Apple apparently has the power to decrypt iPhone storage in response to law-enforcement requests, though they won't say how. Google can remotely "reset the password" for a phone for cops, too:
Last year, leaked training materials prepared by the Sacramento sheriff's office included a form that would require Apple to "assist law enforcement agents" with "bypassing the cell phone user's passcode so that the agents may search the iPhone." Google takes a more privacy-protective approach: it "resets the password and further provides the reset password to law enforcement," the materials say, which has the side effect of notifying the user that his or her cell phone has been compromised.
Ginger Colbrun, ATF's public affairs chief, told CNET that "ATF cannot discuss specifics of ongoing investigations or litigation. ATF follows federal law and DOJ/department-wide policy on access to all communication devices."
...The ATF's Maynard said in an affidavit for the Kentucky case that Apple "has the capabilities to bypass the security software" and "download the contents of the phone to an external memory device." Chang, the Apple legal specialist, told him that "once the Apple analyst bypasses the passcode, the data will be downloaded onto a USB external drive" and delivered to the ATF.
It's not clear whether that means Apple has created a backdoor for police -- which has been the topic of speculation in the past -- whether the company has custom hardware that's faster at decryption, or whether it simply is more skilled at using the same procedures available to the government. Apple declined to discuss its law enforcement policies when contacted this week by CNET.
It's not clear to me from the above whether Google "resetting the password" for Android devices merely bypasses the lock-screen or actually decrypts the mass storage on the phone if it has been encrypted.
I also wonder if the "decryption" Apple undertakes relies on people habitually using short passwords for their phones -- the alternative being a lot of screen-typing in order to place a call.
Over at Apple, Jony Ive is reportedly pulling back on the skeuomorphism for iOS 7. I'm glad. I don't care for skeuomorphism except in a very few instances, like the 1982 Chrysler Town & Country seen above with Ricardo Montalbán.
Consumerist's Laura Northrup rounds up several years' worth of stories from Apple customers who say they were denied warranty support on their computers because they'd smoked around them. As an annoying ex-smoker, I can sympathize with a tech who doesn't want to work on a machine that smells like an old ashtray, but that's what painter's masks are for -- I've also serviced machines that reeked of BO and other less savory odors. This just feels like a way to weasel out of doing warranty service and forcing customers to pay for new machines. If the company has a policy of not fixing machines if you smoke near them, it should say so when it sells you the warranty: WARNING: IF YOU LIGHT UP NEAR YOUR LAPTOP, WE WON'T EVER FIX IT, EVEN IF IT IS MATERIALLY DEFECTIVE.
Dena set up an appointment at the same Apple store. They told me that they would take pictures of the computer – both inside and out before determining whether to proceed and that if the only problem was the optical drive, they’d probably just replace it. Dena called me earlier this week to deliver the “bad news.” She said that the computer is beyond economical repair due to tar from cigarette smoke! She said the hard drive is about to fail, the optical drive has failed and it isn’t feasible to repair the computer under the warranty. This computer is less than 2 years old! Only one person in my household smokes – one 21 year old college student. She said that I can get it repaired elsewhere at my expense. I asked why my warranty didn’t cover the repair and was told it’s an OSHA violation.
Derived from Adam Lashinsky's Inside Apple, rumors spread of "fake" engineering projects within Apple, crafted to expose leakers. Not quite, reports Jacqui Cheng: "Our own sources acknowledged that Apple may not tell an engineer what project he or she is about to work on until the time comes, which is what Lashinsky was talking about in Inside Apple. Lashinsky clarified that the "fake" projects line didn't come from him but secondhand from an audience member, who had himself heard about it from a friend." — Rob
Below, *actual* screenshots of the new interface. Come to think of it, the new UI resembles the vintage ad more than iTunes 10 does! But I don't like it. I wish iTunes were a skinnable, interpret-able service with an API, like Twitter is (for now, anyway)—imagine if you could use any third-party client you wanted to access the service, as cleanly and free of cruft as you please.
In this video, an increasingly frustrated native Japanese speaker discovers that Siri is unable to parse the spoken English word "work" when voiced with a typical Japanese accent. (kenjikinukawa via Joi Ito)
Saw your cool post on clunky 80's Apple ][ software interfaces -- wow, that really takes me back.
That kind of horrible interface is what inspired me to develop the EasyKey keyboard overlay for the Apple ][ and other home computers.
This EasyKey brand was created by me and my two partners at the time, fellow industrial designer Rick Gurolnick and programming and hardware whiz EE Dan Schoff. Together we started a small company called Neosoft that created some of the most highly regarded educational software of the 1908s. We created products for CBS Software, Simon and Schuster, and others, that combined the clever 6502 assembly language programming techniques (who remembers page flipping, pixel patterns to create extra pseudo colors, and sound waveform zero-crossing for A to D sound tricks?) with solid educational values together with state of the zippy bit-map art work.
The titles were award-winning, museum-level quality, and just plain FUN! Baby dinosaurs hatched out of their eggs to show your scores, human body cut-away layers dissolved to show internal organs, maps and timelines came to life...and more. And this at a time when most Apple ][ software offered space invader sprites.
With our EasyKey titles you could change programs and just swap the keyboard cover. Here, play US Presidents games without any typing or spelling--just press for your choice:
Kids around the world had fun and learned with our programs--here's an Aboriginal student in AUS tries out some looking-and-counting games with Number Farm -- as depicted in National Geographic: