Stuart Breckenridge

Apple TV as a Games Machine

But in equipping the new Apple TV with older tech, there is the feeling that the firm isn’t quite ‘all in’ on its games strategy - and it’s difficult to avoid the sense that the device could become out-dated sooner rather than later. As things stand, the end result is that at a technological level, the A8 won’t be supplying 3D experiences on par with Xbox 360, let alone Xbox One. The firm’s insistence on sticking with relatively meagre levels of flash storage - 32GB as a base with usual eye-watering mark-up for the 64GB model - also limits the kinds of games we will be playing on it.

Richard Leadbetter


I once argued that Apple could be a real challenger in the console market. It has the user base, the platform, and a much lower barrier to entry—license fee wise—for third parties.

However, based on the technology used in this generation of Apple TV, it’s clear Apple don’t want to contend in the games console market: the hardware is not capable, the 64GB storage is paltry, and the limit of 2GB storage per app is smaller than what the original Xbox and PS2 had with their DVDs.

Oh well, Crossy Road at 1080p it is.


Privacy and Security

A few years ago I applied for a bank account and was asked to provide identity, address, and income proofs either via fax or email. This struck me as odd for two reasons:

  • individuals don’t tend to have fax machines; and,
  • sending (private) documents over email is not even close to secure.

In my situation using a fax machine was immediately excluded, so I enquired about the email option and highlighted my concerns about security. I was told that in order to protect my documents, I could compress them and then add a password to the compressed file. “And how would you like me to send the password to you?”, I asked. “By email”, I was told.

The person I was speaking to didn’t seem to realise the sheer stupidity of sending a password in cleartext or, as it turns out, the security shortcomings of password protected zip files. I didn’t press the matter further as I decided to drop the application.

I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to expect that, at a minimum, businesses should be using PGP or S/MIME for encryption, and providing clear instructions to their clients as to how it should be used. For bigger institutions (e.g. banks) that need documents from you, they should provide a secure, online portal for document upload.

Any business stating that they respect your privacy and then ask for your documents over an unencrypted channel should be viewed with suspicion. It’s nothing more than corner cutting.


Chinese iPhone Users Hit By Keyraider Malware

Seven paragraphs into the linked article:

“It found that an attacker had made changes to software used on jailbroken iPhones.”

BBC


Talk about misleading headlines.


FATCA FFI List - Roadmap

What I’m planning for the rest of 2015 for FATCA FFI List (via fatcaapp.co):

Not only is iOS 9 just around the corner, the published FFI list from the IRS is about to be expanded significantly with the inclusion of Sponsored Entities. Both of these require updates to FATCA FFI List.

##v3.0 Coming in September, FATCA FFI List will receive an update that bumps the version to 3.0 and brings the following changes:

  • iOS 9 will be the minimum supported version
  • App performance during the initial app launch will be improved
  • New multitasking (Slide Over and Split View) features in iOS 9 will be supported on iPad
  • Saved FFIs will be searchable from the home screen without accessing the app

##v3.1 Coming later in the year, FATCA FFI List will receive another update that adds support for Sponsored Groups.

Some undisclosed features may slip into each release depending on how testing goes. If you have any feedback, don’t hesitate to use the in-app feedback features.


Currys and PC World to Sell Apple Watch

“MacRumors has learned that British electronics retailer Currys, which co-brands some locations as Currys and PC World, has added the Apple Watch to its internal inventory system as it gears up to begin selling the wrist-worn device.

Currys and PC World has a large presence throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, with a combined 295 superstores and 73 high street stores in both countries. It remains unclear how many of those locations will be carrying the Apple Watch.”

Joe Rossignol


Reminder: Currys and PC World are part of the Dixons group, the former haunt of John Browett, Apple’s short lived Retail SVP. Tim Cook was panned for hiring him, mainly due to British consumers knowing just how bad the customer service was a Dixons stores.

But you don’t have to take my word for it (via Ars Technica):

“…but that seems to go against the description given to us by several readers about the customer service at Dixons stores—branded Curry’s and PC World in the UK—which they described as ‘shite’ and ‘the epitome of appalling service.’”

Chris Foresman


My point is this: selling the Apple Watch in these stores does nothing more than cheapen its image.