Monthly Archives: September 2016

#Yahoo #Security Breach 500 Million accounts – change your passwords NOW!

Probably the largest security breach ever has been reported by Yahoo.

The information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers, Yahoo said. 

facebook-reallyI suggest changing any passwords on any Yahoo accounts you have immediately.  If you have used the same username/password across various sites I recommend changing ALL of your passwords to prevent what is called credential stuffing where the hackers use your known username and password around many common sites around the Internet hoping to gain access to your banks, credit cards and social media accounts.

 Keeping unique and strong passwords is a challenge.  A recommendation for password managers – Dashlane

This application allows you to store (encrypted) all of your passwords and have then securely autofilled on all of your websites.  Should there be a security breach like Yahoo you can with one click change all of your passwords immediately.  You don’t need to remember passwords anymore, you can also sync them across devices too e.g. Android or iPhone.  Dashlane creates and uses strong passwords automatically keeping your accounts secure.


#Fitbit brings #notifications to Blaze

UPDATE: After some issues with the firmware update Fitbit has now restarted the rollout of the new firmware and functionality for the Fitbit Blaze!

More information here on the Fitbit support site.

Buy Fitbit Blaze here!
fitbit-blazeWith a new tracker update available in the Fitbit application you are able to upgrade to the latest build which offers the long awaited Notifications features. 

The update to your device will take between 5-10 minutes. Once updated, click on the picture of your Blaze within the app to bring up the information/configuration screen.
You can then select Notification option which was previously there and then see the new option for App Notifications. Initially this option will only have Fitbit as an option. As you collect notifications from this point on Fitbit will detect the apps responsible and add them to the list as shown. You can then enable/disable the notifications for specific apps as needed.

Viola, you now have notifications set up on your Fitbit Blade. While the functionality is nothing like an Apple Watch the addition of notifications are most welcome and the tracker is now a much more useful device!

Fitbit has also brought some other enhancements to the Blaze. You will now get reminders to get up and move based on your settings for hourly activity in the app.

You can purchase the Fitbit Blaze here via Amazon!


Don’t lose those #Apple #AirPods thanks @SpigenWorld! $9.99

apple-air-podsWhen Apple announced the new Airpods everyone’s first reaction was ‘I’ll lose those in a heartbeat!’

Well within a heartbeat Spigen, the mobile accessories company, has developed and is launching the Airpod Strap on October 17th!

You can pre order the Airpod Strap here on Amazon for just $9.99!


What the f$$$ #Apple, seriously…#WTF

lightning-adapter-connected-power-audioSo it is new iPhone time, welcome iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+

True to form the latest incarnation of the iPhone is pretty much an incremental upgrade from the previous – an industry trend now as even Samsung has no groundbreaking features that disrupt the existing very competitive and tired space.

So what’s new?  Water resistant is a great new feature as are new jumps in memory and processing BUT that’s not why we are here today folks.  The latest and most controversial feature is the omission of the trusty headphone socket.  Apple’s stance on this is that it is a brave move to go forward and innovate in new ways and adopt new technologies and form factors.  The problem is though, as usual they refuse to adopt industry standards or improve on their existing solutions.

The removal of the headphone socket means that to listen to music now you will receive a set of Earpods with the very recognisable, ubiquitous Lightning plug.  Should you have some nicer or favourite headphones using the now redundant 3.5mm jack Apple thoughtfully thought to include an adapter that converts from Lightning to the archaic jack plug – as shown on the left.

The issue becomes apparent immediately, for most, as there seems to be a design flaw or missed thought or use case……how do you listen to music while you are charging your new iPhone?  In short you cannot!  But wait!  There is a solution!  Coming soon Belkin, in partnership with Apple, will be releasing yes, you guessed it – an adapter for that!!!  Come October you will be able to spend yet another $40 on the Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar so that you can, as pictured above, both charge your phone and listen to music!

There are some other more immediate and/or other expensive options for you to get around this oversight on Apple’s part:

iphone-lightning-dockApple Lightning Dock – this spendy piece of kit, not exactly a portable solution, is available now for $49 and allows you to utilize both a Lightning port for charging AND a trusty 3.5mm jack for your audio listening pleasure.

apple-air-pods.PNGNext solution comes in the form of the newly announced Apple AirPods – release date also October.  At $159 these are a premium solution for sure!  Note that the Airpods are widely incompatible with non-Apple Bluetooth phones and devices.   They are geared as per most Apple products to solely work on their devices.  These new headphones utilize Apple’s new custom W1 chip which facilitates pairing seemlessly with your existing Apple devices.



A wireless solution be it Apple’s Airpods or any other Bluetooth device frees up the Lightning port for charging duties.

So why say ‘What the f$$$ Apple?’  as the headline screams?

This is why:

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Despite the millions of dollars invested in new phone technology, design work, manufacturing and testing you still cannot make a charging connector that is either standard or long lasting.


The design of the connector seems to be the failure point itself.  The required or hacked ‘authentication chip’ that keeps Apple’s accessory and ‘Certified by Apple‘ program alive and well seems to be part of a major stress point in the design.

This is not a small problem, there is a WHOLE INDUSTRY around this epic design flaw:

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So the question has to be asked….why oh why Apple would you not take the time and resources to improve what seems to be a fundamental design flaw in your products?  As a company who prides itself on sustainability and green credentials, the poor design of cables and now headphone accessories will I guess have a twofold effect:

  • Increased profitability

    • Renewed interest and life to the Certified by Apple program as third parties create new headphones for the iPhone 7 devices
    • Constant rebuying of new leads and now headphones as the design flaw evident in charge cables is now inherited in the Lightning headphone technology.  Does the authentication chip exist in headphones too?
  • Increased Electronic Waste

    • Apple and third party companies will be warranty replacing these cables and headphones constantly
    • Connectivity of adapter to adapter, daisychaining cables will lead to more stress on the connectors and the phones themselves causing more damage to devices and accessories
    • The premium cost for original ‘certified’ cables will result in the continued purchase of imported, inferior (sometimes even dangerous) cables


There is a need for a new design, a new solution, surely someone with the design chops of Apple with all of its creative talent, huge R&D budget and resources could come up with a better, more robust and cost effective solution?


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Maybe new leads with right angled connectors BUT with a passthrough port would be a better design.  Headphones plug in first and the regular charging cable can slot into the bottom of the headphone connector?