Everyday spies

I came across this USB Phone Charger Camera on Amazon.com and realized just how cheaply and discretely anyone can spy on someone.

There are a lot of other hidden cameras devise like this alarm clock or this smoke detector. And there are dozens more that can be hidden or masquerade as other objects on websites like SpyTechStop.com.

Besides worrying about big companies spying on us through our mobile devices and aggregating our online activities, I’m starting to worrying that everyday people are spying on us in the real world, too.

Haiku remains one of the few remaining non-Unix open-source operating systems available today. It has gone beyond just maintaining binary compatibility with old BeOS code to becoming a powerful, workable operating system of its own.

Apple online store 2021 redesign

Apple has redesigned their online store and brought back the concept of a store homepage

The Apple online store homepage currently functions like someone just exported a Figma prototype and published it. It might look great when framed perfectly, but fails when a desktop window is resized to be larger or smaller than that perfect demo window size.

Continue reading “Apple online store 2021 redesign”

Hot Take on the Windows 11 Preview

Windows 11 has been officially announced, and it didn’t really meet my expectations. Judging from the work that has gone in to UI tooling for developers, I was expecting a cleaned up, slimmed down, refined operating system. Instead Windows 11 doesn’t seem all that different from Windows 10 except the addition of another design system layer and deeper integration with Microsoft cloud services.

Continue reading “Hot Take on the Windows 11 Preview”

GTA Online. Infamous for its slow loading times. Having picked up the game again to finish some of the newer heists I was shocked (/s) to discover that it still loads just as slow as the day it was released 7 years ago.

It’s parsing something. Parsing what? Untangling the disassembly would take forever so I decided to dump some samples from the running process using x64dbg. Some debug-stepping later it turns out it’s… JSON! They’re parsing JSON. A whopping 10 megabytes worth of JSON with some 63k item entries.

It’s surprising that this issue had never been considered worth it to be fixed by Rockstar. I do think 63,000 items loaded via JSON is excessive, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable given the size and scope of GTA online.

Power and performance aren’t the bottleneck for iPad, and haven’t been for some time. So if raw power isn’t enough, and new display tech isn’t enough, where does the iPad go from here? Will it be abandoned once more, lagging behind the Mac in terms of innovation, or will Apple continue to debut its latest tech in this form factor? Is it headed toward functional parity with the Mac or will it always be hamstrung by Apple’s strict App Store policies and seemingly inconsistent investment in iPadOS?

I enjoy using my iPad Pro but not as a professional. The developer profession has never been a target market for the iPad, and Apple’s own development environment doesn’t even run on it. Well, I guess there’s Swift Playgrounds.

I think the tablet is a great form factor, but my ideal tablet future is either a Mac tablet or an iPad running macOS. And with Apple Silicon now powering Macs, what’s the difference between those two futures?

First Day with an Apple Silicon Mac

My Mac mini with Apple Silicon arrived. I went with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD configuration. I am excited about this transition not just because of the massive jump is performance, but because it feels like the Mac platform is taking center stage again.

I did hit a few snags with the hardware and operating system on my first day. It wasn’t a simple drop-in replacement for my 2018 Mac mini on my desk, and one of the first things I wanted to understand was how to reinstall or factory erase macOS on Apple Silicon.

Continue reading “First Day with an Apple Silicon Mac”

Impressions of the Magic Keyboard and iPad Pro

When the iPad first came out in 2010, I immediately bought one. Holding it and interacting with it felt like a revelation. This was the future of computing.

As the years went by and I upgraded to newer models of the iPad, I never really felt the same excitement. The software experience felt like it stagnated. I used it more for reading and watching videos than anything productive.

The iPad Pro without the keyboard the same excitement the original iPad made me feel. The feel of the machine, the bit larger screen and using Face ID to unlock it feels like the future of computing again. I’m curious if the addition of the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil can keep the experience elevated above just a consumption device.

Continue reading “Impressions of the Magic Keyboard and iPad Pro”