will then follow you around all day and, as the site puts it, "aim to maintain a distance that is within your consciousness but just beyond your sight."

I Am Dating My Phone, by Karen Workman, Medium

I am dating my phone.

We talk a lot. I mean, not IRL. Mostly we just send each other messages.

My phone will send me messages like “Hi” and “hey sexy” and “haha what’s up.”

I don’t always understand my phone’s sense of humor.


How To Set Up Minimal iTunes For Music Only, by Kirk McElhearn

If you want to use iTunes just for playing music (and, perhaps, syncing iOS devices), then you can hide many of the unwanted features and turn it into a lean music-playing app. Here’s how.

Disney Is Making A Big, Awesome Change To Its $1 Billion 'Disney Infinity' Video Game Business, by Matt Weinberger, Business Insider

The extended support for the 3.0 edition is going to take the form of a quartet of brand-new "playsets," or playable level packs, coming to the game this year. The first, "Marvel Battlegrounds," comes out in mid-March. The remaining three will each be themed around Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney, though more details on those are scant.

“‘Disney Infinity 3.0’ will feature more Disney content than any video game ever made,” promises Disney Infinity VP of Production John Vignocchi.

The way "Disney Infinity" works, across video game consoles, smartphones, PCs, and even the Apple TV, is both simple and amazing.

Soundhound's New App Wants To Replace Siri And Google Now On Your Phone, by Karissa Bell, Mashable

Though the virtual assistant space is getting increasingly crowded with Siri, Cortana, Google Now and Amazon's Alexa all vying for a spot in our daily lives, SoundHound says its app has a leg up on the competition because it's able to understand more complex queries than other assistants.

GIF Brewery 3 Is More Powerful And Versatile Than Ever, by John Voorhees, MacStories

GIFs are everywhere. Sites and services like Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook breathed new life into GIFs and created demand for things like Giphy, a GIF search engine. But a good search engine isn't always enough. Sometimes I want to make my own GIFs. For that, I use GIF Brewery 3 from Hello, Resolven Apps.


Developers: Apple’s App Review Needs Big Improvements, by Graham Spencer, MacStories

App Review is not in a critical condition, but there is a very real possibility that today’s problems with App Review are, to some degree, silently stiffling app innovation and harming the quality of apps on the App Store. It would be naïve of Apple to ignore the significant and numerous concerns that developers have about the process.

How To Deploy Software, by Zach Holman

It doesn't have to be as stressful, though. There's one phrase I'm going to be reiterating over and over throughout this whole piece:

Your deploys should be as boring, straightforward, and stress-free as possible.


Apple Leases Old Pepsi Bottling Plant In Sunnyvale, by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

Apple, of course, was led for a decade by John Sculley, the former CEO of Pepsi. He was lured to the position by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who famously asked him, "Do you want to sell sugar water, or do you want to come with me and change the world?"

These Are The Long-Term Effects Of Multitasking, by Vivian Giang, Fast Company

Research repeatedly tells us that multitasking is detrimental to our brain. Although jumping from task to task may result in a false sense of accomplishment, human brains weren’t built to multitask. A number of research studies have concluded that our brains are actually "dumbed down" while multitasking.

McDonald's Is Now Making Happy Meal Boxes That Turn Into Virtual Reality Headsets, by David Gianatasio, AdWeek

To turn the iconic red boxes into Happy Goggles, just tear along some perforated lines and fold, inserting the VR lenses (included) and a smartphone (bring your own).

Bottom of the Page

I still listen to David Bowie's last album from time to time. I am still sad.


Thanks for reading.