Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Apple's Ecosystem Is Actually Your Body

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple’s ecosystem is your body. It’s in our pockets, our ears, our wrists, and soon it will be over our eyes with augmented reality glasses. Lucas Rizzotto talks about Apple hardware can be thought of as a modular system, similar to what Bryan and I discussed on ACM. iPhone will provide processing power and networking, Apple Watch is for biometrics and input, AirPods give us contextual 3D audio, and Apple Glasses are our screen.

Ultimately, Apple’s final AR product offering won’t just be a set of glasses — but an interconnected ecosystem that can itself become a single, immersive computing platform. One that’s an extension of you and your body — whether you’re wearing glasses or not.

Now Kansas Introduced a Porn Filter Bill

· Andrew Orr · Link

Last month I wrote about an Arizona politician wanting to introduce a porn filter bill. Now Kansas wants to do the same thing, although it sounds like this one won’t attempt to fund the border wall.

“It’s to protect children,” Garber, a Republican, said in an interview. “What it would do is any X-rated pornography stuff would be filtered. It would be on all purchases going forward. Why wouldn’t anybody like this?”

Why indeed. Because you guys don’t seem to care about children outside of the womb.

In The Future You Could 'Clarify' Tweets (But Still Not Edit)

· Andrew Orr · News

Twitter logo

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the company is considering adding a feature that would let you explain tweets by adding new or additional context (via Mashable). [Touch Twitter’s Sparkle and Something Wonderful Will Happen] Clarification This sounds like Twitter is considering clarification instead of editing. So while you won’t be able to correct that typo,…

Apple's Classical Music Problem

· Andrew Orr · Link

Last year Apple Music got its very own classical music section, but it seems as if it has languished ever since.

Frustrations with classical music streaming are nothing new, but as Charles tells us, this is a problem that affects nearly every streaming music service, including Apple Music rival Spotify. In an effort to find out exactly what’s wrong with classical music on Apple Music — and what steps could be taken to address these problems — we asked Charles and Rumiz to detail the biggest issues with classical music on Apple Music.

Facebook Might Remove Anti-Vaxxer Content

· Andrew Orr · News

Advertisements on Facebook promoted by anti-vaxxer organizations have been specifically targeting pregnant women.

How to Manage Your Online Personal Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

Louise Matakis put together a guide on how to manage your online personal data, and figuring out who buys, sells, and barters it.

Personal data is often compared to oil—it powers today’s most profitable corporations, just like fossil fuels energized those of the past. But the consumers it’s extracted from often know little about how much of their information is collected, who gets to look at it, and what it’s worth. Every day, hundreds of companies you may not even know exist gather facts about you, some more intimate than others. That information may then flow to academic researchers, hackers, law enforcement, and foreign nations—as well as plenty of companies trying to sell you stuff.

A good guide as usual from Wired.

This AI Tool Scares the Crap Out of Elon Musk

· Andrew Orr · Link

OpenAI, an AI research institute cofounded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, built an AI text generator that its creators worry is dangerous.

Jack Clark, policy director at OpenAI, says that example shows how technology like this might shake up the processes behind online disinformation or trolling, some of which already use some form of automation. “As costs of producing text fall, we may see behaviors of bad actors alter,” he says.

Based on the examples I think it’s safe to say this AI would pass the Turing Test.

Apple's 2018 Conflict Minerals Report

· Andrew Orr · News

As part of Apple’s commitment to supplier responsibility the company has released its 2018 conflict minerals report.

Buycott Lets You Make Value-Based Shopping Decisions

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

I think it’s great if you can do business with companies that align with your personal values. This can go both ways. I like Apple’s stance on environmentalism and privacy. Other people boycott Starbucks because its cups don’t mention the word Christmas, or buy dophin-safe tuna. Whether we agree with those shopping decisions or roll our eyes, we’re avoiding or gravitating towards companies that support what we believe in. It’s pure free market capitalism. Which is why apps like Buycott are helpful. With this app you can: Join campaigns to support causes you care about, scan product barcodes to learn a product’s history, and make a purchase decision on the product and communicate your decision to the company. One thing to keep in mind: Buycott’s privacy policy says the app collects your location and other data. App Store: Free

Buycott Lets You Make Value-Based Shopping Decisions

What Happens When U.S. Personnel Serve a Foreign Intelligence Agency?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Remember that story about the iPhone hacking tool called Karma? Lawfare published a good piece detailing the consequences of U.S. spies working for a foreign intelligence agency.

Along the way, the Americans came to appreciate that their efforts at times did indeed include surveillance of political opponents of UAE authorities, and further that the UAE service at times targeted Americans despite assurances that this would not occur (or at least that the operations Project Raven in particular conducted or supported would not be directed at Americans).

That’s probably the biggest point of the story. Americans spying on Americans on behalf of another country.

DuckDuckGo Version 7.15.0 Adds Automatic Data Scrubbing, Keyboard Shortcuts

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

DuckDuckGo logo

In DuckDuckGo’s app it has a button to clear your tabs and history. In DuckDuckGo version 7.15.0 it added an option to clear it away automatically the next time the app restarts. It also added keyboard shortcuts for iPad users.

• You can now have your tabs and data cleared automatically. Go to settings to configure this feature.
• Support for external keyboards with a range of shortcuts. See the full list below.
• Support for international and emoji based URLs
• Bug fixes and improvements

Keyboard shortcuts:
• Cmd-T or Cmd-N to open a new tab
• Cmd-W to close tab
• Shift-Cmd-] and Shift-Cmd-[ or Ctrl-Tab and Ctrl-Shift-Tab to move to the next/previous tab
• Ctrl-Shift-\ or Cmd-Shift-\ to show all tabs
• Esc to cancel typing in the address bar OR close the tab switcher OR close the suggestions
• Enter to select the current tab and close the tab switcher
• Cmd-[ and Cmd-] or Cmd-Right Arrow and Cmd-Left Arrow to move back/forward
• Alt-Cmd-F to edit address field
• Up/Down Arrow to navigate auto complete suggestions and tabs in the tab-switcher
• Cmd-Alt-Backspace to quickly delete all your tabs and data

Battleheart 2 Gives You Cute Heroes to Battle Monsters

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Another game I recently started playing is Battleheart 2. It’s a follow-up to the first Battleheart which launched in 2011. In this RPG you’ll take command of a party of heroes and slay hordes of monsters in frantic, realtime battles that will put your reflexes to the test. With each victory you’ll face ever greater dangers, and grow more powerful through a robust equipment and skill system offering vast combinations of heroes, items and abilities.

My advice when you build your team is to add a necromancer. You can only have four people in your party, but necromancers can summon skeletons, which gives you a workaround to that limit. And when you reach the point where you can start using passive skills, you can increase the health of your skeletal allies.

Battleheart 2 Gives You Cute Heroes to Battle Monsters

How Apple News Affects Publishers

· Andrew Orr · Link

Great analysis as usual by Ben Thompson. He writes how the Apple News subscription might be good for certain publishers, and bad for others.

To that end, I am sure that a significant number of publications will sign up for Apple’s offering; clearly the company is confident enough to leak a date. And, frankly, many publications should: most publishers are already locked into the volume game when it comes to their editorial direction, and Apple News subscription payouts will be additive to the bottom line.

The main thing that concerns me is how revenue will be driven by clicks. I hope that Apple News doesn’t become a flood of yellow journalism.