Motorola Razr Flip Phone Making a Comeback

· · Cool Stuff Found

USA Today writes: “Remember the Motorola Razr from the early 2000s? Motorola’s super-thin, metallic flip phone that was the “it” phone before the iPhone and Galaxy started a smartphone revolution. Well, if a new report [from the WSJ] is to be believed, it will soon be making a comeback.”

Estimated price ::cough:: US$1,500.

Screen size and 5G details aren’t yet known. But it seems like an uphill battle against modern smartphones with edge-to-edge displays. Maybe useful as a second phone? We’ll have to see if this fantasy from the past pans out.

Motorola Razr Flip Phone Making a Comeback

Google Investigation Shows Apple Was Right About Face ID

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Take this with a grain of salt because this tweet is all I’ve seen about this. But David Ruddock of AndroidPolice mentioned a Google investigation trying to determine if certain types of fingerprint sensors are secure.

Another CES Story: I’ve heard Google is currently investigating whether current optical fingerprint sensor designs are secure enough to be used for TrustZone auth (mobile payments, banking apps, etc). There is real concern optical FPRs may be too easy to spoof.

Although facial recognition came to Android first, it was there for convenience as a way to unlock your device. But Apple added it for security, and it looks like they bet on the right horse.

A List of macOS Touch Bar Apps

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The Touch Bar on recent Macs doesn’t seem to get a lot of love, but David Nield writes about macOS Touch Bar apps that do make use of it.

We’re only going to limit ourselves to mentioning one Apple app in the list, but dig around, and you’ll find that pretty much every native macOS program includes some Touch Bar shortcuts you might find useful.

Personally I’m of the opinion that the feature is gimmicky and doesn’t add much functionality to Macs.

Some Guidelines on how to Spot Bad Science

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Recently I wrote a PSA on Wi-Fi and cancer, and a lot of people disagree with me by sending me links to studies and other news that also disagree. That’s fine, but at the same time a lot more effort goes into scientific research than cherry picking Google results. I don’t claim to know better than these studies, but a scientific study needs to be taken into context of the field as a whole. John Oliver had a good segment on studies and how they can be misunderstood. Compound Interest has a rough guide to spotting bad science and red flags to watch out for. I’ve made use of this guide for some time, and I think it’s helpful.

This graphic looks at the different factors that can contribute towards ‘bad’ science – it was inspired by the research I carried out for the recent aluminium chlorohydrate graphic, where many articles linked the compound to causing breast cancer, referencing scientific research which drew questionable conclusions from their results.

Nomie 3 is a Private Lifelogging Tool

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Nomie 3 is a lifelogging tool that lets you track almost anything you can think of. Whether you want to track your water intake, caffeine intake, number books read, how much exercise you do, etc., this app  can do it. Best of all, it’s 100% private. You don’t have to create an account or connect to a cloud service in order to use the app. According to its privacy policy, there is no third-party disclosure or third-party analytics, and it complies with Fair Information Practices. The app is free, and there are no ads. There are certain in-app purchases that unlock functionality, but the app is also useable without these purchases. I discovered and downloaded the lifelogging tool last night and will be using to track various metrics in my life. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Nomie 3 is a Private Lifelogging Tool

Cortana no Longer an Alexa or Google Home Competitor

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Google Home smart speaker

Microsoft no longer sees its Cortana digital assistant as a competitor to the more popular Alexa and Google Home. The company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, said that it should be further integrated with its rivals’ platforms instead, The Verge reported. Microsoft and Amazon already partnered for some Cortana/Alexa integration, and this is clearly where Microsoft intends to take the product next – more of an app or service across multiple platforms, not hardware to be sold.

CEO Satya Nadella revealed that Microsoft no longer sees Cortana as a competitor to Alexa or Google Assistant. “Cortana needs to be that skill for anybody who’s a Microsoft 365 subscriber,” explains Nadella, referencing Microsoft’s new consumer subscription push. “You should be able to use it on Google Assistant, you should be able to use it on Alexa, just like how you use our apps on Android and iOS so that’s at least how we want to think about where it’ll go.”

Federal HTTPS Certificates Not Renewed Because of the Government Shutdown

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Gove Expired HTTPS

The U.S. Government shutdown has affected a whole host of areas in the public sector. One that might not immediately spring to mind, but is rather important nevertheless, is federal HTTPS certificates. Techcrunch had a look into the issue and compiled a list of all the federal HTTPS certificates that expired, or are about to expire. It included domains that redirect to the Congressional record and websites for agencies such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If you go to one of the sites with an already expired HTTPS certificate, such as disasterhousing.gov, you get a warning that the site might not be secure.

During the government shutdown, security experts noticed several federal websites were throwing back browser errors because the TLS certificate, which lights up your browser with “HTTPS” or flashes a padlock, had expired on many domains. And because so many federal workers have been sent home on unpaid leave — or worse, working without pay but trying to fill in for most of their furloughed department — expired certificates aren’t getting renewed. Renewing certificates doesn’t take much time or effort — sometimes just a click of a mouse. But some do cost money, and during a government shutdown, there isn’t any.

Madden NFL Overdrive Football for iOS

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It is NFL Conference Championship weekend. If you can’t wait until kick-off on Sunday, try Madden NFL Overdrive for iOS. It is a fun, fast-paced game in which you are the coach and quarterback – build your team, call plays, and execute them. There are all sorts of different leagues and tournament types players can enter. However, I enjoy Overdrive mode, which is simple 3-minute games played live against other players online. Madden NFL Overdrive can be downloaded from the App Store on both iPhone and iPad. It is free with in-app purchases available.

Madden NFL Overdrive Football for iOS

TWIST+ World Adapter Duo for MacBook: $32

· · TMO Deals

TWIST+ World Adapter Duo for MacBook

We have a deal on the TWIST+ World Adapter Duo for MacBook. With this device, you can turn any outlet into a 4-in-1 powerhouse. You can also charge up to 4 devices via the charger, 2 USB ports, and universal AC outlet. It’s $32 through our deal.

Cricut, Rocket Book, and Setapp, with Bob LeVitus - ACM 497

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

In this episode, Bob LeVitus tells Bryan Chaffin all about the Cricut. This thing can cut 150 different substances, draw, write, and like I said, even sew. And you can control it from your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. They also discuss Rocket Book, which is part reusable paper (you can erase it!) and part app-based service that will scan what you write and draw and convert text with OCR. They cap the show with a look at Setapp and why they think this multi-app service for the Mac is great.