We Know Who You Are. We Saw What You Did.

October 3rd, 2014 · General Detritus

It has been almost a month since Apple introduced anything new.

Apple is doomed.


I have been reading on Macalope and Daring Fireball that Apple has committed a major faux pas by announcing they’re going to protect the privacy of users. Apple stated that they have it all fixed up that they can’t get access to your private electronic conversations even if they wanted to, and that a warrant from Big Brother can’t change that.

Some chuckleheads in the government and in police departments are of a mind that if you don’t want your private conversations to be read by strangers in authority, you must be a pedophile, a terrorist, a homophobe, a racist, a treasonous traitor, a sexist, an accountant , a coward, an alcoholic, a loser, a wife-beater, and an Oakland Raiders fan. If you don’t have anything to hide, there’s no reason to not want The Authorities to monitor every word you say electronically.

Frankly, I don’t get why this was ever even a discussion. All this time, in my opinion, the lack of such encryption has been an unfixed bug that The Man has been using in stark contrast to the requirements of the Magna Carta, para. 31, Which states, “Nec nos nec ballivi nostri capiemus alienum boscum ad castra vel alia agenda nostra, nisi per voluntatem ipsius cujus boscus ille fuerit.” Which in English means, “That’s my stuff. You can’t have it unless I tell you you can have it.”


Just in case you forgot about Suzi Quatro…

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September 26th, 2014 · General Detritus

Apple released iOS 8.0.1. It had bugs. In fact, it had some really nasty bugs. Many people who downloaded the upgrade developed a facial tic, a loss of balance, interrupted mail service, an allergic reaction to fava beans, and an unexplained rash on their upper thighs.

Apple quickly withdrew the update, and posted a workaround for the bugs. Apple has since released iOS 8.0.2. You may experience mild nausea when watching The View. Those two facts may not be related.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will bend. This is particularly disturbing to people who think inconvenient laws of physics should be repealed.

If you have any understanding of material structure and strength you’ll know that when stressed, materials that bend are considered stronger than materials that do not. Materials that do not bend under stress break.

Let me put this another way ––

If you put an expensive piece of electronics in the back pocket of a tight pair of jeans and then sit on it, two things are probably true, and one thing is certainly true.

Probably: You hope the device still works as designed after you’ve sat on it repeatedly in the back pocket of your tight jeans.

Probably: The device will be more likely to work as designed after bending than it would be after breaking.

Certainly: You have proven you are stupid enough to put an expensive piece of electronics in the back pocket of a tight pair of jeans and sit on it.

Shellshock is in the wild. It’s an exploit of a Unix shell (BASH) that was recently discovered by people who really, really need Mac users to start to give a shit about computer security, because, let’s face it, we smug bastards just sitting here without any anti-virus software and without having to monitor our firewalls continuously or install updates and patches every couple of weeks for the latest attack vectors are pissing them off.

I just found out (surprise, surprise) that this particular attack only works if you’re an advanced Unix user and you have your OS X system set up to allow you to do advanced Unix stuff.

When I first got OS X on my G4 Sawtooth tower in, like, 2002, I bought Unix for Dummies. It proved to be an apt book title. After a few hours of playing with Unix on my fine, shiny Mac, I rendered it so completely useless that when I took it to the shop, they said they almost had to reformat my hard drive. So advanced Unix is not something I’ll be doing.

I’m off the hook.

Whew. I was thinking about getting worried eventually, because, well, damn.

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Rumors (or Rumours, if you’re a Stevie Nicks Fan)

September 20th, 2014 · General Detritus

Remember the event? You know, the September 9th thingy where Apple introduced the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the  Watch. You remember, right?

That wasn’t enough.

There are new rumors that Apple is going to have another event in October. This should include the formal rollout of Yosemite Sam, and that would be enough for me. Continuity and handing off work from my mobile device to my desktop or laptop will be awesome. I don’t know if I can do it yet with the Yosemite Sam Beta release, and I haven’t tried. But still, it sounds pretty cool.

But Apple has something in the works that hasn’t even made the rumor mill yet. Something so secret the punditbots haven’t guessed it yet.

My favorite Apple rumor writer is over on Macworld, and, while Macworld pisses me off, I can still post a link for John Moltz. Also, even though Macworld pisses me off (or maybe for the same reasons that it pisses me off), they’re ending their print run and laying off a bunch of staff. Now they’re going to only be on the innertubes. That sucks.

Mr. Moltz has done a nice job of assessing the cream of the current crop of Apple rumors, and it’s worth a read.

He has graded the rumors based on their possible relation to reality. My assessment of rumors is based solely on their entertainment value. Few Apple rumors are as valid as a coin toss in a tornado. An enjoyable Apple rumor contains essential elements. It presents a well thought out device or service. It supports its veracity with quotes and opinions from people and sources that are usually wrong. Unnamed insiders is a cop out. It exhibits poor quality photographs and questionable screen shots as evidence. The real upper crust of Apple rumors specify exactly what the device or service will be or do, with numbers, data, statistics, pixel by pixel breakdown of the screen size, new processor names and model numbers, built-in memory, and expected bandwidth of the network connection.

All that makes for a pretty fun rumor. Meaningless, but fun. For a real coupe de grass, though, an excellent rumor includes a deadline for Apple to produce the rumored product or service with at least the predicted specifications. Failure means doom. DOOM. Apple cannot survive unless the writer’s vision is fulfilled or exceeded.

I don’t report on specific rumors from specific writers very often because all that bouncing back and forth from my dashboard to their pages is just too much work. Also, putting in links is a lot of extra mouse clicks and keyboard commands. And for the most part, they’re idiots. So, I’ll just continue to make fun of the internet in general.

It’s worth noting, though, that there’s a rumor that Apple is working on another version of the Watch already, so that if you buy one now it will eventually be obsolete. Thank goodness they don’t do that with all their other stuff.

One of my all-time favorite Bob Seger songs.

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The Midterms are Coming

September 16th, 2014 · General Detritus

As we head into the midterm election season, I thought this would be a good time to talk about politics.

If you attach a label to yourself that drives your vote – democrat, republican, liberal, conservative, libertarian, gay, straight, lesbian – you’re an idiot.

If a single issue drives your vote – for or against *the second amendment, prayer in school, gay marriage, abortion, race, taxes, Global Warming, Monsanto, Obamacare, net neutrality – you’re an idiot.

You’re being played. And they’re winning.

*The one “single issue” that makes sense is the “for” second amendment. The people in favor of the second amendment have more guns than those who oppose it. The thing is, though, they can vote any time. They don’t have to wait for the polls to open.

I believe ISIS members are paid by displaced born-again-Christian ad executives and PR agents. It’s the only explanation that makes sense.


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Ray Rice Mentioned Briefly (but not by name)

September 13th, 2014 · General Detritus

A professional football player has been verified on a video recording to be an asshole. This one hit his fiancé. They later got married. They’re made for each other, apparently.

In other news chickens do not have lips, the pope is Catholic, and big bears shit in the woods.

Film at eleven.

Apple has lost its mojo. Apple has not introduced any new products since Tuesday. Let’s face it, the Watch is another “me too” product just like the iPod and the iPad. There were plenty of mp3 players and tablets already on the market when Apple decided to join, and the Watch (shift-opt-k on your Mac keyboard) is no different. Apple is late to the game again.

I read somewhere that the iPhone 6 preorders are already causing delays. Apple already can’t keep up with demand for a product that isn’t even available yet. Obviously Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs.

Apple is doomed. DOOMED.

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Success, Disappointment, Failure, and My Inner Child says, “Shit.”

September 10th, 2014 · Apple Event, Gadgetry, iPhone

A brief review of the Big Event cannot be accurate without noticing that Tim Cook didn’t tuck his shirt in. Sloppy. In fact, the whole management team looked pretty sloppy, except the guy who showed off the iWatch features. I didn’t catch his name.

I thought the U2 song sucked. Then I downloaded the free album because, well, it’s free. We’ll see how it sorts in my collection.

Apple Pay is pretty cool. It should speed up the line in Whole Foods (we call it Whole Paycheck hereabouts).

The iPhone Six, as noted in the last post will come in two sizes. The Large iPhone 6 looked pretty cool. Bigger.

The thing that sticks with me is that it has all kinds of functionality added to it that’s designed to let you type with one hand. The first time I saw that it made me laugh. I guess that stems from being online since the glory days of Compuserve, GEnie, and AOL. Typing with one hand was an essential skill if you were going to really enjoy the standard chat room experience.

Anyway, that seems to be a major feature of the new, bigger iPhones – one-handed operation. Frankly, any task I can’t devote two hands to can wait.

The iWatch, from where I sit, is completely unnecessary. It’s large. It doesn’t do anything that can’t be accomplished in other, cheaper, more convenient ways. It’s going to provide notifications of Twitter and Facebook posts which will not spark your interest 86.3% of the time. It will also remind you that you have a dentist appointment you would have happily forgotten.

It’s pretty. It has a Mickey Mouse face built in to the software. It’s fully customizable. It comes in two sizes. It charges by connecting a magnetic sperm cell to the back. But like I said, it’s expensive and pretty much nonessential.

I’ll probably get one of the large size ones with a black leather strap.

I’m still using OS X 10.10 Yosemite Sam on my MacBook Pro. It still works. No major problems. A couple of minor things have gone wrong, but for the most part it works fine. I tried to send in an issue, and sending in the issue didn’t work. It turns out that the issue was an ID ten T error. If you don’t know what an ID ten T error is just write it in standard notation with the number “10” instead of the word “ten” on the nearest piece of paper. Or as we used to say, it’s a BKAC problem (between keyboard and chair).

Anyway, I like OS X 10.10 Yosemite Sam.

Radio Shack seems to be having trouble. Those of us of a certain age remember when Radio Shack was TEH cool place for geeks to hang out. They had gadgets and all the pieces and parts you needed to make your own gadgets. If you needed a capacitor of a certain capacitance or a nine inch jumper, the Radio Shack guy could find it for you. You could buy breadboards and project boxes and the Radio Shack guy knew what you were talking about when you said you needed a double-pole, double-throw switch.

The other day I went into my local Radio Shack store and told the squirt working there that I needed an RS-232 to USB adaptor. I had to explain that RS-232 is a serial connector.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him what the RS in RS-232 stands for.

Radio Shack.

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