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Put the knife down and take a green herb, dude.


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One feller's views on the state of everyday computer science & its application (and now, OTHER STUFF) who isn't rich enough to shell out for www.myfreakinfirst-andlast-name.com

Using 89% of the same design the blog had in 2001.

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Plastic Recycling

Someone interested in recycling got me googling around for, give or take, home recycling setups, and I found a site that’s essentially exactly that: preciousplastic.com.

It’s really a pretty neat idea. There are fairly detailed plans for a number of machines that show you just how low-tech plastic recycling can be. There’s a shredder for ripping old plastic into reuseable chips. There’s a hand-powered injector for melting chips and shoving them into a mold. There’s an extruder for melting chips (a common theme) and pushing them into, well, any extruded output, from 3-D printer filament to boards. And there’s a “compression machine” for forcing heated, pliable plastic into a larger mold whose output is formed through, yep, compressing the crud outta that plastic with something like a car jack.

Plastic Recycling: The Bad Parts

Now once you start doing some research, you find that the machines aren’t necessarily as wonderful as you might dream. The shredder apparently jams quite a bit, and has a hard time handling a range of inputs. The injector described, for instance, is labeled discontinued/abandoned on a sister site, and there are complaints that it’s difficult to make the lever pull straight. You also, it turns out, have to wait 30 mins for the chips to melt before each “shot” is ready for injecting, so even if you pay to machine some good injection molds, you’re only making a few small items every 30 mins in your best case. Neat as a sort of proof of concept or art project, but not exactly business plan ready.

I’ll also complain that the “Bill of Materials” charts are pretty crummy. They are definitely written for someone with more knowledge and time than money – which is fine, to a point. But when half the items say you should pick them up at the scrapyard, well…

There was also apparently a €300,000 grant awarded to the project (good!) but then squabbling started between two locations researching machines and (maybe?) the money wasn’t spent, um, wisely (bad!). You can see some of the culture wars in this thread on creating a double-axis shredder

we already tried everything possible but eindhoven [a town where one group of Precious Plastic-ers is based] seems to use it’s [sic] goal keeper position to deny/refuse any sort of improvements, no matter the gravity or urgency or realities coming with it. anyway, don’t worry, we started building a new site pointing out all the numbers/fixes for v3.

(The account that posted that has also been removed.)

This kinda gave me flashbacks to the Crop Mob movement near Durham that started well, but ultimately collapsed because people seemed not to understand that Anarchy wasn’t the same as Freeloading.

By now, if you are local, you know that Kristin and I left Circle Acres. … A strong sense of misplaced entitlement pervades that place, which is something that I cannot support in any way. Living rent free while someone else carries the financial water is not anarchist, not friendly and not nice. The others may argue that this isn’t the case, but all I have to do is read through old emails and bank records to see how things went down, get a glimpse of what should have been some serious red flags and see that I made many mistakes in making a path for this coddled land project.

Apologies for the aside, but the connection, I hope, is that idealism only gets you so far. At some point, the plastic hits the road or the nails hit the soil, and sometimes it’s easier to squabble than be realistic.

That is, it’s very hard to ramp up some clever proof of concepts into something competitive at scale, no matter how well intentioned the originators.


Quick impressions:

  • The Precious Plastic machines are neat proofs of concept, but nobody’s done this at scale long enough to create reliable machines, must less cost-effective ones.
  • The emphasis on something you could build in the “3rd world” is laudable. That is, there’s a desire to move things away from lots of CNC stuff to things that you can find more easily.
  • After spending a little time researching this, you'll never be able to look at single-stream recycling the same again. There are good plastics, like HDPE #2, in milk jugs and clothes detergent containers, that’s high value, and maybe a little less so the #1 stuff in soda and water bottles, etc. Then there’s the rest of this stuff, much of which is outright trash. And even some of the #1 and #2s are no good to your single-streamers. Observe…
    • The City of Minneapolis' Acceptable Recyclables page does a good job showing that not all recycling is gold.
      • “No #6 plastics (polystyrene: rigid or foam)”
      • “No black plastics (any number)” <<< This one is especially interesting (see also the MEILO video, below)…
        • Plastics are sorted by type (number) at the recycling facility by a laser. The color black absorbs the laser light and does not allow it to identify the type of plastic an item is. Black plastics would have to be pulled by hand and a person would have to look at each piece to identify if it is a #1, #5 or #6. These logistics, including the weak markets, make recycling black plastic not economically feasible. [emphasis mine]
    • I also like this YouTube video of a German recycling plant as the perfect embodiment of the idealistic, almost-magical, view of single-stream recycling. But if you watch closely, you see this is an engineering solution in search of a problem, and can't really be the smartest way to recycle.
      • MEILO, a company in Gernsheim located in southern Hesse, sorts plastic trash from the yellow barrels in 30 repetitive sorting processes until the maximal purity of variety has been attained. Plastics are first separated according to size and then subjected to an air separator. In the following step, a near infrared scanner scans the plastics on the conveyor belt as they pass, communicating to a compressed air jet at the end of the conveyor belt which plastics are recyclable. Finally, the compressed air jet blows these material aside. Thus, varying plastics are sorted by an up to 98% purity of variety. In addition to the three major valuable plastics, HPDE, PP and PET, four other well-recyclable plastic varieties are gleaned from the river of trash.
      • But look at the products in the end! There’s this implicit goal of finding clear plastic – check the picture of the shredded flakes "output", below – and the bottles being made are perfectly clear – also below. Unless there’s a way to bleach plastic (which, as someone who knows a little about bleaching pulp and paper, sounds like a horrible idea), that giant German machine can only give this bottle-making company some insanely small, "highest-quality" percentage of the plastic that’s thrown into the recycle bin (and don't miss the importance of the 80% of the recycled content of the bottles is pulled from the "deposit system" -- a "separated stream" source of plastic; that's key, and all but proves my point).
        • What do we do with the oranges and blues and greens, much less the black plastic Minnesota tells us is practically worthless to these systems?
  • The pictures in the news of people in local-income areas in their homes, sorting plastic trash (great picture from NatGeo here) in countries that take our plastic waste make more sense now. This is valuable work precisely because there's such a range in the value of specific plastics – clear over colored, #2 over others, eg – versus the single-stream input we’re sending overseas.
    • I mean, look, in the US we’ve all seen – and some of us probably collected – aluminum cans off the side of the highway for cash or fundraisers (which is also for cash, remember), and we’re one of the richest countries in the world. If there’s any value in plastic, of course people with lower wages are interested in finding and sorting for the “good” plastic.
    • This also explains why there’s so much trash in countries that take in the waste. This excellent Guardian article does a wonderful job reviewing what’s happening.
      • Experts estimate that 20% to 70% of plastic entering recycling facilities around the globe is discarded because it is unusable – so any plastic being recycled at Sihanoukville would inevitably result in more waste there.
      • It’s weird and obvious when you think about it:
        • A trade deficit with China means we have more containers full of high-priced stuff coming in to the US than going out.
        • So we basically have empty containers ready to ship anything to somewhere near China for rock-bottom prices.
        • Trash has some value (ever been to your local landfill? You should go. It’s magical), so we ship it out.
        • But that number – 20–70% (an insanely large range, btw. Come on, Guardian!) – of what we send is still just trash. (This is, btw, why China stopped taking our stuff.)
        • If the country that receives it does a bad job with its own waste, what makes us think that 20–70% of what we send is going to be handled any more responsibly?
      • It also tells me, again, that single-stream recycling is INSANE.
        • We have our plastic goods separated at home. Don't commingle them!
        • Quit the aspirational recycling, throw away the trash.
        • Put the orange-ish detergent containers in one pile, the nearly clear milk jugs in another one, the clear soda bottles in a third, etc.
        • Overall, this episode of Penn & Teller's Bull[crap] on recycling is pretty bullcrappy itself (it's the worst sourced, most incomplete persuasive "documentary" I've seen since I TA'd), but if it did nothing else, it showed us that humans take pleasure from separating things into groups.

      • It also tells me we’re wasting a ton on shipping around trash. Curbside pickup to the landfill is bad enough. Then find the places that can actually use this stuff. In the US, how far are you from an end-producer? And shipping to Asia? Good heavens. How far are you from a western US port? I know it’s all but “free” once it hits the boats, but the opportunity cost. What if we just shipped clear #1? How much more could we ship without contributing to the unmanaged junk in a third-world recipient? Imagine how excited the companies that can use that type of plastic would be that we eliminated most of the real trash?
  • The obvious take home for me is that if you could recycle well separated, high-value plastic into usable, lasting products locally, you’d be doing a real service.

Plastic Recycling: The Good Parts

So let’s get to the good parts of how to create home-grown recycling industries that I want to come back to later. The injection machine, even though there’s a neat 3-D rendering of an iPhone 7 & 8 case in Precious Plastic’s downloads that you could send to your local contractor with a CNC router, ultimately seems impractical for making a real-world dent in plastic waste, so I [re]started with extrusion.

If you could get, clean, shred, & create boards (ie, use lots of plastic) and turn them into something useful, well, maybe you could help close the local circle on very specific types of plastic by creating those interesting and lasting products.

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve found that I’d like to come back to later.

Media:

Some results… though I wonder how strong these boards are. The cross-sections and rough outsides of the 2x4 looking boards scare me a little. I’d like to have some to play around with.

some results; extruded plastic beams
some more beams
inside of beams

Dave Hakkens (Precious Plastic founder) extruding some beams (that look quite good, honestly).

Okay, that’s enough of a bit dump for now. ;^)

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posted by ruffin at 7/13/2019 09:21:00 AM
0 comments
Thursday, July 11, 2019

From MacRumors:

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch due to a bug that could allow users to eavesdrop on others, reports TechCrunch.

I mean, I get it, and that’s probably the right thing to do, but has anyone involved used a walkie talkie before? It’s like a CB. Everyone’s using the same bandwidth, and if your conversations are private, they’re private only through luck, not the technology.

I kinda miss that wide-open use of radio waves. It was fun to pick up conversations back in the good ole days. (Remember when the first cordless [home] phones didn’t have encryption? Those were interesting eavesdropping times too…)

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posted by ruffin at 7/11/2019 11:40:00 AM
0 comments
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Everyone’s weighed in on Jonathan Ives leaving Apple, and originally I didn’t have anything new to say. It sure looked like this was coming if you followed the work he was doing with Jacobs (?) on charity items, work on Apple Park from furniture to walls, etc. He may have led teams doing hardware redesigns, and was probably giving some detailed, serious (and seriously good) feedback on projects delivered to him, feedback that likely drove those designers nuts, but day-to-day Apple hardware? Maybe the Pro case? But, ultimately, I’d believe not so much.

But the release of Texas Hold ’Em, an app peak Jobsian in its appreciation of the skeuomorphic, the death of the 12" MacBook, and the rumors of Macbooks getting away from the butterfly keyboard as quickly as possible – combined with iOS 7 – gave me a distinct thought:

When the designer gets to choose the key constraints and is not given them, you risk unproductive idealism.

Ives was about minimalism. Oh, I’d love to see him write some code. It would be beautifully DRY without one wasted line. But it also might only do 80% of what the acceptance criteria requested.

iOS 7 was an interesting thought experiment: How flat can I make UI and still have it be a human-friendly UI? We got there… and a little farther. You sometimes have to cross the line to find it, and you could argue we really didn’t need to find it. But he did, and we did, and iOS has spent several years now recovering -- and has done that recovering not, as I understand it, under his leadership.

But Ives selected “flat”. Nobody was clamoring for flat. That was his constraint, his ideal, his Moby Dick. Not ours, iOS users’. That was only his.

The butterfly keyboard is similar. The MacBook Air I’m using right now, pre-butterfly, is plenty small enough. The extra ports it has make a lot of sense. It may not be a marvel of ideal design, but it is a marvel of practical design.

But that wasn’t enough for Ives’ Apple. They felt they had to find the line – for thinness. For minimalism. And then they unknowingly crossed it. It’s beautiful to have the same holes on each side of the machine, but it’s not human-friendly. It’s wonderful to have the thinest notebook ever, but not if it means that your keyboard craps outs. It’s great to have a 12“ MacBook with a beautiful ”retina" screen, but you’re telling me not only is my CPU pitifully constrained, but that I can’t use a jump drive and my power supply at the same time?

Who said we needed thinner notebooks and flatter UIs? Nobody. These were design goals – design contraintspicked by the designer. So much of a notebook’s design aren't elective constraints, but inherent ones for the device. That we need human-sized keys on the keyboard. That we need screens designed for the human eye. That we need the processing power to run a modern OS. That our antennae must get adequate WiFi signal. That our batteries last for a work day plus.

But those real-world, human constraints operate against Ives’ elective constraints of minimalism and thinness. He stopped designing for the world and started pursuing ideals. Some of those just happened to work fine with users – the iPhone is as much fashion as practical computer, after all, and we would all yet benefit from still smaller slabs in our pockets. We have not yet reached the functional peak of thinness for phones. We have with laptops.

Same with computer and phone screens' resolutions: We are now to the peak, where it’s almost impossible to see pixels with the naked eye, at least for someone who’s not nearsighted. Ives' ideals were useful there (and luckily even he realizes "more than more than the eye can see" has no practical value), but on the thinness & flatness fronts the Ives train has played itself out.

And it was at that point of idealism that Ives ceased being a good leader for the largest company by revenue in the world, one that ultimately sells devices to actual humans trying to get daily work done.

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posted by ruffin at 7/10/2019 10:20:00 AM
0 comments
Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Spotify’s description:

“Spotify Lite was built from the ground up based on user feedback from around the world, allowing millions more to enjoy the world’s best music experience — especially in areas with limited bandwidth and phone storage,” says Kalle Persson, Senior Product Manager at Spotify. Lite can be downloaded separately, both for Free and Spotify Premium users, and used either alongside or independently from the main Spotify app on all Android phones running version 4.3 or higher.

With Spotify Lite, you can easily control your data and storage. It’s only 10 MB, so it’s quick to install and load while offering the same great listening experience that lets you discover, play, and enjoy millions of songs. Spotify Lite also comes with the ability to set a data limit and get a notification when you reach it. This way, you’ll be able to focus on finding your next favorite song—not worrying about data.

Now that’s a good idea. For the price of an intelligently written, broad-install base app, Spotify gets two things: More ads served and a foothold in developing areas.

Interesting that it’s Android only. About time the non–10%ers got a major app specialized for their OSes too (not kidding, and this isn’t an Android knock – read the blurb above, again: 4.3 isn’t playing around).

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posted by ruffin at 7/09/2019 07:57:00 PM
0 comments
Saturday, June 29, 2019

From Grubes

UPDATE: There are exceptions to the $99 developer fee, for nonprofit organizations in five countries:

You can request to have the 99 USD annual membership fee waived if you’re a nonprofit organization, accredited educational institution, or government entity that will distribute only free apps on the App Store and is based in an eligible country. Apple will review your request and contact you to let you know whether your request is approved.

Eligible countries: Brazil, China, Japan, United Kingdom, United States.


It’d be interesting to know how many of these waivers have been granted.

I've done some app work for a non-profit, and it's the only reason I have a dev account. Looks like I need to start the ball rolling on this, though I'm guessing it'll take long enough I'll still shell out $99 later this month for the upcoming year.


Macrumors:

Facebook's executive team, including Mark Zuckerberg, used the data of Facebook users as leverage over partner companies, according to leaked emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets, and more obtained by NBC News.

More than 4,000 pages of leaked documents from 2011 to 2015 provide insight into how Facebook was taking advantage of user data while publicly promising to protect user privacy before and after its 2015 move to end broad access to user data.

I'm shocked.


Grubes again

On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with.

And all night long, there was some startling behavior by a household name: Yelp. It was receiving a message that included my IP address — once every five minutes.


This is all going on via Background App Refresh. You can see which apps have this permission on your iOS device in Settings: General: Background App Refresh (it’s the 8th item in General in iOS 12).

Note to self: Turn off Yelp background refresh. Actually, turn it off for everything that doesn't have a clear reason to have it.


Sign-in with Apple sounds wonderful. It’s interesting to compare it to the original goals of Microsoft Passport.


MacRumors

When Apple has to make a difficult decision regarding an app in the App Store, its fate is determined in a meeting of a group called the Executive Review Board or ERB, led by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller.

...

The Executive Review Board meets once per week and discusses controversial apps or iPhone apps that might be infringing on App Store guidelines, and it has the final word on whether an app can stay on the store or if it's going to be removed.

Nothing really to say here. It’s a bizarre process that you can’t ever get right.


Macrumors again

Apple has filed a response to Spotify's anticompetitive complaint about the App Store in Europe, noting that Spotify pays Apple a 15 percent commission for only about 0.5 percent of its paying subscribers, according to CNET.

That figure equates to around 680,000 users who subscribed to Spotify through its iOS app, via Apple's in-app purchase system, between 2014 and 2016. This is because Apple only collects a 30 percent commission for the first year of a subscription, at which point the fee drops to 15 percent.

Huh? So what’s the percentage for subscribers paying 30%? What percentage of Spotify subscribers are still on recurring iOS subscriptions?

A quick google says the subscription option for premium was taken out no earlier than mid–2016. Why should this number be higher? What was its height?

What absolutely crap numbers from Apple that have very little to do with Spotify’s current position.

Also interesting: The people who posted in that thread that without an in-iOS option, they couldn’t have access. Do parents have an option for “all you can eat in-app payments” or something this kids can access?


Macrumors

While the current Mac Pro has been manufactured in Texas since it was released in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports that the new Mac Pro unveiled earlier this month will be assembled by Quanta Computer in China.

It’s a shame Apple can’t find a way to eat enough profit to manufacture at least some Mac Pros, an item starting at $7k, in the US.

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posted by ruffin at 6/29/2019 11:48:00 AM
0 comments
Sunday, June 23, 2019

From Grubes:

Hugh Son, writing for CNBC:

Within the industry, the deal is widely perceived as one that’s risky for a bank to take on. Citigroup was in advanced negotiations with Apple for the card but pulled out amid doubts that it could earn an acceptable profit on the partnership, according to people with knowledge of the talks.

No [surprise] they’re going to make less money than cards that charge fees and higher interest rates. But they’re going to make money — I’ll eat my hat if Goldman and Apple don’t turn a profit on this card. CNBC’s headline — “A Goldman Sachs rival pulled out of the Apple Card deal on fears it will be a money loser” — makes it sound like they’re going to lose money, which is ludicrous. They’ll make money on each transaction and they’ll make money charging interest on any cardholder who carries a balance. Arguing that they won’t make enough money is just usurious greed.

I don’t use the word lightly, but it’s evil to argue against the software Apple is releasing to help cardholders avoid debt and pay down what debt they owe quickly.

Interesting take. More interesting is that Citigroup would pull out instead of submitting a proposal that wouldn’t be accepted. That is, it looks much worse now, imo, that they intentionally pulled out than it would’ve if they’d simply lost the bid.

Why worse? It’s not because they wouldn’t make money. I think Gruber misses the point. It’s because Citigroup can make more money per dollar invested doing something else. Their limiting reagent isn't "I've run out of activities that create more profit", but "I've run out of capital this fiscal year to spend on the highest profit activities we can find".

I might make money buying items from meh.com, waiting for them to arrive, packaging them back up, and selling them on eBay.

I bet I make more money per hour spent going to work as a software developer. I don't have the time to do both and stay sane. Therefore, I am a software developer. (Let’s ignore that the meh-resell business sounds like torture for the moment.)

That is, Citigroup felt it would make significantly less profit putting resources into Apple's card that it could make elsewhere.

And Apple’s own rates aren’t exactly low:

Variable APRs range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness.

But Citigroup does have credit cards! This shows you how absolutely essential to Citigroup’s bottom line fees are.

From the same page on the Apple Card:

We want to make it easier to pay down your balance, not harder. So Apple Card doesn’t have any fees.4 No annual, cash‑advance, over-the-limit, or late fees.5 No fees. Really.

4Variable APRs range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness. Rates as of March 2019.

5If you miss a payment, we won’t charge you a late fee or apply a new high-interest penalty rate. However, you will continue to accrue interest on your balance at your regular interest rate.

Insane. Apple wants to charge you interest on a loan, and they’ll stop at that. INSANE, I TELL YOU.

(Aside: I wonder what sort of return that really breaks down to on the "average" credit card. That is, you'll have defaults, and you have to pay for support staff, debt collectors, e/mailings, actually paying the merchants, etc. Is there an 100% markup on overhead, let's guess? I'd love to make 6.62-12.12% on my cash right now. The point being that Citigroup must be making mad cash elsewhere...)


The question becomes if it's fair to say, "Arguing that they won’t make enough money is just usurious greed." Is that right? Why don't we believe Citigroup is just trying to turn the highest profit, bless their hearts? That people knew what they're getting into and still opened the credit card? That if what Apple does is better for consumers, that people will use it?

This is perhaps the most interesting thought experiment -- how low a credit rating can you have and get this "above board" treatment? Can the Apple Card become the card of the masses, the card you see most in McDonald's and Wal-Mart? Because my guess is that it should.

I tend to agree with Gruber -- Is that a Citigroup logo (he said tongue in cheek… he hopes) on that title loan storefront?Does that make sense? If fees are what make credit cards most profitable, which means "what takes the most (or let's just say "significant") money out of consumers' pockets", and someone removes those fees, it's going to be significantly cheaper for those consumers to use that fee-free service.

At the same time, that's the country we live in. His line, ultimately, is a political one: Should we pass laws to restrict trade in the case of credit card fees so that we can better protect the consumer from themselves? Gruber's answer, whether he realizes it or not, is likely yes.

Or, if the market truly balances itself out, we’re going to see a crapload of Joe Six-Packs with an Apple Card in their wallet really soon.

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posted by ruffin at 6/23/2019 10:54:00 AM
0 comments
Saturday, June 22, 2019

TL;DR

dotnet add reference /Users/login/Projects/path-to-other-ref-folder/FolderName/newProjectToAdd.csproj

… from the directory of the csproj you want to add the reference to.


Today’s issue: Visual Studio is giving me some the type initializer for monodevelop threw an exception whenever I open or try to create a new project.

Solution: Use VS Code for now (which I usually only use for TypeScript).


Issue #2: I need to add a reference to a local project.

Solution #2: dotnet add reference -- hat tip to step 4 from here


It’s really that easy. I’m on macOS, so I cd to the directory where the other csproj file lives.

Then I pwd to get the full path.

mydrive:FolderName login$ pwd
/Users/login/Projects/path-to-other-ref-folder/FolderName

Go back to the location of the csproj you’re adding the reference to.

Now hit up add ref:

dotnet add reference /Users/login/Projects/path-to-other-ref-folder/FolderName/newProjectToAdd.csproj

And it’ll put it in that csproj, with a path relative to your current csproj.

  <ItemGroup>
    <ProjectReference Include="..\..\..\path-to-other-ref-folder\FolderName\newProjectToAdd.csproj" />
  </ItemGroup>

That’s good enough for now. When I’m back in full VS mode with good net access, I’ll replace with a nuget, but this was a good temporary solution.

Keep on codin’…

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posted by ruffin at 6/22/2019 09:52:00 AM
0 comments
Friday, June 21, 2019

I know, I know, TextWrangler isn’t supported any more and I’ll have to swap to BBEdit in 10.15.

This is still cool, though. It’s a built-in diff tool! I use WinMerge when I need to compare two files kinda ad hoc on Windows (kdiff3 for “real” diffs on macOS and Windows), but didn’t have a similar tool for macOS.

Except I did.

1. Open two documents (in my case, style.css in both the original and modified parent theme) that you’d like to compare 2. Click View > Show Files or type CMD + 0. This will open a sidebar with all opened documents. 3. Highlight the 2 files you want to compare in the Documents drawer, right click on them and select the option ‘Compare‘.

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posted by ruffin at 6/21/2019 12:24:00 PM
0 comments
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

From the “comprehensive FAQ” John Gruber links to regarding "How ‘Sign In with Apple’ Works:

From a security perspective, Apple offers a better option for both users and developers alike compared with other social login systems which, in the past, have been afflicted by massive security and privacy breaches.

Why would we believe Apple, whose fails keep on giving, is going to do any better than any other option? I mean, privacy-wise, I’m excited to have this option. But anyone who thinks any sign-in provider is going to give you 100% hack-free protection has another thing coming.

The advantage here is that, if Apple’s smart, a successful hack will get at most an Apple ID. And even that ought to be hashed. There’s no reason to expose any additional personal information as part of this scheme.


Also, btw, this is just flat wrong:

6) If I let Apple make up a random email address for me, does Apple now have the ability to read my email?

No. For those who want a randomized email address, Apple offers a private email relay service. That means it’s only routing emails to your personal inbox. It’s not hosting them.

Um, yes, Apple they can read your email as a relay service. Unless the email is encrypted, how can’t they? If you believe they’re not storing it, great, attack vector greatly reduced. But Apple, along with ANYONE else relaying your email from sender to your box can potentially read the contents of unencrypted text. And that’s all email typically is: Unencrypted text.

Email is inherently insecure. If you’re using https to transfer it, that’s great, but even then, Apple’s going to be on the other end of that https train. They will have the ability to read it, but it’d kill their “privacy” based marketing claims, so I’ll assume they’re being more careful than most companies with those zeroes and ones.

But if some nefarious admin at Apple wanted to read your relayed emails, they certainly could.

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posted by ruffin at 6/12/2019 07:30:00 AM
1 comments

One thing I haven’t seen anyone mention directly is why Project Catalyst only lets iPad apps run on macOS, not iPhone apps: It’s because there aren’t enough good iPad apps, and Apple still wants to see people take the iPad as a platform seriously.

I mean, I understand. iPad apps should work much more cleanly on a Mac than apps designed for iPhones. That is, if your app is well-designed for the iPad, it’ll likely be a lot fewer tweaks away from being a good macOS citizen than an iPhone app. The resonance between “iPadOS* and macOS is clear.

If you’re Apple and wanted the most Mac apps, you’d let anything from iOS run there.

But if you wanted more apps targeting Pad, you’d bribe folks by saying their iPad-specific port gets them a macOS app for free, too.

Guess which Apple did?


* The most recent Talk Show suggested that iPadOS was still just iOS by another, marketing-friendly name. I think that’s even better evidence this “iPad apps only” is a bribe, not a tech requirement.

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posted by ruffin at 6/12/2019 12:00:00 AM
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* JSONLint to pretty-ify JSON
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* Don't [over-]sweat "micro-optimization" * Parsing str's in VB6
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