I am currently in the process of restructuring this website to make it look nicer, since I love playing with HTML and CSS, but also to make this a better portfolio pitstop. I have come to realize that a lot of blogging these days is seen and done on Facebook and so I have been posting my blog type posts there. I will probably still post here but am going to modify the site to better reflect the fact that when people land they're likely just wondering who I am.
How to save a little money, it works with most electronics:
I cannot believe I missed this TED talk by David McCandless from Infomration is Beautiful. The most important point that he made was how long it took him to make a single graphic in his book, and that graphic provided context that otherwise did not exist. A lot of times people will put numbers on top of an image, but that kind of visualization does not have the impact that McCandless's visualizations have. Check out the website and share your favorites in the comments.
From The Intercept:
By targeting essential security keys used to encrypt data stored on Apple’s devices, the researchers have sought to thwart the company’s attempts to provide mobile security to hundreds of millions of Apple customers across the globe. Studying both “physical” and “non-invasive” techniques, U.S. government-sponsored research has been aimed at discovering ways to decrypt and ultimately penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. This could enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad currently masked by encryption.
Very disappointing to see this happen, but glad to see Cook stand firm to the extent he can. Ultimately the problem with any backdoor is that if it works for one person than others can exploit it. There is not some kind of middle ground where we can know for certain our devices are secure but also that the government can snoop on them. We deserve secure systems, and our privacy. These things were embedded in our fourth amendment and I think the interest of law enforcement in snooping on our communications should not override it.
This afternoon I watched the Apple Watch event. In addition to the watch Apple unveiled a new MacBook and refreshed their MacBook Pro with Retina Display. We finally learned about the widely variable pricing of the watches and their release date. Overall it was exciting to see the improvements but I am not sure what is going on with this new laptop.
Apple has now abandoned its MagSafe and Thunderbolt connectors for a single USB-C type connector. This seems silly to me on two fronts. The first is that the lack of a Thunderbolt port precludes the use of the computer with the thunderbolt display and other accessories. The second is that users lose the advantage of the connector that does not cause the computer to fly across the room if it is tripped. However based on everyone else's enthusiasm I am clearly not in the target market for this unit.
The new keyboard seems interesting but the initial reviews are not strong. The new trackpad, however, has been getting rave feedback. I am excited to experience it. I think that Apple opted to replace it not just for the feature, but also because from an unscientific sample of friends, the trackpad click is one of the things that seems to most often break on MacBook Pros.