What is a JSON feed? Learn more

JSON Feed Viewer

Browse through the showcased feeds, or enter a feed URL below.

Now supporting RSS and Atom feeds thanks to Andrew Chilton's feed2json.org service

CURRENT FEED

Stuart Breckenridge

Made with ones and zeros.

A feed by Stuart Breckenridge

JSON


European Commission Fines Google €4.34bn

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-18 12:10

The European Commission’s ruling on Google’s antitrust behaviour with regards to Android (via The Guardian):

Google has prevented device manufacturers from using any alternative version of Android that was not approved by Google (Android forks).

In order to be able to pre-install on their devices Google’s proprietary apps, including the Play Store and Google Search, manufacturers had to commit not to develop or sell even a single device running on an Android fork.

The Commission found that this conduct was abusive as of 2011, which is the date Google became dominant in the market for app stores for the Android mobile operating system.

The fine, €4.34bn, is sizeable1. What interests me the most, however, is the impact this will have on the Android ecosystem. If bigger handset manufacturers create multiple forks of Android it’ll fragment the ecosystem even more than it is now. That wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing for consumers.

  1. It’s the largest fine ever imposed! ↩︎


Apple to Discontinue Photo Printing Service

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-12 23:54

Benjamin Mayo, for 9to5Mac:

Apple is discontinuing its Photo Print Products service, which has been integrated into iPhoto since its launch in 2002. The service expanded from simple prints, to albums, photo books, and calendars. It stayed around on the Mac when iPhoto was replaced with the Photos app a couple of years ago, but the service never made the leap to iOS.

Later this year, Apple will stop offering the service altogether. A new message in macOS 10.13.6 Photos app says that final orders for Apple’s built-in service must be placed by September 30, 2018.

This is hugely disappointing. For years I’ve been using the printing service for photo books and birthday cards, complete with custom typography, and they’ve always turned out really well. I’ve not tried any of the other third-party services that are recommended, but it seems I’ll have no choice but to give them a go.


Swindle in Singapore

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-10 14:26

I wanted the summit between Trump and Kim to yield something positive. One month later, I’m clutching at straws to find anything positive.

As Max Boot articulates for the Washington Post:

In the month since the Swindle in Singapore, it has become obvious that Kim is arming rather than disarming. On June 29, NBC News reported that, according to U.S. intelligence officials, North Korea was increasing production of fuel for nuclear weapons and working to conceal its activities from the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then canceled a meeting with the Indian foreign minister to fly off to Pyongyang, presumably to tell the North Koreans that they had better start delivering on their promises.

He continues:

North Korea didn’t even make good on its promise to repatriate the remains of Korean War POWs/MIAs.

[…]

Kim has played Trump like a Stradivarius. He has gotten everything he wanted — sanctions relaxation, international legitimation — without giving up anything in return. Vladimir Putin must be licking his chops. If Trump was fleeced so thoroughly by a tyro tyrant whom he was denouncing as recently as the beginning of this year, imagine how much he will give up to a veteran despot for whom he has had nothing but praise.

Skewered, justifiably.


Retiring Primes

Permalink - Posted on 2018-06-29 23:21

I’ve decided to retire one of my older apps, Primes — Numbers Game. It’s been removed from sale as of today.

(If you want an app that borrowed my original icon try this.)


NY Times on the St. Regis

Permalink - Posted on 2018-06-10 13:14

Motoko Rich, for The New York Times:

The St. Regis is less than half a mile from the Shangri La Hotel, where Mr. Trump is staying. But while the Shangri La is set on a residential stretch of road, the St. Regis sits on a busy commercial boulevard next to a run-down strip mall with two money changers, a pet store and “Maids R Us,” a hiring agency.

This is a somewhat misleading attempt to portray Trump’s hotel and its location superior to Kim’s.

St. Regis is next to Tanglin Mall, which is an older, Tudor style mall, but it’s certainly not run down. It’s also important to note that St. Regis is a five-star hotel and the Presidential Suite is $10,000-per-night, while the most expensive suite at Shangri-La — the Shangri-La Suite — is $7,000-per-night.1

  1. I priced up rooms for one night on 11th October. ↩︎


WWDC 2018 Predictions

Permalink - Posted on 2018-06-02 14:19

I haven’t blogged about my predictions for WWDC since 2015, but here are three guesses and one warning for 2018:

  1. Continuous Integration will be added to the developer pipeline (remember Apple bought buddybuild?1)
  2. A replacement for Xcode
  3. Spec bumps on the iMac and MacBook ranges
  4. Outrageous Warning: macOS 11

It’s nice going into a WWDC knowning nothing.

Update 2018-06-03: It seems Xcode and macOS 10.x will be around for a while longer.

Update 2018-05-06: I got everything wrong. I still loved what was in the keynote.

  1. Perhaps for an extra fee on top of the developer subscription Apple will build and run test cases for you? ↩︎


Fortnite Coming to Switch

Permalink - Posted on 2018-06-01 15:44

Robert Purchese, for Eurogamer:

World-conquering battle royale game Fortnite appears to be heading to Nintendo Switch.

The Korean game ratings board rated Fortnite for Switch this morning (via Resetera), not long after a separate sighting on a list of E3 games leaked on 4chan overnight - a list we independently heard is legitimate.

We also heard, prior to these events, Fortnite was coming to Switch.

This is great news, but I’m still unclear on what this means for a player’s Epic Games account. Currently, I have on Epic Games account tied to my Mac, iOS devices, and PS4; and another, on its own, for Xbox. It’s astoundingly annoying. (Thanks, Sony.)

Does Fortnite on Switch mean another Epic Games account!?


Apple Release iOS 11.4

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-29 23:58

Juli Clover, for Macrumors:

iOS 11.4 is an audio-focused update, introducing support for multi-room audio through a new protocol that supports multi-room audio on all AirPlay 2 enabled devices.

[…]

The iOS 11.4 update also introduces Messages in iCloud, a feature that has been in the works for several months and was first promised as an iOS 11 feature in June of 2017. Messages in iCloud is designed to store your iMessages in iCloud rather than on each individual device, allowing for improved syncing capabilities.

I’m looking forward to Sonos updating their Sonos One to support AirPlay 2 so that I can use it as a speaker for Apple TV. I’m of the opinion that no matter how good the speakers are on a flat screen TV, they are inevitably hobbled as they tend to be on the back of the unit, facing a wall. Apple TV through a Sonos One should be very good.

Messages in iCloud is a bit of a strange one: after I updated my iPhone had a ton of older messages (both SMS and iMessages) dating back to November 2016. They were not present on any other device until I updated to 11.4. It begs the question as to whether Apple had these messages on their servers all this time, and if they did, why did they have them.

Secondarily, I have over 8GB in iMessage history and I imagine anyone else that’s been in the Apple ecosystem for any reasonable length of time will have something similar. The measly 5GB iCloud storage limit is going to breached fairly quickly with Messages in iCloud. Apple need to increase the free storage limit.


■ SG Transit v1.1

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-22 00:08

Today I released v1.1 of SG Transit. Here are the release notes:

New Features:

  • Deleting all favourite bus stops has been moved from Settings to Favourites. Before deleting all favourites, the app will (now) very kindly give you the opportunity to change your mind.
  • You can provide feedback via email on the Settings screen.
  • You can pull-to-refresh on the bus arrivals screen (in addition to the existing auto refresh every 30 seconds).
  • Enhanced the auto-refresh-countdown indicator with a NUMBER!
  • Added visual indicators to show whether the next arrival for a particular service has wheelchair access.
  • Added visual indicators to show if a bus is a double-decker.
  • Added visual indicator to the tab bar when there is an MRT disruption.
  • The Start/End markers of bus routes are now colour coded. (A loop route uses the ∞ mark.)
  • Sorting by arrival time is now the default, although you can configure this in Settings.
  • The distance a bus is from your chosen bus stop is now displayed.
  • If you think ads suck and want to get rid of them, you can remove them via a small, one-time, in-app purchase.
  • iPad support. All iPads. 9.7inch, 10.5inch, and 12.9inch. (New screenshots included.)

New Privacy Features:

  • EU USERS: If, for some reason you use this app in the EU, you will be prompted to provide consent to see personalised adverts.
  • The Privacy Policy is now available in the app, via the Settings screen.

Fixes:

  • The auto-refresh continues its countdown when the user is scrolling.

Data Updates:

  • The latest bus route and bus stop data has been added.

You can download the app here.


Twitter Prices Third Party Developers Off of Platform

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-17 06:13

Juli Clover, for Macrumors:

Third-party Twitter app developers will be required to purchase a Premium or Enterprise Account Activity API package to access a full set of activities related to a Twitter account including Tweets, @mentions, Replies, Retweets, Quote Tweets, Retweets of Quoted Tweets, Likes, Direct Messages Sent, Direct Messages Received, Follows, Blocks, Mutes, typing indicators, and read receipts.

Premium API access, which provides access to up to 250 accounts, is priced at $2,899 per month, while enterprise access is more expensive, with pricing quotes available from Twitter following an application for an enterprise account.

$2,899 per month is an insane amount of money for third party developers like Tapbots or The Iconfactory to be paying each month. As pointed out on Apps of a Feather, this will equate to over $16 per month for each user. It’s unaffordable and it would therefore appear that August 16th, 2018 will be the end of the road for third party clients.

What I don’t understand is why there is no middle ground for Twitter and third party clients? For example, make the Activity API available to third party client developers for free on the proviso that they include Twitter ads in the stream1? (My assumption is that this is mostly about monetisation.)

  1. And just live without streaming and push notifications. ↩︎


Critical Vulnerabilities Discovered in PGP and S/MIME

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-14 12:39

eff.org:

A group of European security researchers have released a warning about a set of vulnerabilities affecting users of PGP and S/MIME. EFF has been in communication with the research team, and can confirm that these vulnerabilities pose an immediate risk to those using these tools for email communication, including the potential exposure of the contents of past messages.

The full details will be published in a paper on Tuesday at 07:00 AM UTC (3:00 AM Eastern, midnight Pacific). In order to reduce the short-term risk, we and the researchers have agreed to warn the wider PGP user community in advance of its full publication.

Our advice, which mirrors that of the researchers, is to immediately disable and/or uninstall tools that automatically decrypt PGP-encrypted email. Until the flaws described in the paper are more widely understood and fixed, users should arrange for the use of alternative end-to-end secure channels, such as Signal, and temporarily stop sending and especially reading PGP-encrypted email.


Excel Gains JavaScript User Defined Functions

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-08 00:22

Frederic Lardinois, writing for TechCrunch:

Microsoft is launching a couple of features to Excel today that make the ubiquitous spreadsheet software a bit more powerful. Among the new features is support for Azure Machine Learning and custom JavaScript functions to Excel to extend its capabilities.

[…]

Developers could already write their own complex scripts with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). There are some advantages to using JavaScript, though, not in the least its popularity and ability to easily connect to third-party services, but also the simple fact that these functions can run on any platform. Microsoft first tested custom functions through the Office Insider Program, and it’s now ready to roll it out to a wider audience.

The instructions seem a little convoluted at this stage 1, but I’m keen to try this out.

  1. It is early access. ↩︎


Github, Twitter Stored Passwords in Clear Text

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-04 00:55

Github:

During the course of regular auditing, GitHub discovered that a recently introduced bug exposed a small number of users’ passwords to our internal logging system […]

Twitter:

Due to a bug, passwords were written to an internal log before completing the hashing process.

It seems that Github and Twitter are using the same underlying technology. Regardless, you should change your password.


Xbox Duke Controller is Back

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-03 13:55

I remember playing Halo with The Duke controller in 2001. If you had big enough hands the controller wasn’t that bad, so it’s fun to see that it’s available to buy now on Amazon.

(I’m not sure I’d pay £69.99. The current Xbox One controller is almost £30 cheaper.)


Fortnite Platform Restrictions

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-02 13:42

The geek in me wanted to see how Fortnite played in 4K on the Xbox One X. However, after downloading, I was disappointed to be hit with this error message when the game started:

Your Account can not play on this Platform.

It turns out that because I have a PS4 PSN ID linked to my Epic Games account, I can’t play on Xbox One with an Xbox Gamertag linked to that same Epic Games account. Platform Restrictions kick in and they suck. According to this help article, if you want to play Fortnite on both PS4 and Xbox, you need two Epic Games accounts:

If you receive this error when attempting to launch Fortnite, it means that your account is locked out of playing on Xbox One. In order to play on that platform, you will need to unlink the Xbox Live Gamertag you are attempting to play on from your Epic account, and then re-link it to a new Epic account.

It’s user hostile in the extreme. There must be a better solution1.

  1. Perhaps this one which allowed PS4 and Xbox cross-platform play, accidentally. ↩︎


GDPR App Updates

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-02 00:33, modified on 2018-05-05 00:50

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires quite a bit of work from app developers to ensure their apps are compliant. I want to outline what I am doing with my apps.

SG Transit

v1.0 of SG Transit contains the Fabric and AdMob SDKs. Fabric is used for crash monitoring and app analytics (i.e. what bus numbers are the most popular); and AdMob is used to provide advertising services.

v1.1 will remove Fabric from the app entirely1. Presentation of personalised ads will only occur with the consent of the user.

Baby Feeds

Up to v2.0.3 included the AdMob SDK. Similar to SG Transit, in v2.1 presentation of personalised ads will only occur with the consent of the user.

Primes – Numbers Game

Primes uses Game Center, which is subject to Apple’s Privacy Policy. While the app collects no personal data, you should be aware of the Game Center T&Cs:

The Service is subject to Apple’s Privacy Policy at https://www.apple.com/privacy. As set out in the Privacy Policy, when you use the Service, such as inviting other users to join the Service, participating in leader boards, enabling invitations or multiplayer functionality, or displaying status messages, the personal information you share is visible to other users and can be read, collected, or used by them. You are responsible for the personal information you choose to submit. When playing a game that supports multiplayer functionality, other users accessing the Service from within the same game on the same Wi-Fi network, local area network or within range of Bluetooth will be able to see that you are nearby (unless you turn this feature off), and see your nickname and photo, or full profile if you have a friend relationship with such user. If you choose to have your public profile set to “on”, other users of the Service can see your full profile, including your full name, activity (such as the games you have played and when you played them), scores, and achievements, and you can be recommended as a friend to other users. If your public profile is set to “off”, only users with whom you have established a friend relationship can see your full profile, and you will not be recommended to others; only your nickname and photo will be visible to users who are not friends. If you send or receive a friend request, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with those users to whom you send, or from whom you accept, a friend request, and Apple may recommend games that you have played to your friends.

There will be no update to Primes for GDPR2.

The FFI List

This app will be retired prior to GDPR implementation. It does not collect any personal data.

  1. I had considered an opt-in option, but felt the uptake would be poor. ↩︎

  2. It does need to an update to, amongst other things, convert it from Objective-C to Swift, and to support larger interfaces natively. ↩︎


BoringSSL SSL ERROR ZERO RETURN

Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-01 08:30, modified at 10:30

In an iOS app I’m building, I’m using URLSession to make API requests. However, shortly after the first request has completed successfully this error appears in the console log:

SSL_ERROR_ZERO_RETURN(6): operation failed because the connection was cleanly shut down with a close_notify alert

Enabling CFNETWORK_DIAGNOSTICS doesn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary, and I haven’t found anything on Stack Overflow that reveals the underlying cause of the issue. Strangely, testing the API through the app, browser, and Postman, works perfectly.

I just can’t stand seeing this pointless entry in the console log, the best description of which is available on Apple’s Developer Forums:

What’s happening here is that this log message relates to a common scenario that may or may not be correlated to any actual problem.

If anyone has any ideas as to how to resolve this error message, ping me on Twitter.

Config:

  • Server:
    • Ubuntu 16.04.4
    • Apache/2.4.18
    • OpenSSL 1.0.2g
  • Client:
    • iOS 11.3
    • Swift 4


3D Touch Needs to be Pervasive

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-28 09:29, modified on 2018-05-01 10:30

John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

I also think it’s a serious problem that iPhones have 3D Touch and iPads don’t, yet iPads are stuck running an OS where 3D Touch is the way to bring up a contextual shortcut menu, but that’s a different rant.

The 3D touch gesture that allows you to clear all notifications in one go is only available on iPhone. Every time I try that gesture on my iPad to clear notifications I’m left frustrated: not in that the functionality isn’t available, but that Apple have tied a useful feature to a hardware requirement needlessly. There’s no reason clearing all notifications couldn’t be handled via a long press rather than a 3D touch.


Citibank Introduces Apple Pay in Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-26 22:18, modified on 2018-05-01 10:30

Citibank have joined the Apple Pay party in Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. From their press release:

From today, Citi brings its credit card customers in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore Apple Pay, which is transforming the mobile payments experience with an easy, secure and private way to pay that is fast and convenient. Apple Pay will be introduced to Citi credit card customers in Taiwan later this year.

This deserves a finally: Citibank were the only bank that hadn’t introduced Apple Pay in Singapore for almost 18 months.


Retiring The FFI List

Permalink - Posted on 2018-04-25 15:57, modified on 2018-05-03 14:13

After over two-and-a-half years on the App Store, I’ve decided that it’s time to retire The FFI List and remove it from sale on May 3rd. It’ll receive a final update in early May which will contain the April database changes.

Update 2018-05-03: Removed from sale.