The Overstepping-Authority Edition Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Apple-FBI Fight Asks: Is Code Protected As Free Speech?, by Adam Satariano, Bloomberg

Free speech will be a secondary argument in Apple’s response to the government this week, said an Apple executive who asked not to be named because the company’s filing isn’t yet public. The company’s central case is that the government is overstepping its authority under the All Writs Act, a centuries-old law that courts have interpreted to give wide latitude to law enforcement agencies to get customer information from companies. Apple is arguing that the government is exceeding the limits of the law by requiring it to write new software that undermines its security protocols. Apple also may urge the courts to tell Congress to settle the dispute. The company has already asked that a commission be created to craft recommendations for striking a balance between law enforcement and privacy.

The Real Reason Half Of America Supports The FBI Over Apple, by Brian Fung, Washington Post

Opinions about technology turn out to be very malleable, and in more ways than just how a survey question is phrased or how big the sample is. But how do we evaluate that?

Apple's Fight With U.S. Could Speed Development Of Government-proof Devices, by Joseph Menn and Julia Love, Reuters

But even a government victory could have unintended consequences for law enforcement, potentially prompting a wave of investment by U.S. tech companies in security systems that even their own engineers can't access, said Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

"A success for the government in this case may further spur Apple and others to develop devices that the makers aren't privileged to crack," he said.

Apple Vs. FBI: “Just This Once”?, by Julian Sanchez, Just Security

Little wonder, then, that Comey and the FBI keep stressing that they’re seeking very narrow and limited relief, in just this one case. If that were true, then unlikely as it is that any useful data will be recovered from this phone, it would seem awfully unreasonable for Apple not to offer its voluntary assistance, this one time. Once you realize that it’s very obviously not true, and consider even just the most immediate and unambiguous near-term consequences — leaving aside the prospect of tech companies more broadly being forced to sign other sorts of exploit code — it starts to look much more like the Justice Department is the one making unreasonable demands.

The Case For Using iTunes, Not iCloud, To Back Up Your iPhone, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

For people who prefer full control over their data, the easiest option is to stop using iCloud and use iTunes instead. This, too, is not news, and in some ways is a regression to the days before iOS 5 when you needed to use a computer to activate, update, and back up your phone at all. But there are multiple benefits to doing local backups, so while the topic is on everyone’s mind we’ll show you how to do it (in case you don’t know) and what you get from it (in case you don’t know everything).

How Do You Like Thee?

Facebook Enhances Everyone’s Like With Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry Buttons, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

Humanity has been boiled down to six emotions. Today after tests in a few countries, Facebook is rolling out its augmented Like button “Reactions” to all users.


Smart Keyboard Update Improves Connection Stability With iPad Pro, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Next time you start using the Smart Keyboard on your iPad Pro, you'll get an accessory update. That's a way for Apple to push updates through the Smart Connector and into the keyboard. You can choose to apply the update immediately or defer it to later.

A Cautionary Tale About Contacts And Backups, by TJ Luoma, MacStories

So if you want to backup your contacts and keep the group information, then you need to export as “Contacts Archive” and get a dot-abbu backup, but you can only use that to replace your entire contacts database, which means that you will lose any information you have added since you exported the dot-abbu file.

ResearchKit-powered Asthma Health Study Arrives In The UK And Ireland, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Asthma Health, the ResearchKit-powered asthma study from Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine, is now available for download and use in both the UK and Ireland. One of the initial crop of ResearchKit apps launched in March 2015, Asthma Health tracks symptom patterns and potential triggers, which allows researchers to develop new, more personalized treatments for asthma.

Anonymous Therapy App Will Help You Fix Your Relationship Issues By Text, by Hattie Gladwell,

Relationup is an app created specifically to help assist with urgent relationship issues while also offering users further private conversations with mental health professionals.

Todoist Gets 3D Touch, Native Apple Watch App, Safari Plug-in + Updates For Mac & More, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Popular productivity app Todoist is giving its six million users a huge update today with a completely rewritten app for iOS alongside a new Safari plug-in and notable updates for Apple Watch and Mac.

Pocket Wants You To Read Ads Later Too, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

People love Pocket. Its 22 million registered users have saved over 2 billion articles. But there comes a time in every startup’s life when it must ween itself off venture capital and become a sustainable business. Today, after 9 years without ads, Pocket begins experimenting with sponsored content in its Recommended feed.

Funnster App Makes Planning Social Events Easy And Fun, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today


Twitter’s Fabric App Brings Real-Time Analytics And Crash Reporting To The iPhone, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Over the past few years, Twitter has created and acquired an impressive array of mobile developer tools that it offers under the umbrella brand of Fabric. Today, Twitter released an iPhone companion app for Fabric that puts two of its most popular tools in your pocket – analytics and crash reporting. I have been testing Fabric, the iOS app, with two iOS apps provided by Twitter for the last few days and I'm impressed with its ability to sift through, organize, and display large quantities of data in an effective and meaningful way on an iPhone.

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I cut my lip today, and I was leaving blood stains on all the cups I used today.

I hope nobody minded.


Thanks for reading.