Introducing the New Microsoft Edge →

December 3, 2019 · 12:43

Yusuf Mehdi:

The release candidate of the new Microsoft Edge for Windows and macOS can be downloaded right now with general availability targeting Jan. 15 in more than 90 languages. Microsoft Edge runs on the same Chromium web engine as Google’s Chrome browser, offering you best in class web compatibility and performance […]

We believe you should know who has access to your data and have the control to choose what you share. Microsoft Edge starts with tracking prevention on by default, so you don’t have to take any actions to immediately start having a more private browsing experience. With SmartScreen and Tracking prevention, we help protect you from phishing schemes, malicious software and new types of malware like cryptojacking.

I wish they’d chosen WebKit instead but at least Edge should be a decent alternative for people who need to use Google’s cursed Chrome.


Sony Overtakes Canon and Nikon to Lead the Full-Frame Camera Market in Japan →

December 3, 2019 · 12:22

Brittany Hillen, on DPReview:

Sony has overtaken Canon and Nikon to claim the top slot for full-frame camera market share in Japan, according to BCN Ranking. Sony showed growth in the overall full-frame, APS-C and fixed-lens digital camera categories from November 2018 to October 2019, as well.

Ultimately, Sony saw its total full-frame camera market share in Japan increase from 31.6% to 38%, while Canon was bumped down to second place at 36% market share compared to last year’s 37.8%. Nikon came in at 24% of the full-frame market, a decrease from last year’s 29.1%.

Quite frankly, I’m not surprised. Both Nikon and Canon have been resting on their laurels for a decade or so now, not innovating at all. Fuji and Sony are the only two “mainstream” brands that are actually trying something different and unique.


Epic Apple Debugging Story →

December 2, 2019 · 22:27

Cameron Esfahani on Twitter:

My first full time job at Apple was working on QuickDraw. The team was very small: the manager and one other engineer. Right before I started, Apple shipped the first PPC Macs. The QD team had done a lot of work for that so they took long, deserved, multi week vacations.

Read the whole thread.

(It would be so much better if these kinds of stories were posted to blogs, not Twitter.)


November 28, 2019 · 14:12

I was listening to @atpfm today, when I paused the audio to talk to a person at the post office. Not more than 30 seconds later I pressed play to resume and instead of hearing the podcast, I heard a random song from my music library.

Perhaps the number 13 in iOS 13 really is that unlucky?


Apple Changes Crimea Map to Meet Russian Demands →

November 28, 2019 · 14:05

BBC:

Apple has complied with Russian demands to show the annexed Crimean peninsula as part of Russian territory on its apps.

Russian forces annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, drawing international condemnation.

The region, which has a Russian-speaking majority, is now shown as Russian territory on Apple Maps and its Weather app, when viewed from Russia.

But the apps do not show it as part of any country when viewed elsewhere.

It appears to be a limit based on what App Store a user has chosen (Russian in this case) and this is yet another appalling case of Apple bending over backwards to please an authoritarian regime.

Google, which also produces a popular Maps app, also shows Crimea as belonging to Russia when viewed from the country. The changes happened in March.

Apple is, however, not alone.


The Taycan’s Brakes Are Mushy →

November 28, 2019 · 13:59

Sean O’Kane, for The Verge:

It was a shame, then, to discover that the Taycan’s braking feels so mushy. Porsche made a somewhat controversial decision with the braking on the Taycan, and it’s been one of the more divisive parts of the driving experience in the early going as automotive journalists get their first seat time with the car.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of Porsche’s E-hybrid models, and the pedal feel there is far from what I expected.

The lack of regenerative breaking on throttle lift-off is probably the only disappointing aspect that I found with the Taycan. I really hope they go back, fix their original designs, and allow for one-pedal driving.


My Photography (72) — AirPods Pro & Think6.5°

November 26, 2019 · 10:16

The AirPods Pro are probably the best all-rounders for iPhone users and their ANC is more than good enough, even during flights. Most importantly, they fit into that small jeans pocket without issues, so they’re always with me.

Shot with Sony A7R II + Zeiss ZF 100 mm f/2 Makro-Planer T*: f/4, 1/60 s, ISO 5000.


Inside Apple’s iPhone Software Shakeup After Buggy iOS 13 Debut →

November 21, 2019 · 21:04

Mark Gurman:

Software chief Craig Federighi and lieutenants including Stacey Lysik announced the changes at a recent internal “kickoff” meeting with the company’s software developers. The new approach calls for Apple’s development teams to ensure that test versions, known as “daily builds,” of future software updates disable unfinished or buggy features by default. Testers will then have the option to selectively enable those features, via a new internal process and settings menu dubbed Flags, allowing them to isolate the impact of each individual addition on the system.

I expected the iOS 13 betas to be as stable as last year’s iOS 12 betas. Unfortunately, we’re at iOS 13.2.3 and I’m still encountering problems, especially on iPad. I really hope they go back to what made iOS 12 so great.


iPhone 11 Pro Smart Battery Case Has A Dedicated Camera Button →

November 20, 2019 · 23:55

The case features a dedicated camera button that launches the Camera app whether the iPhone is locked or unlocked. A quick press of the button takes a photo and a longer press captures QuickTake video. It works for selfies, too.

I wouldn’t mind a dedicated button on the phone itself. The iPhone is a camera first and foremost for many.

The Smart Battery case is available for all three new iPhones:


Apple Has Locked Guilherme Rambo Out of His Developer Account →

November 20, 2019 · 18:50

Guilherme Rambo:

I’ve been unable to access my Apple developer account since August. When I try to access any part of the developer portal, like the beta downloads page or the certificates control panel, I get redirected to a contact form that reads “Need assistance with accessing your developer account?”. My developer team doesn’t show up in Xcode anymore. I’m also unable to manage certificates or send builds of my employer’s developer team apps while logged in to my developer account in Xcode because it says it’s “disabled for security reasons”. The push notification service denies any requests I make to it. Back when the issue first began, I filled out that form and got a case number (20000057023991), with the promise that support would get back to me “in one to two business days”.

No explanation given since August and this situation has started to affect his income and his users. Stuff like this should not take place.

Update

Apple has resolved Gui’s issues.


Goldman Sachs’ Response to Apple Card Sexism Claims →

November 15, 2019 · 13:04

Ben Lovejoy:

The bank originally issued a brief statement stating that each person’s credit line is evaluated uniquely, based on a range of factors that include income, credit score, debt, and how debt has been managed. Taking all of this into account, it says, different family members could be offered different limits.

When the controversy didn’t go away, Goldman issued a new statement stating that its evaluation system is not aware of the gender or marital status of the applicant, and offered to re-evaluate the credit limit of anyone who felt an error had been made.

I’d guess they have no clue how the algorithm works and are scrambling to find anyone that does.


Private Equity Company Acquires .Org Registry →

November 15, 2019 · 06:23

Andrew Allemann:

Fresh off ICANN’s blunder letting Public Interest Registry set whatever price it wants for .org domain names, Internet Society (ISOC) has sold the .org registry Public Interest Registry (PIR) to private equity company Ethos Capital.

Game. Set. Match.

This gives Internet Society a huge (as yet unkown) endowment rather than worrying about what the future of the .org domain name holds. PIR generated $101 million in revenue in 2018 and contributed nearly $50 million to Internet Society. It contributed $74 million to ISOC in 2017.

ICANN made this deal much more valuable by removing all price controls on .org.

While Internet Society might not have wanted to raise prices, a private equity company surely will try to maximize the value of the registry.

Manton Reece on Twitter:

After reading this article about pricing uncertainty with the .org top-level domain being sold, I just renewed ‪http://manton.org ‬ registration until 2029. Still wish domain names were easier and cheaper.


Apple’s Phil Schiller on Reinventing the New MacBook Pro Keyboard →

November 14, 2019 · 06:16

Roger Cheng, interviewing Phil Schiller about the new keyboard design in the 16-inch MacBook Pro:

Will this keyboard find its way to other MacBooks? There are folks who don’t need the power of the MacBook Pro, but may appreciate the tactile experience.

Phil Schiller’s answer:

I can’t say today. We are continuing both keyboard designs.

It will be a sad day in Mac world if the new keyboard doesn’t propagate to all the other models as soon as possible, in their next updates.

I’m personally waiting for the new 13- or 14-inch MacBook Pro but it’s not a Mac I’ll be interested in, if it doesn’t get the new keyboard.


Apple (Once Again) Loves Computers As Much As We Do →

November 13, 2019 · 14:50

Marco Arment:

We haven’t had long enough to fully test it yet. There may be flaws or shortcomings discovered over time — there usually are (and always have been). But frankly, it could catch fire twice a week and it would still be my favorite laptop Apple has made since 2015. Fortunately, upon initial usage, nothing bad really jumps out.

The new MacBook Pro has no massive asterisks or qualifications. It’s a great computer, period, and it feels so good to be able to say that again.

For the first time in years, without any major exceptions, we can see that Apple loves computers as much as we do.

So when’s the updated 13-inch model coming out?


Apple Introduces 16-Inch MacBook Pro; Fixes Keyboard →

November 13, 2019 · 14:39

Apple:

The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a new Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm of key travel and a stable key feel, as well as an Apple-designed rubber dome that stores more potential energy for a responsive key press. Incorporating extensive research and user studies focused on human factors and key design, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers a keyboard with a comfortable, satisfying and quiet typing experience. The new Magic Keyboard also features a physical Escape key and an inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys, along with Touch Bar and Touch ID, for a keyboard that delivers the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook.

They fixed it! This setup is the best next thing after having no Touch Bar at all.


New 16-inch MacBook Pro to Debut This Week →

November 13, 2019 · 10:55

Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg:

The 16-inch MacBook Pro will replace the current 15-inch model, which starts at $2,399. The new laptop will cost about the same and is expected to go on sale this week, the people said. It won’t be the last Mac launch of the year. Apple plans to release the revamped Mac Pro desktop computer in December, one of the people said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

I’m most curious about the starting price (was rumoured to be around 3000 USD) and the new keyboard. Will it really be fixed? Finally?


Mechanical Keyboards as a Hobby — My Collection [2019/11]

November 13, 2019 · 09:53

I’ve previously written only a few short words about one of my newer hobbies — mechanical keyboards — which has been a fantastic journey, keeping me occupied, teaching me new things, while providing a superior tool for all my writing at the same time. This all started over 30 years ago, when I used my first mechs, but which I left behind when I switched to laptops. Unfortunately, I listened a little too much to Jason Snell and John Gruber talking about their mechanical keyboards on their podcasts, so here I am, and I’d like to share what I’ve collected so far…

Continue reading →


Apple Card’s Sexist Algorithm →

November 10, 2019 · 10:30

DHH on Twitter:

It gets even worse. Even when she pays off her ridiculously low limit in full, the card won’t approve any spending until the next billing period. Women apparently aren’t good credit risks even when they pay off the fucking balance in advance and in full.

So obviously we both furiously signup for the fucking $25/month credit-check bullshit shakedown that is TransUnion. Maybe someone stole my wife’s identity? Even though we’ve verified there was nothing wrong previously. Guess what: HER CREDIT SCORE WAS HIGHER THAN MINE!!!

Carmine Granucci on Twitter:

Just read this thread. My wife has a way better score than me, almost 850, has a higher salary and was given a credit limit 1/3 of mine. We had joked that maybe Apple is just sexist. Seems like it’s not a joke. Beyond f’ed up.


Undercover Reporter Reveals Life in a Polish Troll Farm →

November 7, 2019 · 10:15

Christian Davies, reporting for The Guardian:

The undercover reporter, Katarzyna Pruszkiewicz, spent six months this year working at Cat@Net, which describes itself as an “ePR agency comprising specialists who build a positive image of companies, private individuals and public institutions – mostly in social media.”.

Pruszkiewicz’s first task when she joined the company was to set up a social media avatar for sharing “social and political content” with the aim of attracting 500 followers.

“The aim is to build credibility with people from both sides of the political divide. Once you have won someone’s trust by reflecting their own views back at them, you are in a position to influence them,” said Wojciech Cieśla, who oversaw the investigation in collaboration with Investigate Europe, a consortium of European investigative reporters.


Apple Mail Stores Encrypted Emails in Plain Text Database (Fix Included!) →

November 7, 2019 · 10:03

Bob Gendler:

The main thing I discovered was that the snippets.db database file in the Suggestions folder stored my emails. And on top of that, I found that it stored my S/MIME encrypted emails completely UNENCRYPTED. Even with Siri disabled on the Mac, it still stores unencrypted messages in this database! […]

[…] This completely defeats the purpose of utilizing and sending an encrypted email. […]

Another database, entities.db, stores records of people’s names, email, and phone numbers you’ve corresponded with. Although the phone number may not be in your contact list, data from emails such as signature blocks and forward information are stored. It’s like an address book built for you. This could be touchy, as it may allow quick and easy access to some potentially sensitive information.

Bob mentions a few fixes you should definitely check out if you’re using encrypted email.

It’s been 100 days since I’ve alerted Apple, we’ve seen a security update to macOS Sierra 10.12, security updates to macOS High Sierra 10.13, Supplemental Updates to macOS Mojave 10.14, a security update to macOS Mojave 10.14, macOS Catalina 10.15.0 released, Supplemental Update to 10.15.0, and 10.15.1 release.

For a company that prides itself on security and privacy, the lack of attention to detail on an issue like this completely and totally surprises me.

Sadly, I am still not surprised that they react selectively to security issues. This problem hasn’t been fixed in years and it appears that not much has changed.


Why Would You Compare a Tesla Model 3 to a 7-Series BMW? →

November 4, 2019 · 13:10

Simon Alvarez, writing for Teslarati:

The Model 3, for example, was initially announced to have a 0-60 mph time of “less than 6 seconds” during its unveiling event. Even the vehicle’s “slowest” trim, the Standard Range variant that’s available off-menu, has a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds. That’s a hair faster than the BMW 730d M-Sport.

Why would you compare a Model 3, which is roughly the equivalent of a BMW 3-series, to a 7-series, which is a full two size classes higher? Similarly, the Model S was often compared to the Audi A8, Merc S-class and BMW 7-series, while it should have been compared to the A6 or A7, E-class, and 5-series.

Teslas are really interesting cars and what they have done so far is nothing short of amazing, but all the fanboyism is really putting me off.


Google to Acquire Fitbit →

November 4, 2019 · 12:01

Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices & Services at Google:

Today, we’re announcing that Google has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fitbit, a leading wearables brand.

Meanwhile, Fitbit put out a press release which includes this statement:

Consumer trust is paramount to Fitbit. Strong privacy and security guidelines have been part of Fitbit’s DNA since day one, and this will not change. Fitbit will continue to put users in control of their data and will remain transparent about the data it collects and why. The company never sells personal information, and Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.

And yet they just sold all of their user’s personal information to Google.


Safari Sends User IP Addresses to Chinese Tencent

October 13, 2019 · 21:38

From ‘About Safari & Privacy’ in iOSes Safari Settings:

When Fraudulent Website Warning is enabled, Safari will display a warning if the website you are visiting is a suspected phishing website. Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to steal your personal information, such as usernames, passwords and other account information. A fraudulent website masquerades as a legitimate one, such as a bank, financial institution or email service provider. Before visiting a website, Safari may send information calculated from the website address to Google Safe Browsing and Tencent Safe Browsing to check if the website is fraudulent. These safe browsing providers may also log your IP address.

  1. You can disable this by toggling off the Fraudulent Website Warning setting.
  2. This is complete unacceptable.

via Tom Parker


Why Does Apple Do Business in China ‘If This Is The Type of Shit They Pull’? →

October 10, 2019 · 08:53

John Gruber, for Daring Fireball:

The question is: Why do business in China if this is the type of shit they pull?

Money. And this is despite Tim Cook’s outburst in 2014:

“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Mr Cook said, in the same stern, uncompromising tone that Apple employees hope they never have to hear. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you … then you should get out of the stock.”

It seems that it all depends on how large that profit motive is.

Shame on Apple for catering to the Chinese government. At this point, the company needs something akin to the recent #BlizzardBoycott.