Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Apple Announces New Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5

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Beddit, a sleep company acquired by Apple, is selling a new 3.5 version of its Beddit Sleep Monitor for US$149.95.

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 isn’t a radical change from the previous 3.0 version. It’s still a 2mm thin strip that you lay above your mattress and power via USB. It connects to an iPhone app for sending sleep tracking data to the Beddit app and Apple’s Health app (with permission), and it’s still advertised as not requiring a “wearable” like the Apple Watch — although Beddit has an Apple Watch app for tracking naps.

Security Week: Check Out Wired's Guide to Data Breaches

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Lily Hay Newman put together a great guide to data breaches. It covers the history of breaches like Equifax, Marriott, Quora, and others.

Think of data breaches as coming in two flavors: breaches of institutions that people choose to entrust with their data—like retailers and banks—and breaches of entities that acquired user data secondarily—like credit bureaus and marketing firms.

Soon Technology Could Have a Trust Label

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Backed by the Mozilla Foundation, NYU Law, the University of Dundee, and others, technology could soon get a trust label called Trustable Technology Mark.

Enter the Trustable Technology Mark. It’s like being certified organic, but for the Internet of Things. Supported by the Mozilla Foundation, NYU Law, the University of Dundee, and other institutions, the trustmark–a phrase for a logo that signifies a certification of some kind–aims to recognize companies building connected devices that have stellar data and privacy practices, are transparent and secure, and have some guarantee of longevity.

Hopefully there are rigorous standards that companies need to meet before getting this trust label. Because the aforementioned “certified organic” label is meaningless.

Apple Trying to Acquire Israeli Drama Starring Richard Gere

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Apple is trying to acquire an Israeli drama starring Richard Gere for its video platform. Since it’s a violent drama, some people believe Apple might be stepping around its family-friendly image.

“Nevelot,” is a gritty thriller that follows two veterans who go on a killing spree, on the belief that the youth of today do not understand the sacrifices made by previous generations. The title of the show itself translates to “Bastards,” meaning it is likely to be renamed for Western audiences.

It’s strange that Apple would suddenly chase after a violent show. So strange that I think it’s unlikely. If Apple does acquire Nevelot it will most certainly be sanitized.

Microsoft Edge Browser Coming to macOS in 2019

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Microsoft Edge browser will be coming to the Mac next year. It was launched on iOS and VP Joe Belfiore made a blog post announcing it.

Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence. We also expect this work to enable us to bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS.

Microsoft also announced that it will rebuild Edge using Chromium, a move that further solidifies Google’s Chrome hegemony. If you’re a Mac user and don’t like Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, I guess give Edge a try? Or use Chromium because it’s open source and Edge will be built on top of it anyway.

Pro Photographer Tyler Stalman Reviews iPhone XR, XS Cameras

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Professional photographer Tyler Stalman reviews the iPhone XR and iPhone XS cameras in a video. He talks about all of the new features, like Smart HDR, the new image signal processor, and how the wide-angle lens is slightly wider than previous models. Speaking of Smart HDR, he noted that it only works with video shot at 30 fps or lower. But it works whether you’re shooting in 720p, 1080p, or 4K. Mr. Stalman also notes something he found that can correct the blurring problems around the edges of subjects when you shoot in Portrait Mode.

Security Week: Privacy.com Gives You Unlimited Virtual Cards

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I’ve talked a lot about Privacy.com lately, but that’s because I think it’s such a good service. I’ve been using it for about two years. When you link your bank account to the app, you can generate unlimited virtual cards to use. You won’t have to worry about your credit card number getting leaked in a data breach anymore. When you create a card there are several configurations to use. You can create a one-time use burner card. You can lock a card to a specific merchant, and it can’t be used anywhere else. You can pause or cancel cards at any time. You can set a maximum charge for cards as well. Privacy.com is free too, because the company makes money from merchants just like traditional debit/credit cards.

Security Week: Privacy.com Gives You Unlimited Virtual Cards

Apple Puts Third-Party Screen Time Apps on Timeout

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Apple is putting third-party screen time apps on timeout. Now that Apple has this capability built into iOS 12, these other apps are being sherlocked. I had a feeling this was coming, and that’s why I haven’t reviewed these screen time apps that certain companies email me about. Apple cites security concerns because this type of app usually uses things like fake VPNs, MDM, and using your background location.

We're Witnessing the Death of Tumblr in Real Time

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We’re witnessing the death of Tumblr in real time. Recently the company announced it would ban all porn starting December 17 using special algorithms that flag content. But they’ve been flagging everything except porn.

On a purely conceptual level, this was already bad news for many Tumblr users. An NSFW content ban will hurt the livelihoods of artists and sex workers on the site, and potentially lead to a mass exodus of bloggers who want to retain their creative freedom. However, it looks like the problems go even further because Tumblr’s content flagging algorithm is hopelessly incompetent.

I’ve never been much of a Tumblr user myself, but I still knew the platform was like 90% porn. Tumblr will end up losing up to half of its user base. *shocked Pikachu face*