Gee thanx, Apple

Since I was forced onto Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) a couple weeks ago well… it’s more or less been fine.

I like how more apps are taking advantage of native notifications (sorry, Growl), and how with chat apps I can reply directly in the popup. Oh yes, and how Messages has native emoji support — that’s critical. 🙂

I like watching all the stats in Activity Monitor. The new memory compression stuff is interesting to me.

But all in all, life is as it was.

Except….

for…

my phone.

I didn’t realize it until a few days ago. A friend sent me new contact information. I updated things, and after a sync of my phone the updated data wasn’t there. What gives? So I give the iTunes app a deeper look and it seems the “info” panel is gone! How in the world am I supposed to sync my contacts, calendar, and other such things?

Oh I see.

Apple is forcing iCloud upon us.

Great….

Look, I know “cloud” is the hot new sexy. But I’m not willing to trust it (yet). I mean, it’s great for the horsepower and other processing and work stuff. But when it comes to trusting my data to someone else? Gee, that always seems to work out so well, right Adobe? And now they want me to store my credit card information in iCloud? Not just “no”, but “hell fucking no”.

Don’t worry, Apple. My distrust isn’t exclusive to you. And while I can see the convenience in having such information readily available across all my devices, once there’s a leak, talk about my life getting inconvenient. The trade off is not worth it, and you cannot guarantee bulletproof iron-clad security here. Yes, Apple, you have pretty good security, but you also had that big developer portal breach not too many months ago.

So yeah, to sync my contacts, to sync my calendar, I have to use iCloud. Fuck.

So I go ahead and flip that on in the System Preferences.

Then I go into the Calendar app to look at things, and it hangs forever trying to “move calendars to server account”. Watching error messages in the Console got redundant, because apparently it doesn’t know how to break out of this looping. I have to force-quit Calendar.

Then I find the solution? You have to go turn off iCloud Calendar support… which will delete all your local calendar information, so hopefully everything made it up there ok! (you can log into icloud.com to check). Then you launch Calender app, from there Add Account, adding your iCloud support, and from there it will work. It will take a few minutes to sync everything up, but thankfully it seems all my data wound up “in the cloud” OK and so it got it all back.

Gee, thank you Apple for nearly fucking me hard. Looks like you need to add some cases to your test plan.

I will admit, it is nice to just create an event on my phone then it shows up on my desktop. That is nice that I don’t have to explicitly and manually sync to get that. And it isn’t the worst thing in the world if my calendar info gets out. Contacts — well, just ask your friends with Yahoo accounts how great it is to now be subject to all the spam from address books getting slurped up by spammers.

I know Apple wants to push iCloud. I know that for all of iCloud’s suck, it won’t get better unless people start using it. But damnit. I really hate being forced, instead of being able to choose when I feel assured and certain (enough) that my personal data will be secure enough, and I’m willing enough to trust your service.

7 thoughts on “Gee thanx, Apple

  1. Being forced does suck, but that is how Apple has played for a very long time…so whah whah whah. 🙂

    Just curious what data you keep on your phone to be worried? Since you have data on your phone at all, you are at risk…once you cross that line, it is all out there. This all IMHO. I didn’t move to a smart phone for a VERY long time because of privacy concerns. I think if you already have a smart phone, you’ve thrown a decent amount of your privacy out the window…(And my opinion applies to bank cards, credit cards, etc. as well)

    FWIW, iCal stores it’s data in an xml file that you can back up. And if you are backing up your desktop regularly, it doesn’t matter if iCloud fails. And make no mistake, iCloud will fail. Personal backups will be needed….Not that I know from experience or anything… :-/

    • It’s more a general skepticism towards “the cloud” in terms of data storage. I have no problem using cloud services for horsepower and crunching, but storing data? Not so sure.

      I mean, Apple’s new “iCloud Keychain” is all about keeping your credit cards and other such information in iCloud. I’m not really sure about that…. just ask Adobe! just ask Target. Granted, slightly different data breaches, but still.

      In the end tho, I am using the iCloud “sync” for contacts and calendar because yeah, a lot of that’s somewhat public enough, somewhat out there. But still, does it HAVE to be? I mean, we keep getting told to be mindful about sharing our events and locations, as people can use that to do things like track when you’re not at home and thus break into your house. I make a point to generally not Facebook or Blog or Tweet things about what I am doing or will do, but I don’t mind talking about what I did do. Granted, this can’t be perfect (e.g. if I am scheduled to teach for KR Training, that can be advertised on the KRT website, well in advance of the class). But on the whole what I can control and keep from going public, I do. But now, all my calendar info is out there? and just one data breach away? And yes, I have stuff scheduled many many months in advance.

      So you know…. there’s a lot of trust being put in Apple and their services. And speaking as a long-time Apple developer well… I know they’re good, but not immune.

  2. We know the NSA likes use the likes of google and yahoo to see who is emailing who. Now of course they can fine out who John has in his contacts. Who might be taking KR training. Has apple, et al, found all the purpose build back-doors into security based systems? Will some hacker find it first? Naw, I’ll keep as much as I can safely on my own drive thank you.

  3. I work in IT and every time I hear “cloud” I have to force a little puddle of vomit back down…

    Also to add to Dan’s comment….

    Yes, I’ll keep all of my data, pictures, songs, documents and videos on my own servers on my own *private* network.

    Who (other than me) remembers the flap when Google lost thousands of users files when their cloud service broke?

    Who wants the NSA or any other alphabet agency to have access to this info simply by demand on your provider?

    No thanks. I’ll continue to host and admin my own stuff.

    • Oh thank you. Someone else annoyed by the notion of “cloud”. I mean, I get it in a lot of regards, but geez…

      Because just that — no one is immune. And you run into a lot more problems when data is hosted on someone else’s servers (from a legal standpoint). It’s actually why a lot of US-based companies are not winning foreign business, because the US’s legal structure can allow the FBI and whomever else access to all that server data without having to notify you. At least if they want my computer, in theory I’ll know about it.

      Which is even why I still prefer POP over IMAP.

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