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ExtraBITS for 18 February 2013

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Topics we find interesting this week include two pieces by David Sparks and Lloyd Chambers touching on how Apple’s quality control is slipping, along with Adam’s thoughts on the subject on the Tech Night Owl Live podcast. Then there’s an article by security expert Jeremiah Grossman about recovering a key password, plus Lex Friedman’s Macworld story about fishing for the Starfish smartwatch at Macworld/iWorld and coming up empty.

Adam Engst Comments on Apple Issues on Tech Night Owl Live -- The hot topics of the week — concerns about Apple’s software quality and the rumors surrounding an Apple smartwatch — occupy this discussion between Adam Engst and host Gene Steinberg.

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David Sparks Suggests Focusing on Apple’s Software Quality -- The premise of our recent article “Apple Doomed, According to News at 11” (4 February 2013) was that criticisms of Apple’s financials are unwarranted, but that the company faces legitimate problems, largely with software quality. In this article at Macworld, David Sparks of MacSparky makes the same point, saying that we should leave the business side to Apple but keep calling on the company to improve its products and services.

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Lloyd Chambers on Apple Core Rot -- The discontent is spreading. In his most recent post, Lloyd Chambers of the Mac Performance Guide site outlines his concerns with Mac OS X and Apple’s policies of late. He’s no dilettante, having been the developer behind the innovative DiskDoubler and AutoDoubler compression products from the 1990s, now focussing on topics of interest to advanced and professional photographers.

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How to Crack Encrypted DMGs (Not Really) -- We’re having huge discussions internally about just how secure we should make our digital lives, and this recent blog post by security expert Jeremiah Grossman brings a wonderful level of reality to the table. Jeremiah takes extreme security precautions, thanks to his position in the security industry, and this post is the tale of how he forgot a key password and the astonishing lengths he went to in order to get it back.

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Lex Friedman Investigates the Starfish Watch Story -- Over at Macworld, Lex Friedman covers the strange saga of the Starfish smartwatch, which purports to mirror your iOS device’s screen on your wrist. At Macworld/iWorld, Starfish first didn’t show up at all, then appeared without the watch, then showed a mostly nonfunctional prototype briefly on the last day, with the company’s non-technical CEO flitting in and out.

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