Not Even NSA Can Keep Software Exploits Secret

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

FBI Guy and iPhone

Twice in two weeks we’ve gotten a solid reminder that exploits and legitimate software keys can be mishandled, even by experts. These events serve as practical certification that Apple was right in its theoretical stance to fight the FBI’s demand to create GovtOS.

Renaming Apple Products and Other Deck Chair Shuffles

· John Kheit · Editorial

[Product]

Since Apple is busy re-arranging deck chairs rather than actually making a new product, the least they can do is fix their wacked-out product naming scheme. John Kheit has some ideas on taming those names and modernizing Apple’s approach.

Apple Intelligently Delves into Machine Intelligence

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

It’s not surprising that Apple is warming up to the idea of machine intelligence and AI agents with its $200 million purchase of Turi. The company needs to do that to remain competitive with Google and Microsoft. But, over and above that, the beneficial side effects will have even deeper implications for Apple as a company and its future.

Twitter Will Let Users Block @Mentions from Strangers

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Stop Harassment

Twitter announced Thursday a new set of controls that allows users to not see @mentions from strangers. The move is being viewed as a response to Twitter trolls, though it’s more of a mask than a fix. When enabled, incoming mentions from people you don’t follow simply won’t be shown.

Apple Retail Drops 'Store' and I Think I Like It

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Mall of Georgia

Apple is in the process of rebranding its fleet of Apple Stores to a fleet of just Apple. The company is removing the word “Store” from those locations, turning them from retail outlets to outposts of the company itself. Bryan Chaffin thinks this is splendid

Dr. Mac’s Rules of Bargain Hunting

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Bargain Hunting

Dr. Mac likes a good bargain on anything, but he loves bargains on tech toys. His friends call him thrifty or conscientious but the fact is he’s a cheapskate. He’s obsessed with finding great products at rock bottom prices and shares his rules for bargain hunting this week in Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves.

Apple's Power Starts with Dismissing Engineering Truths as Irrelevant

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Watch Back

We’ve long understood that the user comes first at Apple, but former Apple engineer Bob Messerschmidt recently illustrated that in a clear and concise manner. It humanizes the magic that can happen when engineering truths are dismissed as irrelevant.

A Clever Microsoft Ad Gets to the Heart of Apple's Fuzzy iPad Message

· John Martellaro · Editorial

MacBook-iPad side by side

The early iPads were a sensation. It seemed that Steve Jobs had brought forth the successor to the Mac. However, things have not gone as planned with the iPad, and Apple is scrambling to construct a clearer branding and imperative for the iPad. Even Microsoft senses the difficulty and has poked fun at Apple’s newfound toaster-fridge mentality.

Twitter and NFL on Apple TV Could Be Big For Everyone

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple TV, NFL, and Twitter

Twitter is reportedly talking with Apple about bringing a dedicated app to Apple TV for live-streaming NFL games. A solid Twitter app bringing this kind of content to your TV could be a big winner for fans, Twitter, Apple, and the NFL, too.

Warren Buffett Buys 5.41 Million Shares of $AAPL

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

$AAPL Logo

Warren Buffett bought some 5.41 million shares of Apple during the June quarter, according to regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The investment cost more than half a billion dollars, and represents a 55% increase in Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in Apple.

Apple Music and iTunes Downloads Combine into One Powerful Music Platform

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Music and iTunes

Apple’s decision to continue selling iTunes downloads alongside its Apple Music streaming service is proving to be a powerful combination. Three albums debuted in the number one spot this year as exclusive offerings from Apple. No other competing service can claim to have pushed an album to number one.

Apple Pay Rival Systems Will be Costly Failures

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Apple Pay AMEX

It seems that too many corporations and banks want to create rival alternatives to Apple Pay. They have their own agenda for inserting themselves into the payment process, but always seem to forget that putting themselves ahead of the customer with half-baked, potentially problematic systems is never the right thing to do. Most will have to learn the hard way.

Microsoft Expertly Demonstrates Why Encryption Backdoors Are Terrible Ideas

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Golden Key Website

Microsoft did long term privacy advocates a huge favor, even while it screwed over untold millions of customers. The company expertly demonstrated the foolhardy nature of backdoors even existing by accidentally leaking a so-called “golden key.” That key will allow anyone to bypass Microsoft’s Secure Boot protections, rendering them moot.

Don't Install Point Zero Releases

· Bob LeVitus · Columns & Opinions

Man with a gavel

Dr. Mac always advises his friends and family not to install the first release of ANY new operating system, contending that it’s safer to wait for the inevitable “point-one” release (or even the point-two release), before pulling the trigger.

Tim Cook's Apple Ambitions Include Health Care and 'Everything Part of Your Life'

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Tim Cook and the World

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s ambitions are big, probably bigger than any of us realize. In a much talked-about interview with Rick Tetzeli (Becoming Steve Jobs) for Fast Company, Mr. Cook hinted that Apple wants to make a big play in health care. He also said, “Our strategy is to help you in every part of your life that we can.”

What Happens when Apple's Strategies Conflict with Apple Values?

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Four commitments to accessibility on Apple's OS X accessibility page

Apple CEO Tim Cook has staked out Apple’s values clearly and strongly. Aside from its pursuit of great technology, Apple has value statements on Accessibility, Education, the Environment, Inclusion and Diversity, Privacy, and Supplier Responsibility. But what happens when Apple’s strategies conflict with those values?

Eventually, AI Agents Will Put Even Authors Out of Work

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

AI Agent

Computers play better chess than humans. They can be instructed on how to do detailed manufacturing, beyond the abilities of humans. They shrewdly buy and sell stock. They can read medical literature and aid in the treatment of disease.  It won’t be long before even the last bastion of the human mind, creative writing, will be replaced by AI agents. John looks at the trend line.

Apple Uses Black Hat Conference to Launch Bug Bounty Program, Will Pay up to $200K

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Researcher Money Pile

Apple announced a bug bounty program on Thursday, a much-needed departure from the past. The program will pay up to US$200,000 for bug reports on its software. In another departure, Apple made the announcement at the annual Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. Apple hasn’t given a presentation at the event in four years.

New Hardware Could Complete Apple's 4K/UHD TV Future

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

Apple TV driving HDTV

Apple has been nibbling around the edges of the TV experience for a long time. The Apple TV has been a good start, and the recent emphasis on the 4th generation Apple TV and apps has been good. And yet, Apple hasn’t really closed the loop for a complete viewing experience and has delivered only pieces of the needed hardware. John fantasizes a bit. But with logic.