Christopher Eccleston did a Doctor Who Q&A | Boing Boing

Christopher Eccleston did a Doctor Who Q&A | Boing Boing

Christopher Eccleston did a Doctor Who Q&A | Boing Boing

For you fellow Doctor Who Fans who enjoyed Chris Eccleston’s run as the 9th Doctor, check out that Q&A. It’s a treat to hear his thoughts playing the Doctor, favorite episodes, etc.

Microsoft Authenticator Sucks

I’m pretty security minded when it comes to my internet accounts. If there is a two-factor authentication option I immediately sign up. If I can opt for an authentication app instead of sms (vulnerable to hacks) I do so right away and take out my phone number as an option. If I can use a Yubikey or device authentication, it’s activated. So when Microsoft offered passwordless accounts I figured, why not give it a try. The caveat is that you have to use Microsoft Authenticator. I first tried it out maybe a year ago and then I had to erase my iPhone for some reason and immediately got locked out of my account. I managed to get back into it and turn off the passwordless option and stick with standard 2FA.

But like Charlie Brown, with a compulsion to believe that Lucy will hold that football for him to kick, I read that they now offer iCloud backup and also syncs across devices (you don’t have to scan all your QR codes twice). So what the hell? Let’s give it another shot. Downloaded MA, made my main Microsoft account passwordless. Tried to set up my second account but was not able to sign in to it. I kept being prompted to use Microsoft Authenticator to verify the account (But it’s not set up yet?!). Waited to confirm the number on my screen with the app on my iPhone but the app never prompted me to verify. Tried to use email to verify but to no avail. My Yubikey apparently doesn’t work with that account anymore either. It’s as good as dead.

Ok fine, Let me scan some QR codes for my other accounts, and see if they will also sync to the app on my iPad. Nope, not showing up. Looked through Microsoft support page and found no help whatsoever as to why the app isn’t syncing across devices, even though it claims it does. Was getting ready to delete the app (but first let me remove those qr codes), when I decided to delete the app and reinstall it and see if there is a restore from backup option.

Luckily there is and now the codes are on the iPad; albeit, the ones that weren’t already deleted when I grew frustrated with this app. Wish I had known that and didn’t have to play guess work (should’ve been in the Microsoft support page but there is no troubleshooting to be found). Silly me for not thinking that far ahead when it didn’t sync to begin with.

Is Microsoft Authenticator really worth all this trouble just to keep my Microsoft account passwordless? I was fine with 2FA, and that’s the current standard for online accounts. I definitely am looking forward when you can use 1Password or Safari for passwordless sign-in to my other accounts; provided that those sites use the new FIDO protocols. And that’s just it. Once again I went and tried to fix something that was already working. I already use 1Password and 2FA. I’m currently also playing around with Safari as my default browser and using my Face ID/Touch ID to sign in automatically and see how that fares against 1Password. I also use OTP auth for my one-time 6-digit passcodes (though I have also dabbled with 1Password and Safari automatically doing that instead).

I should’ve just stuck to what is already working for me. Using Microsoft Authenticator for one account is pointless. I think this second go around has burned me enough that I won’t attempt it again.

Apple Pay may finally work on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox in iOS 16 – The Verge

Apple Pay may finally work on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox in iOS 16 – The Verge

Apple Pay may finally work on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox in iOS 16 – The Verge

As I mentioned in my previous post, I really like Apple Pay. This feature coming to iOS 16 will make iPhone all the more customizable and let you use any browser with Apple Pay as a payment option. No longer having to be forced to use Safari when shopping online. Can’t wait!

From iPhone to Android, Back to iPhone

I’ve been an iPhone user since 2014. Actually that’s not true. I dabbled with Android with an HTC M7 around 2013 and used iPhones before that (think my first iPhone was iPhone 3G). Regardless, I have been mostly an iPhone user and have been satisfied with my experience for the most part. iOS just works with no complications. And if your waist deep in the ecosystem, you appreciate the overall experience of all your Apple devices working with one another seamlessly. And yet, despite years of a hassle free experience with iOS, I still felt compelled to look over to see what I was missing on the Android side of things.

There’s an old adage: If it ain’t broke, dont’ fix it. And yet here I went and tried to “fix it”. I felt bored, and restless. I partly blame all the kdramas I have been consuming these past few years (all you see are Samsung phones being used in them). So I took the plunge and for 2 weeks or so, I was using a Samsung S22+. I did enjoy some of the customizations opportunities that one gets with Android (default keyboards, browsers, and arranging your apps to your liking are very well implemented). But that’s been the bulk of my Android use. I wasn’t using it as much, the way I would with an iPhone, to read my news blogs, listen to my podcasts or music, and play my casual games like sudoku or solitaire. No, at least 20 to 30% of my Android use was devoted to further tinkering settings and trying to recreate some of the experiences I missed using the iPhone.

Two weeks in, and I decided I had my fun and now it’s back to what works best for me. Samsung S22+ is on it’s way back to Samsung, and an iPhone 13 is on its way to me (slight upgrade from my previous 12 pro). So what made me decide to bail on Android and go back to what I know best and with what I am most comfortable? There are a few things and I’ll list them here.


I won’t go into too much detail to explain iMessage. iPhone users know all about it. Android users don’t have the pleasure to use it. Needless to say, for SMS/iMessage conversations, it just looks nicer and has a boatload of features that the standard Android Messages app doesn’t provide. And how could it? It’s just SMS messaging. There are several cross-platform apps of course, but the people I most communicate are iPhone users and just love the ease of use of iMessage and don’t want to bother with Whatsapp, Signal, Telegram, etc. So yeah, this is definitely one of the reasons to go back to iPhone (that darn Apple ecosystem in play again).

Apple Pay:

For contactless payments, Apple Pay is an absolute pleasure. It just works and is simple to use. Just double-press your side-button, use Face ID/Touch ID or passcode, pick your payment method (unless you have a default one that you always use) and let the card reader scan your phone, and done. My experience with Samsung Pay and Google Wallet/Pay has been hit or miss. Plus the way to use Samsung Wallet is a little more cumbersome than just a double-press of the side button on an iPhone. The issue with Google Wallet is that there is also Google Pay. Google has a habit of trying to fix things that are already working (which this post shows I’m guilty of). Google Pay/Wallet is no exception. It has gone through many different brandings and iterations. They did the same with messaging apps. This uncertainty makes me want to stick with Samsung Pay for contactless payments but the execution isn’t the smooth experience I became accustomed to with iPhone. I can tolerate it and deal with it but why should I?


This was my biggest disappointment on Android and made me finally decide on switching back. For those that don’t know, “VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.” It has been my go for my video files on all my Apple devices. It’s great and just works. My favorite feature on iOS/Apple TV/iPad side of things, is the ability to send files to VLC via Wi-Fi. Just turn on “sharing via Wi-Fi”, you get a 192.168… url and you use a browser and drag and drop files over. That feature isn’t available on Android. So how do I drag files over? Connecting my Android to my Mac wasn’t enough to give me that option. Going to a VLC for Android support page didn’t give me any answers.

After struggling with different search queries I finally stumbled upon an answer. By simplifying my search to: transfer files from mac to android, I came across Android File Transfer. With this work around I moved media files to my phone. But wait, how is the video playback? Not good. If I stream video from streaming apps like Amazon, Crunchyroll, etc, those apps make good use of the screen, albeit with side bars but that’s fine. Not so with VLC. Either I get 16:9 ratio but it uses a fraction of the display, or fit screen but then it zooms in and crops out a good portion of the video making fit screen a non-option. Fill, 4:3, and Center are no better. Why can’t VLC on Android fill the screen the way the streaming apps can? This was never an issue for me on my iPhone or iPad.

Final Thoughts:

So yeah VLC was the final straw for me. I was able to make do with Feedly and Pocket Casts as alternatives to Reeder and Overcast for my news feeds and podcasts. But VLC for Android just paled in comparison to VLC on iOS. That along with other little nit picky things (aside from what I just mentioned), was enough for me to call it quits on my short-lived experimentation with Android. It’s just not for me. I’m an Apple user and I have to just accept it, come to terms with it, and not make this whimsical folly again.

The More Things Change The More They Remain The Same

Once again, I took a hiatus from blogging and once again I’m back to give this blogging/writing thing a chance. Also, I have backtracked from what I said I have done in the last blog post. I reactivated my Twitter account. I’m back on Reddit as well. I even did some podcasting again before finally pulling the plug on it today.

I keep going back and forth on decisions and actions with one stance or another and then do a complete 180 on said stance after some time. Blogging has definitely taken the bulk of being put on the back burner of all my hobbies. And yet, here we are again. Will it stick this time around? Guess time will tell.

My current reasoning is that I have been increasingly dissatisfied with my podcasting. Maybe it’s the self-islolation, but I feel like it’s hard for me to voice my thoughts and opinions like I have inthe past. Not having people to talk to on a regular (customers at work aside) has affected my talking skills for sure. This has resulted in painstakingly spending ridiculous amounts of time editing the audio recordings. And let’s not even bother talking about making transcripts with Just more time disappearing before my eyes. And the end result was a final product that I didn’t feel too satisfied with.

Writing/blogging is definitely less time consuming. I just have to make the effort to push myself to type words on a. blank page, reread to confirm all dots and commas are where they need to be and then publish. So far, so good for for 2022. We’ll see if I will keep this up.