Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Britain Wants Strict Privacy Rules for Kids

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Kids lining up against the wall with smartphones

Today Britain rolled out strict privacy protections for kids, like requiring tech platforms to turn on protections by default.

The new rules are the most comprehensive protections to arise from heightened global concern that popular online services exploit children’s information, suggest inappropriate content to them and fail to protect them from sexual predators. The British children’s protections far outstrip narrower rules in the United States, which apply only to online services aimed at children under 13.

Apple Sale: Moment Pro Camera is $3.99, Down from $5.99

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Moment Pro Camera is currently on sale for US$3.99 (regularly US$5.99). You can use the app even if you don’t have a Moment lens. Pro features for filmmakers: Color profiles, bitrates, dual-channel audio meters, real-time waveforms, and fast access to frame rates. Pro features for photographersShoot RAW, split focus/exposure, and manually control everything (exposure, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and focus). Plus there are more features like distortion correction, slow shutter, motion blur, light trails, focus peaking, and more. 

Apple Sale: Moment Pro Camera is $3.99, Down from $5.99

Give Your AirPods Pro Nilfgaardian Armor With Native Union

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Native Union just released new cases for AirPods Pro, and one of them looks like Nilfgaardian armor from The Witcher series on Netflix. The US$19.99 Curve Case is textured silicon with a dust-repellent finish. Another one is a US$49.99 Italian leather case available in black, tan, navy, and green. These new cases officially go on sale today, January 22.

Featuring two designs carefully crafted from genuine leather and textured silicone, the new cases ensure hassle free access to AirPods Pro, charging port and controls. Both designs are compatible with wireless chargers and provide a seamless fit, adding unmistakable style to your everyday carry without compromising function.

Give Your AirPods Pro Nilfgaardian Armor With Native Union

A $10 Million New York Lab Tries to Brute Force iOS Devices

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Inside a lab in New York worth US$10 million, specialists are trying to brute force their way into iPhones and iPads.

What’s going on in the isolation room is important, if silent, forensic work. All of the phones are hooked up to two powerful computers that generate random numbers in an attempt to guess the passcode that locked each device. At night, technicians can enlist other computers in the office, harnessing their unused processing power to create a local supercomputer network.

‘Altered Carbon’ Season 2 Arrives on Netflix February 27

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Good news for sci-fi fans: Altered Carbon season 2 arrives on Netflix February 27, 2020.

Season 2 of the sophisticated and compelling sci-fi drama finds Takeshi Kovacs (Anthony Mackie), the lone surviving soldier of a group of elite interstellar warriors, continuing his centuries-old quest to find his lost love Quellcrist Falconer (Renée Elise Goldsberry).

I enjoyed watching the show so I’m excited for season 2. It’s been so long since I’ve seen season 1 that I forgot For All Mankind’s Joel Kinnaman was in it.

Clearview AI Helps Law Enforcement With Facial Recognition

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In a long read from NYT, Kashmir Hill writes about a startup called Clearview AI that works with law enforcement on facial recognition.

You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

Command the ‘Undead Horde’ as a Necromancer

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In most games and other depictions, necromancers are usually the bad guys. But in Undead Horde you get to play as one. Come to think of it, that could still make it the bad guy. Your enemy is the paladin Benevictor, who defeated you and imprisoned you in a cage. But thanks to an unlikely hero you have escaped. Slay the living, then reanimate them as your own soldiers. Upgrade your character with an endless number of weapons, armor, and magical items, and sell and trade your loot for more gear. And the best part about Undead Horde is that it’s one of those “old-fashioned” games without in-app microtransactions. No coins, gold, gems, etc. Just one purchase and you get to play. App Store: US$5.99

Command the ‘Undead Horde’ as a Necromancer

Your Online Activity is a Social Credit Score

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Violet Blue has an interesting take, that of your online activity as a social credit score. The SCC is something we usually associate with China, but we’re seeing trends suggesting America is moving toward a similar system.

Combine this with companies like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and yes, Airbnb deciding what legal behaviors are acceptable for service, and now we’re looking at groups of historically marginalized people being denied involvement in mainstream economic, political, cultural and social activities — at scale.