November 6, 2013

Our business does not depend on collecting personal data

Foremost, the document explains Apple’s philosophy on customer privacy. “… Our business does not depend on collecting personal data,”* the report said in an obvious poke at Google, Facebook and others. “We have no interest in amassing personal information about our customers. We protect personal conversations by providing end-to-end encryption over iMessage and FaceTime. We do not store location data, Maps searches, or Siri requests in any identifiable form.”

This is why I love and use Apple’s products and services. It is a huge contrast to other companies such as Google, which rely heavily on user data to sell advertisements.

Charter CEO ‘Surprised’ Users Want Broadband With No TV

Charter losing 27,000 TV subscribers down from 71,000 last year. The company also managed to add 86,000 broadband subscribers, and broadband revenues jumped 23% to $575 million courtesy of price hikes.

“I would say that the one thing that surprised me…is that our broadband-only growth has been greater than I thought it would be,” said Rutledge.

I am not surprised to see the increasing trend of customers getting sick of the traditional TV business model. This is a reason why streaming services such as Netflix are skyrocketing. People would rather just have unlimited bandwidth and faster download/upload speeds and watch what they want, when they want. Hopefully, Apple is able to disrupt the television industry like they did with the music one.

The Movie Deal Netflix Wants to Make

While releasing those titles day-and-date with cinemas would be a tall order, Sarandos wants them 45 days or even 30 days after their theatrical bow.

This would definitely rock the industry. There subscription rate would increase even faster.

Microsoft Is Making An Astonishing $2 Billion Per Year From Android Patent Royalties

This money, says Sherlund, helps Microsoft hide the fact that its mobile and Xbox groups are burning serious cash.

For the past few years, Microsoft reported the revenue and operating losses of Entertainment and Devices, which was the group that housed Xbox, Windows Phone, and those Android royalty payments.

That group always seemed to be profitable, but Sherlund says it’s largely because of the Android money.

Sherlund says that if you back out the Android profits, Microsoft is probably losing $2.5 billion on Skype, Xbox, and Windows Phone. Of that, $2 billion in losses are attributable to the Xbox platform.

That’s some serious royalty dough. And an awesome photo of Ex-CEO Steve Ballmer. Maybe he didn’t do such as horrendous job after all.

Burger King’s Big King: A Big Mac By Any Other Name? 

Eric Hirschhorn, Burger King’s Chief Marketing Officer for North America insists the new burger is different than any other because of “the unique fire-grilling” for which Burger King is known.

If imitation is a form of flattery, then McDonald’s is basking in adoration from its much smaller competitor. Like McDonald’s, Burger King has rolled out salads, fruit smoothies, frappes, chicken nuggets and wraps in recent months.

Burger King is pretty much like the Samsung and Google or the fast food industry.


November 4, 2013

BlackBerry CEO steps down as company secures $1 billion funding from investors

Chen, BlackBerry’s new interim leader, comes with strong credentials. He most recently played an instrumental role in turning around the fortunes of Sybase, a company that was once in a similarly distressed state to BlackBerry’s current plight. His experience in the mobile enterprise business will be an asset and could potentially point to the future direction of the company. John Chen is also taking up the role of Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s board, immediately taking on a great deal of both power and responsibility.

Mr. Chen seems like a fantastic choice for the company. He definitely has the leadership background that Thorsten Heins lacked. Hopefully, this new CEO can turn the company around ASAP.

Google Employees Confess The Worst Things About Working At Google

Google may understand engineering, but not design.

“There is not enough focus on product and visual design.  This has led to many aborted/semi-successful products, like Wave, Google Video, Buzz, Dodgeball, Orkut, Knol, and Friend Connect.  There is probably too much focus on pure engineering.”

Now it all makes sense. Kind of.

Western Digital enlists helium for 6TB energy-efficient drives

The lower turbulence also increases the drive’s capacity because more platters can be squeezed into the 3.5-inch housing. Today’s 4-terabyte models use five platters and top out at 4TB, but the Ultrastar He6 has seven platters and reaches 6TB of capacity. That’s also useful for data centers where space is at a premium.

These would be amazing in my 5-bay RAID 5 array.

Usain Bolt Ate 100 Chicken McNuggets a Day in Beijing and Somehow Won Three Gold Medals

In the ten days Bolt spent in Beijing, he downed approximately 1,000 nuggets, averaging 100 a day. At 940 calories per 20-piece box, that means that Usain ate about 4,700 calories worth of Chicken McNuggets a day and 47,000 calories over the course of his stay in China. (And that’s without Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce, which, let’s face it, only a fool would pass up.)

There must be something in the nuggets. Or he just didn’t want to eat anything else China cuisine had to offer.


Living in a Surveillance State

“George Orwell was an optimist” says Mikko Hypponen. This is a must watch, and he is a must follow on Twitter.

Forget anonymous e-mail. Think privacy.

Google or Skype or Yahoo are capable of providing true end-to-end encryption, but the problem that they run into is that that stops their business model of advertising. Mega’s business model is pay for storage. There’s no advertising.

I cannot wait to see this in action in the new year.


October 31, 2013

Touch ID takes hardware security to new levels

It was then discovered that the Touch ID sensor currently in the device was not the original one that came in the device. Once the original was returned, Touch ID started working again.

At this point, we knew there had to be some additional, previously undisclosed, hardware lockdown going on. To test this theory, we took two iPhone 5s handsets that had never been opened before, and verified Touch ID was working on both. The front assemblies, which contain the Touch ID assembly itself, were then removed and swapped. After re-assembly, both Touch ID setups failed. When returned to the original device, Touch ID once again operated correctly.

This confirmed for us that the Touch ID component cable assembly itself is tied to each individual A7 chip.

This is some absolutely profound hardware security that Apple integrated in their new Touch ID finger print scanner on the iPhone 5s.