Archive for December 1, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Power of RAW on iPhone

Sebastiaan de With:

RAW files store more information about detail in the highlights (the bright parts) and the shadows (the dark parts) of an image. Since you often want to ‘recover’ a slightly over or under-exposed photo, this is immensely useful. […] It also stores information that enables you to change white balance later on.


Now this is where most people get confused: apps that don’t support RAW will still load the image. However, they just load the low resolution preview instead of the full-resolution image. And they won’t warn you. Believe it or not, the built in iOS Photos app doesn’t support RAW[…]


RAW Caveat 2: RAW Skips Apple’s Magic

Apple’s stock camera app does a lot of cleanup behind the scenes. This is ‘magic’. Yes, magic. The imaging processor in every smartphone and camera does some magic. This is the kind of stuff that is a closely guarded secret. […] Sounds wonderful, but this isn’t always great. Sometimes the noise reduction is aggressive and destroys fine detail; other times the grain can be pleasant.

Update (2018-03-02): Sebastiaan de With:

Remember how I mentioned 90% of my edits are just to make the image look like what I perceived with my naked eye? Selective color adjustments are perfect to let you tweak individual colors so they look ‘right’. Don’t get too caught up in wild adjustments; try to make it faithful to the mood and look of what you shot.


With a split tone adjustment, you assign a tint to the highlights in your image and a tint to the shadows — preferably contrasting tints like yellow highlights and blue shadows. This gives the image a color contrast, which is visually interesting and pleasing. It changes the entire look!


If you’re editing in Adobe Lightroom, it’s automatic perspective correction tools are incredibly powerful[…]

iOS 11 Allows Device and PIN to Reset iTunes Backup and Apple ID Passwords

Oleg Afonin (via Hacker News):

In iOS 11 you can still specify a backup password in iTunes, and you still cannot change or reset it through iTunes if you don’t know the original password. However, this means very little as you can now easily remove that password from iOS settings.


For Apple accounts with two-factor authentication, one can simply reset their Apple ID password from the device by confirming their device passcode (as opposed to supplying their old Apple ID password).


With the release of iOS 11, Apple developers made too many assumptions, breaking the fragile security/convenience balance and shifting it heavily onto convenience side.

Once an intruder gains access to the user’s iPhone and knows (or recovers) the passcode, there is no single extra layer of protection left. Everything (and I mean, everything) is now completely exposed. Local backups, the keychain, iCloud lock, Apple account password, cloud backups and photos, passwords from the iCloud Keychain, call logs, location data, browsing history, browser tabs and even the user’s original Apple ID password are quickly exposed. The intruder gains control over the user’s other Apple devices registered on the same Apple account, having the ability to remotely erase or lock those devices. Finally, regaining control over hijacked account is made difficult as even the trusted phone number can be replaced.


Since the passcode is now the one and only safeguard left, make sure you use at least 6 digits. Four-digit PINs are no longer secure.

Previously: Find My Mac and Remote Wipe.

Update (2017-12-02): Rich Mogull:

There is no question that allowing the iOS device passcode to act as a secondary backup password reduces the security of encrypted iTunes backups on an individual level. As a professional paranoid I really wish Apple hadn’t made this change.

But there is also a legitimate case to be made that Apple improved the overall iOS experience for a much larger percentage of its customer base by making it less likely that average users could lose access to their encrypted iTunes backups entirely.

As an Apple customer who once had to factory-reset one of my children’s iPads because I had forgotten the backup password, hadn’t backed up to iCloud to save space, and couldn’t recover it from the Mac keychain where I… had failed to store it, I can certainly see Apple’s point of view.

I wonder what the explanation is for increasing the ease of resetting an Apple ID password, though.

Class Action Suit for Google’s Invisible Form Trick

Graham Ruddick:

A group led by the former executive director of consumer body Which?, Richard Lloyd, and advised by City law firm Mischon de Reya claims Google unlawfully collected personal information by bypassing the default privacy settings on the iPhone between June 2011 and February 2012.


“I want to spread the world about our claim. Google owes all of those affected fairness, trust and money. By joining together, we can show Google that they can’t get away with taking our data without our consent, and that no matter how large and powerful they are, nobody is above the law.”

A Google spokesperson said: “This is not new. We have defended similar cases before. We don’t believe it has any merit and we will contest it.”

Via Nick Heer:

The Safari workaround is something that an engineer had to actually build. Someone had to understand that Safari’s default cookie settings were incompatible with tracking, but instead of choosing not to track users, they thought it was their right to override those preferences. Egregious.

Previously: Google’s Cookie Trick.

“Mother of All Markets” or a “Pipe Dream Driven by Greed”?

Peter H. Lewis, in 1992 (via Anil Dash):

Sometime around the middle of this decade no one is sure exactly when -- executives on the go will begin carrying pocket-sized digital communicating devices. And although nobody is exactly sure what features these personal information gizmos will have, what they will cost, what they will look like or what they will be called, hundreds of computer industry officials and investors at the Mobile ’92 conference here last week agreed that the devices could become the foundation of the next great fortunes to be made in the personal computer business.

“We are writing Chapter 2 of the history of personal computers,” said Nobuo Mii, vice president and general manager of the International Business Machines Corporation’s entry systems division.


These devices are expected to combine the best features of personal computers, facsimile machines, computer networks, pagers, personal secretaries, appointment books, address books and even paperback books and pocket CD players -- all in a hand-held box operated by pen, or even voice commands.


“The problem with all this is that they all have to be put together,” [Andrew Seybold] said, “and as I look around here, there are some guys working on one part, and a few companies working on another part, and they all have to work together.”

Chris Espinosa:

For everybody who ever said that Sculley was out of touch, read this. He was right about it being the mother of all markets.