2452 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011
Re: Enjoy that "security"
What about if you use iCloud? The reason I still sync via iTunes is because I can encrypt my iTunes backup with my own password, but AFAIK data sent to iCloud is encrypted in transit and at rest, but not with a password I provide. If that's changed and now it is using my passcode to encrypt the data so Apple can't get at it on the iCloud servers I'll finally be able to take advantage of its convenience.
@joejack: Sure, NSA can get the encrypted data and brute-force it, but even they have finite capability. The thing most of us are concerned with is the NSA hoovering up EVERYONE'S stuff. If the NSA targets you specifically you aren't going to be able to stop them except by going totally off-grid. The most secure cell phone in the world still allows them to locate everywhere you go because they get the cell tower info from your carrier (and probably most foreign carriers, through legal, semi-legal, or not at all legal means)
Remember that rash of mysterious undersea cable "failures" a few years back?
Funny how they were all carrying traffic to the Middle East and Africa, wasn't it? Such a coincidence...
Maybe they can tap cables without the owner noticing, maybe they can't. But it is pretty easy to simulate an accidental break (find where they trenched the cable relatively near shore and drag an anchor over it, I'm sure there are other ways) and during the time it takes the repair crew to come out, you can replace one of their amplifiers with of your own that includes extra "features".
Why should they?
Why would Apple want to hand things over without some sort of law (whether known or subject to a NSL) forcing them to? Nothing to gain and a lot to lose if it becomes known.
Given the attention that Snowden has put on the government's data collection on citizens, much of it negative, Apple is merely acting in their own self interest by trying to protect the privacy of their users as much as possible. They have to follow the law, and we may not agree on what the law should be, but they certainly have no reason go beyond what the law requires, and very good reason not to.
For all the whining about how Apple overcharges for their products, most people don't think too closely about the basic difference in how Apple and Google make their money. Tim Cook is right to point that out, and wake up some of the people who dreamily believe that Google is a good guy on your side, versus nasty Apple who isn't. In truth, neither is on your side, they're both on their own side, but Apple's interests and your interests of privacy coincidence a helluva lot more closely than Google's interests and your interests of privacy, that's for damn sure.
Always the excuse for why police can use radios, computers, etc. while driving despite laws preventing it for the rest of us.
You can't train someone to multitask. Human brains have a limited capacity for that, other than the 2% of whatever of the population that are "supertaskers" (which 90% of people probably think they fall under) Cops can't do this any better than you or I can, unless they're one of that 2%.
Besides, the training police have for driving fast many of us spent a lot of time practicing extensively in our younger days. I'd bet on myself (or anyone else reading this who was similarly non law abiding when younger and perhaps still occasionally when older :)) to win a race against any cop who always has and still does follow speed limits as a private citizen and only drove fast during training or when absolutely necessary in his job.
Don't mistake my question for consensus. I don't know nearly enough about RF to know whether that's the case. I don't think that those working on this "twisted" stuff are pursuing a dead end, but when it is translated through journalists who don't know science that well they may not understand the limitations. Maybe it only works in certain circumstances (certain frequency ranges, certain power ranges, certain antenna sizes, etc.) that maybe make it useful for mobile devices but not satellite, or satellite but not UHF broadcast, or UHF broadcast. Maybe it works in the air but not over a wire for more than a few cm.
Lots of possible roadblocks to the hype portrayed in press reports about this, but I'm not qualified to tell what's what :)
I'm with Paul. Consider satellite: In the US, DBS from Directv uses the same frequency range (11700-12200 MHz for Ku; 17300-17700 / 18300-18800 / 19700-20200 MHz for RDBS / Ka lo / Ki hi) for simultaneous LHCP and RHCP polarized signals, which use QPSK or in some cases 8PSK modulation.
So the question is, would what is described in the article allow them to utilize the same amount of spectrum more efficiency than they already are? i.e. multiple LCHP beams with different "twisted" characteristics? Or is that going to increase the noise floor by enough that instead of QPSK/8PSK they have use a lower order modulation or increased error correction so there is little or no increase in actual usable bit rate?
Re: Also, that title!
They could be both a portal and a shredding machine. You might go somewhere else, with your atoms "slightly reorganized" at the destination.
Re: What a total rip-off!
Do you not understand that each company made a bid for what they thought they could do the described job for? Boeing is getting more because they bid higher. Unless Boeing performs better than SpaceX, they will have to bid lower if they want to get future contracts where only one winner may be chosen.
Re: So we'll all have
If Google and Apple get involved, most of us could get by with one, or maybe two if they don't interoperate well.
The problem with using your phone is that you're screwed you if you don't have it, it is broken, the battery is dead, whatever. This might be about the only reason I could see for a smartwatch - you'd have a "backup" secure element.
I wondered about that as well. This year's phones are the same as last year's, and the year before, and the year before that, and so on. Upping performance specs, using faster forms of wireless/cellular, making the screen/battery bigger, randomly throwing on some little bits like NFC and wireless charging do not require a large R&D budget and do not require a "brand name" to sell.
Re: Early civilizations and dinosaurs
According to Doctor Who, they had spaceships!
Two factor authentication
More convenient for users, with two secure elements (watch and phone) to choose from, so you aren't screwed if you lose one.
With all the regulations around HIPAA and privacy concerns, they should require two factor by default for health related data (not stupid stuff like pulse, but true health related data that may end up in HealthKit)
I suppose you could even do three factor (secure element, biometric i.e. fingerprint, AND password) but at some point users will reject it due to inconvenience, even if you make the grandstanding politicians happy.
Its a common strategy
If you can't succeed in a market, define yourself into a new market (Intel redefining the Surface as a "2 in 1" so Intel leads that new market segment) or define your competition into another market (iPhone, GS5 and Note 4 are now "ultra premium", so Windows Phone doesn't have to compete with them in its market segment)
Apple Pay is increasing security, that's why the banks are giving them 0.15%
Before you reach for the "what about the nude celeb gate"...
Apple is using the new "EMV" standard that sends a virtual credit card number instead of the real one, so the retailer will no longer have the real credit card number. Thus an exploit of the retailer's systems will no longer be an issue. This incurs a lot of cost from consumers calling in to dispute charges, having to issue new cards to millions of people, dealing with retailers to recover costs of fraudulent charges, etc.
The banks will probably save that 0.15% Apple is taking in the long run - if not specifically from Apple Pay, from Apple Pay helping set the new standard for how banks want NFC transactions to be completed. All the current NFC efforts (in the US at least) will be binned in the coming months, as banks won't play ball except with those who work like Apple Pay does.
Apple does not store the credit card numbers used for Apple Pay on their systems at all (they must store the card used for iTunes, but not the new ones that users may add) so even if they were compromised it wouldn't hurt anything. The card numbers on your phone are stored in the "secure element", which is a special area of the chip that is only accessible via the OS, not by apps. Absent a complete and total ring 0 p0wning of iOS, the actual card numbers won't be compromised on the phones either.
It isn't perfect, nothing is, but it is a far more secure implementation than Google Wallet or any of the carrier NFC schemes. That's why the banks are willing to pay Apple 0.15%. Apple was willing to work with them to do it how THE BANKS wanted, not with an eye towards data mining the users like Google wants or taking the full 2% markup like the carriers wanted.
Anyone know of a link with details on the process?
Is this made from single silicon wafers that have 24 or 32 layers on them (implying 70-100 metal layers and quite a lengthy processing time per wafer) or chips taken from 24 or 32 wafers that are stacked together using existing technology (albeit with more chips in the stack than I've seen reported so far)
It sounds like the former, but if that's the case why has this type of technology not been used for RAM? It might not result in the highest performance, but having "high performance" RAM soldered onto the server's board and slower "expansion RAM" in super dense DIMMs terabytes in size would be useful in the HPC world if nothing else, as they've already figured out NUMA.
So maybe Microsoft should have bought Yahoo! after all?
Providing they acquired their 22% stake prior to Microsoft's interest. Still would have been a bad acquisition, but this would have rescued them from being badly underwater on it by now.
If you're going to be an Apple hater, at least think logically instead of coming up with the stupidest argument possible.
Do you really think the NSA pays anyone for the data they give up? They make them an "offer they can't refuse". Anyway, what is the simplest way for them to get the payment data, to get it from Apple who doesn't necessarily even know what merchant something is being purchased from and what item is being purchased (I don't know what info the payment terminals will actually provide aside from the cost and some sort of transaction ID)
No, the easiest way is to get it from the banks, who not only process Apple Pay payments, but all credit card, debit card, Paypal and so on. The banks already have to provide the government with reams of info, and no one squawks too much about it because people know the banks have to provide this information because "terrorism".
Re: Apple's web site fell over? How 1990s!
Might have something to do with several million people all trying to access it at the same instant. I suppose you think you'd be able to make it crash proof against that type of load spike? Unless you work for Google or Facebook, I think you'd be wrong.
Obviously AC isn't paying attention if he didn't know some Android phones have had this capability forever. I'm an iPhone owner, but I was quite aware of that. It always seemed rather pointless to me since T Mobile was the only big carrier in the US to support it, and they pretty much have had to push more consumer-friendly policies as a way of getting some attention from AT&T and Verizon.
What Apple did do by offering this with the iPhone 6 is get AT&T to follow, which is big news. No doubt Verizon will go along as well. One way Apple benefits Android users, even if they don't like to admit it, is they're better at pushing the big boys around for stuff like this. Another example being the agreements with Visa/MC/AXP for NFC, which will probably clear the way for Google to do the same (once they add support for one time use numbers which they should have had all along)
How useful wifi calling really is remains to be seen. If I'm in a place that has an AT&T wifi hotspot, would it force my call onto wifi? What if I don't want that, since it is more prone to packet delays that compromise the call quality? This is great if the cell is overloaded, but if the cell isn't and the wifi is overloaded I'm screwed. Given that I don't save any money this is probably something I end up turning off as being an advantage for the carrier but not for me. Really stupid that the minutes would be counted if I'm using my home wifi!
I suppose it doesn't really matter who is billed for the calls since minutes are no longer a scarce commodity. This would have been awesome about 10 years ago, but today it is meh. I could see it being really handy for those who have poor coverage at home or at work though.
If they weren't sure about having enough sapphire, they'd make sure they have enough glass on hand. The glass screens cost only $3/ea, so even if they didn't end up using them that's a small price to pay for being prepared. Though they could perhaps be re-cut to be used in iPhone 5S and 5C.
Though I have trouble believing the go / no-go decision was left to a week ago, that seems to be cutting it a bit too close.
Re: It's not new!
Selling a small quantity of a niche product like the Android phones with sapphire screens and selling 150 million a year are two VERY different things.
Apple is clearly not there yet, but they will be there before anyone else. If for no other reason than they spend $1 billion building a sapphire plant that will produce 10x more sapphire than all the other plants in the world combined. If anyone wants to follow them with a mass market phone that sells millions of copies, they'll need to make a similar investment, or hope one of the sapphire producers does. Either way, they won't be able to make the screens as cost effectively as Apple will, since they'll be making so many more and own the factory they're being made in.
Re: Too little too late?
You didn't contradict what I said, though perhaps I might have been more clear. I said not a lot of PEOPLE would choose Blackberry, thus this won't help for BYOD. Companies that force phones on their employees might choose Blackberry, and this would be useful for that to some extent, but BYOD is gaining strength and the number of companies providing phones for employees are shrinking.
I think Blackberry will be bought out or go under, because they can't stay viable in fourth place in what is essentially a two horse race, and the CEO is too stubborn to realize this and try to market Blackberry's software/security layer to an Android vendor to help differentiate them from the Android herd. Samsung is already going their own way with Knox, but if Lenovo or LG wanted to rise above the rest in the corporate market, integrating Blackberry's technology (and more importantly, their reputation) would be the fastest way there.
Too little too late?
Not a lot of people choose Blackberry, so it wouldn't be used much for BYOD. More likely used for people who have a company force their phone on them and don't want to carry two.
Would have been much bigger news if Samsung or Apple had done this.
Re: Not sure about this....
It was probably just some poor wording, the 43.2 million will be shipments in 2015. There won't be close to even a 1/10th of that in 2014, given the response so far. As it is that prediction of 43 million will require a hell of a lot of Apple Watches are sold. If they aren't, all the press will talk about is how smart watches are a flop, and Android versions like Samsung Gear will sink along with the Apple Watch.
80 million vs 60 million iPhones sold next quarter
The number sold will be based on how many can be produced. The demand is always higher at first and then levels off. I'll bet they could sell 100 million in Q4 if that many could be produced, but they can't.
If they did sell 100 million, all that would do is reduce the sales in subsequent quarters. It isn't very likely that someone wants to buy an iPhone, finds they're sold out and they'll have to wait, and buys an Android instead. They just buy the iPhone later. Likewise, people who are prepared to buy an Android phone don't walk into an Apple store, see an iPhone ready to buy, and change their mind.
As an American
I can understand the desire for independence, but I fear that once the North Sea oil and gas runs out, Scotland is going to be a pretty poor country. It would be like the rest of the US seceding from New York and California (something I'm sure conservatives would dearly love) leaving the biggest financial center, tech center and tourism behind.
Re: Apple Maps
Whether Google Maps, HERE Maps or even Apple Maps are more accurate for one depends on location. I'd bet HERE Maps is more accurate in the EU, Google Maps in the US.
It is good to see that Apple is continuing to improve their maps. When it first came out I checked some stuff on it where I live and there were a few things a bit out of place but overall it was pretty good - certainly better than how it was portrayed in the press. When I've used it recently I can't find anything wrong where I live, so they've obviously been working behind the scenes to improve it. Presumably fixing the really big errors that made the news the first few months first, before the little local details for understandable reasons :)
I don't know if you could even get most Reg readers or any other self-selected group of techies to say they trust it. The idea that "most people" would trust a cryptographic algorithm over the US government, large bank or Paypal is laughable. Most peope don't even begin to understand what the foundation of bitcoin is, but just know it has "something to do with computers" and therefore in their minds the same viruses and bugs that affect them could affect their money.
The only reason any non-techies have got involved in bitcoin is the hype. They're chasing the next big thing, like they chased the dot com bubble, flipping houses, and gold before it. When the next big thing comes along to distract their attention, bitcoin will be in the past from their perspective just like day trading.
Re: Apple Watch ... a solution looking for a problem
I've never been a fan of the smart watch concept. I could see getting one for fitness tracking when I'm biking, running or lifting, but the idea hasn't excited me enough to actually do so. The Apple Watch presentation didn't change that.
What I think might is seeing what ideas developers come up with when they can start applying their ideas. Cook also hinted in an interview that there are secrets yet to be revealed about it...I can imagine Apple might hold a few things back to save some surprise for the actual launch.
So they've switched
From copying Macbook Air to copying Surface?
Hardly - most politicos will just see them as another (albeit tasty) threat to their power base
Hardly, they'll be trying to work out which party they'll support, and therefore whether they should be for or against giving them the vote.
Apple has done more than made it fashionable, they've made NFC as anonymous and secure as cash payment through use of one time codes and the fact that no personal information is shared with the merchant. Nor is Apple collecting data on your purchases because they make their money selling you the phone, not selling you out to advertisers.
I always said NFC was a solution looking for a problem, and it identified something I consider a problem - the fact that using my credit card to buy stuff allows the merchant to have my name and track my purchases in places I visit frequently (like a grocery store) or that have my info on file because I've bought stuff online from them as well as in person (Best Buy, Walmart, etc.)
Not sure if it will really be enough to get me using it regularly, we'll see, but it at least interests me enough to try it when I get an iPhone 6. If they had simply implemented NFC the same way everyone else has up until now I would have gone into settings, disabled it, and never changed it because as implemented previously it added nothing but insecurity (risk of skimming)
Re: Help me out here...
Apple's system is NOT building on the credit card number. It uses a one time code, so if the merchant's systems are compromised it doesn't matter.
Essentially Apple Pay is EMV, arriving a year early.
If this becomes a problem, Apple could finance the purchases itself. Why not? They have essentially unlimited cash, have only a third of the purchase price tied up as their cost, and the ability to brick it if you stop making payments. Much simpler and cheaper than car companies having to send out repo men or banks having to go through foreclosure when one fails to make their mortgage payments.
I'm actually surprised a bit they don't already do this, since there are many places where carrier subsidies have never existed. I suppose that with all the different laws that would affect them over the world they haven't seen it as worth the hassle yet.
Apple Pay criticism over biometrics
Fujitsu thinks facial recognition is better than fingerprints? Why do I find myself wondering if they have an extensive patent portfolio in facial recognition technology? If your fingerprint is compromised, at least you have nine others you can switch to. If your face is compromised, you're SOL.
Not that fingerprint readers are super secure or accurate, but facial recognition is no better. Nor any form of biometrics you're likely to put on a smartphone. The goal isn't perfect payment security, it is improved payment security to the point where the losses from fraud become "acceptable" in light of the cost of further fraud reduction.
By using one time tokens and authenticating with touch ID, Apple has raised the bar in two ways over current NFC mobile payments, as well as raised it over existing swipe only, swipe and signature, or swipe and PIN. Not sure about chip and PIN - does it only transmit one time tokens? If so Apple Pay is no better, but we won't have chip and PIN in the US anytime soon.
If it matters for your application, you just use 6.0 TB of it. Some applications don't care, so they get a bit more capacity for "free".
I doubt they're really improving density though. More likely they're making them better so they don't map out as many tracks during the factory formatting and/or have fewer tracks reserved against failures? Be interested to know a bit more detail why this drive would be gaining 5% capacity over nine months.
Where did this "rumor" come from? I've not seen this in the press.
It might be true, Apple would have such a high transaction volume they could shave 0.10% off to pay for their infrastructure. But if they did it wouldn't be a source of profit for them. Apple makes their money on the hardware, they don't need to make money on the transactions or from collecting data on the transactions themselves. Much better that they destroy Google's ability to collect data on the transactions, as the power of Ad Words would be unrivaled if Google was able to track people all the way from first search all the way through to purchase. Apple destroyed Google's business model for Google Wallet yesterday.
Re: Says it is for right handers only
I would be shocked if there isn't a configuration option to flip the interface and allow wearing it on the other wrist. I'm sure Apple had more than a few lefties involved in the design and they wouldn't overlook something so obvious if for no other reason than Apple hates adding SKUs and having a second version of everything with 10% of the market share of the first wouldn't be how they'd address this.
Two important differences for Apple Pay
1) Apple Pay is using one time codes for payments, so the retailer's insecurity (or any potential MITM attack on NFC payment devices) doesn't affect you, nor does the retailer gain any info such as your name/address/etc. so your purchases are as anonymous as if you used cash.
2) Apple doesn't get the retailer's name or what you bought and even if they wished to, won't be able to use this to amass an even larger store of personal information to use against you pushing ads in your face like Google. Nor are they taking a cut from the transaction like the carrier NFC efforts do (or at least are trying to do in some countries)
Basically they've killed anyone's efforts trying to use NFC to take a cut of the payment for themselves, so those trying to do so are probably hating life today, no doubt having calculated that Apple would try to take a cut and they could get by taking less. Google/Samsung's efforts will still be alive and well, but I suspect they'll eventually be forced to use one time codes to secure their solution even though it means giving up all that juicy personal data, meanwhile Apple haters will still claim that Apple "copied" others by adding NFC.
I've always said NFC is a "solution looking for a problem" since using it rather than swiping a card provides no benefit. However, the lack of anonymity when swiping a card has always been an issue with me that sometimes has me using cash, but for purchases I want anonymity for using NFC, while no faster than swiping a card, is faster than counting out cash and waiting for change that rattles around in your pocket all day until ending up in a big jar back home.
Re: Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space
He didn't say Apple's security was good, he said their security policy was better than anyone else's because they try to do right by the customer. You can be skeptical of that if you wish, but Apple has no incentive to screw over their customers. They make a lot of money when I buy an iPhone, it is not in their interest to add a single digit percentage to that profit by trying to steal my privacy by dealing in my personal data.
Someone else said Apple's online security record was "spotty". I take it you're referring to the nude celeb pics scandal from a few days ago? How is it Apple's fault if celebs didn't realize that answering the "security questions" correctly left them open to attack since the answers to questions like the high school they attended and name of their first pet can be easily found on the internet?
Some have criticized them for not offering two factor authentication for iCloud (which they now do, or plan to do) but seriously, are celebs who didn't realize they were exposing themselves (literally and figuratively) by answering the security questions correctly really going to know they should be using two factor security, or even what it is if they see a checkbox to enable it? It is only people who read the Reg who know what it is, if you ask a typical smartphone user (iPhone or Android) you'll be met with a blank stare.
Apple DOES NOT benefit the mobile payments space
To the contrary, Apple Pay basically destroys the business model of everyone playing in the mobile payments space before today! This is great for consumers, but everyone else is busy throwing out their business plan and figuring out how to survive this.
I always figured NFC payments would be really hard to make work in the US because everyone wants to take a cut of the transaction. Everyone involved from phone OEMs, carriers, app developers and various others who figured they could insert themselves in the process - all had dreams of making billions off a small cut of the action. Those dreams are now gone.
Apple doesn't need a cut (or profit down the road via using/selling customer data) since they make their money selling phones/watches. Payment processors and banks didn't want to give anyone a cut of their action. Merchants didn't want to give a bigger cut than they give now to enable more pigs at the trough.
So the banks, payment processors, and merchants all became logical partners of Apple, and the massive support they've lined up guarantees Apple Pay will gain traction where others have failed. Anyone who wants to play the mobile payments game after today will have to play by the profit-free information-free rules Apple has now set in stone. Brilliant move by Apple, this deals Google's aspirations a crippling blow by taking away their ability to collect data on user purchases and add it to their massive trove of customer data.
Had Google been able to link purchase behavior all the way back to user searches, the value of that search data and AdWords would have grown immeasurably.
Re: Short memories
The iPod was also criticized by many at first and predicted as a failure. There doesn't seem to be a good track record for people predicting failures by Apple since 2000. That doesn't mean the watch will be a hit, but it would be foolish to bet against it.
I saw a backstage interview of Cook on ABC News last night and the ABC guy wanted to see how his heart rate and blood pressure were doing after his presentation. Cook was going to show him, then thought better of it, saying "there's still a few secrets in here we haven't told anyone about yet" so Apple may be holding back a few things until it goes on sale for competitive reasons.
What in the hell would be the benefit to Apple to sell a $50 phone to "rebuild their market share"? Who the hell cares about market share? Apple may sell only 10% of the world's mobiles, but they make more money on those than everyone else combined selling the remaining 90%. Profit is, after all, what companies are in business for, not market share.
People buying $50 phones aren't spending money on apps, so Apple losing a sale to Android in that bottom end of the market does not help Android become any more relevant to developers. Those who think Apple will fall victim to the fate the Mac did when its market share fell and developers abandoned it for Windows don't understand how different the mobile app market is from the PC app market.
Two reasons why:
1) if doing BYOD, many people have Android and expect to use it
2) if employer provided, they want to save money on the hardware
Even if there are a lot more problems with Android, so long as the hardware savings outweigh the increased support costs, the bean counters will still think it is the right call to provide Android phones versus iPhone or WP8.
Re: "...from 91 angles."
91 angles obviously means in multiple axes, because even if the camera was always "head height", not everyone's head is at the same height.
Fashionistas on El Reg?
Vogue might as well ask in an article if any of their readers are Unix clustering experts.
"Better educate the general users"?
Why would this be any more successful than it was with Windows? It is the same user base of clueless people, after all. They still haven't learned not to open emails promising naked pics of celebrities or offers of marriage from Russia.
The only reason there hasn't been a massive malware attack on Android is because the clueless masses mostly only know how to download apps from Google Play. If someone successfully gets them to use an alternate app store by promising a very "special" app because "Google doesn't want you have to have this!", look out!
Re: 2 year ATT contract?
Carrier exclusive deals didn't seem to hurt the iPhone too much...just sayin'.
Re: What a waste of money
TV tuners are useless for cable TV, and people spending a ton of money on their system want to be able to watch anything from any TV, including recordings. Though they might rack mount a couple of those Tivos and use a matrix switch to deliver HDMI over cat6 to all the TVs.
Re: "What will Apple reveal tomorrow"
You forgot "and Apple fanboys will claim Apple invented it, and Android fanboys will claim they copied Android".
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