iOS

Podcast 501: The FBI says never mind

Well, that was...weird. After a month of insisting, even under oath before Congress, that only Apple had the required technical expertise to assist the FBI in extracting every bit of evidence from the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook—after all that—it turns out, the FBI didn’t need Apple’s help anyway.

Huh.

Fortuitously, this week Glenn and Susie are joined by Jonathan Zdziarski, who is exactly the person you want to speak with if you’re trying to figure out what the crap just happened. Zdziarski is a security researcher and iOS forensics expert, and he’s been blogging and tweeting about the FBI’s tangle with Apple the entire time. You don’t want to miss this discussion.

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iOS

Podcast 500: SE Stands for Super Exciting

The Macworld podcast celebrates its 500th episode! Yes, 500 years ago—we mean 11 years ago, this podcast started humbly as an experiment by a Macworld intern turned staffer recorded partly in a conference room with a nerdy guest named…Glenn Fleishman calling in remotely. Did the experiment succeed?

In this episode, after a welcome from one-time staffer Cyrus Farivar, Susie and Glenn talk with columnist and former editor Jason Snell about Apple’s introduction of the iPhone SE and Jason’s hands-on time with it. We also discuss the latest in the FBI/Apple case, the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and the iMessage security flaw patched this week.

Glenn takes a literal field trip this episode, too, to check in with a long-time contributor about his ruminations on the paucity of thoughtfulness among pundits: We chew the cud with the Macalope.

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Podcast 499: iPhone SE predictions

It's the week before Apple unveils the iPhone SE, _if that is its real name_, and like kids on a podcast a week before Christmas morning, we speculate on what we're going to get, and whether Santa might skimp on little details like adequate storage or a headphone jack. Senior Editor Roman Loyola joins Glenn and Susie in wondering how Apple is going to sell this thing, and how well that might work.

Elsewhere (including at South by Southwest!), don't you know it, that little spat about encryption and free speech and terrorism and privacy and iPhones and freedom is _still_ going on? Don't worry, John Oliver is here to explain it all—and in the process he could help make Apple's case more sympathetic to a whole lot of people.

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iOS

Podcast 498: What the heck is a 'dormant cyber pathogen'?

What? The whole encryption debate and multiple court cases didn’t get settled in the 7 days since our last podcast? That’s weird. Well, luckily we’re back to talk about the new threat from the sky, or inside the house, or wherever it’s supposed to be allegedly coming from. Dormant cyber pathogens are coming for our souls. Or not, since they were made up by someone who has since admitted to making them up. Moving on.

Apple has a Twitter account to help people with problems, although we hope Macworld’s mentions from people who think we are Apple remain as profane as ever. Oh, and some ransomware was discovered piggybacking on Transmission, which is Susie’s worst nightmare but no biggie for Glenn, who has fiber Internet and two cloud backup services. (Be like Glenn, everybody. Although Susie has her moments too.)

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Podcast 497: Calmly discussing FBI vs. Apple

In the week since our last podcast, a cathartic session with security expert and our friend Rich Mogull, Apple’s tiff with the FBI has been boiling away. Apple’s filed a motion to dismiss the order, got a small victory in a different but related case in New York, and as we sat down to record, the company’s chief counsel and senior VP, Bruce Sewell, was sitting down in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

So there’s plenty more to obsess over in this story, but that’s not the only thing we have to discuss. We also follow up on why that weird Error 53 message was so cryptic, and our expectations for the next Apple event.

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Podcast 496: Apple vs. the FBI

Just for starters, if you haven’t been following the whole brouhaha between Apple and the FBI, this podcast isn’t going to make the most sense. Glenn and Susie are joined by security expert and Macworld contributor Rich Mogull, and they all have strong feelings that tend toward the Dark Side.

Our FAQ has a pretty good overview of the situation as it stands today, and will be updated as new events unfold. Rich wrote a stunner of a piece on how this could eviscerate civil liberties as we know them, and Glenn touched on the international implications as well. More links are in the show notes below, and obviously we’ll be keeping an eye on this story as it develops.

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iOS

Podcast 495: Bugs, more bugs, and the epoch fail

Every piece of software has bugs. Some are understandable—because after all every piece of software has bugs—but some are just dumb, like an especially egregious one that completely bricks a 64-bit iOS device if you manually roll the date back far enough (although lord only knows why you would) or the even worse Adobe one that just empties an entire folder on your hard drive.

Compared to those, our complaints about stuff like iTunes beachballing, Photos not syncing as expected, or Safari crashes seem minor. Two of Apple’s biggest software executives went on John Gruber’s podcast last week to discuss, among other things, the percpetion that Apple’s software quality is on a downward slide. Unsurprisingly, they disagreed—but at the scale Apple is operating today, even if the crash rate declines, thousands more people would be affected by each issue, compared to a smaller user base. And “the data says our software is better than ever” is a small comfort when something isn’t working and you can’t figure out why.

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