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What Happens If Key Apple Engineers Refuse to Write GovtOS?

10:00 PM, Mar. 17th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Coder Protest

Picture this hypothetical scenario: Apple ultimately loses its legal fight against the FBI's demand that it create a new operating system that bypasses iOS security—an OS Apple has dubbed GovtOS. Apple CEO Tim Cook already pointed out Apple will obey the law, but what would happen if key Apple engineers refused to do the work, perhaps going so far as quitting their jobs at Apple?

Microsoft OneDrive Drives Me Nuts

2:57 PM, Mar. 17th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Microsoft OneDrive

Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus has had it up to here with Microsoft OneDrive's poor Mac support after encountering a problem that simply shouldn't be a problem with a Mac app.

6 Powerful Quotes from Apple’s Newest Court Filing

6:44 PM, Mar. 16th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Powerful Words

Apple filed a major response in its ongoing legal fight with the FBI Tuesday. Overall the filing offers powerful arguments for why Apple can not be forced to weaken iOS encryption to allow the FBI to brute force attack the iPhone of a dead terrorist, but there were six passages that I found particularly powerful.

A Usable Stand-Up Desk for $25? Yes!

12:30 PM, Mar. 16th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Oristand cardboard stand-up desk for $25

There’s no shortage of controversy in the debate over whether sitting or standing at your desk is healthier. But if you'd like to try standing and would prefer not to spend $500 or more on a stand-up/sit-down desk, Dr. Mac found a cool new standing desk fabricated out of industrial cardboard that sets up in seconds and costs only $25! 

Apple vs FBI: Does the Government Have the Authority to Grant Itself Absolute Power?

3:40 PM, Mar. 15th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

The current legal conflict between Apple and the FBI has proponents on each side. The issue seems almost impossible to resolve. However, John Martellaro has been pondering the larger problem and casts the current arguments in a broader perspective. The real question is not fighting terrorism; rather it's an issue of how much authority a modern American government has to grant itself absolute power.

It’s Time For a New, Highly Secure OS from Apple That Hosts Both OS X and iOS

5:30 PM, Mar. 11th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

A new supervisor OS from Apple?

Apple's OS X, derived from the legacy BSD UNIX, was born in the mind of Steve Jobs and engineers at NeXT more than 20 years ago. It came to fruition at Apple in March 2001. It was a product of its time. iOS was launched for the iPhone in 2007 and designed for hardware that was one percent the speed of Apple's modern A9(X) SoC. Perhaps it's finally time to move on to a hybrid OS that can run both with a high security AI wrapper. John speculates.

Desktop Printer Ink Wars 2016: Part II

4:50 PM, Mar. 9th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Epson EcoTank HP Instant Ink

Epson and HP each introduced a new approach to the inkjet printer ink dillemma. Epsons features five new EcoTank models that have huge ink reservoirs with enough ink for up to two years of printing. Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduced “Instant Ink,” which charges you not for the ink you use, but for the number of pages you print each month. His results may not be surprising, but one of the printers gave him an unpleasant surprise. Read Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves #165 for the thrilling conclusion to Desktop Printer Ink Wars 2016 (continued from last week). 

The FBI Going Dark Isn’t the Precedent, It’s the Surveillance State that’s New

7:25 PM, Mar. 8th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Surveillance during the Civil War

FBI Director James Comey has warned that encryption threatens to take us to a place where his organization and U.S. surveillance organizations are "going dark." Bryan Chaffin was recently reminded that in the context of history, the ability to surveil everything is a new development, and that we should keep claims from the FBI and others in context.

FCC Slaps Verizon’s Wrist for Pooping on Customer Privacy

6:22 PM, Mar. 7th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Trust being carried to the trash

The Federal Trade Commission fined Verizon US$1.35 million for an egregious breach of customer privacy and an even worse breach of trust. Bryan Chaffin argues that such a fine isn't even a slap on the wrist, and it shows that the FCC's fangs need to grow to keep pace with the ever-larger size of the mega-corporations it theoretically regulates.