Monthly Archives: August 2011

Steve Jobs Steps Down As Apple CEO

Steve Jobs has stepped down as Apple’s CEO, to be succeeded by current Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.

A re-posting of Steve’s letter:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


The board has posted an associated message announcing their pleasure with Steve’s work thus-far and the promotion of Tim Cook to CEO.
Back at WWDC I suggested that the event may be Steve’s last as CEO, and it appears this has come true.
In one final note, it was sad to see observations that Steve Jobs did not sound healthy and definitely looked thin as he has in other appearances.   Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the last Steve Jobs keynote before he retires from Apple for medical reasons.

Significant Damage To DC Historical Sites [Updated]

Devastation occurs somewhere in the world every day by either man or mother nature’s wrath, but it’s not every day that I personally am privy to it.  I am a native of the Washington DC area, and while yesterday’s earthquake didn’t cause major damage to be widespread, some historical sites did suffer major damage.  These sites don’t have the budget of a technology organization: in fact city-run sites have seen their budgets cut to the marrow.  If you can, help them out. Read more »

Apple’s Fall iPhone Lineup: My Expectations

Things are finally coming into focus regarding Apple’s forthcoming updates to its iPhone line.  Here are my expectations based on the recent flurry of rumors:

iPhone 5

  • Single hardware platform for CDMA and GSM networks. Sprint to become 3rd US carrier.
  • A5 processor
  • 8 MP camera
  • HSPA+ support for GSM networks.
  • Slightly better battery life.
  • New form factor.  While iPhone 4 has done absolutely fantastic for Apple, Apple is anxious to move on to a new form factor and beyond “Antennagate” of yesteryear.
  • Likely to keep 16 and 32 GB capacities and price points.

iPhone 5 mockup, created by

iPhone 4
  • Possibly updated to be single hardware platform, but no evidence of this.  Could make financial sense though.
  • 8 GB only, likely only in black
  • Either $49 or $99 under contract.
Expect the new lineup to be introduced in late September/early October for mid October availability.  iPhone 3GS to be sold for free under contract while supplies last.

Operating Systems Should Lock Down Access To Host Files

It amazes me with how easily some malware is able to accomplish its task.  Today Apple updated its malware definitions to address a malicious fake Flash plugin that modifies the system’s host file.

Put simply, a computer’s host file is a file that the system uses to translate a hostname or URL (like “”) to an IP address.  Most operating systems look at the host file first before looking at external sources such as DNS.

There are some legitimate reasons to edit a host file along with a significant list of malicious reasons.  The most legitimate reason for a program to edit a host file is online adblocking programs which redirect content from known domains that host ads to known “safe” domains.  However, this same tactic can be used maliciously as was done with fake Flash plugin, where sites like “” and others were redirected to sites that would post ads and potentially infect the users with further malware.

In my mind, there is no reason an operating system should allow a program to alter a host file without specifically warning the user that this action is taking place.  Such a warning could take the following form:

The program _____ is trying to update a core Mac OS X system file that is used to provide network connectivity. While online advertisement blocking programs may require legitimate use of this file, most others applications may represent an attempt to install malicious software onto your computer. Are you sure you want to allow program _____ to modify this file?