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Made with ones and zeros.
A feed by Stuart Breckenridge
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.
It’s the largest fine ever imposed! ↩︎
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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
I priced up rooms for one night on 11th October. ↩︎
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:
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.
Perhaps for an extra fee on top of the developer subscription Apple will build and run test cases for you? ↩︎
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!?
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.
Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-22 00:08
Today I released v1.1 of SG Transit. Here are the release notes:
New Privacy Features:
You can download the app here.
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.)
And just live without streaming and push notifications. ↩︎
Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-14 12:39
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.
Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-08 00:22
Frederic Lardinois, writing for TechCrunch:
It is early access. ↩︎
Permalink - Posted on 2018-05-04 00:55
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 […]
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
There will be no update to Primes for GDPR2.
This app will be retired prior to GDPR implementation. It does not collect any personal data.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.