Of Apple, iOS security, and the FBI

The last 48 hours have been quite fascinating for those who, like me, are interested in security and privacy.

By now you must have heard of the ruffling of feathers of Apple against the court order date February 16th 2016, in which US Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym orders Apple to comply with 7 points. The PDF document can be easily viewed online.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has crafted a very compelling public response to the court order, and has wisely addressed it to its customers, justifying the reasons that Apple views as fundamental in NOT complying to the court order.

At first glance, I immediately approved of Apple’s behaviour, and as time passed and comments started to fly around on the web, I became even more convinced the Apple’s move is a spectacular marketing success for the whole IT and communications industry, which for the very first time has said a clear NO to an unreasonable request by a US judicial court.

Why unreasonable, one might ask? Karl Denninger, aka “Tickerguy”, explains it very well in this article. In a nutshell, forcing Apple do to something against their will, that is, writing a piece of software which would be used to defy the security protection implemented already in iOS can be considered like slavery.

When you forced to work against your will, and do something that you do not like doing, nor you believe is worth doing, is effectively slavery.

Another good coverage of what is happening was provided by Julian Sanchez in a great interview to Caleb Brown in the Cato Daily Podcast for today, February 18th 2016. Sanchez explains very clearly what has happened, a very nice interview indeed.

The last article I’d like to mention comes from FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education. Andrea Castillo, of the Mercatus Center at the George Washington University, has written a very detailed article with a large number of great links which go into much deeper details for those who’d like to learn more about what has happened. Very much worth reading and checking the many links.

I have been an Apple user for many many years, as I started my career in computers at 13 on an Apple ][+ back in 1981.

But over the last couple of days I have been even more proud of being an Apple customer, as I strongly support what Tim Cook and Apple are doing in their fight against a very unreasonable request coming from the US judicial system.

Way to go, Mr. Cook!


Don Boudreaux guest at the @JohnStossel show

The FOX show Stossel, hosted by John Stossel, which I watch online every now and then, often has very good guests.

This time it’s the turn of Professor Donald J. Boudreaux of George Mason University, a frequent guest of Econtalk, one of the best podcasts on economics that I listen to regularly.

The episode is very much worth watching, as Prof. Boudreaux hits the nail on the heads by dispelling a lot of wrong myths on economy which are often used by politicians during their campaigns. Unfortunately so.


Steve Vai’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Steve Vai has always been a hero of mine, ever since I discovered him thru my childhood friend Paolo, who was also a guitar player like Steve Vai.

I’ve watched him play live once in Milan, on November 28th 1988, during David Lee Roth’s Skyscraper tour and since in my 20s I was working as a stagehand at rock concerts, I got very close to Steve and thanked him. I was also able to get a guitar pick of his, with his name and signature on it, a pick which I later brought with me to the grave of my friend Paolo, who passed away little more than a month after that wonderful concert, after a tragic car accident in early January 1989. He was 23.

I thought that leaving Steve Vai’s guitar pick was a much better gift for Paolo, a rock guitarist, rather than just flowers!

Steve Vai has thus been a landmark of mine in my late teens and 20s, and I was very happy when I discovered this video with him on YouTube. It’s been put together by Evan Carmichael, a productivity and improvement personality.

The video is very much worth watching!