watchOS 5 Compatibility →

June 5, 2018 · 00:50

From Apple’s watchOS 5 preview:

watchOS 5 requires iPhone 5s or later with iOS 12 or later, and one of the following Apple Watch models:

  • Apple Watch Series 1
  • Apple Watch Series 2
  • Apple Watch Series 3

watchOS 5 is not compatible with the first-generation Apple Watch.

I hope the Series 4 will be a worthy upgrade over my Space Black steel Series 0.


“I’m Sal Soghoian, and you’re wrong. My technology is better than Windows.” →

June 3, 2018 · 10:20

Jordan McMahon, for Wired:

When Jobs took over, he went on a campaign to salvage Apple’s remaining resources by hacking and slashing under-performing departments. The problem, Jobs said, was that Apple had lost its focus. The company was making too many products that people didn’t want to buy. After years of leading innovation in the PC industry, the Macintosh’s operating system had fallen behind its biggest competitor. “It used to be easy when we were 100 times better than Windows. But now that we’re not, you don’t know what to do,” Jobs told the room. This was a big slap in the face—just two years earlier, Jobs had quipped that Microsoft “had no taste.”

Soghoian didn’t like that. As Apple’s product manager of automation, he was tasked with finding new and clever ways to for users take tedious and repetitive tasks on the Mac—like organizing a bunch of files at once or resizing massive groups of photos—and write small bits of code to complete those tasks quickly.

“No, you’re wrong,” Soghoian told the notoriously brutal CEO. Jobs fired back: “And you are?”

“I’m Sal Soghoian, and you’re wrong. My technology is better than Windows.”

From AppleScript, through Automator, to Workflow for iOS, and Sal’s future in The Omni Group — the path of automation over the years is definitely interesting, but I still cannot fathom why Apple let Sal go.

Anyway, I rely on automating my tasks on Mac and iOS every single day, so I can’t help but wonder what its future will be. Keeping my fingers crossed.


Tesla Model 3 Gets CR Recommendation After Braking Update →

June 1, 2018 · 11:31

Patrick Olsen, for Consumer Reports:

The software update came a week after Consumer Reports published test results that showed stopping distances for the Model 3 that were significantly longer than any other contemporary car. That braking performance, along with issues with the Model 3’s controls and ride comfort, initially prevented the car from getting a CR recommendation.

Last week, after CR’s road test was published, Tesla CEO Elon Musk vowed that the automaker would get a fix out within days.

Until now, that type of remote improvement to a car’s basic functionality had been unheard of. “I’ve been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, “and I’ve never seen a car that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update.”

Remote firmware updates for a car, which can directly impact key features such as braking systems is one thing which Tesla excels at. Other automakers rely on software updates when a car comes in for service, which is roughly once a year, or when you buy a new one.

I test drove a Tesla Model S P90D (my article in Polish) in Poland in 2016. There are a few Teslas in Poland but since we don’t have a dealership, service centres, or a wide Supercharger network, their Autopilot barely knew any of the roads here. The guys from Tesla Berlin came down a day or two early and rode up and down the country roads, we would be using for the day. Since this was their second trip, I assume the Teslas had already previously gathered a lot of data along the way. When it was my turn, I turned on Autopilot and it acted as if it knew these its surroundings perfectly, even on 2nd tier twisty side streets with barely any markings on them. This “learning” capability is amazing in theory and practice — just imagine what we could accomplish if every single car in the world, whatever their manufacturer, had access to a database of this sort.


Most Important Meal 36 With James Thomson — This Was Not a Podcast I Was Expecting to Hear →

June 1, 2018 · 10:55

James Thomson, the creator of PCalc, joins Truj and Brian to talk about the Full Scottish Breakfast! Of course, they are immediately sidetracked by sobering facts about the death of the banana, #TeamCrunchy versus #TeamSoggy, cannibalism thought experiments, and black pudding. Brian read all the Twilight books. Truj interrupts Overwatch. James couldn’t leave the table.

A surprisingly excellent episode with some blasphemy regarding food, which I’ll let slide because I was immensely entertained!

Regarding black pudding… We have something similar in Poland — it’s called kaszanka. Tried it once, hated it, consider it disgusting.

And in response to the banana thread — try the ones which can be found in the Caribbean, India, and many other places in the world, where they are grown. Since our trip to Martinique, I consider the bananas that we get here in Europe to be close to inedible.


Hello, Stereo Paired HomePods →

May 31, 2018 · 09:16

Jason Snell, for Six Colours:

Once that was done, I was free to play music in stereo from two HomePods. The volume is impressive—one HomePod did an okay job of filling my living room, but two HomePods can do it with no trouble. Stereo separation was clear, as I ran through a bunch of aggressive stereo mixes (The Beatles!), live albums (“Peter Gabriel Plays Live”—take that, “Hell Freezes Over”), and a collection of other tracks I’m familiar with. It all sounded good.

At the current price the HomePod is awfully pricey to be deployed in a stereo pair—for half price you can pair two Sonos One speakers—but it does sound very good. And in proper stereo, something that one HomePod—for all Apple’s talk of creating a “3-D sound field”—could not achieve alone.

I’m actually tempted to get one more HomePod myself, despite Siri being next to useless for anything but controlling music playback. I’d also happily welcome a 5.1 wireless home theatre system for Apple TV or perhaps a soundbar — they could show off their computational audio advances in the latter.


The Gay Mayor Shaking Up Politics in Catholic Poland →

May 29, 2018 · 13:11

Adam Easton, for the BBC, quoting Renata Kim, a journalist for the Polish edition of Newsweek:

“I think it’s too early for an openly gay politician to become an important figure in politics,” she argues. 

“We are a very conservative society. People are not ready to accept such a person as their president or prime minister,” she adds.

I try to avoid following politics because most politicians in Poland are in it for the money and their own interests. Robert Biedroń is the only politician that I know of, who seems to be a genuinely good person. I don’t care if he’s an atheist, satanist, gay, uses an Android device, or doesn’t like Star Wars — he appears to be actually trying to bring good to the people that elected him. And that’s enough for me — he’ll get my vote.


What It’s Like When Elon Musk’s Twitter Mob Comes After You →

May 29, 2018 · 13:03

Erin Biba, for The Daily Beast:

But in my wildest dreams, I’m writing this because I want Elon to see and understand the aftermath of his tweets, because I honestly don’t know if he realizes the true extent of the wrath he brings down on people by inadvertently pointing his fanbase at them. And if he really is the good person fighting to better humanity that all of his fans say he is, then I’d hope he would want to know.


Google and HTTP →

May 29, 2018 · 13:00

Dave Winer:

I’ve been writing about Google’s efforts to deprecate HTTP, the protocol of the web. This is a summary of why I am opposed to it.

This isn’t their first attempt and it won’t be their last foray into trying to influence the internet, but hopefully it won’t affect us as much as it could, especially since we do have alternatives to Google Search and Chrome.


Surface Book 2: Six Months Later →

May 28, 2018 · 12:47

Brad Sams, for Petri IT Knowledgebase:

When the Surface Book 2 was announced late last year, I had high hopes that this was going to be among my favorite laptops, ever. All Microsoft had to do was take the original Book and address the few issues with the hardware and voila, a hero device for the category.

It’s a bit hard to believe but the device was released six months ago and since that time, I have taken the high-end 15in Surface Book 2 on the road to Vegas, NYC, Seattle, Chicago and a few other locations and after all that time with the hardware, here is my long term update.

This is one of the notebooks currently on the market which pose an interesting alternative to the MacBook Pro. I am especially interested in using it for retouching photos in Lightroom, using just the 15” screen in detached mode.

It’s hard to come by extended reviews such as Brad’s, but he conveys his pros and cons succinctly. The Surface Book’s biggest issue is the power button, which sometimes fails to turn the machine on. While this seems serious, the workaround (which shouldn’t be necessary) is extremely simple.

Just the simple fact that I am looking at alternatives to MacBooks, which I have been using for over 10 years now, should be worrying for Apple. While the Surface Book 2 could potentially be an excellent Lightroom hardware platform, I would miss macOS for everything else. Oh — the keyboard supposedly doesn’t die from dust specks. Ultimately the Surface Book 2 would be a compromise, like everything in life, but Microsoft is really trying to tempt users, and is probably succeeding in some cases.


Not-so-Essential →

May 25, 2018 · 10:41

Mark Gurman and Alex Barinka, for Bloomberg:

Essential Products Inc., a startup co-founded by Android creator Andy Rubin that launched last year to great fanfare, is considering selling itself and has canceled development of a new smartphone, according to people familiar with the matter.

Too bad. I am still looking forward to an Android manufacturer gaining ground in the market, who is at least as privacy-focused as Apple.


A Collection of All the Stupid MacBook Pro Problems That Still Aren’t Fixed →

May 24, 2018 · 11:59

Owen Williams, on Charged:

I’ve spent a year explaining to people that while the current MacBook Pro is a design triumph, it’s a disaster of a product that you shouldn’t spend money you’re afraid to lose on — but it’s been difficult to articulate why, particularly when the sample set is small.

Instead, I’ve decided to maintain this post, which is an ever-growing collection of public complaints about the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro so I can just send it back in response to anyone who says they’re considering buying it.

almost tripped on my MacBook Pro’s power cord a few weeks ago and my first thought was that I really miss MagSafe, which saved my previous MacBooks a number of times. As it turns out from looking at Owen’s list, no MagSafe is one of the least important issues people are having.


An Animated GIF Guide to the First Wave of Personal Computers →

May 24, 2018 · 11:55

Matthew Gault, writing for Motherboard:

To honor those machines, Ball has created a series of high resolution animated gifs honoring 16 machines from the era of the birth of the personal computer. He calls the project ‘I Am a Computer: Icons of Beige.’

“I think the design of these machines is so of their time, so charming in their now-obsolesce, and almost anthropomorphic in some cases that I wanted to…breathe some life into them,” Ball said. “I also love beige. Nothing is beige anymore! It’s such a cool colour.”

I love these kinds of projects.


Apple A12 SoC for iPhone Goes Into Production →

May 24, 2018 · 11:51

Mark Gurman, for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has started mass production of next-generation processors for new iPhones launching later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The processor, likely to be called the A12 chip, will use a 7-nanometer design that can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10-nanometer chips in current Apple devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the people said. 

I remember exporting a video from iMovie for iOS a few years ago (an iPad Mini 2 if I recall correctly) and it took close to 30 minutes for a full 1080p render. I recently tried the same thing on an iPad Pro 10.5” — this time it was done before I returned to my couch from turning the kettle on in the kitchen, which took me less than a minute.

Apple’s chip team is amazing and I can’t wait to see what they’ll bring to the market in the future.


Previous — NeXT Computer Emulator →

May 21, 2018 · 10:27

Previous is a NeXT Computer emulator based on the Atari emulator Hatari. It uses the latest m68k emulation core from WinUAE and the i860 emulator from Jason Eckhardt. Previous is confirmed to compile and run on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It may also work on other Systems which are supported by the SDL2 library, like FreeBSD, NetBSD and BeOS.

via @vashpan


NeXT Raspberry Pi Case →

May 19, 2018 · 11:30

Nina Richards, on her blog:

This build is a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm replica of the NeXT Computer to house a Raspberry Pi computer. I designed and built this specifically with the aim of having it run some basic server tasks on my home network, such as storing revision control repositories etc.

This is so cool — I’d buy one in a heartbeat!


ClassicKit for iOS →

May 19, 2018 · 11:17

Blake Tsuzaki on GitHub:

This is a little exploration into applying ’90s-era design & principles into a modern platform with some primitive components. The assets and design metrics were (for the most part) taken from an actual installation of Windows 95. These are pixel-accurate renditions of the original design…

UIs were shockingly ugly back then. I still remember when I first saw a NeXT computer at a trade show in the 1980s, when I was just a few years old — just the resolution of the screen was amazing, but the different look of that OS stunned me and I wanted one badly.

This might not look very special today, but compared to what I was used to, it was simply amazing.


John Carmack Talks About His Interactions With Steve Jobs →

May 19, 2018 · 11:04

John Carmack, in a post on Facebook:

I was brought in to talk about the needs of games in general, but I made it my mission to get Apple to adopt OpenGL as their 3D graphics API. I had a lot of arguments with Steve.

Part of his method, at least with me, was to deride contemporary options and dare me to tell him differently. They might be pragmatic, but couldn’t actually be good. “I have Pixar. We will make something [an API] that is actually good.”

It was often frustrating, because he could talk, with complete confidence, about things he was just plain wrong about, like the price of memory for video cards and the amount of system bandwidth exploitable by the AltiVec extensions.

But when I knew what I was talking about, I would stand my ground against anyone.

When Steve did make up his mind, he was decisive about it. Dictates were made, companies were acquired, keynotes were scheduled, and the reality distortion field kicked in, making everything else that was previously considered into obviously terrible ideas.

His post reinforces what we know about Steve Jobs, while underlining their own relationship — it’s well worth reading.


Keyboard Maestro Macro to Change Theme in Tweetbot 3.0 for Mac

May 16, 2018 · 12:19

I quickly created this Keyboard Maestro macro, which switches the theme in the new Tweetbot 3.0 [App Store] from Light to Dark and vice versa.

The default shortcut is ⌥⌘L, which I adopted from Ulysses. Feel free to use anything you feel comfortable with. You will also need to make sure that the TweetbotTheme variable is set to either Light or Dark before running it for the first time — I didn’t (yet) bother with a pop-up asking for a correct input if that variable is empty.

Tweetbot 3.0 – Switch Theme.kmmacros


The Silicon Valley TV Show Is Horrible

May 16, 2018 · 10:01

Silicon Valley, the TV show from HBO, is probably the most horrific portrayal of the programmers/coders/tech crowd living and working in that area of the world. I realise that its supposed to be satire, but it simply isn’t. Thomas Middleditch’s character — Richard Hendricks — is particularly dreadful. He’s not only stupid, despite being a genius, he’s a criminal and displays many qualities that I despise, which are unfortunately so commonplace in the world. And Erlich? He’s even worse.

I can’t believe the show’s into its fifth season…


Tweetbot 3.0 for Mac is here!

May 15, 2018 · 20:27

Tweetbot 3.0 for Mac dropped today! I’ve only had a few minutes to play with it so far, but it’s looking like a solid release — I’ve taken to some of the new functionality immediately.

The new 3.0 isn’t a free upgrade this time, which isn’t surprising, since we haven’t paid for the Mac version since 2012 and it’s 1.0 release. Since I practically live on Twitter, I had no qualms about the price, but your mileage may vary.

No complaints or regrets so far — I’m very happy with the new version.

Tweetbot 3.0 for Mac — $9.99 / €10.99 / 47.99 PLN


Say Hello to Google One →

May 15, 2018 · 10:55

Frederic Lardinois, for TechCrunch:

Google is revamping its consumer storage plans today by adding a new $2.99/month tier for 200 GB of storage and dropping the price of its 2 TB plan from $19.99/month to $9.99/month (and dropping the $9.99/month 1 TB plan). It’s also rebranding these storage plans (but not Google Drive itself) as “Google One.”

Since they’re not only consolidating their storage plans under the “Google One” slogan, will this be updated in the future to include subscription services such as YouTube Red? If yes, then will users be able to select which services they want, to customise the plan (and price) to their needs or will Google go down the Amazon Prime route, where many services will just sit unused but will still be paid for?


Paweł Pawlikowski Claims To Be Blacklisted by Poland’s Populist Government →

May 14, 2018 · 15:53

AFP:

Oscar-winning director Pawel Pawlikowski claimed Friday that he had been blacklisted by Poland’s populist rightwing government and compared censorship in the country now to the dark days of communism.

The 60-year-old, who won the best foreign language movie for “Ida” in 2015, told AFP that the film had been banned from being shown on television or in Polish cultural institutes abroad.

“The film is on a blacklist… There is now a blacklist of books, theatre directors and filmmakers who must not be supported,” he said.

“I have the honour to be on this list,” Pawlikowski said as his new film, “Cold War” was premiered at the Cannes film festival.

“With the new government, which has taken total control of public television, it is just like under the communism. The propaganda on TV is incredible,” he said.

His last film “Ida” became the target of attacks and a petition by the country’s Culture Minister Piotr Glinski, then in opposition, when it was nominated for an Academy Award.

He accused Pawlikowski of blackening the country’s reputation.


PGP and S/MIME Vulnerable to Hacks That Can Reveal the Plaintext of Encrypted Messages →

May 14, 2018 · 15:29

Dan Goodin, writing for Ars Technica:

The Internet’s two most widely used methods for encrypting email—PGP and S/MIME—are vulnerable to hacks that can reveal the plaintext of encrypted messages, a researcher warned late Sunday night. He went on to say there are no reliable fixes and to advise anyone who uses either encryption standard for sensitive communications to remove them immediately from email clients.

The flaws “might reveal the plaintext of encrypted emails, including encrypted emails you sent in the past,” Sebastian Schinzel, a professor of computer security at Münster University of Applied Sciences, wrote on Twitter. “There are currently no reliable fixes for the vulnerability. If you use PGP/GPG or S/MIME for very sensitive communication, you should disable it in your email client for now.”

You can find an “EFAIL” paper discussing the vulnerabilities here.