Good Morning and welcome to today's ICYMI!
The biggest story of yesterday and why you should care today:
The FBI and Apple appeared in front of the House Judiciary Committee to testify and answer questions about the Justice Department's attempts to have Apple unlock the iPhone which belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. At times during the five hours of testimony the exchanges got prickly according to Recode.
The FBI was represented by the Director James Comey while Apple's lead was their General Counsel Bruce Sewell.
Sewell got pinged on pretty good at one point by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner who was apparently fed up with Apple's constant response of no to possible solutions that were discussed.
“You’ve told us what you don’t like. You’ve said you want Congress to debate,” Sensenbrenner said. “You haven’t told us one thing that you do like, so that Apple has a positive solution to what you are complaining about … All you’ve been doing is saying ‘no, no, no, no.'”
At another point the FBI Director said that all the government was asking Apple to do was remove the "drooling watchdog that would attack us so we can pick the lock" and in response Apple's Sewell stated "the tool we’re being asked to create will work on any iPhone in use today — it’s extensible."
Whether this case is about free speech, coercion, security or safety it is going to have a wide ranging impact on the technology we use everyday and the protection of our data as consumers and is something we all need to keep an eye on.
P.S. Apple did have one small win in this arena when a New York judge ruled that Apple does not have to unlock an iPhone 5S which belonged to a drug dealer in a continuing court case.
After announcing their internet to acquire SwiftKey last month, Microsoft has finalized the purchase of the mobile keyboard company that uses artificial intelligence to learn how you use their onscreen keyboard. Over time it builds a more predictive environment that has collectively saved SwiftKey users almost two trillion keystrokes.
But let's be clear - this addition to Microsoft was not so much about the onscreen keyboards as it is the artificial intelligence technology on the backend that makes it all work so well.
In other tech related news:
Yahoo, a company many believes is in need of a buyer, published an advertising analysis of Gen Xers - a group they label America's most influential generation and America's neglected middle child.
While the report is directed at marketing to this market, there are some interesting stats to take away:
- 81 million adults from age 35 to 54 fall in this group
- 13.5 million post reviews and ratings
- 21.8 million pay attention to those reviews and ratings
- 46% worry their kids are spoiled
- 82% want their kids to understand finances
- Gen Xers make up 55% of startup founders compared to Boomers (29%) and Millenials (17%)
- 77% believe a work-life balance is important
Check out the full detailed report to see more stats like these and other background info on this generation.
The most entertaining tech news:
The former CEO of Microsoft and current owner of the LA Clippers, Steve Ballmer, dunked a basketball at halftime of a Clippers game by jumping on a trampoline to propel himself upwards to the basketball goal.
Afterwards the reaction was classic Ballmer but by making the shot it also meant everyone in attendance would receive a free pair of Converse tennis shoes so the crowd was pretty fired up as well.
What we published yesterday:
Windows 10 Cumulative Update Pushes Production OS to Build 10586.122 - Microsoft is kicking March off with two new updates for its latest operating system.
Microsoft is Dominating its Competitors in the K-12 Education Segment - Microsoft's Windows is a more popular platform in education than many might think.
Three ways Office for Android trumps Office on Windows Mobile - You don’t need Windows to get a great experience with Office. In fact, lately our Android guy has spotted a few examples lately of how Office is actually better on Android than Microsoft’s own Windows mobile platform.