Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Microsoft Wants to Create a Universal Digital Identity

· · Link

Microsoft and Mastercard are teaming up to create a universal digital identity that the want everyone to use.

Today’s digital identity landscape is patchy, inconsistent and what works in one country often won’t work in another. We have an opportunity to establish a system that puts people first, giving them control of their identity data and where it is used. Working with Microsoft brings us one step closer to making a globally interoperable digital identity service a reality, and we look forward to sharing more very soon.

This is the same Microsoft that recently pledged to share all of its technology with the United States military. A universal digital identity is an advertiser’s wet dream. It also creates a single point of failure for data breaches and hackers, like a Social Security Number.

Book: The Absolved by Matthew Binder Hits Close to Home

· · Cool Stuff Found

The Absolved by Matthew Binder feels like one of those books that could predict the future. It’s 2036. We follow along with the character Henri, who is a wealthy physician, husband, father, and “serial philanderer”. He is also one of the relatively few people to still have a job. Automation and other technological advances have led to unemployment so severe that many people are no longer expected to work and are now known as “The Absolved.” Meanwhile, it’s election season, and a candidate from a radical fringe party called the Luddites is calling for an end to the “Divine Rights of Machines.” After Henri is displaced from his job, two Luddite sympathizers—whom Henri has befriended at his local bar—frame him for an anti-technology terrorist act. The prospect of Henri’s salvation comes at the cost of foregoing his guiding principles in life. This new vision for the world, after all, just might prove better than the technological advancements that, paradoxically, have left humanity out in the cold. Apple Books: US$3.99

Book: The Absolved by Matthew Binder Hits Close to Home

Get an iPhone XR Refund When You Trade In Your Device

· · Link

For a limited time Apple is offering people a deal with an iPhone XR refund. You can get up to US$500 off the iPhone XR when you participate in the Apple GiveBack program with your current iPhone. You can get extra credit for an iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, or iPhone 8. For example, I could get US$300 for my iPhone 7 Plus. You’ll receive your refund once Apple verifies the condition of your device.

Why Apple Won't Focus on Units in Fiscal 2019

· · Link

Apple

Daniel Dilger wrote an informative article on why Apple will be focusing more on users, instead of units in the fiscal 2019 year.

The real value of Apple’s business has never changed. The real reason why Apple has always been uniquely able to sell premium hardware in a marketplace full of less expensive, generic commodity is its ability to successfully reach people, convince them that things are better inside the Apple ecosystem, and then retain their loyalty by delivering what Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook refers to as “user sat.”

At every keynote Apple emphasizes how customer satisfaction is its number one priority. Apple won’t be reporting unit sales anymore. Plenty of other companies don’t either, but it’s Apple so everyone is freaking out and death knelling.

How a Former Google Employee Avoids iPhone Distraction

· · Link

Jake Knapp used to work on the Gmail team at Google. He recently wrote how he avoids iPhone distraction. He basically went full nuclear and deleted all of his apps, although it looks like he re-downloaded only the most important ones. If want to start limiting your phone usage, try his approach. In my opinion though, if you’re suffering from digital addiction, just get one of those flip phones. Buying an expensive smartphone only to delete 99% of the apps seems like you’re defeating its purpose, and you’ll save yourself a lot of money.

Improving Our Moral Reasoning in the Digital Age

· · Link

I’ve previously written about calls to Silicon Valley to embrace ethics, and how companies should have a Chief Ethics Officer. But you can’t really have ethics without morals, and this article explains how we can improve our moral reasoning.

Addressing the issues brought upon by artificial intelligence, biological advances, and the information age, I’d like to create a generalized method of moral reasoning for any human being in our current age to address issues like gene editing while remaining faithful to the work of philosophers and historians.

How Apple Can Win the Education Market

· · Link

Rachel Premack writes about how Google has dominated the education market, and how Apple and Microsoft can fight back.

When it comes to education software, which teachers and students use to manage assignments, deadlines, and documents, Apple is lacking — particularly compared to the super-popular and easy-to-use Google Classroom. That might cancel out its other strengths, said Avi Greengart, the research director for consumer devices at GlobalData.

I know everyone says this but I think the biggest thing holding Apple back in education is price.

Mujjo Has a New Line of Blue Leather Cases

· · Cool Stuff Found

Mujjo is launching a new line of blue leather cases for the latest iPhones. It’s not just any blue. They selected this deep shade of blue which contrasts beautifully with the iPhone’s black bezels and picks up very subtle hints of purple and green in different lighting, reminding us of the inky shades of the deep ocean. It’s a striking blue that stands out from the blacks and the greys, fit for a day at the office or a day at the track, while remaining formal when it needs to. Rest assured, you can go about your day looking the part, whatever the part, knowing you’ll make a good impression. The case adds very little thickness to the iPhone. The edges are raised by 1 mm so that the screen doesn’t touch the surface when you put it down. The buttons are covered in leather and designed to take nothing away from responsiveness. Openings for the camera and mute button are chamfered, adding to the aesthetic of the cases. These cases are crafted to fit the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

Mujjo Has a New Line of Blue Leather Cases

ACLU Asks Court to Reveal Details About Breaking Encryption

· · Link

In a case earlier this year, the government tried to make Facebook help wiretap certain Messenger voice calls. It was rejected, but the legal arguments the government made for breaking encryption remain under seal. The ACLU wants the details made public.

The case involves the executive branch’s attempt to force a private corporation to break the encryption and other security mechanisms on a product relied upon by the public to have private conversations. The government is not just seeking information held by a third party; rather, it appears to be attempting to get this Court to force a communications platform to redesign its product to thwart efforts to secure communications between users.

How Developers Run App Store Scams and Game the System

· · Link

David Barnard takes a close look at App Store scams and manipulation going on. It sounds like it’s easy to game the system.

Apple can and does dramatically shape the App Store economy. Similar to how governments shape economies through tax law and other policies, Apple shapes the App Store economy through App Review policies, App Store implementation details, editorial decisions, the App Store search algorithm, and in so many other subtle (and not so subtle) ways.

There are shady practices going on in the App Store, and Apple should do more to crack down on developers who abuse it.