Who’s really behind the iMessage encryption hype?

There have been many reports about how government authorities have been stymied by the level of encryption used by Apple’s iMessage service. cNet recently reported that even with a search warrant, “it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices“. Their report was based on an internal DEA ‘Intelligence Note’ that was “obtained by cnet’. Really. cnet ‘obtained’ an internal DEA document.

While discussing various conspiracy theories, a friend and I wondered if Apple was what really led cnet and others to discover the DEA document, and used the ‘leak’ to sell even more iPhones and iPads… albeit to a criminal audience.

Or perhaps it really is the feds, but they actually find iMessage encryption easy to work with, and just want more bad guys using technology that makes it easier to catch criminals with. Nope. not likely.

Must have been Apple.

Why Windows8 and PC sales are down

Why aren’t more people buying Windows 8? Here’s my opinion: folks who are still using Win7 or even Vista, don’t have a computer that meets Win8 requirements, and aren’t willing to buy a new PC just to use Win8. They are also afraid that their printers and other peripherals won’t work well with Win8, so upgrading seems like a costly and frustrating ordeal.

So, why aren’t more people just buying a new PC? Because there aren’t enough compelling new features AND it means having to end up with Windows8, and too many people just really hate Win8.

Of course, the other reason is that Apple iDevices are outselling ALL forms of windows computers, and once a windows user is assimilated, the halo effect kicks in and more people are willing to convert to Mac OS X rather than upgrade an old PC to Win8, or buy a new PC with Win8.

WWDC could be improved, but does Apple care?

Once a year, Apple holds its World Wide Developer’s Conference at the mother ship in Cupertino to expose Mac and iOS developers to as many Apple engineers as possible, so as to ensure steady app growth. This year’s even sold out its 5,000 available seats in less than three minutes time, frustrating tens of thousands of developers who would gladly pay $1599 for a ticket.

With nearly 300,000 combined registered developers, many have wondered why Apple doesn’t change the way WWDC is done, and bring exposure and knowledge-sharing to more developers. Some think WWDC should be killed off.

My guess is that Apple doesn’t see WWDC as broken, since their platforms show the most app growth compared to whatever else you want to consider as competition. Thankfully, Apple is committing to publish event videos during WWDC, instead of months after. This should help to quickly educate more developers with the latest trends in app development… but really seems to just be a token effort to quiet the hordes who miss the chance to be there live.

Sadly, until such a time that iOS app development is perceived as the weaker platform, its doubtful that Apple would commit any more time and effort than they currently put into their WWDC.

T-Mobile the ‘uncarrier’ just as evil as other carriers.

T-mobile recently started a campaign calling itself the ‘uncarrier’ because they don’t tie customers to dreaded 2-year contracts like the other major carriers. Instead, customers get a moderately priced phone they can use without a monthly ‘commitment’, but spread off the payment of the balance of their phone’s cost over time, so long as they are still using t-mo service. If this customer chooses to walk away from tmo before the balance of their phone is paid off, the customer has to pay off that balance in whole.

Well… a state attorney general sees this restructuring of fees as a confusing marketing ploy and appear to be forcing tmobile to change their marketing hoopla since their uncarrier plan is hardly different than major carriers 2-yr contracts that force customers to pay an early termination fee if they walk away from their contracts.

Verizon was once known for being evil because they exercised bad math. I think T-mobile is just as evil for believing that their new uncarrier marketing ploy makes them better than the notoriously evil major carriers.

I seriously hope that tmobile ends up with a bunch of idiot customers who fall for the uncarrier marketing hype, because evil carriers deserve to have idiots as customers.

New 3D MicroBattery jump starts car and recharges instantly

Most of us can’t live without our electronic gadgets, and as they become smaller and more powerful, they become capable of doing even more to make our lives simpler and more productive. Driven by consumer demand, technological leaps in processor hardware and software features are happening at a rapid pace.

What hasn’t changed in a while is battery technology, leaving us with devices that can’t last as long as a typical work day. In addition, many great gadgets never make it to production because to be useful, they need small, light, higher powered and longer-lasting batteries that simply do not exist.

All that might change sooner that you think. Back in 2011, a University of Illinois research group led by Paul Braun developed a three-dimensional (3D) battery cathode structure that provided dramatically faster charging and discharging. But the cathode is just one of two main parts to modern batteries.

MicroBattery 3D Cathode/Anode Structure
MicroBattery 3D Cathode/Anode Structure – courtesy the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology

A new report from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tells of another research group led by William P. King that has “developed a matching anode and then developed a new way to integrate the two components at the microscale to make a complete battery with superior performance”.

These new “microbatteries” will offer a wide range of power and energy combinations, and could allow for credit-card thin cell phones with radio signals that broadcast 30 times farther, while at the same time be recharged in an instant.

king_william_a
William P. King

As King puts it: “This is a whole new way to think about batteries. A battery can deliver far more power than anybody ever thought. In recent decades, electronics have gotten small. The thinking parts of computers have gotten small. And the battery has lagged far behind. This is a microtechnology that could change all of that. Now the power source is as high-performance as the rest of it.

I look forward to my next iPad Mini with a full retina display and an Apple-developed quad-core processor… with week-long runtime provided by a reolutionary 3D microbattery!