Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

I Don't Think It's Likely Apple Will Buy Sony Pictures

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Variety is welcoming in the new year by predicting that Apple will acquire Sony Pictures. They don’t offer a reason other than Apple has a lot of money so why not?

Buying Sony gives Apple access to a library that includes “Men in Black,” “Breaking Bad” and “Jumanji,” as well as the right to make more “Spider-Man” movies. That’s a web Apple would be lucky to spin. Also, buying a studio is basically a rounding error for a company worth $1 trillion.

I don’t think Apple needs to buy Sony Pictures because it’s already poaching top Sony executives. Why waste money on IP when you can just buy the talent? And the Sony IP (movies) won’t add more value to Apple because they’re already on iTunes.

Kids Should Have Privacy in Education

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Dipayan Ghosh and Jim Steyer wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times about how kids need privacy in education.

…policymakers must intervene specifically to protect the most precious and vulnerable people in our society: children. Their behavioral data is continuously suctioned up by technology firms through tablets, smartphones and computers and is at risk of being misused.

Kids are the most vulnerable among us, and if they can’t get privacy and protection from advertising corporations, who can?

Peter Cao's Journey Using an iPad Pro as His Main Computer

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Peter Cao has used the iPad Pro has his main computer for several weeks now. In this article he shares some of his daily workflow.

Despite some hesitations from myself as well as others, I’ve not returned to the Mac and the iPad Pro continues to be my go-to computer. Now that it’s been a few weeks since my last piece, I’ve added a few things that aren’t necessarily new, but new to me when it comes to my daily workflow.

I love reading peoples’ stories of how they use an iPad as their main computing device. I plan to transition over as well and will be sharing my own story in the next couple of weeks.

Featured image by Joel Filipe on Unsplash

Private Platform MeWe Trending #1 Social Media Site

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Last year I reviewed a private social network called MeWe. A year later the platform is trending as the number one social media site.

MeWe’s rapid growth is due to multiple factors: backlash against Facebook’s broad censorship, privacy infractions, and LGBTQ violations; discontent at Twitter for censorship of conservatives; the announced closure of Google+; and recent policy changes at Tumblr.

I like the platform, and if you can convince your friends and family to join with you, you’ll safely escape the clutches of Facebook.

3D Printed Heads Couldn't Spoof Face ID

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Thomas Brewster 3D printed a head and found that it couldn’t spoof Face ID. However it did fool four popular Android phones.

For our tests, we used my own real-life head to register for facial recognition across five phones. An iPhone X and four Android devices: an LG G7 ThinQ, a Samsung S9, a Samsung Note 8 and a OnePlus 6. I then held up my fake head to the devices to see if the device would unlock. For all four Android phones, the spoof face was able to open the phone, though with differing degrees of ease. The iPhone X was the only one to never be fooled.

It seems that facial recognition features on Android were added for user convenience. While Face ID is convenient too, it’s also an actual security measure.

Reminder: Tumblr's Raw Chicken Ban Goes Into Effect Today

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Tumblr’s ban on pornography goes into effect today. The company is using algorithms to automatically flag adult content. This has resulted in some hilarious missteps, like having images of raw chicken flagged for porn.

Starting December 17 Tumblr’s algorithms will start removing content that meet the following criteria: Any photo, video, or GIF that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.

Apple Hires Former Tesla Designer Andrew Kim, Probably Not for an Apple Car

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Apple has hired designer Andrew Kim. Mr. Kim first got traction back in 2012 for creating a design language for Microsoft as an experiment.

His LinkedIn profile says that he joined the company in December of this year, while his Instagram confirms that his first day working at Apple Park was last Tuesday. Along with the recent news of Tesla’s chief vehicle engineer returning to Apple, Kim’s move will certainly stoke speculation that Apple is once again working on an actual car.

While his hiring is certainly interesting, I personally don’t see this as evidence of Apple’s car project, at least not a consumer car. I think the project was for their fleet of Apple Maps vehicles.

Here's How iOS Push Notifications Work

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There’s a short article on Medium where the author explains how iOS push notifications work. Apple added push notifications in 2009.

Push notifications were introduced to the greater public by Apple in 2009 to solve the problem of wanting to receive messages in real time without having to run the entire app in the background. Until then, there were two predominant methods of sending notifications to applications.

There aren’t a lot of technical details but that makes it easier for people to understand.

The End of an Era: Cydia App Store Shut Down

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If you’ve ever had a jailbroken iOS device you’ll be familiar with the Cydia app store. But Cydia’s creator Saurik says it’s being shut down after a bug was discovered on the platform that put user data at risk.

The reality is that I wanted to just shut down the Cydia Store entirely before the end of the year, and was considering moving the timetable up after receiving the report (to this weekend); this service loses me money and is not something I have any passion to maintain…

Nowadays I’m surprised to hear that people still jailbreak. But back in the day it was a bit more relevant. I remember jailbreaking my 5th gen iPod touch back in 2011.

How to Get an iOS Linux Shell On your iPad or iPhone

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OSXDaily has a cool tip on how to put an iOS Linux shell on your iPhone or iPad. It involves installing an app called iSH through TestFlight. You can also side load it.

In case it’s not obvious, iSH is not a full version of Linux with a window manager and GUI like Ubuntu for iPad or iPhone, it’s just a shell, but it is by far the most functional local command line environment in iOS that is currently available.

Sounds like a fun weekend project for all you Terminal tinkerers 😉