The Two-Way-Conduit Edition Monday, February 20, 2017

Free Charging Stations Can Hack Your Phone, Here's How To Protect Yourself, by Conner Forrest, TechRepublic

Drew Paik, the head of marketing for Authentic8, explained that the threat has to do with USB cables, USB power adapters, and USB ports: Not wall power outlets.

"I'm not aware of anything that's going to be able to infect you via an AC outlet, but random cables or random adapters can definitely be used to take over or exploit your phone, your mobile devices, or your laptops, or anything else you might plug into it," Paik said. "It's really just a two-way conduit at some point—power and data."

Plex's Bold Plan To Take On The Streaming Goliaths, by Jared Newman, Fast Company

For digital media hoarders and pirates, Plex is a household name. The nine-year-old Los Gatos, California, startup makes server software for streaming media files from one device—usually a PC—to phones, tablets, computers, game consoles, and TVs. Millions of people use Plex to access their digitized DVDs, video downloads, MP3 files, and photos from anywhere. And the company's fanatical fan base has made it a profitable business through a subscription program for premium features.

But in the age of Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify, Plex's business isn't future-proof. DVD sales and media downloads are on the decline, and even piracy has been weakened by legal streaming options. So in late January, Plex made a big bet on its future.


Apple HomeKit: What Is It, And How Do You Use It?, by Althea Chang, Tom's Guide

As Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home have shown, the ability to control your home with simple commands is no longer the stuff of sci-fi or limited to programmers with extensive knowledge of home automation. And you don’t need a smart speaker as a gateway, either.

Apple's HomeKit is simple enough for novices who just want to say, "Siri, I'm home," into their iPhone, before walking through their automatically unlocked door and entering a relaxing scene with just the right lighting, temperature and electronics running.

Use Workflow 1.7 For iPhone To Quickly Save Notes And Images, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

The newly added feature is called Magic Variables and rather than just say that it's very nice, let's see it in action —we're going to create a Workflow from scratch.

When we're done, we'll be able to pick up our iPhones, jot down what's on our mind and then get Workflow to save it wherever and however we want while we get on with our busy lives.

PDFPen Gives You Superlative PDF Editing On Your Mac, by Aaron Lee, Apple World Today

It's designed for anyone who needs more powerful editing capabilities than those offered by Mac OS X's Preview, but not the full range of printing, collaboration and security tools offered by Adobe Acrobat.

1Password & Other Mac Apps Failing To Launch Due To Expired Apple Developer Certificates, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Resolving the issue requires developers to renew their certificates and update the app. Users then need to download the updated version.


Big Three Clouds, Apple, Facebook Are Buying All The Best Cloud Tech, by Simon Sharwood, The Register

Those of you contemplating a cloud startup have two options: get acquired by one of five companies or build an automatic sueball flinger.

So says Sam Altman, president of startup factory Y Combinator, in his annual letter describing the organisation's activities.


Apple Shifts Global Marketing Strategy, Restructures Its Relationship With TBWA\Media Arts Lab, by Patrick Coffee, AdWeek

The tech giant has restructured its relationship with its ad agency, TBWA\Media Arts Lab, to focus more on creating digital and regional campaigns—and less on translating, or “localizing,” big brand campaigns for global markets. [...]

Apple’s efforts to cut its marketing spend have led to staff reductions at TBWA\Media Arts Lab’s Los Angeles headquarters and other offices around the world. The number of layoffs is unclear at this time.

Are The Major Labels In Danger Of Turning Music Streaming Into A Monopoly Owned By Apple?, by Paul Wiltshire, Music Business Worldwide

The BIG 3 are at a crossroads. If they continue to think short-term, they may face a future in which Apple will be the only streaming platform.

If they want to ensure a robust market for music rights, they need to think beyond the short-term gains that could ultimately lead to the demise of Spotify and other independent streaming platforms.

Bottom of the Page

Today at work, I have to re-learn something that I thought i already know: Whenever something goes wrong, I should first assume it's my fault, until I have proven it is not.


Thanks for reading.