The Apple Watch is time, saved

Matthew Panzarino wrote on TechCrunch about how the Apple Watch saves time.

People that have worn the Watch say that they take their phones out of their pockets far, far less than they used to. A simple tap to reply or glance on the wrist or dictation is a massively different interaction model than pulling out an iPhone, unlocking it and being pulled into its merciless vortex of attention suck.

One user told me that they nearly “stopped” using their phone during the day; they used to have it out and now they don’t, period. That’s insane when you think about how much the blue glow of smartphone screens has dominated our social interactions over the past decade.

Google wants to own .app, .blog, .cloud, .dev and .search domains

Drew Crawford on Google’s attempt to own the .dev top-level domain.

Let’s talk about a domain that’s near and dear to my heart, .dev. Wouldn’t it be great to have a domain for content targeted at software developers? So that you could actually get a domain name for www.[your-side-project].dev? Instead abusing the .io domain which is officially for the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Alas, Google does not think much of that plan. Under their shell company “Charleston Road Registry Inc.” (whose “CEO” is merely Google’s in-house counsel), they have applied for control of the .dev domain, which they intend to be:

completely closed for the sole use of Google.

In case you thought that was a typo, they elaborate:

Second-level domain names within the proposed gTLD are intended for registration and use by Google only, and domain names under the new gTLD will not be available to the general public for purchase, sale, or registration. As such, Charleston Road Registry intends to apply for an exemption to the ICANN Registry Operator Code of Conduct as Google is intended to be the sole registrar and registrant.

In case you believe Google is drunk and they meant to apply for some other, more Google-specific string, instead of claiming some kind of monopoly over software development in its entitreity, they helpfully clarify that no, they know exactly what they are doing:

The proposed gTLD will provide Google with direct association to the term ʺdev,ʺ which is an abbreviation of the word, ʺdevelopment.ʺ The mission of this gTLD, .dev, is to provide a dedicated domain space in which Google can enact second-level domains specific to its projects in development. Specifically, the new gTLD will provide Google with greater ability to create a custom portal for employees to manage products and services in development.

The internet protests but Google doesn’t back down.

Google opens with a “how-is-this-not-a-parody” argument that owning a TLD and not allowing anyone else to use it “lead[s] to diversified consumer choice”:

Today, most Internet users have only one practical choice when it comes to how their TLDs are managed: a completely unrestricted model environment in which any registrant can register any name for any purpose and use it as they see fit.

It’s sort of like how North Korea promotes choice because* what if some people want to choose a totalitarian regime*.

They then argue that DNS configuration is too hard and so we should just force all .blog domains to use Google Blogger:

By contrast, our application for the .blog TLD describes a new way of automatically linking new second level domains to blogs on our Blogger platform – this approach eliminates the need for any technical configuration on the part of the user and thus makes the domain name more user friendly

That Google should be allowed to close TLDs because nobody will notice anyway:

Because of the strong user bias toward domains within .com, today a generic .com domain name (e.g., or is likely to produce more traffic and to be more valuable for a business than a generic TLD.

That Google has spent a lot of time and money trying to buy these domains and if you don’t let them bad things will happen

Applicants have read the guidebook and relied on the policies contained within to guide their applications. They spent considerable time and money on their applications in the hopes they would be granted the applied­ for string. At best, retroactively deciding to allow a more restrictive interpretation of the guidebook and at worst going back and “adding in” policy runs the risk of appearing capricious and eroding trust in the process.

Do you know what the consequences of not giving Google what they want will be? Do you? DO YOU? DO YOU ICANN??

we must remember that changing the process mid­stream will have real and practical consequences for businesses and end users alike.

“Closed generic TLD”. Who even knows what those words mean anyway? I mean, you’d have to get a dictionary, or maybe (gasp) google it. Words don’t real:

In reality, neither of the two words have a contextually appropriate objective definition, and the combined term has no meaning other than what has been invented in recent discussions about the gTLD program.

Tell you what though. You know those 101 domains we applied for? We’ll throw you a bone and open 4 of them. That should resolve the “particular sensitivity within the Internet community” about Google closing the Internet.

Google has identified four of our current single registrant applications that we will revise: .app, .blog, .cloud and .search.

Samsung stopped using Apple patents

Reuters reported on Apple seeking an injunction against Samsung for patent infringement.

Samsung lawyer Kathleen Sullivan of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP said the South Korean company had all but stopped using the patents, so no injunction was needed.

So Samsung was using the patents.

Samsung’s weak brand loyalty

Business insider reported on Samsung’s epic global defeat by Apple.

This rapid collapse points to one thing: Samsung has weak brand loyalty.

Consumers just want a high-end, large-screened smartphone, and for years Samsung was the only one sufficiently pushing the limits of screen size. Apple’s devices remained — until the launch of the 6 and 6 Plus — around the 4-inch mark. But now Apple is producing a larger-screened device, and consumers have decided there’s no longer any reason to buy a large Samsung smartphone.

Those who, sadly, are unable to grasp the reason behind Apple’s brand loyalty simply label loyal users as Apple fanboys and iSheep.

Google backtracks from Android Lollipop encryption

Ars Technica reported on Google backtracking from compulsory encryption for Android Lollipop devices.

Last year, Google made headlines when it revealed that its next version of Android would require full-disk encryption on all new phones. Older versions of Android had supported optional disk encryption, but Android 5.0 Lollipop would make it a standard feature.

But we’re starting to see new Lollipop phones from Google’s partners, and they aren’t encrypted by default, contradicting Google’s previous statements. At some point between the original announcement in September of 2014 and the publication of the Android 5.0 hardware requirements in January of 2015, Google apparently decided to relax the requirement, pushing it off to some future version of Android. Here’s the timeline of events.

So why the change of heart after the fanfare in announcing the feature?

Here’s what we think is most likely. Lollipop’s encryption requirement made headlines again in November, this time because it had a huge impact on the new Nexus 6’s performance. Our review of the Nexus 6 showed that the new phone could be slower than the old Nexus 5 in certain tasks, and AnandTech supplied additional numbers that showed just how severe the performance impact was.

Meanwhile, iOS users continue enjoy encryption with no impact on their phone performance.

How secure is Samsung Pay?

Mashable raised questions about the security of Samsung Pay.

Samsung copied Apple Pay but needed a differentiating factor.

Samsung Pay incorporates LoopPay technology to allow its phones to work at magstrip readers. These are the types of credit card readers seen at most U.S. retailers — but Apple Pay doesn’t work with them. Apple’s mobile payments require NFC (or near-field communication) for transactions, which is still an up-and-coming technology.

This is perceived as an advantage over Apple Pay when rolling out Samsung Pay.

Some have already proclaimed that this gives Samsung an advantage in mobile payments. The U.S. has been slow in adopting more-secure chip or EMV payment technology. The idea is that people will be more prone to adopt Samsung Pay because it is more widely accepted by merchants.

But the use of magnetic stripe readers is a questionable move.

Even though the magstrip (or magstripe) compatibility could lead to wider adoption of Samsung Pay by both retailers and smartphone users, the problem with magnetic-strip cards is that they are very insecure.

“The data on the magstripe is the most dangerous data out there,” Gartner’s Litan said.

Magstripe transactions directly transmit your credit card’s information — card number, expiration date, etc. — to the sale terminal.

Samsung claims that the transaction would be tokenised, but refused to explain how it works. It is presumably integrating with Loop Pay, which it has acquired.

According to CNET, LoopPay uses the actual credit card number during transactions.

Is it a good idea to use legacy technology? Moreover, the industry is moving to update to the more secure microchip-cards. That would have an impact on the roll out of Samsung Pay, especially when credit cards with magnetic stripes will be phased out in October 2015.

WSJ’s false claim of Apple Pay fraud

Rurik Bradbury wrote on Trustev about Wall Street Journal’s misleading headline.

A hot and heavy headline at the Wall Street Journal, “Fraud Comes to Apple Pay,” gives the impression of some kind of security weakness in Apple’s new payment system, but it’s not justified.

What has happened is that Apple Pay itself is basically fraud-proof, so fraudsters have turned their attention to the next weakest link: credit cards before they’re added to an Apple Pay wallet.

This is classic fraud via social engineering. Criminals use stolen credit card details (which can easily and cheaply be bought for on sites like and then trick banks into allowing them to be loaded onto an iPhone. Once loaded onto a phone, they can make purchases until the card is canceled.

Shameful click-baiting headline to get the views.

Ex-GM CEO says building cars may not be worth it for Apple

Bloomberg reported on ex-GM CEO Dan Akerson saying building cars may not be worth it for Apple.

“I think somebody is kind of trying to cough up a hairball here,” Akerson said in a telephone interview. “If I were an Apple shareholder, I wouldn’t be very happy. I would be highly suspect of the long-term prospect of getting into a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing” business.
The car industry, with regulatory and safety requirements, is harder than people realize, Akerson said.
“A lot of people who don’t ever operate in it don’t understand and have a tendency to underestimate,” he said.

As John Gruber pointed out, this sounds familiar.

Back when rumours of Apple entering the phone market, then Palm CEO Ed Colligan scoffed at the idea:

Responding to questions from New York Times correspondent John Markoff at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering Thursday morning, Colligan laughed off the idea that any company — including the wildly popular Apple Computer — could easily win customers in the finicky smart-phone sector.

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

Motorola boss counters criticism from Apple’s Jony Ive

BBC reported on Motorola boss countering criticism from Apple’s Jony Ive.

Sir Jonathan specifically asked the New Yorker magazine not to name the company he had been “scathing about”, but a campaign launched by Motorola in late 2013 matches the description he gave.

“Their value proposition was, ‘Make it whatever you want. You can choose whatever colour you want,’” Sir Jonathan is quoted as saying.

“And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer.”

Rick Osterloh, president of Motorola:

“Our belief is that the end user should be directly involved in the process of designing products.

“We’re making the entire product line accessible.

“And frankly, we’re taking a directly opposite approach to them [Apple].”

He added that he believed this difference in strategy went wider than design.

“We do see a real dichotomy in this marketplace, where you’ve got people like Apple making so much money and charging such outrageous prices. We think that’s not the future,” he said.

“We believe the future is in offering similar experiences and great consumer choice at accessible prices.

We only need to look at the revenue and profit figures to know which philosophy is the successful one.

CEOs of Facebook, Google and Yahoo to skip Obama’s cybersecurity summit

Bloomberg reported on three of tech’s top CEOs planning to skip President Obama’s cybersecurity summit.

Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt all were invited but won’t attend the public conference at Stanford University, according to the companies. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook is planning to be at the event, where Obama is scheduled to give the keynote speech and have a private lunch with a select group of attendees.

You would think that the CEOs would be actively involved to show their commitment to information security and take an active role in fighting for the privacy rights of their users.