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  • Safari to reject HTTPS certificates with over thirteen months validity

    For the average user, this shift ensures that you're only interacting with sites that have the latest encryption and security standards.
    Not true. The browser and the server negotiate the protocol to be used for a session, and those are the aspects of the security apparatus that will demonstrate that the site's administrators are keeping up to date.

    To get a certificate, the user (an end user or an administrator of a service such as a web server):
    1. Generates a pair of keys (one public, one private) using a particular algorithm
    2. Submits a request to a certifying authority including the public key
    3. Waits while the CA performs any identity checks they choose to undertake
    4. Receives a certificate from the CA that has been signed to show validity

    The certificate is, in essence, approval that the pair of keys is unique and sufficiently complex to be used with current encryption protocols.

    The weak link in the chain, however, is the encryption protocol used in conjunction with the keys. Recent exploits have mostly involved controlling the negotiation between the browser and the server to use an older encryption protocol that was more easily broken into, or using a buffer overflow to retrieve sensitive information that would compromise the session. You can read a good summary here:

    Renewing the certificate is insufficient to prevent such attacks, and thus does not ensure that the site is complying with the latest standards. It is a bit more likely that forcing administrators to renew certificates more frequently will encourage them to patch their servers on an appropriate schedule, but that cannot be relied upon.

    Like everyone else here, I am concerned that this move will cause pain that exceeds the intended benefit. But Apple have a significant amount of clout, and if this change to Safari results in more attention being paid to servers by qualified administrators then ultimately it's worthwhile.

  • Editorial: Free advertising for Apple Card isn't coming from unit sales or market share

    avon b7 said:
    "Why is it so important that Apple is not selling more devices than the rest of the world combined? Actually, it's quite clearly not important"

    AFAIK, Apple has never sold more 'devices' than the rest of the world combined and you yourself have written articles on Apple being the top seller in some shape or fashion of some models. Handset sales remain a key metric in Apple's business. That is undeniable in spite of your sarcasm.
    This article argues that comparison of unit sales as a portion of the entire market has little meaning, yet has been trumpeted by various "analysts" as being the most important thing to consider when measuring a company's success.

    Apple has stopped divulging unit sales of the iPhone arguing that the overall value of their customers is their most important metric. This doesn't mean they're not measuring handset sales and taking action to correct unsatisfactory results, but it does mean that they are treating individual devices as less important as long as total sales across all products keep growing.
    Why wasn't this piece written back then if unit sales aren't actually important?
    This article questions why the mindshare of Apple Card is so much greater than the marketshare of the devices sold by the company. The older article pointed out that on a repeated basis, an argument of "the iPhone isn't selling well" (with no evidentiary support) has been made by people purporting to be credible and published by media purporting to be unbiased.
    In fact, the current situation is partly because Apple has lagged behind competitors for a few years now in a broad range of handset technologies.
    Apple is rarely first to deliver new technologies. The original iPhone was 2G, not 3G, and didn't have copy and paste, etc, etc. Apple's approach is to try and figure out the best possible implementation of the capabilities offered by a given set of new technologies. You know this.

    You also know that being first to market with something does not guarantee long-term profitability, and Apple is ruthless when it comes to profitability.

    I'm not sure what argument you're trying to make here. Do other companies also have outsized mindshare when they release new products? Sure. But when company X comes out with feature Y, one of the first reactions is "Apple doesn't have this" (usually with a side serve of "...and therefore is doomed.") - so Apple gets brought into the conversation when another company releases something. Conversely, when Apple releases something, Samsung/Huawei/Whoever gets mentioned because one or more of their products has some feature that "Apple is totally late to the game" on.
    In fact, Huawei moved into the handset business and broke the Apple/Samsung duolpoly.
    From Wikipedia:
    "In July 2003, Huawei established their handset department and by 2004, Huawei shipped their first phone, the C300. The U626 was Huawei's first 3G phone in June 2005 and in 2006, Huawei launched the first Vodafone-branded 3G handset, the V710."

    It seems clear that Huawei was competing in the handset business before Apple was. I'm not sure your argument holds water - there were multiple handset manufacturers even after Apple entered the market. I seem to recall that only Apple and Samsung were making any profits from smartphones for a while, so from that perspective you might have a point. Huawei's mobile division has been profitable since at least 2015 (, I couldn't find any other articles giving figures for just the mobile division although I saw claims that the division was also profitable in 2014 and 2013), and we should probably count the whole company anyway since we're looking at Apple from the perspective of the entire company.
    If you want to talk about competency, where was Apple while all this was happening? Why wasn't Apple developing 5G in 2009 like Huawei? If Huawei managed to outdo Apple on handset hardware in just a few short years, why hasn't Apple done the same in the other direction? Was it really so hard not to see 5G in terms of another industrial revolution and make a strategic move?

    No Apple hoarded it's cash and is still focussing on consumer facing earnings. Only now is it trying to pick up the pieces of not seeing the strategic moves its competitors saw long ago and make its own 5G modem (buying in IP and know how).
    Apple has been developing its products in secret, as has been its modus operandi for at least the past twenty years. With 5G, it may have judged the technology as not ready for prime time (since the availability of 5G service in their home market is probably roughly the same as the 3G service in 2006). It may also have judged that its modem suppliers were reliable enough sources of components that Apple could delay investing in that space.

    Both of those judgements may turn out to be errors. Could be that Apple needs to pay more attention to the infrastructure and consumer habits in China and not be judging the world on what's happening in the US, but it's really hard for any company to downplay the importance of (a) its home turf and (b) what is currently it's largest market.
    Now, AI is another prospective big money earner for the next six years both at enterprise and consumer levels. 

    On Friday, Huawei released Ascend which will be included in earbuds and rise up through watches, handsets, IoT, TVs, cars, servers and entire data centers. Alongside that, it released MindSpore. That is competency and Mindspore will go open source like HiAI has been for three years now.

    Where is the Apple equivalent silicon and supporting software frameworks? I've read rumours of Apple being interested in 6G development but missing 5G almost entirely isn't 'competency' in my book.
    Apple's got CoreML, now up to v3. Their marketing focus seems to be more on Augmented Reality rather than general AI when it comes to the phones, but from what I can tell both companies are using AI for image enhancement and machine learning. Are the two products equivalent? I don't know, I think it's probably too early to tell.

    I also think that claiming Apple is "missing 5G almost entirely" is premature at this point. What's the projected lifespan of 5G networking? What coverage is available now in infrastructure terms? Will Apple be able to compete effectively enough using third party components until/if it develops its own capabilities in-house?
    Apple 'miscalculated' in Tim Cook's own words. As a result it looks like it had to reimburse Samsung for not achieving planned shipments of oled displays and issue a profit warning.
    Fair point.
    If Huawei has reached the point where it has the U.S senate running scared and trying to chop it down by any means possible you can be sure that competency was the underlying reason.
    Competency may well be one of the reasons. It's rare for such an action to be taken for only one reason, though. The US seem rather concerned that their national security is under threat, so that's another possibility.
    "telling us as loudly as possible that Apple's market share of units sold is dangerously flat or even shrinking. Often, it's "waning" or "collapsing," or some other dramatic term suggesting immediate demise for a company..."

    You are mixing things up here. Firstly, Apple's unit sales have been flat. That is reality.
    Respectfully, you have quoted "market share of units sold" and then argued the point as though the author wrote "units sold" - so in this case, I believe you are in error.
    You might find some unbalanced fool out there making those claims but it simply isn't representative of what is being said.
    There are enough of them for The Macalope to have a career. Perhaps this is a case of perception bias? As a long-term Mac user I seem to come across many such articles, but no doubt that's due to my choice of reading material.
    "The physical Apple Card wears out, but not the digital experience that's driving consumer attention"

    I feel confident in pointing out that if this had been a Samsung/Google/Huawei card 'wearing out' it would have got far more than half a sentence dedicated to it.
    You appear to have missed this.
    "This minority of the market is driving the development of the majority of the tech that is having a real impact. That, in turn, is driving commercial interest in Apple as a brand".

    Can you name some of those technologies? Because for the last three years most of them have come from Huawei and Samsung (NOT Apple) and yes, they are driving commercial interest but NOT in Apple.
    Released to the market is not always equivalent to "having a real impact," but I'm willing to be persuaded. Bear in mind that Apple's viewing their performance as a whole, so if iPhone capabilities increase sales of Macs rather than iPhones that's just fine in their books. Mac sales have been outperforming the PC industry as a whole, iPads have been selling pretty well in enterprise... I think it's reasonable to say that there is commercial interest in Apple as a brand.
    "Interest  in Apple is why the vast volumes of phones from Huawei and Samsung are desperately trying to look like an iPhone. Yet those companies have not attracted significant proprietary app development despite their efforts to do this. Neither has successfully launched new companion wearables like Apple Watch or AirPods, and neither has competently introduced new Services fueling the extraordinary growth Apple has seen from its App Store, iCloud, and other new Services offerings-- including the new Apple Card attracting an unusual level of attention, given that it is merely a credit card with some clever new app features."

    No. Huawei and Samsung are not trying to look like the iPhone. Much less 'desperately'.
    I might be persuaded that they are not trying that today. But history begs to differ:
    'Not attracted significant propietary app development'? They run Android. Perhaps I am missing something here.
    I think the author's argument stands - most Android developers support the Android OS rather than a particular phone. But that's something of a moot point, as you say.
    No successful companion wearables? They have released successful companion wearables. Lots of them! And growing!
    I did not know that. Thanks!
    "Large volumes of low and middle-tier phones are establishing their brands as basic and cheap".

    Utter nonsense! Think about a Samsung or Huawei handset and the first, and only, thing that springs to mind is anything but 'basic and cheap'. It is completely the opposite! You think premium flagship with a price to match.
    And then you think "they make a lot of non-premium phones as well" which is not what people think about Apple.
    tech savvy users will even put the phones ahead of Apple in many areas.
    (a) the author acknowledges this in the very next quote you provide
    (b) tech-savvy users are not the entire market. By a wide margin.
    "While both brands currently hold a lead in certain areas over Apple, ranging from 5G modems to screen size variants, the reality is that the largest Android licensees have always held various inconsequential leads over Apple at various times over the last decade, including 4G and 3G before it."

    Certain areas? "Really, George?" Come on. 

    "Yet this has never mattered before."

    It has but you just haven't seen it and it still matters and you still don't see it. Three years of flat sales, a profit warning and YoY contraction make those leads consequential (Competition, in a word) but let's not forget Apple's role in this. If people aren't seeing value (and I'd argue that many aren't) for the asking price, then Apple should be doing more. By the time Apple releases a tri-camera phone, it will be 18 months late to market in competitive terms. So late in fact that tri-cameras aren't even newsworthy in the wider industry anymore and only the top of the line iPhone is rumoured to carry that setup. I hope prices come down if these phones turn out to be another marginal improvement over the last generation. Low light improvements? Another 18 months late. More than x2 optical zoom. Another 18 months. Fast charging? Ten years late!

    No. Those leads haven't been inconsequential in the slightest.
    Again, first to market with features is not as important as having the best version of those features in the market. And maybe the capabilities Apple will provide with the rumoured three-camera setup will be more useful to a larger number of people than what is currently available - which is something Apple has historically done pretty well. The original iPhone, after all, only had 2G networking and no copy and paste - yet people lusted after it because what it could do it did better than anything else on the market.
    "The two ultra premium-class products making the most original feature leap in smartphones this year were the foldable phone-tablets introduced by Samsung and Huawei. Yet they were both delayed for months, squandering their potential to captivate any real interest among consumers during the sleepy period between iPhone launches. Both represented a lot of work for nothing in 2019."

    'Most original' is subjective. Folding phones may be original (or not) but the first generation models were never brought to market with anything other than a tiny niche in mind. None of their 'potential' has been squandered at all. Until they arrive there is no market and the potential is exactly the same as it was when they were announced. The quiet period for these phones (in unit sales terms) doesn't exist and there is no sleepy period between iPhones. P30 Series, S10 Series, Note 10 series, Magic II, Honor 20 Series, One Plus 7 series... . No sleep til Hammersmith!

    And sorry to bring up the original iPhone again, but it too was released aiming for a tiny fraction of the global phone market. So perhaps there is something to these folding phones after all... except the original iPhone didn't break within hours of getting into users' hands, so the public perception of the two is somewhat different.
    On the other hand, when they do reach the market, they will definitely absorb attention from the iPhone. People will be rushing to publish reviews and see how quickly they break! LOL! Seriously, iPhone is going to have a harder time getting airtime this year (as if the Mate 30 Series wasn't already enough). To make matters worse, the Mate X has been seriously upgraded and might even have a 5G modem on the Kirin 990 SoC.

    The most original feature IMO was the x10 periscope lens on the P30 Pro.
    I still predict that they will be compared to the iPhone. In as favourable a light as possible, of course (and the reverse will also be true).
    I won't continue as time doesn't permit.
    No kidding. Responding to it feels like it took forever. :)
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguykevin kee
  • Apple expanding contactless student ID to 100,000 students at 12 more colleges

    Reminds me of Wally's comment from the Dilbert cartoons: "I don't like to touch that stuff with my hands."

    And Apple's "1984" commercial.
  • Video demonstrates Hackintosh potential, but still isn't the Mac Pro

    Soli said:
    dysamoria said:
    lkrupp said:
    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that these neckbeards cobble together a gizmo that nears the performance of the Mac Pro with similar specs. [...]
    You’re calling Linus a neckbeard? Does that term not actually require a neck beard anymore??
    1) Linus uses macOS with off the shelf HW, not Linux? Can you back that up?

    2) I don't see anyone referring to him as "neck" anything.

    <snipped pic>
    You've posted an image of Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, not Linus Sebastian, creator of Linus Tech Tips.

    The term "neckbeard" used to be literally applicable to a certain type of computer enthusiast, describing what was viewed as poor grooming habits. These days, poor grooming habits remain but are somewhat different to those in evidence when the term was originally applied. So, no, you don't need to actually have a beard to be described as a "neckbeard" any more.
    1STnTENDERBITSgatorguyfastasleepmdriftmeyeravon b7watto_cobra