iPhone users – update to 9.3.3 now!

July 22, 2016

If you haven’t updated to iOS 9.3.3 yet, update now!

Apple fixed a bug that allowed a hacker to take over your iPhone by simply texting or emailing you a malicious TIFF picture file. The bug was made public after being discovered by Tyler Bohan, a researcher who works for Cisco’s security unit. He discovered that older versions of iOS and OS X contain an exploit that could theoretically allow a media file like a photo or video to defeat built-in software security measures and take over your device. The malformed media file could arrive as an email, iMessage, webpage, or other apps. If the malicious TIFF image is viewed on the device the hacker could gain full control of the device, including accessing passwords without you knowing. Apple has fixed this exploit in iOS 9.3.3. If you haven’t updated yet, you are still at risk.

To update:

  • Go to settings
  • Click on general
  • Then click on software update
  • Then click on download and install the update

An added benefit, I am hearing that after updating to 9.3.3 that some people are seeing performance improvements – a faster iPhone is a good thing🙂

About the security content of iOS 9.3.3: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206902


What to look for when hiring?

May 19, 2016

I have built quite a few teams, so over the years I have developed a few general rules when hiring:

Rule 1) I look for self starters. Someone that can show a proven track record of getting things done. As employees they don’t just bring me the problem, but they also bring a possible solution or two.

Rule 2) I look for smart people open to new ideas and perspectives. The best team is a diverse group who aren’t afraid to respectfully discuss new ideas that might lead to a better / faster / cheaper way of getting the job done. People who are open to creative solutions.

Rule 3) I follow the no bozo rule – only hire A players.
Guy Kawasaki described the no bozo rule as “a theory which states that “A” players hire “A+” players [people better than themselves], but “B” players hire “C”, “C” hire “D”, which ultimately leads to a company full of bozos.” I have also observed that a smaller team of A players can produce much more than a larger team of B players in the same amount of time.

Rule 4) I look for hires with long term potential – someone with a passion for learning and professional growth. Are they taking an online class or what are they reading right now? Do they have a blogger they follow? I also understand that sometimes you have a task that needs a person and you need to hire a resource to fill that specific need right now, but that is when you hire a contractor or consultant. I hire my line positions for the long term. A contractor may become a line hire if they prove their worth and are a fit long term. I also look for “fit;” first do they have the skills we need, but also will they fit into our culture (but remember the Rule 2 above, you have to hire people with new ideas and perspectives)?

Rule 5) And part of that "fit" is following the no jerk rule – you can’t have one person disrupting everyone else. Just because you are good doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk. One bad apple can disrupt an entire team. An “A” player isn’t a jerk. To be a true "A" player the candidate should be a team player and work well with others.

And finally, Rule 6) is the candidate passionate about what we are doing? Do they believe in the mission and goals?

If you follow these general rules you are on your way to building a great team.


Wi-Fi Assist – thank you, Apple?

October 11, 2015

It makes sense – Apple was solving a problem many of us probably didn’t know existed – With wi-fi assist Apple uses your phone’s cellular network to boost your connectivity. And why not? A good cellular connection is just as fast as some wi-fi networks. The issue I have with it is Apple didn’t warn us. My data usage last month was higher than I expected. It took me a while to figure out what changed, but I think this is it. It’s great Apple is speeding my access up, but I wish they had made the impact of this new feature clear!

If you want to turn this feature off it’s pretty straight forward; just a little hidden. First go to settings, then to cellular, scroll all the way to the bottom of the cellular page (all the way) and you will see Wi-Fi Assist right above the reset statistics link. Slide the wi-fi assist button to the left and it will be turned off.

While you are on the cellular page go ahead and look at all the apps that use a cellular connection. Do all those apps need to have access to your cellular network? If not, you can turn off cellular access for the apps you can afford to only give access via wi-fi. For example I only down load movies and tv shows when I am on wi-fi. Things like that.

Hopefully turning off wi-fi assist and limiting some of your apps access to cellular will help keep your data access charges reasonable too.


Your presentations best friend – Do not disturb

March 2, 2015

So, I love my iPhone and iPad. I have tuned my notifications set up so I have just about the right amount of information that pops up. Normally it’s not overwhelming. Well, until I decided that my iPad was the best presentation device out there. Which it is awesome! I think it is just about perfect.
I just wish I had remembered to manually turn on Do Not Disturb. It’s so easy to do too – just go to Settings then Do Not Disturb (can’t be much clearer can they?) and then manually turn on Do Not Disturb (very first option – just slide that option on). So easy and yet I forgot. Learn from my mistakes – before connecting to that projector manually turn on Do Not Disturb. I know I will from now on…


Another Apple iOS7 security hole

June 25, 2014

Turn off access to Control Center from the lock screen! It’s not worth the risk. There is another way to bypass the lock screen in iOS7 – if you have a missed call and have access to Control Center from lock screen turned on anyone can have access to whatever app you have running in the foreground. EverythingApplePro has a short video showing the vulnerability http://youtu.be/Hg9Vy7XzGZY

But at least there is an easy fix until Apple comes out with a patch, just turn off access to the Control Center from locked screen for now. Not a huge inconvenience.


Careful when downloading music to your iOS device when using iTunes Match

March 17, 2014

I use iTunes Match to manage my music across all my devices. It works well and has been pretty seamless for me. Well worth the $25 a year.

Recently I took a short trip to Africa and wanted access to my music while I was disconnected from cellular and wifi while I was in the air, so I took advantage of the ability to download music to your device (iPod, iPhone, or iPad) by clicking on the "download all" from cloud option you can see from playlist, artist, or albums while in the Music app. This made it easy to load up my iPhone with hours (days actually) of music. Wonderful, right?

Well, I am back now and I’d like to free up space on my iPhone for apps. Guess what? There is no option to remove songs in bulk from your device. As far as I can tell the only option I have found to remove music from your device is go to the song you want to remove, swipe to the left and click on delete. And you have to do this one by one for each song you want to remove. So what took only a few minutes to load on my iPhone is going to be very painful to undo.

If you know of an easier / faster way to remove music that has been downloaded locally please let me know (and yes, I know I can recover from an old back up, but I am looking for something cleaner than that if possible)!


My most used iPhone and iPad Apps in 2013

December 31, 2013

Ok, it’s the end of another year (wow, 2013 went by fast!), so it’s time for another look at what apps I actually used during the year. There are a ton of apps available and new ones are coming out all the time. Honestly I think I have app exhaustion. I just upgraded my iPhone and during the upgrade I took advantage of it to not bring all the apps I had before over to the new phone. Simplify my life a little.

I won’t say these are the best apps or even the coolest apps out there, but they are the apps I use almost everyday. For the iPhone:

  • Evernote – Still my number one app. Evernote is a note taking app that sync’s notes between my laptop, iPhone and iPad. If you do not have it go get it now.
  • Google Search – love the voice search mode, much better than Siri
  • Googe Maps – was using the mobile browser version, but now they have a nice app
  • Google Authenticator – please tell me you have 2-factor security turned on for your gmail
  • Google Chrome – much better browser and it links up to my browser on my laptop
  • Waze – free navigation tool, but I can say on my last few trips during the holidays Waze had issues connecting to it’s routing server so I ended up just using Google Maps. I missed out on the police notifications, but at least Google Maps worked.
  • TripIt – can’t be beat when traveling
  • Kindle – don’t like reading on my phone, but works great on my iPad
  • Dropbox – online storage
  • Box – online storage
  • Skype – I have a remote team so Skype is essential for communication. With DC traffic I end up running late sometimes so I can just open up Skype and dial in (hands free of course) to the Skype call from my phone. I have learned it is better to have someone else start the call when I do this, just in case I drop the call.
  • Keynote, Pages, and Numbers – I hate working on my iPhone, but I can and have in a pinch. Keynote, Pages and Numbers work well and I love them on my iPad and MacBook Pro.
  • Twitter – cause sometimes you just have to share and Facebook keeps changing their privacy policies (I do not even have the Facebook app on my phone).
  • Reminders and Calendar – these are the applications that are native to iOS. I was using apps for this functionality, but Apple has caught up and the native apps they provide more than meet my needs now.
  • Rdio – I have all my music in the cloud (Amazon, Google and iTunes Match) but I still find Rdio handy for music I don’t own and I have been using it more than the iOS Music app lately.

And here are the apps I find I use the most on my iPad at work:

  • Keynote – Apple’s version of PowerPoint
  • Numbers – Apple’s version of Excel
  • Pages – Apple’s version of Word
  • Evernote – note taking app that sync’s notes between my laptop, iPhone and iPad. Again, go get it now if you don’t have it!
  • Skype – IM and web calls
  • Adobe Connect, joinme, and Fuze – online meetings for when we need to screen share
  • Google Search – love the voice search mode, much better than Siri
  • Google Chrome – much better browser and it links up to my browser on my laptop
  • Kindle – I love the feel of a real book, but this way I always have my ebooks with me
  • Dropbox – online storage
  • Box – online storage
  • Feedly – news reader
  • BBC News – for news of course

And on my Mac I find I use:

  • Evernote – sync’s note between all my laptops, my iPad, and iPhone (also works with droid)
  • Google Chrome – best browser out there still
  • Caffeine – let’s me turn off the auto sleep mode when I am giving a presentation
  • Window Tidy – allows me to have screens side by side in an easy quick way. Honestly I haven’t used it much this year…
  • Pocket – allows me to save articles I find to read later
  • Skype – with our distributed team at work we are on Skype all day every day for IM and calls
  • Box and Dropbox – again
  • ClamXav – antivirus for Mac
  • And I find I am actually using the native iOS Calendar and Reminder apps on my MacBook Pro now.
  • Oh, you are using Grab (in the utilities folder under applications)for capturing screen shots, right?

If the apps I use aren’t what you are looking for you can find the Apple Design Award winners from WWDC2013 at https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/events/awards/ (and I agree Letterpress is addictive).  And Apple has their best of 2013 up on the iTunes store now.

Hope the list is helpful. Happy New Year!


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