FBI and Police Departments Endorse Apple’s Full Device Encryption

Via Daring Fireball:

The Washington Post:

FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encryption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices — even when they have valid search warrants.

I can’t think of a better endorsement of Apple and iOS.

“Apple will become the phone of choice for the pedophile,” said John J. Escalante, chief of detectives for Chicago’s police department. ‘The average pedophile at this point is probably thinking, I’ve got to get an Apple phone.”

Well, that didn’t take long. An even stronger endorsement. The pedophile card is pretty much the last resort for these law enforcement types who feel entitled to the content of our digital devices. Fear mongering with bogeymen and an appeal to base emotions.

Better Late Than Never

Last weekend Ben and I flew down to Phoenix for our very belated wedding reception. Since we got married under the friends/family radar a year ago, we both thought some sort of celebration is due—not only for ourselves, but also for those same friends and family.

He somehow got me on an airplane.

Since the vast majority of the people we wanted to share in our special day lived in Arizona, we decided that Macayo’s in Phoenix would be our venue. Since we haven’t had really good Mexican food since we moved to Denver, this was a no-brainer.

Obviously, we went for a Doctor Who theme, but only the die-hard fans got the fez…

Bowties are cool.

I think everyone had a good time…

Besties. I love these women.

We had to run a few errands the next day before we left…

Feels like home.

And of course we had to visit one of our old (and hopefully future, in 2-3 years) stomping grounds…

Then we met a few of our friends at Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles for brunch before heading to the airport. Absolute heaven…

I miss these women more than words can express.

Aspire to Greatness

I know I’m a little late to the blogging party on this one, but much like Robin Williams’ passing, this one really hurt. I mean, I didn’t know the woman personally, but her humor and outrageousness has been a part of my life since I first heard What Becomes a Legend Most back in 1980. I don’t remember now if I’d heard of Rivers prior to this or not, but once I heard that recording I was hooked.

As the years progressed and her very vocal LGBT advocacy became more and more pronounced, culminating with her famous, “Oh grow up!” line in the midst of the AIDS crisis, she endeared herself to my soul. I still have a copy of her “Can We Talk?” AIDS pamphlet somewhere.

While her humor in these later years at times seemed more pointed, nasty and some may even say—tired—than in the past, I remained a fan. Yes, there were times when I turned off Fashion Police simply because the manufactured venom (obviously jokes written for her, not by her at that point) crossed the line even for my libertine sensibilities, but I never stopped respecting her for all she’d done for the gay community.

You are missed, Joan and gone too soon.

Dear Denver Drivers…

I know it’s a problem worthy of a degree in rocket science, but a solid line on the pavement means DO NOT CROSS OVER. It does not mean DO NOT CROSS OVER…unless you’re in a hurry, or DO NOT CROSS OVER…unless you have to get in traffic ahead of someone else, or DO NOT CROSS OVER…unless you weren’t paying attention and need to get off now, or DO NOT CROSS OVER…unless you’re high and don’t even know what the fuck you’re doing.

It means DO NOT CROSS OVER. Period.

Thank you.

♫ Can’t Stay Away, Can’t Stay Away♫

Call me a glutton for punishment.

After my initial foray into beta testing Yosemite and having too many issues with the mouse dropping its connection, I returned to Mavericks a couple weeks ago. Yeah, Mavericks was stable, but having seen the beautiful new future Apple was teasing us with, I reloaded the Yosemite Beta, ran the updates and have been using it since. I have to say that the latest release has cleared up most of the problems I was having. I say most because occasionally the bluetooth will still just say, “No, no, no…” and the mouse will disappear, but nowhere near as often as it had been happening previously. Also, the myriad other little bugs I had reported over the course of my testing seem to have been squashed up by the folks at Apple.

An endless source of amusement for me during all this has been the OS X 10.10 forum at MacRumors. Folks are falling into two camps: Yosemite is beautiful, and Yosemite is UGLY.

Personally, I think it’s stunning—and it was the main reason I couldn’t stay away. By comparison, Mavericks now looks old and dated to me.

The ones calling it ugly seem to have no good reason other than the user interface has changed from what it was. But it’s not like Jony Ive took a steamroller, wholesale, to their beloved skeumorphism; there are still plenty of three-dimensional, real-world icons throughout the OS. And ironically, the same ones who are decrying the loss of dimensionality are the same ones who are bitching about the new translucency of certain windows. The ones I really like are the folks who say, “If this is Apple’s view of the future I’m going to Windows!”

Buh-Bye. Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.

Amen, Sister!

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” ~ Meryl Streep

Are You There, Universe?

It’s me, Mark.

I need a new job.

Seriously.

But I guess I that’s not going to happen if I don’t spell out exactly what I want now, will it?

While I had complaints about my last job in Phoenix, the mere fact that I stayed there nearly eight years (and would probably still be there in some form if we hadn’t relocated) says a lot about what works for me. Unforunately, my work situation since we moved to Denver has been—how shall I say this? Unacceptable.

I’m looking for a smallish-firm, maybe 250-500 employees or so. But not so small that I’m the only I.T. guy. I don’t mind being the only desktop guy, but I don’t want to handle servers, connectivity beyond basic troubleshooting, dealing with telecommunications vendors, purchasing, receiving, or anything that is—as my former boss used to call it—”behind the wall.”

My first job in Denver was pretty much like this, but upper management maintained a continual adversarial stance toward I.T. in general, which meant that during the two years I was there we went through three I.T. directors with an average gap of six months between each one, during which time  I was expected to handle everything, and given copious amounts of attitude when I failed to meet their unrealistic expectations.

As I said, while I had complaints about the Phoenix job, the basic mechanics of it were nearly ideal. We were a large firm, but since each desktop guy had their own facility to support with anywhere from 250-400 users, it seemed much smaller. The workload wasn’t horrific, but it was enough to keep boredom at bay and allowed for occasional goof-off down time. The entire I.T. department was very close-knit, and while I rarely socialized with any of my colleagues after hours, I still came to view them as friends and not just co-workers.

And while I didn’t mind driving between facilities to help out my peers in Phoenix, a single location is a must in Denver—simply because of the winter weather.

Pay? $50K a year would be nice. I’m worth more than that and was making more in Phoenix, but I’m trying to be realistic considering the depressing pay scale here. As it stands now, I’m making significantly less than that; pretty much what I was bringing home in 2006. Considering the cost of living in Denver is actually higher than Phoenix, it hasn’t been easy.

I’d also like receive a modicum of respect from whatever company I work for and not be treated like an I.T. Janitor (or required to wear a requisite uniform) as I am at my current place of employment. And while I enjoy a fun work environment as much as anyone, there’s a fine line between fun and frat house.

As far as the industry? I miss Healthcare, but getting back into it isn’t an absolute.

And lastly, I need relatively easy commute via public transit on snow days.

I don’t think I’m asking that much, but if I don’t put it out there it’s gonna be kind of hard for it to come my way.