Apple says it immediately contacted FBI about unlocking Texas shooter’s iPhone

Nick Statt writing for The Verge:

The Washington Post is reporting that an FBI official even acknowledged Apple’s offer of assistance late yesterday evening, but that it did not need the company’s assistance as experts in the bureau’s crime lab were determining whether there was another method of accessing the data.

In other words, the FBI appears to be playing fast and loose with the facts regarding the timeline here, in an apparent effort to drum up support for weakening tech industry encryption.

In the case of Kelley, because 48 hours had passed without him using his fingerprint to unlock the iPhone in question, the access code security feature kicked in and locked the FBI out. Had law enforcement accepted Apple’s offer for assistance right away, perhaps they would already have what they’re looking for. But in that case, the FBI wouldn’t be able to blame encryption for its failure.

Or maybe the FBI is doing this on purpose.

FBI may have lost critical time unlocking Texas shooter’s iPhone

Stephen Nellis and Dustin Volz reporting for Reuters:

The Reuters source said that in the 48 hours between Sunday’s shooting and Comb’s news conference Apple had received no requests from federal, state or local law enforcement authorities for technical assistance with Kelley’s phone or his associated online accounts at Apple.

The delay may prove important. If Kelley had used a fingerprint to lock his iPhone, Apple could have told officials they could use the dead man’s finger to unlock his device, so long as it had not been powered off and restarted.

But iPhones locked with a fingerprint ask for the user’s pass code after 48 hours if they have not been unlocked by then.

One of these days, the FBI will learn to just ask Apple for help from the get go rather than trying to do it themselves then getting mad when it’s too late for Apple to do anything.

Hackers Using iCloud’s Find My iPhone Feature to Remotely Lock Macs and Demand Ransom Payments

Juli Clover reporting for MacRumors:

Over the last day or two, several Mac users appear to have been locked out of their machines after hackers signed into their iCloud accounts and initiated a remote lock using Find My iPhone.

With access to an iCloud user’s username and password, Find My iPhone on can be used to “lock” a Mac with a passcode even with two-factor authentication turned on, and that’s what’s going on here.

Apple allows users to access Find My iPhone without requiring two-factor authentication in case a person’s only trusted device has gone missing.

And this, my friends, why you should never used the same password accross multiple sites. It’s also a great idea to use a password manager — such as 1Password or Apple’s own iCloud Keychain — to be able to make longer, more secure passwords and not have to remember them all.

Networks Pass on Sean Spicer for Paid Contributor Role

Claire Atkinson reporting for NBC News:

Since Spicer exited the White House, his representatives have been holding individual conversations about the possibility of President Donald Trump’s former flack joining one of the major TV networks, which include CBS News, CNN, Fox News, ABC News and NBC News. […]

A number of network insiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their business relationships said none of the networks were interested in hiring Spicer because of a “lack of credibility.”

Who knew lying and antagonizing the press could make it difficult to get a job with the press.

French photographer uses an iPhone and a Big Mac BOX for portraits

Germania Rodriguez writing for Daily Mail:

Philippe Echaroux, 34, specializes in celebrity portraits and, while he’s usually armed with the best camera equipment that money can buy, he decided to push himself and his photography skills out of the box, with what he called The Big Mac Portrait Challenge.

Using nothing but his iPhone for shooting and retouching, Philippe then allowed himself the use of a straw, a flashlight and a Big Mac box to construct the rest of his set-up – with which he still managed to take a series of stunning portraits of strangers.

These portraits are absolutely gorgeous. It’s no wonder even ex-Googlers say that if you care about photography, you choose an iPhone.

Apple Acknowledges Siri Leadership Has Officially Moved From Eddy Cue to Craig Federighi

Joe Rossignol reporting for MacRumors:

Apple’s leadership page is only now reflecting Federighi’s role as head of Siri, but the transition has been apparent for several months, based on recent interviews and stage appearances at Apple’s keynotes.

Eddie Cue is in charge of the products that require deal-making with third parties. Apple Music & Apple Pay fall under his purview. Siri did start off by integrating directly with services via deals with third parties such as Wolfram Alpha, but that seems to have stopped in favor of an API. So now, having Craig be in charge of another core piece of the OSes he manages seems like a no-brainer.

Starting a Bullet Journal Again

It’s been two year since I last used a Bullet Journal. Originally I only used it out of necessity. I had lost my iPhone and had to two months without a smart phone while I waited for the new iPhone to be announced and shipped. It was a long two months, let me tell you, but Bullet Journaling help me through it.

Lately I’ve had the thought that maybe I’ve been forcing myself to be digital first when my mind doesn’t work that way. I can’t say this for fact, but how am I supposed to figure it out if I don’t see what the alternative to what I’ve been doing is? My last attempt at this ended because when I got my new and shiny iPhone, I couldn’t figure out where it needed to go or how to marry my digital and analog life successfully. In the end, I opted to go fully digital, because I attributed the friction as being caused by the journal, and not the phone.

But maybe I was wrong, maybe the friction was in trying to force the phone to take too much from the journal, which had been working perfectly up until then, and instead I should relegate the phone to a supportive role. This is made easier by the existence of a Bullet Journal Companion App. The key feature of which, for me, is the temporary Rapid Logging feature. Let’s be real, there are many times when carrying the journal around is impractical, but your phone is almost always around. The point isn’t to serve as a substitute for the Bullet Journal, but more as a notepad. And to ensure that you aren’t tempted to use it as a permanent journal, any rapid logging done in app disappears after 48 hours. So in this way, it serves as a notepad to log thing while you aren’t near your journal for transfer into it later.

But beyond the app, and a new term (“Stacks”) not much has changed in either the Bullet Journaling system or the community. You still only need a pen and a notebook to get started. I chose some Uni-ball 307’s and a Moleskine. If you want to go barebones basic, the basic structure hasn’t expanded beyond the 5 original modules, with the fifth, collections, being the wild card that could expand into infinite possibilities.

Hopefully I can stick with it this time. I truly believe it has a place in my life if I am correct about my mind working better with the analog. For now I’m sticking with the basic setup, and maybe expand into some permanent collections in the future. But for now, it’s experimentation time again.

The Rock x Siri

I’ve seen the Apple / Rock / Siri ad 4 times now, and I’m laugh out loud every time. This could have been truly terrible, but I’m happy to report that it’s absolutely awesome. Click the title of this post to take a look for yourself.

Trump Says Apple to Build Three Plants in U.S.

Peter Nicholas reporting for The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Trump, in a 45-minute interview with The Wall Street Journal, said Mr. Cook promised him Apple would build “three big plants, beautiful plants.” Mr. Trump didn’t elaborate on where those plants would be located or when they would be built.

I don’t believe anything that come out of Trump’s mouth. However, if this is true, I’m almost certain Tim Cook doesn’t appreciate announcing this for him.

Senate GOP is trying really hard to avoid the Democrats

Sarah Kliff Reporting for Vox:

This exemption could have the effect of ensuring that members of Congress have coverage for a wider array of benefits than other Americans who purchase their own coverage.

A Senate Republican aide confirmed that the exemption existed but was unable to comment as to the specific effect it would have. The aide said it was included to ensure that the bill hewed to the chamber’s strict reconciliation rules that limit the policies this health bill can include.

It was already made clear they wanted not help from Democrats when it was decided that there would be no formal hearings on the bill. This exemption serves to further emphasize the lengths to which Republicans are willing to go to avoid the filibuster and, by extension, having to work across the aisle.