January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

When talking about the indelible hits of the 80s, it doesn’t get much bigger than “I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz. Led by the husband and wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day, Nu Shooz finally hit the maintstream after years of plugging away on the Portland, OR club scene when “I Can’t Wait” reached #3 on the pop charts (#1 on the dance chart) in 1986, embedding one of the most “iconic” basslines into the brains of music fans around the world. Their major label debut album, Poolside, also featured the #28 hit “Point of No Return”, but sadly the follow up didn’t perform as well and Nu Shooz releases slowed down from there. But the groove of “I Can’t Wait” has never gone away from the numerous commercials, sampling, sporting events, and general background soundtracking of every day life. It remains a sample of funk and dance envelope pushing as well as studio wizardry. In here we talk about the effects of the song on their lives, what they do outside of music, their influences, and how they’ve kept a marriage together so long. They’re maybe the most pleasant people on earth.

http://www.nushoozmusic.com/ 

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

Here’s how Apple smashed its previous iPhone sales record. But despite the silver lining, a dark cloud is looming.

Must read: Five things you shouldn’t buy from Apple

78.29 million is a new record for iPhones sold by Apple in a quarter, up 5 percent on the year-ago quarter and 72 percent on the previous quarter, and beating the 74.78 million sold in 1Q16 and 74,47 million sold in 1Q15.

Good numbers, but how is the iPhone’s average selling price (ASP) doing?

It’s doing spectacularly well, jumping to $695, beating the $691 of 1Q16, and a massive jump from the $618 that is was in 4Q16. This is a clear sign that the iPhone 7 is selling strongly, and that the higher-priced iPhone 7 Plus is also going well. It’s also an indication that the drag that the lower-priced iPhone SE was having on sales is no longer an issue.

​iPhone quarterly and cumulative sales

iPhone quarterly and cumulative sales

On the iPad front things are not so good. Sales of 13.1 million are weak, down a massive 19 percent on the year-ago quarter, and suggesting that the iPad Pro is doing little to reinvigorate sales. It’s also indicative that the much-anticipated iPad upgrade cycle hasn’t, as yet, kicked off.

The iPad’s ASP has also fallen through the floor, crashing to $423 from $460 on 4Q16 and $490 in 3Q16.

Not only are people buying fewer iPads, the ones they are buying re the low-end, budget iPads.

​iPad quarterly and cumulative sales

​iPad quarterly and cumulative sales

iPad quarterly and cumulative sales

When it comes to Mac sales, 5.37 million is reasonably strong, and clocks in as Apple’s fourth strongest Mac quarter to date, beating the year-ago quarter by 1 percent.

ASP for the Mac isn’t bad either, hitting $1,348, up from $1,175 for the previous quarter and $1,270 for the year-ago quarter. This strong uptick suggests that sales of the much-anticipated new MacBook Pro have been particularly strong.

​Mac quarterly sales

​Mac quarterly sales

Mac quarterly sales

Weakness for the “Other Products” category, which includes among other things Apple Watch, is not is good. At a shade over $4 billion, which is a 8 percent fall compared to the year-ago quarter, this implies that Apple Watch sales may not have been as strong as expected. Either that, or something bad has happened to Beats sales, which are usually strong over the holiday quarter.

See also:

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

iphone-7-home-button-tips.jpg

Image: CNET

Apple handily topped Q1 earnings targets with its highest quarterly revenue ever. The company also set an all-time record for iPhone sales.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant reported Q1 net income of $17.9 billion, or $3.36 a share. The company made $78.4 billion in revenue.

Wall Street was expecting first-quarter earnings of $3.22 per share on revenue of $77.38 billion.

“We’re thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch. Revenue from Services grew strongly over last year, led by record customer activity on the App Store, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline.”

Apple sold 78.29 million iPhones in Q1, which is up 5 percent year over year. From a revenue perspective that’s $54.37 billion in sales for the iPhone in the quarter.

Here’s the breakdown for the quarter:

  • iPhones: 78.3 million, up from 74.7 million in the year-ago quarter
  • iPads: 13.1 million million, down from 16.1 million in the year-ago quarter
  • Macs: 5.4 million, down from 5.3 million in the year-ago quarter
  • Services (which includes iTunes and Apple Pay): $7.2 billion.
  • Other products (accessories and Apple Watch are included, but not broken out separately): $4.02 billion.

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-4-34-39-pm.png

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-4-34-39-pm.png

Gross margin for the quarter was 38.5 percent compared to 40.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. Apple said international sales accounted for 64 percent of the first quarter’s revenue.

Apple’s board also declared a cash dividend of 57 cents per share, payable on February 16.

Apple said for the fiscal second quarter that it expects revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5billion. Wall Street is looking for earnings of $2.09 on revenue of 53.94 billion.

Apple’s stock ticked up around three percent in after-hours trading.

More Tech Earnings

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

You can’t keep a good idea down.

Late last week, Microsoft released a Windows 10 version 1607 preliminary cumulative update via a new channel. As I explained in a post about the distribution of Windows 10 update KB 3216755, a preview of the cumulative update was made available only through the Windows Update Catalog. That way, people who wanted to test the fixes could download it manually, but regular Windows users wouldn’t be hit with an unexpected (and potentially not-fully-baked) patch.

Well, Microsoft has done it again.

Yesterday, Windows Server 2016 users got a new cumulative update, KB 4010672, which brings the build number up to 14393.729. It’s a very specific hotfix, aimed at Azure VMs losing network connectivity, that’s fully documented on the Win10 changelog site. The hotfix doesn’t come down the automatic update chute; it’s only available by download and manual installation.

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

There’s a new object storage server that has been introduced as an open source alternative to Amazon S3 and other API-compatible services.

Minio, written in Go and available under the Apache license, allows unstructured data (up to 5TB per object) to be stored on a pool of drives of your choosing. Included in the box are protections against data loss and an event-notification system that can be used to build AWS Lambda-like functionality.

Simple and sturdy wins the race

A guiding principle of the service is to keep things simple, because “only simple things scale,” Minio says. The standalone binary for Minio’s 64-bit Windows server is 23.5MB; the client is 10MB. It can run on a single node or can gang together pools of drives across a cluster of machines. The service runs on a variety of OS platforms: Linux, MacOS, Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD, and—in theory—any other platform that supports the Go runtime.

Minio can be accessed using the program’s own command-line utility or any Amazon S3-compatible CLI or SDK. The documentation for Minio outlines various recipes for using the server in conjunction with other services or clients. Those running FreeNAS, a FreeBSD-based storage system that supports ZFS, can run Minio directly on FreeNAS by way of the FreeBSD version of the server.

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

Ever launch an app on your iPhone and then get a pop-up warning that says the app may slow down your iPhone? (I have old versions of certain apps, so it shows up for me every once in a while.) That warning usually appears when you’re using a 32-bit app. You can still run the app, and you probably don’t even notice the slowdown you’ve been warned about (at least in my personal experience).

Your ability to run that 32-bit app is coming to an end. As several other Mac sites have reported, Apple has updated the pop-up warning in the iOS 10.3 beta to say that the 32-bit app you’re running “will not work with future versions of iOS.” The warning goes on to say that the “developer of this app needs to update it to improve its compatibility.”

In October 2014, Apple announced to developers that all new apps created after February 1, 2015 must have 64-bit support. Shortly after, Apple announced that all updates to apps must also be 64-bit compatible. Any 32-bit apps submitted to Apple after June 2015 are rejected. Last September, Apple announced that it was going to remove any apps from the App Store that did not “function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.” Presumably, this would include apps that did not meet the 64-bit requirement.

Apple does not state which version of iOS will be 64-bit only, but since this is a major development, you can probably assume that this will happen in iOS 11. An announcement will likely be made during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference this summer.

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

For the past half-year, Netgear has been working on fixing a serious and easy-to-exploit vulnerability in many of its routers. And it’s still not done.

While Netgear has worked to fix the issue, the list of affected router models increased to 30, of which only 20 have firmware fixes available to date. A manual workaround is available for the rest.

The vulnerability was discovered by Simon Kenin, a security researcher at Trustwave, and stems from a faulty password recovery implementation in the firmware of many Netgear routers. It is a variation of an older vulnerability that has been publicly known since 2014, but this new version is actually easier to exploit.

In January 2014, a researcher found that he could trick the web-based management interface of Netgear WNR1000v3 routers to disclose the admin’s password. The exploit involved passing a numerical token obtained from one script called unauth.cgi to another called passwordrecovered.cgi. Neither of them required authentication to access.

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

There’s a land grab happening now between networks to link small, battery-powered IoT devices.

If countless forecasts are true, there will soon be a lot more tiny, low-power devices like sensors out in the world. The 2G networks that connected many of these to the cloud are gradually going away and newer, more specialized networks are emerging. Vendors are pushing different LPWANs (low-power, wide-area networks) to do the job and trying to get more users and network operators on their side. Their survival may depend on building up a big ecosystem of devices.

On Monday, U.S. network operator Ingenu partnered with distributor and system builder Arrow Electronics, which will offer Ingenu’s RPMA (Random Phase Multiple Access) technology when it develops IoT systems for enterprises and smaller businesses in the U.S.

In addition to reselling components, Arrow offers services to help enterprises and smaller companies develop internal systems and technologies for their needs. Now those services can offer RPMA connectivity for those systems. The partnership with Ingenu isn’t exclusive, so Arrow could offer other LPWANs, too.

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

Linux: Price versus freedom

One of the best things about Linux is that each user is free to use or modify any open source software. But one redditor recently raised the issue of the price of open source software as a big attraction for some users. 

Does price matter more than freedom when it comes to open source software?

Bobthecimmerian started the thread with this post:

When we the free software community speak of Linux and GNU, we focus on freedom to tinker, audit, modify, use, and redistribute. I’m leaving aside privacy and security for this post.

But all of the rights except privacy and security only matter because of cost, right? The billionaire that can’t read his Apple iTunes ebooks on his Amazon Kindle can just buy a second copy from Amazon. Windows X install trashed? Buy a new computer. Can’t use your Windows copy of Battlefield 1 on the Playstation? Buy another copy. Can’t use your old printer with the new version of Windows? Buy another printer. Can’t get security updates for your three month old Android phone because the vendor doesn’t distribute any and the boot loader is locked? Buy another phone.

Free software matters because every single person can never have an infinite budget. Billions of people have no computing access or an inferior computing access because of proprietary software licensing costs, or because they have access to hardware without any proprietary software support and also without free software operating systems and drivers.

As part of this, I think Linux and free software enthusiasts content for us to be a 1% or 2% niche of the computing world are short-sighted. The poor kid down the block or the poor villager across the globe will never be of interest to Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Google, or Samsung. But we can help them reach Wikipedia, Tor, Khan Academy, etc… etc… when the companies don’t care.

More at Reddit

His fellow redditors responded with their thoughts in the Linux subreddit:

January 31, 2017 brianradio2016

Google today bolstered its G Suite of productivity apps with new controls and tools for IT professionals. G Suite administrators now have more access to control security key enforcement, data control with data loss prevention (DLP) for Google Drive and Gmail, and additional insights by connecting Gmail to BigQuery, Google’s enterprise data warehouse designed to enable SQL queries, according to Google.

All of the changes, which are live today, are designed to elevate G Suite for the enterprise, especially among companies that need more confidence in the controls they can maintain over corporate data, according to Google.

DLP, which Google first brought to Gmail in 2015, is being extended to Google Drive so IT managers can block users from accidentally sharing confidential information with an outside party and impose more stringent content storage guidelines. Google is also adding optical character recognition (OCR) so customers can enforce policies on image assets that contain important data, according to Google.

[ Related: Google App Maker aims to ease enterprise development ]