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!

Finally, A Way To Make Firefox Blazing Fast On My Mac

If you’re a Windows issue than obviously you’re using Firefox as your main browser of choice, right? If not well then shame on you. As a Mac user I’m always jumping back and forth between Safari and Firefox. I use Safari because of its speed in surfing.  I use Firefox to for sites like WordPress, where Safari just can’t function properly or where my add-ons come into play.  Now with this new trick I learned over at Tipsneeded.com, I can now use Firefox for all my web surfing needs.  I just love streamlining and convenience. Now for those that are techphobic, no need for concern. The steps are very straightforward and easy. I recommend you copy and paste the instructions on a word processing or text application of your choice and go on your merry way to make Firefox your main browser (if it isn’t already). For those that don’t want to click on the link above here are the instructions on speeding up Firefox:

Mozilla Firefox is currently the most popular web browser used to surf the internet. Another one, the Google Chrome is also becoming popular mainly because of its speed and the developers are also bringing up the most essential and useful add-ons for it.

In this article, we are dealing with the ways to speed up Firefox 3.6 version. I have tested all of these ways and have made sure that these will work on the 3.6 version of Firefox. Most of them might also be available in the forth coming versions of Firefox. Here are my suggestions to speed up Firefox 3.6.

• about:config Hacks

1. Type about:config in the address bar and hit enter.

Speed Up  Firefox 3.6

2. Click on i’ll be careful,i promise!. Don’t just say that and do wrong! You should be careful.

3. Now in the Filter box, type the ones given below one by one along with changing the value of each one to true.

NOTE: To change the value, just double-click on the required one.

Speed Up  Firefox 3.6

network.http.pipelining

network.http.proxy.pipelining

network.dns.disableIPv6

plugin.expose_full_path

javascript.options.jit.chrome

javascript.options.jit.content

4. Now type network.http.pipelining.maxrequests in the filter box and change its value to the number of tabs you open in Firefox at a time. For example, if you usually open 10 tabs, then put its value to 10. Just double-click on it to change the value.

5. Now right-click anywhere on the about:config page and select select Integer from the New option. Type content.notify.backoffcount and click on OK. Now set it its value to 5.

NOTE: Mac users could use Ctrl + click instead of right-click.

Speed Up  Firefox 3.6

6. Again right-click anywhere on the page and select Boolean from New. Type content.notify.ontimer in the box and set its value to true.

Speed Up  Firefox 3.6

7. Right-click and select Integer from New and enter content.notify.interval as the preference name and give its value to 500000. It speeds up web page loading.

Speed Up  Firefox 3.6

8. Select another Integer and give the name as content.switch.threshold and set the value to 250000. This is also done to speed up the loading time of web pages.

9. Create another Boolean named content.interrupt.parsing and set its value to true.

Speed Up  Firefox 3.6

10. Select Integer from New once again and give the preference name as content.max.tokenizing.time and set its value to 2250000.

Speed Up  Firefox 3.6

• Add-ons to speed up Firefox 3.6

Using add-ons like Fasterfox could speed up your Firefox browser. Some other add-ons that could help you speed up your Firefox 3.6 browser are FastFox ( same as Fasterfox ), FireDownload ( Speed up Firefox downloads ), Extra Fasterfox ( same as Fasterfox ), Vaccum Places ( speed up Firefox 3.6 startup ), Speed DNS ( Make browsing faster ), Tweak Network ( Speed up web page loading ) etc. You could also block the advertisements in web pages using Adblock Plus add-on to speed up web page loading in Firefox 3.6. Search for many more add-ons and try them to speed up your Firefox 3.6 browser.

I am sure doing all these or some of these correctly could make your Firefox 3.6 faster than before and run it smoothly. Of course, there are more ways to speed up Firefox 3.6, so if you know more, please do share them by commenting below.

Also, if you liked the post, don’t forget to subscribe to Tips Needed for more tips and tricks.

And Once Again, I’m On The Other Side Of The Fence

I decided to do some more research on Safari RSS to see if my possible transition would be a good one. Needless to say, I became wary of a security issue that Safari had around a year ago. Even though a security patch has since been implemented, I’d hate to make myself vulnerable to a possible breach in the future. And then, along my net-surfing horizon, NetNewsWire appeared before me.

The NetNewsWire RSS reader software syncs with Google Reader as well as with your desktop and iPhone seamlessly (so I won’t have to spend anytime importing my feeds from Google Reader after all. Phew! Time saved).  I decided to download the free app on my iPhone to give it a try.  Despite it’s 3-star rating on the app store, I found it to run smoothly and comparable to Safari RSS if not slightly better. Not only that but because they’re all in-sync, unlike glitchy Apple Mail, everything is marked off as read once I mark it. So I don’t have to go to Google Reader or the desktop version of NNW to make sure everything matches (something that needs to be worked on with Apple Mail’s IMAP option w/gmail). I’m really looking forward to downloading the desktop app tonight and give it a go.

So just as quickly as that, I’m opting to using an alternative to an Apple product.  I’ll stick with my MacBook Pro, and Snow Leopard because that has been my best PC experience thus far (and of course my iPhone has been my best smartphone/cellphone experience as well). But if there is an open-platform option for anything else that will work to my satisfaction I’ll gladly make that jump.

My continued push/pull struggle with accepting/rejecting Apple products

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have an ambiguous relationship with Apple products. I admit I’ve had less stress with their computers vs. my time with PC’s; however, I resent their self-insulating take on everything that Apple. Granted, that may very well be one of the reasons why their products work so seamlessly and smoothly because of that micro-managing style, but I hate being restricted from options.  Take for instance, the iPod.  It’s an ok mp3 player and it gets the job done but there are other mp3 players out there that are cheaper and better.  Unfortunately, iTunes only runs on the iPod, and since I’m a podcast listener, and iTunes has a better way of organizing podcasts and whatnot, I’m stuck using an iPod with iTunes.  Another item that I’m currently at odds with is iWeb.

Continue reading “My continued push/pull struggle with accepting/rejecting Apple products”