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Apple Might Be Forced To Reveal & Share iPhone Unlocking Code Widely

Originally posted on March 9, 2016 on Techdirt here.

By Ken Rashbaum and Liberty McAteer


Among the many questions swirling around the challenge to U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym's Order that Apple create software to bypass the iPhone passcode screen, a matter of paramount public interest may have been overlooked: Even if the government prevails in compelling Apple to bypass these iPhone security features: (A) evidence for use in a criminal trial obtained in this way will be challenged under the Daubert standard (described below) and the evidence may be held to be inadmissible at trial; and (B) the Daubert challenge may require disclosure of Apple's iPhone unlocking software to a number of third parties who would require access to it in order to bring the Daubert challenge and who may not secure the new software adequately. To state that neither consequence would be in the public interest would be an understatement in the extreme.

The Daubert challenge would arise because any pro…

“Huge” number of Mac apps vulnerable to hijacking, and a fix is elusive | Ars Technica

“Huge” number of Mac apps vulnerable to hijacking, and a fix is elusive | Ars Technica: Fellow researcher Simone Margaritelli has developed a technique that streamlines the attack by allowing it to work with the Metasploit exploit framework. He showed how he could exploit the vulnerability on a fully patched Mac running the latest version of the VLC Media Player. VLC developers released an update three days ago that patches the vulnerability so that the attack no longer works against the latest version.Patch your VLC, people:



http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

Why Stack Overflow Doesn’t Care About Ad Blockers – Stack Overflow Blog – A destination for all things related to development at Stack Overflow

As an interesting follow-on to Wired's article earlier today, see the this post by StackOverflow regarding its advertising policy:

But really: anything that doesn’t speak specifically to the Stack Overflow audience is not permitted. We also don’t accept rich media like animated ads, expandable ads, or video, which are the norm for most publishers today. This strict policy means we leave money on the table, but our team wants to protect Stack Overflow from those kinds of ads, as they run the risk of alienating that established trust.For those of you that don't know, StackOverflow is a forum where users go to post software development / programming questions and answers. It is one of the single most valuable resources available to any developer out there - I have used it more times than I care to count. To put it mildly, they have very high street cred, and this policy seems totally consistent with that reputation.



Well done, StackOverflow.

How WIRED Is Going to Handle Ad Blocking | WIRED

How WIRED Is Going to Handle Ad Blocking | WIRED: You can subscribe to a brand-new Ad-Free version of WIRED.com. For $1 a week, you will get complete access to our content, with no display advertising or ad tracking.The above article mentions that WIRED now allows you to easily whitelist its site, or, for $1 a week, you can have an ad-free viewing experience.



While I do not think this is a perfect solution, I think it is a huge step in the right direction, made in good faith. Importantly, it recognizes something so fundamental that so many other subscription services do not seem to grasp:



If I pay for a subscription, it must be both advertisement free and not track my data.



Any other stance is simply going to result in more users using ad-blockers or resorting to more aggressive forms of content-piracy. To be completely frank, it is why I do not, and will not, pay for Hulu.



Kudos, Wired. Here's hoping other publications follow suit.


Apple is not Vertically Integrated (Response to 'Why Big Companies Keep Failing: The Stack Fallacy' | TechCrunch)

Why Big Companies Keep Failing: The Stack Fallacy | TechCrunch: Apple continues to successfully integrate vertically down  — building chips, programming languages, etc., but again has found it very hard to go up the stack and build those simple apps — things like photo sharing apps and maps.

This is super confusing to read from Techcrunch. Surely @anushublog is aware of the fact that Apple is not an OEM and is actually nowhere near vertically integrated? They are a design shop, and up until very recently, 100% of their manufacture was outsourced.



Additionally, one of Apple's core competencies is its software - iphoto is actually great. Apple Maps is not amazing - but certainly way better than it used to be. Apple's messenger app is great. Its mail app is great. Its video editing software (Final Cut Pro)  and music editing software (Logic Pro) are actually industry standards.



This is pretty careless, IMO. Maybe the point is that Apple is bad at making social-media apps? Well, m…

No, Wired - The Internet is Actually Pretty Safe

Wired ran this article today:

The Internet Is Way Too Fragile and Insecure. Let's Build a New One
Featuring this:
You may have had the bad luck of being stuck on a runway when a router failure in Utah grounded commercial flights around the country for several hours. Or maybe you were frustrated by not being able to access government websites the day the .gov domain administration had a glitch in its system. These minor mishaps over the past decade are early rumblings of an uncomfortable truth: The Internet is more fragile than it appears.
The problems with the .gov websites and the FAA were caused by accidents, but such accidents can have widespread effects. In 2008, censorship efforts by the government of Pakistan unintentionally caused YouTube to become inaccessible throughout the world. In another incident in 2010, much of the Internet was rerouted through China for a few hours, including traffic between US military sites. China Telecom plausibly claimed this was also an accident…

9th Circuit Takes Closer Look at Arbitration Clauses in Browsewrap Agreements

This decision was handed down by the 9th Circuit the other day, which, for those who follow such things, covers all of California, and is of extremely high importance for the entire tech industry as a result.

Let's summarize why it is important:

1. Browsewrap contracts have traditionally been upheld as valid by the Courts - this means that when you click "I Agree" when signing into a website or installing a piece of software, you are, in fact, agreeing to the dozens of pages of legalese you absolutely have not read.

2. Recently, big companies have been inserting a variety of very troubling, anti-consumer clauses into such contracts, including mandatory arbitration clauses and waiver of right to join class action suits.

(2) has been very troubling, because recently, the Supreme Court basically upheld the notion that by entering a shrinkwrap or browsewrap contract, you can agree to waive your right to participate in a class action suit, and instead have the dispute move to…