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.
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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.
A new build of iOS was released over the weekend, addressing an iMessage bug, amongst others.
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Apart from all the goodies for consumers (AirPlay 2, etc.), there are quite a few security updates in this release.
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I was just browsing BBEdit’s about screen, as one does on a Friday morning, when I came across my handle (at least I assume that’s me). No clue how I got there.
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.
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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
District police chief Aidil Bolhassan said 69% of respondents at the time of her death had selected “D”. However, Instagram maintains that the poll ended after 24 hours with 88% of her followers choosing “L”.
Anything less than 100% for “L” is completely unacceptable. I cannot fathom how horrible a person you have to be, to even consider voting “D”, let alone actually doing it.
Mark Gurman, for Bloomberg:
In late November, Trump told the Wall Street Journal he might impose tariffs on mobile phones and laptops, and said consumers “could stand” a 10% increase in prices “very easily” […]
I’m sure that “said consumers” completely agree with Trump.
A $1,249 iPhone XS Max with 256 gigabytes of storage has $453 worth of parts, according to TechInsights. A 25% levy on that would be $113, raising the purchase price by about 9%. Apple’s other models, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR, could face a similar increase, according to estimates. In a recent note to investors, Morgan Stanley estimated that a $999 iPhone XS would cost $160 more. JPMorgan analysts forecast a 14% price increase […]
If Apple passes the whole tariff cost to U.S. consumers, demand could drop by 10% to 40%, Cowen’s Sankar estimated on Tuesday. That, in turn, may slice earnings per share by 1% to 4% in fiscal 2020, the analyst said.
So, Apple could “very easily” lose between 10% and 40% in new iPhone sales. I guess that means that the free 5 GB iCloud tier isn’t going up in size anytime soon.
Chaim Gartenberg, reporting for The Verge:
As for how you use the device, Lenovo is envisioning a variety of use cases. You can use it completely unfolded like a large tablet or partially folded in a book-esque form factor. A built-in kickstand lets you prop up the display on a table for use with an included wireless keyboard and trackpad.
And, perhaps most interestingly, you can turn the device on its side and use it in a traditional (albeit smaller) laptop style form factor, using the bottom surface as a digital keyboard or writing pad, similar to Lenovo’s two-screened Yoga Books. Cleverly, the right side of the display (which serves as the “bottom” portion when used in laptop mode) contains the entire battery, which keeps it weighed down so it won’t topple over.
Since I like prefer physical keyboards to their on-screen counterparts, I don’t envision using this PC without their external keyboard, which I would need to take around with me. In that situation, I may as well just carry a regular MacBook or something like a Surface Pro.
What interests me however, is what this kind of computer would look like if Apple made it, assuming they’ll even get in on this bendable screen trend. Imagine getting foldable iPhones or iPads in a few years time, running iOS. At the same time, MacOS on MacBooks will be running iOS apps via Marzipan. Will MacBooks get touchscreens, which could be useful for those Marzipan apps (at the very least)? Will Apple opt for making foldable MacBooks too? Would you prefer to use a foldable iPad running iOS, or a foldable Mac running MacOS with Marzipanified apps? Will iOS (or iPadOS) and MacOS merge together, despite what Apple has stated in the past? How would all of this even work?
Photo credit: The Verge
Paresh Dave, reporting for Reuters:
Alphabet Inc’s Google will begin featuring ads on the homepage of its smartphone app worldwide later this year, it said on Tuesday, giving the search engine a huge new supply of ad slots to boost revenue.
Google will also start placing ads with a gallery of up to eight images in search results, potentially increasing ad supply further.
It appears that they’re still keeping their desktop homepage clean though.
Since you’re reading this, please consider switching to DuckDuckGo as your main search engine. Its results are close enough to Google’s that it doesn’t matter 99% of the time, and it doesn’t track you. Period. You can also set DDG as your default search engine on Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, etc. Try it, at the very least.
Karl Bode, reporting for Vice:
Adobe is warning some owners of its Creative Cloud software applications that they’re no longer allowed to use older versions of the software. It’s yet another example of how in the modern era, you increasingly don’t actually own the things you’ve spent your hard-earned money on.
Adobe this week began sending some users of its Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Premiere, Animate, and Media Director programs a letter warning them that they were no longer legally authorized to use the software they may have thought they owned.
“We have recently discontinued certain older versions of Creative Cloud applications and and a result, under the terms of our agreement, you are no longer licensed to use them,” Adobe said in the email. “Please be aware that should you continue to use the discontinued version(s), you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.”
Users were less than enthusiastic about the sudden restrictions.
The reason behind this seem to be ongoing litigation but users should not be subjected to this sort of treatment. I have been using Adobe products for at least 20 years and the only reason I’m still paying them money is Lightroom — nobody else has anything close to it in terms of functionality. That does not mean that I’m happy with what I’m paying for…
My current Photography Plan consists of:
- Lightroom Classic (which I use)
- Lightroom CC (which I don’t use)
- Photoshop (which I don’t need)
- 20 GB of cloud storage (which I don’t use; also, 20 GB would allow me to store around 200 RAW files, where each file is around 100 MB — laughable)
I just want Lightroom Classic and I couldn’t care less about the rest, yet I am forced to pay for unused features. Adobe’s Creative Cloud is a very frustrating experience.
Joe Rossignol, for MacRumors:
[…] Mark Gurman has since tweeted a photo of what appears to be shards of casing glass for the next-generation iPhone XR in a variety of colors, including lavender, green, white, black, and yellow.
Based on this information, we’ve mocked up what the next iPhone XR lineup could look like, including a comparison with the current colors. Our renders include a dual-lens rear camera in a square bump, as rumored for the next iPhone XR, but otherwise the device looks similar to the current generation.
I don’t really care for the XR colours, apart from the red, white, and black, but the real story will be in the camera bump. I don’t really trust these leaks but if the rears of the 2019 iPhones are anywhere near to what’s being mocked up, I’ll have another reason to skip this generation (the first one being lack of USB-C).
Craig Hockenberry, on Iconfactory’s blog:
It’s clear that this year’s WWDC is going to be a doozy. We’ve written here previously with our thoughts about Dark Mode, now it’s time to talk about iOS apps coming to the Mac.
A trove of good advice and information detailing what we should expect from Marizpan apps coming to MacOS, for both users and developers.
Rob Griffiths, on Robservatory:
To sum it up, the extra $300 on the Touch Bar machine gets you:
- An OLED display strip embedded above the keyboard
- A CPU that’s one generation newer—with faster clock speeds and twice the cores
- Faster graphics
- A True Tone display
- Two additional Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Bluetooth 5.0—faster, longer range, lower power draw
- Touch ID
All that for $300—from the same company that charges $600 for a 32GB iMac RAM upgrade that you can buy for under $200. There’s no doubt which machine you’d order—and which machine Apple wants you to order—if you were in the market and didn’t mind the Touch Bar: The non-Touch Bar Mac is clearly inferior to the Touch Bar version.
I have refused to upgrade my MacBook Pro (without TouchBar) to a newer model, and will continue to do so, until Apple decides to (1) make the Touch Bar optional or (2) bring the model without the Touch Bar up-to-date. I will not pay absurd prices for old tech — Apple is insulting its users by even offering that config. I don’t consider the MacBook Air to be a replacement either — it has a 7W CPU while the old Airs had 15W parts (as does the non-Touch Bar MBP). And yes, I tried to live with the Touch Bar. It did not end well — I ended up returning two models.
Apple prides itself on customer loyalty but they’re extremely close to losing me. When the time comes for me to upgrade, if they don’t offer what I need, I’ll just go with another brand.
Pavel Merzlikin, writing for Meduza:
On May 5, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 owned by the Russian airline Aeroflot caught fire at Sheremetyevo airport. The airplane, which was bound for Murmansk, made an emergency landing at its departure point soon after takeoff. 41 people died in the fire out of the 78 people onboard the flight. Meduza spoke with 35-year-old Murmansk entrepreneur Oleg Molchanov, who survived the fire along with his wife.
Brad Plumer, for The New York Times:
Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.
We behave like a virus, destroying everything in our path. Just watch Our Planet on Netflix and see for yourself.
My worlds collide: I built a Mac app using near real-time imagery from GOES-East, GOES-West, and Himawari-8.
It’s called Downlink and you can get it today (free!) on the Mac App Store.
Simple to use, stunning imagery. Go get it.
Tom Warren:, writing for The Verge:
Something had to give. Microsoft had to change its Edge browser in a big way. That meeting with Nadella ultimately led to Microsoft’s huge decision to jettison the browser it built in house and start from scratch using Chromium as a new foundation. The stakes for success couldn’t be much higher: the future of Windows and the web itself could hinge on this project.
This is the story of how Microsoft made that monumental decision and what could happen next.
I’m not personally interested in Edge or particularly happy that Microsoft joined the Blink/Chromium camp. I would have definitely been more please had they based Edge on WebKit or Gecko…
And speaking of WebKit…
I’m deeply disappointed in Apple for discontinuing Safari for Windows and not expanding to Linux and other operating systems. I don’t trust Google or Microsoft’s priorities (Google’s especially), and Chrome needs to lose some market share for our benefit. History has shown that a monopoly in the browser department doesn’t end well. Apple had the unique ability to challenge Google on competing desktop OSes and they forfeited that fight. Yes, Safari is holding its own on mobile. For now. That could change, when something new comes along, replacing our iOS and Android devices. At this point, all I can do is also root for Mozilla and Firefox.
Star Wars has been a part of my life for over 30 years and there are some characters I always loved more than others. Chewbacca was one of them. Tragically, Peter Mayhew passed away a few days ago…
Star Wars wouldn’t have been the same without him.
But he should have gotten that damned medal though.
Nobody says “motherfucker” quite like Samuel. Apart from Westworld’s Lawrence.
I’ve slowed down in the past year or so. I will need to rectify this. In the meantime, six years have passed since my first post here on Infinite Diaries.
From Apple’s iOS 12.2 release notes:
Smart Search Field queries can now be modified by tapping the arrow icon next to search suggestions.
I missed this when reading the release notes on the day iOS 12.2 was released but I found it today by accident. I have been probably waiting for this feature for at least 5 years, if not longer. All I can now say is…