Bill Gates has broken ranks with Silicon Valley in the stand-off between Apple and the US government, saying technology companies should be forced to co-operate with law enforcement in terrorism investigations.

John Gruber: It seems to me he’s arguing that we should not be allowed to have devices protected by strong encryption.

Yet another reason I continue to avoid your products, sir.

The county government that owned the iPhone in a high-profile legal battle between Apple Inc. and the Justice Department paid for but never installed a feature that would have allowed the FBI to easily and immediately unlock the phone as part of the terrorism investigation into the shootings that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

Between this and the news that the FBI changed Farook’s iCloud password (thus running any possibility of forcing an iCould backup Apple could hand over), I think this case is mostly about the FBI and San Bernardino being totally incompetent.

No surprise, I’m with Gruber on this.

Could Pichai’s response be any more lukewarm? He’s not really taking a stand, and the things he’s posing as questions aren’t actually in question. I’m glad he chimed in at all, and that he seems to be leaning toward Apple’s side, but this could be a lot stronger.

I love G+, but I don’t really have much faith in Google as a company.

Two reasons why I hate you, Microsoft AutoUpdate:

1. When you run, you take over, claiming focus and interrupting whatever the heck it is I may be doing at the time.

2. After updating, you then check for updates again, and there never are any, after which you TELL ME “Sorry, try again later” as if I was the one who initiated the check.

All this for apps I almost never use.

Thoughts on Becoming Steve Jobs

Yesterday, I finished reading the new Jobs bio by Brent Schneider and Rick Tetzeli, which I tore through pretty quickly. I’m very pleased; anyone interested in Apple or Jobs as a businessman should consider this a must-read.

The biggest arguments for this in comparison to the Issacson bio are: 1) the authors’ extensive knowledge of the field of both personal computers and the tech business, 2) extensive coverage of Jobs’ years at NeXT and Pixar, which get short shrift in Issacson’s book, and 3) many insightful interviews with Jobs’ colleagues, competitors, friends (which Schneider can count himself among), and family. Essentially, these authors “get” their subject in a way that Issacson did not.

The trajectory of the book as it pursues its thesis — Jobs’ evolution as a business leader and tech innovator — is also something I found more compelling than Issacson’s more traditional biographic perspective. Their discussion of people they see as Jobs’ various mentors had me adding books on them to my Wish List.

It’s great read and, especially towards the end as it tackles Jobs’ illness and passing of the reins to Tim Cook, can be quite moving. I consider it the definitive book on Jobs at this point.

In looking for links to include with this post, I stumbled upon original Apple employee and Macintosh team member Andy Hertzfeld’s response to the book. He seems a lot more favorable towards Issacson and raises some interesting concerns about this book:

(Hertzfeld’s Revolution in the Valley is one of the best books ever written about Apple and the Macintosh; I cannot recommend it enough. You can read it for free at, but the book itself is a worthy artifact to have on your shelf.)

And the book’s co-author, Rick Tetzeli, responds to Hertzfeld in turn: