Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

New Type Of Smart Mirror Launches Called Daptly Display

· · Cool Stuff Found

A new product for the smart home called Daptly Display is being launched by . It was built for a specific consumer in mind—people frustrated with voice-only assistants and want visual cues. Enter the Daptly Display, a smart mirror that acts as a gesture-controlled interface. Amazon Alexa is built in, and the interface is for people who aren’t ready (or don’t want) a voice-only future. As well as acting like a fog-resistant mirror, you can use it as a photo frame, by uploading photos from your phone or choosing among Daptly’s 50,000 photo collection. It’s an interesting take on user interfaces, one that borrows from science fiction while harnessing existing technologies. Check out the promotional video below, and decide if you want to reserve a Display. The device will sell at US$799, but you can get US$200 off if you reserve soon.

GameMaker Studio 2 for Mac in Closed Beta

· · Product News

The game engine from YoYo Games—GameMaker Studio—got a big update today with the release of the second version. It lets developers easily create video games for mobile, console and desktop. Plus, the Drag and Drop system (DnD™) lets people with limited coding skills use it too. You can download a free trial of it too.

Here's How To Protect Yourself From The iCloud Extortionists

· · How-To

iOS two factor authentication

You may have read in the news that a hacker group is holding a number of iCloud accounts for ransom. If Apple doesn’t pay a certain amount of money by April 7, the hackers will reset the accounts and remotely wipe iOS devices. Andrew Orr shows us how to protect your Apple ID.

Tip: Easily Change Your iOS DNS Settings

· · How-To

By default, your device automatically uses the DNS settings provided by your ISP. But you don’t have to use it, especially if you want something geared towards privacy. You may have known that it’s possible to change your DNS on a Mac, but did you know you can also change your iOS DNS? Andrew Orr shows us how it’s done.

Lorek The Robot And The Future Of AI

· · News

siri robot model

Lorek the robot represents a big step in robotics because it can understand human language, as well as the gestures we make in conversations. Researchers from Brown University pulled off this feat of understanding by programming uncertainty into the robot. Andrew Orr explains why this is a big deal.

Skip TV Show Intros With New Netflix Button

· · Cool Stuff Found

Netflix is introducing a new “SKIP INTO” button. It lets you skip the opening credits of your TV show. It works on all episodes of most TV shows except the first episode. After all, you should at least be able to see it once, with the actor and director names in the beginning. Netflix usually already skips the introductions if you’re binging a show. It happens automatically if you watch a TV show and let the app automatically play the next episode. Nevertheless, it’s still a handy option, and it even works on shows where the credits play after several scenes, called a cold open or teaser. Right now the feature is only available on Netflix’s web app, but the company may roll it out to other platforms later on.

Skip TV Show Intros With New Netflix Button

McDonald's Is Testing Mobile Orders from an App

· · News

McDonald's Mobile Ordering on iPhone

Fast food chain McDonalds is testing a fancy new way to order using your smartphone, because, you know, that’s what we’re looking for from McDonald’s. Customers in Monterey and Salinas, California can use the McDonalds mobile app to order food from home and have it ready when they get there. Andrew Orr explains.

Pwn2Own Hackers Found Two Safari Zero Day Exploits

· · News

Yesterday was the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest, and also marks the contest’s 10th anniversary. Hackers compete in challenges to find security holes in popular software and mobile devices. This year, two Safari zero days were found by the white-hat hackers.

iOS Chrome Browser Gets Read Later, Like Safari's Reading List

· · Cool Stuff Found

Google added Read Later to its iOS Chrome browser, a feature similar to Apple’s Reading List in Safari. As the name suggests, Read Later is a section where you can save articles and websites to read later. When you’re browsing in Chrome, you can tap the three dots icon on the upper right. Tap the share icon, then Read Later. Articles are saved offline, so you can read them wherever you are. So far this feature is only on the mobile version of Chrome, but it’s possible Google will add it to the desktop version in the future. The update is available now as part of Chrome version 57 on the App Store.

iOS Chrome Browser Gets Read Later, Like Safari’s Reading List

Apple Just Hired iOS Security Researcher Jonathan Zdziarski

· · News

Jonathan Zdziarski

Apple recently hired a prominent iOS security researcher, Jonathan Zdziarski. Known as NerveGas in the jailbreaking community, Mr. Zdziarski is the author of several books about iPhone forensics and how to secure iOS apps. In light of recent events like the CIA Vault 7 leak, this move may improve Apple’s standing within security and privacy circles.

Googlers Made This Social Video App For iPhone

· · Product News

Google released a new video app called Uptime. The release is significant, in part, because it’s the result of the company’s 20 Percent Time program that allows some employees to spend 20 percent of their time on other projects. Released through Google’s internal incubator Area 120, the app is part social media platform and part video viewer with hooks to YouTube.

Capital One Launched A Natural Language Chatbot Named Eno

· · Analysis

Capital One announced Friday an SMS chatbot for customers called Eno. The company claimed Eno is the first natural language SMS chatbot from a U.S. bank, allowing customers to ask questions using natural language. The ability to interact with artificial intelligences using natural language processing is something big companies like Apple, Amazon and Google are working on with their own virtual assistants.

macOS: Create Apple Notes Subfolders With Ease

· · Quick Tip

Did you know it’s possible to create Apple Notes subfolders? Andrew didn’t, until he stumbled upon this by accident. Creating subfolders lets you organize your notes in more detailed ways that make sense to you. Here’s how to do it on macOS.

Watch Old Cartoons Online With Boomerang for $5 a Month

· · Cool Stuff Found

A new cartoon streaming service is coming this spring. It’s called Boomerang, and it will feature thousands of classic old cartoons like The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Smurfs, Scooby Doo and Tom & Jerry. It’s part of the Boomerang TV network, but this cartoon service will be separate from the network. At launch, Boomerang will be available for iOS, Android and the web, with more devices and platforms soon to follow. You can stream cartoons ad-free for US$4.99/month, or US$39.99/year, with a seven-day free trial. Boomerang will only be available in the U.S., and there’s no word on whether it will expand to other countries. The service will be kid-friendly, and every cartoon episode will be pre-screened for age appropriate content. You can sign up for email updates on the website so you can be notified when it launches.

Watch Old Cartoons Online With Boomerang for $5 a Month