Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Your Health Data is Turned Into a Risk Score and Sold

· Andrew Orr · Link

Yet another reason why we need privacy laws. Companies collect your health data and turn it into a “risk score” which gets sold to doctors, insurers, and hospitals.

Over the past year, powerful companies such as LexisNexis have begun hoovering up the data from insurance claims, digital health records, housing records, and even information about a patient’s friends, family and roommates, without telling the patient they are accessing the information, and creating risk scores for health care providers and insurers.

There is no law against collecting and using this data.

Russian iCloud Data to be Stored Locally

· Andrew Orr · News

Like it did in China, Apple has decided it will comply with a 2014 Russian law requiring citizen data to be stored in local servers.

5 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying New Tech

· Andrew Orr · Link

David Nield wrote about five mistakes we all make when we buy new tech. It’s a good list to reflect upon when you’re in the market for new gadgets.

Prying open the packaging of your new gadget should fill you with excitement, not second thoughts. To avoid the sinking feeling that you have, once again, spent $80 on a device you don’t need, take note of these common pitfalls before you buy.

How to Watch Super Bowl LIII on iOS or tvOS

· Andrew Orr · Link

Roger Fingas shares some ways to watch Super Bowl LIII on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.

The Super Bowl kicks off Sunday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, 3:30 p.m. Pacific. The game will be played from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

iOS 12.1.4 Delayed Until Next Week, Apple Apologizes

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple issued an apology to MacRumors, saying that a software update to fix the Group FaceTime bug won’t arrive until next week.

We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.

Should Apple Have its own Debit Card?

· Andrew Orr · Link

John Detrixhe argues that Apple should release its own debit card to prepare for the wave of contactless cards.

But consumers typically avoid moving their financial accounts and tend to be faithful, even when they dislike the service. An Apple debit card is a chance for the Silicon Valley-based company to give customers what they want—for God’s sake—before someone else does.

I’m not sure I’m sold on this idea. For a debit card maybe Apple could work with the bank it uses for device financing. I think what would be nice though is for Apple Pay Cash to work more like its own bank.

This Playboy Model's Image Was Used to Create the JPEG Format

· Andrew Orr · Link

In 1973 a photo of a Swedish Playboy model was used to create the JPEG image format. Linda Kinstler tracked down Lena Forsen.

Among some computer engineers, Lena is a mythic figure, a mononym on par with Woz or Zuck. Whether or not you know her face, you’ve used the technology it helped create; practically every photo you’ve ever taken, every website you’ve ever visited, every meme you’ve ever shared owes some small debt to Lena. Yet today, as a 67-year-old retiree living in her native Sweden, she remains a little mystified by her own fame.

A fascinating story that I had never heard of before.

iOS 12.1.4 Could Fix FaceTime Bug and will Drop Soon

· Andrew Orr · News

Apple should fix the group FaceTime bug in iOS 12.1.4 which the company says will appear later this week. If we don’t see it today then that means tomorrow (via Macrumors). [Apple Sued Over Group FaceTime Eavesdropping Bug] Group FaceTime Bug As was widely reported, the FaceTime bug was originally discovered by a teenager, whose…

Apple Fifth Avenue Store to Reopen This Year

· Andrew Orr · Link

The Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York City is set to reopen in the first half of 2019, says management of the company that owns the property.

Apple shuttered the Manhattan store in 2017 in order to renovate and increase the size of the store, but it has been unclear exactly when to expect it will reopen to the public. According to John Powers, CEO of Boston Properties, the re-opening is not far off.

The cube store is iconic so it will be good to see it up and running again.

Hulu Pause Ads Have Arrived

· Andrew Orr · News

Hulu Pause Ads have arrived, but they will be still images instead of a video ad. They will launch in the second quarter of 2019.

This Planned Parenthood Chatbot Can Answer Your Teen's Sex Questions

· Andrew Orr · Link

Planned Parenthood has a chatbot called Roo that can answer questions about sex your teens may have.

Many teens search for answers online, but the internet is rife with misinformation. As a result, reproductive health organization Planned Parenthood is releasing a chatbot that will provide teens ages 13 to 17–or anyone who has a question–with accurate information about their bodies and sexual health.

I wish I had had a tool like this. When I was a young’un I took out a library book to figure out what that weird puberty thing was all about.

Looking at Apple Job Hiring For Streaming Video

· Andrew Orr · Link

Joshua Fruhlinger put together a great deep dive into Apple’s job hiring for positions involving streaming video for its service.

Apple job listings data tracked over time reveals hiring efforts to build out the company’s “Interactive Media Group” (IMG), which, based on job descriptions, is busy building out the base for the company’s upcoming streaming service. Apple is also busy hiring for its retail operations where it hopes to beat concerns that iPhone and hardware sales will continue to wane.

Rumors point to a mid-April launch for Apple’s streaming video service.

Facebook Research Broke the Rules. Now it Faces the Consequences

· Andrew Orr · Link

Casey Newton wrote a defense of Facebook/attack of Apple, because of the Facebook Research app that got banned.

But for all the attention we’re paying to Facebook’s moves here, I hope we spare at least as much for Apple. If Tim Cook can wreak this much havoc on Facebook’s day, however justified, just imagine what power Apple holds over the rest of us.

That power is App Store rules, which Facebook willfully ignored. We should be glad that big companies have to follow the same rules as small companies. If you’re a Facebook employee unable to use internal apps, don’t be mad at Apple. Instead, be mad at your employer who was willing to throw it all away in order to take advantage of children.