Apple iPhone 14 rollout isn’t going so smooth | Uber can’t get right | Customs and Border Control can “Deebo” your devices? This and more on this week’s episode…
New iOS | Who cares about crypto? | Black fictional characters…and more on this this week’s snobOS episode…
Yes – This post contains affiliate links that I may be paid for if readers click/purchase. You think I’m writing these posts just because?
In a previous post, I let y’all know that I was gonna give Amazon In-Garage Delivery a try. This weekend, I ordered some anti-fog spray for my eyeglasses because this mask and my nostrils are NOT on the same page, but chose Amazon Key Delivery to test out the in-garage delivery process. Here’s how it works.
First, you need a compatible smart garage door opener. The most popular one that’s compatible with Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant and Amazon Key is the MyQ smart garage door opener…Which is what I already have
Second (but maybe more importantly), you have to be comfortable with Amazon drivers having temporary access to your garage. In my opinion, I can trust Amazon drivers (who I can somewhat hold accountable) over “porch pirates” snatching boxes off my porch.
To put folks at ease, Amazon also has Ring cameras under its umbrella that it hawks as an added security measure that when installed, automatically records the delivery process.
I have a non-compatible Wyze camera in my garage that I’ve set up to notify me and start recording when it detects motion (when my garage door opens) to simulate Amazon’s setup.
Now that’s all out of the way, and I went through the process of setting up Amazon In-Garage Delivery, here’s how the process went:
- During ordering, I had to select “Key Delivery”
- I was notified via the Amazon Key app with a delivery ETA
- I was notified again when the driver was accessing my garage
- I got a separate notification from my Wyze camera when my garage door was opened.
- I was able to log into my camera app and watch the driver drop off my package and close the garage.
That’s pretty much it. As an added precaution, I made sure the door from the garage to my home was locked. I will eventually add a smart lock to that entry to automatically lock when a driver opens the garage.
I’m comfortable enough to continue to let Amazon drop off packages in my garage. Peace of mind that my packages are safe, and cuts down on having to rush to hide packages before my nosey kids start sniffing around.
Would you try Amazon Key for your home, garage, gate, or car?
Even before “dat ‘Rona” hit, our family has BEEN in these Amazon streets. Now that we have drastically limited our in-person shopping due to COVID-19, we’ve had Amazon deliveries at our front door seemingly every day.
My crib isn’t on the Smart Home level that I want because Apple’s HomeKit still isn’t fully realized yet (and them sh*ts be expensive). But I do have some Smart Home tech…in the house.
Specifically, my MyQ Smart Garage Door opener that lets me open/close my garage with my iPhone, and monitor the door’s status with my Amazon Echo devices. Since MyQ is compatible with the Alexa smart assistant, I have finally decided to give Amazon Key a try.
Without drawing out this blog post any further (because who even blogs anymore?), I can use my Amazon Key to enroll in the In-Garage Delivery Program that lets Amazon drivers access via MyQ to leave deliveries in my garage in order to:
- Ward off any “porch pirates” who may try and run up
- Fend off our nosey-ass 3 year-old who is “blocking” Santa’s game by checking for packages EVERY TIME the front door opens
We’ve still got some shopping left to do, so I will test it out and circle back with my results.
I use Siri as much as I can but there are still some commands I habitually grab my phone to accomplish when I could’ve easy asked Siri to do it (Voice recognition tends to work better on my Apple Watch vs. my iPhone, but I digress).
How many tasks do you accomplish with Siri? Check out the story on Fast Company and let me know if you use any of these in the comments.
I’ve seen a ton of folks transition to digital during this new social distancing experiment. DJ’s, podcasters, and video content creators all stepping up their digital game to share their influence.
Many of those content creators are using the popular Yeti Blue Mic…WRONG!
From one digital content creator to another who uses the Yeti Blue Mic, STOP TALKING INTO THE TOP OF THE MIC…There’s literally no mic up there!
The mic(s) are on the front, back & sides (depending on what mode you’re in). So do me a favor: If you want crisp & clean audio for your digital content, think of this pic before you go “live”
If a blog post won't cut it, be sure to get in touch for all your Apple support needs... Book a Support Session Shoot me a message
On Apple’s website yesterday, CEO Tim Cook posted a letter reassuring its customers that the encrypted iPhone data will not be compromised…even at the request of the government.
“February 16, 2016
A Message to Our Customers
The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.
This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake…”
What Tim Cook is responding to is in the Aftermath of the San Bernradino California shooting back in December, the FBI requested Apple’s help in recovering password-protected iPhone data that belonged to the shooters.
The FBI went as far as obtaining a court order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym of California to force Apple to “supply highly specialized software the FBI can load onto the county-owned work iPhone to bypass a self-destruct feature, which erases the phone’s data after too many unsuccessful attempts to unlock it. The FBI wants to be able to try different combinations in rapid sequence until it finds the right one.”
Reading deeper into the letter on Apple’s website, Tim Cook expands on the need for encryption and why weakening said encryption for whatever reason is a slippery slope:
“…The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.
The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.
We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them…”
This is not a new argument as Silicon Valley and the U.S. government have frequently been on the opposite ends of the privacy versus safety debate. Tech companies have been very vocal about the dangers of allowing the government to access private data trusted to tech companies (via their devices) by its customers. Conversely, the government has argued that there are certain instances like terror attacks where accessing specific data from specific individuals could help the government learn more about past attacks and even prevent future threats.
For now, Apple has decided to take a stand and resist any requests by the government, court ordered or not, to keep our iPhone data password-protected, encrypted data, well…password-protected and encrypted. We will have to see how far this debate goes.
Where Do You Stand?
Since it’s OUR data that tech companies want to protect and it’s OUR data that the government wants to access in order to protect us, do you think it was right for Apple to “Just Say No” to the FBI in the name of keeping our data secure from even the government? Or do you feel that the government should have some type of access to specific, court-ordered consumer data in the name of possibly preventing future attacks that could jeopardize our safety?
What say you?
“What’s your best price?” Is a question I get all the time as an Apple repair guy…ALL THE TIME. I understand, folks work hard for their money and want to make sure they are getting the best deal. So I always have to pitch my value as a certified repair guy and it goes something like “I understand that there could be cheaper prices out there, but I’m certified and I only use OEM parts and they are backed by a lifetime warranty…(“womp womp womp womp” is what I assume they hear after I give them the price).
Not trying to scare the hell out of you, Well…maybe I am, but if you’ve busted up your phone and it needs repair, be careful who you let fix it. There is a new iOS 9 update that affects all iDevices with Touch ID “fingerprint” home buttons that your el cheapo average repair guy on craigslist or Yelp with a super low repair price may not know, or care about and could result in rendering your entire phone useless.
There is an “Error 53” message making its way around the web that’s reported to brick iPhones. Based on all “the world’s ending” tech articles published on the subject, Error 53 has been traced to devices where the ORIGINAL Touch ID home button has been replaced. Not a common procedure, but if your home button has been damaged beyond repair OR if you customize your device with pretty colors, there are situations where the original home button could have been replaced.
If the original Touch ID home button is replaced, that could also threaten the integrity of Apple’s security features. So what I’m assuming was a stop gap measure by Apple, it has released and confirmed a recent iOS 9 update that will cause major issues if your Touch ID-enabled device detects a foreign home button:
“We take customer security very seriously and Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device’s other components. If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support.”
How can you avoid Error 53
The simple answer is “Don’t replace your home button”. Now here’s where repair guys like me come in. MOST if not all of my repairs are cracked screens. I’ve been in the game for quite sometime and already knew that putting in a foreign home button on a Touch ID-enabled device would render it useless. So when I get a Touch ID-enabled home button repair request I tell my clients “You will have to holla at Apple to get that fixed (paraphrasing)”.
Additionally, I test all devices before and after the repair and I’ve been CRAZY CAREFUL to not damage the home button during screen repair. MOST if not all iPhone repairs are of the cracked screen variety. Inside Baseball: During a cracked screen repair, the home button must be transplanted from one screen to another. So even if the home button is working fine there’s still a chance it can get damaged during an otherwise routine screen repair.
Not tooting my own horn (Can grown men use the word “toot?”), but my skill, experience and professionalism is why I command a higher price. But there are some folks who don’t care and opt to go with the “lowest bidder”, which boggles my mind – Why pay so much for an Apple device to only go the cheap route when something goes wrong? But I digress.
As the old saying goes “You get what you pay for”. There are some repair shops who will buy the cheapest parts, and do shoddy work, INCLUDING damage your Touch ID-enabled home button during repair and try to replace it on the sly. Before now it wasn’t a huge deal. Now Apple is forcing repair shops to step up their game in order to maintain its security features and protect your data.
So when (it’s not a matter of if) you crack the screen on your iPhone, you might want to rethink your repair budget and do a little more research before you let just anybody repair it. A cheap or half-ass repair could result in your entire phone getting bricked.
….You know my number
Apple has extended its warranty to offer free MacBook Pro repair to 2011-2013 laptops experiencing video-related issues.
The batch file rename feature is definitely welcomed
A batch renaming option has been added to the Finder in Yosemite: if you need to rename multiple files at once, select them, then choose “Rename [x] Items…” from the contextual menu. This will open a modal dialog with three options to batch rename files: Replace Text, Add Text, and Format. The first two are rather self-explanatory: one replaces a string of text found in the filename and the other can append or prepend text to the filename. Format is more advanced, as it lets you pick a format name with index, date, or counter to be placed before or after the filename with an option for a custom format as well.
Dope feature, especially for all my blogger folks who use pictures in their posts. If you didn’t know, for SEO juice, you should rename all your pictures to include the title of your post and/or keywords