Another Open Letter to Luke Howarth (and Mark Dreyfus)

Following is the letter I sent to Luke Howarth, my Local MP on the 10th of October. I am yet to receive a response. The same letter was sent to Mark Dreyfus (QC, MP, Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for National Security). To date I have had a pro-forma response from Mr Dreyfus and no response yet from Luke Howarth.

<SENT 10th October 2018>
Mr Howarth,
My name is <REDACTED> and I am a resident in the seat of Petrie in Queensland. We met face to face a while back in a cafe in Redcliffe where we spoke about my concerns surrounding the government’s approach to encryption.

I am writing today to voice my concerns with the current Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, which is currently being reviewed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss this legislation with you, if you have the time.

For the last twenty odd years, I have worked in the the IT industry for both Australian and US based companies. I have designed and built accredited security solutions for Federal Government, assisted Australian and global customers design, built and deployed technology solutions for eCommerce, Enterprise, Industry, Banking and Finance, and many others.

During this time, I have been front and centre in the products and technology stacks that are usually the first line of the encryption underpinning the trustworthiness of these business solutions.

I will not go heavily into details (although I am certainly happy to help you and your staff understand both the technology and the likely implications), as I know you are a busy MP.

What I will give you is the “Elevator Pitch” as to why the legislation, as it stands currently and the speed with which it is being pursued is such a bad idea:

1) Terrorists, Drug Runners and Paedophiles: These are always the “Go To” reasons for draconian approaches to encryption. While it is true that they use encryption, the approach suggested just means they will get their encryption from somewhere that this legislation can’t reach. In the end, the only people you will end up being able to surveil will be the “everyone else’s” who aren't major criminals.

2) It will weaken the Australian Economy: I am a product manager working with Australian technology start ups. The perception of systemic security / privacy weaknesses in any solutions we build, will immediately limit our ability to grow into the global market. It will hurt innovation and the tech economy. We saw this in China when the Snowden leaks revealed what the US was doing with US technology products. Entire US tech companies in the security space lost their Chinese revenue stream almost overnight, and it has fundamentally weakened all US based technology growth (both security and non security related products) in the region. The effects are still seen today. (https://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/1831657/nsa-spy-revelations-damaging-us-tech-firms-competitiveness-china)

3) The powers WILL be abused: The oversight and transparency suggested in the current bill is so incredibly weak, so as to be useless. I have worked in security for long enough to know that the greatest threat to any system, policy, practice or procedure is people, and more often than not, it is the people INSIDE the system. I have also worked in government for long enough to know that the systems suggested by this legislation will be abused at some point. Any legislation must be written so as to take this absolute certainty as it’s starting point, and only then can you start to build controls to manage that risk.

4) Proliferation of Rogue Nation Encryption: Imagine this bill passing: Do we want to live in a country where people trust encryption products developed in rogue nations such as Iran, more than those within the reach of this legislation?

If you would like to chat further on the topic, my contact details are below.

Cheers...
<NAME AND ADDRESS REDACTED>

An Open Letter to Luke Howarth MP on Government Plans for replication of the UK's "Snooper's Charter"

I have today, written a letter to my local member, Luke Howarth MP

LukeHowarth.jpg

Personal information [REDACTED] for publication

=======================
Contact Details:
[REDACTED]
[REDACTED]
[REDACTED]
[REDACTED]

Luke,
I would like to make an appointment to chat with you in relation to the Federal Government’s plans on implementing legislation similar to the UK’s "Investigatory Powers Act” (AKA the ’snoopers charter’), as discussed recently by Malcolm Turnbull.

Long story short, this is a field that I work in extensively, and I am gravely concerned at the position the government is taking on this. Government interception of encryption was debated extensively in the 1990s with the whole world realising it was a fools errand and would do more harm than good. I feel that whole scale Government interdiction of any kind in encryption systems is a ridiculous proposition that will do more harm to global commerce and individuals than the benefits the government seeks to gain.

I am not alone in this position - it is widely held by those with credentials in these topics.

While I understand the need for police and intelligence agencies to intercept and decrypt communications of those who are using encryption to protect their trades in drugs, children or terrorism, the approaches being suggested by the Government are simply put not the right way to go about this.

I’d like a little bit of your time so that I can help you to understand the folly of the approaches being suggested, so that we can, as a populace, look at better ways to reach the objectives the government is driving towards without throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater...

Cheers...

[REDACTED]
=======================
LukeHowarth.jpg

Science and Kids...

So I have been a little lucky - my 11yo seems to have inherited my penchant for science. At 8 years of age, he took it upon himself to learn the Periodic Table of Elements by looping The Element Song until he learnt it..

School holidays a few weeks ago saw a week of us voiding warranties on lots of things while making rockets. Not little kid water/air pressure based rockets (we've done those to death) but proper rockets that burn fuel.

First Yoga mat rockets inspired by this youtube video - we had ignition issues (later diagnosed as a combination of a faulty bbq igniter, then fuel:air ratio problems. Second, we pivoted and had much more success with an isopropyl alcohol based rocket - so much success we blew the bung in the end of the tube back almost 2/3rds of the way down the tube.

We tried (successfully and unsuccessfully respectively) to grow crystals from sugar and salt.

Yesterday, my kids were drawing on the pavement outside our house with coloured chalk. When my 11yo asked me what he should draw, I asked for a rainbow.

"Ew, boring!" he said...

So I "scienced it up" with him and suggested he draw white light going through a prism.

This got him going straight away...

When I renewed my New Scientist subscription last year, I decided to upgrade to the subscription that included the actual paper magazines. Many a night has seen my 11yo falling asleep with the stack of New Scientists by his bed, having seen him avidly reading articles and writing questions for us to discuss in the morning. (He has a notepad and a pen next to his bed for just such a purpose, avoiding the constant calling out with questions in what is supposed to be a wind down time...)

Today, while I am recovering from Jetlag, my kids got up at 6am before I had actually slept, and my 11yo has been busy googling molecules and drawing them in stick/ball format all morning - for no other reason that he thinks it is cool.

Conversations about getting angry and punching brothers see me winding a diagram of the Amygdala into the conversation so that my kids can understand what is going on in their bodies when they snap at each other. I feel these lessons help to better arm them to take control of their own emotions and reactions.

What is the point of me writing all of this? I am unsure. Maybe it is to allow me to skite a little bit about my kids.

Maybe it is so that other parents out there with inquisitive kids know there are others out there.

Maybe it is just to say this: you don't have to be an expert in science to encourage science in our children. There has never been a more science enabled place in time for parents. All it takes is a little time and courage.

Time to do a little internet research and to build it with your kids.
Courage to try something new with the kids and to sometimes fail.

If nothing else, if the science doesn't stick, the time spent with them will, and so will learning that failure is part of success and growth. IMG_4923.JPG

Running Multiple instances of Skype on OSX

With my latest rebuild and upgrade to El Capitan, I found that the “Skype Launcher” I had been using that allows me to run multiple instances of Skype for the Skype-o-Saurus Rex has finally given up the ghost.

So, for posterity’s sake, I did a little research, and discovered a MUCH better way to do it, using the OSX open command to one 4 instances of Skype:

for i in 1 2 3 4 ; do open -na /Applications/Skype.app --args -DataPath /Users/$(whoami)/Library/Application\ Support/Skype{$i};done

Hopefully someone finds this useful!

(HT to superuser.com for the posting the actual solution)

Snowcrash, Latin, Louis XIV and tattoos..

So, while reading Snowcrash recently, I came across a latin quote, that in the book, was printed on the box for a very powerful beta version of a hyper velocity repeating rail gun that was simply named https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash#Reason

">Reason, as in

“I am sure they will see reason and let us through…”

The latin quote was “Ultima Ration Regum”, which I instantly looked up (it was explained later in the book) but the quote translates to:

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=translate:+ultima+ratio+regum

">“The last argument of kings”.

Louis 14th had it embossed on all his cannons during his reign…

B1iPZwWCEAAZKL8

So, I have always liked the idea of a meaningful tattoo, but beyond the kids names, I have never been able to come up with something that I could get somewhere hidden by clothes, but that was guaranteed to never reach the point of “I wish I hadn’t done that”: I would need something meaningful that I could decline to explain lest I wanted to, but was guaranteed not to date https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3qv2dSXQXk">like the guy who got a QR codes tattooed on his chest that launches a youtube animation for example

So anyway, this latin quote resonated and I have been playing over it in my mind as a distraction from the stresses of life lately, but today, I happened to have 5 minutes and decided to play with the google Latin / English Translation…

well.. playing with the idea of the foolishness of the whole concept of “ultima ratio regum”, I tried adding prefixes like:

false last argument of kings

crazy last argument of kings 

etc.. etc…

well, finally, I tried “bad", which translates to malum, so i whacked some form of “malum” (I can’t remember what the latin google had returned by this stage) on the front of what was last translated in my playing, then, using the trick made famous by urban legends of CIA research work during the cold war on machine based translation, I inverted the translation to see what the algorithm came back with the other way:

"malum ultimae rationes regum" was what google inverted to, which translated back to be:

8207e11eb1d9afaf935a86f7e4b439f5

“the ultimate evil of reasons”…

my jaw dropped and my appreciation for the elegance of language over the ages was launched into orbit…

so playing again, this time I tried just adding malum to the original quote and my jaw dropped even lower:

"malum ultima ratio regum” translates to: “the ultimate evil of the system"

aaa1fd9a33cfa307c77e0fe4f46e01a9

I think I just found a quote worthy of a tattoo, or a family crest…. 

chatjaculation (noun)

Evernote Camera Roll 20151029 222345

noun, online

1. Inadvertent disclosure of information to inappropriate parties when a message is accidentally typed into the wrong window in a communications application, such as:

  a) accidentally posting a message intended to be sent in a private message to a public forum; or 

  b) accidentally sending a private message to the wrong person.

parralellologue (noun)

Evernote Camera Roll 20151028 152558noun, Communications

1. The outcome of two people both asking each other a question simultaneously on a non real time communications mechanism like SMS/iMessage or e-mail, resulting in two parallel conversations happening simultaneously over the same communications medium at the same time. Usually, nothing further is achieved in this conversations and it descends into a chaos that just serves to confuse the living daylights out of both participants.

diffractapointment (noun)

72134842

noun, Degustation

1. The emotion that results from the sudden realisation that, despite external appearances due to the angle of perspective and the level of liquid in the jar, there really is only ONE pickle left, not TWO as you had earlier hoped.

(*) image stolen shamelessly...

The $50 Ultimate Software Podcaster: the Amoeba-Dino-Skypus Rex...

Inspired by Adam Curry’sUltimate Podcaster” hardware, the speech he gave as he was inducted into the Academy Of Podcasters Hall of Fame , and a desire to join the podcasting world in true NoAgenda style, I decided to try to get a simple multi user podcasting software setup that would allow me to create a podcast with a few online colleagues, without the drudgery of having to have each person record their end of the conversation, followed by lengthy post production workflows...

For me, it was LIVE TO TAPE (well, mp3) or BUST...

Also, in true NoAgenda style, I also wanted to be able to feed in audio inputs from music, jingles or any web clips that people talking on a podcast might like to play as they come up in conversation...

Standing on the shoulders of giants, I started researching multi user Skype podcast setups and came across two:

  • The Skypesaurus built by the folks at TWiT; and
  • Luca Zorzi’s (LucaTNT) great write up of his Ableton Live based Skype-o-Saurus
  • Leo Laporte’s was a write off for me, as I don’t have any sound mixing hardware, and unfortunately Luca’s was a bust as well: I don’t have $900 for a copy of Ableton Live...

    I DID however have a $50 license for Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack, and I figured with some tinkering, I could get the same setup working for no extra cash outlay...

    And behold, it works: The $50 Amoeba-Dino-Skypus Rex is born:

    Audio Hijack003

    Following is a write up on how I got it all working using:

  • Audio Hijack: $50 from Rogue Amoeba
  • Soundflower: Free from Rogue Amoeba
  • Skype Launcher: Free - I ended up downloading from Softpedia as I could not identify the original author to download from their site.
  • 4x Skype Accounts: Free - I created 4 different free skype accounts named podcast-A, podcast-B, podcast-C and podcast-D.
  • Step 1: Getting Multiple Sound Devices with Soundflower (hopefully Rogue Amoeba’s new super secret app: Loopback will help remove the need for all the Soundflower fuss.. Fingers crossed)

    First, install soundflower by following the instructions.  I have used version 1.6.6b from the link above.

    Now, this was by far the most fiddly part of the whole setup. Soundflower is kind of in a software “no-mans” land, and the steps listed in Luca’s tutorial (and the tool SoundBlossomer that he built to modify the configs easily) just didn’t work. What I discovered was this:

  • KEXT loading in OS X now requires signing of the KEXT before it will load;
  • The info.plist file that is included in Soundflower only adds 2 new interfaces, and we will need at least 8 for our 4 other podcasters
  • If you change the info.plist file, the KEXT will no longer load, as the signature for the KEXT is no longer valid.
  • My issued were reported on the SoundBlossomer github page and the author confirmed my assessment and validated that my workaround (detailed next) was the only way forward.

    To solve this, I had to enable developer mode for KEXT loading using the following command from the terminal:

    $ sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1"

    Once that was done and I rebooted, I could edit the info.plist file to add my 8 additional audio devices. My info.plist file is available here: https://files.app.net/7bjnwQwK-.plist

    Unload the soundflower kext that is running: (note, sudo commands will need your password to authorise):

    $ sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/Soundflower.kext

    Copy the info.plist you downloaded from me into the right location:

    $ sudo cp Info.plist /System/Library/Extensions/Soundflower.kext/Contents/Info.plist

    Modify the permissions from the terminal and reload the kext:

    $ sudo chown root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions/Soundflower.kext/Contents/Info.plist

    $ sudo chmod 755 /System/Library/Extensions/Soundflower.kext/Contents/Info.plist

    $ sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/Soundflower.kext

    a86accd357f4f5fdf21537a895af370e

    Now, you should be able to launch the Apple Midi Device manager ( found in /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup.app) 

    and see all the new Soundflower installed interfaces:

    Audio MIDI Setup001

    Step 2: Creating the Multi-In, Multi-Out interfaces

    We now want to create the “Mix-Minus” interfaces that will let us join up all our Skype Callers on different calls so they can hear each other without creating horrible audio loop backs.  The setup we are aiming for looks something like this:

    Slide1

    In the Audio Midi Setup Application, create 4 Multi-Output devices called:

  • A-out BCD-in
  • B-out ACD-in
  • C-out ABD-in
  • D-out ABC-in
  • The idea here is that

  • Skype Call A’s microphone will be output to B,C and D so they can hear caller A talking;
  • Skype Call B’s microphone will be output to A,C and D so they can hear caller B talking;
  • Skype Call C’s microphone will be output to A,B and D so they can hear caller C talking;
  • Skype Call D’s microphone will be output to A,B and C so they can hear caller D talking;
  • In each of the 4 x Multi-Output device, select the relevant outputs by clicking the “use” tickboxes:

    Audio MIDI Setup002

    Next, create a Multi-Output device called “Host-out ABCD-in”. This device is used to make sure the Host’s voice is sent back to all of the 4 other callers in Skype. Set this device up outputting to the A_in, B_in, C_in and D_in devices as follows:

    Audio MIDI Setup003

    One last device to create: something to grab all the output from all the calls so that we can record it. Create an “Aggregate Device” and name it “All Callers”. In this device, select the following devices:

  • Soundflower (2ch)
  • A_out
  • B_out
  • C_out
  • D_out
  • Audio MIDI Setup004

    Step 3: Create the Guest Pipeline in Audio Hijack

    Now that you have created these, it is time to crank up Audio Hijack and set up the guest pipeline.

    Open Audio Hijack and create a new Blank Session.

    Using the elements in the library, create your 4 guests in a pipeline:

  • Create an input for each caller, and select their relevant “A_OUT”, "B_OUT” etc interface;
  • Populate the pipeline with whichever filters / effects that you want to be able to use for each caller (I am using denoise, a 10-band EQ, a volume controller, a VU meter so I can see what’s happening);
  • Create an Output Device with the relevant Multi-Output device (so Caller A’s pipeline will go to A-out BCD-in for example);
  • Create an Output Device for your headphones so you can hear everyone on the call; and
  • Create a Output Device and link it to the “All Callers” interface.
  • Slide2

    Step 4: Create the Host Pipeline in Audio Hijack

    Now we setup *your* pipeline:

  • Create an input and select your microphone device;
  • Populate the pipeline with whichever filters / effects that you want to be able to use for yourself (again, I am using denoise, a 10-band EQ, a volume controller, a VU meter so I can see what’s happening);
  • Create two output devices and map each of them to the following respectively:

  • "Host-out ABCD-in”; and 
  • “Soundflower (2ch)”.
  • Slide3

    Step 5: Create the Music and Sound Effects Pipeline in Audio Hijack

    Now we setup the pipeline so we can play music, jingles or clips on the web:

  • Create an “Application” input for each of the apps you want to grab audio from. I am using:

  • Chrome
  • iTunes; and 
  • SoundByte (this actually costs money, I am just using the free version till I can find a free open source alternative - the free version exits after 10 minutes)
  • Again, select any effects or meters you want to be able to use for each input (Here I am using Volume and a VU meter so I can see what is going on)
  • Create “Ducking” filters and arrange them so that when you play the sound effects, it ducks music etc correctly. You can re-arange the elements to control what ducks over / under what.
  • Create three output devices and map them to:

  • “Host-out ABCD-in” so that your callers can hear the music, sound effects or web clips'
  • “Soundflower (2ch)” so it gets captured by the “All Callers” device for recording; and
  • “Headphones” so you can hear what is being played.
  • Slide4

    Step 6: Create the Recording Pipeline in Audio Hijack

    Now we setup the pipeline so we can actually record our podcast:

  • Create an Input Device and select “All Callers”;
  • Again, select any effects or meters you want to be able to use for each input (Here I am using Volume and a VU meter so I can see what is going on); and 
  • Create a “Recoder” Output device and set up your mp3 output.
  • Slide5

    And that’s it… so what are you waiting for: Go build it and make a dent in the Universe with your epic Podcast...

    oh, and while you are at it, you should totally subscribe to the NoAgenda podcast, also known as: The Best Podcast In The Universe...

    An open letter to Tim Cook on the current status of Apple Software Stability

    On 9 Jan 2015, at 3:38 pm, Aidan Clarke <email address redacted> wrote:

    Tim,

    I write this email to you today as a direct result of having seen this article today in ZDNet (http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-has-a-serious-problem-with-software-quality/) that spelled out almost exactly the gut feeling that I have been nursing for the last 12-18 months.  Namely that the quality of Apple software products has dropped dramatically of late, holistically, across the Apple software and cloud ecosystem of products. 

    Interestingly, I started this email from my iPhone 6, but after 20 minutes of drafting, I multitasked to find a link to the article I reference below, only to find my drafted email lost completely - I had clicked the link to your email address in Safari, and the email was actually being drafted there, not in Mail - multi tasking away from it saw the email lost to the ether…) 

    So here I start it again on my Mac.

    Some background: We run an Apple household.  For a family of four, we have no fewer than 5 Macs in our household. Our digital life runs on Apple.  We watch home movies and (used to) rent movies on iTunes on AppleTV, iPhoto and Aperture own a decade of our precious digital memories, we use Apple printing services to print photos and photo books when photographs that we take need to take on corporeal form.  All of our precious documents live in Time Capsule disks. All four members of our household have iPads (two adults and two kids) and we still use iPods for music. All phones in our house are iPhones, updated to the newest available iPhone as soon as our phone contracts are up for renewal. All of our phones backup our precious mobile data to iCloud. Between my wife and I, we have owned every single iPhone that has ever been released.  All of our precious digital data is backed up on Time Machine drives and Time Capsules. We average 4 Apple devices per member in our Family...

    I am an IT professional who, a decade ago now, frustrated with the instability of Windows and the difficulty of getting a viably friendly Linux desktop/laptop solution, jumped into the Apple ecosystem with both feet when it switched to Intel and I never once looked back until recently. 

    They just worked. It was brilliant.

    Since then, all the members of my extended family that looked to me for tech support were all told: If it isn’t Apple, I won’t help - I had found a better way to do technology, and I took all that looked to me for guidance with me and, for the best part, everyone experienced what I had: that it was better.

    I will say this to you firmly: Apple’s hardware tech support / customer service is second to none - period.  I have received nothing but the best examples of customer service and support from Apple both from Apple stores all over the world (I travel internationally regularly for work) and even through my local Apple Certified Reseller.  For this, you should truly pat yourselves on the back. 

    However replacing hardware as a list ditch effort to solve software issues, while appreciated, isn’t how this stuff should work...

    The software and cloud services side of the Apple house, with each passing day, leaves MUCH to be desired.  The best litmus test that I have on the topic is my technophile mother.  Whilst what I would consider a “Power User”, since switching her to Apple in 2007, tech support calls to me for things that were not working as she expected them to, all but stopped; Because of Time Machine, when she destroyed her MBP laptop with a glass of red wine, she was able to bring herself back online when her laptop was replaced by the insurance company! It was fantastic.  

    But now, as time marches on, the odd annual call for help has gone and now occur what seems to me to be almost monthly. To me, my mother is the canary in the mine, and from where I sit, the canary is coughing...

    Back in our house: The AppleTV was added to our household to aid my visually impaired wife - finally a simple home system,that she could drive without needing to call me every time she used it, was available.  All our home movies were available at the touch of a button.  She could rent movies easily for herself and the kids, and movies we bought were easily available. She even started to learn to use the voice over features to read titles to her when her sight was problematic.  About 18 months ago, it stopped being like this. for some reason, whenever we rented a movie, it just wouldn’t play.  I would get a phone call wherever I was in the world every time, and even I could not coax the device into letting us watch rented content when I tried. AppleTV was updated, reset to factory, set up again, and even replaced with a new one.  The problem seems to be something about the iTunes store and our account.  Support calls were raised, and never went anywhere.  The problem occurs even when I try to rent content on my Mac! There are similarities to what we see in this thread: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5391235) - but, no word from Apple.

    It still doesn’t work, and so the AppleTV has now been decommissioned and no more is new digital video content sourced from Apple.

    Concerns over the situation with our iTunes account has meant that I am now totally reluctant to set up the new family access features released with iOS 8 for my children, lest it somehow make the situation worse.

    My wife’s iPhone 5s, as of iOS8, now seems to end up in a state 2-3 times a week, where people cannot hear her.  A hard reset of the phone seems to restore it’s two way audio again, but, as you can imagine, it scares me that my visually impaired wife is going out in the world with a communications device that is not reliable in an emergency. This problem started with iOS8… The item is similar to some of the problems reported here (http://www.tuaw.com/2014/09/29/ios-8-0-2-probably-not-apples-finest-update/) again, silence from Apple.  Siri, even advertised by Apple to help visually impaired people with their phones, has been so unreliable for her, that I have now disabled it, because at least without Siri, the old iOS voice command to get her phone to call someone when she cannot see, works again.

    My Thunderbolt display experiences semi regular events that cause the gigabit network interface in it to just stop responding.  The whole network (all hardware etc) has been replaced over the last 12 months as part of other upgrades to my home network, but the display’s connectivity still plays up.  The Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adaptor that I bought for my mac to work around this problem suffers the same fate, and, as I have discovered, I get the exact same issue on my work network, 50km from my house. Similar to issues seen here: (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3517737). 

    To my "coincidence driving causality" addled experience in IT, these networking problems started with the upgrade of my past MacBook pro to Mavericks. I have since replaced the MacBook pro with a new 15” Retina Model running first Mavericks and now Yosemite. Two separate systems, two different network locations, both having the same issue with the thunderbolt since Mavericks was released. Snow Leopard on my MacMini however, has never had a problem with the Thunderbolt Display’s Network connection. I hoped that the recent Thunderbolt firmware update does something to fix it, but again, the update provides no actual information as to what was fixed (http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1775).  Corporate silence.

    iPhoto gave us our first glimpse of the digital armageddon about 6 months ago - iPhoto, at some part of its upgrade cycle since 2007 when I migrated all our photos into it, has lost photos.  Browsing through 10 years photos, suddenly there are chunks of the library that simply show a triangle with an exclamation mark in it when we try to open the photo. Not to many, statistically speaking, maybe a few hundred out of ~40,000, but that is still a few hundred of our personal memories that are lost... I have been back through 2 years of TimeMachine archives (I now rotate and store my Time Machine backup disks at the end of every year, just incase) but the photos are still missing - this happend at least 2 years ago.  As you can imagine, my wife is now paranoid about trusting iPhoto to keep any of our digital memories safe.

    Wifi on my MacBook Air under OS X Yosemite mostly never connects when I resume from sleep(https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6601963) - No word from Apple.

    Now all of these things can happen.  I work for an IT Vendor that sells hardware and software.  I have worked deep within product release cycles and know that all of the things that I am talking about can happen.  What concerns me the most though is that when I go and google my problem, I often find hundreds or thousands of other Apple users suffering similar fates, and most often, Apple is for the most part totally silent on the issue.

    Now I can understand the need for Corporate silence.  Corporate silence has its place surrounding new product releases or around issues that have litigious implications etc.

    Corporate silence on things like this however, do nothing but alienate your customer base and sow the seeds of resentment that will eventually hurt Apple’s bottom line and it’s shareholders, and makes customer's lives potentially miserable in the interim.  I shudder to think what my life would be like if something were to ever cause our iPhoto library to corrupt to a greater level than it already seems to have. My wife, with her declining eye sight would simply be distraught and the problem would be left to me to fix, as the guy that made the choice to go “all in” with Apple, fending for myself.

    But it doesn’t have to be like this…

    One of the best examples I can think of in recent times of the antithesis to what I am seeing with Apple presently, is the background to the story of Qantas flight QF32 in 2010 that I picked up on Linkedin last week: http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-air-crash-investigations-didnt-tell-you-qf32-airbus-hughes.  The article goes on to talk about how communications with customers are simply put the basis on which any financial relationship is built. And what we have between us (myself, Aidan Clarke and you Tim Cook) is indeed a relationship.  I ran the numbers and,  over the last 5 years on average, I spend 1.5-2% of our families annual post tax income with Apple.  And this doesn’t take into account the Apple equipment that is purchased through my employer at my request. I can not say that of any other vendor in my house, period.

    So, I write you this email, hoping upon hope that you can turn this ship and prevent, what I currently see, as the inevitable continuing decline of Apple to be a Microsoft, or an SAP, or an IBM: A company that people do business with out of lack of choice, rather than out of inspiration and hope for something better.

    As a result of all of this, once again, I have started gentle investigations into alternate platforms. Android, Windows, and Linux.  But this is not what I want… and I truly hope that you know this.

    I sincerely thank you for the time taken to read this email..

    Cheers...

    Aidan

    -- 

    Aidan Clarke

    <email address and contact number redacted>

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