When Will Passwords & Pins Disappear?

Will Pins and Passwords Die?

When Apple first introduced the touch ID security, there was a lot of skepticism about the new process. Who has access to these finger prints? What was wrong with typing in a password? Who came up with this? Will this be secure? Can this be used against me?

Some individuals still have these sentiments, but almost three years later, most of us don’t even give a second thought about unlocking our phones with our fingerprint. Apple didn’t invent biometrics, but they certainly aided in the mass acceptance of it.

A bill was drafted three years ago that proposed a new federal government-issued ID card. It would contain biometric information such as fingerprints.

“At the most basic, biometrics can be best explained by breaking down the word: bio, as in biological; and metric, as in measurement. That is to say, biometrics are biological measurements. Thanks to the unique nature of many of these measurements, biometrics are particularly suited for identification. Fingerprints, facial measurements, the patterns that your veins make and even the way you walk — all of these characteristics and more are unique to you and you only.”

The card would be needed to authenticate the user’s identity and have their working status and history. Drafters ultimately decided to drop the bill, possibly because there are about 8 million undocumented individuals in the U.S. workforce.

Fingerprint ID’s are just a fraction of the possibilities of biometric technology. I used to believe face recognition was only for James Bond characters, but who knew we would have the same technology illustrated in the 1980’s A View to Kill at our 9–5’s. Many businesses have transitioned from old school paper time keeping and have adopted automated biometric timekeeping systems like Clockwise. There is so much more behind this science then IPhones and secret spies. Biometric technology has capabilities ranging from voiceprint biometrics to invisible biometrics that can measure and track the way you type and use your mouse.

“Apple is reportedly working on sophisticated facial biometrics, and Canada is testing facial recognition technology at its border patrol stations.”

I predict that in 2016 the use of passwords and pins will drastically decrease. As biometric technology advances, the public perception continues to accept the changes it brings. Biometrics has claimed their stance in our every day lives. In 2015, biometric technology made nearly $15 billion in the global market and is estimated to reach $41.5 billion by 2020. The health care industry has begun to integrate this technology in their practices. It eliminates security problems and human error possibilities such as “overlays” (when someone’s records are placed in another’s file).

It may take more time before passwords and pins are completely eradicated, but we are moving closer to them being used interchangeably. The general public isn’t as skeptical to log in to a device with a fingerprint as they were three years ago. Many would actually prefer it because it saves time, it adds another level of protection, and for its accuracy. Biometrics isn’t a trend, it’s the new way of security in this digital age.


The Apple Energy Move


Last week, Apple created a new business unit called Apple Energy. Apple has been buying renewable energy to power its facilities using an instrument called an REC. (Renewable Energy Credit) Essentially, the idea with RECs is that renewable energy, bought by Apple and put into the grid in one place, is used by an Apple facility or store from the grid in another. Because the contribution of renewable energy and usage of energy match, the net is that Apple’s energy usage is logically renewable-sourced. And Apple has been buying a lot of renewable energy. So much so, that Apple is a mini-utility for clean energy. Why do that?


Well, for one, given the volume of clean energy it purchases, Apple can fairly claim itself as a sustainability leader to its customers and employees. Many of both constituencies are millenials, a group particularly focused on buying from and working for companies that act responsibly from an environmental perspective. So, there’s an argument to be made that Apple Energy is simply a smart marketing move to capture hearts of Millennial customers. That’s fantastic and frankly necessary for Apple anyway. But, it’s not the important take-away.


My theory is that it’s about service + product combos. Think about what Apple started in 2007 with the launch of the iPhone. Apple added massive value on both sides of the communication network and created a revolution… without needing to own the delivery network. Apple launched the iPhone on the consumer side of the network and the AppStore (and other services) on the Apple side of the network. AT&T sat in between.

With Apple Energy, Apple may be creating a renewable energy service on one side of the Enernet and matching that to new devices on the consumer side of the network. Devices like smart home tech, batteries and energy appliances that pair with Apple’s renewable energy and differentiate themselves as dynamic energy devices, powered by clean tech.

Depending on how that’s done that could be a transformative moment for energy. Imagine new devices from Apple in their HomeKit suite… Apple’s versions of Nest, Sonos, Sense, Powerwall, and Chargepoint, all with the option to be powered by renewable energy. How? Apple sells you a sexy product with the “guaranteed carbon free” energy as an add-on through it’s renewable energy service. This would be similar to how Tesla bundles in its SuperCharging network for its S and X models. Speaking of which…


It’s no secret that Apple is working on a car. If you believe that’s true, then Apple Energy is a logical move. It’s a place to house R&D into battery tech and EV charging products, and procurement of renewable energy for the fleet of energy devices necessary to support iAutos on the Enernet. It could also be a place, for now, to house some development around its automotive product.

Assuming Apple does launch a car, it’ll need charging stations, for home and community, and a lot of them. If the approach is anything like Apple’s charging philosophy for its phones, Apple will design a custom connector with innovative features that folks never imagined from a “cord”… like a guarantee that the electrons passing through it are green. Apple Energy could house all that.

If it’s not evident by now, I’m impressed by Apple and the Apple Energy move. If I’m right, it’s a massively strategic move for Apple, one that demonstrates leadership and vision. Assuming Apple is successful, the move may also portend a coming, Apple-led shift in products and how businesses and consumers think about energy.

The Secret Ingredient of Being Brilliant

steve jobsEveryone I know wishes that they could harness the creative genius and innovation that Steve Jobs had. He inspired many with his extreme ideas, but there is one secret that I believe greatly contributed to his success – he explored his interests.

During a speech at Stanford, Jobs talked about a calligraphy class that he took:

“I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to [learn calligraphy]. I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture.

None of this had any hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would never have multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”

Jobs wasn’t always working on the iPhone, he made sure that he explored other interests outside of it.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Unsurprisingly, this has been found true in other industries outside of tech. Apparently, fashion designers that spent time traveling abroad had the most creative designs. Something as simple as “new sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights” sparks different synapses in the brain and boosts innovation.

When you are an entrepreneur, it is easy to have tunnel vision and all you can think of is completing each of the million to billion tasks that you need to accomplish to make your business succeed. However, new experiences directly correlate with innovation and success, even if it’s not apparent at all how they do so.

However, maybe you can’t go travel or take a seemingly useless course. Try one of the following instead:

Take a Walk

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner regularly hold walking meetings  because walking boosts creativity, backed by research conducted by Stanford University. Even if you feel yourself falling into a rut in the middle of the day, get outside and take a few laps around the building.

Take a Risk

As Mark Zuckerberg put it, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” If you find yourself just treading water, that probably means that you need to make a move that involves some risk. It’s too tempting to only focus on “surefire” projects and ones where the payoff is incredibly apparent. However, it’s beyond important to take those riskier leaps, even if they scare you.

Take a Class

No, not actually – but you are going to treat your own business as such. Ask questions about everything you’re doing. Ask if you’re finding the quickest route from point A to point B. Ask if your approach will produce your best and greatest work.

You should be constantly challenging yourself, creating new problems, learning how to find new solutions. Incorporate at least one of my suggestions into your life and let me know what happens, I’m sure you’ll be surprised.

Apple Releases New iPhone SE, iPad Pro & Discounted Apple Watch

Today, Apple revealed some new toys for us – a new iPhone, iPad tablet for business use and a cheaper Apple Watch. These announcements were expected to be made in an effort to keep up with the company’s commercial momentum in the face of mounting sales challenges.


That’s right, Apple needs a lift. Sales of its flagship iPhone are leveling off after the surge to record levels last year that made Apple the world’s biggest company by stock market value. We’re wondering if Cook can come up with another big hit.

“Tim Cook has said he thinks there’s a lot of life left in the iPhone product line, despite the media and investor community pressuring Apple over the potential decline in premium iPhone sales,” Brian Blau a tech analyst at Gartner said. “I think it’s exactly these types of things that he has in mind.”

The new phone, named the iPhone SE is an upgrade to the older, four-inch iPhone 5S that was released in 2013. This phone is for consumers who haven’t jumped for the big-screened iPhone 6 models. The new features include a faster processor and graphic performance, which were only available in versions of the iPhone 6.

While shoppers bought a record 74.8 million iPhones in the final three months of 2015, Apple has signaled demand in the current three-month period will fall short of the 61 million iPhones sold in the January-March quarter last year. The iPhone SE will sell for $399 with no cellular contract, significantly lower than larger iPhone models, which list at $549 or more. The smaller phone may appeal to some shoppers, especially in overseas markets, who want a premium phone at lower cost.

The Apple Watch got quite the discount as well. Normally it costs around $350, but now it is only $299. There are also a new variety of accessories including a nylon strap.

Apple is calling the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro “the ultimate PC replacement.” Its screen is fitted with a “true tone display,” which means that the onscreen display changes its color depending on the ambient light. Other features include four speakers, a super advanced camera and a powerful A9X processor. Additionally, the screen encourages users to draw using the Apple Pencil. You can get the new iPad Pro is silver, gold, space gray and rose gold.

Did you tune into the announcement as well? Let us know if you’re planning on buying any of the new gadgets, I’d like to hear why and what you think of them.

Pandora’s Box of Apple vs. FBI

A US district court ordered Apple to break security protections on an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter, drawing the company into a legal fight with FBI and the US government. There has been a huge discussion based on the conflict between confidentiality and terrorism that is sweeping the globe. 


Donald Trump says that Apple should comply with the California judge’s order to help the FBI hack the phone. Being in strong agreement with the government, Trump questioned Apple: “Who do they think they are? We have to open it up!”

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, replied that they won’t provide a “backdoor” for the FBI, saying, “It’s just something we simply don’t have.” Strongly against the order, Apple refuses to build something that could threaten their customers. Apple released an open letter written by Cook, stating “Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.”

Advisor Abbate is siding with Cook, against hacking the iPhone. “If this software was available to the government, then they may be able to access anyone’s phone they want to check without reasons and permission. And once the software gets leaked, you don’t want to imagine what you’ll be facing. There are millions of iPhone users who also need to be protected. If leaving the shooter’s phone locked brings potential crisis to homeland security, will hacking into people’s cell phones really provide safety to us? We have to draw a line to better balance the consequences.”

“We have been experiencing it time and time again, losing freedom by having privileges taken away from us. It’s very critical to make this decision, pro the order,” said Advisor Abbate. “Throughout my years spent managing businesses, I was disappointed by the government and the American traditional system. For example, with the attitudes of the prosecutors, they are so ‘eager’ to prosecute someone in order to advance their career, which is their primary concern. The government should be truly and primarily concerned about the public, they should be protecting and servicing the people.”

China is keeping its eye on the discussion. Analysts have said that in the regulation of information encryption, China would refer to the practice of the U.S. government, having similar requests to technology companies. China has passed new controversial anti-terrorism laws at the end of last year, saying that technology companies are needed to combat growing threats. It also states that if the government requests for technology assistance, the referring company should do it in order to help the police department.

What if this event happened in China? Would Apple make the same decision? Anyone adapting to doing business in China, should know the local “policy.” ApplePay is going live this week and they don’t want to lose such a tremendous market. Compared to Uber’s failure by losing over $1 billion a year in China, Didi Kuaidi, backed by the Chinese technology giants Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, have each spent enormous amounts to subsidize rides to gain market share. “It’s getting better and healthier for the Chinese market, and it’s great they’re going towards the right direction”, said Advisor Abbate, “But AliPay will continue to lead the market.”

Apple’s battle with FBI is literally the Pandora’s box, “Once you open it, even a bit, there’s no way back.” Do you want to open it? Which side you would take?

iPad Pro v. PC

Many tech journalists have been wondering if the iPadPro is a PC or Surface Pro Killer, making side-by-side comparisons. Although this is an intriguing debate, it will not capture the curiosity of the mass market. It doesn’t matter because Apple decided to give them a nudge in the right directions.


Whenever someone is trying to sell you something, truths become stretched and into outrageous lies. So, we should not be too surprised that Tim Cook declared that the PC is dead when he launched the new iPad Pro with a 12.9 inch screen.

I am typing this on a PC with dual monitors. I can’t even imagine how a keyboard and a pencil can compete with the amount of space that I have for multiple tabs, windows, post it notes.

Apple’s Senior VP Eddy Cue told CNN Money that the iPad Pro is aimed at those who “consume” more than they create.

The honest truth is that if the Macbook Air has not replaced the PC yet, then the super-sized iPad Pro tablet is not going to replace PCs anytime soon either. With the lack of traditional desktop software, this extravagant purchase is left for only those that are buying into the death of the PC hype.

There will not be offices full of iPads because consumer computing is where these devices succeed. True, over the past decade our homes have gone from PC towers to laptops and now onto tablets. However, our leisure time makes new demands and changes how we use technology. There has been a rise of the second screen so that we can interact while watching something else on the other. Most people will bring home their work laptops, but they only make it so far as their bag – left behind as we sit on the couch watching TV with our tablets in our hands.

Maybe it is just the name, “Pro.” It is aiming at the creative or prosumer types – the Apple fanboys that want to soak up anything and everything that Apple can offer. A market large enough to replace the PC? No. So why make the case that the iPad Pro will kill the PC? I think that the PC will disappear at some time in the distant future, but the iPad Pro is probably not going to be the gadget that kills it.

What do you think about the iPad Pro hype?




If Apple’s Rumors Were True…

Most find existing cell service carriers scheming and infuriating. One solution for this problem would be to buy your cell phone plan from the same company that makes your iPhone. Imagine just walking into your local Apple store and buying your phone and it’s service all in one stop. Never again would you have to practically beg customer service representatives from traditional telecom companies to solve your problem or get you in touch with someone who could.

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This isn’t the first time that there have been rumors of an Apple-branded cell phone plan. However, Apple continues to deny the speculation. But, what would happen if Apple decided to go forward with offering cell service?

Carriers like Verizon and AT&T are trying to acquire as much digital content as they can to charge their customers to stream over their cellular network. They have to do this because it is much less profitable to only provide access to basic data. The hot commodity is now connectivity. The only way to avoid the problem is for traditional telecom companies to purchase content warehouses such as DirecTV and AOL, then monetize.

If Apple would provide a strong cell service of its own, they would have to do a few things. First, build a telecom infrastructure to carry calls or be a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) by leasing it wholesale. This would mean that big investments would have to be made into an industry with shrinking margins. Even setting up routed calls over free WiFi connections would not be original and not suitable coming from Apple.

In order to turn a profit, Apple would need to offer digital content such as TV shows, music and movies. Apple could make their anticipated streaming video app, Apple TV, available to consumers over a cellular connection. However, once again, this would not be original in the industry, therefore, not Apple. In the case, the company would also need to pay huge sums to build cell towers of its own or pay rivals like Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon to use their networks.

Let’s compare Apple with Google for a minute. Google has already entered the industry with its broadband service, Google Fiber and its cell service with Project Fi. Google makes a profit off of user data instead of service subscriptions, so it has the power to take money-losing positions. So, when the other carriers are bullied into lower rates because of Google, more people use the Internet, giving Google more power.

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Apple isn’t a data company like Google and doesn’t have great performance in cloud-based products. Apple sells hardware, but that doesn’t mean it can’t enter other businesses. However, Apple is more likely to enter into better expanding industries such as automotives.

Even though launching cell service could prove that it is an innovator, disrupting the wireless industry in a revolutionary way would take a lot of effort. Apple should focus on doing what they’re good at, building new machines.