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Face ID Security Questions with Bart Busschots

Face id woman illuminated faceThis week when Apple announced Face ID on the iPhone X I think they raised a lot of questions about the security of this technology. In the Mac Geek Gab Facebook group, someone asked an interesting question. They asked whether Face ID would work if someone had one eye that focused straight ahead and the other eye at a different angle.

That got me to thinking, what about blind people who often keep their eyes closed? I pinged Shelly Brisbin, author of the book iOS Access for All to see if she knew anything. She sent me a link to a blog post by Jonathan Mosen on his blog called Mosen Consulting: Face ID Accessibility. Apple offers some answers. Continue reading “Face ID Security Questions with Bart Busschots”

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CCATP #501 Bart Busschots – PBS 39 of x – HTML5 Form Validation

This week Bart Busschots joins us to talk about HTML Form Validation. We’ll get back to our Cellular Automata next week. Bart has also decided that we’re going to get our feet a little bit yet by using GitHub where we’ll be getting the challenges and solutions from now on. You can see Bart’s awesome tutorial at bartbusschots.ie/…


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A (Hopefully) Different View on the Apple Announcements

Tim walking in front of huge steve jobsBy now, if you’re at all interested in Apple products, or even if you’re not, you’ve been inundated by information about the new toys they announced. I found it interesting to be on the elliptical at the gym on Wednesday morning and I could see all of the TVs that had any kind of news or financial shows playing were talking about Apple.

I don’t want to do a rundown of what Apple announced, but I did want to make some observations. Steve and I really enjoyed watching the event with a lot of NosillaCastaways in the live chat room. It was early enough in the day that our more Eastern friends were able to join in, like skamar from Greece. I love how international our audience is. Getting perspective from Bart in Ireland and Steven in Canada and Terry from Holland and Rose from Australia is great.

Like I said I want to go through what really struck me during the keynote, and if you missed any of this or want to see it again, I put time stamps in the shownotes for each section so you can go watch it at apple.com Continue reading “A (Hopefully) Different View on the Apple Announcements”

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The Future (or Lack Thereof) of Clarify and Clarify-it.com

Clarify logo question markI have some sad news about my beloved app, Clarify. The developers reached out to me late last week with a preview of a blog entry they were about to post.

The full story is at clarify-it.com/blog/the-future-of-clarify. I’d like to explain some of what it says and let you in on some more detailed questions I posed to them and answers I received.

The main thing that they’re announcing is the discontinuation of their document-sharing service associated with clarify-it.com. This was a place you could post your tutorials and then reference them to share with others. This service will be shut down on March 1, 2018. That’s 5 months notice, so more than enough time to find a new home for your documents if you used this free service.

What does Bart always say, “follow the money”, right? Their money maker is the business software Screensteps, so maintaining this free web service no longer makes sense. I can certainly respect that.

The next question though is what about the Clarify desktop software? The title of their blog post is, “The Future (or Lack Thereof) of Clarify and Clarify-it.com” so Clarify isn’t coming out unscathed.

Clarify desktop is going into what they’re calling “Maintenance mode”. I asked them some clarifying questions (see what I did there?). Here’s what I asked and their answers:

Q: Will you still be selling Clarify?

Right now, we are still selling Clarify. We have included language on the website and in the store that points users to our blog post before making a purchase. I think at some point, we might just make it a free app–but that depends on whether it will be a good lead generation tool for getting ScreenSteps customers. A decision we have deferred for now.

Q: Will existing users still be able to download the installer for Clarify (say when building up a new Mac)

Existing users will still be able to download the installer for Clarify.

Q: Will there be license support for Clarify?

We still offer license support for Clarify.

Q: I see a recent update with bug fixes and enhancements (v 2.07), is that the last one, or will these still happen? Maybe bug fixes but not enhancements?

We plan on addressing minor bugs, but we will not be doing any more enhancements. Q: The 64-bit enhancement might be the only exception. We have a list of features we are devoted to building for ScreenSteps right now, so ScreenSteps has taken the top of the list. But when the dust settles, then Trevor will evaluate the work needed and make a decision at that point.

Let’s break down that comment about the uncertainty on whether they’ll upgrade Clarify to 64-bit at some point in the future. In High Sierra, 32-bit apps will continue to run. It’s not until the operating system after High Sierra that 32-bit apps will be deprecated. So we have a full year before we have to worry about it. Apple will probably nag us about how our 32-bit apps are getting on in years, just like they did in iOS 10 for 32-bit apps.

I tried really hard to get Trevor to promise he would upgrade Clarify to 64-bit but he wouldn’t commit to that. I mean, how long could it take, like maybe an afternoon, right? I love to say that kind of thing to developers.

So, I’m not at all happy about this turn of events, but nothing will change in our usage of Clarify to make terrific tutorials for the next year. I remain apprehensive about the future, and if there was a single competitor to Clarify I’d be checking it out, but since there isn’t I’m going to put my head in the sand and pretend they didn’t tell me any of this.

I think I’ll go make myself happy by creating a tutorial on how to set up Colloquy on the iPad to join the Live chat room.

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NC #644 MiX16 Pro, Snapchat Spectacles, Strategies to Introduce Someone to a Smart Phone, Backup Strategies, Teampaper Snap

Remember to join us in the live chartroom for the Apple announcement on Tuesday at podfeet.com/live. Allister Jenks brings us his journey as a podcaster going from Castblaster to MiX16 Pro, and Denise Crone gives us her first-hand review of Snapchat Spectacles. Steve and I convinced his mom to get her first smartphone and I’ll talk through the strategy we employed to hopefully make it a success. Joop joins us from the Netherlands to tell us about his really advanced and automated backup strategy. I’ll finish off with a review of the free menubar app Teampaper Snap for taking screenshots, annotating and sharing them.

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Continue reading “NC #644 MiX16 Pro, Snapchat Spectacles, Strategies to Introduce Someone to a Smart Phone, Backup Strategies, Teampaper Snap”

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Teampaper Snap for Screenshots, Annotations and Collaboration

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Teampaper Snap

I take a lot os screenshots for quite a few different uses. I like to use them in my blog posts when I’m reviewing applications. I like to include them when doing tech support in emails to my friends and family and also to listeners who write in with questions. I also use screenshots to demonstrate problem areas when communicating with software developers about their products. I’d like to tell you about a menu bar app called Teampaper Snap that might be a better tool for you than some of the built-in capabilities of macOS. But first, let’s set up some problems to be solved.

I do so many screenshots that I’m pretty comfortable using the keystrokes built into macOS to capture a specific area, an application window, or even full screen. For some (many) people, remembering those keystrokes is a pain so they just don’t do it. Apple has the built in Grab application (you’ll find it in Applications/Utilities) which might be easier for you. It’s a pretty useful tool with timed screenshots that’s handy for capturing a pulldown window.

Continue reading “Teampaper Snap for Screenshots, Annotations and Collaboration”

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Strategies to Introduce Someone to a Smart Phone

Merlee al with her new iphoneSteve’s mother, Merlee, is very clever and quick learning new things, so we thought it was time to try to convince her to move from a flip phone to an iPhone. I should mention that her flip phone lives in a drawer and never gets to come out to play unless she’s on a vacation.

Steve’s father, Ken, also has a flip phone he brings out for vacations, but he tends to be more resistant to trying new things in the technology department. I have observed though that when Merlee moves out on new tech, sometimes Ken watches over her shoulder and eventually jumps in.

Ken was convinced though that Merlee didn’t need an iPhone and that it would be excessively complex and she wouldn’t use it. He was also concerned about the cost. He pointed out that he only pays something like $40 a year for two phones, 20 minutes of calls and some limited number of text messages, so if it was more than that, it would be a big waste of money.

Continue reading “Strategies to Introduce Someone to a Smart Phone”

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Snapchat Spectacles by Denise

Snapchat spectacles closeupGreetings fellow Castaways, Denise Crown here with a review of Snapchat Spectacles. In a nutshell, Spectacles are sunglasses with a built-in camera.

We do not violate the Podfeet Terms of Service, so, regulations require we start with the problem to be solved. Say you’re out walking the dog, hanging out with friends, at a festival or amusement park, or doing some other fun outdoor activity, you can capture some of that without carrying your phone or bolting a go-pro to your head. Before you dismiss this as something only for the millennials, these things are FUN. I tried them outdoors, while driving, and even in my office and they worked well as both sunglasses and a video camera. I plan to take them to an upcoming trade show. Continue reading “Snapchat Spectacles by Denise”

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Allister’s Journey from Castblaster to MiX16 Pro

Sitting duck podcast logoThis piece started out as a simple review of one piece of software, but as I began writing, I realised it’s one of those times where a bit of storytelling is in order.

Some listeners will know that I once had a podcast of my own. Technically, I still do, but it’s a pretty rare release these days. I started right around the same time Allison did but instead of tech, my podcast was about music.

Continue reading “Allister’s Journey from Castblaster to MiX16 Pro”

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CCATP #499 – Joe Dugandzic on Illustrated HomeKit Product Guide

I asked the fabulous Joe Dugandzic to come back on the show to talk us through the comprehensive HomeKit compatible product guide he created. For a long time there weren’t a lot of HomeKit devices to enjoy but now that the market is filling up, having a really well organized page with all of the options is very valuable.

Joe has organized the page into categories rather than by vendor. He’s got lighting, outlets and sockets, wall dimmers & switches, security devices like locks and cameras, thermostats, ceiling fans and shades, fire and smoke detectors, specialized sensors like for air quality and water leaks, sand even smart buttons (which I think are dumb actually).

If you’re not of the HomeKit persuasion, every device on his site has a code for whether it’s also compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, and he designates if it works in countries with 240 volt power or just 120. He also links to any video reviews he’s done on his YouTube channel at YouTube.com/smarterhomelife. With all this to go through, it’s a long show because I asked so many questions of Joe!

Check out the Illustrated HomeKit Product Guide at smarterhomelife.com/… and you can follow Joe on Twitter at @smarterhomelife.


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