Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Turn Your Shortcuts Into Widgets With ‘MFC Deck’

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

From the creator of popular Shortcuts app “LaunchCuts” comes a new tool called MFC Deck. It turns your shortcuts into widgets displayed on a dynamic control deck. These widgets can display different information depending on context, just like a real widget. There are plenty of actions these widgets can do, like running multiple actions from a single NFC tag, rate limiting, triggers, and more. They live on your Apple Watch, in Siri voice responses, and in iOS 14 Home Screen widgets. MFC deck is currently open for TestFlight beta, so it’s not ready for actual release yet. If these features sound interesting then sign up today.

Turn Your Shortcuts Into Widgets With ‘MFC Deck’

Google’s ‘Fabricius’ Tool Uses ML to Decode Hieroglyphs

· Andrew Orr · Link

Photo of Egyptian hieroglyphs

Here’s something cool that Google has created: A web tool called “Fabricius” that uses machine learning to decrypt hieroglyphs.

So far, experts had to dig manually through books upon books to translate and decipher the ancient language–a process that has remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Fabricius includes the first digital tool – that is also being released as open source to support further developments in the study of ancient languages – that decodes Egyptian hieroglyphs built on machine learning.

VSCO Announces ‘BlackJoyMatters’ Photo Campaign

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image from Vsco black joy matters Article

Something I like about VSCO is its curation of photos from its community of users. There are categories like summer, monochrome, abstract, and more. Its latest initiative is #BlackJoyMatters, a summon-long series to share photos from Black creatives.

We are kicking off #BlackJoyMatters with a global call to action, urging online communities to create, capture and share their interpretations of Black Joy to social media through posting art, first-person videos and/or photos across every social platform using the hashtag #BlackJoyMatters. Throughout the summer, we will spotlight the submitted imagery and art across our social channels and within the VSCO app.

Pixelmator Pro 1.7 Update Adds Curved Text

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

In an update dubbed “Sequoia” Pixelmator Pro 1.7 adds text on a path, canvas rotation, a new welcome screen, and version 3 of ML Super Resolution. The text update lets you type text on a path, a circle, or any other shape with Circular Type, Path Type, and Freeform Type. Canvas rotation lets you rotate the canvas at any angle. Improvements to ML Super Resolution improves the quality of the result, adds a progress bar (yay!), and adds support for upscaling RAW files while preserving the RAW data.

Pixelmator Pro 1.7 Update Adds Curved Text

‘Apple News Today’ Now Available in Apple Podcasts

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Announced with the release of iOS 13.6 on Wednesday, the Apple News Today podcast gives people a guide to the most fascinating stories in news, and how the world’s top journalists are covering the stories. There will be a new episode every day, Monday through Friday. There are two episodes so far coming in at eight and nine minutes, so these are perfect bite-sized pods for your morning commute (do we still have those?)

‘Apple News Today’ Now Available in Apple Podcasts

Big Twitter Accounts Like Apple, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Were Hacked

· Andrew Orr · Link

Alert symbol of an exclamation point inside triangle

Major Twitter accounts were hacked today, reports Kevin Truong. Accounts like Apple, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Uber, and others were the victim of a hacking campaign that involved bitcoin.

Events kicked off when the Twitter accounts for major cryptocurrency platforms Coinbase, Gemini, and Binance, among others, all put out tweets minutes apart stating they had partnered up with an organization called CryptoForHealth and that they would be “giving back 5000 BTC to the community.” The tweets all included a link to a site that has been tagged by Google and Cloudflare as a phishing site […]

Most of the tweets have been removed already. Apple’s Twitter account appears to be entirely wiped of tweets.

A fascinating hack that clearly took advantage of Twitter vulnerabilities. But I’d also like to point out that Apple has never actually tweeted, so there wasn’t much to wipe.

Case Maker Totallee Runs Sale for FREE Cases

· Andrew Orr · News

totallee midnight green case

Totallee is offering smartphone users a big sale for certain cases using a special code at checkout that expires July 20, 2020.

iOS 14: How to Create an Apple ID Recovery Key

· Andrew Orr · How-To

Apple key icon

An Apple ID recovery key is an extra layer of security for your account. But you can be permanently locked out if you lose it, so be careful.

Congressman Wants Apple to Increase Security Over Foreign-Linked Apps

· Andrew Orr · Link

Rep. Stephen Lynch, chairman of the House subcommittee on national security, sent separate letters to Apple and Google, wanting assurances these companies could warn users about apps with foreign ties.

At a minimum, Apple and Google should take steps to ensure that users are aware of the potential privacy and national security risks of sharing sensitive information with applications that store data in countries adversarial to the United States, or whose developers are subsidiaries of foreign companies.

Apple can only do so much. They probably can’t check the source code of every app to see if it contains Chinese spying code. And what about U.S. spying code?

Apple Uploads ‘Ted Lasso’ Trailer Starring Jason Sudeikis

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has posted a trailer for “Ted Lasso”, a comedy series starring Jason Sudeikis. Ted Lasso is a small-time college football coach from Kansas hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.

In addition to starring, Sudeikis serves as executive producer, alongside Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs”) via his Doozer Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal Content. Doozer’s Jeff Ingold also serves as an executive producer with Liza Katzer as co-executive producer. The series was developed by Sudeikis, Lawrence, Joe Kelly and Brendan Hunt, and is based on the pre-existing format and characters from NBC Sports.

Electronic Frontier Foundation Unveils ‘Atlas of Surveillance’

· Andrew Orr · Link

Atlas of surveillance logo

The EFF unveiled the Atlas of Surveillance today. It’s a database of surveillance tech used by law enforcement across the country. Anyone can use it to see what spying technology their state’s LE uses. You can download datasets, too.

We specifically focused on the most pervasive technologies, including drones, body-worn cameras, face recognition, cell-site simulators, automated license plate readers, predictive policing, camera registries, and gunshot detection. Although we have amassed more than 5,000 datapoints in 3,000 jurisdictions, our research only reveals the tip of the iceberg and underlines the need for journalists and members of the public to continue demanding transparency from criminal justice agencies.