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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How the hell could the FBI hack into that iPhone? - CNET

"Harry Potter spoke Parseltongue to get into the Chamber of Secrets. The FBI would have to resort to a less magical (and a lot more tedious) solution to getting into the iPhone.

It's called NAND mirroring, and it requires copying part of the iPhone's memory. Right now, the iPhone will wipe itself clean after 10 wrong passcodes. But with a copy of the phone's flash memory, the FBI can just keep restoring the data.
"It can then retry indefinitely," wrote ACLU technology fellow Daniel Kahn Gillmor.
Gillmor wrote about NAND mirroring earlier this month, but that's when the FBI was publicly focused on forcing Apple to write a new version of the phone's operating system that would let it try unlimited passwords. Now Gillmor's theory is looking like the FBI's best bet. It wouldn't be as fast as a simple "brute force" effort password guessing, but it wouldn't require Apple's help."

How the hell could the FBI hack into that iPhone? - CNET

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Justice Department Backs Down - NYTimes: U.S. Says It May Not Need Apple’s Help to Unlock iPhone

NYTimes: U.S. Says It May Not Need Apple’s Help to Unlock iPhone

"RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Justice Department said on Monday that it might no longer need Apple’s assistance to help open an iPhone used by a gunman in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting, leading to a postponement of a key hearing over the issue and potentially sidestepping what has become a bitter clash with the world’s most valuable company.

The dramatic turn of events came after the Justice Department said in a new court filing that as of Sunday, an outside party had demonstrated a way for the F.B.I. to possibly unlock the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino attackers. The hearing in the contentious case — Apple has loudly opposed opening up the iPhone, citing privacy concerns and igniting a heated debate with the government — was originally scheduled for Tuesday."

One year later, Apple's 12-inch MacBook has become my favorite laptop


Sarah Tew / CNET

"It's been nearly one full year since I reviewed Apple's 12-inch MacBook. That slim, light system was not only Apple's only completely new laptop design since the 2012 MacBook Pro, but also among its most controversial.
The knocks against this system -- an odd-man-out, not part of either the Air or Pro MacBook lines -- were numerous. Its screen was too small; the keyboard too shallow; not enough ports; no MagSafe power connection; underpowered, even compared to the base MacBook Air; and battery life that didn't measure up to the MacBook standard.
All legitimate concerns, and ones that I shared both when the 12-inch MacBook was announced in March of 2015, and when I got my hands on the final product several weeks later in early April. In my original review of the $1,299 MacBook (£1,049 or AU$1,799), I was impressed with its overall design, the excellent high-res display, and extreme portability, but cautioned that it wasn't the laptop for everybody, or for all-day work. The single USB-C port could lock out most of your accessories (without a pricey adaptor) and the performance and battery life from the first-gen Intel Core M processor was not on par with mainstream Core i5 laptops that cost hundreds less."
One year later, Apple's 12-inch MacBook has become my favorite laptop

Hands-on with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro

New iPad Pro hands-on: a wildly powerful 9.7-inch iPad

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sometimes A Chromebook Is Better

"A few days later, we had her up and running with Chrome OS and a handful of extensions as well as a short explainer on Google Drive, the cloud and what she could and couldn't do. She loves her new laptop, because it does everything she wants it to do without any fussing.

And that's the important thing — Chrome OS can do everything she needs a laptop to do. She's not writing software or playing immersive 3D games. She doesn't need Photoshop — Google Photos lets her look at her pictures and share them. All her passwords are safely stored in her personal cloud (as safe as a cloud can be, anyway) and her laptop remembers who she is and signs her in when she wants to do some online shopping or visit her bank's website as long as she's signed in with her Google account."