Your next computer

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Apple Computers.  There have been some interesting stories.

Apple’s New Proprietary Software Locks Will Kill Independent Repair on New MacBook Pros

This is an interesting one.  It was spawned by a supposedly internal Apple memo indicating that you need to have the person who repairs your computer run a piece of software to complete the task.  Otherwise a lock on the system will cause it to be unable to run.

Subsequent to the original post, some testing was done on a brand new MacBook Pro and the lock didn’t kick in.  At least yet.

I suppose the logic is that Apple wants to ensure quality repairs rather than anyone with a screwdriver having at it.  Of course, even now, you do need, at times, to have specific tools to complete the job.  I found that out on a personal basis when I replaced my traditional hard drive with an SSD.  That went fine but there was another connector that I didn’t have the part to do the job completely.  Fortunately, there was an independent Apple repair centre in Windsor that could help out.  Unfortunately, they are now out of business.  My closest Apple store is in London, two hours away.

If this indeed kicks in, and we buy the highest priced MacBook Pro, do we need to have proof from any repair company that they can do the entire job which now might include running that software?

Chinese spy chips are found in hardware used by Apple, Amazon, Bloomberg says; Apple, AWS say no way

With electronics and its ever so small parts, it’s not inconceivable that there’s truth in this story although there are plenty of denials.  But how do you know for absolute certain?  Whose word do you trust?

There are lots of documented cases where spyware gets installed and just sits there waiting for instruction before delivering its payload.  So, could there be a “spy chip” just sitting there biding its time until called upon?

Fortunately, at this time, each of these stories seem to be a great deal about nothing.

Nothing, that is, except for the price of stocks with Apple, Amazon, and Super Micro according to the report from CNBC.

The technology world loves conspiracy theories, insider stories, and leaks about new products so it’s not surprising that many news services picked up on the reports.

What’s a consumer or business to do?  We rely on the reputation of a company for being who or what they are.  I think we all know in our minds, who the leaders and most trustworthy companies are.  After all, we buy their products.  You’re reading this post on one that you probably acquired for yourself.

None of us are experts in technology from A to Z.  (Sorry Amazon)  We rely on companies to produce the best they can at the price point that we’re willing to pay.  We live in a world of increasing suspicion that software and web companies are tracking our moves without our permission.  This includes permission that’s buried elbow deep in acceptable use policies that you must agree to before you use the product.  In my mind, it’s not a giant leap to being equally suspicious of hardware.  For the past couple of weeks, Apple and Amazon were the target of the stories.  Who’s next?  Is the computer you’re currently using squeaky clean?

Will this affect your next computer purchase?

OTR Links 10/15/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.