Recent Articles By Andrew Orr [RSS]

Tip: Easily Change Your iOS DNS Settings

· · How-To

By default, your device automatically uses the DNS settings provided by your ISP. But you don’t have to use it, especially if you want something geared towards privacy. You may have known that it’s possible to change your DNS on a Mac, but did you know you can also change your iOS DNS? Andrew Orr shows us how it’s done.

Lorek The Robot And The Future Of AI

· · News

siri robot model

Lorek the robot represents a big step in robotics because it can understand human language, as well as the gestures we make in conversations. Researchers from Brown University pulled off this feat of understanding by programming uncertainty into the robot. Andrew Orr explains why this is a big deal.

Skip TV Show Intros With New Netflix Button

· · Cool Stuff Found

Netflix is introducing a new “SKIP INTO” button. It lets you skip the opening credits of your TV show. It works on all episodes of most TV shows except the first episode. After all, you should at least be able to see it once, with the actor and director names in the beginning. Netflix usually already skips the introductions if you’re binging a show. It happens automatically if you watch a TV show and let the app automatically play the next episode. Nevertheless, it’s still a handy option, and it even works on shows where the credits play after several scenes, called a cold open or teaser. Right now the feature is only available on Netflix’s web app, but the company may roll it out to other platforms later on.

Skip TV Show Intros With New Netflix Button

McDonald's Is Testing Mobile Orders from an App

· · News

McDonald's Mobile Ordering on iPhone

Fast food chain McDonalds is testing a fancy new way to order using your smartphone, because, you know, that’s what we’re looking for from McDonald’s. Customers in Monterey and Salinas, California can use the McDonalds mobile app to order food from home and have it ready when they get there. Andrew Orr explains.

Pwn2Own Hackers Found Two Safari Zero Day Exploits

· · News

Yesterday was the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest, and also marks the contest’s 10th anniversary. Hackers compete in challenges to find security holes in popular software and mobile devices. This year, two Safari zero days were found by the white-hat hackers.

iOS Chrome Browser Gets Read Later, Like Safari's Reading List

· · Cool Stuff Found

Google added Read Later to its iOS Chrome browser, a feature similar to Apple’s Reading List in Safari. As the name suggests, Read Later is a section where you can save articles and websites to read later. When you’re browsing in Chrome, you can tap the three dots icon on the upper right. Tap the share icon, then Read Later. Articles are saved offline, so you can read them wherever you are. So far this feature is only on the mobile version of Chrome, but it’s possible Google will add it to the desktop version in the future. The update is available now as part of Chrome version 57 on the App Store.

iOS Chrome Browser Gets Read Later, Like Safari’s Reading List

Apple Just Hired iOS Security Researcher Jonathan Zdziarski

· · News

Jonathan Zdziarski

Apple recently hired a prominent iOS security researcher, Jonathan Zdziarski. Known as NerveGas in the jailbreaking community, Mr. Zdziarski is the author of several books about iPhone forensics and how to secure iOS apps. In light of recent events like the CIA Vault 7 leak, this move may improve Apple’s standing within security and privacy circles.

Googlers Made This Social Video App For iPhone

· · Product News

Google released a new video app called Uptime. The release is significant, in part, because it’s the result of the company’s 20 Percent Time program that allows some employees to spend 20 percent of their time on other projects. Released through Google’s internal incubator Area 120, the app is part social media platform and part video viewer with hooks to YouTube.

Capital One Launched A Natural Language Chatbot Named Eno

· · Analysis

Capital One announced Friday an SMS chatbot for customers called Eno. The company claimed Eno is the first natural language SMS chatbot from a U.S. bank, allowing customers to ask questions using natural language. The ability to interact with artificial intelligences using natural language processing is something big companies like Apple, Amazon and Google are working on with their own virtual assistants.

macOS: Create Apple Notes Subfolders With Ease

· · Quick Tip

Did you know it’s possible to create Apple Notes subfolders? Andrew didn’t, until he stumbled upon this by accident. Creating subfolders lets you organize your notes in more detailed ways that make sense to you. Here’s how to do it on macOS.

Watch Old Cartoons Online With Boomerang for $5 a Month

· · Cool Stuff Found

A new cartoon streaming service is coming this spring. It’s called Boomerang, and it will feature thousands of classic old cartoons like The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Smurfs, Scooby Doo and Tom & Jerry. It’s part of the Boomerang TV network, but this cartoon service will be separate from the network. At launch, Boomerang will be available for iOS, Android and the web, with more devices and platforms soon to follow. You can stream cartoons ad-free for US$4.99/month, or US$39.99/year, with a seven-day free trial. Boomerang will only be available in the U.S., and there’s no word on whether it will expand to other countries. The service will be kid-friendly, and every cartoon episode will be pre-screened for age appropriate content. You can sign up for email updates on the website so you can be notified when it launches.

Watch Old Cartoons Online With Boomerang for $5 a Month

CIA Leak Reveals How Agency Targets iPhones

· · Analysis

The Spying Eye Waiting in Every Device

On Tuesday, Wikileaks published a cache of leaked documents some argue is more damning than Edward Snowden’s NSA leak. Wikileaks called the CIA documents “Vault 7,” a trove of 7,818 pages and files disclosing cyber weapons and hacking tools. Among other revelations, the one making the biggest headlines is that the CIA worked extensively on iPhone hacks.

NASA Offers Free Code In New Software Catalog

· · Cool Stuff Found

Every year since 2014, NASA has published a software catalog, On Wednesday NASA released a software catalog with over 1,000 free code samples. The free code is divided into 15 categories like robotics, aeronautics, climate simulators, biological sensors and guidance systems. Although the code is free, some restrictions may apply. For some, any U.S. citizen can apply to use it. Others can only be used by other federal agencies. And there is even some open-source code in the catalog. Open-source code can be directly downloaded, but most others require you to create an account, or in some cases sign a government contract or a usage agreement. If you’re in the sciences or like to tinker at home, be sure to check out this year’s NASA catalog.

NASA Offers Free Code In New Software Catalog

Apple Updates HomeKit Automation Webpage

· · News

Apple updated its HomeKit page with a fresh, new look. It includes a brief video that shows the power of HomeKit automation with iOS 10. Examples in the video include lights, window shades, coffee makers, door locks and thermostats. Apple also has several sections that give details of different areas of the Home app.

Use BookBub To Get iBooks Recommendations

· · Cool Stuff Found

A cool website called BookBub offers eBook recommendations. You can choose from a variety of book genres you’re interested in, including Mysteries, Thrillers and Action; Romance; Fiction; Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror; Teen and Young Readers; and Nonfiction. BookBub specifically suggests eBooks that are on sale. I’ve used BookBub for a couple of years, and I’ve gotten eBooks as low as US$0.99. It displays eBooks from Amazon, Google Play and iBooks. BookBub has an iOS app, but that version only shows iBooks offerings. If you sign up via the website, you’ll also see Amazon and Google offerings. After you select the genres you like, you can get a daily email with eBook deals.

Use BookBub To Get iBooks Recommendations

macOS Sierra: Quickly Restore Safari Tabs

· · Quick Tip

When you’re browsing the web, it’s inevitable that you’ll accidentally close a tab. Even if on purpose, you may still want to re-visit the page you were looking at. Instead of going into your Safari History, there is a quicker way to restore Safari tabs. Andrew shows us how he saves time when using Safari.

iOS 10 Spying Possible With iCloud Backups

· · News

A scary piece from Motherboard brings to attention a tool for iOS 10 spying. A company called Mobistealth sells a special monitoring tool that can pull data from iCloud backups. And the device doesn’t need to be jailbroken to work.