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  • Green texts in iMessages nudge teens to use iPhones

    Teenagers will always find a way to create exclusive clubs and decide who’s in and who’s out. Think back to when you were younger: maybe there was an actual club the popular people went to, or an expensive bike with a particular brand you should use ”if you want to be cool”. In my case, it was getting a Nintendo 8-bit and later the SNES (except I was team SEGA and fortunately my friends liked it).

    This is different, but not by much. Let’s say Apple made iMessage an open system, even introduce their mocked up app in a finished state on Google Play Store. What would happen next is, iMessage is uncool and some new Snapchat-like app would take over the crown. It would be invite-only based and anyone not able to register would be left out.
  • IRS will soon demand video selfies for online user identification

    This must be the most complicated system I’ve seen for secure login. If you want to know how easy filing and checking tax return is in Sweden, you can take a look here:

    We have been using a national service called BankID for 19 years now (the first offering of the service launched in 2003). It is actually a service from a private-sector company (sort of unusual for a Scandinavian solution). The company is an incorporated company co-owned by a long list of national banks (not all of the banks, but a lot of them). Why is the Swedish solution so easy and convenient to use? Because every citizen has got a Personal Identity Number (introduced in 1947). This number is unique to every citizen and Bank-ID utilizes this as the authenticating username. 

    It is not possible to register for Bank-ID at Skatteverket (Swedish Tax Agency). You can’t apply for it on the Bank-ID website, either. Instead, you login securely to your bank’s website or complementary mobile app and then apply for it there in an online self-service system. After a few minutes of setting it up, you’ve got a valid, secure authentication system to use on what is claimed on Wikipedia to be more than 600 websites (I assume all are national sites, unless there are also EU government-related web services accepting it). Their only national competitor, to my knowledge, is Freja e-ID (, but it isn’t universally accepted in the way Bank-ID is. Rather obscure at this point in time. 

     When I started using Bank-ID many, many years ago, it was only through my computer using Bank-ID’s desktop software, since it was before the iPhone was released. These days barely anyone uses that. The smartphone and tablet app is peoples’ default.

    I think this kind of system is impossible to implement in the US because of enough percentages of the population being either outright suspicious or mildly doubtful about the government in general. Even if only 0.5 % of the US population were upset about the privacy implications and refused to login to file taxes, it would still be 0.5 % of > 300 million people (excluding people who do not need to file taxes because they don’t have an employment or other income). Sweden on the other hand, is a small enough country using a 100 % trusted Personal Identity Number system with citizens who deeply trust their government (not talking about politicians, but rather: politically-neutral gov offices and services), with an unusually high penetration of IT services and nationally widespread internet broadband infrastructure, which makes these kind of solutions possible here. 

    Not saying we are the best in IT services, though. If you want the most daring, innovative IT services, Estonia is without any doubt the EU leader in the area and they frequently pioneer new IT systems. If you wondered why Estonia was long the home for Skype Software engineers, it’s of course cheaper. It’s all about tax evasion/optimization and what not, but it’s also easy to find highly qualified IT people. On the international level, I would assume South Korea and Singapore (possibly Japan as well) are in the top 5 list of providing convenient, secure IT services for their respective population.
  • Microsoft says that if Apple isn't stopped now, its antitrust behavior will just get worse...

    davidw said:
    And if you jailbreak an iPhone you can side load apps.

    If you pay for a $99 developer account, you can sign and side load apps. (not sure what the limit is.)

    There is a free developer account using a free apple ID, that will let you side load apps into your iDevice. But the app will only stay signed for 7 days and limited to 3 apps at a time (with each account). Afterwards 7 days, you need to reload the app again. Plus it doesn't get your app into the App Store.
    Yep. I published Objective-C apps on the App Store back in the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 days. Have been using a free account for several years, developing in Swift and SwiftUI on iPad hardware. The 7 day restriction and 3 apps is a constant frustration, but I’m not going to resume as a paying developer until my apps are ready to be showcased.
  • Apple to pay $30M to retail employees for off-the-clock bag, device searches

    I would never work for Apple with conditions like these, with no trust in employees. This is basically assuming they steal. Why not keep track of their inventory and raise questions with staff if something actually happens? Did they frequently have incidents in the past which made Apple act this way? I have so many questions about Apple’s reasons.
  • Knitters support Epic in knotty legal fight with Apple's App Store

    When I see these screenshots of the knitting app, I envision a web app, which you put on your iPhone homescreen. In iOS 15.4, Apple is seemingly adding push notification support to mobile Safari, bringing it up to par with the push notifications already in place on Safari for MacOS. It would be a perfect homescreen app, with zero app approval, and 100 % profit to the knitting app creators (minus fees for credit card processing and loads and loads of ads and other marketing promotions via Google AdSense and social media.)
  • Microsoft says that if Apple isn't stopped now, its antitrust behavior will just get worse...

    Are their alternative Xbox stores? Can I side load games onto my Xbox?
    Sideloading: Yes, you can, indeed! You boot into developer mode. All the games you bought through the Xbox interface for Windows Store are nowhere to be seen, that’s the catch, the sacrifice you make. Reboot into normal mode and the games return. I guess it’s a dual-boot setup, but unlike PCs I can’t just fire up a partition manager to look at things, unless I open up the Xbox, take out the HDD, etc, and void the warranty. I have an Xbox One S (Xbox One generation — not the 2020 Xbox Series S version). 

    Thanks to this, you have videos like these showing you how to enjoy excellent retro emulation without modding.

    That video showcases Series S, but my old One S uses the same thing, just older hardware.

    Regarding alt Xbox stores: no, only developer mode. I can make my own Unity game and execute the code directly on the console (except I’m a hobby Swift programmer without any game programming or 3D animation experience)
  • The least surprising news of 2021: Facebook voted the worst company in America

    I have never had a Facebook account in my whole life and will never sign up. For me it’s about not comparing my own life and achievements with others. Twitter works out for me, because I can follow strangers announcing trivial things on a daily or weekly basis, which for me is all about reading and discussing the latest trends in tech. If friends want to reach out, it’s not going to be on social media, but rather via private conversations or real-world meetings (except Covid complicated this).
  • Apple paying out up to $200K in stock bonuses to select engineers

    Apple: ”Hmm, we got all these billions. Not sure what to do with this … we just bought a ton of startups earlier today. What now?”
    Employees: ”How about showing us some appreciation for once?”
    Apple: ”Well … a few select, extremely vital people can get a little bit of our money, to make sure we don’t encounter an engineering resource crisis”.

    Employees: ”Really? That’s your move? *Leaves for Twitter, Microsoft and startups*”
  • Death knell sounds for iPhone 6 as Twitter app drops support

    ronmac said:
    I have an old iPhone 6 as a back up & it won’t go past iOS 12.5.5. How’d it get up to 13.6? 
    It can’t. This news is about Twitter changing something server-side, making tweets not load for the old iOS 12-compatible app version of Twitter. Twitter warned about the obsoletion a long time ago. This is just them implementing what they alerted users of a long time in advance.
  • Apple releases iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, watchOS 8.6, tvOS 15.5 with bug fixes

    Safari is significantly more responsive in iPadOS 15.5 (6th gen, 2018). I’ve had quite bad performance on Javascript-heavy news sites with autoplay videos, lately, and this update is a step in the right direction.