Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

iPhoneographers: New Shot on iPhone Challenge

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Apple is holding a new Shot on iPhone challenge that will run from January 22 to February 7. A panel of judges will review worldwide submissions and select 10 winning photos.

Post your best photo taken on iPhone to Instagram or Twitter with the #ShotOniPhone hashtag to participate in the the Shot on iPhone Challenge. Weibo users can participate as well using #ShotOniPhone#. In the image caption, note which model was used. Alternatively, you can also submit the photo in its highest resolution to shotoniphone@apple.com with the file format ‘firstname_lastname_iphonemodel.’

iPhone XS Max DxOMark Score Ranks it Fourth

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The iPhone XS Max DxOMark score causes the iPhone to rank fourth in the list. With a score of 82 it barely edges out the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

Achieving a DxOMark front camera score of 82, the Apple iPhone XS Max puts in a solid performance for both still and moving images during our tests, and is a nice improvement over its predecessor, the iPhone X. For still photos, the device boasts some great strengths for selfie shooters, including excellent HDR, bokeh shots, and detail at close range, which are among the best results we’ve observed for front cameras.

Raised issues include noise, white balance, and skin rendering.

Google Hopes No One Notices it's a Digital Oil Baron

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A day after the company got fined over privacy and consent practices, Google CFO Ruth Porat says data is more like sunlight than oil.

Most people know the phrase “data is the new oil,” a theory about how the world’s most valuable resource is information rather than petroleum. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday morning, Google chief financial officer Ruth Porat said: “Data is more like sunlight than oil … It is like sunshine, we keep using it and it keeps regenerating.”

Google wants to ride the coattails of alternative energy instead of being associated with those nasty old oil barons in the hope that no one will notice similarities. Also the phrase “We keep using it and it keeps regenerating” underscores the belief that data can be collected from people and used for free.

Book Sale: Fossils, Finches, and Fuegians for $1.99

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Fossils, Finches, and Fuegians is a narrative account of Charles Darwin’s four year voyage on the Beagle to South America, Australia and the Pacific in the 1830s that combines the adventure and excitement of Alan Moorehead’s famous (and now out of print) account with an expert assessment of the scientific discoveries of that journey. The author is Charles Darwin’s great-grandson. No biography of Darwin has yet done justice to what the scientific research actually was that occupied Darwin during the voyage. Keynes shows exactly how Darwin’s geological researches and his observations on natural history sowed the seeds of his revolutionary theory of evolution, and led to the writing of his great works on The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. Apple Books: US$1.99

Book Sale: Fossils, Finches, and Fuegians for $1.99

AMD Radeon Navi GPU Support Coming to macOS

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AMD Radeon Navi GPU support is coming to macOS. Code for four graphics cards is present, referring to Navi 9, Navi 10, Navi 12, and Navi 16.

The new device ID is 0x73101002. We need to keep our eyes on this kext development for more news and support as its getting close to the “Navi-dad”. we saw similar code in Sierra prior to the Vega release. Navi in 6 months?

Feliz navidad everyone!

Police Looking for WalMart iPhone Thieves

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Police are looking for WalMart iPhone thieves who stole US$40,000 worth of iPhones and Apple Watches across multiple states.

The suspects are identified as James J. Jordan, 42, and Jahmir Andre Mitchell, 19, both from Philly. They remain at large, but face felony charges of participating in a corrupt organization, receiving stolen property and retail theft and a misdemeanor conspiracy charge.

Sounds like these guys are suspects in multiple cases. Hopefully they will be caught.

Pocket Build Update Brings Dragons and Other Monsters

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I’ve been playing the sh*t out of Pocket Build lately. It’s a fun sandbox game where you can build your own fantasy world. There are castles, different types of people, trees, fences, farms, goblins, rocks, etc., and now a new series called Dragons & Monsters. Deploy people and goblins to harvest resources, which you can spend towards building. Pocket Build is similar to Minecraft but with a bit less adventure. Instead of having a main character, it’s more like one of those “be a god” simulations. You start with the default world called Pocket Town, which gives you a good head start with resources, people, and a farm. You can build your own worlds, and explore other players’ worlds if they are set to public. I think my favorite part is that there are no special gems or other currency where the developers make you spend real money on, like so many games do. You can tip the developers which will give you a certain amount of resources, but it’s not necessary to play the game. App Store: US$1.99 (Offers In-App Purchases)

Pocket Build Update Brings Dragons and Other Monsters

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.