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NC #646 Clarify, NIST on Two-Factor Authentication, Duplicating DVDs, iPhone X vs 8 Plus Screensizes

This week we’ll talk about some sad news from the makers of my beloved Clarify, then I’ll do a crazy deep dive into the National Institute of Standards and Technology about two-factor authentication. I do this to help you understand what your bank needs to know about using SMS or email or a phone call for authentication (spoiler, they shouldn’t). Then I’ll tell you about how much fun Sandy Foster and I had figuring out how to rip a (non-copy-protected) DVD in a modern version of macOS. In the last segment we’ll have fun with geometry as I try to figure out which screen is physically bigger, iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus.

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Continue reading “NC #646 Clarify, NIST on Two-Factor Authentication, Duplicating DVDs, iPhone X vs 8 Plus Screensizes”

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CCATP #502 – Megan Morrone on iPhone 8

Megan Morrone joins us today. Megan is the host of iOS Today with Leo LaPorte and host of Tech News Today with Jason Howell on the TWiT network. She’s got the new, shiny iPhone 8 Plus so I asked her on to tell us what she thinks about it. Megan talks about how the glass back feels, the fun she’s been having with Portrait lighting and how she hasn’t even tried the 4K 60fps video yet. She give us a tip for wireless charging that she saw on iMore – the Seneo Qi Wireless Charging Stand. iMore’s discount code has expired, but it’s only $19 on Amazon.

Megan talks about her identical twin sons and their plans to mess with Leo’s iPhone X when he gets it. She talks about the significant speed bump she noticed with the new A11 bionic chip. Megan brought an interesting perspective to the iPhone price points; talking about how you can get a good iPhone for only $350 (the SE) and a good iPad for only $329.

You can find Megan at twit.tv/ios and twit.tv/tnt and you can follow Megan on Twitter at @meganmorrone.


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Which Screen is Bigger, iPhone 8 Plus or X? AKA Fun with Geometry!

In last week’s show, I said that iPhone X actually has a bigger screen than iPhone 8 Plus, even though the phone’s physical size is closer to iPhone 8. In the live chatroom for the show, George from Tulsa called me on that statement. He pointed to an article on phonearena.com/… where Victor H had determined that iPhone 8 Plus actually has the bigger screen.

Now I could have gone over and just read what Victor had written but what fun would that be? You know where this is going, right? I had to prove (or disprove) this myself. Continue reading “Which Screen is Bigger, iPhone 8 Plus or X? AKA Fun with Geometry!”

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How to Duplicate a DVD on macOS Sierra

This week in our Google Plus group (podfeet.com/googleplus) Sandy Foster asked a dumb question, which as is usually the case, is not a dumb question at all. The story takes some winding paths, but I assure you that there’s a solution at the end of this story.

Her problem to be solved was that a friend of hers had a non-commercial DVD to which she had the rights to copy. Sandy volunteered to make duplicates for her friend because she knew it would be an easy task on a Mac. She spent two hours on the phone with AppleCare with both an advisor and then a senior advisor, neither of whom helped her figure out how to do this.

This sounded like a fun challenge, even though I haven’t burned a DVD myself in ages. Here was the process I suggested she try. (Spoiler, my first solution doesn’t work.) Continue reading “How to Duplicate a DVD on macOS Sierra”

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NIST Rules on Two-Factor Authentication & Influencing Banks

NIST digital identity guidelinesOne of the best things about being retired is having the time to talk to companies on the phone. When I was working, I would simply let things go that were irritating me because there just wasn’t the time.

This week my mission became talking to every bank I deal with about their security model. For reasons that are irrelevant to the discussion, (and highly annoying to me) I’m associated with four different financial institutions, and each of them got some messaging from me this week.

Their current service varied from two of them having no two-factor authentication, and two having SMS, email and phone call verification. None of them use a software authenticator method like Google Authenticator or the one built into 1Password.

Before I spoke to them, I decided it would sound a bit weak to say, “My friend Bart is real smart on this stuff and HE says…” So I started to do my research. I wanted to make sure I had a crisp explanation of why using SMS is a bad idea for two-factor authentication.

Continue reading “NIST Rules on Two-Factor Authentication & Influencing Banks”

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NC #645 Clockwise, Systematic, Face ID Security, Different View on Apple Announcements, Security Bits: Equifax, AT&T U-verse

This week I was on the Clockwise Podcast (Clockwise #205: Candy-Coated Vegetables on relay.fm) and on Brett Terpstra’s Systematic podcast (201: Not the Man I Thought He Was with Allison Sheridan on esn.fm). I interview Bart about the security implications of Face ID on the new iPhone X. I give you what I hope is a different view on the Apple announcement. Security Bits is really huge this week with three Security Mediums thanks to companies like AT&T and Equifax.

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Continue reading “NC #645 Clockwise, Systematic, Face ID Security, Different View on Apple Announcements, Security Bits: Equifax, AT&T U-verse”

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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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