The Note-The-Irony Edition Monday, February 29, 2016

What Apple Did And Didn't Do When China Knocked On Its Backdoor, by Bill Powell, Newsweek

Note the irony: China’s security audit was done, by all accounts, to ensure that Apple had not already built a backdoor into its products that the U.S. government could use to its advantage in China. (Apple has never publicly confirmed or denied the security audit). But now, in the wake of the controversy over the San Bernardino attacker’s phone, the mere fact that Beijing did a security audit has raised suspicions that Apple jumped to Beijing’s tune in a way it defiantly refuses to do in the U.S.

But there’s little evidence that this is true. Some critics have pounced on the security audit and concluded that Apple “gave” the Chinese government its “source code" and therefore, in theory, gave Beijing ideas about how it can build its own backdoor into Apple’s products. But this is almost certainly wrong. As John Kheit, a writer at the all-Apple, all-the-time website the Mac Observer, puts it, “Showing the source code in no way reveals the magic encryption keys generated by the source code and maintained in secret on people’s individual devices.”


Apple Breaks Mac Ethernet Port With Security Update, Issues Fix, by AppleInsider

For those unable to connect to a wireless network (likely the same people who noticed their Ethernet was non-functional) the company offers instructions on how to restore the latest kernel extension version manually.


Hackathon Be Gone, by Brain Food

How do we foster a healthier and more collaborative environment that isn’t slanted towards commercial interests? How do we reward effort, innovation, or showmanship fairly?


Google AMP Is Less About Beating Facebook At News, More About Gobbling Up The Mobile Web, by Mark Bergen, Re/code

AMP is a central part of Google’s maniacal mission to clean up the mobile Web and boost search revenue on mobile.

The Promise Of Artificial Intelligence Unfolds In Small Steps, by Steve Lohr, New York Times

IBM’s early struggles with Watson point to the sobering fact that commercializing new technology, however promising, typically comes in short steps rather than giant leaps.

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I have not liked Apple's naming scheme for the iPhone so far (the S and the non-S, the plus and the non-plus), and I definitely have not warmed up to the SE suffix either.


Thanks for reading.