The Nothing-To-Patch Edition Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Apple iCloud Keychain Easily Slurped, ElcomSoft Says, by Thomas Claburn, The Register

ElcomSoft, the Russia-based maker of forensic software, has managed to find a way to access the data stored in Apple's iCloud Keychain, if Apple ID account credentials are available.


Katalov said this is not a exploitation of a vulnerability and there's nothing Apple can patch. Rather, ElcomSoft is exposing functions that Apple has not made available – Apple does not provide any means of accessing iCloud Keychain.

CrashPlan Discontinues Consumer Backups, by Joe Kissell, TidBITS

It has been a few years since a decision by a major tech company last turned me into a green rage monster, but it just happened again. Code42 Software has announced that it’s discontinuing its consumer backup product, CrashPlan for Home.

Car Talk

Apple Scales Back Its Ambitions For A Self-Driving Car, by Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times

Five people familiar with Apple’s car project, code-named “Titan,” discussed with The New York Times the missteps that led the tech giant to move — at least for now — from creating a self-driving Apple car to creating technology for a car that someone else builds. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about Apple’s plans.

The project’s reduced scale aligns Apple more closely with other tech companies that are working on autonomous driving technology but are steering clear of building cars. Even Waymo, the Google self-driving spinoff that is probably furthest along among Silicon Valley companies, has said repeatedly that it does not plan to produce its own vehicles.

Some Comments Regarding The New York Times’s Report On Apple’s Titan Project, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

“Shelved” is an accurate word, but I think many people have interpreted it as meaning that Apple has given up on designing its own vehicles. My understanding is that it’s more like “Let’s get the autonomous shit down first, and worry about designing vehicles to put it in after that.” Eat the steak one bite at a time rather than all at once.


Metapho 3.0 Adds Video Support And Morel, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Metapho is a powerful utility for accessing, editing, and removing metadata from photos and videos.

15 Of The Best Apps To Engage Students Outside The Classroom, by Dave Saltmarsh, eSchool News

Learning shouldn’t stop when students leave for summer vacation. Rather, this extended break from the classroom is the perfect time to introduce kids to a variety of mobile apps that can continuously promote creativity and critical thinking. From kindergarten to grade 12, the vast assortment of digital offerings can meet any student’s interests, all while providing valuable lessons that will appropriately challenge each user. Here are a few great options for rainy days, road trips or any time in between.

Vudu Unveils Native Apple TV App For Streaming Ultraviolet, Disney Movies Anywhere Content, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

As expected, a native Apple TV app has launched for Walmart's Vudu streaming service, allowing for streaming of over 100,000 titles, with 4,000 of them free and ad-supported.

AccuWeather Responds To Accusations They Shared Geolocation Data Without Permission, by Dave Mark, The Loop

My gut says AccuWeather was caught by surprise here, rather than caught with their hand in the cookie jar.


You Are The Product: It Zucks!, by John Lanchester, London Review of Books

At the end of June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had hit a new level: two billion monthly active users. That number, the company’s preferred ‘metric’ when measuring its own size, means two billion different people used Facebook in the preceding month. It is hard to grasp just how extraordinary that is. Bear in mind that thefacebook – its original name – was launched exclusively for Harvard students in 2004. No human enterprise, no new technology or utility or service, has ever been adopted so widely so quickly. The speed of uptake far exceeds that of the internet itself, let alone ancient technologies such as television or cinema or radio.

Also amazing: as Facebook has grown, its users’ reliance on it has also grown. The increase in numbers is not, as one might expect, accompanied by a lower level of engagement. More does not mean worse – or worse, at least, from Facebook’s point of view. On the contrary. In the far distant days of October 2012, when Facebook hit one billion users, 55 per cent of them were using it every day. At two billion, 66 per cent are. Its user base is growing at 18 per cent a year – which you’d have thought impossible for a business already so enormous. Facebook’s biggest rival for logged-in users is YouTube, owned by its deadly rival Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google), in second place with 1.5 billion monthly users. Three of the next four biggest apps, or services, or whatever one wants to call them, are WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, with 1.2 billion, 1.2 billion, and 700 million users respectively (the Chinese app WeChat is the other one, with 889 million). Those three entities have something in common: they are all owned by Facebook. No wonder the company is the fifth most valuable in the world, with a market capitalisation of $445 billion.

Bottom of the Page

I am waiting for someone more clever than me to make a comparison between a product going to a subscription business model and a product dropping features and sunsetting subscription plan.


Thanks for reading.