A Juicy Week of Lies, Deception, Betrayal & Insecurities

| Particle Debris

This week’s collection of technical news debris is filled with a fake product that hoodwinked the news sites, fighting back at EULA shenanigans, a betrayal of Apple that will not go unpunished, and the awesome insecurity of those who worry that the iPad will take over the business world. And to top it all off, Twitter looks to be mightily pissing off its developers in a stroke so arrogant and bold that it could undo the company. And what one mister Dalton Caldwall is going to do about it.

Tech News Debris

Back stabThe nuances of iCloud are numerous, and it’s designed to do some very specific things. So if you wander away from its limits, there will be mysteries. Chris Breen at Macworld discusses “When Documents in the Cloud aren’t.

I am not a statistics expert, but my wife is. I learned her and my own studies, that a poll of national intent has to be truly random selection from a national population and that you need a 1,000+ sample size to get to that magical +/- 5 percent uncertainty. So when Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray polled 200 people in just one town, writers who are familiar with national TV polling blinked. “Analysts Lay Egg With Apple HDTV Poll.”

I’ve mentioned this a few times here and there, but I want to have a formal reference. And it’s the effort by Tobias Van Schneider to breathe some life into a modern email client. I’ve volunteered to beta test myself. “Stylish Mac email app .Mail begins leap from concept to reality. If you love Sparrow, check this out.

What’s the biggest lie on the Internet? Maybe you aren’t lying, but when you click through on that EULA, you may be giving away your first born child. Long, inscrutable and legalistic EULAs have been the bane of Internet life. So why not solve the problem by having a website that inspects the EULA and gives it a rating? That’s exactly what this project, not quite ready for launch, aims to do. Read about it here: “Putting An End To The Biggest Lie On The Internet.

The NSA has computing resources that are unimaginable, and has developed sophisticated mathematical methods. But there are levels of computing power. Local law enforcement, state law enforcement, and the FBI don’t have NSA assets, and not all of them, evidently, have the power to crack Apple’s AES 256-but encryption. It’s good for users but sometimes a pain for law enforcement. Here’s some good discussion. “ The iPhone Has Passed a Key Security Threshold.

Have you heard the rumblings about Twitter execs wanting to squeeze out 3rd party client apps? It’s all for the money of course. As they say, all good things must come to an end. I’m hoping that the vision of Dalton Caldwell catches on. Here’s the key argument, related by Forbes. “But all of the big social companies have taken the ad-supported route. As Dalton Caldwell, the founder of a new Twitter alternative called App.net, explains in the video above, this puts them, at least economically, in the awkward position where their advertisers are their customers and their users are their “product.” This inversion is what Caldwell thinks is wrong with web 2.0 and what he would like to set right with his new venture.”

Here’s the excellent story at Forbes. Dalton Caldwell’s App.net Meets Funding Goal To Launch Paid Twitter Alternative.” And if you missed what’s going on, here’s the TMO news on Twitter’s recent actions. “New Twitter Guidelines and APIs Squeeze Third Party Apps.”

Often the best April Fools jokes are carried out on an ordinary day in Internet life. Just to see how far it can go. And it worked just fine. “How a Bogus Apple Rumor Hoodwinked Online News Outlets.

What do you get when you cross a Segway-like unit with an iPad? Not a joke for Double Robotics. Cool or not cool?

Tim DeBenedictis, the founder of Southern Stars and the Sky Safari app for iOS, is going to put up a satellite, SkyCube, and you’ll be able to use your iPhone with it to broadcast messages or take photos. Here’s an interview with Mr. DeBenedictis.


Image credit: Southern Stars

There’s something to be said for reading the Mac experts. They spend eight hours a day professionally studying Apple. But every once in awhile, it’s also valuable to read something from outside, just to gain a different perspective, even if it’s a bit wacky. Try this on for size. “Apple is in danger of being boring.

Of course, you may have already read my considered response to that kind of thinking, in general. “Why We’ll All Rush to the iPhone 5, no Matter What.”

I’ve been thinking, ever since Christmas 2011, that Apple would respond to the challenge of the 7-inch tablets. But John Gruber has thought even more deeply about it, especially the layout of the screen and bezel. By limiting the side bezel dramatically, the iPad 7 can have a 4:3 aspect display, run all those 1024 x 768 apps, yet look amazingly sexier than the other 7-inch tablets. It would be a stroke of genius by Apple. But then that’s what Apple does. “Thinking This iPad Mini Thing Even Througher.

iPad 7

Image Credit: 9to5Mac

I’ve never cared for Google’s Chrome browser after I discovered some hidden files that it had installed on my iMac. And I don’t mistake security for privacy as some do. Chrome is long on security and short on privacy. So I was amused when I discovered that the built-in Flash has risen up to bite Chrome. And with Safari not exactly setting the world on fire, Apple has an opening if it can only seize it. “Apple Is Missing a Huge Opportunity to Hurt Google.” As secondary reading, I found this article from last year that also weighs in on the issue. “Why Hasn’t Safari Skyrocketed Like Chrome Has?

This is the sicko article of the week. How do you embarrass and ridicule the opposition into hiding its light? Why, throw out some pseudo-intellectual, business-arrogant crap that looks like oh-so serious advice. You’ll be amused to see how the other guys are approaching their insecurities. Prepare to ROTFL. “Why you should change the default email signature on your tablet (especially for business use).” Sorry, I couldn’t resist this one because I knew it’d bring a wry smile to your face.

Finally, in a rather long and nicely researched article, the practices of the carriers’ retail operations to undermine the iPhone are exposed. It’s all about the money. Here’s the best quote. “It’s wrong that I have to lie. But hey, it’s a paycheck.” Here’s the Cult of Mac exposé. “iPhone Discrimination: Why Reps At The Big Carriers Don’t Want To Sell You Apple’s Smartphone.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You missed an opportunity to document a truth most of us already knew: that Florian Mueller is a paid hack, as now confirmed by Oracle in response to a request by Judge Alsup.

In fact, Oracle’s filing simply confirms what astute people (like me) see Florian doing. He will do some trial balloon analysis on behalf of a prospective client, then forge a relationship whereby he is paid to continue such analysis so that sites all over the Internet who want to hear that side of things have fodder to quote and publish.

Do notice that Florian was the only consultant Oracle listed to comply with the order. And remember that last summer, Florian had Mac fans feeling something funny between their loins with his contention that Google would be on the hook for billions in a basically open and shut case. You quote him because you like what he says. He then gets paid to disseminate more of it.

And this was how Florian trolled for money from Lodsys a year ago. Now that you know his unique model, because it’s been verified in court, perhaps you’ll wonder why he was telling developers to settle in May, 2011. Because he was hoping to get paid. It’s as clear as the sky is blue. And it’s disgusting.

A juicy day of truth. In my long anticipation of it, I almost forgot about it until I saw John’s article title.


John Martellaro said: “What do you get when you cross a Segway-like unit with an iPad?”

That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.  For some reason, it impresses me more that any of the other robotic offerings I’ve seen.  Perhaps it’s that one can appreciate the benefit immediately.

I notice that they’re sold out until 2013.

I don’t agree with your assessment of the probable iPad Mini aspect ratio, but that’s been well-documented elsewhere on TMO.



As a long time Apple user I found the iPhone discrimination article most interesting/disturbing. This was one of the main reasons why Apple opened its own stores and is the reason why the stores are so important to Apple. The possible issue with the stores over the past week with the new head of retail at apple may be a cause for concern at Apple.



A plethora of good reads here.

Ben Woods’ ZDNet piece on Apple becoming boring, however, is not one of them, at least not for what it intends to say, but what it says about a subgroup of people who, as this author himself, do not purchase Apple’s products but assign themselves a sufficient measure of expertise to dole out advice to Apple as to what it needs to do in order to…remain interesting (?). His summary of the MBP refresh alone bespeaks inattention to detail, and lack of understanding of what Apple did to its pro line. True, retinae display screen resolution was perhaps the most obvious and talked about feature, but ditching the optical drive, dropping mechanical storage altogether, and in the process, shedding unnecessary mass, a novel approach to noise reduction without compromising heat management - an only partial list of modifications that puts practically desktop tower level speed and power into the sleekest frame on the market, are implements that are sure to drive the industry if it does not want to fall further behind in sales. To what, one wonders, does he attribute Apple outperforming the industry on PC sales, if not industry leading product design and performance? Certainly not cost, about which he spouts conventional, albeit incorrect, wisdom. Coolness? This is puerile. In any case, his is an article worth reading as a study of an industry that, despite this being well underway, continues to fail to understand why it is being beaten by a company that doesn’t do PC mainstream.

I found the iPhone security piece intriguing, not only from a technical standpoint, but philosophically; once again Second Law principle comes to bear, there is nothing without cost. The cost of increased, deep system level security, which protects consumers also shields the bad guys. The same technology that enables doctors to confidentially record and share patient information, consumers to do online banking, and that facilitates the growth of the e-commerce industry with the same stroke cloaks the terrorist from scrutiny and enables him to move assets under stealth. By itself, this is nothing new, but it does raise the question of how far do we push security technology, and when do we adversely tip the balance between benefit and risk. These will not be easy questions ahead. 

I too liked the robotics video. We’ve only just begun to open the possibilities to where the iDevices can take us.


Just read the ‘iPhone discrimination’ article this morning. While I have never experienced it personally, given that when I go to make a phone purchase, I generally buy directly from Apple or go to AT&T and simply demand an iPhone (when I got 3GS’s for my kids), I have heard of this practice.

The Sprint transcript is unequivocal, but supports the personal testimonies of customers and sales reps, on pushing the sale of non-Apple smartphones.

One does wonder what the smartphone sales data in the USA would look like if sales reps simply sold people what they asked for. Given the ease of use comparisons, and those higher return rates for the Androids cited in the piece, it also might partially explain the lesser Android presence on the internet and in e-commerce relative to the iPhone, despite the greater market share.

Regarding the ‘change your email signature on your tablet’ piece by Kevin Michaluk, I found it indicative of a disabling level of insecurity. That man is no one’s leader, but he typifies the mentality of a corporate conformist. To my read, the piece was less funny than pathetic, but no less informative for it.

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