Saturday, February 20, 2016

Apple's encryption war with the FBI

The past week has mostly been about the inevitable leaks of Samsung and LG's upcoming flagship devices which looks to be a tight battle between the two Android giants. But in the more general (non-tech) debate that has come up over the week is that Tim Cook, Apple CEO publically announces that they are vetoing the federal magistrate's order to assist the FBI in de-crypting the data on Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone 5C. Farook was one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino shooters which killed 14 people and seriously injure 22 people in last December.

The San Bernardino attack is believed to be the worst terrorist attack to occur in America since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. And this is why the FBI is persistent in finding the motive behind the attack in California. Now this is where the debate with Apple comes up, the two terrorists involved in the shooting was killed during pursuit and one of the current leads as to motive behind the attacks now lies in an iPhone 5C which has a passcode on it.
My thoughts on the iPhone 5C, do users really want a colorful iPhone ?"the iPhone 5C Is Apple’s iPhone aimed towards users which don’t have too much money to fork out for an iPhone. The device comes in 5 colors and is not exactly that colorful like what the rumors stated. The iPhone 5C is powered by hardware which is about 1 year old now or if you put it in a better sounding way it works like an iPhone 5 but doesn’t look like one." Continue reading.
Apple has been a great advocate of security (and encryption) since the early days and Tim Cook says that this incident is no exception for Apple to do away from their beliefs that customers should have the right to know that their data is secure. The FBI says that Apple's rejection to the court's order is causing a stalling the entire investigation. Prior to this event, the FBI has always tried to persuade American tech companies to provide the bureau with a "backdoor" that allows them to access data from a service/device. But companies argued that if such a encryption key is given out to the FBI, that would essentially get rid of the idea behind securing data that is inaccessible to anyone but the owner.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Four years and counting!

It is that time of the year again, this site which started off as The Technology of Today in 2012 is now 4 years old. I know I say this nearly every single year but this feels just like yesterday that I started blogging all about the tech news every afternoon during high school. The times sure have passed real quick and the site in my opinion is going at a steady pace in the last year. Not as quick of a pace as we had during the first year but I am pretty content with the progress of articles in the last year.

Compared to 2014, I managed to crunch up 46 articles last year which doubles the 25 I did in 2014. The number sure is insignificant compared to what we had in the year 2012 (nearly 1,000 articles published). This year in particular, I am looking to double that number by chugging out more content to this site each week. Last year, I tried out a weekly segment dubbed the 'Weekend Review' and that worked pretty well with my schedule. Also, if you have noticed, towards the end of last year, I was trying out a new schedule which had me posting two articles every week. That is what I am trying to implement this year and I will try my best to keep my schedule open to do just that.

This site is still exclusive to the feature and review articles and if you want to read tech news from us, head on over to our Malaysia site where I do post news articles there. I have no plans to reintroduce news articles on this site for the time being but through the feature/review articles on this site, I will backlink the relevant news articles back to our Malaysia site. In terms of articles, I realized that I have been talking a lot lot about Microsoft products in the last year, I will try to tone down on that and talk more about other tech products. Maybe go a little in-depth into the science of curved OLED TVs or just debating about whether Intel taking away overclocking on non-k CPUs is a bad thing or not.

Highlights of 2015 

  • What's next for Samsung: In this article, I talked about what the future holds for Samsung as the competition is getting stronger. Read about that here
  • Windows 10 Review: The biggest software release every by Microsoft and I explain most of the good and bad about Microsoft's new desktop operating system. Read the full review here
  • Microsoft Lumia turns blue, what happened to purple: This is still a little bit of an odd ball as it is not clear why Microsoft is opting for blue instead or purple. Read the full story here
  • Oaxis Star.21 Review: Forming a new habit in three weeks: Finally got the chance to do this review after delaying it for a long long time. Read about the fitness band here
  • Setting up the Raspberry Pi 2 for the first time: This marks a new journey for me into the Internet of Things, there is potential for more Raspberry Pi content in the future. Check out my first impressions of the $35 board here

As for changes to me myself in 2016, I have moved west to America from Malaysia and expect to see some articles dedicated to the technology life in America. I've already concluded an introductory article about Ting last weekend and maybe I'll do something like BestBuy store review or something in the lines of that.

Anyway, here is to the next year of tech blogging. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

My transition from T-Mobile to Ting

Do you even ting? 

Smartphones these days have advanced so quickly and manufacturers are constantly swapping out expansion possibilities and maybe even the headphone jack in the case of the next generation iPhone but one thing still remains, the SIM card is still something that you need to make call, get data, send text messages and also to receive voicemails. SIM cards themselves have evolved quite significantly in the last few years with the card becoming smaller to fit the needs of ultra slim and compact smartphones of this generation.

But one thing has not changed, wireless carries (or telcos if you prefer that) are still charging users a premium for data, messaging and calls. Particularly in America, both T-Mobile and AT&T are among the popular options for those coming by the US for a holiday or for a short period of time just because they support GSM devices. I find it quite silly that the most cheapest prepaid plan from either AT&T and T-Mobile offer only 1GB of speedy 4G LTE data and unlimited text and calls. However you could always just opt-in for a pay-as-you go plan but that'll require some tentative tracking of what you're using.

That rounds up to about $40 a month for the most basic prepaid plan that either carriers offer. I could understand why someone would benefit from unlimited calls but really, unlimited texts makes it sounds like text messaging is still a hip thing these days. But that is what the big players are offering, if you look on the other end of the spectrum, we have smaller carriers like Ting and FreedomPop which utilizes the same network from either Sprint or T-Mobile but in a much cost effective price range. Essentially, both Ting and FreedomPop have this pay-as-you go plans which are priced more affordable than what you get from the big four