Apple Hardware, iOS, iPads, iPhone, My Rants

@Apple’s hidden agenda

While Apple’s recent announcement of #Child_Protection is certainly laudable, there are issues in the implementation providing circumstantial evidence of a more #sinister nature. After all, what better banner to rally the troops, than let’s protect the children

First, let’s start when they removed #TouchID and replaced it with #FaceID. after public outcries, they have obstinately lied, promising to bring it back, real soon now. Of course that hasn’t happened, and it makes one wonder…

Might it be that when we unlock our devices with #FaceID, a #hash of your photo is and GPS location are transmitted to a nefarious server. Might not be, but @Tim_Cook has had multiple opportunities to respond, but has been silent.

Secondly, if Apple really wants to help the children, they should use their immense processing power and AI to check photos on #iCloud. Those servers have a lot more power and opportunity to compare hashes when an image is replicated on iCloud, rather than on iDevices.

And I believe there would be a lot less backlash by scanning the iCloud, than what they have proposed. Many other public #services companies do that. After all, there is much less expectation of privacy on the cloud than my own device or PC.

Now let’s understand what they’ve done with #Apps. More and more Apps are only allowed if they store their files in Apple folders, not on their own folders. If you don’t believe me, try to find a #tor #app, which can save in anything than the #Photo folder. Coincidence, I thin not.

Then let’s review how they will scan to protect children. They will scan on our devices, with our #Computing resources and on our dime. But the promise to do what with the hashes they collect? Not upload them until we upload a photo to iCloud? How would that protect children if they know that there is illegal content on one’s idevice but they promise not to alert unless it is uploaded?

Really? How about movies? How about emails between criminals?

I have a theory, which may seem paranoid, but #BigBrother and other #snoop and #surveillance vendors have used, even when illegal; that is, that the reason Apple wants to scan on our iDevices, are, one, because they are afraid we may encrypt them, or (2), they aren’t just scanning photos but #all of our files on a device that can decrypt it, scan it, and re-encrypt it. Which means no #app is safe, #Apple will scan and hash happily away.

Could I be wrong, yes, but their method is awfully suspect of a broader and larger scope than they tell us, including data files and #PII.

This whole thing is akin to giving #Apple a key to our house. They can come in any time they want, search, inventory and take away the inventory. They can then do with it as they will. Don’t believe it? Look what happened in India, China, Russia and other countries. Perhaps @Apple did more to put down the uprising in #HongKong than the Chinese authorities.

#Freedom and #Privacy loving #Apple and @Tim_Cook? Not likely.

Had to add this: #apple included the hash code in #ios14 and has been already collecting our data. How do you like that #privacy?

Note to Apple:

How do I protect myself from Apple spyware in iOS 14 and above. I do not sleep with my door open, and do not let strangers or government agencies in my house without proper judicial warrants. Since you obviously believe it is your right to search through my house for suspicious packages, and you are intent on policing our messages, and fitting chastity belts on my children, I would like to know if I have any recourse than abandoning ALL Apple products.

Better the devil you know, than the friend you don’t.

iOS, iPhone, Laptops and Two-in-ones, Uncategorized

#Apple’s #TouchID implementation misguided

Whoever is guiding Apple’s TouchID implementation is severely misguiding Apple and the public who uses it. 

The idea behind biometric security is that it is infinitely more difficult to crack than a PIN or Password. Where a password or passphrase in today’s marketing techno-lingo may be composed of eight or more ASCII characters, a biometric signature may have tens of thousands of combinations. Even a 30 character password cannot compete with such a combination. Not that it can’t be broken, but it would be more difficult and time consuming. And on a device that can lock and/or wipe itself after a number of incorrect tries, it should be IRRELEVANT.

( Now let me state for the record that a PIN in and of itself, does NOT constitute a password or passphrase in my opinion. If a vendor such as Apple or other security providers allow their users to consume PINs, I would allow for dual authentication on every boot. )

I also understand the reasoning behind dual token authentication.   “I go to work and I can use dual tokens to sign in in the morning, and work all day. In a multi-tenant managed environment dual token is a great authentication method when managing different tenant infrastructures.”  

I can also think of the following industries which can benefit:

  • Nuclear plants
  • Munitions depots
  • Utility distribution grids
  • Aircraft cockpits
  • Banks

I can also understand use of the dual token as implemented by Apple in the following circumstances:

  • When booting, in a ‘motion-less‘ profile;  that means NOT while in a moving vehicle, and not during physical movement such as walking. Those are dangerous activities to be engaged in while trying to enter a passphrase. Legislatures are passing law after law to curb such activities, while Apple is actively opposing the legislation.  

If Apple wants to implement a dual authentication on boot then allow the user to set the elapsed time, say one to four weeks. 

  • Under no circumstances should dual authentication be required after a boot when using biometric authentication:
  1. Not when I’m shopping
  2. Not when I’m driving
  3. Not when I’m walking or jogging (not that I jog)
  4. And certainly not when I’m in line waiting to pay, unless the transaction is over a limit, I, the user has set

Lest anyone thinks I’m beating on Apple, I’m not. This applies to all security implementors in any company and product. 

What do you think?

Apple Hardware, iPads, iPhone, Laptops and Two-in-ones, Microsoft Hardware

Rejuvenation of TenGo soft keyboard from Windows CE days for mobile devices

The best soft keyboard for mobile devices in Windows CE days, was TenGO.  This was a T9 type, predictive type-ahead keyboard, however, it provided for two alpha-buttons on each keyboard row, see illustration.  To type you simply entered the word by pressing one of the three six alpha-buttons, and the predictive type-ahead engine did a really cool job of figuring out the word you wanted to enter.  If it was not in the dictionary, you could select the actual letter in the alpha block, by pressing the soft key the number of times the position of the character represented I the block.  For example if you wanted to enter the character ‘d’ outside of the predictive type-ahead engine, you would press the ‘asdfg’ block three times.  Once a new word was entered it went in to the user dictionary and was available to the T9 engine at the next entry of that word.

I hope that the maker of this keyboard, will resurrect it now, not only on iOS but for Windows and Android mobile devices.  It was awesome.  TenGO are you listening?

tengo-thumb-2[1]

Apple Hardware, iOS, iPhone

iOS 7 Home Screen Editing is limited

I’ve found, to my dismay, that iOS 7’s Home screen editing has a very finite number of moves it will allow, before it dumps all of your changes and reverts back to what the menu structure was originally. So if you start making changes, and you don’t occasionally press the home button to save them, it appears the editor’s buffers fill up, and it just loses all of the changes since the last save.

It would be nice if there were a warning when getting close to the buffer limit.

Apple Hardware, iOS, iPhone

My feedback on iOS 7

I have an iPad 3, and an iPhone 5.  I’ve installed iOS 7 on both.

Generally I like the improvements that iOS 7 has brought.  There are some items, I am not happy with however, especially on my iPhone 5 (I also have an iPad 3):

 1. Bright background colors on home menu icons The bright colors make it very difficult to distinguish the application thumbnails Perhaps next version, Apple could allow changing the menu icon background colors manually  

2. Really thin fonts The thin fonts make my eyes hurt;  I have trouble trying to read the home menu icon text;  the same for the time on the lock screen Perhaps next version, Apple will allow changing of fonts or at least font sizes/boldness so we can read the screen without squinting

3. Stick symbol icons, i.e. in Safari, Mail and other apps Not as bad as the my other complaints, but again, it makes it difficult to ascertain the purpose of the symbols, because I can’t see them without concentrating