Apple Hardware

October 2016 Apple announcements

Is it just me, or is Apple reverting to gimmicks?  Touch bar so I can be a DJ and get cramps trying to jam all of my fingers on a four inch touch strip?

Let me see, who else can use it…

…I know, I could use it to replace the ribbon in Office…  Oh, I  don’t like the ribbon. 

Novel idea for sound, screen control, but not for apps.  And two of the four new models don’t have it.  I it time for Johnny to  head Special Projects?

Apple Hardware, iOS, iPads, Microsoft Hardware

Are #Apple and #Microsoft in collusion to kill the high-end #tablet?

I will refer you to My iPad Pro Wish List. This was a wish list we in the professional community had been putting together for a couple of years before I published my summary. So let’s see how I did:

My iPAD Pro Wish List:

1. I expect 14″ or so
2. QHD
3. True background processing on apps I designate
4. Remote access from my PC/Mac/BSD/Linux
5. Active stylus
6. USB 3 port capable of cow line hub
7. OSX with shell
8. Either provide better on screen keyboard options, or open it up to third parties, NOW

What Apple released in the iPAD Pro:

  1. Check
  2. Check
  3. Nada
  4. Nada
  5. Check
  6. Nada
  7. Nada
  8. Nada

While we’re at it, let’s see what Microsoft released in their Surface Pro 4:

  1. Check
  2. Check
  3. Check/Windows 10
  4. Check
  5. Check
  6. Check
  7. Check – CMD/PowerShell/Bash
  8. Nada

Microsoft appears to be the winner of the Professional Tablet.  Yes I know that MS is providing a souped up version of MS-Office for the iPAD Pro, but the Surface will run Office 365.

So does Microsoft win this race?

No, neither Microsoft, nor Apple wins.  From my perspective, and three years after the above wish list, a Professional tablet at the high end, should have 1TB storage, and 16GB’s of RAM, and be capable of running VMware Workstation or such virtualization. Today it should also have fifteen hours, true battery life.   Apple fails.  Microsoft will work, albeit not with the battery life.  At least Apple doesn’t play games with battery life, when they say ten hours, they mean ten hours of active use.

So Microsoft wins, right.  NO!!!

Both Mr. Cook and Mr. Nadella have priced both devices out of the reach of the ordinary professional.  My current laptop is an HP Envy 15 with a 3200 x 1800 touch screen, 1TB of HDD and 16GB’s of RAM, stock from HP.  I added a 512GB SSD card for less than $300.  The total package cost me about $1,300.

  • Mr. Cook would like me to buy an iPAD Pro for $2,000 that can not run a VM, nor OSX.
  • Mr. Nadella would like me to buy a Surface Pro 4 for over $2,000, with a quarter of the power of my current laptop, to the same specs.

(But here is a secret;  they both have low-end devices with very low RAM and storage, for Corporate use;  you see corporations aren’t interested in power, and the would rather you store and run your data from the cloud than locally;  just in case you thought the low end tablets were for ordinary users).

So either the success of the iPhone and iPAD has gone to their heads, and they believe the can now rip-us off big time by marking up a $100 memory module for $900.00,, or they have both decided and colluded to kill the tablet market.

Which is it?  You tell me.

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, iOS

Apple no longer has trust in Touch Id

It appears #Apple no longer has any trust in #TouchID. Mr. @tim_cook, I must admit when it was first released I was excited about the technology. I saw it as a solution to only having a short four digit pin as protection for my iPhone and iPad and it’s contents. So I began using a 26 digit passphrase for my security knowing i wouldn’t have to constantly type it in.

Boy was I wrong. With every update of iOS Apple has made it more difficult to continue using TouchId with a long passphrase. 

First, I had to type the pass phrase after every reboot. Apparently the safety focus groups believe in making you type while you are driving. Damn the statistics, they know better.  (Did they come from MS?) 

After another update, they made me enter my pass phrase after 48 hours of non- use. 

Now with iOS 9, they want my pass phrase after 48 hours of iPhone/iPad non-use or use.  So her I was trying to check my morning mail today, and it wants my pin. I was using my phone all day and evening yesterday. 

Of course, they have changed the pin length requirements to six digits. Wow, now that is more secure than a long pass phrase.

So what would you do?  Probably what I’ve done. Stop using a long pass phrase and go back to a pin.  Was that Apple’ intent all along?

Because I don’t want to keep re-entering a 26 digit pass phrase every two days, nor every time my phone acts up on the road and I have to reboot when driving. Which, honestly, does not happen often. But when it does, it sucks. 

I can live with the long pass phrases but the idea of having TouchId was to have trust of a biometric Id.  Does Apple no longer T R U S T.  It?

HP Hardware, Laptops and Two-in-ones

What’s with HP tablets and laptops?

it isn’t time to retool as they’ve been telling us through the last four or five CEO’s.   Then what is it?

I own and have owned Compaq/HP laptops for as long as I can remember. They are not haute, but they have been solid performers. My current is a quad i7 Haswel.

But HP is behind and getting farther behind:

  • Battery life
  • Battery size, can’t get bigger batteries any more
  • BIOS locked down;  simple features can only be enabled on the Business line, even if my consumer laptop cost over $2,000
  • Screen resolution is still stuck at a maximum is 1920×1080, and can’t be seen outdoors unless you turn the brightness up all the way, ergo 50 minutes battery life
  • Touch screens are a premium;  pen screens are non-existent
  • Weight, generally they could be used to anchor a cruise ship

Even the new Spectre 360, which I would have loved to own is limited to:

  • Small screen
  • No pen
  • Limited Memory
  • One size fits all battery
  • Duo core M series CPU
  • 1920×1080 dpi