Poland — Basically A Dictatorship →

July 20, 2017 · 16:04

Rick Lyman, writing for the New York Times:

An enraged Jaroslaw Kaczynski — the former president’s twin brother and, as leader of Law and Justice, the most powerful political figure in Poland — seized the lectern and fired back: “Do not wipe your traitorous mugs with the name of my late brother. You are scoundrels.”

Law and Justice has long maintained that the 2010 crash was an assassination, perhaps involving Russia and members of the political opposition.

“You murdered him,” Mr. Kaczynski shouted.

Ewa Kopacz, the prime minister under the previous center-right government, declared herself flabbergasted. “This man is crazy with hate,” she said of Mr. Kaczynski. “He cannot control his emotions.”

When Trump won, I thought USA was worse off than Poland.

I was wrong.


Censoring Porn in the UK →

July 18, 2017 · 08:52

Kelly Fiveash, writing for Ars Technica:

Under the yet-to-be-implemented measures, free and fee-based porn operators—many of which are based abroad—will be required to insert age checkers on their sites in the UK, forcing users to dish up their credit card details to prove that they are 18 or over before being granted access to smut.

Hackers are dry-washing their hands right now.


The 1Password Memberships/Subscription Conundrum

July 16, 2017 · 13:31

Dave Teare, writing about 1Password Memberships:

1Password is what it is today because we all love working here and have fun helping our customers. We are completely self-funded, independent, have turned down all offers from venture capitalists, and our board of directors consists entirely of people who work on 1Password and help customers directly each and every day.

I love indies who make it work, without outside help. That is what we’re doing with our publishing business, and it’s not easy.

Continue reading →


Dell Is Selling the World’s First Wirelessly Charging Laptop →

July 12, 2017 · 09:09

Shannon Liao:

Well, it’s not the tablet part that has wireless charging capabilities, as Dell achieves that through a kind of hack. The company uses an attachable keyboard, sold separately, as a wireless charging base, although the keyboard cannot be charged beforehand and you can’t use it on any metal surfaces.

Dell said today that the Latitude 7285 12-inch is available for sale on its website starting at $1,199.99, and the Wireless Charging Keyboard and Wireless Charging Mat will run you $549.99. (You save $29.99 if you buy them together versus separately.)

This is not wireless charging — it’s inductive charging at best, with the wire moved from the laptop to the charging mat.


Winamp’s Woes: How the Greatest MP3 Player Undid Itself →

July 7, 2017 · 18:26

Cyrus Farivar, writing for Ars Technica:

Today, Winamp continues to be updated; AOL released its first Android version in 2010 and a Mac version in 2011. Amazingly, given all the time elapsed, AOL still makes a decent amount of money on the site and on the program—while the company has declined to release official figures, former employees who worked on Winamp estimate its current revenue at around $6 million annually. And Winamp still has an estimated user base of millions worldwide, a small fraction of which live in the United States.

When I first got my hands on Winamp, I learned that ID3 tags existed. That was when I started properly naming all my MP3 files, in both the file names and tags. I got my first iPod in 2006 and switched to iTunes, which I still use today. What’s more, I still have those 128 Kbps MP3 files — some I replaced with better rips, others I just left as they were. My iTunes library was automatically perfectly organized, thanks to Winamp. This was a time when the iTunes Music Store wasn’t yet available in Poland, so I solely relied on ripping my CDs. I did get an US account later and a few gift cards, which made things easier, but this was after Apple dropped DRM, if I recall correctly. I still have fond memories of Winamp, despite the fact that I’m probably one of the few people who like using iTunes, and was quite surprised recently, when I learned that one of my friends still uses it. I didn’t know there was a Mac version either…


RED is Making a $1,200 Smartphone With a ‘Holographic Display’ →

July 7, 2017 · 08:25

Sean O’Kane:

High-end cameramaker RED has just announced a premium smartphone called Hydrogen One, and the headlining feature is something the company is referring to as a “holographic display.” A buzzword-filled press release for Hydrogen One says that the 5.7-inch display somehow uses nanotechnology to “seamlessly [switch] between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content, and interactive games.”

The teaser image paints it as hideously ugly. That design might work on RED’s cameras, but it sure doesn’t look good on a smartphone. Waiting to see the finished product, but there’s no way I’d put down $1200-1500 on that without seeing the whole picture.


How to Sound Good on a Podcast →

July 3, 2017 · 12:13

Collin Donnell:

If you read this blog, you know that I do a weekly interview podcast called The Run Loop. The show (generally) has remote guests with different audio setups and level of comfort in front of a microphone, so I wanted to write a short tutorial I could send to future guests to prepare them to be on the show and get the best audio quality. I then realized it made a lot more sense to make that a blog post so that other people could use it as a resource as well. So, here it is. Following this should help anyone sound good on a podcast regardless of previous experience.

This is worth reading even if you know what you’re doing (or think you do) — lots of small details, which can make a difference.


Google Stops Reading Emails For Gmail Ad Personlisation →

June 24, 2017 · 20:21

Diane Greene:

G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service. Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change. This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products. Ads shown are based on users’ settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. G Suite will continue to be ad free.

This is a great decision. Surprising, but great. It still doesn’t change the fact, that Gmail’s proprietary implementation makes it terrible to use with third-party email clients, but hopefully this is the beginning of a more privacy-focused Google. I doubt this, but I can be hopeful, right?


The New iPad Pro Screen Is Amazing →

June 23, 2017 · 15:32

Gabe Weatherhead:

Most of what I’ve read or heard about the new iPad Pro is close to reality but I think the effect of the new 120 Hz refresh rate of the screen is being over stated. It’s nice but it is not dramatically better. It’s not even that noticeable. Scrolling looks better, but it’s minor. From the early reviews you might expect more but I think there was a lot of pent up excitement for the iPad Pro revision.

I cannot stress how much I don’t agree with this. The new ProMotion screen is jaw-dropping. The smoothness of the animations and scrolling are fantastic, and in a few short minutes, have ruined my iPhone’s screen. If you use an iPad a lot and can afford to get one, do so.


This is a test post; please disregard this unless you are Don Melton

June 18, 2017 · 16:54

Mobile Safari seems to have an issue with my CSS. Quite frankly, it’s probably an issue with my CSS, not Safari, but I’m too stupid to find the solution.

Hello Don. It’s simply amazing to be halfway around the world and have a conversation with the guy who created Safari transcodes stuff.

I just added this paragraph, with a grey background, and a link, just to make it easier to test.

The paragraph above should have the same font size as the others. It doesn’t on iPhone’s Mobile Safari. Fine on iPad and in desktop Safari, in the responsive design tool.


My First Three Years With FastMail →

June 18, 2017 · 08:47

Exactly three years have passed since I left Gmail and started using FastMail for all my needs. I chose a plan which included a custom domain, so this allowed me to get a bit more creative, but the service itself is most important after all. So how was it?

I cannot recall having a single problem or the service not working, which is a first for me. Google would always act up from time to time, requiring my time. So did iCloud for that matter. FastMail has been exemplary, performing all my requests perfectly over these past three years, pushing emails to all my devices. Not once did it falter or even slow down.

I just renewed my account for another three years, without hesitation.


Atari CEO Confirms the Company Is Working on a New Game Console →

June 17, 2017 · 20:34

Dean Takahashi:

Last week, Atari began teasing a new product called the Ataribox. The video released on a non-Atari web site showed a picture of some kind of hardware product, but many people wondered if the teaser was fake. Others had no idea what the video was showing about a “brand new Atari product years in the making.”

After all, nobody makes a game console with wood-grain siding. But at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Chesnais told me that the rumors are true.

“We’re back in the hardware business,” he said.

Chesnais declined to describe a lot of details about the console. But he said it is based on PC technology. He said Atari is still working on the design and will reveal it at a later date.

My first console was an Atari Amigo. I still remember my Pac-Man and River Raid sessions with my friends. I’ll probably get one, purely for nostalgic reasons.


Hyper Key with Karabiner Elements →

June 16, 2017 · 12:21

A Hyper Key simulates the pressing of four modifier keys at the same time — Shift + Control + Option/Alt + Command. Brett Terpstra explained this back in 2012:

I’ve had my Caps Lock key remapped to an escape key for some time now. I’ve become quite used to it — to the point where using other people’s keyboards is inconvenient. Given that I’ve already ruined my muscle memory, I figured I’d take it a step further. The end result is that hitting my Caps Lock key once still gives me “Escape,” but holding it triggers a “Hyper” modifier key (simultaneous Control, Shift, Option and Command). I can map the Hyper key using any of an assortment of utilities to do all kinds of fun things.

Due to changes in macOS Sierra and Karabiner being rewritten as Karabiner Elements, we lost the Hyper Key, until the latest update:

Yesterday I posted excitedly about full Hyper key functionality being available in macOS 10.12+. I included a snippet of a config file that has apparently led to some confusion, so I’m elaborating here on the full configuration.

My current MacBook Pro config file, after adding Brett’s suggested changes, looks like this:

Everything works perfectly, but please do remember to set Caps Lock to No Action in Sierra’s System Preferences → Keyboard → Modifier Keys.

Thanks Brett!


Quick Thoughts on WWDC 2017

June 13, 2017 · 21:44

I haven’t had enough time to think about all the WWDC 2017 announcements yet — there were so many — so I’ll most likely voice my thoughts and perhaps even come to some conclusions on a future podcast episode, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and worries.

Continue reading →


2017 Apple Design Award Winners

June 13, 2017 · 12:25

Apple announced its 2017 Design Award winners a few days ago and I was quite surprised — I try to keep up with the best apps and games, but I was completely unaware about some of them. Oh well — time to go spend some money.

Blackbox – iPhone – $0.00
Splitter Critters – iOS – $2.99
Mushroom 11 – iOS – $4.99
Old Man’s Journey – iOS – $4.99
Severed – iOS – $2.99
Lake – iOS – $0.00
Bear – iOS – $0.00
Bear – Mac – $0.00
Kitchen Stories – iOS – $0.00
Things 3 – iPhone – $9.99
Things 3 – iPad – $19.99
Things 3 – Mac – $49.99
Elk – iOS – $0.00
Enlight – iOS – $3.99
AirMail 3 – iOS – $4.99
AirMail 3 – Mac – $9.99


Federico Viticci on the 10.5″ iPad Pro →

June 12, 2017 · 13:30

Federico on MacStories:

I’m not even a week into my tests with the 10.5” iPad Pro, and I think scrolling on my first-gen 12.9” iPad Pro looks choppy now. I’d be surprised if 120Hz displays with ProMotion don’t expand to the iPhone later this year and other Apple computers in the future. The combination of hardware and software really is that good.

At first I just wanted the 12.9″ UI in a 10.5″ form-factor, at 326 ppi. We didn’t get that. I am however extremely curious about ProMotion — I spend 4-6 hours a day on my iPad, scrolling a lot, and this could change everything.

I was curious to see if the larger screen could make the 10.5” iPad Pro a viable alternative to multitasking on the 12.9” model, but, as I imagined, working with Split View on this iPad is the same as the 9.7” version, showing enlarged iPhone interfaces instead of two full-size iPad apps at once. If you were expecting the same Split View experience from the 12.9” iPad Pro, the 10.5” doesn’t allow it.

I admit that I had hoped for the same experience as on my 12.9″ iPad but I think I’ll be able to accept the trade-off.

Unfortunately, Federico does not directly compare the 10.5″ Smart Keyboard with the 12.9″ model, but you can find a comparison to the 9.7″ version in his review.


“Full Size” Keyboard on 10.5″ iPad Pro →

June 12, 2017 · 13:19

Dieter Bohn:

I was all set to complain that increasing the size from 9.7 to 10.5 was not a big enough jump to justify requiring people to buy new keyboards and accessories. Then I started typing on the on-screen keyboard and on the new hardware Smart Keyboard. Even though I’m dubious about Apple’s claim that the software keyboard is “full size,” I find the slight size increase makes touch typing much easier. It’s still a little cramped, but it’s much easier to bounce between this and a real keyboard now.

I currently switch between a Magic Keyboard, a MacBook Pro (late 2016), and the 12.9″ iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard. I don’t have any major issues doing so. The curious thing is that since getting the MacBook Pro, I now find the Magic Keyboard’s key travel to be too long — I actually prefer the shorter throw now.

I have the new 10.5″ iPad Pro on order — it will replace my 12.9″ — but I’m still hesitating about getting the Smart Keyboard for it. I just don’t like cramped ones…


Evergreen — RSS and JSON Feed Reader for Mac →

June 6, 2017 · 15:47

Brent Simmons:

Evergreen is an open source, productivity-style feed reader for Macs.

It’s at a very early stage — we use it, but we don’t expect other people to use it yet.

Not for me unfortunately, since I do almost all of my RSS reading on my iPad, but I’m so interested to see the release build. Oh, and Evergreen will be free!


Jason Snell Ears On with the HomePod →

June 6, 2017 · 15:42

Jason Snell:

In general, I found the HomePod to sound quite good, with a powerful bass and great clarity in the treble. However, in a few cases—Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” was the one that really struck me—I felt that the Sonos Play:3 more accurately reproduced the feel of the track, while the (extremely early, pre-release version of the) HomePod’s clever audio processing technology spread the bass and vocals out so much that it didn’t sound right anymore.

Of course, with the HomePod half a year away from shipping, there’s probably a lot of software tweaking yet to be done in terms of audio processing.

This sounds very promising! I’m definitely looking to get at least one. The HomePod is missing one feature that I would love to see — the ability to use two, three or five of them, to set up a 2.0, 3.0 or 5.0 surround sound system for my Apple TV. I realise that this wouldn’t be cheap, but… no wires!


Back to Using the System Font Stack in CSS

June 5, 2017 · 10:20

After looking at a variety of options from Google Fonts — Open Sans, Source Sans Pro, and a few others — I decided to go back to the system font stack for a number of reasons. Performance is definitely my main metric, but the lack of interesting options on Google Fonts is another. I could use TypeKit or Cloud.typography, but Adobe decided not to include the former in their Creative Cloud Photography Plan and the latter is just too much for my needs (in terms of price too).

I believe I’m targeting every relevant platform. As far as I know, these are the current popular system font stacks in use:

I went with Ghost. Let me know if you find any bugs or anything else out of the ordinary.


JSON Feed Added

June 4, 2017 · 22:55

With all the changes I made today, I went ahead and added support for Brent Simmons’ and Manton Reece’s JSON Feed. You can find it in the footer of any page on Infinite Diaries or at https://infinitediaries.net/feed/json/. It’s simple enough for WordPress installations — all you need to do is to download the plugin from here and follow the instructions:

Adds a /feed/json URL to your WordPress site. Drop the plugin folder in /wp-content/plugins and activate under WP Admin → Plugins.

P.S. After seeing how Titillium Web renders a double slash (//), I’m going to need to look for a new font. Not a fan of its italics either.


June 4, 2017 · 22:41

I finally got around to getting rid of the Permalink ★ links from below each post and hiding them under the date, just below the titles. This small change made the layout just a bit cleaner, but it has made me a lot happier.