Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

iFixit's AirPods 2 Teardown 'Disappointingly Disposable'

· Andrew Orr · Link

iFixit recently did an AirPods 2 teardown to see what’s different and how repairable they were. The verdict?

Let’s get the second of those points out of the way right away: they are not serviceable at all. iFixit had to go to almost comical lengths to open the AirPods up, and despite their expertise and tools, the iFixit team was unable to do so without permanently damaging the product. They described the product as “disappointingly disposable,” which is to say there is no practical way to service or repair them even at a professional shop.

Which Browser is the Most Private and Secure?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Zubair Khan put together a list of popular web browsers and tested them to figure out which was the most private and secure.

To decide which browser is the best for privacy and security, we will evaluate them using two criteria: Available security features [and ]embedded Privacy Tools. Each browser will be rated out of five and will be ranked accordingly.

The browsers he tested: Chrome, Internet Explorer (Not Edge?), Safari, Firefox, Chromium, Opera, and Tor browser.

5 Alternative Mac Mail Apps

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

A bunch of users are having trouble with Gmail on macOS Mojave 14.4. While we wait for a fix, here are five alternative Mac mail apps.

Updated Apple Devices Display 'Not Secure' in Safari

· Andrew Orr · Link

If you’ve updated to iOS 12.2 and/or macOS 14.4, you’ve probably seen a ‘Not Secure’ message in the Safari address bar. OSXDaily explains.

By seeing the ‘Not Secure” Safari message on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac you are simply being informed by Safari that the website or webpage being visited is using HTTP rather than HTTPS, or perhaps that HTTPS is misconfigured at some technical level.

Ironically, as the article points out OSXDaily is itself not secure.

Warren Buffet: 'Apple Can Afford to Make a Mistake or Two'

· Andrew Orr · Link

During a talk Thursday at The Gatehouse’s Hands Up for Success luncheon, Warren Buffet commented on Apple’s new services.

I’d love to see them succeed, but that’s a company that can afford a mistake or two. You don’t want to buy stock in the company that has to do everything right…Apple should do some things that don’t work.

Jamf Partners With Google Cloud for Education

· Andrew Orr · Link

Jamf logo

Jamf is partnering with Google Cloud to make it easier for schools and businesses to authenticate Apple devices.

With Jamf Connect, users can unbox their Apple device, power it on and access their corporate and learning applications after signing on with Cloud Identity (or G Suite) credentials. Additionally, IT admins are more easily able to manage Mac accounts while knowing their hardware and information is secure.

True Twitter Dark Mode Will Roll Out on iOS Today

· Andrew Orr · Link

Good news, fellow lovers of dark mode! True Twitter dark mode is rolling out today, called Lights Out.

If you still like the blue-and-gray dark mode better, which is now dubbed Dim, don’t worry because it’s not going anywhere. You’ll still be able to use it in the app, in case you want to use it over the black-and-white one. With Lights Out, Twitter says that the color palette emits no lights on your smartphone since the pixels are turned off, which could potentially help save battery life — along with helping reduce eye strain, naturally.

What Dark Mode Apps Could Look Like in iOS 13

· Andrew Orr · Editorial

Rumors of a dark mode for iOS refuse to die. Andrew certainly isn’t the first to do this, but just for fun he created dark mode apps.

An HTTPS Site Could Have a Green Padlock and Still be Insecure

· Andrew Orr · Link

If a website uses HTTPS, Safari will display a green padlock next to the domain in the address bar. But in some cases it could still be insecure.

In analysis of the web’s top 10,000 HTTPS sites—as ranked by Amazon-owned analytics company Alexa—the researchers found that 5.5 percent had potentially exploitable TLS vulnerabilities. These flaws were caused by a combination of issues in how sites implemented TLS encryption schemes and failures to patch known bugs (of which there are many) in TLS and its predecessor Secure Sockets Layer. But the worst thing about these flaws is they are subtle enough that the green padlock will still appear.

FTC Shuts Down Four Robocall Groups

· Andrew Orr · Link

FTC logo

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shut down four robocall groups responsible for billions of robocalls.

Four separate operations responsible for bombarding consumers nationwide with billions of unwanted and illegal robocalls pitching auto warranties, debt-relief services, home security systems, fake charities, and Google search results services have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated the FTC Act and the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including its Do Not Call (DNC) provisions.

I feel like this will be a hydra situation. Four get shut down and eight new ones take their place.

A Few Details About Apple Exec Peter Stern

· Andrew Orr · Link

We’ve got a few details about Peter Stern, a former cable TV executive who now leads Apple’s new subscriptions.

Stern will not be able to rest on his laurels. Though some of the services announced Monday are brand new, and some, such as Apple TV+, are months away from even launching, observers are already expecting that Stern will eventually cobble them together into an Amazon Prime-esque bundle.

Should Apple Be Broken Up? Probably Not

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple just announced a slew of new services, so you know what that means? It’s a monopoly and should be broken up, at least according to Cale Guthrie Weissman.

In the two-hour presentation, Apple transformed from product maker to platforms and services provider; Tim Cook’s ambition is to control every aspect of its domain. And that should give many of us pause…Less than a month ago, Elizabeth Warren made headlines for her sweeping plan to break up the tech giants. Though she didn’t initially mention Apple, she later explained to the Verge that, yes, the Steve Jobs-founded company is also in her crosshairs.

I think certain tech companies need regulation, but I don’t think Apple is one of them (Yes, obviously I’m biased). The only thing Elizabeth Warren did was give reasons why no one will vote for her in 2020.

Mac Contacts App Cardhop Arrives on iOS

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Cardhop is a popular contacts app for the Mac. It’s made by Felxibits Inc. makers of another popular app Fantastical 2. Cardhop has finally arrived on iOS. The app’s parsing engine is incredibly intuitive, letting you search, add, edit, and interact with your contacts using a simple sentence. Just type in “John G” and John’s card will instantly appear. Or enter “Sarah Smith [email protected]” and Cardhop will add a new contact to Sarah’s card. Or type in “call Michael S” and Cardhop will instantly start a phone call. Cardhop automatically loads your contacts in Apple’s Contacts app, so you don’t need to do much except tap the Allow button. Plus, the company says that your contact information stays on your iPhone and isn’t uploaded to their servers. Right now the app is available for 20% for a limited time as part of the launch sale. App Store: US$3.99

Mac Contacts App Cardhop Arrives on iOS