Tim Cook and Apple execs talk product design, encryption and what’s next

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple chief Tim Cook says company is ‘more secretive than CIA’ and there isn’t a trade-off between security and privacy.

COOK DEFENDS APPLE’S ENCRYPTION, TAX PRACTICES — Apple CEO Tim Cook repeated his opposition to government-mandated “backdoors” into online communications in an interview Sunday night on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” Cook said a backdoor to help decode encrypted messages would be available “for everybody, for good guys and for bad guys.” The interview was taped before the attacks in Paris, but 60 Minutes correspondent Charlie Rose said Cook has since told the program that while Apple is cooperating with authorities in the fight against terrorism, he has not changed his stance on encryption.In a TV interview with American chat show host Charlie Rose last night, Mr Cook refused to comment on speculation about whether Apple was developing a car . “I don’t believe that the tradeoff here is privacy versus national security,” he said. “I think that’s an overly simplistic view. Most interestingly, Rose had unprecedented face time with many areas of that have until now been inaccessible to all but a handful of people intimately involved in the creation their genre-defining products.

Lawmakers a few years ago accused Apple of stashing billions of dollars overseas to avoid higher U.S. rates — but asked about it, Cook derided the criticism as “total political crap.” He repeated his argument that Apple “pay[s] more taxes in this country than anyone,” and he stressed it’s “past time” for Congress to reform the tax code. “I’d love to bring it home,” Cook said of Apple’s foreign cash, but the CEO said he had not because “it costs me 40 percent to bring it home, and I don’t think that’s reasonable.” CLINTON PITCHES ‘MANHATTAN PROJECT’ FOR ENCRYPTION — The former Secretary of State made her most direct comments yet on the balance between data security and national security at Saturday’s Democratic debate, calling on tech firms and the intelligence community to work together creatively. “I would hope that, given the extraordinary capabilities the tech community has, and the legitimate needs and questions from law enforcement, there could be a Manhattan-like Project,” Clinton said in reference to the government effort that helped develop nuclear weapons. At the outset when the mandatory question about Steve Jobs was asked, Tim Cook said, “I’ve never met anyone on the face of the earth like him before.” “Who had this incredible, uncanny ability to see around the corner; who had this relentless driving force for perfection,” he continued. We should have both.” This follows proposals by both the US and UK governments that the intelligence services should have access to people’s private communications – requiring the providers of these services to break encryption. “Here’s the situation is on your smartphone today, on your iPhone, there’s likely health information, there’s financial information. FEDS CHECKING PUBLIC SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS IN VISA PROCESS, OBAMA SAYS — The president told reporters at his pre-holiday press conference Friday that national security officials are “constantly monitoring public posts” on social media, seeking to knock down insinuations that the feds are missing obvious red flags when reviewing visa applications. “It’s important to distinguish between posts that are public, social media on a Facebook page, versus private communications through various social media or apps,” Obama said. There’s probably business secrets and you should have the ability to protect it,” said Cook. “The only way we know how to do that, is to encrypt it.

His spirit will always be the DNA of this company.” The meeting with Jony Ive–considered to be the most important person at Apple today–happened within the Apple Design Studio; a room marked by black cloth shrouding what lay under apparently huge work tables. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said last week his agency has pilot programs to do so, but stressed that there were “legal limits on what the Feds could do.” The president also spoke frankly about the technical limitations: “[W]e’re going to have to recognize that no government is going to have the capacity to read every single person’s texts or social media if it’s not posted publicly,” he said. Ive’s team consists of 22 designers, all of whom understandably operate as a very tightly-knit unit: over the course of the last decade-and-a-half, only two have departed.

NCTA asked the FCC to direct the coalition to answer a series of questions about its presentation and proposal. “The Commission should not permit such obfuscation in any proceeding, let alone a proceeding like this one where highly technical issues should be fully disclosed and subjected to full analysis before the Commission takes further action,” the cable group wrote. The two that were chosen were those that ‘felt right’; not just in the tactile sense, but in the sense that they felt right emotionally–clearly a belief that courses through the design of every Apple product. In referencing the iPhones, Ive said that these products represented just the tip of the iceberg, that the different textures “considerably impact your perception of the product.” In the case of the Apple Watch, from sketching the prototype to designing an accurate 3D mesh using CAD software to creating highly precise models of the products using CNC machines, the entire process is overlooked by Apple’s design team which includes testing materials and colors that would finally make it to the product. Speaking of the camera used in Apple’s iPhones, Graham Townsend, Director of Camera Hardware, revealed the camera assembly comprises over 200 individual parts, all occupying an area roughly the size of a coat button. Alluding to the phone’s processing power, he revealed, “24 billion operations go into the taking of a single photo.” Interestingly, when asked about whether Apple’s successive products ran the risk of cannibalizing the sales of their predecessors, Phil Schiller, Apple’s Head of Marketing, said, “It’s not a danger, it’s almost by design.

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