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Comment: Re:Yes and yes... (Score 1) 215

by laird (#47957637) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

To state the obvious, if people didn't think that 16 GB was enough storage, they'd buy more of the models with more storage.

Surprisingly large percentages of smartphone buyers only install a few apps and no media. They apparently talk on the thing! :-) For them, paying more for more storage would be a waste of money.

Look, if people want what you don't, that doesn't mean that they're all deceived and "fleeced", it means that most people care about things you don't care about. I had an engineer who reacted to the iPod Nano launch with the verdict that it was "stupid" and that nobody would buy one because the price/storage ratio was terrible, and it couldn't store all your music, after which the Nano rapidly became the best selling MP3 player of all time (at the time). Because what people cared about wasn't storage, or cost per GB, it was convenient access to some music, and a nice looking, durable, easy to use device.

Comment: Re:So then they get another warrant ... (Score 1) 501

by laird (#47939977) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

You can sue anyone. That person might end up winning the lawsuit, but that doesn't mean that they weren't sued. And beyond that, they had to spend time and money to defend themselves, so it's not at all reasonable to pretend that if they won the lawsuit it was identical to it not happening.

Comment: Re:Sanity... (Score 1) 501

by laird (#47939459) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

Particularly given the FISA Court's nearly 100% history of agreeing to anything requested by the prosecution, it's comforting that the ultimate control over data privacy doesn't rest with the courts. If the judiciary were truly independent, as they much more used to be, I'd be more comfortable trusting the courts to balance the interests of the prosecution and the accused.

Comment: Re:What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (Score 1) 501

by daveschroeder (#47938235) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

An oversimplification. The US, UK, and allies variously broke many cipher systems throughout WWII. Still the US benefitted from this.

What if the Germans were using, say, Windows, Android phones, SSL, Gmail, Yahoo, and Skype, instead of Enigma machines?

Comment: What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (Score 1) 501

by daveschroeder (#47938053) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

I presume you wouldn't say it was "wrong" of the United States to crack the German and Japanese codes in WWII...

...so when US adversaries (and lets just caveat this by saying people YOU, personally, agree are legitimate US adversaries) don't use their own "codes", but instead share the same systems, networks, services, devices, cloud providers, operating systems, encryption schemes, and so on, that Americans and much of the rest of the world uses, would you suggest that they should be off limits?

This isn't so much a law enforcement question as a question of how to do SIGINT in the modern digital world, but given the above, and given that intelligence requires secrecy in order to be effective, how would you suggest the United States go after legitimate targets? Or should we not be able to, because that power "might" be able to be abused -- as can any/all government powers, by definition?

This simplistic view that the only purpose of the government in a free and democratic society must be to somehow subjugate, spy on, and violate the rights of its citizens is insane, while actual totalitarian and non-free states, to say nothing of myriad terrorist and other groups, press their advantage. And why wouldn't they? The US and its ever-imperfect system of law is not the great villain in the world.

Take a step back and get some perspective. And this is not a rhetorical question: if someone can tell me their solution for how we should be able to target technologies that are fundamentally shared with innocent Americans and foreigners everywhere while still keeping such sources, methods, capabilities, and techniques secret, I'm all ears. And if you believe the second a technology is shared it should become magically off-limits because power might be abused, you are insane -- or, more to the point, you believe you have some moral high ground which, ironically, would actually result in severe disadvantages for the system of free society you would claim to support.

Comment: Re:Parallax. (Score 1) 424

by laird (#47925643) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Apple's using "thin" as a measure of engineering excellence. That is, they are engineering all sorts of tricky things, like special display stacking and chip arrangement techniques, in order to make their phones ever thinner. And, of course, thinner = more elegant, lighter and more convenient.

It's a bit like how Intel focused on clock speed as their key goal, and spent a fortune optimizing their clock speeds (with chip design tools optimized for clock speed, etc.).

In both cases, people who didn't care about that metric saw it as wasted effort, and argued that the companies were being stupid. But in both cases, by focusing on a clear goal they focused their engineering teams on, and delivered, ever improving products, and they gave consumers something that they cared about, even if the people doing the complaining didn't.

Comment: Re:Parallax. (Score 1) 424

by laird (#47925573) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Apple never ships technology first - they take emergent technologies and push them into the mainstream. 3" floppy disks, mice, GUIs, USB, LANs, networked printers, MP3 players, DVD burners, smartphones, digital music stores, tablet computers, etc., all existed before Apple's versions, but they generally kinda sucked to use. Apple took the technology, make it more usable, and delivered it in mainstream consumer devices. So now they're trying to do the same thing with digital wallets and smart watches. Do you really want to bet against them?

With Apple Pay, the current digital wallets really suck, and Apple's got all the right players aligned, with what looks like great usability and security, so it might really win big.

With the Apple Watch, Pebble and Google have decent products, so it's not as clear a path to success - I'd bet that Apple makes a good business out of it, but don't dominate.

Comment: Clarity is required (Score 4, Insightful) 239

by laird (#47916571) Attached to: AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

This proposal just serves to muddy the clear definition of the role of an ISP, and they can then use that ambiguity to create problems and extract more revenue by charging to fix their problems. It's critical that there be a clear definition of an ISPs role in the network, and the IETF has maintained those clear distinctions for decades now. Let's not let the business deal-makers muck things up!

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