My Photography (68) — The View from the 124th Floor of Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE, 2019

July 5, 2019 · 22:19

So this happened! I actually had a minute or two of vertigo after looking straight down. The view really is quite stunning. Just try to avoid the haze if possible (which I didn’t).

The Burj Khalifa has a number of terraces and it’s actually cheaper to go up to the 124th floor than the one even higher up (150+) and I’m not sure if that one offers an outdoor terrace. The one I was on has viewports that can fit a lens, if it’s not very big in diameter. I managed to fit my Sony FE 28 mm f/2 without major issues but I couldn’t use my Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planar T*. Forget trying to use any larger zoom lens, e.g. a 24-70 f/2.8 or 24-105 f/4. You can shoot through the glass itself of course, but there are so many reflections, you might want to use one of those special flexible anti-reflection hoods.

Don’t forget to look at the fountain show down below!

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 75 s, ISO 100.


My Photography (65) — Level 43 Sky Lounge View, Dubai, UAE, 2019

July 3, 2019 · 21:08

The Four Points by Sheraton has a pool and restaurant/club on the roof — Level 43 Sky Lounge — with outdoor seating and a beautiful view. It’s not cheap but then you are paying for more than just the drinks and food.

Notes on the photo: The shot above is heavily compresed and you might see banding in the sky. The original has enough tonal capacity not to exhibit this effect but I had to compress it, to save on bandwidth and load times.

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/8, 8 s, ISO 100.


Jony Ive to Form Independent Design Company With Apple as Client →

June 27, 2019 · 23:27

Apple PR:

Apple today announced that Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, will depart the company as an employee later this year to form an independent design company which will count Apple among its primary clients. While he pursues personal projects, Ive in his new company will continue to work closely and on a range of projects with Apple.

“Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated, from 1998’s groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built. After so many years working closely together, I’m happy that our relationship continues to evolve and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future.”

Design team leaders Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, will report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. Both Dye and Hankey have played key leadership roles on Apple’s design team for many years. Williams has led the development of Apple Watch since its inception and will spend more of his time working with the design team in their studio.

Sounds like Apple didn’t have a lot to say in the matter.


20+ Mac Productivity Hacks From CEOs, Artists, Developers, YouTubers and More →

June 27, 2019 · 10:07

Fabrizio Rinaldi:

I’m always surprised by how many Mac hacks, tricks and workflows I keep finding out that boost my productivity and make my life easier. Sometimes they’re hidden features, sometimes clever workflows people come up with — and this is also where the Mac community shows its best side. So, here’s the idea: I’m asking a handful of Mac power users what are some things they do to be more productive with their Macs.

A good list. Found lots of inspiration on it.


How Verizon and a BGP Optimizer Knocked Large Parts of the Internet Offline Today →

June 25, 2019 · 12:02

Tom Strickx on Cloudflare’s blog:

Today at 10:30UTC, the Internet had a small heart attack. A small company in Northern Pennsylvania became a preferred path of many Internet routes through Verizon (AS701), a major Internet transit provider. This was the equivalent of Waze routing an entire freeway down a neighborhood street — resulting in many websites on Cloudflare, and many other providers, to be unavailable from large parts of the Internet. This should never have happened because Verizon should never have forwarded those routes to the rest of the Internet. To understand why, read on.

There have been smaller and larger outages over the past few years, with AWS failures triggering the biggest problems for users. These lasted for mere hours at worst and I’m sure darker scenarios is still to come. What will the fallout of a serious (week- or month-long) internet outage entail?


Jason Snell’s First Look at macOS Catalina Public Beta →

June 25, 2019 · 11:55

Jason Snell, on Six Colours:

Catalina takes the Mac in a new direction. I’m encouraged by the fact that Apple is cranking up its focus on security and privacy without locking Mac users out from running the software they want, when they want to. I’m of the belief that the introduction of Catalyst will result in the influx of some really good software from thousands of iOS developers who have been using the Mac all this time without the wherewithal to develop software for it.

I’m curious to see how the current crop of iOS/iPadOS-only apps will compete with traditional Mac apps once the former are Catalysed.


Recall for Batteries in Certain MacBook Pro Units →

June 21, 2019 · 07:33

Apple Support:

Apple today announced a voluntary recall of a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units which contain a battery that may overheat and pose a safety risk. The units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and can be identified by their product serial number.

The recall does not affect any other 15-inch MacBook Pro units or other Mac notebooks.

Because customer safety is a top priority, Apple is asking customers to stop using affected 15-inch MacBook Pro units.

You can find out if you are affected here.


Shortcuts Automation Triggers →

June 20, 2019 · 20:15

Matthew Cassinelli on his blog:

Below is a table of the all the new Automation triggers in Siri Shortcuts. This list is not finalized as the Shortcuts app is still in beta, however it is as current as possible.

I can’t wait to start experimenting with the new Shortcut actions and HomeKit once all my devices are on iOS/iPadOS/tvOS/HomePodOS/watchOS 13.


SIM Swap Horror Story: I’ve Lost Decades of Data and Google Won’t Lift a Finger →

June 19, 2019 · 09:22

Matthew Miller, on ZDNet:

First they hijacked my T-Mobile service, then they stole my Google and Twitter accounts and charged my bank with a $25,000 Bitcoin purchase. I’m stuck in my own personal Black Mirror episode. Why will no one help me?

I use a password manager but I made it a point many years ago to keep some passwords only in my head. My banking login information included.

Regarding the part about Google and Twitter — it’s 2019 and getting help from those companies, in critical situations, is basically impossible. Baffling.


I Emailed Craig Federighi →

June 12, 2019 · 08:09

Yours truly:

I’d love to see iOS also alternate between dark and light mode depending on the available light (as determined by the ambient light sensor). I often find myself in a dark environment during the day, when the sun is shining full blast, yet I want Dark Mode to activate in those types of scenarios. Tweetbot has it. I hope iOS 13 gets it.

I rarely feel strongly enough about something to take the time to contact a company about adding a feature, but I did this time. The iPhone and iPad are incredibly powerful and simple automation is a task they should handle easily, without us having to waste time by manually turning Dark Mode on or off. So I emailed Craig Federighi, with a 🤘🏻 emoji and everything. Hope he’s better at reading his email than Marco Arment.


Dark Mode in iOS 13 Is Missing a Feature →

June 11, 2019 · 10:42

From the iOS 13 feature preview page:

Have Dark Mode turn on and off at a certain time or based on sunrise and sunset, which is great when you’re outside at night or using your iPhone before you go to bed.

I’d love to see iOS also alternate between dark and light mode depending on the available light (as determined by the ambient light sensor). I often find myself in a dark environment during the day, when the sun is shining full blast, yet I want Dark Mode to activate in those types of scenarios. Tweetbot has it. I hope iOS 13 gets it.


Mechanical Keyboards, Apple Keyboards, GMK Phosphorous — A Brief History of My Keyboard Hobby

June 7, 2019 · 10:17

Ever since I got my 2016 MacBook Pro, I have had a love/hate relationship with its keyboard. Yes, it’s pretty good to type on. No, it doesn’t offer much feedback and the travel is extremely shallow. There was the one (well, two actually) with the Touch Bar, which I got rid of because of its mediocre battery life and being unable to live with Apple’s latest “innovation”. Then I had to have one on my MacBook Pro Escape replaced.

Continue reading →


Apple’s New A10-Powered iPod Touch →

May 29, 2019 · 11:44

Apple’s Newsroom:

Apple today introduced the new iPod touch with enhancements to power, capability and communication at a remarkable price. The Apple-designed A10 Fusion chip brings improved performance in games, and for the first time on iPod, immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences and Group FaceTime, making it easy to chat with family members, friends or colleagues simultaneously.

I’m guessing a new iPod Touch with just an upgraded A10 chip was introduced because of Apple Arcade, Apple Music, iOS 13 support, and all the industries, including stores, museums, etc. that use it for various tasks, where an iPad is too large.


Adding Dark Mode to Infinite Diaries

May 23, 2019 · 12:05

Mozilla released Firefox 67 a few days ago and they introduced support Dark Mode, as Safari did a while ago too. This prompted me to finally tackle implementing this feature here, on Infinite Diaries, hacking through my CSS. I should have spent the time to rewrite it from scratch, using CSS variables, but that will have to be done another day.

P.S. You might have to clear your browser’s cache to get it to work.

Continue reading →


The Most Expensive Lesson of My Life: Details of SIM Port Hack →

May 22, 2019 · 11:36

Sean Coonce:

I lost north of $100,000 last Wednesday. It evaporated over a 24-hour time span in a “SIM port attack” that drained my Coinbase account. It has been four days since the incident and I’m gutted. I have zero appetite; my sleep is restless; I am awash in feelings of anxiety, remorse, and embarrassment.

This was the single most expensive lesson of my life and I want to share my experience + lessons learned with as many people as possible. My goal is to increase awareness about these types of attacks and to motivate you to increase the security of your online identity.

I try to take all my security very seriously, but since “I know what I’m doing”, I do like to cut corners a bit. Not as much as Sean though. His piece has motivated me to review my whole setup.


Microsoft Launches Edge preview builds for macOS →

May 21, 2019 · 11:00

Microsoft Edge Team:

Today, we are pleased to announce the availability of the Microsoft Edge Canary channel for macOS. You can now install preview builds from the Microsoft Edge Insider site for your macOS or Windows 10 PC, with more Windows version support coming soon.

Microsoft Edge for macOS will offer the same new browsing experience that we’re previewing on Windows, with user experience optimizations to make it feel at home on a Mac. We are tailoring the overall look and feel to match what macOS users expect from apps on this platform.

I just installed and played around with it for a few minutes. Having not used Chrome for years now, defaulting to Safari and Firefox, I have to say it feels OK. Apart from the hold-Command-Q-to-quit! That’s horrible! Microsoft is still customizing a few things for the Mac so changes will come but it doesn’t feel foreign (though I’m not a fan of the side menu; the menu bar is populated though). There is some stuttering when scrolling but since this is a Canary build and an early one at that, I assume those issues will be fixed in the future. One of the bonus features of Edge is that it supports Chrome Extensions, if someone has a need for those.

Anyway, I don’t plan on moving away from Safari but I will continue to observe the new Edge. I don’t see it replacing Firefox as my secondary backup browser but it could in theory.


Google’s Ecosystem of Apps Banned from Future Huawei Smartphones →

May 20, 2019 · 12:03

Angela Moon, reporting for Reuters:

Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world.

Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters […]

Chipmakers including Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Xilinx Inc and Broadcom Inc have told their employees they will not supply critical software and components to Huawei until further notice […]

This could spiral out of control very easily.


Translating an ARM iOS App to Intel macOS Using Bitcode →

May 18, 2019 · 12:22

Steven Troughton-Smith, on High Caffeine Content:

Of course, the specter of macOS on ARM has been in the public psyche for many years now, and many have pondered whether Bitcode will make this transition more straightforward. The commonly held belief is that Bitcode is not suited to massive architectural changes like moving between Intel and ARM.

I was unconvinced, so I decided to test the theory!

Of course he did. Since this is Steve, the results are predictable.

That was easy!

This means, in theory, that if Apple wanted every iOS app on the App Store to run on the Mac, today or in the future, they have a mechanism to do so transparently and without needing developers to update or recompile their apps.


MacOS: How to Enable Full Mitigation for Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) Vulnerabilities →

May 17, 2019 · 12:39

Apple Support:

Intel has disclosed vulnerabilities called Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) that apply to desktop and notebook computers with Intel CPUs, including all modern Mac computers.

Although there are no known exploits affecting customers at the time of this writing, customers who believe their computer is at heightened risk of attack can use the Terminal app to enable an additional CPU instruction and disable hyper-threading processing technology, which provides full protection from these security issues.

This option is available for macOS Mojave, High Sierra and Sierra and may have a significant impact on the performance of your computer […]

Testing conducted by Apple in May 2019 showed as much as a 40 percent reduction in performance […]

You probably don’t need to enable these mitigations unless you’re a secret agent but I’m pretty sure this is really helping push the transition from Intel to ARM inside Apple.