If This Then Bob – TMO Daily Observations 2021-03-04

· Kelly Guimont · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Today Kelly is joined by Bob “Dr Mac” LeVitus to discuss If This Then That, and some of the ways you can use the service to automate your life.

Satechi Releases USB-C Multi-Port Adapter

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Satechi announced on Thursday the launch of a USB-C multi-port dock. It has USB-C PD charging, HDMI and VGA display ports, USB-A data ports, SD card slots, and Gigabit Ethernet, with two detachable USB-C cables – perfect for on-the-go or docked at your desk. Compatible devices include: 2020/2019/2018/2017/2016 MacBook Pro, 2020/2018 MacBook Air, 2020/2018 iPad Pro, 2019/2017 iMac, iMac Pro, 2015/2016/2017 MacBook, Microsoft Surface Laptop 3/Surface Pro 7/Go, Google PixelBook Go, ChromeBook, Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S, HP Spectre Convertible, Razer Blade, Huawei Matebook and more USB-C devices. It costs US$99.99 but with the code MULTIPORT20 you can get 20% off. Valid until March 15.

Satechi Releases USB-C Multi-Port Adapter

47,000 iOS Apps Have Misconfigured Cloud Servers

· Andrew Orr · Link

Generic cloud computing image.

Researchers at Zimperium analyzed 1.3 million Android and iOS apps to detect common cloud misconfigurations. They found that nearly 84,000 Android apps and 47,000 iOS apps have errors.

The researchers found almost 84,000 Android apps and nearly 47,000 iOS apps using public cloud services—like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure—in their backend as opposed to running their own servers. Of those, the researchers found misconfigurations in 14 percent of those totals—11,877 Android apps and 6,608 iOS apps—exposing users’ personal information, passwords, and even medical information.

Google Reveals Plan to End Third-Party Cookies

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google chrome browser window

Google wrote a post updating its plans for its Privacy Sandbox project. Its goal is to make third-party cookies obsolete.

we are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete.

Once these approaches have addressed the needs of users, publishers, and advertisers, and we have developed the tools to mitigate workarounds, we plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome.

I don’t know what the new “open standards” will be, but I’m definitely skeptical given the nature of Google’s advertising business. Will there be a new first-party tracking technique?

Apple Orders ‘Dr. Brain’ Starring Lee Sun-Kyun

· Andrew Orr · Product News

Poster for Dr. Brain

Apple has put in a series order for Korean sci-fi thriller “Dr. Brain.” It’s directed by Kim Jew-Woon and stars SAG Award winner Lee Sun-Kyun.

An Inside Look at Apple TV+ Movie 'Cherry'

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

Ahead of its release on Apple TV+ on March 12, there is a new video about Cherry in which the film’s stars provide an inside look. Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo talk about the self-destructive love story their two characters go on. (Cherry is already available in theaters that are open.)

AWS Announces Ethereum on Amazon Managed Blockchain

· Andrew Orr · Link

Ethereum cryptocurrency

Amazon Web Services announced on Wednesday the general availability of Ethereum on Amazon Managed Blockchain.

With Amazon Managed Blockchain, customers get secure networking, encryption at rest and transport, secure access to the network via standard open-source Ethereum APIs, fast and reliable syncs to the Ethereum blockchain, and durable elastic storage for ledger data. Amazon Managed Blockchain monitors node health, replaces unhealthy nodes, and automates Ethereum software upgrades, improving the availability of customers’ Ethereum infrastructure.

Brave Prepares to Launch the Brave Search Engine

· Andrew Orr · Link

Brave search engine preview

Private browser Brave is getting ready to launch its own branded search engine with its acquisition of Cliqz.

The former Cliqz dev team, who had subsequently been working on Tailcat, are moving to Brave as part of the acquisition. The engineering team is led by Dr Josep M Pujol — who is quoted in Brave’s PR saying it’s “excited to be working on the only real private search/browser alternative to Big Tech”.

Interesting move, and I look forward to more private search engines.

Amazon Fire TV: Over 400 Live Streaming Channels Now Available

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Amazon Fire TV Edition.

Amazon Fire TV now has over 400 live streaming channels, Deadline reported. Furthermore,  half of these are free, ad-supported offerings. Some features have been updated too.

Nearly 20 programmers are supplying live channel content, among them bundled subscription services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and Philo. Newly integrated on Fire are free offerings like Xumo and Amazon’s IMDb TV and news app. Plex will soon join the fold. Voice commands via Amazon Alexa have also been added to live TV programs. Alexa will respond to commands to “play Good Morning America” or “play the Seahawks game,” for example. Live shows also now appear in the “App Peek” feature of the updated Fire TV user interface.