Microsoft Founder and former CEO Bill Gates has come forward with his opinion on the Apple vs. FBI issue, claiming Apple should give the FBI access to information within the iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Gates claims Apple doesn’t have to go so far as to create a back door that could potentially unlock every iPhone out there. Instead, he suggests Apple simply access and fork over the information the FBI is looking for in this isolated case.
Gates’ statement is a big deal as it cuts against the grain with regards to what his Silicon Valley cohorts have said publicly. Even Microsoft’s own President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, tweeted this link to a Reform Government Surveillance statement that essentially says cooperating with law enforcement is one thing, but building backdoors that put people’s data at risk is asking too much.
Which brings us around to the question that nobody seems to have really spelled out for us yet: Is it really necessary to build a full-on back door — a way to get around the iPhone encryption — to help the FBI out, or could Apple just weasel its way in to the phone, root out the info the Feds want, and hand it over? Somehow the latter doesn’t seem plausible, but only Apple knows for sure, though Gates clearly seems pretty confident with his position.
Moving on to news coming out of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: Over the past couple of days, both Samsung and LG revealed their flagship phones. Samsung came with the S7 and S7 Edge, while LG is touting its modular G5. The S7’s offer bigger batteries, better cameras and are waterproof (speaking of, be sure to check out T-Mobile’s underwater unboxing).
Meanwhile the G5 offers two forward-facing cameras — one 16-megapixel standard and an 8-megapixel super-wide angle option — a new metallic uni-body design, and, it’s modular.
That means you can tack on a special high-end camera, or a high-end audio module for better sound, as examples. The only trouble is, you have to shut the phone down, take it apart, reassemble then wait for it to restart. So, not exactly a hot swap, but you do get to choose where your upgrade money goes, and that might be enough to sway folks. There’s lots more to consider, so be sure to check our our review pitting the Samsung S7 against the LG G5 here.
And while you’re at it, you might want to check out the new Oppo phone because, frankly, it’s looking like it might be the real game changer – charge to capacity in 15 minutes? Yes please! Really, who saw that coming?