By Greg Mills
Sometimes two elements of current events cross paths. I just about died laughing at a cartoon I saw where it was implied bin Laden was taken down due to carrying an iPhone.
The truth is, he didn’t trust anything more electronic than a toaster and only toasters without an LED on them. The Australian press ran a story speculating that a million dollar villa that didn’t have a telephone or Internet was part of what confirmed to our intelligence agencies that someone who lived there was hiding. The tracking of everything electronic by governments around the world is well known. The extent of that surveillance is not as well known.
Unlike a lot of people who carry smart phones, the notion that your phone carried a virtual map with dated location points came as a shock to a lot of us. From what I hear, Apple will be removing the location cache held on the computer iOS devices sync with and reducing the maximum location files to seven days. That will go a long way towards restoring confidence that our location data is secure to the point a warrant is required to access it.
The press is also loaded with stories about the cloud computing concept some tech bloggers have implied is almost certain to replace hard drives. I am not so sure that is really as certain as some have speculated. Frankly, spending a few bucks more for an iPad with more memory or a laptop with a larger hard dive isn’t that big a deal to me.
If I were to store my data in the cloud and the cloud crashed or was hacked and my data lost or stolen, that would be a big deal. Apple, Malrosoft, Amazon, Google, Sony and others have experimented with the notion of offering cloud type data storage for everything from music, video and even renting apps to be used on a local computing device. Every single one of them have had outages, breeches, and lost data. I am not sold it is in the best interest of anyone to forgo some data storage under their control to take advantage of the cloud.
I expect a serious sales pitch on the advantages of the cloud but the real dangers I listed above remain valid counterpoints. Recently, AT&T has taken steps to limit the amount of data that can be downloaded over Internet services they offer. What this amount to is responding to the likes of Netflix and other streaming services who use an inordinate amount of bandwidth that the internet services can’t really charge for if consumers have unlimited data plans.
Apple is expected to enter the cloud market soon and to challenge NetFlix or buy them out. We are lucky in Kansas City, Kansas, that we will have the Google 1 Gig fiber internet service soon. WIth one Gig symmetrical internet service data bandwidth limits will go away. The new iMacs that came out today have a fiber optic port on them to support up to 10 gigs.
Thunderbolt ports will be showing up on everything new that Apple puts out. Look for Thunderbolt ports on the new AirPort routers, as well as most other Apple computers. The iPad may remain limited to WiFi or syncing as they do now but 1 Gig WIFi is already in the works.
That’s Greg’s Bite for today.
(Greg Mills is currently a graphic and Faux Wall Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. Greg is an Extra Class Ham Radio Operator, AB6SF, iOS developer and web site designer. He’s also working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process for turning waste dual pane glass window units into thermal solar panels used to heat water see: www.CottageIndustySolar.com Married, with one daughter, Greg writes for intellectual property web sites and on Mac/Tech related issues. See Greg’s art web site at http://www.gregmills.info He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org )