Soli

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Soli
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  • Tim Cook says that Apple has bought 20 to 25 companies in the last six months

    elijahg said:
    zoetmb said:
    If Apple is buying these companies in large part to acquire talent and staffing, I ask the question again that I've asked before:   what the hell are those tens of thousands of employees at Apple doing?    They don't produce that many products, most of the hardware updates are incremental, they still rely upon Intel for processors (although that might change in the future) and while their products are great in some respects, they're highly flawed in others.   They abandoned servers and network devices.   HomePod and AppleTV aren't exactly taking over the market.   They've had big problems with keyboards.   They seem to have abandoned their desire to produce a smart automobile.   They haven't made any obvious movies into AI and robotics, which I have always thought would be the future of Apple 10-15 years from now.   Siri still sucks.   Each new OS update decreases prior compatibility and seems filled with more bugs.    The long promised new MacPro still isn't here.   And their products (IMO) are far too expensive. 

    Personally, I think Apple is making itself too large to manage effectively.    On a much smaller scale, I've seen this before.   I worked for a company that had over 100 developers working on an e-commerce project and little got accomplished.   We got rid of the contractors and knocked the staff down to 22 and because 22 people could be easily managed, far more was accomplished.   

    Was the Beats acquisition really worth the $billions they paid?   Apple couldn't have instead produced headphones that competed with Beats and knocked them out of the market with superior marketing for far less money?    While Beats headphones are popular, it's not like they're actually any good.    They probably could have bought Sennheiser for a fraction of the cost or Grado for pocket change.   

    I have to wonder that with the speed that Apple is acquiring these companies, how many of them are successfully integrated into Apple where Apple actually makes use of the tech.   If they're buying them just to acquire patents as a protection against lawsuits, that's another matter. 

    With all of that cash and since Apple is emphasizing services because that's where the growth is, I also have to wonder if they shouldn't have attempted to buy 20th Century Fox (which went to Disney) or Warner (which went to AT&T).    
    I agree completely with this, Apple's R&D has ballooned over the last 7 or 8 years, but have the products, innovation and relative revenue kept up with this? Not at all. It's now about $3.7 billion per quarter, whereas in 2006 just before the iPhone it was just or $190m per quarter. That's 20 times as much. Even since 2012 it has increased massively, from about $750m per quarter to the $3.7bn it is now. Where is all that money going? The HomePod couldn't possibly have absorbed that many billions to design, and if it did, something has gone badly wrong. The iPhone was completely new, everything from custom chips, to custom screen, chassis, software, OS, interface, everything. All that on $750m per year. And as you say, now even with Apple's $14bn per year R&D, they struggle to keep their Macs updated. Just throwing money and people at problems isn't a way to fix them, you need a small group of the very best people. Just look at the recent AI article on the design group, there's only a few people there and they produce some incredible designs, arguably the best the world has seen.
    1) The technologies and engineering going into an iPhone today v 2007 are worlds apart. Then there are all the investments in improving their parallel production lines to make their products. In 2006 was Apple designing their own cores, CPUs, GPUs, SoCs, and SIPs that are used in their Macs, iPhones, iPads, Watch, HomePod, Apple TV, AirPods, and Beats headphones? Even that list should give you a clue since in 2006 the only one of those products that existed was the Mac.

    2) The original iPhone was a completely new as a device for Apple, but the HW used a lot of off the shelf components. I believe the CPU was the same between the original and iPhone 3G models with a slight uptick in the clock rate.

    3) If you want to look at customizations, like the chassis, each new iPhone is Apple designing the chassis to fit that generation's components. That makes them all custom, but that isn't costly. What is costly is engineering a way to make the frame the antenna, designing your own cores around your OS and vice versa. That all happened after their R&D had major increases. On top of that, the R is R&D stands for research. That doesn't mean that research leads to a product. Even development (the D is R&D) can have setbacks like with AirPower. You not knowing every product Apple is using that R&D budget for doesn't mean they are only using it for products in which are aware.

    4) I know we like to think Apple doesn't release stuff fast enough because we desire to increase our instant gratification, but when you look at when they started offering new product categories it's happened a lot more often in recent years.

    • 1984 — Mac
    • 2001 — iPod (17 years) 
    • 2007 — iPhone (6 years) 
    • 2007 — Apple TV (6 months)
    • 2010 — iPad (3 years)
    • 2015 — Apple Watch (5 years)
    • 2016 — AirPods (1 year)
    • 2018 — HomePod (2 years)
    tmayLordeHawkStrangeDaysJWSCmacxpresslolliverfastasleepradarthekatbestkeptsecretbrucemc
  • Editorial: Could Apple's lock on premium luxury be eclipsed by an era of good-enough gear?...

    Last year I acquired an AirPort Extreme (4th gen from 2010 and 802.11n) and an AirPort Express (original styling and 802.11g) after I replaced them in the extended network setup with a modern, mesh network from Eero. Yesterday I was able to use that AirPort Extreme in someone's home to replace the wireless router they were being charged for monthly by their ISP—it was separate from the cable modem, so switching out and returning won't be an issue.

    Despite their ISP supplied Sagemcom router being 802.11ac the decade old AirPort Extreme didn't bottleneck their local network. In fact, it's technically a little faster in booting, connected devices faster, has easier setup, looks nicer, and slightly better performance on the repeated speed tests that I performed before and after setup.

    So if Apple is somehow causing devices to be obsolete simply because they come out with a newer model of a device then they're really doing a bad job of it.
    muthuk_vanalingampscooter63watto_cobra
  • WPA3 Wi-Fi still saddled with security flaws, researchers claim [u]

    Soli said:
    THE primary rule remains:   "If they want in bad enough, they will.   The trick is to make it hard enough that they go after your neighbor instead."
    ...  That's sort of a take off on the joke that you don't have to outrun the bear, just your friend.

    Too often it seems we think we can rely on having big locks (aka "13 character passwords") on things.   But, often better is:
    1)  Security through obscurity
    2)  Immediate notification (such as when a sign on is attempted or a new device connected or especially if there is an invalid attempt.)

    For myself, I keep MAC authorization enabled so that, if I don't know your MAC address, you aren't getting in.
    I appreciate your vigilance, but you should know that it's trivial to locate a valid MAC address as they are sent with each and every packet, and they are easily spoofable since they are a virtual representation of the BiA (burn-in address). It's effectively just a speedbump for any would be attacker, and one so small that they don't even have to slow down.

    To WPA2's credit, this protocol has been going strong since its release in the mid-aughts, and without a successor that greatly increases protection it looks like it'll be used for many years to come.
    As I said, there are no bullet proof security schemes.   If they want in bad enough, they will get in.   The trick is to make it hard enough that they go elsewhere for easier pickings.  Finding and spoofing a valid Mac address can be done, but it would be easier, quicker and cheaper to go pick on somebody else.
    Do as you wish but this causes more work for you and is no real additional hurdle for anyone who may want to access your network or traffic. It's like having to choose to between carrying a backpack that is 10 kilos and one that is 10.01 kilos. Sure, one is technically heavier than the other, but you wouldn't waste a moment worrying about that extra weight because it's a non-issue. If they have to choose between to you or a neighbor with WPA2 then you locking your network down with a MAC address will not be a deterrent. If you want to keep your network secure just use WPA2-PSK (AES) and be done with it.

    PS: If you're on any public network or one you can't completely trust then use a VPN service. You may also want to use a DNS that isn't supplied by your ISP.
    cornchip
  • WPA3 Wi-Fi still saddled with security flaws, researchers claim [u]

    THE primary rule remains:   "If they want in bad enough, they will.   The trick is to make it hard enough that they go after your neighbor instead."
    ...  That's sort of a take off on the joke that you don't have to outrun the bear, just your friend.

    Too often it seems we think we can rely on having big locks (aka "13 character passwords") on things.   But, often better is:
    1)  Security through obscurity
    2)  Immediate notification (such as when a sign on is attempted or a new device connected or especially if there is an invalid attempt.)

    For myself, I keep MAC authorization enabled so that, if I don't know your MAC address, you aren't getting in.
    I appreciate your vigilance, but you should know that it's trivial to locate a valid MAC address as they are sent with each and every packet, and they are easily spoofable since they are a virtual representation of the BiA (burn-in address). It's effectively just a speedbump for any would be attacker, and one so small that they don't even have to slow down.

    To WPA2's credit, this protocol has been going strong since its release in the mid-aughts, and without a successor that greatly increases protection it looks like it'll be used for many years to come.
    jbdragonbonobobrusswcornchipfastasleep
  • Thousands of Amazon workers are listening in on Echo audio, report says [u]

    Nothing to see (or hear) here. If Apple isn't doing this, well at least that would explain why Siri doesn't seem to improve as fast as other virtual digital assistants.

    The lack of transparency and anonymity is troubling. The article mentioned “banking information” but I wonder how many people are actually using explicit information about their account to the point it could be compromised.  My guess is zero to not very many. I mean, when was the last time you came home and said, “Hey, honey! I just wanted to let you know that I deposited that $10,000 into our Bank of America checking account # 520439203949!”?
    Speaking of banking information, if they can see your personal data then your account could be compromised. Take the Experian breach which took my SSN, addresses, and all my banking info for CCs, student loans, automobiles, mortgages, and who knows what else. For each bank they have even more specific data on purchases as well as bank accounts that are connected, and when I'm likely away from home based on spending habits which include locations This isn't something Alexa would record after hearing the wake word, but it's something countless people in many countries around the world probably have access to.

    I'm certainly more concerned with that than an Amazon employee listening to a random audio clip where I'm asking about movies, the weather, to adjust lights, or music. It's a little embarrassing that they know I listened to Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe on repeat for months, but I'll just continue to pay the ransom every month to Bezos so no one else finds out.

    lorin schultzlostkiwirandominternetperson