The Widescreen-iPod-With-Touch-Controls Edition Saturday, January 14, 2017

Is Watching A Movie On A Phone Really So Bad?, by Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“People who watch movies on phones (especially if they think they can leave valid critical comments on imdb) should be shot,” the critic Anne Billson declared on Twitter in mid-December. I quote her not to scold her, or to hold her to her word, but to underscore that passions in the format-platform controversies run high.

Apple ][ Forever

Early Photos Of Life At Apple With Steve Jobs, From The Company’s First Few Employees, by Jim Edwards, Business Insider

Early Apple images are relatively rare. In the 1970s people did not use cameras on a daily basis. These images are remarkable because they show life at Apple before everyone realized the company was going to change the world. For them, it was just a paycheck.

What, Me Worry?

WhatsApp Backdoor Allows Snooping On Encrypted Messages, by Manisha Ganguly, The Guardian

WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption relies on the generation of unique security keys, using the acclaimed Signal protocol, developed by Open Whisper Systems, that are traded and verified between users to guarantee communications are secure and cannot be intercepted by a middleman. However, WhatsApp has the ability to force the generation of new encryption keys for offline users, unbeknown to the sender and recipient of the messages, and to make the sender re-encrypt messages with new keys and send them again for any messages that have not been marked as delivered.

The recipient is not made aware of this change in encryption, while the sender is only notified if they have opted-in to encryption warnings in settings, and only after the messages have been resent. This re-encryption and rebroadcasting effectively allows WhatsApp to intercept and read users’ messages.

Dissidents Disappointed But Not Surprised By WhatsApp Security Flaw, by Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian

The exposure of a security flaw in WhatsApp has disappointed activists, diplomats and others who use it regularly for their work, but in a world of increasing surveillance and ever more aggressive hacking, many say they were already wary of trusting its promise of total privacy.

WhatsApp And Friends Take Umbrage At Report Its Crypto Is Backdoored, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Of course, there are some notable drawbacks that make such an attack scenario highly problematic from the standpoint of most attackers. For one, for the attack to work well, it would require control of a WhatsApp server, which is something most people would consider extraordinarily difficult to do. Absent control over a WhatsApp server, an attack would require abusing something like the SS7 routing protocol for cellular networks to intercept SMS messages. But even then, the attacker who wanted to acquire more than a single message would have to figure out a way to make the targeted phone unavailable over the network before impersonating it. What's more, it wouldn't be hard for the sender to eventually learn of the interception, and that's often a deal-breaker in many government surveillance cases. Last, the attack wouldn't work against encrypted messages stored on a seized phone.

WhatsApp’s New Vulnerability Is A Concession, Not A Backdoor, by Russell Brandom, The Verge

Messages are encrypted by default, but there’s a demonstrated way for WhatsApp’s servers to break a given conversation’s encryption. That could open the company up to some uncomfortable legal demands. It’s easy to imagine a forward-looking wiretap order demanding that WhatsApp perform this attack on a particular user. Unlike the Brazilian order, it would be difficult for the company to claim it couldn’t comply. It’s not a particularly useful technique for law enforcement: the target would be notified, and investigators wouldn’t get as much information as they would from an SMS login hijack or simply mugging the target when her phone is unlocked. But if an ambitious prosecutor wanted to score points in the encryption debate, it could be a very tempting subpoena to file.


Hands On: SuperDuper! 2.9.1 Backup Tool Updated For macOS Sierra, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

SuperDuper! aims to make it quick to set up a backup copying of your data and to make certain that you know exactly what will happen when you click on the Copy Now button.

Using A Gear S3 With An iPhone: Too Many Concessions, by Jason Cipriani, ZDNet

Another downside is that the Gear S app has to remain open in the background, meaning if iOS kills the app to free up resources, notifications on the watch can stop, and apps that require data such as S Voice will cease working until you relaunch the Gear S app on your phone.


One Thing, by Michael Lopp, Rands In Repose

This system is not for everyone. This system will be more useful to manager-types who have a deep sense of productivity doom. If you keep asking at the end of the day, “What did I do today?” This system might work. If you aggressively keep your to-do list tidy and regularly updated, but never feel like you’re ahead, I might be able to help.

Please note: this is going to hurt and you are going to get mad at some point. Sorry.


Why Carmakers Want To Keep Apple And Google At Arm's Length, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Though carmakers have generally embraced Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, many are hoping to establish an alternative app system that will be almost entirely under their purview. Automakers bill it as a move to create a seamless experience for their customers, but others in the industry see it as a way to cut Apple and Google out of the equation, so that vehicle manufacturers can continue to sell new services to customers.

How I Got My Attention Back, by Craig Mod, Backchannel

Disconnection helped me remember what the mind felt like before I had lost my attention. Reminded me how it felt to wash off that funereal glaze that seemed to coat us all, and to return to the world — however thick the gloom — with clarity and purpose, able to help out in far better ways than I could have had I stayed online.

I wanted my attention back, and I’ve got it … for now.

Bottom of the Page

10 years later, I don't think any of the local telcos here in Singapore has yet implement Visual Voicemail.

Of course, who the hell leaves voicemail nowadays?


Thanks for reading.