When Touch ID was announced at the iPhone 5s launch, it was immediately besieged by detractors.
One area in particular for detractors is that the Touch ID system is susceptible is via spoofing an owner’s fingerprint. If true, this would pretty much leave the whole system open to an attacker, and now, with the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay, spoofing would easily expose the owner to fraudulent charges placed on the his credit cards.
The most convincing exposition on this was by the German Chaos Club group which quickly posted online video of how to spoof the Touch ID sensor system.
With the advent of Apple Pay based on Touch ID, this issue becomes even more critical.
Two facts are clear:
- it works,
- it is not all that difficult.
However, there is one clarification to point #2. It ought to read:
Pedal to the Metal
In my post to Seeking Alpha I wrote:
- The final sleeper feature with deep implications for Apple’s future is Metal.
- Metal is a new technology for writing graphics programs, particularly animations and games. It allows programmers to write code at a much lower level than previously, and this produces a real, up to 10x performance improvement.
Clearly the newest Apple hardware (iPhone, iPad,a nd possibly Apple TV box) will be getting upgraded processors (system on a chip or SoC), the A8. I wrote in detail on the current A7 in this post, and I also presented my speculations on the A8. While Apple’s creative design keeps them a step ahead in the processor race, because they control both the operating system (iOS) and the processor technology
- Apple is in a unique position to optimize system graphics performance
So what is it that they have done?
Microsoft has introduced its new Surface Pro 3 computer, billed as both a tablet and a laptop. Naturally, they promoted it as the greatest thing, both at the announcement event, and on their website.
There, under the selection Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Pro, they do a comparison with the MacBook Pro. For those who think that comparing the Surface Pro 3 to a MBP is stretching things a bit, below is a list of comparison figures for you to contemplate. Meanwhile, others say that SP3 is really targeting the MacBook Air ( amore reasonable comparison in my view. At Seeking Alpha, Quoth the Raven has a reasonable analysis, although I think he should to examine the real comparison data here.
[click to enlarge]
- Processor – I am asserting that Apple’s A7 64-bit SoC is roughly equivalent to the Core i3 in the low end surface. Geekbench data below more or less corroborate that, and the Anand tech graphics data indicates the A7 may have a significant edge.
- Graphics Processors (GPUs) are built into the Intel chips. Microsoft did not provide detailed specs with its news release, so real comparisons are impossible to make. Just learned the i5 model is the i5-4300U model with HD 4400 GPU running at 2.5Gz. this is similar to the previous model, so I do not expect the benchmarks to increase significantly.
- Prices are rounded up $1 or less to nearest multiple of 10.
- Keyboard for the Surface 3 costs $130. A similar keyboard, Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth for iPad Air costs $70 on Amazon. (Weight = 330 g)
- Memory – On the MacBooks, I have included both RAM and SSD (RAM based drive) sizes. On most configurations listed, the RAM can be increased as a build to order option.
- Weight – I list here the weight both alone and with the keyboard
Unfortunately there is no way of making an objective comparison Continue reading