Google and Apple lag behind in self-driving car development, Musk says

9 June 2016 by Steve Blum
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A head start matters.

Google won’t be making self-driving cars, but Apple probably will, although it’s coming late to the game. That’s how Elon Musk handicaps the autonomous vehicle sweepstakes. He’s in a better position to judge than most people. His company, Tesla, already has a semi-autonomous car on the market and is trying to break out of its Silicon Valley-centric niche and into the mainstream of mass market manufacturers.

Musk talked about the steep competitive slope new entrants into the automotive business have to climb at a recent conference.… More

Who will secure the securers?

9 April 2016 by Steve Blum
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The FBI is offering the best argument for not giving government agencies back door access to encrypted systems: those same government agencies can’t keep their own stuff locked down. According to a story on Motherboard, the FBI has put out a warning about another massive security breach

The feds warned that “a group of malicious cyber actors,” whom security experts believe to be the government-sponsored hacking group known as APT6, “have compromised and stolen sensitive information from various government and commercial networks” since at least 2011, according to an FBI alert obtained by Motherboard.


FBI shouldn't ask Apple for a backdoor into iPhones

20 February 2016 by Steve Blum
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No problem making a front door.

The legal standoff between the FBI and Apple over a judge’s order to write and turnover a more hackable version of the iOS operating system raises a lot of questions about civil liberties and the U.S. government’s power to 1. dive into any data it wants and 2. force private companies and individuals to help. But it also poses a question about the technical abilities of U.S. investigators.

According to an open letter signed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and posted its website

The U.S.


The Apple car coming in 2019, rumors say

17 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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Apple’s plans to get into the car business – supposedly code-named Project Titan – are taking on a firmer shape, according to an article in Information Week. It lists the top eight Apple car rumors floating through the automotive and high tech communities. Number one on the hit parade is a supposedly leaked target date of 2019 for the launch. That’s considered ambitious in automotive terms, where development cycles can run as long as a decade or more.… More

Apple ready to do to autos what it did to mainframes and flip phones

20 August 2015 by Steve Blum
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The automotive assembly line of the near-future.

Rumors of an Apple-built car appear to be true. The Guardian, in a story written by Mark Harris, tells of enquiries made by Apple engineers to GoMentum Station, a test site for driverless cars located on the old Concord Naval Weapons Station in the East Bay Area. With military-grade security still in place, the site is run by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and is billed as the largest secure test bed site in the United States.… More

It's not about the watch, it's about Apple diving into health care

14 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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When Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch on Tuesday, and launched into a rapturous description of the digital crown – the old school winding wheel on the side that’s redesigned into a user interface – the first thing I thought was “they made the damn watch for right-handed people”. Any southpaw old enough to remember having to wind a watch every day – yes, me – remembers having to unstrap it and shift hands first.… More

CTIA leans in to the Apple punch

9 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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All eyes were on Cupertino this morning, even – or maybe particularly – eyes that had flown to Las Vegas with the intent of being briefly at the center of the mobile telecommunications universe. So CTIA made the smart move, and built its opening keynote session around Apple’s iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcements this morning.

New CTIA president Meredith Attwell Baker made her rookie appearance, earnest enough but lacking the easy stage presence of her predecessors in the job, like FCC chair Tom Wheeler, who was next up on the stage.… More

Linux marches to the beat of broadband growth

10 May 2014 by Steve Blum
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Most of the world’s personal computers run on Microsoft Windows. Gartner, a tech industry research group, says that the 280 million Windows boxes shipped last year swamped 12.5 million Macs and 2.9 million Chromebooks. But Gartner is also predicting that the Linux-based Chrome operating system will overtake the Mac OS by 2016.

According to a BBC story

“There’s a couple of reasons – one is the number of vendors who are now pushing a [Chromebook] device,” explained Ranjit Atwal, research director at the firm.


Apple hopes sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic

22 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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Solid upgrades and clean roadmap without disruption.

Tim Cook uses videos to communicate Apple’s brand message, and quotes from pop stars and bloggers to validate it.
All Steve Jobs needed to do was walk on stage.
The magic might be gone, but Apple’s clarity of purpose and starkness of design remains. Mobile devices and desktop computers remain on separate development tracks, with integration focused on creating similar user experiences for particular apps and content, rather than trying to converge into a unified operating system.… More

Fitness for Christmas is a mobile game

12 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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Old school only gets you so far.

About half of the annual sales of consumer electronics products will come between now and the end of the year, so manufacturers are feverishly trying to get their new products in front of consumers. Fitness applications, particularly ones built around smart phones, are getting an increasing amount of attention as the holiday selling season builds.

There’s no question that mobile phones are part of the standard kit for athletes (although hopefully not during races).… More