Every Apple Security Update

38-365 Fingerprint

Photo by Bram Cymet

After a reported 5.6 million fingerprints were compromised as a result of a recent data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM says 5.6 million fingerprints stolen in cyberattack), iOS users have yet another reason to doubt security measures behind what’s been dubbed “the most spyware-proof mobile operating system” to date (iOS scores as most secure mobile OS).

While it’s true that the “attack” was aimed at high-ranking U.S. government officials the same technique could just as easily be employed to obtain the fingerprints of millions of iPhone and iPad users across the globe, and with far less risk.

Continued use of TouchID is a somewhat risky decision. Your fingerprint is a permanent means of identification that’s more valuable than any driver’s license or key card, once stolen the effects are irreversible.

Inform Yourself

Apple provides documentation on every security update released for all of it’s products.

Apple security updates – Apple Support

Always update digital devices to the latest software version, and don’t be afraid to become slightly informed of the various bugs that are addressed by each.

Image by Bram Cymet- Flickr

Lincoined

Shiny Penny 2001 D Macro April 30, 20101

Image by Steven Depolo

My thought process started with a comment I stumbled across recently on a blog the name of which I can’t hope to remember. The author was responding to a user complaining that he [the author] had taken the easy route” when he attached a link to an informative post rather than summarizing and republishing it as his own. It went something like this

As a community there should be the mentality of giving credit where credit is due. It’s thus necessary to provide credit in the form of forfeiting your traffic to the original author.

In other words, adding a meaningful thought doesn’t justify directing web traffic away from the original poster and towards your site. It’s this mentality that makes the blogging community so unique. I see an opportunity.

Unlike other online social communities, bloggers possess an unbridled appreciation and value for the work of others. In an effort to show that appreciation a social norm has developed around the idea of providing authors the credit they deserve. It’s a positive one and shows itself far more frequently than places like Facebook and Twitter, where a horde of parody accounts rip each other off within seconds, to the point that it’s utterly impossible to discern the true author. Well, what if there was a way to give credit in the form of say… credit?

You’ve heard the horror stories. The value of the penny is shrinking by the second! The coinage bearing arguably our most beloved president is headed straight for the light and there’s nothing we can do about it. The situation is gloom for good ole’ Abe. What’s fortunate is that it’s the pennies own insignificance that makes it perfect for ‘other things.’ Of the dozens of possible reuses that might revive the penny, I think it’s best to keep giving them away.

I Like Facebook


When’s the last time you routed through a pocket full of change for exactly seven pennies to round out that perfect, no-change necessary transaction? Hopefully, too long to remember as that helps the cause!

Imagine for a moment that you

  • Give up one Dollar.
  • Get back one hundred ‘Likes.’
  • Like‘ things.

My thinking is that honestly most of us can spare a buck or two every once in a while, even if it’s just for fun. Say you offer up one dollar and get 100 somethings in return. Call these somethings ‘Likes’ and it’s simple enough, ‘Like’ a post and the author gets one penny or more. Now unfortunately for lesser-known bloggers this won’t really be of any value as they don’t achieving enough volume to make it worthwhile. Obviously the opposite is true for the big-leaguers. Millions of views and hundreds of likes could translate into something sizable. It’s more than they got before.

In all honesty there probably isn’t much promise in such an idea. It’s almost guaranteed that the practice wouldn’t catch on in more widely used networks until it adopted elsewhere. Not to mention the act of money handling makes an otherwise straightforward process into something much more involved.

While I don’t see much hope for this kind of reward system in the crude form above, with a good deal of alteration it has the potential to make a stir. Monetizing one’s personal thoughts with the internet is a relatively new idea and as a result there really isn’t a way to do it, yet. The first person to successfully implement a way of paying people for the data they generate online will likely make a lot of money.  ‘Likes’ are a solid place to start. Everyone wants them, many want more of them, and those that get them are a bit obsessed. Find a way for Kim Kardashian to earn some dough from her Instagram ‘Likes’ and I think you’ve got something.

Music, Memory v. Moment

Horizon's appointment you'll keep

One song is perceived ten different ways in ten different: locations, moods, experiences, you name it. Music and emotion together are a powerful and mysterious force. Two ways in which music wields impressive control over our emotions is while actively experiencing music and reliving past experience through music.

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. – Aldous Huxley

We’re emotional creatures, human beings.eMotion (cc) Music is a source of a lot of that emotion, am I right? We tend to gravitate toward music that embodies and exemplifies our desired mood. You probably play your favorite songs during the morning commute knowing it can improve your mentality; maybe you get your EDM fix on the ride to the bar. Whatever your fix, there’s a sensible chance something deep inside your head made the decision for you. You just don’t always know it.

Listening to music to establish a mood isn’t the ideal experience. In most cases we focus far more on surrounding events than the music itself. While it does serve a purpose, listening to music with intent to induce a mood won’t produce nearly the same psychologically in-tune experience as the following.

You know the feeling. A familiar tune wafts across the room and for a moment you revel in the joy… oh, but it’s gone. Not a grin before your head is overrun with images and emotions intense as the day they transpired. Moments long forgotten waltz in as though they never left and suddenly you’re somewhere else. Aware the mindset is not your own, yet able to reach out and resume each emotion to a sometimes uncomfortable extent.

Too often music achieves this affect with memories we’d like to avoid. A broken-heart, the death of a loved one, or any traumatic experience are the memories to which a song will bind forever. This phenomenon is no stranger to pleasant memories, those with a negative connotation just dig a little deeper. So is the case with many things in life.

So, there must a happy-medium between listening for pleasure and listening for experience?

You’re already thinking it. What about the songs from my youth that evoke intense feelings of joy and happiness? Well, they’re arguably the most important. Music’s tendency to revive unpleasant memories more than the joyous translates to pleasant memories being that much more intense if they’ve earned a spot in the memory banks.

 

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The key lies in learning to fend off feelings of sadness and mortality when the song begins to move you. Joy and happiness are in abundance, but escaping the urge to go back in time to what now looks and feels like a much better place is difficult and sometimes impossible. Practice, practice, practice.

It ultimately takes time to screen out all negative emotions associated with a song, even if it’s attached to a particularly awesome moment. Mood at the time of listening plays the largest role. But, should you succeed in achieving the same level of emotional intensity in a positive way, the result is exhilarating.

Unfortunately, some unknown force in our skull cavity makes this a commendable feat and one that occurs far too little for the mind-altering power it possesses.

Finding those selections from childhood and youth that themselves have long since been forgotten is a challenge. Spotify and other music services should be full of playlists catered to specific generations and genres. So it could take some listening, but you’ll slowly build your own ‘throwback’ playlist embodying much of who you are as person.

It’s important to find and hang-on to a personal epitome of music before it fades further in to the past. The music we grow up with is one of few aspects of life that elicits the same emotional response no matter life’s stage.

2014’s Most Valuable Program: Popcorn Time

Netflix step aside, a new wave of video streaming applications debuted in 2014. They don’t really compete with your average subscription-based services as they’re free and open-source, but they play their part in the war on internet-piracy.

popcorn-time

Several developers sought added functionality not found in modern BitTorrent clients like uTorrent and Transmission, so they created their own. With one significant addition a never-before-seen type of video streaming application was born. It eliminated the need to download an entire video and accessed (downloaded) only the portion necessary for viewing at the precise moment.

header-uiPopcorn Time and a slew of spinoffs quickly became the “new Netflix” among internet users already familiar with torrenting. It works on the same basis as torrenting a movie or television show from The PirateBay, but rather than searching for a file and waiting for it to download, Popcorn Time will download and play the first portion of a movie, constantly buffering the remainder while you watch. When the movie or show is over nothing remains on your computer and SOPA is none the wiser. Sounds interesting eh?

SOPA Slam

There’s no questioning the legality in using a BitTorrent client to unlawfully acquire digital media. The law-breaking isn’t committed when you download and install uTorrent, but rather when you downloading something you’d normally need to pay to receive. Thus, what you’re allowed to do with Popcorn Time is largely dependent on the country in which you reside. Online piracy in the United States is sometimes as widely heated a debate as gun control and abortion so if you read this from the US the answer is no, you cannot legally use Popcorn Time or the like to stream movies and TV.

Popcorn Time Today

popcorntime_helpAs of now you can still download Beta 3.5 from popcorntime.io, although an astute warning states “Downloading copyrighted material may be illegal in your country. Use at your own risk.” To my knowledge, upon being ruled illegal for its intended purpose Popcorn Time’s original developers abandoned the project. It was revived by an open-source community who identify as “a bunch of geeks from All Around The World.” I haven’t kept up with news surrounding the project and can’t verify the current working status of Beta 3.5 so I’ll leave that to the adventurous.

Go Forth

The reason for mentioning Popcorn Time was simply to make known the existence of an impressive feat of programming to as many people as possible. It’s important that we maintain an accurate picture of the state of technology and the internet. Refusing to be ignorant of technology enables one to know exactly where we, as the human race, stand.

Whether you choose to act on any newfound knowledge is your decision. Go forth into a world beyond Netflix.

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San Jose Baby

“Sure ya are”

It’s cliché to move to California. A million people move west for a million different reasons, most of them outlandish. Expressing the desire to make such a move garners mixed responses from folks in the mid-west. Some of us live and die without residing beyond the borders of our home state or an immediate neighbor. As a result, intent to call the golden state home is often commended by mouth, but brushed off by the eye-balls. Southern hospitality at it’s finest!

2896131064_8533e53007_oWhat us “hopefuls” have in common is the unconventional belief that upon arrival the clouds will part, light will shine down, and the heavens will rejoice: “Welcome home,” at which point all of life’s problems evaporate into thin air. California brah.

I’m not entirely naïve, but it’s difficult to let go of the belief that California saves lives and all too easy to find proof that it in fact doesn’t. It’s stupid to consider the failures and successes that come out of California because they aren’t you. The statistics shouldn’t be ignored so long as they don’t prevent you from actually doing it. I watched too many peers sell themselves short because the “odds” were against them.

A comfortable life is what everyone around you is living. Those dreamers you’ve never met? They left decades ago, failed until they got it right, but live a bit more comfortable now and somewhere a little more scenic as well. It’s not about the material things or the view. Those are the rewards for overcoming what the rest of the world could not. Ultimately, you’ve become a better version of yourself, one that will never stop improving because he can.

“Valley of Heart’s Delight”

San Jose, CA. The third largest city in the state and the tenth largest in the country. Also home to the highest cost of living in the United States thanks to the big-name internet and technology companies that coined the term “Silicon Valley.” A high unemployment-rate and influx of job-seekers make San Jose one of the least job-friendly cities in the country. For whatever reason techies and entrepreneurs alike still flock to the valley. One day myself included.

I don’t plan to move to California for the sprawling urban metropolis, Hollywood, the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnight-life, or any of the typical motives. I do want the weather, but it’s just a plus. I’ll live in California for the people. I want to surround myself with people who think to the same extreme, but in entirely new directions. I want to engage driven people and have my thought processes challenged and refined.

If I surround myself with people who think as I do, and more importantly those who don’t, I know success is the only option. As great as that sounds, I recognize the enormity of such an undertaking and don’t expect everything to fall perfectly into place. Life’s challenges have shaped who I am today. Rather than avoid what life may have in store, I’ll tackle the biggest challenge I can think of.

Another year and I’m CA bound.

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Prompt from Make It Anywhere

Isaiah Rashad: Cilvia Demo EP

A lesser known member of the 2014 XXL Freshman class, Isaiah Rashad gained wide-spread fame shortly after releasing his first extended play, Cilvia Demo. The album debuted at number 40 on the US Billboard 200 and sold over 8,000 copies in the first week. Back in 2013 Rashad signed with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) and joined the likes of Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock. He toured internationally with ScHoolboy earlier this year and is said to be working on the successor to his critically acclaimed EP.

Influences

This guy has one of the craziest lists I’ve seen from any hip-hop/rap artist in a while. A quick look at some of the later names is enough to warrant an immediate listen.

Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, OutKast, No Limit Records, Cash Money Records, Erykah Badu, The Fugees, KRS-One, Dead Prez, Three 6 Mafia, 8Ball & MJG, UGK, R. Kelly, Bootsy CollinsGeorge ClintonJames BrownThe TemptationsSmokey RobinsonGorillaz, Danger Mouse, Gnarls Barkley, and Lil Wayne.

The EP

Isaiah-Rashad-clivia-500x500Cilvia Demo was my first introduction to 23 year-old Rashad, who’s career started back in 2010 while still in the tenth grade. The album tells the typical coming-of-age story that we get from most breakout artists in hip-hop and rap, but something about Rashad’s lyrical prowess and the album’s outstanding collection of beats make this particular story one worth listening to. Cilvia Demo features few artists, SZA, Jay Rock, and ScHoolboy the most recognizable, so 9 of the 14 tracks are strictly Isaiah.

I smoke too much: the problems of a twenty-something

Five Stars

If a young artist is confident enough to forgo the typical headlining feature on his first release then he likely doesn’t need it. These guys retain their style throughout their career and probably won’t ever rely on big-name features to make it. Cilvia Demo is exactly what we look for in a freshman album and anyone who fancies hip-hop will consider it a worthy addition to their library.

Take a listen to the ‘demo’ below and note the subtle similarities in style between Isaiah and Kendrick. TDE looks like the perfect fit.

Track List: (Crunched for time? Bold tracks are golden)

  1. Hereditary
  2. Webbie Flow (U Like)
  3. Cilvia Demo
  4. R.I.P. Kevin Miller
  5. Ronnie Drake (feat. SZA)
  6. West Savannah (feat. SZA)
  7. Soliloquy
  8. Tranquility
  9. Menthol (feat. Jean Deaux)
  10. Modest
  11. Heavenly Father
  12. Banana
  13. Brad Jordan (feat. Micheal Da Vinci)
  14. Shot You Down (feat. Jay Rock & ScHoolboy Q)

Listen Here

 

Road to Audiophile $28

Audio..What?

Audiophile: a person enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction.

How happy are you with the EarPods that came bundled with your shiny new iPhone? Ever wonder if Apple’s signature white ear buds aren’t doing your music justice? Heaven forbid you still own the previous model. In any case, unless you’ve spent a moderate amount of cash on a new set of headphones or in-ear buds it’s possible you’re hearing less detail than a vinyl record.

What to Do?

Ask yourself if the prospect of hearing a more accurate reproduction of your favorite artist’s best album is worth any amount of money. A response other than ‘yes’ warrants some extra thought. If money is tight you don’t need to break the bank to improve your listening experience. There’s no better way to invest $30 in your portable audio setup than what I’m about to lay down, right after I mention one fact: If you own stock earbuds included with nearly any smartphone your $30 is better spent on a new set (#1 Recommendation: Klipsch Image S4 ~$60).

 

FiiO E06 – $28

E6-05

 

The FiiO E06 is the best low-cost upgrade anyone with a mid-range set of headphones will love. The iPod Nano sized amp will power any ear buds or low impedance headphones you can throw at. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery promises up to 10 hours of amplification, although we assume that number will vary between headphones and with volume. The E06 has 3 EQ settings indicated by an LED: Red: +6db Bass, Blue: +3db Bass +3db Treble, and Violet: -3db Bass/Mid/Treble. An additional mode ‘flat-EQ’ has no LED indicator and results in a pure application of the input signal with no changes in EQ.

Quick Specs:

  • Output Power: 150mW (16Ω); 16mW (300Ω)
  • Headphone Impedance Range: 16 Ω ~ 300 Ω
  • Frequency Range: 10Hz ~ 100kHz
  • Power Supply: Internal rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • Recharging: USB 5V DC 500mA
  • Size: 41mm x 40.2mm x 8mm
  • Weight: 16g

“They also often offer functionality not available from bigger names, winning the company a hearty following among audiophiles without bottomless pockets.”

Value

For the price the FiiO E06 is the perfect addition to any budding audiophiles arsenal. With enough power to drive professional studio monitor headphones up to 300Ω it’s a step up in sound quality that offers flexibility should you decide to upgrade headphones down the road. If this is your first tangle with FiiO don’t be alarmed. They’re a reputable Japanese electronics firm specializing in audiophile-grade portable amplifiers and Hi-Fi music players at an incredibly competitive price.

If research is your thing Head-Fi will tell you everything you need to know about the brand and it’s reputation. With a little time you’ll find that even the most serious audiophiles carry a FiiO E17 anytime they’re out of the house.

Impressions

I received the E06 free with ATH-M50x headphones from Amazon. It does an incredible job rounding out the M50s already stellar sound. I use it almost strictly on flat-EQ unless I notice a need for more bass. As well as it drives 36Ω studio monitors I would imagine this thing would only be useless with $400+ headphones. The E06 doesn’t struggle with my in-ear buds either. At something like 18Ω the little guy barely even breaks a sweat. I’ve noticed an increase in the mids and highs of my S4s to the point that they sound like a new better pair. If that’s not enough to convince you, the E06 is the #1 selling portable amplifier on Amazon to date. Check it out people.

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