How to Install Python3 via Homebrew on macOS

July 20, 2018 · 12:25

I just had to install Python 3 on both Macs and the whole process had some issues, so this is what I had to do to get everything running correctly:

  • I assume you already have Homebrew installed; if not then follow the instructions here and then run the following commands…
  • brew update
  • brew upgrade
  • sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/Frameworks
  • sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/local/* if using bash or sudo chown -R (whoami) /usr/local/* for fish
  • brew install python3
  • brew link python3
  • brew doctor

That’s it.

Google Is Quietly Working on a Successor to Android — Project Fuchsia →

July 20, 2018 · 12:05

Mark Bergen, for Bloomberg:

For more than two years, a small and stealthy group of engineers within Google has been working on software that they hope will eventually replace Android, the world’s dominant mobile operating system. As the team grows, it will have to overcome some fierce internal debate about how the software will work […]

The company must also settle some internal feuds. Some of the principles that Fuchsia creators are pursuing have already run up against Google’s business model. Google’s ads business relies on an ability to target users based on their location and activity, and Fuchsia’s nascent privacy features would, if implemented, hamstring this important business. There’s already been at least one clash between advertising and engineering over security and privacy features of the fledgling operating system, according to a person familiar with the matter. The ad team prevailed, this person said.

This sounds very disappointing. I really hope they decide to change course and focus on security and privacy instead.

MacBook Pro (mid 2018) throttling

July 19, 2018 · 11:14

As expected, the #ThrottleGate controversy is being looked into by anyone who has their hands on the new MacBook Pros.

John Poole on Geekbench’s blog, running a CPU-only test:

Why does this test not replicate the throttling seen in other tests? Part of the issue is the test themselves. Premiere uses both the CPU and the GPU, while Geekbench only uses the CPU.

The i7 ran at an average 3.0-3.1 GHz, which is above the CPUs base 2.6 GHz frequency, but below the advertised 4.0 GHz Turbo Boost for 6 cores. So is it throttling or is the test just not maximizing load on the CPU?

Jeff Benjamin, for 9to5Mac, ran a test based on Final Cut Pro X:

Leaving the Core-i9 configured as default, I exported the video in 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Throttling was definitely noticeable during the export, as you can see from the following chart created from Intel Power Gadget log data.

Curiously, when he set the CPU to utilize only four cores, it was faster than when using all six.

Mike Wuerthele, for AppleInsider, opted for Cinebench 15:

We shifted to a different benchmark for our own series of tests. Using Cinebench 15, we ran 10 total runs on the i9 MacBook Pro.

Immediately after starting the first test, the CPU clock speed shot up to 4.17 GHz. It rapidly drops to 3.86GHz until it hits the chip critical temperature of 100C. It then drops nearly immediately to 2.57GHz and also nearly immediately drops to 84C.

The speed of the processor varied between 2.33GHz and 2.9GHz generally, with one profound dip to 2.02GHz, and then the range drops to a peak of 2.65Ghz.

I think it’s same to assume that all MacBook Pros will throttle under load, especially when both the CPU and GPU are being taxed. A potential solution for this problem is running an eGPU, which should help (in addition to being significantly faster than the one on-board). Surprisingly, an iMac Pro may not solve everyone’s problems when it comes to video editing — it was a slower in 9to5Mac’s test than the MacBook Pro:

Xeon CPUs lack onboard hardware video encoding, dubbed Intel Quick Sync Video. So even though the iMac Pro runs circles around the MacBook Pro from a thermal perspective, it doesn’t really matter in this test.

The MacBook Pro Core i9 Cannot Maintain Its Base Clock Speed Under Load

July 18, 2018 · 13:44

Dave Lee posted a video yesterday, showing a Core i9 mid 2018 MacBook Pro averaging 2.2 GHz under load, during an Adobe Premiere render.

The results show just how badly Premiere is optimized for the Mac — a Gigabyte Aero 15X is over 30 minutes quicker (39:37 vs. 7:18) — which has led AppleInsider’s Mikey Campbell to write the following:

It should be noted that Premiere Pro is not optimized for Mac, as evidenced by the Aero 15X performance. Lee failed to test render speeds with Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, or any other app for that matter.

While thermal throttling is nothing new, especially in portables, Lee’s findings are somewhat questionable in that assumptions are being made based on a single machine’s performance with an unoptimized app. Making blanket statements without thorough testing is reckless at best and disingenuous at worst.

While Lee failed to reach out to Apple for comment, it is highly unlikely that the company would ship a flagship product without first rigorously testing its performance. That goes double for a device like MacBook Pro, considering the company’s renewed vigor to serve the professional market.

It took me about 30 seconds to find the following video which exposes the same issues in the 2017 models. The render was done in Final Cut Pro X this time…

In fact, there are many more videos on the subject, so while it is possible that this is a problem with Dave’s specific machine, I’ll go crazy here and suggest that it’s a design problem, especially since there are many reports that just using an external display is throttling some machines, which has led some users as far as replacing the thermal compound that Apple uses on its CPUs.

I have the same issue on my MacBook Pro Escape (late 2016) when rendering larger projects in Final Cut Pro X (especially in 4K) — it slows down considerably the further the render is along.

MacBook Pro Performance (July 2018) →

July 16, 2018 · 12:00

John Poole, on the Geekbench blog:

Apple announced updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros last week. Let’s take a quick look at the performance of these new laptops using Geekbench 4 results from the Geekbench Browser.

I’d go for the high-end Core i7 13-inch MacBook Pro or the low-end 15-inch model. The Core i9 does not offer significant performance gains, unless someone really needs to use every last drop of power that it offers.

I Just Tripped Over My 2017 rMBP’s Power Cord →

July 15, 2018 · 15:05

Reddit user seditiousseals:

It went flying off the table. It landed on carpet (fortunately), so nothing is damaged, but I still miss MagSafe. It also pisses me off that they no longer give the extension cable. If they still included the extension cable (which can’t cost more than a dollar per unit), this wouldn’t have happened. I’m annoyed they got rid of MagSafe, and I’m annoyed they got rid of the extension cord, but I’m *really* annoyed that they got rid of both at the same time.

I miss it too.

Use True Tone on Your MacBook Pro →

July 15, 2018 · 14:43

Apple Support:

True Tone can also adjust these external displays when they’re connected to your MacBook Pro:

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display, using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter
  • LG UltraFine 5K Display
  • LG UltraFine 4K Display

I assume this won’t function if you’re working in clamshell mode, but otherwise this is great.

How Jackson Cunninghan Got Banned for Life From AirBnB →

July 15, 2018 · 13:22

Jackson Cunningham:

A few months ago, I received a cryptic message from AirBnB that sounded like something straight out that Black Mirror episode with Jon Hamm.

Dear Jackson,

We regret to inform you that we’ll be unable to support your account moving forward, and have exercised our discretion under our Terms of Service to disable your account(s). This decision is irreversible and will affect any duplicated or future accounts.

Please understand that we are not obligated to provide an explanation for the action taken against your account. Furthermore, we are not liable to you in any way with respect to disabling or canceling your account. Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination with respect to such matters, and this decision will not be reversed.

Most of us are used to the justice system, presenting evidence, the right to defend ourselves, and these types of methods employed by private companies are shocking. These type of authoritarian practices should not take place, even when private corporations have a legal right to do, for ethical and moral reasons if non other.

Former Apple Employee Charged With Theft of Trade Secrets Related to Autonomous Car Project →

July 11, 2018 · 11:17

Juli Clover, for Macrumors:

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation this week charged former Apple employee Xiaolang Zhang with theft of trade secrets, according to documents filed with the Northern District Court of California.

Zhang was hired at Apple in December of 2015 to work on Project Titan, developing software and hardware for use in autonomous vehicles. Zhang specifically worked on Apple’s Compute Team, designing and testing circuit boards to analyze sensor data […]

Zhang was interviewed by the FBI in late June, where he admitted to stealing the information, and he was later arrested attempting to leave to China on July 7.

Add a martini — shaken, not stirred — a few guns, and perhaps a new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, and you’ve got yourself a Bond movie.

Apple to Deploy 1Password to 100,000 Employees →

July 11, 2018 · 10:26

Jonathan S. Geller, on BGR:

According to our source, after many months of planning, Apple plans to deploy 1Password internally to all 123,000 employees. This includes not just employees in Cupertino, but extends all the way to retail, too. Furthermore, the company is said to have carved out a deal that includes family plans, giving up to 5 family members of each employee a free license for 1Password. With more and more emphasis on security in general, and especially at Apple, there are a number of reasons this deal makes sense. We’re told that 100 Apple employees will start using 1Password through this initiative starting this week, with the full 123,000+ users expected to be activated within the next one to two months.

I have been using 1Password for many years now and I hope the additional stress, under which AgileBits will now be, will not compromise the product. Since I use the standalone version of 1Password and sync via iCloud, there shouldn’t be any performance issues, but I am slightly worried about the future of the product. Luckily, it appears that there are no plans for an acquisition:

Rumours of my acquisition are completely false. My humans and I are happily independent and plan to remain so.

I do have a few questions though:

  • Why doesn’t Apple just use iCloud Keychain?
  • If iCloud Keychain is lacking in features, why don’t they add them?
  • Is this a security issue? Should I trust 1Password more than iCloud Keychain?
  • Since Apple wants to use 1Password instead of iCloud Keychain for its employees, I assume there’s a feature of 1Password that they desire to incorporate? But which one? Secure notes? Weak password warnings? 2FA support? Watchtower? The ability to store software licences?

This is all very strange.

HBO Must Get Bigger and Broader →

July 9, 2018 · 11:35

Edmund Lee and John Koblin, for The New York Times:

Known for “The Sopranos,” “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld,” HBO has long favored quality over quantity. Its high-gloss productions often take years to develop and can cost millions per episode. That approach has won the network more Primetime Emmy Awards than any of its competitors over the last 16 years, with Mr. Plepler the master curator.

In recent years, Mr. Plepler has emphasized HBO’s “bespoke culture” and its enduring appeal to A-list producers and stars at a time when Netflix, Amazon and Apple have bottomless budgets. On his watch, “Big Little Lies” has brought the Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep to the network, and shows like “Barry” and “Insecure” have charmed critics. But during the town hall meeting, Mr. Stankey said HBO should consider trying something new.

The feeling that quality over quantity gives is something hard to measure in terms of viewer appreciation but its a very important aspect of a service.

“We need hours a day,” Mr. Stankey said, referring to the time viewers spend watching HBO programs. “It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.”

Continuing the theme, he added: “I want more hours of engagement. Why are more hours of engagement important? Because you get more data and information about a customer that then allows you to do things like monetize through alternate models of advertising as well as subscriptions, which I think is very important to play in tomorrow’s world.”

This pursuit of engagement is why so many products and services are absolutely terrible today. Please HBO, don’t go down that route. Oh, and Stankey’s mention of “alternate models of advertising” is utterly unacceptable.

Twitterific Loses Push Notifications and Streaming →

July 6, 2018 · 10:56

Chaim Gartenberg, writing for The Verge:

We’ve known for a few months that Twitter is going to further limit third-party apps starting on August 16th when it rolls out some major API changes. But now we’re starting to see the effects of those upcoming changes, starting with the popular third-party Twitter app Twitterific, which announced an update today preparing for the removal of two major features: push notifications and live-updating tweets.

This is the beginning of the end of Twitter for me. Jack is bereft of reality and doing everything he possibly can to screw over Twitter’s most engaged and loyal users, while at the same time shipping a terrible app on just a few platforms.

Oh, before I forget: Fuck you, Jack!

The App Store Turns 10 →

July 6, 2018 · 09:52

I can still remember the days when I would open the App Store on a daily basis, to look for new and interesting software. And to think third-party apps weren’t even planned while the first iPhone was being developed, as Ken Kocienda mentioned last night…

We had no plans for third-party apps during the development cycle for the first iPhone. Zero work was done on public API before the initial announcement in Jan 2007.

Apple has come a long way with the App Store but there’s still a long way to go.

European MEPs Vote to Reopen Copyright Debate Over ‘Censorship’ Controversy →

July 5, 2018 · 16:34

Natasha Lomas, for TechCrunch:

A 318-278 majority of MEPs in the European Parliament has just voted to reopen debate around a controversial digital copyright reform proposal — meaning it will now face further debate and scrutiny, rather than be fast-tracked towards becoming law via the standard EU trilogue negotiation process.

Crucially it means MEPs will have the chance to amend the controversial proposals.

I hope they have experts on hand to explain the possible ramifications of this reform proposal.

Revolut Typeform Breach: What Happened and Is My Data Safe? →

July 5, 2018 · 10:16

We have been alerted that Typeform, a company that we frequently use to survey our customers, has been compromised in a data breach […]

We would like to assure our customers that no sensitive data, such as personal account details or passwords, have been compromised in this breach. Upon reviewing previous surveys, we have only ever asked for details such as your email address and Twitter handle […]

Our focus right now is to contact everyone who has been affected, letting them know exactly what kind of data of theirs was breached, what they should do and how we will stop something like this from happening again.

If you don’t get an email from us on this matter, that means that none of your data was compromised and you have nothing to worry about.

Ulysses Turns 15 Years Old →

July 5, 2018 · 10:12

Max Seelemann:

Ulysses is turning 15 these days. You read that right: fifteen freaking years. In computer terms that’s an eternity. And for me, now 31 years old, it certainly feels like one. This is my story.

So much has happened since that 1st of July, when we released version 1.0 of Ulysses. 2003 was the year of Finding Nemo, Kill Bill and Pirates of the Caribbean, the shipping release of Mac OS X was 10.2, and click-wheel iPods were the hottest thing around. Feeling old already? Well, it is a long time ago.

I knew Ulysses from years ago, but I never knew it was 15 years old! I have been using it daily for a few years now, since Max and his team created the iOS version in early 2015. It’s still the only writing app that integrates so beaufitully with Workflow and it’s hard to imagine life without it. Frankly, were I to switch to Windows 10 on a Surface Book 2, losing Ulysses would be my greatest regret.

Poland Purges Supreme Court and Protesters Take to Streets →

July 5, 2018 · 10:04

Marc Santora, for The New York Times:

Poland’s government carried out a sweeping purge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday night, eroding the judiciary’s independence, escalating a confrontation with the European Union over the rule of law and further dividing this nation. Tens of thousands took to the streets in protest.

Poland was once a beacon for countries struggling to escape the yoke of the Soviet Union and embrace Western democracy. But it is now in league with neighboring nations, like Hungary, whose leaders have turned to authoritarian means to tighten their grip on power, presenting a grave challenge to a European Union already grappling with nationalist, populist and anti-immigrant movements.

The forced retirements of up to 27 of 72 Supreme Court justices, including the top judge, and the creation of a judicial disciplinary chamber were the latest in a series of steps by Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice Party to take over the justice system.

We’re fucked. I assume they’re going to eradicate our Constitution next.

The Surface Book 2 Is the Real Deal →

July 4, 2018 · 19:36

Marco Arment:

The Surface Book 2 is also the real deal. Massive 15” 3:2 screen, detachable to a great-feeling tablet with a great pen that stows easily.

Touch/tablet-hybrid laptops aren’t just the future — they’re the present. Apple’s either being coy about future products or is in denial.


The Surface Book 2 Is Everything the MacBook Pro Should Be →

July 3, 2018 · 10:29

Owen Williams, on his blog Charged:

I’m back to say I was wrong, and I’ve found a machine that not only matches Apple’s standard of hardware quality, but goes far beyond it to demonstrate how a laptop of the future should work.

That machine is the 15-inch Surface Book 2 and somehow Microsoft has made the 2-in-1 that Apple should’ve been building all along, to the same level of quality I’d expect from anyone other than Microsoft.

I’ve used the Surface Book 2 as my daily computer for three months now and it’s consistently blown me away with how well considered it is across the board, how great the software works and has completely converted me into the touchscreen laptop camp.

Unless Apple gets their act together, start innovating, post regular CPU/GPU updates, my next notebook will most probably be a Surface Book. It’s not perfect by any means, and I’d miss macOS a lot, but I’d manage. What’s tempting me most is the removable screen which can be used with the full Adobe Lightroom experience. I wouldn’t mind a Surface Studio too, on the condition that it had a replaceable M.2 SSD instead of a hybrid drive and an upgradeable GPU.

Samsung Phones Are Spontaneously Texting Users’ Photos to Random Contacts Without Their Permission →

July 3, 2018 · 10:17

Ashley Carman, writing for The Verge:

Bad news for Samsung phone owners: some devices are randomly sending your camera roll photos to your contacts without permission. As first spotted by Gizmodo, users are complaining about the issue on Reddit and the company’s official forums. One user says his phone sent all his photos to his girlfriend. The messages are being sent through Samsung’s default texting app Samsung Messages. According to reports, the Messages app does not even show users that files have been sent; many just find out after they get a response from the recipient of the random photos sent to them.

I wonder how many people actually received “dick pics” (as in nudes). This sounds funny at first, but it could really be catastrophic, depending on the people involved.

Apple Is Rebuilding Maps From the Ground Up →

June 29, 2018 · 23:51

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

Maps needs fixing.

Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the maps part of Maps.

It’s doing this by using first-party data gathered by iPhones with a privacy-first methodology and its own fleet of cars packed with sensors and cameras. The new product will launch in San Francisco and the Bay Area with the next iOS 12 beta and will cover Northern California by fall.

Apple Maps really needs vastly superior search algorithms and many more POIs. The problems with search in Europe are comical. Search for “Kaczyńskiego” in Poland (e.g. when in Warsaw) and Maps will suggest a street in a far-away city, despite there being two by that name in Warsaw. Or if a street name consists of two words, e.g. a name and surname, you often have to type in both, otherwise it will fail.

I’ve given up on Apple Maps in Europe and it will take a lot of work on Apple’s part to get me to come back.

Audio Hiijack 3.5 Adds the Ability to Broadcast Audio →

June 29, 2018 · 18:24

Paul Kafasis, on Rogue Amoeba’s blog:

Today, we’ve got a big (and free!) update to our popular audio recording utility Audio Hijack. Audio Hijack 3.5 is all about internet radio streaming, with a brand new Broadcast output block that makes it possible to send any audio to Shoutcast and Icecast servers. It’s perfect for running livecasts of podcast recordings, as well as live streaming DJ sets, and powering all types of internet radio streams.

If you do any podcasting, audio recording, or broadcasting on your Mac, you need Audio Hijack. This is one of the best looking, functional, and just plain cool apps for macOS.