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


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

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

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Monday, October 14, 2019

It looks like the SE 2 is a real thing, but I’m also seeing a good deal of blowback online that this rumored design isn’t a real SE.

Look, it looks like it’s not a 4" phone. In that way, it’s not an SE. I’d like to have an iPhone 5 Steve Edition phone with an A13 in it, but that’s apparently not in the cards.

An A13 (the latest processor) in a phone case that’s significantly smaller than the XR/11 is, however. And that’s really where the original SE impressed. For $400, you had as fast an iPhone (within reason) as you could buy at the time. It was a top-of-the-line phone for bottom-of-the-line prices.

When you can get the latest iPhone processor for $400, that’s a deal all by itself. If you keep thinking, “If I wanted an iPhone 8, I would’ve purchased an iPhone 8,” you’re not trying hard enough. The 8 has an A11. That’s not bad, but it’s two generations old. Why would you shell out $450 when you can save $50 and get two more years of support come March?

The SE 2 question really reduces to if you like Face ID and not Touch ID. Personally, I’m exhausted with Face ID. I have a reasonably secure passcode on my phone, and sometimes the stupid thing tries to unlock when I’m just changing volume or using the flashlight and the “false failures” locks out Face ID, forcing me to type in that long password to do something simple, like check the weather. I also notice when I’m riding my bike with Runkeeper I get lots of Face ID locks, which isn’t cool when I’m exercising.

I really like the no-look, no accidental unlock failure, multiple fingers mean multiple people sorts of advantages of Touch ID. I’m looking forward to trading out the XR I’ve used for the last year-plus for something smaller, slightly faster, and easier & more convenient [imo] to unlock.

Am I really hoping the 4.7“ SE 2 is 4.7” in an edge-to-edge screen in an iPhone 5 case? Sure, but if it’s got Touch ID, that’s not possible. My guess is that ain’t happening.


posted by ruffin at 10/14/2019 08:03:00 PM
Friday, October 11, 2019

From Tim (via MacRumors):

It is no secret that technology can be used for good or for ill. This case is no different. The app in question allowed for the crowdsourced reporting and mapping of police checkpoints, protest hotspots, and other information. On its own, this information is benign. However, over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present. This use put the app in violation of Hong Kong law. Similarly, widespread abuse clearly violates our ‌App Store‌ guidelines barring personal harm. 

We built the ‌App Store‌ to be a safe and trusted place for every user. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, and it’s one that we aim to preserve. National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts. In this case, we thoroughly reviewed them, and we believe this decision best protects our users. 

I’m looking forward to the removal of Facebook and Twitter from the App Store as well as the removal of Mail, Messages, and cellular calling service from iPhones.

It takes a courageous company to do this in the name of stopping violence. Congratulations, Apple. 

(Look, I don’t know how the app is primarily used or where it belongs on the devil-angel meter. But from what little context I have, this was not a well-reasoned or convincing memo defending its removal.)

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posted by Jalindrine at 10/11/2019 06:24:00 AM
Sunday, October 06, 2019

I've noticed that my 2017 MacBook Air will lose 10-20% of its battery at night sometimes even while it's sleeping. I don't remember having this trouble with other Macs.

Looks like I'm not alone. Here's a thread on MBPs with the same issue.

$ pmset -b tcpkeepalive 0
Warning: This option disables TCP Keep Alive mechanism when sytem is sleeping. This will result in some critical features like 'Find My Mac' not to function properly.
'pmset' must be run as root...
$ sudo pmset -b tcpkeepalive 0
Warning: This option disables TCP Keep Alive mechanism when sytem is sleeping. This will result in some critical features like 'Find My Mac' not to function properly.
$ pmset -g
System-wide power settings:
Currently in use:
 standbydelaylow      10800
 standby              1
 halfdim              1
 hibernatefile        /var/vm/sleepimage
 gpuswitch            2
 powernap             0
 disksleep            10
 standbydelayhigh     86400
 sleep                5 (sleep prevented by sharingd)
 autopoweroffdelay    28800
 hibernatemode        3
 autopoweroff         1
 ttyskeepawake        1
 displaysleep         5
 highstandbythreshold 50
 acwake               0
 lidwake              1

So the OS knows about this option, even though tcpkeepalive doesn't appear after a pmset -g.

I don't know. I saw this a couple of places, the terminal seemed to admit its existence, and I'd like the laptop to sleep without losing power. We'll see.

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posted by ruffin at 10/06/2019 03:13:00 PM
Thursday, September 19, 2019

From Grubes:
I don’t know why they moved this up, but if they’re really shipping it on Tuesday, just five days from now, I don’t understand why they’re releasing 13.0 at all. The iPhones 11 already have it installed, of course. But for upgrades I don’t see why Apple is releasing it.
The release with the 11 is perfect face saving. It's not like iOS 13 was skipped. But it's not worth it in bandwidth, user frustration, messaging, etc to release a version for five days. Madness. 

The reason this is a fail is because there's apparently no process in place to skip the version. What world requires you to ship bad software when a fix is coming out of the pipe right behind it?

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posted by Jalindrine at 9/19/2019 05:47:00 PM
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I complained years ago about how hard it was to one-hand an iPod touch's volume holding it in my left hand. It was pretty clearly made for righties.

Someone replied that this is a clear first world problem. I fully agree with that assessment. Let me share another.

I've seen this right-handedness bias a few times with iOS and iOS devices, most recently with the lock screen on my iPhone Xr.

Do righties regularly accidentally turn on the camera as often as I catch the flashlight button? Because let me tell you which is more annoying... Turning the flashlight back off is a real pain, and that danged bright light is screaming the whole time.

I miss Touch ID. 

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posted by Jalindrine at 8/20/2019 07:23:00 PM

From MacRumors again:

Apple in iOS 12.4 mistakenly unpatched a vulnerability that was fixed in the iOS 12.3 update, leading to a new jailbreak available for iOS 12.4 devices, reports Motherboard

I'd love to hear how a regression made it through. And they actually care about jailbreaking. 

Once you discover a bug, you write a test. As long as you're running the test, it doesn't sneak back in. That's why you have the test in the first place.

Wasn't there some comedian that had a bit on auto reservations that sounded like this? Argh. 

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posted by Jalindrine at 8/20/2019 03:32:00 PM

MacRumors again:

Apple has spent over $6 billion for original TV shows and movies for its upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, set to launch later this year. 

They could've done this -- or given nearly everyone in the world a dollar. 

That's just to say this is a sizable amount. 

And $10/month is too much to expect anyone to pay without a killer set of shows. 

I don't think Apple has a killer set of shows. 

If this does goes badly, my stock is going to take a sizable hit. 

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posted by Jalindrine at 8/20/2019 03:31:00 PM
Saturday, August 10, 2019

Not being able to export your purchases is a fail from me, dawg.

In a support document on how the Apple Card works, Apple says exporting data from Apple Card is not a feature offered at this time. From the document: "Exporting data from Apple Card to a financial app like Mint is not currently supported." [MacRumors]

Seriously, I liked almost everything about Apple's "Everyperson Card" I'd heard until this. 

Your finances should not be locked in a walled digital garden. 

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posted by Jalindrine at 8/10/2019 01:17:00 PM
Wednesday, August 07, 2019

From Michael Tsai:

Benjamin Mayo (tweetMacRumors):


Apple has lowered the cost of higher-end Mac solid state storage options, cutting the price in half for many of the configurations. For example, the 4 TB SSD of the 512 GB 15-inch MacBook Pro used to cost $2800. It now costs $1,400. These savings are seen across the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Air line.

This is great news, although the prices still seem inflated. For comparison, Apple is charging $400 to go from 256 GB to 1 TB, but you can get a highly regarded 1 TB Samsung SSD for $137. And there’s now a 2 TB Intel one for $103. Granted, this is not as fast as what Apple ships, but for many people the tradeoff would be worth it for that amount of storage. And it would certainly be an improvement over the spinning hard drive in the 2019 iMac.

Having just upgraded the SSD my MacBook Air (2017 version) from 128 to 480 [sic] gigs for $150, let me tell you Apple's SSD prices are a heck of a scam. There's nothing the added millimeter of thinness buys you that's with the sacrifice. Apple has to make the space for upgradeable SSDs in their laptops and give users easy access to them (the 2017 MacBook Air does a wonderful job of this, by the way), especially when Apple's shipping out machines with undersized 128 gig SSDs, a size which makes those thousand-dollar machines absolutely unusable in real life.

That is, you shouldn't have to pay an extra 40-60% more to make your thousand dollar box a usable computer -- as $400 and $600 are the prices from Apple to go from 128 to 512 or 1024 gigs in today's MacBook Air, respectively. Compound this with the unfortunate fact that this upgrade must be performed at purchase or forever hold your peace and you've got a shoddy state of affairs. And you shouldn't have to find out the hard way, after you've purchased and too late to make a change, that you really need that space to make good on Apple's promise you can use your Mac as a digital hub for photos and videos.

Update: Worse, in at least one case, the newer drives are not only cheaper, they're cheaper.

The 2019 MacBook Air, refreshed last week, appears to have a slower SSD than the 2018 MacBook Air, according to testing by French site Consomac

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posted by Jalindrine at 8/07/2019 03:04:00 PM
Saturday, August 03, 2019

Aren't these painfully obvious phishing attempts?

The first you're giving up your exact age. The second you're saying that you're a homeowner. 

This is obvious, right? Who clicks these? Apparently people who use the CBS News app on iOS. Honestly, CBS should be embarrassed to be part of this. 

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posted by Jalindrine at 8/03/2019 01:11:00 AM

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Just the last year o' posts:

URLs I want to remember:
* Atari 2600 programming on your Mac
* joel on software (tip pt)
* Professional links: resume, github, paltry StackOverflow * Regular Expression Introduction (copy)
* The hex editor whose name I forget
* JSONLint to pretty-ify JSON
* Using CommonDialog in VB 6 * Free zip utils
* git repo mapped drive setup * Regex Tester
* Read the bits about the zone * Find column in sql server db by name
* Giant ASCII Textifier in Stick Figures (in Ivrit) * Quick intro to Javascript
* Don't [over-]sweat "micro-optimization" * Parsing str's in VB6
* .ToString("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.fff", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture); (src) * Break on a Lenovo T430: Fn+Alt+B
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