iPhone has been unlocked without Apple

iPhone has been unlocked without Apple

Where you will stand on this issue probably will depend on which side of the political spectrum you come down on. A while ago the US Justice Department got a court order which ordered Apple to unlock the iPhone that belongs to the terrorists from San Bernardino so the FBI could see what information the phone held, Apple point-blank refused and took the matter to court, at the same time the US Justice Department also went back to court seeking an enforcement order. However recently the Justice Department went into court and withdrew its legal action against Apple, during that withdrawal they stated that the iPhone has been unlocked and the FBI is now going over the data in the phone to see if there's any useful intelligence to be gained.

It was the announcement that the phone had been unlocked and the contents were now available to the authorities that has caused the biggest consternation for many a year. First thing that happened was Apple turnaround and tried to take the Justice Department Court demanding to know who unlocked the phone and how they did it. For the time being the Justice Department has classified both pieces of information so Apple cannot get them. But the very fact that the iPhone has been unlocked by a third-party, the Justice Department has disclosed, has to be gentle about it, thrown a bobcat into the hen house, with tech companies running everywhere trying to figure out who, what and how what Apple said was impossible has occurred.

On top of that the American Civil Liberties Union has joined in the fight on Apple's side trying to force the Justice Department to disclose how the phone was unlocked on the grounds that Apple should be provided that information so they can prevent it happening again, again the Justice Department is basically said the information is classified. Apple then released the following information with Justice Department permission, the phone in question was an iPhone 5C running Apples iOS 9 mobile operating system, other than this revelation potentially frightening anyone who owns this phone with this configuration about how good the phones security is, no one else seems to know why the information was released.

The original court decision and subsequent court appearances between Apple and the authorities had become more more heated as Apple refused point blank to help the authorities in any way, and inciting a debate about whether privacy or security was more important. Now the phone has been unlocked Apple is now saying they would continue to help law enforcement investigations, which of course the FBI quickly reminded everybody was zero cooperation. Apple now says openly that given the rancor between the FBI and the company they doubt the FBI will ever tell him or provide them with any information relating to how the iPhone security was breached.

What most of the general public did not know is that at least three other cases in different parts of the United States have taken place where government lawyers asked for court orders to get Apple to open other locked phones so they can gather information for prosecutions, probably the best-known of these is an iPhone that was used by drug dealer in Brooklyn New York where a federal judge refused to grant the order, Apple is now extremely worried the same method will be used to open these other iPhones and there appears to be absolutely nothing they can do to stop it.

Fishing trip tech

Fishing trip tech

If you sit back and think about it for a minute you probably realize a lot of the technology you used on your last fishing trip, the superduper whizbang four-wheel-drive vehicle that got you deeper into the wilderness than you ever been before or the incredibly fast and powerful boat that got you 20 miles offshore in under an hour, if you use either of those you saw plenty of technology, everything from a GPS to the winch that helped launch the boat, they are all products of technology. Today just about the only part of a fishing trip that is not the product of technology would be if you used old-fashioned baits, like worms and homemade concoctions.

Most people don't realize modern day fishing is just about all technology, everything from lines, rods, reels, lures and hooks and even many of the baits we use, like soft plastics. Generally no fisherman wants to go back to the old days of manufacturing your own hooks, building fly rods from pieces of bamboo or other woods, using woven silk as fishing line, with leaders made from woven horse hair. The closest most modern fisherman come to manufacturing any of their own gear is for those few left who still tie their own flies but even they are using modern manufactured materials to tie those flies with. Needless to say of course they tied the fly onto a modern store-bought hook or leader.

Very few fishermen want to go back to the old-fashioned ways simply because they do not have the time to spend, up to a month, to make a single fishing rod only to have it break about the third or fourth fish you hook into. All fishermen love the convenience of being able to walk into any tackle shop and walk out 15 min. later (good luck with that one, more like 3 hours) with everything they need for a full day's fishing in any environment, the only thing that will be missing is some of the credit available on the credit card.

Depending on where you fish at and who with will depend on what the “rules” are, it is always wise to drop into the local tackle shop and just ask the owner or the shop assistant what are the local rules, in a lot of places no one really cares but in some places even using high-tech fish finders is considered to be unsportsmanlike conduct and won't make you any friends. In most states fishing regulations apply but most of these regulations do not address technology directly, the biggest fishing technique that is not even mentioned in nearly every regulation is fishing using a model compound bow and high-tech arrows.

These days even fly fisherman can be seen using depth finders and GPS devices together, when asked what they're doing they will tell you that the use of these two technological marvels allows them to plot the water depth and temperature and recorded in the GPS for future reference, so the fishermen doesn't even need to remember his favorite fishing spot anymore, he just looks it up. The point is that there is no question of whether we should or should not use technology when fishing, we are using it already, like it or not, so what can be wrong with keeping up with the times.

Microsoft trumpets Windows 10

Microsoft trumpets Windows 10

Recently at an event for developers in San Francisco Microsoft continued to trumpet Windows 10, which it will continue to bank on in the near future, but they seem to be moving into artificial intelligence software as well in a big way. They delivered twin messages at the event saying at first that Windows 10 is now running on 270 million active devices, this only 8 months after it was released to the public, they said that this is the fastest adoption ever of a new version of Windows, no mention was made of the fact that in a lot of cases Microsoft has forced the upgrade on unsuspecting and unwilling users.

Along with the chest beating over Windows 10 Microsoft also revealed a whole bunch of new tools for developers to create bots, which are pieces of software that can be used in the production of new methods of interacting with computers, such as a chat interface for ordering your favorite Chinese takeout. Microsoft CEO said that the company wants to build intelligence that augments human abilities and experience. Most analysts believe the bot move is a risky gamble, Microsoft also recently released a Twitter chatbot called Tay that uses artificial intelligence software to respond to communications from Twitter users. The experiment blew up in Microsoft's face when people fooled the bot into repeating racist and sexist comments mostly and generally other offensive language, Microsoft shut Tay down and the CEO said the experience had humbled Microsoft.

But he went on to say immediately that Microsoft had gone back to the drawing board on projects like Tay. Another area of new technology that Microsoft is now heavily involved in is an augmented reality headset that overlays digital images on the wearers view of the real world they are looking at, at $3000 each this product is really only aimed at developers making applications for the headset. Microsoft CEO was asked when and if it will start selling a version of the headset to the public and how much it would cost, he could not answer the question definitively, just saying that it was coming.

Another question the CEO was asked at the event was about the company saying that it expected Windows 10 to not only reverse Microsoft's fading stature in the technology industry but that Windows 10 would be on 1 billion devices 2 to 3 years after it was released, both the CEO and executive vice president of the Windows and devices group at Microsoft said they were confident the company could still reach that objective.

They did admit however that Windows 10 does not do everything Microsoft hoped it would. And that its success has not significantly shifted any technology industry dynamics, mobile platforms like Apples iOS and Google's android are still being installed more often than Windows 10 simply because software developers are always hunting for the largest and most engaged audience of users, and today that audience are all carrying smart phones not PCs. Also another factor working against Microsoft's Windows 10 is that PC sales still continue their slow but steady decline.

Most pundits in the industry however suggest that more and more software will be designed for the Windows 10 operating system as it gets taken up by more users.

NASA testing an E-sail

NASA testing an E-sail

Most people interested in space travel technology know that the biggest problem even traveling around our own solar system is the length of time it takes to get anywhere using the current technology. For instance we all know it took Voyager 1 over 30 years to reach interstellar space, which is a quick way of saying, outer space or outside of our solar system. This incredibly long length of time just makes any kind of space travel not only horribly expensive and dangerous but for human species just too long. But what if there is a way to get from Earth to interstellar space inside of 10 years, with talking a journey of 11,000,000,000 miles in under 10 years. That would be an incredibly vast improvement on what we can actually do today.

NASA think they have a way and have been testing the new technology at the Marshall space flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The full technical name for what they're testing is the Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System or HERTS, and what basically is is an electric sail, it uses no propellant except for the solar winds. This is using a giant solar sail which is made of Mylar spread on gossamer threads to catch the incredibly fast and powerful solar winds. In case you don't know the solar winds are a constant stream of protons and other charged particles coming from the sun at speeds from 400 to 750 km per second, that is in excess of 900,000 mph.

This idea has already been tested in Earth orbit but that proved to be a far from perfect solution. The biggest problem they had was actually deploying the giant sail, which proved difficult even in zero gravity, another problem they encounted was that the force of the solar winds is proportional to the distance you are from the sun and once you reach a distance of 464,000,000 miles from the sun the acceleration falls off dramatically. The major difficulty with deploying the sail came because nearly all the winches and cables are miniscule, your deploying a sail that is 20 km long on its radius but weighs only a few grams for each of the gossamer threads.

The most effective method they found to deploy the sail was by spinning it, the centrifugal force involved gradually opened the sail until it was fully deployed, they also found out purely by accident that a slowly rotating sail actually works better than one that is sitting still. How the sail actually works, it is electrostatically charged to repel the fast-moving positively charged protons, that repulsion pushes the spacecraft along exactly like a sailboat running before the wind. You can even steer this type of spacecraft exactly as you would steer a sailboat, you trim its sails by modulating each wire as voltage as the sale is rotating and it reflects less protons, with more pressure being exerted on the other parts of the sail the spacecraft will then turn in the direction that you want it to.