Peeling Apple for the CIA

Unhappy Mac

Oopsie. I guess this means the Geniuses at the local Apple Store will be taking turns pouring Coca-Cola, honey and kiddie porn into my iMac this morning.

[The Intercept] said it based its story on “top-secret” documents received directly from whistleblower Edward Snowden. It alleges Sandia researchers tried to find security flaws in Apple devices to open “backdoors” for surveillance of any device.

Thanks a lot, fellas. Now instead of a daily crash or three I’m gonna have to listen to this. And Dave’s not even here, man.

• Editor’s note: Hat tip to Steve O’ for flagging this first, in comments.

• Today’s Gratuitous Apple Joke: Early adopters, take note. If you like the Apple Watch, you’re going to love the Apple CockRing. It grabs you by the nuts and squeezes until you sign over your 401(k) & IRA to Cupertino.

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15 Responses to “Peeling Apple for the CIA”

  1. Steve O Says:

    Our tax dollars at work.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Are you going to fix one and buy another this morning?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      No, sir. I b’leeve I’m all Mac’d out at this point. The Geniuses are waving their iWands over my iMac in hopes of finding some hardware fault, and if it turns out the HDD and/or the ATI Radeon card are on the way out, they’ll replace them both for a few hundy. Lots cheaper than a new one.

      If they don’t find something? Well, that’s another kettle of iFish. I might just keep working on the MacBook Pro. It’s considerably newer, has enjoyed much lighter use, and hasn’t started acting out (yet).

      Then again, my colleague Mike Deme at Adventure Cyclist is still rocking a 2010 2.8 GHz quad-core Mac Pro and says they’ll have to pry it from his cold, dead fingers. A fella can buy those all day long from Other World Computing and PowerMax. Biggest fear there, I think, is end-of-life. The Geniuses tell me that my late-2009 iMac is on the verge, so can the ’10s be much further behind?

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        No, I think, but I’m certainly no expert, that your equipment is on the verge of death. The problem I had was that the old version of Safari was no longer supported by many web sites. So, just get the new version of Safari, right. No, can’t do that without the new OS X. So, I get Snow Leopard for $20 so I can download Mavericks for free. Can’t go directly to Mavericks from whatever the hell was before Snow Leopard. I forgot, but then I forgot what I had for breakfast. Any who, after Mavericks was installed things slowed down. Hardware can’t quite keep up with new software. And that was after I added memory to buy another year of life for the 2008 iMac. Things kept getting slower with every software update. So, I popped. I would have gotten a reconditioned iMac, but went new so I could get $250 for my old one in trade from a joint only 70 miles from home. Life in the boonies. I have accepted that about every 3 or 4 years I will trade up to a new iMac, if Simutech stays open, just to dodge the agony of nursing an old one. Too bad we won’t do that with congress.

  3. Larry T. Says:

    I’m wondering the same sort of thing with a refurbished, cheapo Dell laptop I bought in a panic a few years back when my lightweight Toshiba started acting up. This old thing sat on the shelf for a few years until last September when the since refurbished Toshiba started acting up again. Still running Micro-crap XP to boot! None of this new shit seems to be much of an improvement over the previous stuff….kind of like 11-speed bicycle drivetrains? Or disky bicycle brakes?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Larry, I’ve bought a lot of refurbished Apple over the years, same way I buy used cars. The hope is that whatever was gonna break already done did it.

      Maybe it’s just Get Off My Lawn disease, a.k.a. McCain Syndrome, but I’m not a fan of the new stuff either, hardware or software. I locked up the cantilevers on my Soma Double Cross at speed yesterday and wowie zowie: I stopped. Imagine that.

  4. Libby Says:

    New MacBook or refurbished? Just have an iPhone and iPad now. I need to get my photos off my devices for starters. I went to an Apple Store 2 weeks ago and priced 2 options. The lowest price laptop with plans and sales tax was $1800 and $2000+. Yiy.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Hi Libby. I urge caution in transferring photos. Make sure that any photos you moved from a camera or desktop/laptop computer onto your iPhone are in the full resolution they were on the camera or original computer. I had photos stored on an older iPod Touch, 3rd generation without a built in camera, and they were not at the original resolution from the camera or stored on my iMac desktop computer. I don’t know about the iPad. Might want to ask a genius at the Apple store.

      • Libby Says:

        Thank you, Pat. I am not aware of that. That’s a big deal to me and I just assume Apple to Apple would have no issues. Dumb dumb dumb de dumb dumb….

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, Libby … I likewise urge caution, both in transferring data and as regards buying the new stuff.

      Consider buying refurbished to (a) save a few bucks, and (2) be reasonably sure that someone else has already endured the hard-drive, OS and/or graphics-card failures.

      The new MacBook, when it hits stores in April, will start at $1,299. If history is any indication, you will see some price drops on older models shortly before then.

      If you go new, definitely grab the AppleCare service package. I used to do without, but not anymore. The Genius Bar at the Apple Store here in Duke City is rockin’ all the damn’ time, and you don’t want to be out of pocket for anything pricey.

      As to data transfers, I never used iPhoto to store and organize pix anyway. I just drag and drop what I need onto the HDD and archive stuff in my own peculiar fashion. Apple’s getting set to do away with it in any case in favor of an app simply called “Photos,” which apparently is not making anyone happy, whether noobs or pros.

      • Libby Says:

        Thank you, Patrick. Yes, the prices I quoted did include the Apple Care and the One to One. I thought the only benefit to buying refurbished was the lower price. Thanks for making me aware of the tech benefits. And it’s good to know that option has worked for you – I know you’ve mentioned it in the past.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Here’s a good price on a decent piece of machinery. I’ve bought from these folks before.

      Here’s a St. Patrick’s Day deal from MacMall. Same machine I’m typing on right now, though mine has 8 GB of memory.

      I’m starting to think 8 GB of memory is pretty much a floor rather than a ceiling, but your mileage may vary. I wish I’d maxed out this MacBook when I bought it, but as usual I was operating with brain damage.

      • Libby Says:

        Thanks for these links and suggestions. I like the refurbished route and now that you’ve provided this info I think I could navigate that path.

  5. Steve O Says:

    // The researchers “boasted” that they had discovered a way to manipulate Xcode so it could serve as a conduit for infecting and extracting private data from devices that use apps built with the infected software, according to The Intercept. //

    From what I’ve read, the CIA built a bogus version of Xcode that would infect all apps written on it. Hardly a new discovery. Compiler integrity has been a concern ever since punch cards. The problem with the CIA’s plan is that they have to get a developer to build his app of this bogus compiler or IDE, then hope Apple doesn’t catch it when he submits his app to the App Store. Possible, in theory, but NFL. (Not fucking likely.)

    So I’m disgusted that the CIA tried this. But also disappointed that they tried it.

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