The Black-Hat Edition Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Apple’s ‘Behind The Scenes Of iOS Security’ From Black Hat USA 2016 Released, by Greg Barbosa, 9to5Mac

Black Hat, famously known for its information security conferences, has just released the ‘Behind the Scenes of iOS Security’ video from this year’s USA event. The talk, led by Ivan Krstic, dives into some of the security methods that currently exist in iOS and what Apple does to keep users secure. This talk was also where Apple had introduced its first security bounty program.

KeyShade Is A New Password Manager For Mac OS X And iOS, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Featuring automatic backup and cloud sync functionality, it’s designed to providea safe repository for sensitive information, offering a secure, encrypted database for managing website logins, bank accounts, credit cards, and notes. Its entire user interface exists within one menu on the menubar.

Stories Time

A Charming Alternative Universe Of You, Your Friends And No News, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

This might sound corny. But as more of our digital spaces become stuffed with news — and, perhaps more alarmingly, suffused with an anxiety to always put forward your best self — there seems to be a growing appetite for honest, unself-conscious personal sharing online. That is helping to fuel not only Instagram Stories but also Snapchat, which recently surpassed the unceasingly newsy Twitter in daily use, and, a two-year-old app on which young people (mostly) make music videos.

Overlapping Stories On Snapchat, Instagram, by Shelby Le Duc, USA Today

So then why would anyone use Instagram to do something so obviously meant for Snapchat? The answer is clear: Because Instagram does it better. Way better.

Appify The World

Mind Your Own Business, by Barbara Ehrenreich, The Baffler

At about the beginning of this decade, mass-market mindfulness rolled out of the Bay Area like a brand new app. Very much like an app, in fact, or a whole swarm of apps. Previous self-improvement trends had been transmitted via books, inspirational speakers, and CDs; now, mindfulness could be carried around on a smartphone. There are hundreds of them, these mindfulness apps, bearing names like Smiling Mind and Buddhify. A typical example features timed stretches of meditation, as brief as one minute, accompanied by soothing voices, soporific music, and images of forests and waterfalls.

This is Buddhism sliced up and commodified, and, in case the connection to the tech industry is unclear, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist blurbed a seminal mindfulness manual by calling it “the instruction manual that should come with our iPhones and BlackBerries.” It’s enough to make you think that the actual Buddha devoted all his time under the Bodhi Tree to product testing. In the mindfulness lexicon, the word “enlightenment” doesn’t have a place.


The Internet’s Safe Harbor Just Got A Little Less Safe, by Klint Finley, Wired

Last week a federal judge ruled that cable Internet provider Cox Communications must pay $25 million in damages to BMG Rights Management, which controls the rights to the music of some of the world’s most popular artists. The court found that Cox was liable for the alleged copyright infringement carried out by its customers, safe harbor or not. The decision might not rattle the giants of the Internet business, like Comcast, Verizon, Google and Facebook–at least not yet. But it could be bad news for smaller companies that can’t afford such costly legal battles. And if companies start fearing they’ll lose their safe harbor, they might have to start more carefully policing the content posted by their users.

Bottom of the Page

I am guessing when Apple introduces Touch ID on the Mac platform, the Touch ID button will not exist separately away from the computer. This will work with laptops, as well as iMacs, where the Touch ID button (I guess) will be on the monitor's bezel.

Which is one reason why I am now guessing Apple may be ending the Mac Mini and Mac Pro lines in their current incarnation.


If you are following the adventures of a (slightly) insomniac me, you will remember last night I was fearing of waking up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep.

Well, I had a dream last night, when, for whatever reason, I was deciding between continuing to sleep, or wake up. Guess which option I chose in my dream?

I woke up at 1.30am, and couldn't get back to sleep.

So, now, I am typing this with my eyes closed. Thanks to the years of Mavis Beacon, I don't think I have made any typos yet.


Thanks for reading. And may you sleep better than me.