He stands not with defiance, but with the slackness of a person who has waged battle for a long time and now faces a grave loss.
Two police officers from the Temple City, Calif., sheriff’s department flank him, looking puzzled. “So, what is it you want to ask this man about?” one of them asks me. “He thinks if he talks to you he’s going to get into trouble.”
“I don’t think he’s in any trouble,” I say. “I would like to ask him about Bitcoin. This man is Satoshi Nakamoto.”
“What?” The police officer balks. “This is the guy who created Bitcoin? It looks like he’s living a pretty humble life.”
Contrary to most speculation, “Satoshi Nakamoto” is not a pseudonym. That’s his real name.
As it stands now, iOS 7 is a series of solvable problems. The things you could label as deficiencies are mostly a result of that swinging pendulum — an overcorrection of skeuomorphism. So what comes next is most likely balance and refinement. Buttons might not need to look like they’re being physically pressed if you tap them, but some feedback is useful. Text-label buttons (such as Send in Messages) don’t need to be visually heavy, but it’s generally better to give users a sense of tap target size.
What this piece made clear for me is that (a) something similar is going to happen to Mac OS X, almost certainly this year; but (b) there’s no way to look at iOS 7 and predict what a corresponding refresh for Mac OS X will look like. Maybe the only things I’ll predict are lots of white backgrounds, and Helvetica Neue as the system font.
From the amicus brief filed by Caltech’s Bradford Cornell and NYU’s Janusz Ordover:
The provisions of the agreements at issue — agency, ‘most-favored-nation’ (MFN) clauses, and price caps—can be instrumental in facilitating new entry, particularly into markets with an entrenched, dominant firm. In this case, the District Court disregarded economic evidence and reasoning that these provisions served Apple’s independent business interest in entering the e-book market, where Amazon was a near-monopolist. The District Court also ignored economic evidence and reasoning suggesting that Apple’s entry into e-book retailing, and not the MFNs, allowed the Publisher Defendants to persuade Amazon to switch from a wholesale to an agency business model.
The District Court also erred in equating price increases for some e-books with harm to competition. Apple’s entry into the e-book retail market dramatically increased competition by diminishing Amazon’s power as a retail monopolist (and its ability to pursue a “loss-leader” strategy that inefficiently priced e-books below their acquisition cost). That increased competition gave publishers more bargaining power, thereby bringing ebook pricing closer to competitive levels. These errors threaten to chill competition by discouraging the use of common vertical contracting techniques that are often essential to facilitating the expensive and risky investments needed for entry into highly concentrated markets. Our antitrust laws should encourage, not penalize, vertical contracting arrangements that facilitate entry and enhance competition.
There’s nothing wrong in asking for a review, but remember you
want to give your users a great experience. You should focus on
making your app delightful, not annoying. Pick your moment
carefully and you’ll find users are more than happy to leave you a
I’ve put together a basic set of rules I think anyone involved
with making apps should follow. It’s nothing fancy, and by no
means comprehensive, but it’s a good start:
Don’t ask at launch. Seriously, never do this.
Choose the perfect moment, after a positive interaction is
Try not to interrupt the users workflow, don’t be annoying.
Only ask once. If they’ve said no, never ask again.
Ask passively if possible, place it in the app settings or
Kenneth Tynan’s classic 1978 profile of Johnny Carson for The New Yorker:
“Johnny Carson on TV,” one of his colleagues confided to me, “is
the visible eighth of an iceberg called Johnny Carson.” The remark
took me back to something that Carson said of himself ten years
ago, when, in the course of a question-and-answer session with
viewers, he was asked, “What made you a star?” He replied, “I
started out in a gaseous state, and then I cooled.” Meeting him
tête-à-tête is, as we shall see later, a curious experience. In
1966, writing for Look, Betty Rollin described Carson off camera
as “testy, defensive, preoccupied, withdrawn, and wondrously inept
and uncomfortable with people.” Nowadays, his off-camera manner is
friendly and impeccably diplomatic. Even so, you get the
impression that you are addressing an elaborately wired security
system. If the conversation edges toward areas in which he feels
ill at ease or unwilling to commit himself, burglar alarms are
triggered off, defensive reflexes rise around him like an
invisible stockade, and you hear the distant baying of guard dogs.
Most people probably don’t ever think about the software in their
car. And with good reason, too, since most automakers aren’t
exactly consumed with a passion for developing software. Even in
the cases where car companies do want to pimp the software
features, the spotlight’s always going to be on the newest model
— they don’t have too much interest in continuing to update the
software on older models, especially when it comes to adding new
Sound familiar? Because to me it’s reminiscent of the state of the
cell phone market prior to about, oh, 2007.
I like the analogy. But is CarPlay the iPhone in 2007, or the Rokr in 2005? From what I’ve seen today:
The bug is the result of commands in a section of the GnuTLS code
that verify the authenticity of TLS certificates, which are often
known simply as X509 certificates. The coding error, which may
have been present in the code since 2005, causes critical
verification checks to be terminated, drawing ironic parallels to
the extremely critical “goto fail” flaw that for months put users
of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems at risk of
surreptitious eavesdropping attacks. Apple developers have since
patched the bug. […]
Matt Green, a Johns Hopkins University professor specializing in
cryptography, characterized the vulnerability this way: “It looks
Today is an exciting day for us at Karelia Software because we are
finally announcing that Andy Kim — and his company Potion
Factory, and its wonderful apps — are now part of Karelia. […]
We have been big fans of The Hit List, Potion’s flagship app, for
a while now. We’ve looked around, and we’ve never found a better
designed app to handle personal task management than The Hit List,
perfectly balanced between power and ease-of-use. We use it every
day. And we wanted to keep improving it, but also bring to it a
bigger marketing force and level of support than Andy was able to,
so that it can reach a bigger audience. You can learn more about
The Hit List here on our site.
On Monday, March 10 at 11:00 am, join us for a conversation
between Edward Snowden and Christopher Soghoian, the principal
technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union. The
conversation will be focused on the impact of the NSA’s spying
efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which
technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance. Hear
directly from Snowden about his beliefs on what the tech community
can and must do to secure the private data of the billions of
people who rely on the tools and services that we build.
Apple’s first iTunes Festival in the U.S. starts a week from today at SXSW in Austin. Apple is going to stream the performances to iOS devices using an app, but I’ve heard from a little birdie that the app requires iOS 7.1 (which explains why the app isn’t out yet). That means iOS 7.1 should ship any day now.
“Peter has served as our CFO for the past decade as Apple’s annual
revenue grew from $8 billion to $171 billion and our global
footprint expanded dramatically. His guidance, leadership and
expertise have been instrumental to Apple’s success, not only as
our CFO but also in many areas beyond finance, as he frequently
took on additional activities to assist across the company. His
contributions and integrity as our CFO create a new benchmark for
public company CFOs,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “Peter is also a
dear friend I always knew I could count on. Although I am sad to
see him leave, I am happy he is taking time for himself and his
family. As all of us who know him would have expected, he has
created a professional succession plan to ensure Apple doesn’t
miss a beat.”
On the surface, sounds like a man who’s ready to cash out. He took the helm as CFO after Fred Anderson took the hit for the stock options backdating scandalretired in 2004, but he’s been at Apple for 18 years — predating the NeXT reunification. He’s only 51, but that’s a long run.
Who is best positioned to know that winter is coming?
Like Oppenheimer, Klein’s stated reason for retiring was to spend more time with his family. By December, Klein must have had enough time with his family, because he took the CFO gig at William Morris. Oppenheimer yesterday took a board seat at Goldman Sachs, but my hunch is he really is just retiring. I doubt we’ll see him take a CFO gig at another company. We’ll see.
These charts show that not only Whatsapp different, but it is
exceptional and did well to capture the moment (i.e., rise of the
mobile broadband) near perfectly. They are not just exceptional,
they are a standout with highest rate of growth and getting to
that point the fastest.
For the first time, we have extensive details on iCloud security.
For security professionals like myself, this is like waking up and
finding a pot of gold sitting on my keyboard. Along with some of
the most impressive security I’ve ever seen, Apple has provided a
way to make it impossible for agencies like the NSA to obtain your
iCloud Keychain passwords.
The paper is incredibly dense, even getting to the level of detail
of which flavor of particular encryption algorithms are used in
which security controls. I will likely be digesting it for months,
but one particular section contained an important nugget that
explains why the NSA can’t snoop on your iCloud Keychain
The strategy today is simple: In order to move fast, build what
you can’t buy or risk losing control of your fate and becoming the
next Palm, Motorola, or HTC. And if, in the process, you disrupt
an Oracle or a Qualcomm? So be it.
1 × 1.gif should have won a fucking Grammy. Or a Pulitzer. Or Most
Improved, Third Grade Gym Class or something. It’s the most
important achievement in computer science since the linked list.
It’s not the future we deserved, but it’s the future we needed
(until the box model fucked it all up).
Nice trip down Memory Lane. For me, it was always “spacer.gif”. (Via Khoi Vinh.)
The Philadelphia regional accent remains arguably the most
distinctive, and least imitable, accent in North America. Let’s
not argue about this. Ask anyone to do a Lawn Guyland accent or
a charming Southern drawl and that person will approximate it.
Same goes for a Texas twang or New Orleans yat, a Valley Girl
totally omigod. Philly-South Jersey patois is a bit harder: No
vowel escapes diphthongery, no hard consonant is safe from a
mid-palate dent. Extra syllables pile up so as to avoid
inconvenient tongue contact or mouth closure. If you forget to
listen closely, the Philadelphia, or Filelfia, accent may sound
like mumbled Mandarin without the tonal shifts.
Here’s the thing: If you listen to Fox News, or right-wing radio,
or read the denier blogs, you’d have to think climate scientists
were complete idiots to miss how fake global warming is. Yet
despite this incredibly obvious hoax, no one ever publishes
evidence exposing it. Mind you, scientists are a contrary lot. If
there were solid evidence that global warming didn’t exist, or
that CO2 emissions weren’t the culprit, there would be papers in
the journals about it. Lots of them.
I base this on my own experience with contrary data in astronomy.
In 1998, two teams of researchers found evidence that the
expansion of the Universe was not slowing down, as expected, but
actually speeding up. This idea is as crazy as holding a ball in
your hand, letting go, and having it fall up, accelerating wildly
into the sky. Yet those papers got published. They inspired lively
discussion (to say the least) and motivated further observations.
Careful, meticulous work was done to eliminate errors and
confounding factors, until it became very clear that we were
seeing an overturning of the previous paradigm. It took years, but
now astronomers accept that the Universal expansion is
accelerating and that dark energy is the culprit.
Apple’s “iOS integrated with your car” initiative now has a name. Press release here.
The risk seems clear: Apple isn’t building the hardware in the cars. Color me skeptical that this is going to work smoothly. Also, no third-party app support — yet. Update: Actually, there are a handful of third-party apps — Beats Radio, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Stitcher — but those are hand-picked partners. What I’m saying is there’s no way yet for any app in the App Store to present a CarPlay-specific interface.
Yours truly was a guest on the latest episode of the talented Moisés Chiullan’s Electric Shadow podcast, along with my friends Adam Lisagor and Guy English. Topics include the blurring lines between marketing and entertainment, the death of “what’s on” content, and the Jackass crew’s Oscar-nominated masterpiece, Bad Grandpa.
My thanks to Picturelife for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Picturelife is an online platform for photos and video. It starts with seamless backup and deep integration with Aperture and iPhoto — or, just point Picturelife at any folder on your Mac and it’ll sync the photos and videos it contains. Picturelife secures your photos and lets you access them wherever you are — from the web, or their iPhone app.
It’s more than just storage, though. Picturelife has great features: search, versioning, advanced de-duplication, similar shot stacks, importers for Flickr and Instagram, and robust private sharing.
Plans start at just $5, but they have a special offer for Daring Fireball readers: just use this link and you’ll save 20 percent off any plan, for life. I’ve been using Picturelife for a few months, and it’s a great service I’m happy to recommend.
More telling than the excerpt itself, which I found pretty much empty (Tim Cook is a demanding boss, intensely private, and a frugal spender), is the video interview with Kane:
Daisuke Wakabayashi: The one big question that hangs over Apple, anyone who follows Apple, is, have they lost their touch? Is Apple still king of the hill? After two years, what’s your conclusion?
Yukari Iwatani Kane: I think the answer is obvious to me. The answer has got to be yes. This is a company who had revolved around Steve Jobs for so long, I mean that was something that Jobs himself went out of his way to make sure of. And the people there are conditioned to operate, to play off of his strengths and weaknesses. And so now you’ve got this completely opposite guy in Tim Cook, who is I think brilliant in many ways, but in different ways. But so they’re going through some growing pains in that. […]
Wakabayashi: A normal great company, but maybe no longer an iconic company?
So if Apple never has your private key, how do messages arrive at
all of your devices in a readable form? How do your private key(s)
get from one device to the other? Simple answer: they don’t.
You’ve actually got one set of keys for each device you add to
iCloud, and each iMessage is encrypted independently for each
device. So if you have two devices — say, an iPad and an iPhone
— each message sent to you is actually encrypted (AES-128) and
stored on Apple’s servers twice. Once for each device. When you
pull down a message, it’s specifically encrypted for the device
This week’s episode of The Talk Show, with special guest Joanna “AC Adapter Review” Stern. Tablets as laptop replacements, the appeal of large-screen smartphones, the nascent wearables market, and more.
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Cook added that Apple now has 800 million iOS users and has
handled over 16 trillion push notifications, with 40 billion new
ones occurring every day. Apple also delivers several billion
iMessages and FaceTime requests every day. Cook added that iPad
now accounts for 78 percent of all tablets used throughout the
These numbers were conflated by some people — I saw tweets saying Cook had claimed 40 billion iMessages per day, not push notifications in general. But still, that’s a big number. Push notifications are messages, so in a sense, Apple’s platform is operating at a scale very close in size to WhatsApp (which claims 50 billion messages per day), but distributed across thousands of different apps.
800 million iOS users is an enormous number as well.
Bryan Chaffin, reporting for The Mac Observer from Apple’s annual shareholder meeting:
Mr. Cook didn’t directly answer that question, but instead focused
on the second question: the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook to
commit right then and there to doing only those things that were
What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry,
and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s
advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because
they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was
not the primary consideration on such issues.
“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he
said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same
thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas
where Apple is a leader. […] He didn’t stop there, however, as
he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you
want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of
Does Nokia want its Android legacy to be this shiny pile of lag
and fail? Of course not. But chances are it will be. That’s not
fair to the engineers, the fans of the brand, or the company
itself. But does anyone really think Microsoft will let Nokia
build a phone that rivals the latest and greatest from LG or
Samsung? Of course they won’t, because that won’t drive Windows
phone sales. As a business, they have to do what is best for their
The problem with the Nokia X is that it indicates a profound lack of focus. These phones are of no strategic value to Nokia. Samsung, in contrast, can afford to experiment with Tizen because they’re in a position of strength — the only handset maker other than Apple making any money. And it is in Samsung’s strategic interests to reduce its dependency on Google.
It makes no sense for Nokia, which is losing money, to reduce its dependency on Microsoft.
The argument that we don’t want “such a dysfunctional government”
regulating broadband is weak: “the government” isn’t one big
coordinated bogeyman that can’t be trusted with anything. That’s
just rhetoric that politicians use to avoid regulation so
corporations can make more money at the expense of the citizens or
environment. In practice, governmental regulation works so well in
most cases that it’s taken for granted and too boring for most
people to even think about.
Consider the FCC’s 2011 decision to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile — T-Mobile is universally hailed today as shaking up the entire U.S. mobile industry to the benefit of consumers.
Which is pretty much the Internet in a nutshell, isn’t it? Exposed
to the entire spectrum of human enthusiasms, it’s basically
impossible not to judge. Our empathy overloads and gives up and we
sit, staring at the screen aghast, that somebody, somewhere might
actually believe that what they’re doing is OK, is acceptable,
is even appropriate.
Tiffany Bridge, on Dropbox’s new terms of service:
Allow me to summarize what it means when a company wants to handle
all disputes in arbitration:
No matter what they do (delete your data, privacy breach,
overcharging, whatever), you don’t get to sue. Instead, THEY get
to choose the arbitrator according to whatever criteria they want,
and thus any dispute is decided by someone they’re paying.
Also, you can’t join a class-action suit against them. Which
sounds like no big deal, but when a company takes advantage of a
bunch of people all in the same small way (incorrectly assessing a
service charge, for example), class action is how companies are
made to clean up their act en masse, instead of waiting for
thousands of people to call them up and demand their $20 back or
I’m not a lawyer, but it seems clear to me that opting out is in your best interests. I did.
The OS runs on “prototype” hardware that very closely resembles a Galaxy S4. Tizen is a Linux-based OS primarily developed by Samsung, and, the theory goes, Samsung’s grand plot is to eventually turn Tizen into a drop-in Android replacement, own the market with an OS of its own making, and never have to deal with Google again. So far, Tizen seems a pretty accurate Android clone, but it’s shocking how far along it is. On the surface, it seemed just as capable as a TouchWiz Android device. Samsung has done such a good job of replicating the Android interface that there is very little to write about—everything looks and works similarly to the way it does on Android, just without any kind of ecosystem.
Spencer Ackerman and James Ball, reporting for The Guardian:
GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a
surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images
of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases,
regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence
target or not.
In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam
imagery — including substantial quantities of sexually explicit
communications — from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts
There’s no other way to describe this than Orwellian. Government agencies spying on and collecting images of innocent citizens. Outrageous.
Benedict Evans, in a piece that pairs well with the previous item:
This brings us back to the mouse and keyboard that you ‘need for
real work’, as the phrase goes. Yes, you really do need them to
make a financial model. And you need them to make an operating
metrics summary — in Excel and Powerpoint. But is that, really,
what you need to be doing to achieve the underlying business
purpose? Very few people’s job is literally ‘make Excel files’.
And what if you spend the other 90% of your time on the road
meeting clients and replying to emails? Do you need a laptop, or a
tablet? Do you need a tablet as well as a smartphone? Or a laptop,
or phablet? Or both?
My iPad is with me every night when I doze off to sleep, it
entertains me on long flights and keeps me informed during my
morning commute. But when it comes to real work, the tablet
If I’m writing long emails or working on office documents, I want
a larger screen, a roomy keyboard and the ability to easily juggle
programs. The iPad doesn’t cut it, though there are tablets that
are literally standing up to the productivity challenge.
The thinking woman’s take on consumption-vs.-work — she spent time trying to use four tablets (iPad Air, Galaxy Note Pro, Surface 2, and Lumia 2520) as full-time laptop replacements.
Dan Rayburn, in a Comcast/Netflix piece for Streaming Media Blog:
In a little known, but public fact, anyone who is on Comcast and
using Apple TV to stream Netflix wasn’t having quality problems.
The reason for this is that Netflix is using Level 3 and Limelight
to stream their content specifically to the Apple TV device. What
this shows is that Netflix is the one that decides and controls
how they get their content to each device and whether they do it
via their own servers or a third party. Netflix decides which
third party CDNs to use and when Netflix uses their own CDN, they
decide whom to buy transit from, with what capacity, in what
locations and how many connections they buy, from the transit
provider. Netflix is the one in control of this, not Comcast or
Interesting; I live in Kabletown and watch almost all my Netflix via Apple TV, so this explains why I never encountered a problem.
For instance, when Samsung announced the Galaxy S5 this week, its
headline improvements included a better camera, a fingerprint
scanner and a heart-rate monitor. In a world of modular phones,
you might be able to pick any or all of those features and add
them to the phone you already have. You’d even be able to pick
among multiple cameras, or choose quirky features not meant for
the masses. (Eremenko’s playful example: an on-phone incense
I’ll believe it when I see it, where by “it” I mean “a compelling commercial product based on this”.
Sure, Samsung put a fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S5. But look at how Apple did it: with an integrated secure enclave that required a custom designed A7 SoC. How does this have any more mass market appeal than building one’s own PC? And with mobile devices, size and weight matter more than ever, and reductions in size and weight can only come through integration.
The Daring Fireball Linked List is a daily list of interesting links
and brief commentary, updated frequently but not frenetically. Call it
a “link log”, or “linkblog”, or just “a good way to dick around on the
Internet for a few minutes a day”.