Apple is Looking More and More Like the Company to Go With

Apple store at Park Meadows Mall, Lone Tree, CO

The theme of this week’s Particle Debris is that technology advances are happening so fast that they are outstripping the ability of even reasonably informed people to make informed choices.

I’ll get to that, in some detail, further along.

We trust our kids are in good hands with Apple.

But first, one of the key elements of Apple’s proactive system design has been the way iOS updates are handled on our iPhones and iPads. This is important because we’ve reached an interesting security inflection point. Instead of continuing updates making our devices more and more secure, instead, continuing updates merely hold the fort until the next round of updates.

Whether by awesome prescience or good policy, Apple anticipated the above scenario by seizing control of the iPhone update process. Jonny Evans at Computerworld nicely explains the process that started in 2007.

Apple planned for this when it began to use subscription accounting in April 2007.

Author Evans reminds us that system updates weren’t always free.

It’s important to note that operating system upgrades were not always free.

You had to pay for both Mac and Windows upgrades. Windows Mobile (at that time a threat) demanded a fee for its upgrades, but customers weren’t buying. Palm, RIM, and Nokia only seldom introduced OS upgrades, preferring a ‘built-in-obsolescence’ model in which customers were driven to purchase new handsets to get hold of a new OS.

Of course, customers neglected to do that.

Today, 95 percent of iOS devices are running iOS 10 or later. Evans explains, “This means 95 percent of all actively used iOS devices run an operating system that’s under 2 years old. No other platform has this.”

This turns out to be critical when it comes to securing the iOS platform against ongoing threats.

Diametric Views, Apple and Facebook

Moving from platform security to user privacy, Cult of Mac lays out the great contrast between Apple and Facebook.

Facebook lost more value today than any other company in history: US$120 billion. The massive selloff came after CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the growing privacy concerns of the public, and the likely response of lawmakers and regulators, will hit the company where it hurts: in the pocketbook.

Author Hardy lays out the stark contrast between the two companies and explores the continuing stress Facebook is under as users and the federal government acquire a new appreciation for how Facebook operates.

Facebook’s whole business model is gathering private data about users and selling it to advertisers. The people who use its social network aren’t the customers, they’re the product being sold.

But the company’s CEO just admitted that this is becoming increasingly difficult. Speaking to investors late yesterday, Zuckerberg warned ‘Looking ahead, we will continue to invest heavily in security and privacy because we have a responsibility to keep people safe. But as I’ve said on past calls, we’re investing so much in security that it will significantly impact our profitability.’

It’s bizarre how a statement that rings so hollow could spook investors. But we live in weird times.

Finally, one can reasonably conceive of the failure of Facebook if its growth stalls any more deeply and government scrutiny becomes more and more invasive and disruptive. Meanwhile, Apple continues to adhere to good principles of security and privacy. In a day and age when time to reflect on and manage our internet life is at a premium, it makes more and more sense to stick with a company whose values echo our own.

Next Page: The News Debris for the week of July 23rd. Advances that will leave your head spinning.

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Lee Dronick

I use Apple Pay whenever possible and a lot of the stores where I shop accept it, I wish that Costco was one of them. I have noticed that it works at many card readers that have NFC, but do not specifically advertise Apple Pay. I also have several retailer’s cards in the app.


For awhile, after Apple Pay was introduced, it seemed that buying things would be easier FWIW, I started to set up a credit card in my phone about six months ago. I got it in and just needed to authorize the card. I never got around to it. There was no compelling reason to proceed. This weekend I deleted the card. As long as ApplePay is just one among many, and most vendors have no idea what im talking about, theres no reason to use ANY pay with my phone system. As long as so many stores want to use… Read more »

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: Your lede here, technological advancement being so rapid that no one individual can keep up with it, is a good one. Permit me to take a step back and a wider angle view. I see this as a principal component, indeed the catalyst, in a paradigm shift in security and its balance point between safety, peace and prosperity on the one hand, and compromise, loss and warfare on the other. The crown jewel of that equation remains, and it ever was, a society’s economy; the source of its material well-being, and therefore the target of any hostile act. Improvements… Read more »


Apple is not on any home assistant or AI, AR cutting edge but they make a great phone. But, they update way too often making their expensive stuff obsolete way too soon. Then there is the quality considering what you pay for, take flaptops for example: I think I’s go elsewhere if I was forced to use a flaptop. (from the web) 1A1226/A1260 2007-2008 Macbook GPU failures, warranty service refusal A1226/A1260 2007-2008 Macbook Pro hinge/frame problem A1286 Macbook Pro – the “Unibody” myth, glued together pieces fall apart A1286/A1297 MCP power circuit failure due to poor buck converter design: C7771… Read more »