On the Future of Touch ID »

Rumors have it that Apple is struggling to put a Touch ID sensor on the front of this year’s Unicorn iPhone 8. Here’s Andy Hargreaves, an equity research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, via MacRumors, on the subject:

Likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone. We believe Apple continues to work on solving its optical fingerprint issues. If it’s able to solve the problems in the next month or so, it would likely place volume orders at that point. This would likely lead to a delay of the OLED iPhone launch, but we would not expect it to meaningfully affect volume for the cycle. If it’s not able to fix the problems in that time frame, Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether.

I really don’t see this happening. Touch ID is at the heart of unlocking the iPhone, iTunes payments and Apple Pay. Apple doesn’t want to rearchitect all of that, especially after preaching for years about the safety granted by a fingerprint sensor.

While we’re on the subject, a lot of Apple people on Twitter this weekend seemed to be angsty over the thought of the Touch ID sensor being on the back of the iPhone. Having reviewed and used several Android devices with this setup, I can say with confidence that it would not be the end of the world. There are downsides — mainly, unlocking the phone if it’s on a table — but the rest of the time, the location is totally fine. In fact, I think I prefer moving my finger over the back of an Android phone over wrenching my thumb over to the bottom-center of my iPhone.

Archive.org Now Hosting Early Mac Emulation »

Jason Scott:

After offering in-browser emulation of console games, arcade machines, and a range of other home computers, the Internet Archive can now emulate the early models of the Apple Macintosh, the black-and-white, mouse driven computer that radically shifted the future of home computing in 1984.

There’s a lot of good stuff in this collection. I’m glad to see it on Archive.org.

Ocean Worlds »

Yesterday, NASA shared news about two icy moons, one around Saturn, the other at Jupiter:

Two veteran NASA missions are providing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further heightening the scientific interest of these and other “ocean worlds” in our solar system and beyond. The findings are presented in papers published Thursday by researchers with NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn and Hubble Space Telescope.

This news — broken down on the agency’s Tumblr — is really exciting. It’s long been imagined that these under-ice oceans could hold the ingredients for life. That’s still unknown, but evidence is mounting that we may not be alone in the Solar System.

‘Nobody has to use the Internet’ »

John Brodkin at Ars Technica:

A Republican lawmaker who voted to eliminate Internet privacy rules said, “Nobody’s got to use the Internet” when asked why ISPs should be able to use and share their customers’ Web browsing history for advertising purposes.

US Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) was hosting a town hall meeting when a constituent asked about the decision to eliminate privacy rules. The person in the audience was disputing the Republican argument that ISPs shouldn’t face stricter requirements than websites such as Facebook.

These people have no real understanding of the things they are legislating.

On Passwords and Loss Recovery »

Fraser Speirs and his wife had a bag stolen on vacation. In it was her iPhone, which set Fraser down a road of loss recovery when he had a realization:

I use 1Password for Families, so my data is hosted by 1Password itself. I have 2-factor authentication turned on for every account that supports it, including my Apple ID, personal and work Google accounts, Dropbox, Evernote and others.

All my devices have passcodes. I use alphanumeric passcodes on my iOS devices. I have Touch ID enabled. My Apple Watch locks when I take it off. Find My iPhone is turned on for all devices and Activation Lock is enabled.

I’m really doing my best here. Ironically, though, it’s this good level of security that makes the recovery trickier.

I’m in the same boat — I really only know a couple of passwords, and not the ones I would need in a disaster like this. I’m going to be rethinking some things.

Outlook for Mac Previews Google Calendar and Contacts Support »

Microsoft:

Last month, we announced that we’re bringing major improvements to how Google Accounts work in Outlook 2016 for Mac—including an improved setup experience and Google Calendar and Contacts support. We’re excited to be delivering on these highly requested features for Mac users—matching Outlook for iOS and Android—by providing Google Accounts with a more powerful way to stay in control of the day ahead.

I’m going to take this for a spin.