Category: Linklog

Where you can find commentary and thoughts about things across the web from yours truly.

  • Happy 69th Birthday, Steve Jobs

    Love him or hate him, he made an impact on the world — under his leadership at Apple, they spearheaded the smartphone revolution. Steve Jobs is a true inspiration for the next generation.

    He would have been 69 this year. Happy birthday, Steve!

  • Apple announced that there’s a new app for Sports on iPhone, aptly named “Apple Sports” and the design cues are very similar to those of watchOS and visionOS. I generally don’t like speculating too much–but considering how out of place this app and the Action Button menu looks on iOS 17, this could potentially mean iOS will receive an overdue redesign treatment this year to bring the platform more in line with other Apple platforms.

    iOS has stayed largely the same design-wise since iOS 7, with mainly minor tweaks each update cycle. With iOS 18 rumored to be a big update this year, only time will tell whether or not this happens!


  • My friend Max writes about my US House Rep. Elise Stefanik’s “Trumpification” in his new blog post:

    “I think he has been insulting to women,” she told WAMC Northeast Public Radio in August 2015. She went on to predict that Trump’s first debate would be his campaign’s “peak moment” before his numbers drop. […]

    […] It was then and there that the old Stefanik died and in her ashes rose a leading MAGA figure. Stefanik realized quickly that she could quit this precarious cat-and-mouse game of bipartisanship and gain power rather easily. […]

    He really does a great job taking you from the beginning of her career all the way to the present “Trumpified” version of her former self. It’s worth the read.

    Disclosure: Like I mentioned, Max is a close friend of mine. I share this with you here because it’s an interesting read and deserves a signal boost — not simply because he’s a friend.

  • From Mashable:

    However, it appears that a significant portion of that traffic on [Twitter] could be fake, according to data provided to Mashable by CHEQ, a leading cybersecurity firm that tracks bots and fake users.

    According to CHEQ, a whopping 75.85 percent of traffic from [Twitter] to its advertising clients’ websites during the weekend of the Super Bowl was fake.

    Are we really surprised? These stats are coming out of the mouth of Elon Musk, who is not only a liar, but didn’t even want to buy the website in the first place. He then changed the name and ruined Twitter’s own brand value and recognition (there is a reason we don’t refer to it by its new name on this blog) for fun.

    He wants you to think this was intentional, and that the name and its CEO in-name-only Linda Yaccarino are a fresh start and chapter for the website, but that’s not true. Inside the company’s walls sits Elon Musk–who is still very much the owner with full control over everything. Yaccarino can’t even give straight answers to anything, and every interview she does is really awkward because of it. It’s embarrassing.

    I won’t say the previous regime was great–all of my run-ins with them were always drama-filled–but they never pulled things like this, and they weren’t helmed by a billionaire and his fake CEO who couldn’t tell you how a social media platform is supposed to function.

    And no, unlike what DHH suggested many moons ago (based on potentially fraudulent numbers to begin with*), the layoffs and subsequent “cloud exit” did not correspond to anything good. In fact, Twitter is now plagued with numerous bugs and tons of issues — like frequent outages — that have only been exacerbated by Musk’s lack of knowledge and shoddy leadership skills.

    *And importantly, the reason I say this is because we know now that the numbers most recently cited for the Super Bowl are fake, so how can we believe anything that the company said or will say in the future? We can’t. We have to question it now.

    The truth is, Musk’s dream of an “everything app” akin to that of China’s WeChat will never happen unless governments around the world forgo democracy and enforce its use. And that’s just not going to happen. Elon Musk can’t even get people to subscribe to his platform’s “Premium” offerings, as the offering only has around 640 million people subscribed to it as of September 2023. (Still waiting on more recent data, but I suspect it hasn’t gone up that much.)

    I close with this quote from the same Mashable article:

    Most […] users who are regularly on the platform can attest to a noticeable uptick in seemingly inauthentic activity in recent months. When a post goes viral on […], its now commonplace to find bots filling the replies with AI-generated responses or accounts with randomly generated usernames spamming a user’s mentions with unsolicited “link-in-bio” promotions. Now, there’s data which backs up that user experience.

    Yep. That’s what happens when you lay off your moderation staff, and sell boosts and verified badges for money… Rest assured, the world will not be doing “everything” through an app produced by Elon Musk any time soon. It just won’t happen.

  • Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, announced on Twitter this morning that the company had been approved by Apple to operate Epic Games Store and Fortnite in the EU, as the Digital Markets Act compliance deadline nears. The company will be bringing the game back to iOS in the EU’s member countries as a result, along with its own app store.

  • Reported by VGC and corroborated by Eurogamer today: the successor to the Switch, which was originally slated for launch in late 2024, will now reportedly launch in Q1 2025 (so around February-March territory) with Nintendo telling third party developers and publishers the new date. Important to note that the new reported release window is still located within the same fiscal year.

    I’m also able to corroborate these reports through my sources as well.

  • It’s official: Google has released the first Developer Preview of Android 15 (V). Currently, Android V will require a Pixel 6 or later, Pixel Fold, or Pixel Tablet to install (basically any device with a Tensor chip). This means Pixel 5/5a and earlier are no longer supported.

    If you want to learn more about what’s new in this update, 9to5Google has a running guide here.

  • Apple Confirms No Web Apps in EU

    From Apple:

    The iOS system has traditionally provided support for Home Screen web apps by building directly on WebKit and its security architecture. That integration means Home Screen web apps are managed to align with the security and privacy model for native apps on iOS, including isolation of storage and enforcement of system prompts to access privacy impacting capabilities on a per-site basis.

    […] And so, to comply with the DMA’s requirements, we had to remove the Home Screen web apps feature in the EU.

    EU users will be able to continue accessing websites directly from their Home Screen through a bookmark with minimal impact to their functionality.

    It’s official, users in the EU can no longer have Home Screen web apps on iOS in the EU. Apple says this is to comply with the DMA’s requirements, however as a web developer, I don’t quite see how this is anything but malicious noncompliance. The company says there is low adoption of these web apps, but that’s not entirely true, either, if you look anywhere online. Not to mention this change breaks a lot of web apps.

    It’s a bad move meant to create hardship for their own users. It’s really sad to see.

  • John Gruber writes (emphasis mine):

    At the end, he makes the case that each new generation of computing devices has an open alternative and a closed one from Apple. (It’s interesting to think that these rivalries might be best thought of not as closed-vs.-open, but as Apple-vs.-the-rest-of-the-industry.) I’m not quite sure where he’s going with that, though, because I don’t really see how my Quest 3 is any more “open” than my Vision Pro. Are they going to license the OS to other headset makers?

    The Quest system software is Android at its core, with Meta’s software running on top. Quest lets you connect to a PC and use it as a VR headset for it, install whatever app you want, whereas Apple locks it down tightly to their ecosystem. Their app marketplace, their rules. I think that’s more so what Zuck was getting at there: Meta simply isn’t keeping things as tight with their platform like Apple is. There are rules and restrictions, of course, even Android itself has them–but they’re not aggressive about it.

    As for your question itself, Meta could probably license the OS to other headset makers within the scope of Android’s open-source license, but I doubt they will. There are a lot of potential issues with that and Meta has a lot of proprietary stuff running on top of what is, again, essentially Android.

    I think what we’re likely going to see is the walls coming down even further than they already are on Meta’s side. They already have the price advantage with their own product line, so I don’t really see why they wouldn’t want to open things up even further.

  • There’s some new emoji, of course, but most of the new changes in iOS 17.4 Beta 3 — which was seeded to Public Beta testers today, and Developers on the Developer Beta track not long before that — are EU-specific.

    From MacRumors:

    The iOS 17.4 […] [beta] introduce a whole slew of changes for users in the European Union, allowing for alternative app stores and alternative payment methods.

    There are new options for choosing a default browser, NFC has been opened up to banks and other financial institutions, and browsers aren’t mandated to use WebKit.

    None of those features are coming to the US or any other territories besides EU member countries, though.

    However, Stolen Device Protection, new emoji, and transcripts in Apple Podcasts are included worldwide, so there’s that. My guess is most of the engineering efforts are on EU DMA compliance and iOS 18 now… Apple’s WWDC is imminent (June), and they usually have things ready to go by mid-to-late April/early May.