Nice writeup in Forbes about the new Dell business class 13" Core M 2-1. Clearly this is built to be a machine for work, leisure and everything in between. Some nice built-in security features too. With a 13" screen it has a near ideal display size & weight ratio to be a great all-around machine. Congrats to Dell I think they'll have a lot of success with this.
The commonality between iCloud and Apple Pay is not so much technical as it is with company's ethics and how the company presents its products and services to consumers. In the case of iCloud the vulnerabilities were multiple and absolutely involved the failure by Apple to use very basic security measures, especially related to iCloud backups.
Decisions like these are normally made by marketing to make the product or service easier-to-sell. If this charade continues we will see regulation imposed on the tech industry like how the pharmaceutical industry was forced to explain the risks of using their drug....."Caution, this might cause depression or theft of confidential data" :-)
Maybe it's because Apple Pay joins the list of over-hyped payment technologies sold to the public as secure when in fact there are known vulnerabilities. ""Definitely, attackers will go after Apple's infrastructure itself," K. K. Mookhey, director of Indian information security company Network Intelligence, tells Information Security Media Group. "NFC security issues were highlighted back in 2013 at the Black Hat conference, which only goes to show that no technology is impervious to dedicated attackers."
More specifically Apple implements Pay on their new watch and unlike the phone there is no fingerprint scanning. Authorization to enable the watch for purchases hinges on a PIN and PINs are notoriously vulnerable.
It's acceptable for new devices to have "some" risk because even the status quo has that, but that the vendors pushing the wallet replacement & mobile banking in general go to great effort to convince a technically ignorant public into believing their offerings are secure. Until iCloud's poor security became front page news Apple happily presented it as secure. At least that didn't involve one's bank account.
But banks don't absorb the loss. They pass on that cost so in effect consumers are subsidizing the liability of device vendor's poor security. Banks are seeing a lot of fraud due to the Home Depot hack. That will get passed on to bank customers too. Some of this is subsidy is understandable and even acceptable but vendors have taken advantage of this and see it as a free pass to continue churning out junk security.
The scheme you're describing sends one-time tokens instead of credit card data. That serves the purpose to protect the card data but if a thief presents the correct authentication to a stolen smartwatch they can masquerade as the owner and send new one-time tokens to make fraudulent purchases. It remains to be seen how strong Apple's smartwatch PIN needs to be. At this point in time almost any password a person can typically remember will not be strong enough to offer much resistance to a competent adversary.
For sure this problem is not specific to Apple, it's an industry-wide issue but it's highly misleading to to the public to portray these devices as "unhackable".
The Business Insider reports on the security features of Apple Pay in the smartwatch. Unlike the iPhone where the user holds their finger on the sensor for authentication, the smartwatch has no such feature. Instead it has four sensors on the watch's back that measure heart rate and the Pay feature is disabled when the watch is removed. Each time the person places the watch on their wrist they will need to enter a code to access the user's stored credit card data. So the first purchase requires more effort to use Apple Pay than just swiping a credit card at register, but that's beside the point.
More importantly it appears the entire security of this device rests on the complexity of the password the user is supposed to enter to re-enable the Pay feature. How complex is this code supposed to be? Four characters? Six characters? Eight? A common PC equipped with a modern GPU and appropriate tools can defeat all the above passwords in well under than a second. Even an eight character password composed of decimal digits, upper and lower case letter can be defeated in less than a minute on commodity PCs.
What is happening is that tech companies are so eager to push highly profitable services to consumers that they sacrifice the necessary security controls in order to make them easy-to-use. The end result is that vendor's poorly designed but highly profitable gear is pushing the cost and liability of fraud back to consumers through the banks that server them.
And because Apple did so well with iCloud we'll just take this on faith.
Security resilient servers can be made because they perform a narrow range of tasks to the point they almost become an appliance. It is feasible to lock-down the firmware, the OS and even a certain amount of applications code.
If you're expecting to see a general purpose PC used for email, web surfing and popular common PC tasks become un-hackable you will be setting yourself up for a huge disappointment. Flexibility is at the opposite end of the spectrum of security and there is no magic bullet.
Would be a convenient way to dock those little 2-1 devices to one's network and peripherals. But people concerned about security don't use Bluetooth mice or keyboards today because they don't want to broadcast their keystrokes to their neighborhood. Because SkyLake aims to add display and network connectivity to the list of data relying on the wireless link the security must be near impenetrable. Realistically, impenetrable security and mass market products virtually never happen. I recommend Intel also have an alternative initiative that facilitates easy docking with a trusted old-tech cable. Maybe that's a future version of Thunderbolt or USB.
Core M is definitely higher priced than most ARM products but what''s more important is the total system cost and ROI to the buyer. Intel is projecting Core M tablets to be available in the $599 range which is not radically higher than $430 iPads. However between the two devices there is huge difference in raw performance and capability. On multiple benchmarks the Core M is between 3-4X the performance of iPad Air. Plus the 2-1 configuration means Core M is capable of being a true laptop with laptop like performance, a tablet and capable of being a decent desktop when docked.
We may not see $599 prices before the holidays but for a $170 price difference between a Core M 2-1 and iPad Air this is an easy choice which product to buy.
From the moment the Asus T100 hit the street it was obvious that the 2-1 format was a winner. That product is a device for all occasions, laptop when you need it, tablet when you want and it docks beautifully. One noticeable limitation to the Asus is that a 10" display is just a bit too small to use all day long in portable mode. And because the display is small the keyboard is also smaller than standard making the typing a bit challenging.
To improve on the 2-1 format as a device for all occasions the ideal display size is probably around 13" which also corrects the keyboard issue. Fortunately it seems nearly all the announced Core M 2-1s will have near 13" display which is about as close to the sweet spot for an all-in-one device one can get. In fact a 13" Core M 2-1 is one of the few devices on the way that is a worthy upgrade to the venerable T100.
It looks like so many of those casual $20 watches sold at shopping mall kiosks except the battery life on the $20 watch is about three years and on the $350 Apple watch its about one day.
"Specifically, the Core M Y50-powered device took to Cinebench in multithreaded 3D rendering workloads and scored in line with Intel’s various Core i5 mobile CPUs, again that typically take residence in full-sized notebooks. From there, with respect to graphics, it absolutely ripped up 3DMark with Ice Storm Unlimited with scores in the 45 – 50K range, which leave some of the fastest tablet SoCs on the market, like NVIDIA’s Tegra K1, in the dust."
Initially Core M devices will carry a price premium but for those that want great performance in a slender silent Windows package Core M is the one to get. This holiday shopping season just became a lot more interesting.
The phrase "one-device-to-carry" predated the existence of wearables. It is used generically. So are you saying changing the verb alters the outcome? If, not then why post at all?
The direction Apple is moving is exactly opposite of the vision of "one-device-to-carry" and towards a "many-things-to-manage" parasitic approach. Even apart from the questionable aesthetics I have a difficult time envisioning the masses embracing the idea of having to purchase and keep another device charged, updated and secured for so little utility. I'd hold the same view even Apple's smartwatch had an Intel SoC because its flaws are at the user-experience level.
While the $1,000 Intel-based bracelet will likely prove to be too costly to go mainstream at least its a standalone device and that's all the owner needs to carry. Plus, a standalone device can be redesigned to serve a wide range of applications and markets where aesthetics and price are less of an issue than the consumer market.
But Apple's parasitic multi-device dependency doesn't bring simplicity to one's life at all. It complicates one's life with more devices to carry & manage for so little benefit.
Score a big one for Intel's wearable strategy. Their product concept has a more promising future.
"millions more will be doing EVERYTHING computing-wise on their phones"
That is probably true but it's not going to happen with iOS. Doing "EVERYTHING computing-wise on their phones" won't happen until full Windows runs on a smartpone - Then you can do everything.
For wearables, I'm enthusiastic about medical applications, health monitoring, medical alerts, etc. To the disabled, the ill or simply frail, a wearable can mean the freedom of staying in one's own home, living independently and with dignity.
A smartwatch or bracelet might help someone get assistance after a fall or other emergency situation where the person can't reach their regular phone and it could save a life. With 3G capability the person doesn't even need to be at home, they could enjoy mobility within their community.
Maybe medical isn't as sexy to the tech media as a product from Barney's, but it the overall scheme of things it is certainly important and the economics is attractive.
The problem with all the smart watches and bracelets is that they are supposed to be fashionable but as any fashion conscious person knows, fashion is about mixing it up and changing the look. A glance at any woman's shoe closet should teach a smartwatch designer a thing or two about how fashion really works. Besides, a fashion accessory is only an accessory if the person doesn't need it, otherwise it's an anchor.
It's one thing to wear a geeky-looking watch every day if it prevents having to carry a smartphone but to spend $350 for an oversized watch and one still has to carry the smartphone is a bit of a stretch.
Easier said than done. Adobe Creative suite even has problems with AMD CPUs and that's x86 compatible.