noun: skills in many areas. a little of this and that.

PSA Newsletter 01: Privacy, Security, Automation!

iPhone Privacy Report, Apple 2FA Introduced in iOS 16.3, and HomeKit advice


For iPhone users: iPhone App Privacy Report is a great way to see which Sensors (Bluetooth, Location), Data (Contacts, Calendars), and Domains (Websites, Times, etc.) Use it to make sure your apps are behaving how they report themselves to be. [1]


Apple recently rolled out iOS 16.3. Among other important changes is support for hardware security keys for 2FA (2-Factor Authentication). This is great news! It means instead of receiving a text message with a six digit code (super insecure), you can tap a key-sized device against your iPhone to unlock your Apple ID. Not only is this industry standard, it's almost hack proof. For now.

The keys I use and recommend are YubiKeys, made by Yubico. My personal favorite is the YubiKey 5C NFC. [2]


When shopping for Home Automation products like cameras or sensors, look for locally-hosted or privacy-centric brands like Eve or Nanoleaf. As a general rule: if it's cheap and it asks for an account signup out of the gate, it's terrible for privacy/security. [3]

Heads Up!

While just about everyone in tech is on board with blocking TikTok as it's a national security threat, Congress is trying to sneak a lot more into the newly minted RESTRICT Act. This is one to keep an eye on. [4] [5]

Lots of big names are calling for a pause on training GPT-4 and other AI, until they can determine its risks and rewards. Although the most common examples in public right now may be autogenerated photos and conversations with long-dead celebrities, make no mistake: AI is incredibly powerful and disruptive. Treat it as such. [6]


Q: What does FOSS mean?

A: FOSS stands for Free and Open Source Software

  • Free: As in beer or as in speech. This is a common way of saying FOSS software doesn't cost money and can be modified and resold by anybody
  • As in Beer: FOSS code is free for you to download. No purchase necessary.
  • As in Speech: You can copy and resell or modify FOSS code, but usually have to give credit to the original author(s) in your documentation. There are licenses for it, with the most common ones being the MIT and GPL Licenses. [7]
  • Open Source:
  • Open: Able to be viewed and modified
  • Source: The raw code used to compile a program
  • Compile: To convert from raw source to an app that can run on your computer or phone
  • Software
  • Applications that run on computers