Factoring security

2 Factor security is our best current method of securing our important accounts, having a password is not enough for sensitive items, like bank accounts, personal notes, and other private data.

There are many options to choose from when selecting your two factor authentication app, Authy, Google Authenticator, Microsft Authenticator, LastPass and others.

Our recommended service is Authy.

Authy Logo

From the fact that it’s made by a company with a reputation for security, reliability and privacy, Twilio. To the fact that it’s beautifully designed, can (optionally) operate on multiple devices, and keep (encrypted) backups of your two factor accounts in their secure cloud.

Authy wins, in most cases.

For specific technology advice for your project, get in touch with Brendan at 415-871-9683

Authy vs Google Authenticator on Youtube

Authy vs Google Authenticator (from the horses mouth)

Authy vs Google Authenticator (Techwise)

48 hours to do your iPhone and iPad backups.

Followers, thank you for being here, here’s some information that will save you time, and make you more productive, and, therefore, freer. (in that free time, grab a copy of “Rest, Why you get more done when you Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang“)

For personalized advice, call, text, fax Brendan at 415-871-9683.

This Friday will see the release of iOS 13 from Apple.

You will want this on your iPad and iPhone, for the following features:

  • Simple automated sharing of your ETA when driving.
  • Simpler notification management.
  • Dark mode (looks so cool, saves battery, and is great in the evening)
  • Send unknown callers directly to voicemail.
  • Automatically share your name, phone number and contact photo in messages, (fewer mysteries in those iMessage group chats)
  • Beautiful ”Street View” style maps. (A demonstration of how Apple is not first, but rather, best at something)
  • Redesigned Remiders app that can have sub-groups (for projects), allows tagging reminders with people (Remind Kevin to do his homework), integrates with Messages (when texting with Kevin, suggests this reminder), and much more.
  • Vastly improved Photos app, that hides similar photos, and mundane things like pictures of receipts, yet highlights your amazing photos, reducing the scrolling often required to find the great photo.

To do this update safely, you’ll need to make sure your iPhone and iPad are backed up, so go into the iCloud settings of your device, and check that your iCloud backup has completed a successful backup recently.

Do this today, so that you can update to iOS 13 early on Friday.

For the full list of iOS 13 features, Click here to head over to the official Apple Website.

Remember, For personalized advice, call, text, fax Brendan at 415-871-9683.



iOS 13 beauty shot

Another Life saved by Apple Watch.

Not many things you can buy, for under $500 and as low as $319 that can improve your health, plus literally save your life.

Almost once a week, amongst all the dire news about our environment, politics, immigration and war, there’s a news story about how someone’s life was saved due to the help of technology attached to their wrist, that is able to alert them to a high or low heart rate, let them call for rescue, or automatically notify family and emergency services when they fall.

Besides saving your life, Apple Watch let’s you live a freer life (go out without your phone!), be healthier (bringing your Daily activity to your attention), and letting you be notified discreetly of important news without reaching for a large (comparatively) handheld “phone”.

And to answer most people’s first thought, “but I like being free of notifications and noise in my day!”

The Watch let’s you very easily enable “Theater Mode, Do not disturb mode, and Silent mode” so you can meditate in your Zen Garden in complete and total solitude.

Isn’t it about time (lol), you got an Apple Watch? For your health’s sake.

Fall Detection:

Gustavo, 34, suffered a sudden back injury and fell paralyzed to the kitchen floor. “It felt like someone pushed a knife into my back,” he says. Luckily, his watch responded.

On Friday, Gustavo Rodriguez stood by the stove as usual and cooked food. Suddenly he felt strange tension in his back and it became increasingly difficult to move the body. Gustavo tried not to think about it. “But then I moved the frying pan and it just hit me. It felt like someone pushed a knife into my back, says Gustavo.

He fell to the floor. The pain was so strong that everything went black. He could not move. Then the watch chimed and asked “Do you want to call 112?”. “My Apple Watch had sensed the fall and wondered if it should make an emergency call,” said Gustavo.

Car Crash Story.

Recently, the Apple Watch saved a young girl’s life after she crashed her car. Now, the Apple Watch has played saviour again by helping an 87-year old woman who met in a car accident. Introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4, the fall-detection feature may not seem as glamorous as say for example an ECG on your wrist; however, this silent feature, that kicks in only when you actually fall alerts emergency services to save you when you may not be able to save yourself. The woman, Dotty White is crediting this very feature for coming to her rescue.Recently, the Apple Watch saved a young girl’s life after she crashed her car. Now, the Apple Watch has played saviour again by helping an 87-year old woman who met in a car accident. Introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4, the fall-detection feature may not seem as glamorous as say for example an ECG on your wrist; however, this silent feature, that kicks in only when you actually fall alerts emergency services to save you when you may not be able to save yourself. The woman, Dotty White is crediting this very feature for coming to her rescue.

The importance of local backups.

MySpace lost all your pictures, audio and video files from 2003 to 2015.

A “cloud” is just another person’s computer. No matter whether your store data in iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive or AWS. Remember to keep your own local copies of everything important to you.

Get in touch if you’d like help understanding this, copying your data from FaceBook, securing it, and storing it safely.

Text or call 415-843-1622

Thank you for reading.

Where’s the Mystique?

Apple’s event invitations have mostly had an awesome sense of Mystique around them.

From the most subtle and very best “The first 30 years were just the beginning. Welcome to 2007” to unveil the incredible iPhone, to “It’s not a Mac” for the original iPod, to the awesomely clever “We’ve got a little more to show you” for the iPad Mini in 2012, to the completely confounding “Hey Siri, Give us a hint.” for the iPhone 6s, Apple’s marketing team is top of the worldwide heap for giving clever, cryptic and hilarious in hindsight clues to it’s new product/service introduction events.

What then, explains when the marketing team “phones it in”, and gives away the mystery and surprise? “It’s almost here” for iPhone 5 in 2012, “Let’s talk iPhone” for the iPhone 4s in 2011, or the picture of the actual phone for the iPhone 3gs event in 2008?

Far be it for me to advise Apple on how to play it’s game, it’s obviously the biggest and most succesful company the earth has ever known, but investigating why and how it plays us game makes us all better players.

This March 25th, Apple is once again showing it’s cards: “It’s Show time” for an event that is highly rumored to be about a TV show/channel subscription service.

Personally, I like the mystery for than the obvious teaser, but what do you think? Prefer to know, or to wait?

Text or call your thoughts to 415-843-1622

21 Lessons

Yuval Noah Harari’s third book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, is a fantastic follow up to his first two, “Sapiens” & “Homo Deus”.

Head over to your favorite library (mine is San Francisco), or your favorite book store (mine is Apple Books), and pickup all three of his books, read in order if you can.

Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite parts:

Lesson 4

EQUALITY

Those who own the data own the future

If we want to prevent the concentration of all wealth and power in the hands of a small elite, the key is to regulate the ownership of data. In ancient times land was the most important asset in the world, politics was a struggle to control land, and if too much land became concentrated in too few hands – society split into aristocrats and commoners. In the modern era machines and factories became more important than land, and political struggles focused on controlling these vital means of production. If too many of the machines became concentrated in too few hands – society split into capitalists and proletarians. In the twenty-first century, however, data will eclipse both land and machinery as the most important asset, and politics will be a struggle to control the flow of data. If data becomes concentrated in too few hands – humankind will split into different species.

The race to obtain the data is already on, headed by data-giants such as Google, Facebook, Baidu and Tencent. So far, many of these giants seem to have adopted the business model of ‘attention merchants’.2 They capture our attention by providing us with free information, services and entertainment, “and they then resell our attention to advertisers. Yet the data-giants probably aim far higher than any previous attention merchant. Their true business isn’t to sell advertisements at all. Rather, by capturing our attention they manage to accumulate immense amounts of data about us, which is worth more than any advertising revenue. We aren’t their customers – we are their product.

Another great part:

“First, if you want reliable information – pay good money for it. If you get your news for free, you might well be the product. Suppose a shady billionaire offered you the following deal: ‘I will pay you $30 a month, and in exchange, you will allow me to brainwash you for an hour every day, installing in your mind whichever political and commercial biases I want.’ Would you take the deal? Few sane people would. So the shady billionaire offers a slightly different deal: ‘You will allow me to brainwash you for one hour every day, and in exchange, I will not charge you anything for this service.’ Now the deal suddenly sounds tempting to hundreds of millions of people. Don’t follow their example.”

Differential Privacy in a google product.

Hell froze over.

Kudos to whomever at Google is responsible for google’s decision, revealed today, to enable differential privacy for its tensor flow machine learning service.

Most of us first heard of differential privacy when Apple, almost three years ago, introduced it as the technology that would enable Apple to intelligently learn about and help you organize your data with them (think: “Siri show me pictures of trees”), without being able to personally identify that you take a lot of pictures of trees. (Googles smart reply feature in gmail, in stark contrast, reads and personally associates every word YOU have written in email to provide its suggestions).

With Google’s Tensor Flow service now offering Differential Privacy, developers could build a service to reply to emails, sort photos, or drive you, without the need to personally identify you with the data required to accomplish this task.

The outstanding questions then, are, will differential privacy spread throughout Google and make Google into a new different company that actually values and protects users privacy like DuckDuckGo? Will it destabilize google core business? Will it highlight googles opposing data collecting behavior to users? or will it enable a new company to rise and display Google by using Google’s own technology?

No matter the results, the news that Google has followed Apple into Differential Privacy is a victory for regular computer users all over the world. Privacy is a fundamental human right.