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Big

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 7:18 AM

David Goldman reports on Apple's most recent quarter results, announced today:

It was one of the most profitable quarters ever for any U.S. company, trailing only ExxonMobil's (XOM) record-setting $14.8 billion quarter from the fall of 2008, when oil prices were at an all-time high.

That is an incredible quarter reflecting Apple's really compelling lineup of products versus the competition.

HT: John Gruber

Bible Study Unhindered

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:42 PM

In line with my blog post from last night, the photo below is another example of technology being a blessing that allows us to continue ministry unhindered: doing Bible study over FaceTime. It felt a little weird at first, but it worked!

If you are doing Bible study or other group meetings in this manner, what platform are you using? We used FaceTime, as I said, which worked great for a group that happened to be all iPhone users, but next time I anticipate needing something cross platform and, ideally, still free. Facebook Messenger looks the most suitable, but is there another alternative you are using to good effect?

Better Facebook

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:39 AM

Better Facebook is a FREE user script that plugs into your browser and adds a lot of great enhancements to your existing Facebook account!

I've been using Better Facebook since the Safari Extension Gallery came out and highlighted it. So far, I'm finding some of its additions to Facebook quite handy. (It also works on Firefox, Chrome and Opera, by the way.)

Because Android is So Much More Secure than iOS

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 7:04 AM

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes:

The report makes depressing reading. Across all platforms, mobile malware attacks are up 155 percent, with mobile malware samples increasing from 11,138 in 2010 to 28,472 in 2011. BlackBerry malware grew by 8 percent, and Java ME saw a 49 percent increase. But the platform hit hardest was Android, with malware increasing by an incredible 3,325 percent in a year. During the last six months of 2011, Android malware samples had increased from 400 to 13,302.

Conspicuously absent from the list of devices affected by malware attacks is the iPhone. You don't suppose that is because there is no malware for the iPhone, do you?

HT: Gruber

AT&T's 3G Upgrades Degrade 2G Phone Signals

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:45 AM

I thought everyone might be interested in my new piece for OFB on 3G network upgrades that AT&T is doing. The upgrades are causing moderate to severe problems on perfectly functional 2G handsets. The problem impacts everything from the basic, venerable Nokia candybar, with its legendary receiving power, to the original iPhone that was only discontinued seven months ago. Take a gander at the story right here.

Apple's M1 and the Spring Forward Apple Event

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:56 AM

Joel Hruska over at ExtremeTech:

Apple couldn’t position the M1 this way if it wasn’t an excellent CPU in its own right. The M1’s dramatically higher efficiency and improved performance relative to x86 allowed Apple to standardize on a single CPU core across a wide range of products and price points. This is in complete opposition to the way PCs are traditionally positioned.

If you haven’t tried an M1-based Mac, it is hard to imagine precisely how good it is. But, put it this way: it can run many native “Apple Silicon” programs as well as many non-native, still targeted for Intel processor programs at least as fast as current high end MacBook Pros that are still running Intel’s processors. For example, Final Cut Pro and OBS Studio can both run at least as well on a much cheaper M1 system as they do on a $3,000 MacBook Pro; highly targeted apps that use machine learning, like Pixelmator Pro, run better on the M1.

Essentially, Apple is saying, “what you spend on a system should primarily be about what type of computer you want (laptop, desktop, all-in-one), how big of display you want, what extra features you want, not if you want a fantastically fast processor or not.” This is very similar to the approach Apple has taken on the iPhone for a number of years; the base iPhone 12 offers the same years-ahead-of-the-competition processing performance as the highest end, most souped up and most eye-wateringly expensive iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Apple to Go Intel?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:08 AM

News.com is usually a pretty respectable news source, so when they report as fact that Apple is switching to Intel, I have to pay somewhat more attention than I usually give to such claims. But, Apple to Intel chipsets? That makes little sense, since no legacy software would run (at least decently), the systems would be slower, AltiVec would no longer be available, etc., etc. If this is true, I predict Apple will not survive the switch. For now, I am presuming the report will be proven false during Job's WWDC keynote on Monday.

Apple Targeting to Kill Ad Networks' Targeting?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 10:19 PM

Peter Kafka writes,

As I understand it, Apple is arguing that [iPhone and iPad] app makers can’t pass along information that incorporates each phone’s “unique device identifier” to ad networks and measurement companies.

This doesn’t expressly prohibit ad networks from selling ads, but it prevents them from selling targeted advertising, which is close to the same thing when it comes to mobile devices. The same problem would plague analytics companies, which might be able to compile very broad usage info about apps, but little else.

Nonsense. Your computer's web browser doesn't offer a unique hardware serial number to every web site either. Back in the late 90's when it looked like we were headed into such an invasive privacy situation with Intel's PSN (Processor Serial Number) system, people were rightly outraged and the system died a quick death.

An IP address, or in the case of an application in which a user logs into an online service (e.g. Facebook), the user's login and associated profile, are more than enough targeting data to create useful analytics. This seems to be a part of Apple's continued attempt to differentiate its practices from Google's. As Gruber observed recently,

I detected one other veiled insult against Google during the event — Jobs’s emphasis during the multitasking segment about how seriously Apple values the privacy of iPhone users, with regard to data and location information. In the way that the standard knock against Apple is that they maintain too much control over the App Store, the standard knock against Google is that they don’t value user privacy. Jobs’s message: You can trust Apple.

I expect Apple to continue to play up this theme as its war with Google escalates.

Apple Stock Price Humor

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 3:51 AM

This is very interesting. Could it be a massive Wall Street conspiracy? ;)

Apple Seems to Get Encryption Right

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:52 AM

Gruber makes a good point — the handringing that law enforcement figures are doing with regards to iOS's new encryption suggests that Apple may have successfully interfered with the government's attempts to constantly collect everyone's data. I'm encouraged.

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