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ExtraBITS for 13 March 2017

In ExtraBITS this week, Jamf’s enterprise survey reveals gains for macOS and iOS, Apple says that it has patched most of the vulnerabilities revealed in a recent WikiLeaks dump, a judge has ruled that you cannot be compelled to unlock your devices with Touch ID, and we learn that Steve Jobs initially thought the Genius Bar was an idiotic idea.

Apple Gaining Ground in the Enterprise -- Apple may be slipping in the education market, but the company is doing well in the enterprise. In a survey of 300 IT professionals, managers, and executives in large commercial organizations, Apple device management firm Jamf found that 91 percent of respondents use macOS and 99 percent use iOS. Jamf says, “Apple is gaining ground in the enterprise because employees prefer devices they use in their personal lives.” It’s hard to know quite what to make of Jamf’s findings since the fact that one department in a multinational conglomerate might rely on the Mac doesn’t necessarily mean that the company “uses” macOS in a significant way. Nevertheless, given Apple’s recent partnership with IBM and other enterprise initiatives, it’s good to see indications of growth.

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Apple Says It Has Already Patched Most WikiLeaks Vulnerabilities -- WikiLeaks has published an extensive collection of vulnerabilities that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency reportedly uses to infiltrate computer systems, including iOS. However, Apple says that it has already patched most of these security holes, telling TechCrunch, “While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities.” Stories like this illustrate why, even if you don’t install every update immediately, it’s a good idea to keep your devices up to date.

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Judge: FBI Can’t Force Touch ID Unlocks -- Apple has scored an indirect victory in its ongoing skirmish with the FBI. A U.S. magistrate judge has ruled that the FBI cannot force potential targets to provide fingerprints to unlock Touch ID-equipped devices. The long-accepted rule of thumb in the security world has been that passcodes are more secure than fingerprints because you could be compelled to place your finger on the scanner but not to provide a passcode. This is a narrow decision, but it’s good to see the judicial system starting to catch up with the tech world.

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Steve Jobs Initially Thought the Genius Bar Was Idiotic -- On the Recode Decode podcast, former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Operations Ron Johnson, who pioneered the Apple Store, revealed that Steve Jobs initially called the Genius Bar “idiotic.” Jobs argued that people who know technology don’t know how to connect with people, but the next day he ordered Apple Legal to file a trademark for “Genius Bar.” It’s a good reminder that Jobs not only didn’t come up with all of Apple’s good ideas, he also rejected many of them at first. But it also shows how Jobs was willing to be persuaded by people whose opinions he trusted.

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