Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

How to Delete Snapchat Accounts Forever

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

Fed up with social media? Or just Snapchat? No worries, because we’re here to show you how to delete Snapchat accounts.

Nike Training Club is Now on Apple Watch

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

I’m glad to see that Nike Training Club is now on the Apple Watch. Although I don’t have my watch anymore, I do use Nike Training Club on my iPhone so that I can do bodyweight workouts at home. It’s a great app and I recommend it.

What’s to be expected? A Nike Training Club workout is started on the phone and then the Apple Watch allows for easy check of time or reps remaining on a drill. It also delivers haptic prompts, which signal the beginning of the next drill and run until the workout is complete.

The Nike Training Club (NTC) app will be available globally on the Apple Watch beginning July 25. All 180+ workouts currently available on the NTC app will be supported by the Apple Watch.

App Store: Nike Training Club – Free

Nike Training Club is Now on Apple Watch

LG Screen Issues May Spell Trouble for Apple

· Andrew Orr · Link

LG screen issues may spell trouble for Apple. The supplier has cut its investment plans out of concern for the global smartphone market. It recently posted a second quarterly loss in a row because of bad display prices.

LG said it would trim investment by 3 trillion won ($2.7 billion) from what was planned by 2020, without revealing its total or previous capex targets. It also warned that it could adjust production in South Korea and China in response to trade disputes between Washington and Beijing.

The investment cut would not impact plans to “speed up the shift” from LG’s mainstay liquid crystal display (LCD) business toward next-generation organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, the company said.

This isn’t doom and gloom for Apple, but it does mean the company will have to keep relying on Samsung for OLED iPhone X screens.

Dear Apple, Please Don't Give Up on iBooks Publishing

· Andrew Orr · Editorial

Andrew interviewed Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing. He shares Andrew’s enthusiasm for Apple Books, and feels that Apple isn’t doing enough to make it the best platform for authors and readers.

There's a Secret Internet Arms Race

· Andrew Orr · Link

It involves scraper bots and the ways in which retailers use them against rivals.

For retailers, scraping can be a two-way street, and that’s where things get interesting. Retailers want to see what their rivals are doing, but they want to prevent rivals from snooping on them; retailers also want to protect intellectual property like product photos and descriptions, which can be scraped and reused without permission by others. So many deploy defenses to subvert scraping. One technique: showing different prices to real people than to bots. A site may show the price as astronomically high or zero to throw off bots collecting data.

Machines making machines and fighting other machines. How perverse.

This App Lets You Ask Questions of Experts

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Ask questions. You pick a team of experts based on your question topic or on the type of experts. Type in your question and hit send. Your question will be sent to that team of experts right away. As soon as possible, an expert will respond. Sometimes multiple experts will respond if they have something to add to the conversation. Think of it like a group chat – feel free to ask them more questions, respond, say thanks, etc. Depending on what you asked about, an expert might follow up with you later to see how things are going and if there’s anything else they can do to help. The experts have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Some are health educators, researchers, sex workers, and teachers. Others are smart folks who have been there and want to share their experiences. Every expert is vetted by staff to make sure you’re talking to people who want to help you get the support you need. App Store: okayso – Free

This App Lets You Ask Questions of Experts

Why Twitter Has a Free Speech Problem

· Andrew Orr · Link

Twitter is home to alt-right trolls, neo-Nazis, and then there’s Alex Jones. Will Oremus writes about Twitter’s free speech problem (problem is my opinion).

The Twitter executive leading these moderation efforts is Vijaya Gadde, the company’s legal, public policy, and trust and safety lead. I recently interviewed Gadde on Slate’s technology podcast, If Then, where we discussed Twitter’s current approach to harassment, hate speech, and misinformation; whether the social network’s very structure encourages these problems; and why conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones are still allowed to have Twitter accounts.

If you want to see a good example of platform moderation, look to r/AskHistorians on Reddit. Twitter and Facebook need to pay attention.

24 Sentenced in Recent India Phone Scam Case

· Andrew Orr · News

It included charges of conspiracy to commit identity theft, impersonation of an officer of the United States, wire fraud, and money laundering.

Have We Reached Peak Smart Home?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Sylvania Smart Multicolor A19 Bulb with HomeKit Support

Have we reached peaked smart home? Craig Lloyd writes that we have, and there are a couple of things holding the industry back, like competing standards, expensive devices, and problems with voice control.

There’s a problem with the smarthome industry—multiple problems, actually. And after experiencing a huge boom over the last few years, smarthome as a whole has reached a plateau of sorts.

Don’t get us wrong; smarthome technology is a really exciting market, and it’s become so popular that big players like Amazon and Google have dived head first into offering comprehensive smarthome product lines. The thing is, smarthome in general still has a long way to go.

Librarians Respond to Forbes About Amazon Replacing Libraries

· Andrew Orr · Link

Amazon replacing libraries? Pish posh. Panos Mourdoukoutas, a professor of economics at LIU Post in New York, suggested in a Forbes article that libraries should be permanently replaced with Amazon bookstores.

This is such as asinine suggestion in my opinion. Libraries aren’t just for books, they serve as community centers with public programs like helping kids read, computer classes for the elderly, etc. A librarian can do so much more than an Amazon clerk, as librarian Amanda Oliver says:

It’s librarians helping people fill out free housing forms and visa forms and all things related to basic human needs. It’s shelter when it’s freezing or raining or scorching hot. It’s access to free newspapers and conversation. It’s so much for so many.

Libraries actually provide something for everyone, no exclusions. Literally no one is excluded from access to the library! It’s for everyone. Prisoners, people with disabilities, elderly, the young, the rich, the poor, etc.

Keep that in mind the next time you try to hang out at a typical business and they ask you to buy something or leave.

You Should Delete Social Media Accounts

· Andrew Orr · Link

Jaron Lanier is a VR pioneer, musician and author and he’s been around Silicon Valley for most of his life. He has a new book called Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now and he takes a look at social media that was supposed to “connect humanity” but instead divides us. His argument is to delete social media accounts.

“If info-consumers see the world through agent’s eyes, then advertising will transform into the art of controlling agents, through bribing, hacking, whatever,” Lanier wrote, presciently. “You can imagine an arms race” between armor-plated agents and hacker-laden ad agencies. Lovely . . . An agent’s model of what you are interested in will be a cartoon model, and you will see a cartoon version of the world through the agent’s eyes.”

Want to Name the European Rover That Will Go to Mars in 2020?

· Andrew Orr · Link

A European rover called ExoMars will travel to the red planet in 2020. Astronaut Tim Peake wants everyone to enter a name on a website designed for the purpose. Be warned though: There will be no Spacey McSpaceFace. Also, you have to be a European citizen to vote, as I found out when I tried to submit my name suggestion (Destiny).

Tim says thinking about the rover’s mission might be the source for a great name. “I often get asked, ‘is there life out there beyond Earth?’. It’s a very fundamental question, and it’s one that this rover is going to try to answer,” he told BBC News.

Dr David Parker, the director of human spaceflight and robotics at the European Space Agency, agreed: “The Americans called their Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. We’ve tended in the past to name our missions after famous scientists.

New Kids Chair Looks Like a Torture Device

· Andrew Orr · Link

I saw this while scrolling through my news this morning and I had to comment. A new kids chair designed by Kingston School of Art Masahiko Ito is meant to improve concentration and posture. But it’s a saddle-shaped chair that legitimately looks like a torture device called the cavaletto squarciapalle, a.k.a. the wooden horse. It’s also used in BDSM but we won’t go there.

“I noticed that we naturally want to fidget and to move around in our chairs, for instance when we concentrate on our teacher, we tend to sit in a more alert position towards the front of our chair in a kind of riding position, while when we reflect, we tend to recline,” he said.