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  • Editorial: The NSA remains uninterested in our safety by calling for encryption weakening

    For those who don't understand, I will explain it this way. Apple could either sell two physically different iPhones with internally different encryption algorithms, to US vs non-US citizens, or with a little cryptographic wizardry (that I won't explain because nobody understands cryptography) it could be the same iPhone sold everywhere with an internal nationality setting that only Apple can change within its secure facilities upon credentials (indicating nationality) being shown by the owner. And the nice thing is, Apple doesn't even have to know or record the name of the user, just the nationality. That's because when the user shows his nationality, he immediately has to enter his Touch ID or Face ID credentials to lock the phone to himself. At no point does Apple need to record the name of the person whose getting it set up! This is so fantastic. It's just a little inconvenient to users in this way: to get the phone configured in its un-escrowed configuration, the user has to walk into an Apple Store to set up his Touch ID by showing his passport (or equivalent proof of citizenship) to the Apple techie who is enabling the phone to use un-escrowed cryptography. An interesting point is that probably 50% of all Americans probably aren't worried about the US government having judicial access to their iPhone's data. This idea is so good it is inevitable. It will make all paranoid Americans happy that they have secure encryption. And NSA will be happy that they have access to foreign users' data. Apple will be slightly unhappy because they will argue that Samsung has no restrictions selling high grade encryption to China, but the US government could placate Apple by making it illegal for Samsung to sell any phones in America if Samsung sells high grade encryption to foreigners without escrow.
    What's the process for second-hand phones? Because I can see a scenario where BadForeigner hires CluelessCitizen to buy a phone from legitimate sources and then on-sell it to get around the system you propose. Or deep-cover operatives who are US citizens are involved in whatever shenanigans are being planned.


    One more thing: the NSA is a publicly-funded institution. Making them work harder increases the likelihood of their requesting and being granted more funding. This has flow-on effects in the national budget.
  • iPhone 11: How Apple makes tech of the future affordable

    This may be thr most hypocritical article I've ever read. On 8/28 the same author posted this about night sight on Android phones:

    What's often left out is the fact that the processing needed to deliver these low light images requires that users hold their phone still for around 6 seconds

    14 days ago that was posted to discount the value of the night sight feature. Now in this article he praises the new iPhone for taking a night sight photo in around 5 seconds. 
    I haven't seen any information saying that the iPhone requires 5 seconds of being held still to capture a Night Mode photo - can you provide a link, please?

    Assuming that this is indeed the case, it's still a 16.66% improvement on the performance of the Android example so perhaps we shouldn't be too harsh.
  • iPhone 11: How Apple makes tech of the future affordable

    So now Apple has to win their business all over again. Apple retail isn’t prepared to explain why an iPhone is better than other devices. They don’t have Apple loyalists as employees anymore, they have more people who think it’s cool to work there but don’t know enough about Apple products.   
    Try applying for a position at Apple Retail and you will learn that Apple has a minimum level of knowledge about its products required. Maybe that doesn't include knowledge of forty years' worth of products, but frankly I don't expect anyone currently in their 20s to care about that stuff.

    Also, if you're the market leader you don't compare yourself to anyone else in the space. You talk about how good your product is and what it can do and how that makes your customers' lives better and that's it.
  • More power with less: Apple's A13 Bionic is faster and more power efficient

    What I don’t understand is why the Pros are gaining so much hours of extra battery life, while the iPhone 11 is only gaining 1 hour. It’s the same A13 SOC right?
    Or is the smartness of regulating power requirements a ‘pro’ feature that’s not built into the non-pro iPhone 11?
    Or are there other reasons for the Pros gaining more hours of battery life? Like an optimised screen (like smart refresh rates), that Apple didn’t talk about?
    The biggest power draw on any phone is the display. Last year's flagship phones were using OLED displays for the first time. This year they've figured out a number of ways to minimise the power required for the OLED display.

    Was it due to Apple's software and hardware teams? Was it improvements in the component from the supplier (Samsung)? Most likely a mixture of both.

    But the improvements in the chip's energy efficiency are pretty much 100% Apple.
  • Long, optical Thunderbolt 3 cables are coming soon

    anome said:
    I take it this is different from an actual Light Peak connection, in that it's not using a native optical signal, just transmitting the Thunderbolt signal over an optic connection.

    Shame Light Peak didn't really get any traction on its own - Thunderbolt was supposed to just be a placeholder while they got the cost of the hardware down. Then again, I was always a bit hazy about how power transmission was supposed to work without the copper. (I mean, it's possible, but it would make the hardware even more expensive and complicated.)

    Come to think of it, do the Corning cables support Power Delivery? Or is that specifically a part of the USB spec they don't support?
    They might do it with a copper sheath around the optical core. I have no idea how effective that would be, though.