BiteofanApple Archive About Code Twitter
by Brian Schrader
Archive About Code Twitter

My iOS 8 Wishlist

Posted on Wed, 16 Apr 2014

WWDC is right around the corner. It's not a very long list, but here's my feature wish list for iOS 8 and a little on the iPhone 6:

  • Actionable Notifications (like in OS X Mavericks)
  • Maps travel time (also like in OS X Mavericks)
  • Better Inter-App Communication (we've been asking for this for years now)
  • That Siri API we've been wanting (Cortana and Google Now aren't getting worse).
  • Offline Siri dictation (like in Mavericks...)
  • Battery Shaming (like in Mavericks... you get the point?)
  • Mac-iOS AirDrop compatability
  • A public API for developers to see and use the home screen background (Safari can do this, but its private)
  • As for the iPhone 6 I have but one request: better battery life (I can dream can't I?).

It'll be interesting to see what Apple brings to the table this year. The feature request lists get shorter every year, and this year its really short. It would make me happy just to see the features in Mavericks that I love make their way to iOS. I'd be thrilled with just that, though I'm sure there's more.

Really my biggest concern is if they'll announce any new retina Macbook Pros. I'll be in the market for one soon, and I don't want to get one if they are just about to refresh them.

-Thanks for reading,
      Brian Schrader

BloodMoon Eclipse Photos

Posted on Tue, 15 Apr 2014

The first sliver

Halfway there!

Bloodmoon's final form

The Universe is amazing, isn't it?

-Thanks for reading,
      Brian Schrader

Apple, Intel, and Matt Richman

Posted on Tue, 15 Apr 2014

Matt Richman brings up a great point. Apple is, in my layman's opinion, too dependent on their competitor for parts that are essential for its business (namely its A-series processors). There's been a lot of talk in the community about how beneficial it would be for Apple and Intel if they were to cooperate, and Matt points out a great starting point for their negotiations. It'll be very interesting to see if anything is announced at WWDC this year regarding a possible partnership.

One thing is for certain, and I'm not the first to say this, Apple cannot "out-pace" Samsung in processor design and manufacturing if they use Samsung's facilities to make their chips; Samsung will always be on even keel with Apple. If Apple wants to innovate beyond Samsung it needs to move to another supplier, and the only one capable of such volumes and quality would be Intel. The two were made for each other.

-Thanks for reading,
      Brian Schrader

The NSA Knew About and Exploited the Heartbleed Bug

Posted on Sat, 12 Apr 2014

The Heartbleed SSL bug is no joke. If you don't know, SSL is the security mechanism that websites use for HTTPS security. Your bank, your Facebook account, your mortgage lender, your online stores, your home router, everything uses HTTPS for encryption and this bug is something that compromises all of that, and its been there for 3 years! It was a bug that the developers, had they discovered it sooner, they would have patched it immediately, but they didn't know about it. Turns out the NSA did know about it, and they chose to keep it a secret, and worse to exploit it.

Reports claim that the NSA not only knew, for years I might add, about this bug, but they exploited it to get our private information. Its almost hilarious how much they were able to acquire.

Marco Arment gave his input on this, and I mostly agree with him on this. The NSA exploits and undermines the security of major tech companies and infrastructures to steal information, to infringe on privacy, and to sabotage the backbones of the internet in order to get this information. To me, the worst thing about the NSA, aside from the fact that they maliciously steal our private data and take no heed as to what they steal, is that after all that, the NSA refuses to be helpful, they refuse to use their powers to do anything good.

The NSA knew about this bug years ago, years ago, and did nothing. They took advantage of it instead of fixing it. Software, and security won't get better without the people who discover these vulnerabilities telling the developers about it so they can, wait for it, FIX IT! We don't know who else was able to steal data during those years and its bad enough that even the NSA did. Wouldn't we all be better off if they used their billions of dollars to help the world's security, and not compromise it? To me that's the real danger of the NSA. They spend billions and act just as maliciously as common hackers. They aren't doing the world any good, they're just assholes.

Note: What's worse is that the bug has been out there so long and is in so many systems that it will be a long time before its fully patched, and your data is vulnerable the entire time that's the case.

-Thanks for reading,
      Brian Schrader


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