My thoughts on the Apple/FBI terrorist iPhone unlocking conundrum

My initial reaction to Apple fighting the court order to unlock the terrorist’s iPhone was “Good for Apple. Doing anything that could reduce my privacy is bad!” And lots of the breathless news reports continued to make me think that way with all the talk of backdoors and such.

But then I started reading articles . . . → Read More: My thoughts on the Apple/FBI terrorist iPhone unlocking conundrum

Microsoft Surface Book First Impressions

I got my new Microsoft Surface Book last night and have decidedly mixed impressions of it. The hardware seems top notch, while the operating system and software are much worse than expected. If only Microsoft were a company that primarily made operating systems and software, I’m sure this sort of thing wouldn’t happen. Oh, wait…

. . . → Read More: Microsoft Surface Book First Impressions

Amazon Echo is surprisingly handy

I set up my (or rather my wife’s) Amazon Echo last night. I have a hard time not calling the Amazon “Alexa,” because that’s how you address it. You say “Alexa play some rock music” and it does so.

The Echo is a black cylinder that listens for commands and questions and sometimes does what . . . → Read More: Amazon Echo is surprisingly handy

Networked CableCard TV Solution

For those Cable TV subscribers looking to ditch their set-top boxes, CableCards provide a way for your equipment (Tivo, Moxi, etc.) to decode encrypted and High-Def TV channels without having to rent a set-top box. I was able to ditch the horrible Motorola DVR box my cable company was charging around $20 a month for . . . → Read More: Networked CableCard TV Solution

Hiperwall Holiday Fun

An occasional moment of fun in the Calit2 Visualization Lab as the Hiperwall team checks out video games on the Hiperwall system:

Dr. Sung-Jin Kim brought a Playstation 3 and his guitar to play Rocksmith. The video shows other games, including Battlefield 3 and Tetris. I can be seen briefly playing a co-op game . . . → Read More: Hiperwall Holiday Fun

Apple iPhone location tracking issue way overblown

Now that Steve Jobs and co. have spoken on the location tracking controversy, we now know that it was merely a cache of recently (okay, maybe not so recently) connected WiFi nets and cell towers in order to speed location finding. This revelation means that nothing bad was intended, but the worst was assumed (and . . . → Read More: Apple iPhone location tracking issue way overblown

Apple iPhone location tracking and how to protect yourself

The current outcry over the location tracking file in your iPhone (and presumably iPad) isn’t exactly much ado about nothing, but is mostly the news media trying to make hay out of it and counting on Apple’s name to attract viewers.

This location tracking file is present both on the iPhone itself and in your . . . → Read More: Apple iPhone location tracking and how to protect yourself

AirPrint is nifty, but…

Since Apple enabled AirPrint in the latest iPad and iPhone updates, I’ve wanted to be able to use it. AirPrint currently only works with a few HP printers, though some software solutions can make printers shared by your Mac available too. Since I didn’t want to leave my Mac on all the time, and I . . . → Read More: AirPrint is nifty, but…

Norton Internet Security Can’t Tell Time?

Norton Internet Security 2010 quit working on me today telling me that the subscription expired. Yesterday, it told me it had 2 days left. As you can see from the screen capture below, it tells me I have a day left, but it expired anyway. Apparently the Norton programmers were sloppy when it came to . . . → Read More: Norton Internet Security Can’t Tell Time?

Online Backup Solutions

I’m in favor of the idea of backing up data offsite to avoid disasters and their effects. Living in California, where we overdo it in both earthquakes and fires, data safety is essential. While I was working on my dissertation research and the dissertation itself, I would back all of it up on a CD . . . → Read More: Online Backup Solutions