The Clipper-Chip-Redux Edition Saturday, March 12, 2016

Why Are We Fighting The Crypto Wars Again?, by Steven Levy, Backchannel

The government kept encryption legal, but benignly neglected it, while our infrastructure, our business plans, and our personal secrets lay exposed to thieves, vandals and foreign powers. Security flaws were a pain to users, but a useful tool for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Now, post-Snowden, our tech companies are finally taking steps to implement strong-encryption-by-default, the best way to insure security and privacy. The FBI’s response? Clipper Chip redux.

And we’re back at square one.

Obama Tells Tech Community To Solve Encryption Problem Now Or Pay Later, by Casey Newton, The Verge

President Barack Obama called on the tech community to build a safe encryption key to assist in law enforcement investigations, saying that if it failed, it could one day face a more draconian solution passed by a Congress that is less sympathetic to its worldview.

Go Forward

The Future Of Computing, by The Economist

But now, after five decades, the end of Moore’s law is in sight. Making transistors smaller no longer guarantees that they will be cheaper or faster. This does not mean progress in computing will suddenly stall, but the nature of that progress is changing. Chips will still get better, but at a slower pace (number-crunching power is now doubling only every 2.5 years, says Intel). And the future of computing will be defined by improvements in three other areas, beyond raw hardware performance.

In The Age Of Google DeepMind, Do The Young Go Prodigies Of Asia Have A Future?, by Dawn Chan, New Yorker

“A dolphin swims faster than Michael Phelps, but we still want to see how fast he can go,” Lockhart said. “We’re humans and we care about other humans and what they can do.” His point was perhaps underscored last month in St. Petersburg, where Go players convened in an old Soviet-built hotel for the 2016 European Go championships. It was Fan Hui’s first major tournament after his loss to AlphaGo, and at the outset he felt uncertain. “Everything was broken,” he told me. But he went on to win all his games. At the final awards ceremony, while accepting his trophy, he bent back and let out a victory roar. He was flouting the usual decorum of Go tournaments, but the crowd rose to its feet anyway, applauding the man who had lost to the machine.


Teen Dev’s Ambitious App Isn’t Your Typical Photo Editor, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

New image-editing app Glaze is a one-stop-shop for photo tweakers that lets you jazz up still images, videos and — for iPhone 6s users — Live Photos, too.

“When I was looking around for an app to create, I couldn’t find a single image app which was comprehensive across all content types,” says Glaze creator Ryan Stephen. “This was my response.”

Microsoft Targets Evernote Users With Software That Makes It Easy To Switch To OneNote, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Microsoft today released a new tool that will make it easier for users of Evernote’s note-taking service to make the transition to rival application OneNote, a part of the Microsoft Office suite. The “OneNote Importer tool,” as the software is called, aims to address the switching costs that can hold back users from making a move to a competing platform.

16 Years Later, Blizzard Is Still Patching Diablo II, by Kyle Orland, Ars Technica

The new Diablo II patch doesn't add any new gameplay features, balance tweaks, or anything like that. Instead, Blizzard has added compatibility with modern operating systems like Windows 10 and OS X. But Blizzard says it's working on improvements to the game's "cheat-detection and hack-prevention capabilities" and hints at more improvements to come.

When It Comes To Copying Data, CopyToy For OS X Is No Toy, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today


Swift: Tuple, by Andyy Hope, Medium

Tuple types are somewhat a foreign concept to Objective-C developers, and can sometimes be confused for either a Struct or Class. But in fact, they’re much more basic than both of those. I like to think of them as a miniature struct or Struct Lite™ that should be used within a minimal scope then discarded.

MVC Is Actually MVA, by Roman Pushkin

Basically, controller is set of actions. Just a bunch of methods that can be executed. And that’s it, and should be nothing more.

What No Indie Developer Wants To Hear About The App Store, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

I fear pop apps, not indie apps, are the future of the App Store.

What No Indie Developer Wants To Hear About The App Store, by Michael Tsai

Although I think the domination of “pop” was probably inevitable, things could have been much better if Apple had taken more care in designing the App Store economy. Of course, there is no way to prove a counterfactual. And there is always the possibility that the App Store is functioning as intended—that what we see as bugs Apple sees as features that help it sell more phones, at least in the short term. That what we see as sustainability Apple sees as factors that would lessen its power.

Indies And The App Store, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

There was never a golden age for indie iOS developers. It was easier earlier on, but it was never golden. (Yes, some people made money, and some are today. I don’t mean that there were zero successes.)

And there’s a good chance that many of the people you currently think of as thriving iOS indie developers are making money in other ways: contracting, podcast ads, Mac apps, etc.

Fixing The Apple App Store, by Chuq Von Rospach

So it seems like a nice compromise where everyone wins. or at least doesn’t lose badly. And IMHO, I think between the existing pay-once model, allowing the download demo and unlock model through one-time IAP and an annual subscription model, plus more use of Macro’s patronage setup, we more or less have economic models covered in the App Store pretty well.


Amazon Echo, Home Alone With NPR On, Got Confused And Hijacked A Thermostat, by Ian Kar, Quartz

The radio program triggered Amazon Echos in the homes of a few listeners.

I Stayed In A Hotel With Android Lightswitches And It Was Just As Bad As You'd Imagine, by Matthew Garrett

But I could query other rooms on my floor to figure out whether the lights were on or not, which strongly implies that I could control them as well.

Rumor of the Day

Coming At Apple’s March 21st Event: 4-inch iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro & New Apple Watch Models, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

The event, which was originally internally scheduled for a week earlier, will focus on Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone SE, a smaller, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and new Apple Watch bands. The company will likely also reveal the final versions of iOS 9.3, tvOS 9.2, watchOS 2.2, OS X 10.11.4, and an iTunes update.

Bottom of the Page

If Apple can figure out a way to create an ad-blocker system in Safari without calling it an ad-blocker system, Apple will figure out a way to create a secured encryption system in OS X and iOS without calling it a secured encryption system.


Thanks for reading.