The Precious!

Apple march event invitation 800home thumb800

Apple is making new product announcements today!

Bright shiny more powerful machines. Whoo hooo!

I’ll be taking time off from the incessant job search to see what new covetable things Apple will release on the world.

Comey fbi


I was thinking, in one of my more insane moments, that Apple could offer two versions of IOS and let the public decide the outcome of Apple’s fight with the FBI. One version would be secured as the OS is today, and the GovIOS version would be one where the government held the encryption keys

If the majority of the people installed GovIOS then Apple could focus their security research on GovIOS and move on. Somehow, I think that people who installed GovIOS would be in the infinitesimal minority. 

I’d also love to see James Comey’s face when the press asked if he’d installed GovIOS on his personal iPhone.


IPhone lineup

Apple is supposed to be releasing a new iPhone and a new tablet today.

The new phone is rumored to be about the same size as the iPhone5s. But it’s supposed to have features of the iPhone 6s. I’m hoping that Apple manages to just put the iPhone 6s into the iPhone 5s size. 

Some of the rumors have suggested that Apple is going to cheapen the smaller phone by limiting options. I of course, ask why? I genuinely like the size of my iPhone5s. it fits in my hand and my pocket comfortably.  If I could have the memory, NFC (for Apple Pay), improved cellular radio, WiFi and camera of the iPhone 6s in the 5s size, I’d pay for it. I’m not sure I’d pay the $849 Apple is charging for the iPhone 6s (Because of the screen size differences) but I could see myself really weighing the options. Maybe $749 for 128GB in a phone the size of the iPhone5s?

Nonetheless, I’m curious about the new iPhone and depending on the price / features and the outcome of the pending legislation in California regarding encrypted phones and the outcome of the FBI v. Apple case, I may wait for the iPhone 7s or buy an iPhone SE or have to go with a 6s.

If the Idiots in Sacramento have their way, no encrypted cellphone will be sold in California after Jan 1, 2017.  I swear, if lawmakers keep on fooling around, Apple will relocate to Ireland.  At the same time, the idiots will manage to kill the retail cellular market in the state.

I’m sure that Nevada and Arizona will appreciate the boon to tourism and business. I can see weekend planning sounding like, “Oh, lets take a quick run up to Las Vegas for the weekend while we’re there we can buy new phones!


IPad lineup

I’m interested in the new iPad as well. I’ve got an iPad Mini that I really like. But it’s getting tired, I’ve been intrigued by the iPad Air for its size and weight. So I’m curious about the update to the iPad line. I could get very excited about an iPad Mini that included features from the iPad Pro. The pencil for example? But depending on size and weight, the new iPad might tempt me long before Apple rolls a Mini with “Pro” features.


I don’t have the cash for any of this. But planning to update my machines is an expression of hope / faith that I will find a new job and I’ll have the cash in the future.

Misty Forest

The alternative is to hike into a forest with my tent, and go off-grid in a seriously old school way. I’m a very out of practice hunter, an OK angler, and tend to do ok without people.

Oddly enough, that has some appeal. 

This is in no way a complaint

Email icon1

And I’m really trying not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but has anyone else noticed a significant slowdown of SPAM in their email?

I mean really noticeable!

Whereas, in recent months my email had been inundated with all kinds of crap, now, quite suddenly, it’s eerily quiet. 

Again, not complaining, just fascinated and curious about what’s happening.

It’s been so slow that I actually wondered if my email was broken. 

I could understand one account being quiet, I’m trying to phase out accounts that I don’t use anymore. But this is a marked reduction in junkmail across several accounts. 

I was hoping that my stellar programming of junk filters had been responsible. Then I checked the servers and found that, alas, my junk filters were as inefficient as always, and there was nothing being caught by the built in server filters either.

For a moment I was excited though.

angryemail

Could it be that people aren’t falling for the scams in the junkmail anymore, so the spammers aren’t sending email?

Nah, unlikely there are way too many morons out there.

As PT Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”.

I just had a dark thought. Suppose the SPAM / Phishing emails are slowing because they’re no longer necessary?

What if due to the breaches at the OPM, IRS, and various Health care companies the SPAMMERS have all the information that they need? 

That would truly suck. 

I’m hoping it’s just that I’ve gotten lucky and various ISPs handling my email have installed some killer filters.

I’m not holding my breath… I think I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

What if you threw an App and nobody came?

IPeeple App’m hoping that’s what’s going to happen with Peeple.

Yep, the application that should NEVER have been written debuted yesterday.

You remember, the application that will let you know someone is “Reviewing” you via email but that you’ll have to join to refute any comments.

You know, the app that will essentially enable cyber-bullying but claims it doesn’t.

The app that once you’ve joined, will allow you to “hide” but not delete any negative “reviews” of your personality traits, business dealings, dating habits, or sexual performance.

But it’s not enabling bullying…

RIIIIIGGGGGHHHTTTT!

Now, they’ve added a “New Lemon Scented” feature. A paywall that allows those who pony up the money, to see the “hidden” reviews. Great!

But it’s not enabling bullying…

Sometimes, a bad idea, is a bad idea, no matter how much you claim it isn’t.

But in the case of the progressive Social Justice Warrior crowd where bad ideas abound…

Bullying done by SJWs is Justice, and a plate of shit, is sirloin steak.

I hope to God this bullshit fails. Unfortunately, I know it won’t, and eagerly await the first time they’re named in a cyber stalking or bullying law suit.

Until then, keep an eye on your email folks. You’re being reviewed and you’ll have to create a Peeple account just to defend yourself against folks that have an ax to grind.

Wait until co-workers start savaging each other, or angry children “review” their parents. I don’t even want to think about the kind of dirt that’s going to be thrown by nasty divorces.

I’m going to sit back, make some popcorn and watch the show.  It’s going to be amusing as hell.

For those of you who may be interested

battery

The new battery from newer technology that’s in my computer is working out very nicely.

As they said on their web site, it took several charge / recharge cycles to get the full runtime out of the battery.

Not that there wasn’t immediate improvement after the replacement. Initially my runtime went to 5 hours, now we’re at about 7. Obviously that depends on what I’m doing.

The time will vary. But I’ve noticed a couple of other interesting things.  Microsoft Word is pretty energy efficient. BBEdit is also very frugal on its power usage. With a little experimentation I’ve found that I can stay on battery easily most of a standard workday, all I have to do is choose which apps I’m running carefully. For example, do I need to have Safari opening to an automatically refreshing news page while I’m working on other things? Nope! Do I need the full power of Word, when all I’m doing is scribbling down some notes that I’ll later fold into a larger document? Nope!

In spite of the frustrations and challenges, I’d call the battery fiasco, a win. I’ve learned some things and am more active in my power management.

Prod merc aura pro express6g12 envoy

I’d love to test the claims of OtherWorld Computing regarding their 1 Terabyte solid state drive. They claim that the drive uses less power and is faster than the drive that came with my computer. I’m just not ready to pony up $450 to put their claims to the test.

The funniest thing about my desire for a bigger drive, is the staggering capacity that still remains on my current drive.

I clearly recall when I got appreciative “Ooos and ahhs” because I had a 486 Class PC with 80 MB of hard drive storage.

Now I’m looking at my remaining hard drive space, 150 GB and thinking, “Wow, I don’t have much space left.”

For that matter, I remember my first laptop got an astounding 2 hours of runtime on a charge. Now a two hour runtime signals the need for battery replacement.

It’s interesting, how our perceptions change.

 

Just some food for thought…

JROppenheimer LosAlamos

I wasn’t planning on another piece about Apple v. The FBI. But here goes…

For all those pundits, wags, celebrities, politicians, and now Rabbis speaking out and telling Apple that they should decrypt the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, I submit this.

Apple is apparently applying the thought Robert Oppenheimer had after he helped create the atomic bomb.

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.
– J. Robert Oppenheimer

I believe this quote is often paraphrased to;

Just because you CAN do a thing, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD do a thing.

I’ve lived my life using that paraphrase as a test for certain actions. I look at it as a cautionary signpost for all scientists and researchers.

Project t virus by linkin368 d3gt57g

Just because you can modify the DNA of influenza to deliver a genetic update to all the people of the world… should you? What about murphy’s law? Can you really limit the unintended consequences? 

OR is it simply better to recognize that never creating the technology is the best course of action?

Thumb01m

All these people saying Apple should crack the phone, have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s not an easy task, even for Apple. Cracking encryption isn’t what you see in the movies. 

You don’t just plug a widget into a port, have some dialog about how cool you are and then hear a beep as the NSA computers start spilling all their information onto your impossibly small storage device.

At this point it’s unclear if the iPhone in question is using something as simple as a 4 digit code. It’s likely, but depending on the IOS version being used, the phone could be locked using a phrase.

If there’s a passphrase the odds of success hacking it with a brute force attack drop precipitously with each character added to the passphrase length.

James comey fbi

The brute force attack that the FBI is describing is crude and there is no guarantee that if they win in court, forcing Apple to be their bitch, that when they finally get into the phone there won’t be a nasty little application that has encrypted all the files the FBI wants using an entirely different algorithm, from another manufacturer.  If that’s the case, is the FBI going to get another court order? Probably not, because this is about the FBI making an example. Apple just happens to be the biggest target. 

It’s just as likely, this Jihadi fucker was using a messaging application that wiped the messages 5 minutes after they were read.

Federal and state fbi agent

If the guy was at all concerned about security, He probably turned off all the Apple Tracking software, I know I did right after Edward Snowden blew the whistle.

I’m not a criminal, but I value my privacy and am willing to forego my phone being able to tell me where the nearest Häagen-Dazs is, to maintain my privacy.

This means that Apple providing a custom operating system to disables the automatic wipe on the phone and allow unlimited access to the phone’s password system is likely not going to get the FBI anything more than they already have based on cell tower records.

By the way, because of the number of towers in the San Bernardino area, cell tower data can pinpoint the movements of this Jihadi asshole to within a couple hundred feet or less.

The NSA Actually Has A Program Called SKYNET

So the FBI is lying right from the get-go, when they say they want access to the phone so they can figure out where this Jihadi and his diseased rancid whore of a wife, were before, during the shooting, and after. 

The cell tower records would already provide that information and if the guy turned off his phone while visiting some nefarious underworld figure. Or dropped it in a Faraday bag or cage…

LOKSAK SHIELDSAK Flexible Fabric Faraday Cage Anti RF Protective Bag RF Fortress Radio Frequency Camouflage NDIA SOFIC 2014 David Crane DefenseReview com DR 10

Then the FBI would still get nothing from the phone because at that point the phone would have been cut off from the cell tower or any GPS information and likewise wouldn’t have been able to transmit any of that information.

But we know that the FBI has nine OTHER phones they want to force Apple to help them unlock. 

Apple icon apple

The problem here is that Apple has never created the software to unlock or hack their devices.

Why should they?

Apple tells you, “don’t lose your password, we cant help you if you do.”

So they have a secure device, and they can insure the device’s security because they’ve never created any software to undo their encryption or their locking mechanism.

Just because you CAN do a thing, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD do a thing.

Achmed

Dear Apple customer… “If you loose your password, you can wipe the phone and start over. We strongly recommend you have the data backed up. Apple provides the iCloud service for this purpose.“

It’s recently come to light, that the FBI ordered the San Bernardino County IT department to change the password on the iCloud account and therefore broke a link that could, with Apple’s help, have gained access to the phone.

Now the FBI wants to use a court order to force Apple to UNFUCK their fuckup. But that’s not the end game.

The end game is that the FBI wants to force manufacturers to build government backdoors into all devices. 

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The FBI is using “terrifying terrorists” and criminals, to spook congress and the courts into passing legislation that mandates government access be built into all machines. They and their supporters are using the time honored B.S. line;

For the safety and security of the public…” or that old favorite “We do this for THE CHILDREN

I’m not sure I believe in the slippery slope argument but I do think it’s a very short walk to losing rights that we’ll never get back.

That walk begins with statements that start out, “It’s worth losing a little privacy, or freedom, or changing the laws, or, or, or,  for safety.” see; The Patriot Act

 When I see our government behaving this way, and I hear people saying, “it’s just a little invasion,” I can’t help but think of the poem The Hangman.


I could see a time in the future when it’s illegal for you not to have your phone on your person.

After all, the government would only want to keep track of your movements and communications to insure your safety… Right?

Back doors in our devices are, I think just a stepping stone to full surveillance.

You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide.

Stand with Apple – Go Dark

Apple

Apple is a target plain and simple.

If the US Government succeeds in their ploy to force Apple to create custom code that decrypts the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone we all loose.

This is not about the rights of terrorists. Put a bullet in the brain of all terrorists and let God sort ‘em out. I truly don’t give a flying fuck about some Muslim asshole that should’ve been turned around at the border. I’m honestly surprised that they even can use a smart phone isn’t there some fatwa saying followers of Islam must remain in the 12th century?

Tim Cook

Anyhoo…

This fight between Apple and the Government is about access and control. For over a year we’ve been hearing the FBI telling us they don’t like encryption. The NSA doesn’t like it either and with good reason. They can’t spy on average citizens and don’t even dare to think that’s not exactly what they want to do.

idiots happen

Last night on the news I heard average people being interviewed saying stuff like “Well if it’s to fight terrorists it’s worth giving up a little freedom and privacy.”

To those people I say this.

YOU’RE MORONS!

Emperor Ming

The same argument was made right after 9/11, and that gave us The Patriot Act which is by the way still in effect.

Some of the more sinister things about the Patriot act are the scope of Presidential power, the ability to indefinitely detain a citizen without due process, and the unprecedented scope of surveillance that is now permitted.

Remember how pissed off everyone was about the Edward Snowden revelations? How we found out that the NSA was recording all kinds of information from our phones? Yeah, that’s what comes from giving up just “a little freedom and privacy.”

Edward Snowden.

Apple can’t fight this fight alone. Even Apple and Google together can’t fight this fight.

We’ve gotta help.

We do that by going dark.

You can buy encryption from a variety of vendors.

But you can find some excellent encryption for free if you go looking for it. Open source encryption is pretty robust.

VPN

Encrypt everything you own. All your drives, all your files stored in the cloud. Then find a VPN service that you like and think you can trust, if they’re European even better.

Make sure that their data is end to end encrypted and use the service all the time on every device you own. 

It’s not just about taking a stand. If your information is encrypted, then it’s a lot harder for bad guys to get their hands on personal data that could be used to hurt you.

Encrypt

Make it a cause. 

#godarkforprivacy
#godarkforapple

The only way we keep our rights and privacy to to defend those rights and privacy vigorously.

Thats my public service announcement for the day.