Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Seven Countries Accuse Google of GDPR Violations

· Andrew Orr · Link

Seven different countries are accusing Google of GDPR violations. They ask privacy regulators to take action against Google for its location practices.

“These practices are not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as Google lacks a valid legal ground for processing the data in question. In particular, the report shows that users’ consent provided under these circumstances is not freely given,” it said.

Google’s response is that Location History is off by default, and you can edit, delete, or pause it at any time. Further reading: 6 ways Google tricks you into letting it track your location.

App Sale: The Ocmo Game is Currently Free

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Ocmo is an award winning ninja rope platformer that challenges even hardcore gamers. Fluid movement, physics based gameplay and tight controls create unique sense of freedom and flow. Survive the 80 dangerous levels including secrets and boss fights. Set new records and share speedrunning videos. Swing with tentacles through the levels using momentum to your advantage. Eat rabbits and discover the world. You are the monster of the forest. Features: Lots of dying, ragdoll rabbits, physics-based eating, unique and precise controls, hard to master, well crafted and diverse level design, loads of depth, designed for speedrunning, online leaderboards, beautiful world with a small but dark story to discover, and more. App Store: Ocmo – Free (usually US$4.99)

App Sale: The Ocmo Game is Currently Free

The iPad is a Wonderful Accessibility Tool

· Andrew Orr · Link

The iPad is a wonderful accessibility tool, and one man with Down syndrome uses his iPad to keep up with his family more easily (via The Loop).

This guy, whose genetic abnormality was once thought to cap his learning ability at the kindergarten level, is becoming adept at computer/information age technology.

You folks made that possible. You paid the taxes that produce the classes and programs that give those of us who have special needs the needed special care.

While the idea of using an iPad as your only device enrages so-called “pundits”, people like Greg remind us that the iPad is the computer for everyone.

Some Cool 2018 Cyber Monday Tech Deals

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

We survived Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Now we’re bringing in 2018 Cyber Monday with cool tech deals we’ve found around the web.

Corporations Aren't Aligned With Consumer Interests

· Andrew Orr · Link

No matter how many times Mark Zuckerberg or other CEOs say sorry, corporations will continue to screw us over until someone steps in.

The result is that even if their leaders earnestly wanted to impart meaningful change to provide restitution for their wrongs, their hands are tied by entrenched business models and the short-term focus of the quarterly earnings cycle. They apologize and go right back to problematic behavior.

It’s not just Facebook though, this is every company that puts money over users (so all of them?) Whether you like regulation or not, I think both sides can agree that nothing can be done without outside influence. Like I said in a previous link, criminals don’t voluntarily turn themselves in.

What if You Could Edit Laws Using GitHub?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Washington D.C. has made GitHub the central repository for its system of laws. It’s not a copy of the laws, it’s the actual source. And they can be edited.

Last week, I opened the file on GitHub that had the typo, edited the file, and submitted my edit using GitHub’s “pull request” feature. A pull request is a request to the file’s maintainer to review a change and then, if approved, pull it in to the main file.

This is really neat and I hope more states will follow this approach. It creates a different mindset around the law: One of collaboration and transparency, instead of separation and obfuscation.

JavaScript Attack Can Be Used to Spy on Browser Tabs

· Andrew Orr · Link

Besides the Amazon leak, here’s some more troubling news. Researchers demonstrated a side-channel JavaScript attack that made it possible for them to spy on your other browser tabs. And even Tor is susceptible.

This information can be used to target adverts at you based on your interests, or otherwise work out the kind of stuff you’re into and collect it in safe-keeping for future reference. The technique is described in a paper recently distributed through ArXiv called “Robust Website Fingerprinting Through the Cache Occupancy Channel.”

It doesn’t sound like there’s a fix for this at the moment.

Offline Siri Edges Closer to Reality With Silk Labs

· Andrew Orr · News

Last week Andrew Orr wrote about a patent that Apple filed regarding more offline Siri capability. He thinks the latest news about Silk Labs provides stronger evidence for that.

KeepSolid Launches Free VPN App

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

KeepSolid has launched a free VPN app for iOS. Despite it being free, the company claims there will be no ads, no logs, and no limits. But there are in-app purchases for Turbo Mode.  Enable Turbo mode to get access to 400+ VPN servers in over 70 locations around the world, an even more secure AES-256 encryption, and a top-notch KeepSolid Wise access-granting VPN protocol. Turbo Mode is free to try for seven days, and after that you’ll need a monthly or yearly subscription. To protect user personal information, KeepSolid VPN Lite applies AES-128 encryption for the free version. This protocol was deemed by the US Government to be secure enough to guard its classified information. App Store: KeepSolid – Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

KeepSolid Launches Free VPN App

Amazon Leaks Users' Names and Email Addresses

· Andrew Orr · Link

Amazon is emailing customers to tell them it leaked their names and email addresses due to a “technical error.”

It then goes on to say, “The issue has been fixed. This is not a result of anything you have done, and there is no need for you to change your password or take any other action.”

None of which is terribly reassuring. Although it doesn’t include the customer’s name it doesn’t look like a phishing attack as there is no link and no call to action.

Amazon says there is no need to change your password but you should change it anyway. If they can’t protect emails and names, why would we trust them with our passwords?

Deezer Adds New Features to Apple Watch App

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Global music streaming service, Deezer, has today released an improved version of its Apple Watch app, which now includes brand new features such as direct access to recently played tracks, favorites and Deezer’s core USP ‘Flow’. The app is available worldwide to all users and the new features include: Recently Played: immediate access from “My Music” to all tracks recently listened to on any signed in device, Favorite Tracks: listen to saved songs found within the ‘heart’ icon directly from the home page, and Deezer Flow: the never-ending personal soundtrack that uses smart data and algorithm to play a unique mix of personal favourites and new discoveries. Flow will help you mix your music with new discoveries based on your tastes. One click, and you start streaming your all-time favourite songs from the vinyl records, cassette tapes, compact discs or MP3 files of your childhood, alongside all the best new chart-topping hits you could want. App Store: Deezer – Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Deezer Adds New Features to Apple Watch App

Change App Icons on iOS With This Shortcut

· Andrew Orr · News

Mr. Viticci reverse-engineered the “Add to Home Screen” function that Shortcuts has, and created the Home Screen Icon Creator.