The Militarily-Correct Edition Saturday, March 5, 2016

Here Are The Legal Generals Behind Apple's Brawl With The FBI, by Peter Robison, Adam Satarino, and Monte Reel, Bloomberg

Moments before Apple Inc. attorney Bruce Sewell stepped out to face hostile Congressional questioning this week, his own lawyer frowned.

“Have you got collar stays?” asked the attorney, Marc Zwillinger. When Sewell confessed no, Zwillinger flipped up his own shirt collar and handed over the stays. As Sewell told Congress that complying with a government order to unlock a terrorist’s iPhone would “create a risk for everybody who owns an iPhone,” the collar points of his blue shirt were militarily correct.

In a dispute that Apple calls critical to personal liberty and its business, appearance is no small matter. In a dozen cases around the U.S., from the standoff over the phone in San Bernardino, California, to a similar clash in Brooklyn, the stiffening of the company’s anti-surveillance backbone can be traced to Zwillinger, a former government lawyer who’s crafting Apple’s response, and Sewell, a veteran intellectual property attorney who was Steve Jobs’ legal enforcer.

Why Even Apple’s Mortal Enemies Are On Its Side, by Hayley Tsukayama, Washington Post

Box chief executive Aaron Levie, whose cloud-storage company signed onto the brief with Google and others, said there is a clear reason that Silicon Valley is so engaged here: they believe the precedent set in this case affects all of their businesses. Tech firms are eager to have this conversation, he said, because many believe the FBI's request threatens the foundations of all software and product security.

Encrypted Email Service Lavabit Rises From The Dead To File Brief In Apple’s Defense, by Jordan Novet, VentureBeat

Lavabit, a company that operated an encrypted email service for more than 400,000 people — reportedly including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden — before it shut down in 2013 under legal pressure from the FBI, rose from the dead today. [...] As one might expect, the lawyers representing Lavabit LLC see a parallel between how it was treated and the treatment Apple is currently receiving.

Stephen "Alpha" Wolfram

AI & The Future Of Civilization, by Edge

What makes us different from all these things? What makes us different is the particulars of our history, which gives us our notions of purpose and goals. That's a long way of saying when we have the box on the desk that thinks as well as any brain does, the thing it doesn't have, intrinsically, is the goals and purposes that we have. Those are defined by our particulars—our particular biology, our particular psychology, our particular cultural history.

The thing we have to think about as we think about the future of these things is the goals. That's what humans contribute, that's what our civilization contributes—execution of those goals; that's what we can increasingly automate. We've been automating it for thousands of years. We will succeed in having very good automation of those goals. I've spent some significant part of my life building technology to essentially go from a human concept of a goal to something that gets done in the world.

There are many questions that come from this. For example, we've got these great AIs and they're able to execute goals, how do we tell them what to do?...


How-To: Manage Your ‘Digital Afterlife’ While You’re Still Here To Do It, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Things were simple enough in the old days. We wrote a will, took out a life insurance policy, maybe left a letter explaining where to find important documents, and that was about it. But in an age where many of our documents and assets are in digital form, it’s worth taking a little time to ensure that our loved ones don’t encounter major hassles when it comes to accessing them.

Fashion Goes Mobile: Find The Right Outfit On Your Phone, by Marianne Wee-Slater, Today

It’s not as if we need more reasons to stay glued to our smartphones, but an increasing number of fashion and beauty brands are creating mobile-phone apps aimed at increasing interaction with their consumers.

Apple Nanoleaf Smarter Kit Has Nice Bulbs, But The Hub Is Key, by Jim Rossman, The Dallas Morning News

If the thought of voice control is important to you, the Nanoleaf Smarter Kit is a unique-looking hub and bulb combo that brings the convenience of getting Siri to do your bidding.


Swift Asserts, by Mike Ash

Asserts are really useful for checking assumptions in code to ensure that errors are caught early and often. Today, I'm going to explore the assert calls available in Swift and how they're implemented.


Apple’s New Twitter Account Has Already Helped Thousands Of Users In Its First Day, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

24 hours later, Apple Support has over 121,000 followers, and has tweeted over 2,200 times directly to Apple users with instructions for how to fix their problems. Turns out, there was quite a bit of pent-up demand for Apple support on social media.

Forget Apple's Fight With The FBI – Our Privacy Catastrophe Has Only Just Begun, by Cory Doctorow, The Guardian

The smog of personal data is the carbon dioxide of privacy. We’ve emitted far too much of it over the past decades, refusing to contemplate the consequences until the storms came. Now they’ve arrived, and they’ll only get worse, because the databases that haven’t breached yet are far bigger, and more sensitive than those that have.

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Here's wishing you all the best in all your weekend projects.


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