The Wiretapping-Laws Edition Thursday, February 25, 2016

Apple Is Said To Be Trying To Make It Harder To Hack iPhones, by Matt Apuzzo and Katie Benner, New York Times

If Apple succeeds in upgrading its security — and experts say it almost surely will — the company will create a significant technical challenge for law enforcement agencies, even if the Obama administration wins its fight over access to data stored on an iPhone used by one of the killers in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., rampage. If the Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted to get into a phone in the future, it would need a new way to do so. That would most likely prompt a new cycle of court fights and, yet again, more technical fixes by Apple.

The only way out of this scenario, experts say, is for Congress to get involved. Federal wiretapping laws require traditional phone carriers to make their data accessible to law enforcement agencies. But tech companies like Apple and Google are not covered, and they have strongly resisted legislation that would place similar requirements on them.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Says iPhone-Cracking Software ‘Equivalent Of Cancer’, by Enjoli Francis, ABC

"If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write -- maybe it's an operating system for surveillance, maybe the ability for the law enforcement to turn on the camera," Cook said. "I don't know where this stops. But I do know that this is not what should be happening in this country."

The Apple Case Will Grope Its Way Into Your Future, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

But if Apple is forced to break its own security to get inside a phone that it had promised users was inviolable, the supposed safety of the always-watching future starts to fall apart. If every device can monitor you, and if they can all be tapped by law enforcement officials under court order, can anyone ever have a truly private conversation? Are we building a world in which there’s no longer any room for keeping secrets?

I Got Hacked Mid-air While Writing An Apple-FBI Story, by Steven Petrow, USA Today

“That’s why this story is so important to everyone,” he told me. “It’s about everyone’s privacy.”

Then he headed down the escalator and I headed out the front door. I may have been wearing my jacket, but I felt as exposed as if I’d been stark naked.

Life Extension

Tips And Myths About Extending Smartphone Battery Life, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

The results showed that some conventional beliefs about extending battery life — like turning off Wi-Fi or shutting down all your phone’s apps — produced negligible or even harmful results. The Wirecutter also found plenty of helpful practices to get more use out of your battery, like playing music stored directly on the device (instead of streaming it) or tweaking email configurations.

The Wirecutter tested a range of recent Apple and Android smartphones with the latest operating systems in tightly controlled environments. Your phone’s results will vary depending on the phone model, cellular carrier, location and other factors, but the general results should hold. Here are eight tips and seven myths busted by our findings.


tvOS App Store Gains 'Not On This Apple TV' Category, by Sam Oliver, AppleInsider

Avid app buyers now have an easier way to identify purchased apps that are available for their Apple TV but which have not yet been downloaded to that device, as Apple has added an iOS-like "Not on this Apple TV" category to the App Store.

The Ultimate Guide To iOS Password Managers: Everything You Need To Know!, by The App Factor

As we store more and more of our information digitally, it becomes more important than ever to make sure it’s safe-guarded. Part of that security should always consist of strong and unique passwords. Password manager apps are available not only on the iPhone and iPad, but on Macs and PCs as well. (No, putting your passwords in the Notes app is never acceptable, so stop it.)

Password manager apps aren’t hard to use, and once you get started, they actually offer you more convenience than any other way of maintaining and storing passwords. Not convinced? Let me help you understand…

PhotoWall+ Review: Every iOS Device Can Be The Life Of This Apple TV Party, by Macworld

PhotoWall+ is an app for the fourth-generation Apple TV that works in tandem with a free, universal companion app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch called PhotoWall+ Cam. After creating a new photo wall (or opening an existing one) on the Apple TV, iOS devices will be able to add new or existing images to the television screen for all to see.

Quiver 3: A Digital Notebook Built For Developers, by Timothy Reavis, iDownloadBlog


Apple Shares Videos From Apple TV Tech Talks On Building Apps For tvOS, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Not all developers were able to attend as Apple distributed tickets via a lottery system, but as of today, the videos from the Tech Talks are available on Apple's developer website.

Inside The Apple And IBM Partnership To Help Enterprise Customers Build More iOS Apps, by Chris O'Brien, VentureBeat

Apple and IBM announced a partnership around enterprise solutions back in July 2014. While Apple has seen its mobile gadgets — like the iPhone and iPad — used in the workplace by individuals who’ve purchase them, there has still remained the bigger challenge of getting large enterprises to adopt them on the kind of massive scale that might turn around the slumping sales of Apple’s tablet.

IBM is deep, deep in the enterprise. So while the partnership is entirely logical, it’s also still remarkable to see the historic rivals working shoulder to shoulder. Seeing IBM executives stand in front of a sign at MWC that reads “IBM MobileFirst for iOS” takes some adjustment.

Microsoft At Last Buys .NET-for-iOS, Android Vendor Xamarin, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

Microsoft will buy Xamarin, maker of .NET tooling that can build apps for iOS, Android, and OS X, for an undisclosed sum.

What Microsoft’s Xamarin Purchase Says About The Cloud Computing Fight, by Quentin Hardy, New York Times

Rumor Of The Day

Apple Plans Siri For Mac As Tentpole Feature For This Fall’s OS X 10.12 Launch, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

Apple had been testing versions of OS X internally with Siri integration since at least 2012, but sources now say that Apple has a clear vision for Siri on the Mac along with a polished user-interface and is nearly ready to launch the feature publicly. Apple is expected to introduce OS X 10.12 in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Bottom of the Page

Why isn't Assistive Touch part of the Today's Widget or as a button in Control Center? I thought this will be a perfect fit, isn't it?

(Of course, the Today's widget and the Control Center may be turned off at various places in iOS, so the current implementation should also be available still.)


Thanks for reading.