’A Mysterious Infection Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy’ →

April 9, 2019 · 13:39

Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs, for The New York Times:

In late 2015, Dr. Johanna Rhodes, an infectious disease expert at Imperial College London, got a panicked call from the Royal Brompton Hospital, a British medical center outside London. C. auris had taken root there months earlier, and the hospital couldn’t clear it.

“‘We have no idea where it’s coming from. We’ve never heard of it. It’s just spread like wildfire,’” Dr. Rhodes said she was told. She agreed to help the hospital identify the fungus’s genetic profile and clean it from rooms.

Under her direction, hospital workers used a special device to spray aerosolized hydrogen peroxide around a room used for a patient with C. auris, the theory being that the vapor would scour each nook and cranny. They left the device going for a week. Then they put a “settle plate” in the middle of the room with a gel at the bottom that would serve as a place for any surviving microbes to grow, Dr. Rhodes said.

Only one organism grew back. C. auris.

Humans are like a virus that nature can’t seem to deal with. Perhaps it’s finally time for us to pay the ultimate price for the irreparable damage that we have caused to our planet.

See also: What You Need to Know About Candida Auris


The Design of Apple’s Credit Card →

April 9, 2019 · 13:30

Arun Venkatesan, on his blog:

I took a close look at the cardholder name and I noticed that it’s set in a new rounded version of the normal San Francisco font. For a few years, Apple has been using San Francisco Compact Rounded, a rounded version of the font used on the Apple Watch. This is the first time I have seen a rounded version of San Francisco though. The telltale sign is the lack of the flat sides that are most prominent in SF Compact’s lowercase a, e and o.

I haven’t yet compared SF Compact Rounded with SF Rounded myself, so I’ll trust Arun that they are indeed different, but I’m very curious how much further will the San Francisco family of fonts expand and how Apple will use them in the future.


The Apple Watch Just Saved ClockworkWXVII’s Life →

April 6, 2019 · 10:59

ClockworkWXVII, on Reddit:

I was laying in bed, enjoying some TV and homemade brisket, when my Apple Watch told me that my heart rate was weird af, and then, told me my heart rate was stupid fast (thank you heart rate alerts)

Called ER, when they arrived, they found me in serious trouble. Body went into shock, got rushed to the hospital in a stretcher, and got taken into trauma.

I felt totally fine before everything happened, and then notifications, and then BAM, everything goes nuts.

100% thank you apple for making an amazing accessory and tool that helps people stay not dead.

via @maciejbuchert


The Next Wave of Apple’s Marzipan Apps for MacOS →

April 6, 2019 · 10:45

Steve Troughton-Smith:

I am now fairly confident based on evidence I don’t wish to make public at this point that Apple is planning new (likely UIKit) Music, Podcasts, perhaps even Books, apps for macOS, to join the new TV app. I expect the four to be the next wave of Marzipan apps. Grain of salt, etc.

I hope they still keep iTunes around. (I assume) I’m one of the few people who actually like it.


MacBook Pro Arrow Ket Layout Scandal →

April 4, 2019 · 22:33

Todd Thomas:

The real scandal with the new MacBook Pros is the layout of the arrow keys. Ugh.

I don’t know when I bought my first Apple Magic Keyboard but it’s been at least 3 years and I still haven’t gotten used to that damned layout, making mistakes almost every single time I reach for them. I did finally fix the issue though, by getting a mechanical keyboard. So. Much. Better.


Bad UI: MacOS 10.14’s Software Update Release Notes →

April 4, 2019 · 11:32

John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:

If this sheet were part of a student’s assignment in an intro to Mac programming class, a good teacher would send it back and explain how to make a sheet resizable, how to make text selectable (and thus copy-able), and how to make URLs clickable.

But this isn’t a student assignment. It’s MacOS system software.

Apple’s operating systems aside, I still remember when I was excited when they announced new first-party software. Today, not so much.


’Apple’s Plan Is to Put a Ding in Your Pocketbook’ →

April 4, 2019 · 11:30

Farhad Manjoo, for The New York Times:

So now, instead of selling better stuff to more people, Apple’s new plan is to sell more stuff to the same people. “Today is going to be a very different kind of event,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, taking the stage.

It was not. From start to finish, Apple’s affair was a brushed-aluminum homage to sameness — a parade of services that start-ups and big rivals had done earlier, polished with an Apple-y sheen of design and marketing. Among other offerings, Apple showed off a service for subscribing to news on your phone and a credit card, and it offered vague details about a still-in-development TV service involving Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey (who are not exactly edgy or up-and-coming).

None of these efforts look terrible. Some, like the news service, might be handy. Yet they are all so trifling and derivative. As the analyst Ben Thompson noted, Apple’s crush of me-too announcements falls far short of Mr. Jobs’s goal of putting “a ding in the universe.” As I watched Apple’s event, I felt the future shrink a little. In its gilded middle age, Apple is turning into something like a digital athleisure brand, stamping out countless upscale accessories for customers who love its one big thing, a company that has lost sight of the universe and is content merely to put a ding in your pocketbook.

The only Apple product in recent memory, which truly changed anything, were the AirPods, and they’re not even close to putting ‘a ding in the universe’. Quite frankly, it just feels as if Apple is stagnating, and because of that, it’s focusing on milking its customers for every last penny, during this absence of ideas.


Facebook Demanding Some New Users’ Email Passwords →

April 3, 2019 · 18:42

Kevin Poulsen:

Just two weeks after admitting it stored hundreds of millions of its users’ own passwords insecurely, Facebook is demanding some users fork over the password for their outside email account as the price of admission to the social network.

Facebook users are being interrupted by an interstitial demanding they provide the password for the email account they gave to Facebook when signing up. “To continue using Facebook, you’ll need to confirm your email,” the message demands. “Since you signed up with [email address], you can do that automatically …”

A form below the message asked for the users’ “email password.”

“That’s beyond sketchy,” security consultant Jake Williams told the Daily Beast. “They should not be taking your password or handling your password in the background. If that’s what’s required to sign up with Facebook, you’re better off not being on Facebook.”

The people running Facebook need to be criminally charged for all the wrong that they’ve done and continue to do.

And please just go and delete your Facebook account.


Cloudflare Introduces Warp — A VPN for Their 1.1.1.1 DNS Service →

April 3, 2019 · 14:33

Matthew Prince:

We built Warp because we’ve had those conversations with our loved ones too and they’ve not gone well. So we knew that we had to start with turning the weaknesses of other VPN solutions into strengths. Under the covers, Warp acts as a VPN. But now in the 1.1.1.1 App, if users decide to enable Warp, instead of just DNS queries being secured and optimized, all Internet traffic is secured and optimized. In other words, Warp is the VPN for people who don’t know what V.P.N. stands for.

There will be both a free tier and a paid subscription for Warp. I’m in the queue, waiting to get in, and really hoping Cloudflare lives up to their promises of privacy. Since I have been using their 1.1.1.1 DNS service for the past year, it’s been rock solid, and I haven’t read about any scandals on the subject, so keeping my fingers crossed on this one.


April 3, 2019 · 14:26

My dad passed away 4 years ago. I was going to write a few words about it yesterday but I had a really bad day and didn’t feel like it. Today’s not much better.


2019 iMac vs. iMac Pro (And 2014 iMac) →

April 2, 2019 · 13:28

Rob Griffiths, on Robservatory:

How does the new iMac compare to the iMac Pro? Unfortunately, I don’t have one of those lying around to directly test against. However, thanks to the Geekbench 4 Results Browser, it’s easy to find the iMac Pro’s results. I looked for the 10-core iMac Pro, as that’s supposedly the best balance of price, raw CPU speed (GHz), and multi-core performance. Here’s what I found…

I would actually consider getting an iMac if it had the iMac Pro’s cooling system, Apple lowered their SSD and RAM prices to reasonable levels, and on the condition that Apple fix the screen dust issue. Basically, the only Mac I would even consider buying today, is the Mac Mini, despite it being a bit expensive for what it offers.


The MacBook Keyboard Fiasco Is Surely Worse Than Apple Thinks →

April 2, 2019 · 13:25

David Heinemeier Hansson, on Signal v. Noise:

Apple keep insisting that only a “small number of customers have problems” with the MacBook keyboards. That’s bollocks. This is a huge issue, it’s getting worse not better, and Apple is missing the forest for the trees.

The fact is that many people simply do not contact Apple when their MacBook keyboards fail. They just live with an S key that stutters or a spacebar that intermittently gives double. Or they just start using an external keyboard. Apple never sees these cases, so it never counts in their statistics.

So here’s some anecdata for Apple. I sampled the people at Basecamp. Out of the 47 people using MacBooks at the company, a staggering 30% are dealing with keyboard issues right now!! And that’s just the people dealing with current keyboard issues. If you include all the people who used to have issues, but went through a repair or replacement process, the number would be even higher.