iOS 12 Beta 2 Includes References to New Apple Watch Models →

June 21, 2018 · 11:02

Guilherme Rambo, for 9to5Mac:

The new Apple Watch identifiers found are Watch4,1, Watch4,2, Watch4,3 and Watch4,4. Those numbers match the existing variants of the Apple Watch Series 3, which are Watch3,1 through 3,4. There are also references to the model numbers corresponding to the new devices, which include MTUD2, MTUK2, MTX92 and many others.

It’s the Apple Watch that I’m mostly looking forward to this year — it’s time to replace my Space Black Series 0 with something new. The Series 1, 2, and 3 are basically identical design-wise, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a redesign this year. I hope it’s more than just a bigger screen in the same case, but at the same time, I want my existing watch bands to still be compatible.


EU Takes First Step in Passing Controversial Copyright Law That Could ‘Censor the Internet’ →

June 21, 2018 · 10:45

James Vincent, writing for The Verge:

This morning, the EU’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) voted in favor of the legislation, called the Copyright Directive. Although most of the Directive simply updates technical language for copyright law in the age of the internet, it includes two highly controversial provisions. These are Article 11, a “link tax” which would force online platforms like Facebook and Google to buy licenses from media companies before linking to their stories; and Article 13, an “upload filter” which would require that everything uploaded online in the EU is checked for copyright infringement. (Think of it like YouTube’s Content ID system but for the whole internet.)

EU lawmakers critical of the legislation say these Articles may have been proposed with good intentions — like protecting copyright owners — but are vaguely worded and ripe for abuse. “The methods to address the issue are catastrophic and will hurt the people they want to protect,” Green MEP Julia Reda told journalists earlier this week. After this morning’s vote, Reda told _The Verge_: “It’s a sad day for the internet … but the fight is not over yet.”

This is un-fucking-believable.


The EU Wants to Break the Internet →

June 19, 2018 · 16:50

K.G Orphanides, writing for Wired:

A proposed new European copyright law wants large websites to use “content recognition technologies” to scan for copyrighted videos, music, photos, text and code in a move that that could impact everyone from the open source software community to remixers, livestreamers and teenage meme creators.

In an open letter to the President of the European Parliament, some of the world’s most prominent technologists warn that Article 13 of the proposed EU Copyright Directive “takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.”

What I’m doing here right here in this post — quoting a relevant passage from another article — could become illegal. If I read Article 13 correctly, I can’t even link to Wired without written permission. This goes way beyond the scope of memes, which I think K.G puts too much focus on.

We have 17 hours or so before this goes up for vote. You can voice your concerns here (including tweeting at MEPs).


Apple Pay Launches in Poland

June 19, 2018 · 08:08

Apple Pay officially launched in Poland this morning, around 3 hours ago. Eight banks are supporting it already — Alior Bank, BGŻ BNP Paribas, BZ WBK, Getin, mBank, Nest Bank, Pekao, Raiffeisen Polbank, and T-Mobile Banking Services — with PKO BP joining them in the near future.

There still appear to be some bugs to iron out, since Apple Pay Cash shows up in Apple’s Wallet in Poland, but since it requires a US social security number, it’s not possible to activate. Apple’s website needs an update too — Poland is not yet officially on the support page listing available banks.

Update

PKO BP just confirmed that they’ll support Apple Pay in Q3 2018, which isn’t as “near in the future” as I expected.


4K 144 Hz Monitors Don’t Really Display 4K at 144 Hz →

June 18, 2018 · 10:39

Reddit user Glennwing posted a great explanation of how the current breed of 4K 144 Hz displays actually work:

I’m seeing a lot of user reviews for the new 4K 144 Hz monitors, and it seems like everyone mentions that it looks noticeably worse at 144 Hz. I keep expecting these posts to say “due to the 4:2:2 chroma subsamping”, but instead they say “I’m not sure why” or something like that, both on here and on various forums. It seems monitor companies have done their usual good job of “forgetting” to inform people of this limitation, as most of the early adopters are apparently unaware that it is not actually capable of full 4K 144 Hz even though the subsampling was mentioned in the Anandtech article a month or two ago. In any case, I want to make people aware of what chroma subsampling is, and that these first-gen 4K 144 Hz monitors use it.

Basically, if you value image quality and want to use 144 Hz, then skip this generation of screens.


8 Banks To Launch Apple Pay on 19/06/2018 in Poland →

June 16, 2018 · 01:01

Jacek Uryniuk, for Cashless:

[…] this Tuesday will be the day Apple Pay becomes available for the customers of Alior, BGŻ BNP Paribas, BZ WBK, Getin, mBank, Nest Bank, Pekao and Raiffeisen Polbank. More banks will follow in the fall, probably in September. They will supposedly include Poland’s biggest retail bank, PKO BP.

The list of banks is more or less what I’ve heard myself, from another source, but the date should be solid, if there are no technical difficulties.


Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12

Everything You Need to Know About iOS 12 Shortcuts →

June 14, 2018 · 11:34

Federico Viticci, on MacStories:

On the surface, Shortcuts the app looks like the full-blown Workflow replacement heavy users of the app have been wishfully imagining for the past year. But there is more going on with Shortcuts than the app alone. Shortcuts the feature, in fact, reveals a fascinating twofold strategy: on one hand, Apple hopes to accelerate third-party Siri integrations by leveraging existing APIs as well as enabling the creation of custom SiriKit Intents; on the other, the company is advancing a new vision of automation through the lens of Siri and proactive assistance from which everyone – not just power users – can reap the benefits.

I was afraid magic variables would go away, but I’m surprised and happy to see that they have been retained. I like to imagine Ari Weinstein fought a battle there because this is not something I expected Apple to keep.

I hope they keep Ari and his team happy, so he can continue to build on the foundations of the most excellent Workflow (now Shortcuts) app. I don’t want even think about going back to using iOS without automation.


My Photography (47) — Misty Sunset, Corfu, Greece, 2009

June 14, 2018 · 11:03

I love visiting Greece for a number of reasons — the excellent cuisine, austere landscapes, and not much commerce. This was my first trip to Corfu and I can genuinly recommend going there. It’s not overcrowded, nature likes to show-off often, and… did I mention the delicious food? Just get a car or scooter and drive up and down the whole island — it’s not that big.

Shot with Canon 50D + Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L — f/8, 30 s, ISO 100 @ 35 mm.


There Is No Justification for What Mark Zuckerberg Did to WhatsApp →

June 13, 2018 · 15:01

Felix Salmon, writing for Slate:

Today, it seems inevitable not only that advertising will make it onto WhatsApp, but also that the advertising in question will be targeted—which is to say that when you use the app, Facebook will know exactly who you are, where you live, and what kind of products you might be interested in buying. It’s a complete repudiation of WhatsApp’s founding principles, and makes a mockery of its end-to-end encryption.

I strongly believe that Mark just doesn’t give a fuck and will continue to do whatever he wants, just because he can, until someone stops him. He has no moral backbone and is in it for the money. Facebook in its current form is built to not only make its users addicts, but the whole platform can be likened to cancer, growing on the backbone of the internet.


Teslas – (In)Secure by Design →

June 13, 2018 · 14:47

Tomasz Konieczny, on XSolve’s blog:

Tesla has become synonymous for a new trend in the automotive industry. Elon Musk’s electric car is on the lips of the whole world – or even the whole solar system after SpaceX shot it into space. That’s why it’s so shocking that a more “earthly” matter – the security of Tesla software – is far below modern standards.

While I have driven Teslas before, I never owned one, so I didn’t have a reason to bother with the security of the app, the website account or anything related. Quite frankly, I expected much more from Elon’s company, especially since cars from “traditional” manufacturers are known to be insecure for years now and his background would suggest that Tesla would be best equipped to handle security in a satisfactory manner.

P.S. I can’t even play enjoy the full functionality of my Steam games if they’re not secured by 2FA.


The Touch Bar Should Be Optional →

June 12, 2018 · 20:47

Ben Lovejoy, for 9to5Mac:

Offer people the option of paying say $250 less for an otherwise-identical non-Touch Bar model, and I think a lot of people would go for it.

I refuse to buy another Touch Bar MacBook. I had two and returned them both. At this point, I’d pay just to not have it, even though I would treat that as daylight robbery.


My Photography (46) — A Trip Down Romarshelmsfjorden, Norway, 2015

June 12, 2018 · 16:23

Our trip to Norway in 2015 started in Bergen, where we took a one-day cruise down the surrounding fjords, where I took this shot. The towering magnificence of the fjord’s wall dwarfed the ship we were on and I was so awed, that I almost missed the sleek waterfall — just look at how tall the trees on top are. While it was fun and took half a day, do make sure to reserve a full day for the Norway in a Nutshell trip, which is even better.

Shot with Fuji X100T: f/8, 1/90 s, ISO 400.


The Earth Is Flat Because YouTube Videos Say It Is →

June 12, 2018 · 11:10

Alan Burdick, for The New York Times:

If you are only just waking up to the twenty-first century, you should know that, according to a growing number of people, much of what you’ve been taught about our planet is a lie: Earth really is flat. We know this because dozens, if not hundreds, of YouTube videos describe the coverup […]

The modern case for a flat Earth derives largely from “Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe,” a book published, in 1865, by a smooth-talking English inventor and religious fundamentalist named Samuel Rowbotham. I found a copy at a bookseller’s table in the corridor just outside the conference ballroom, alongside books about the Revelations and New Testament apocrypha. The vender, a friendly woman who looked to be in her late sixties, offered her thoughts on Earth’s flatness and the enshrouding secrecy; I moved on when she got to “the Jews.”

John Gruber comments:

[…] before the internet, kooks were forced to exist on the fringe. There’ve always been flat-earther-types denying science and John Birch Society political fringers, but they had no means to amplify their message or bond into large movements.

Thom Holwerda had a few words to say too:

The internet is one of the greatest inventions of mankind, but it’s also having dark, unsettling effects on our society that we need to address. I don’t have any solutions, but we better start doing a better job of arming ourselves against the constant barrage of attacks on science, or we risk our society descending into chaos.


I have been thinking about this issue over the past few days and have begun to imagine how quickly we could wake up in a world where these sort of ideas are the new norm and round-Earthers become the group of people who are considered “kooks”, to use Gruber’s words. Politics are a great example of how quickly a certain point of view can take over the minds of a country or continent and we don’t have to look far — these are all things that are happening today in multiple countries around the world. I love the internet but I can’t help but wonder if humans, as a species growing up in many contrasting environments, won’t be able to handle our cultural and psychological differences.


My Photography (45) — Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, UAE, 2017

June 11, 2018 · 15:33

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was completed in 2007 and can hold over 41 thousand people at the same time. It truly is an amazing architectural sight to behold, so if you’re in or around Abu Dhabi (a layover perhaps — you’ll need at least 4 hours to get there and back in time for your next flight) make sure to visit it. This shot (here’s another) was taken on our way back from our trip to the Seychelles, and since we had close to 7 hours at our disposal…

One more photo below →


Locked Out of My FastMail Account (Sort Of)

June 9, 2018 · 19:43

I finally got around to setting up 2FA for my FastMail account on Wednesday, preferring to switch over to 1Password, to an authenticator instead of SMS. I forgot I would need to create an app password for my iPhone to continue receiving emails on it. FastMail was nice enough to notify me of this via email, as a reminder, but I did not receive this email, because I was locked out, because I didn’t create an app password, because I completely forgot about it.

Yeah, my bad.

The upside was that I was happy for two days because I barely got any email (a few slipped by on my other accounts). The downside? It’s the weekend and I am calling email bankruptcy.


AirPods to Get Live Listen Feature in iOS 12 →

June 8, 2018 · 14:30

Steven Aquino, for TechCrunch:

In iOS 12, users will be able to use Live Listen, a special feature previously reserved for hearing aids certified through Apple’s Made for iPhone hearing aid program, with their AirPods.

After enabling the feature in the iPhone’s settings, users will be able to use their phones effectively as a directional mic. This means you can have AirPods in at a noisy restaurant with your iPhone on the table, for example, and the voice of whomever is speaking will be routed to your AirPods.

Live Listen is a feature Apple developed and eventually launched in 2014 that allows iPhone users with hearing aids to hear people in noisy environments or from across a room, such as a crowded restaurant or lecture hall. If a compatible hearing aid is paired to a user’s phone, there are options to turn Live Listen on and off, adjust volume and even set it as their preferred Accessibility Shortcut.

This could be a fascinating feature, especially for people with hearing problems, but also “for the rest of us”, when we’re placed in extremely loud environments.


Removed in macOS 10.14 Mojave →

June 8, 2018 · 14:15

Michael Tsai listed everything that’ll be disappearing with the release of macOS 10.14 Mojave (that we know of) and there are a few surprises in there. Firstly, I’m disappointed that subpixel antialiasing will not be around anymore, since a lot of people still don’t use Retina screens (especially when using external displays connected to their Macs). I’m also quite concerned about Safari Extensions getting deprecated, especially in regard to content blockers — I wonder if they have some soft of replacement planned. Oh — unsigned Safari Extensions are already completely axed.

Update on Safari Extensions

Support for .safariextz-style Safari Extensions installed from the Safari Extensions Gallery is deprecated with Safari 12 on macOS. Submissions to the Safari Extensions Gallery will no longer be accepted after December 2018. Developers are encouraged to transition to Safari App Extensions.


2018 Apple Design Awards Winners

June 8, 2018 · 14:09

WWDC wouldn’t be the same without the Apple Design Awards and they’re back this year with some great finalists:

I especially recommend getting Alto’s Odyssey if you haven’t played it yet — it’s an aural and visual masterpiece.