Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Rich People Worried iPhone Not Making Them Enough Money

· Andrew Orr · Link

A couple of iPhone suppliers—Hon Hai and AMS AG—have said they probably won’t make as much money as they thought, and Wall Street is panicking.

The accumulation of warning signs has prompted analyst revisions in the past week. Guggenheim on Wednesday said the company’s recent reliance on rising average selling prices was “no longer enough” to boost growth at a time unit sales show signs of slowing. Shares in Japan Display Inc., one of the quartet that reduced its sales outlook, slid 9.5% Thursday.

I’m certainly no economic expert, but I’m pretty sure the fact that Apple is a stable company now is a good thing. Apple anticipated this years ago and is expanding their sources of revenue. Meanwhile, somewhere on Wall Street little Tommy won’t be getting a Maserati for Christmas.

Apple Holiday Returns and Refunds Now in Effect

· Andrew Orr · News

Items purchased at the Apple Online Store that are received between November 14, 2018 and December 25, 2018, may be returned through January 8, 2019.

DeepMind Health Team Moving to Google (Update)

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google’s subsidiary DeepMind Health is restructuring and becoming part of the company. Now that its new app Streams is a Google product, people are concerned that Google will start linking patient health data to their respective Google accounts. My thought: You could just delete your Google account, but the health data will likely be added to an advertising profile of you instead. Update: A spokesperson from DeepMind reached out to me to make some clarifications. I’ve also changed the headline to make it more accurate.

Patient data is, and will continue to be, kept strictly separate from other Google projects/products, and subject to strict audit and access controls. Our contractual agreements with existing partners, and their restrictive rules on patient data, are still in force and unchanged. Patient data remains under our partners’ strict control, and all decisions about its use will continue to lie with them. The move to Google does not affect this.

Don't Pick Holiday Presents That Can be Hacked

· Andrew Orr · Link

Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included gift list helps you shop safe for the holidays. It shows all of the holiday presents and tech gear that can be easily hacked. Ashley Boyd, vice president of advocacy at Mozilla, told Wired:

We want to provide people information about how to make informed decisions when shopping for gifts that are connected to the internet. These products are becoming really popular. And in some cases, it’s easy to forget that they’re even connected to the internet.

I think this is a fantastic idea and it brings more awareness to the insecurity of many popular gadgets and gear.

Unravel is a Foldable Wireless Charging Station

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Perfect for travelers, Unravel is a foldable wireless charging station with three 10W Qi charging pads, as well as one USB Type-C port. Powered by a cable many already have, a patent-pending hinge design that folds into accommodating orientations, and a non-slip grip surface, Unravel is the solution to long Facetime calls, cluttered laptop bags, and limited power outlets. When you’re done using it, you just fold it up and put it in the 2″ travel case. Unravel met its Kickstarter goal in 40 minutes, and sitting at nearly $300k raised with a 12 hours left on the campaign. Rewards start at US$59 to get a charging station, and the estimated delivery is December 2018.

Unravel is a Foldable Wireless Charging Station

This Website Lets You Listen to Orcas Using Hydrophones

· Andrew Orr · Link

A website called Orcasound lets you listen to orcas using hydrophones, which are underwater microphones. Scientists use these recordings to find and study whales, especially at night or in bad weather.

The team behind Orcasound hope that non-expert listeners will help quickly alert researchers to the presence of orcas, so they can send out boats to test fecal matter and leftover bits of prey, thereby getting a better sense of what the whales are eating.

If you like whales and you’re interested in citizen science, check out Orcasound.

Spotify Apple Watch App Debuts Today

· Andrew Orr · News

The new integration with Apple Watch makes accessing your recently played songs simple, even with your phone in your pocket.

Remembering Stan Lee: An App Store Story

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Legendary comic book writer Stan Lee passed away yesterday. Apple is featuring a story in the Today section of the App Store called Remembering Stan Lee. Today Apple celebrates Mr. Lee’s legacy with apps and games featuring his iconic crimefighters in all their masked glory. On the app side, we see Marvel Unlimited, Marvel: Color Your Own, comiXology, and Olli by Tinrocket. In the game section we see Marvel Contest of Champions, Marvel Strike Force, Marvel Battle Lines, and Marvel Avengers Academy. Finally, the story notes that Mr. Lee served in the Army during WWI, and two apps in this section include Sandboxx, to send a letter to service members, and Apple Books.

Remembering Stan Lee: An App Store Story

Yet Another Facebook Vulnerability Found

· Andrew Orr · Link

Another Facebook vulnerability has been found that could have exposed information about users and their friends.

The security company Imperva has released new details on a Facebook vulnerability that could have exposed user data. The bug allowed websites to obtain private information about Facebook users and their friends through unauthorized access to a company API, playing off a specific behavior in the Chrome browser. The bug was disclosed to Facebook and resolved in May.

At this point Facebook is a giant dumpster fire. Get out while you still can.

Google Traffic Was Hijacked, Routed Through Russia, China

· Andrew Orr · Link

In another BGP hijack, Google traffic was rerouted yesterday through Russia and China. This included Google Cloud, YouTube, and other services.

Specifically, network connectivity to Google was instead routed through TransTelekom in Russia (mskn17ra-lo1.transtelecom.net), and into a China Telecom gateway (ChinaTelecom-gw.transtelecom.net) that black-holed the packets. Both hostnames have since stopped resolving to IP addresses.

Hijack me once, shame on you. Hijack me twice, shame on me.

New HTTP Version is Coming, Won't Use TCP

· Andrew Orr · Link

A new HTTP version is coming, and it will work differently than previous versions. Instead of using TCP, it will use a Google technology called QUIC.

In its continued efforts to make Web networking faster, Google has been working on an experimental network protocol named QUIC: “Quick UDP Internet Connections.” QUIC reinstates the reliability and ordering that TCP has but without introducing the same number of round trips and latency.

For example, if a client is reconnecting to a server, the client can send important encryption data with the very first packet, enabling the server to resurrect the old connection, using the same encryption as previously negotiated, without requiring any additional round trips.

Unlock Your Volkswagen With Siri

· Andrew Orr · Link

Volkswagen is now letting iPhone users unlock their car with Siri. The VW Car-Net app has support for shortcuts.

iOS users can now use Siri to lock and unlock their car, check estimate mileage with the fuel or charge left in their vehicle, and enable alarms. Cart-Net isn’t free to all VW owners, though: the app costs a specific subscription fee per month. It allows vehicle owners to pinpoint their car’s location, set a geofence for it, and access diagnostics remotely.