Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Yubico Authenticator iOS App Now Supports NFC

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While Yubico has a security key that plugs into your iPhone via Lightning, the app also supports NFC YubiKeys now.

Instead of storing the time-based one-time passcodes on a mobile phone or computer, Yubico Authenticator generates and stores one-time codes on the YubiKey. A user must present their physical key in order to receive the code for login. This not only eliminates security vulnerabilities associated with a multi-purpose computing device, but also offers an added layer of convenience for users that work between various machines.

Massive Procreate 5 Update Brings a Ton of Features

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Procreate is one of the most popular drawing apps on iOS, and it got a bunch of new features today with Procreate 5. Here are just some of them: Animation Assist helps you create rich illustrative animations, animatics and looping GIFs to share with others. Brush Studio lets you create your own brush has never been easier with the new seamless textures generator. An expanded Drawing Pad sets you free to experiment. Save a reset point at any time and keep on refining. You can also import ABR Photoshop brushes. The new Valkyrie engine gives artists the most flexible and versatile painting system on iPad. If you want to make a glazed brush that wet mixes, has color dynamics, and also has wet edges with burnt edges? You can. And all with Procreate’s trademark performance. App Store: US$9.99 (Offers In-App Purchases)

Massive Procreate 5 Update Brings a Ton of Features

Swiss Company Launches Apple TV Remote Alternative

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Swiss company Salt has launched an Apple TV remote alternative with more buttons and less touch pad.

Thanks to Apple’s input, the alternative remote doesn’t require any pairing with ‌Apple TV‌ and works out of the box. It includes directional arrows in place of the Siri Remote’s glass Touch surface, a power button in addition to a Menu button, along with separate volume and channel rockers and traditional media playback buttons.

Supposedly Apple even worked with Salt to create this.

File Speeds Using iOS Files are Terrible Compared to Finder

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Redditor u/j1ggl did a test to compare Finder and Files using a folder of 2048 texture files. The folder was only 1MB, but iOS Files still handled different tasks way worse than Finder. For example, using the app’s built-in zip function, zipping the folder took 3 seconds with Finder and 38 seconds with Files. Unzipping took 7 seconds versus 42 seconds, respectively.

Conclusion: The Files app for iPhone/iPad is badly optimized and not ready to handle a larger amount of files, even though they take up just 1MB in total. It is also worth noting that the iPad required several reboots to even achieve the zipping and unzipping of the folder.

How the De-Aging Process Behind ‘The Irishman’ Worked

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Filmed by Martin Scorsese, The Irishman tells the story of Mafia hitman Frank Sheeran and the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Their first concern was making sure the actors would be comfortable. “The process doesn’t use animation, it actually records the faces of actors with every nuance of their performance and replaces them with the younger CGI faces,” Prieto explains. “The advantage is that you don’t have to place motion-capture marks on the actors’ faces or helmets with little cameras. In fact, they don’t even wear makeup. It feels perfectly natural to them. This was a prerequisite for Scorsese — he did not want the actors to be encumbered with any VFX paraphernalia.”

It’s a long, 3.5-hour movie but I thought it was good.

Saudi Aramco Expected to Beat Apple as ‘Most Valuable Company’

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Oil giant Saudi Aramco recently had the world’s biggest IPO of US$25.6 billion. At that level it has a market valuation of US$1.7 trillion, beating Apple to become the world’s most valuable company.

Aramco did not say when shares would start trading on the Saudi stock market but two sources said it was scheduled for Dec. 11.

Saudi Arabia relied on domestic and regional investors to sell a 1.5% stake after lukewarm interest from abroad, even at the reduced valuation of $1.7 trillion.

Robocalls and Scams are Killing Phone Calls

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Sarah Hagi writes how the phone call is dying thanks to the rise of robocalling. Now, many people don’t answer unknown callers and instead send them to voicemail.

Speaking to so many people, it struck me how resigned everyone was to this fact: that this is seemingly just the way things are now, with no hope of it getting better, only worse. And while many believe millennials killed talking on the phone because we fear real connection, maybe it’s because we are too scared of getting scammed.

It’s appropriate to come across this article today because I’ve gotten an increase in robocalls in the past couple of days. Aside from using a robocall-blocking app, I go to Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers.

Bernie Sanders Unveils ‘High-Speed Internet for All”

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Today Bernie Sanders revealed a plan to expand broadband access across America called ‘High-Speed Internet for All’.

High-speed internet service must be treated as the new electricity — a public utility that everyone deserves as a basic human right. And getting online at home, at school, or at work shouldn’t involve long waits, frustrating phone calls, and complex contracts and fees meant to trap and trick consumers. It should just work.

It’s time to take this critical 21st century utility out of the hands of monopolies and conglomerates and bring it to the people while creating good-paying, union jobs at the same time.

Apple Clips 2.1 Brings Animoji and Memoji

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Apple’s Clips app lets people create and share fun, short videos for social media. Updated yesterday Clips 2.1 brings Animoji, Memoji, and more. Record clips as your favorite Animoji including unicorn, owl, dragon, and others; Create videos featuring the same Memoji that you make in Messages; Apply filters to stylize your Animoji and Memoji with watercolor, monochrome, and comic book looks; Track any sticker, text, or emoji to your face and watch it follow your movements across the screen; Choose from seven new animated stickers featuring classic illustrations of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse; Add the animated Let It Snow poster to your winter videos; Includes performance and stability improvements. App Store: Free

Homeland Security Cancels Facial Recognition Plan for Americans

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Homeland Security had a plan to expand its use of airport facial recognition to include U.S. citizens. After much outcry the agency will drop that plan, although foreign nationals and visitors will still face mandatory scanning.

A spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection, which filed the proposal, said the agency has “no current plans to require U.S. citizens to provide photographs upon entry and exit from the United States,” and that it “intends to have the planned regulatory action regarding U.S. citizens removed from the unified agenda next time it is published.”

Behind the Scenes of VSCO With CEO Joel Flory

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VSCO is my favorite photo editor and TechCrunch’s Kate Clark sat down with CEO Joel Flory to talk about his company.

Without selling ads or customer data, VSCO has developed a sustainable subscription-based business and written a new playbook for social media businesses in a world where Facebook’s advertising-based model is king. For those fed up with platforms that have facilitated bullying and failed to prioritize privacy, VSCO may be a protective corner of the internet.

I have a couple more VSCO articles planned for the future, like a review of the editing tools.