Weekly digest - 2019.22


Deepfakes becomes real

Researchers from Samsung’s AI Center have figured out a method to train the AI to animate a person's face from an extremely limited dataset, like a single photo. They achieved this by training algorithm for detecting facial features and face landmarks, like shape of the face, eyes, mouth shape, etc. They used 7,000 images of celebrities gathered from VoxCeleb to train the model and achieve realistic results.

What they achieve is really impressive and scary at the same time. I'm afraid that soon we will have problem to tell the difference between what's real and what's fake.

Facebook & cryptocurrency

According to BBC, Facebook plans to launch its own cryptocurrency in 2020. New digital currency, named GlobalCoin, will be launched in 12 countries and it suppose to make money transfers easier for Instagram and WhatsApp users.

This is an interesting approach, and it's completely different from Apple's "traditional banking" route. I'm curious how it will be adopted by users. Maybe, finally, the cryptocurrency money transfers will become widely used.

iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 rumors

One week before WWDC, Guilherme Rambo revealed screenshots of some upcoming iOS 13 features. So far, the following changes will released with new operating system:

  • Dark mode,
  • New toolbar for screenshots editor,
  • Redesigned Reminders app,
  • Find my iPhone and Find my Friends apps are united into one app called Find My.

On the macOS side, we got screenshot of new Music and TV apps.

Those features align with previous rumors about iOS 13 and macOS 10.15, so there is high chance that we will see the rest of anticipated features on Monday.

New iPod Touch

Apple has quietly updated the iPod Touch with new A10 Fusion chip. Beside new CPU, iPod got new version with  256GB of storage. And that's it. This update is strange as Apple didn't even use latest generation of  A11 or A12 chips.

I'm surprised that Apple even bothered to upgrade iPod Touch, but apparently  they are convinced that users need more performance. Maybe they think that people will use iPods to play games, for example from Apple Arcade. Well, iPod Touch, with starting price at $199, is definitely chipper than the iPhone, so they might be people who like mobile games, but cannot afford a new iPhone. In that case, iPod Touch is reasonable choice.


Image credits: Egor Zakharov

Weekly digest - 2019.18


F8 2019 Conference

Last year's Facebook conference was shadowed by the Cambridge Analysis scandal. This year company told us that it is "focusing" on privacy. I'm not going to comment this, and I move on to other topic.

First of all the website will be completely redesigned.  It's about time to do so. Right now the site feels old and inconvenient. I only hope that Facebook will not force more "recommendation" algorithms. I know what I want to follow and in what order. So I would appreciate if Facebook stoped filtering the content for me.

Second thing are new versions of the Messenger. Beside size and speed optimisations it will have end-to-end encryption. Also, we will get the desktop versions for Windows and Mac.

From other news, Facebook said that it going to extend the dating features with secret crush. And Oculus Quest and Rift S will be released on May 21st.

Peter Mayhew passed away

Peter Mayhew, the original actor who portrayed Chewbacca in Star Wars, has died at the age of 74 on the evening of April 30.

This is a really sad news, yet another actor from original cast is gone ☹️

MacBook Pro Keyboard Failures

On Reddit, user named cli3x posted and interesting analysis of the MacBook keyboards failures. Long story short, it looks like the design of the butterfly switches is faulted and non of the upgrades Apple did, during last year and a half, are going to solve keyboard issues. This fragment sums this up perfectly:

Macbook owners, please beware. Always have AppleCare, even if paying extra to cover a flaw that should be properly dealt with is morally questionable and a shitty thing to do.

Firefox's "armagadd-on"

On Saturday, almost all Firefox's extensions stopped working.  It turned out that the signing certificate has expired. It took Firefox's team couple of hours to pinpoint and fix the issue. In a meanwhile, the workaround was to disable add-ons' certification validation.

Lesson from this incident is clear, always check when your certificates are about to expire and set a reminder in your calendar.


Image credits: Facebook

Weekly digest - 2019.05


This is not a good beginning of the year for Apple, another week and another controversy. This time Apple had a big fail, people discovered that you could hear the person you were calling before they even pick up. The bug was easy to reproduce, all you have to do is call someone and add yourself to the call again. This bug has been discovered and reported by teenager and his mother, but it took Apple a week to acknowledge the problem. Looking at how slowly Apple is responding to bug reports, they found out about the exploit because all media started reporting it. Only then Apple has taken Group Face Time service down. The fix should be released next week.
There are two things that bother me in this whole situation. Why this nasty bug has not been detected by Apple's QAs in the first place? The second one, why it took Apple a week to react?

Sometimes Apple can do a good things. First they revoked Facebook's enterprise developer certificates for distributing "internal" applications outside the company. Then they did the same thing to Google. In both cases companies violated Apple's Enterprise Program privacy policy. In case of the Facebook the situation is even more interesting. It turned out that Facebook paid $20 for installing the VPN app to monitor iOS users activities.

That's all for this week, if you want more, here is the list of interesting things.

The Ultimate Beginner Git Cheatsheet

How to use the result type to handle errors in Swift 5?

Top 5 Frontend Development Topics To Learn in 2019

Jest 24: 💅 Refreshing, Polished, TypeScript-friendly

Netflix JavaScript Talks - Making Bandersnatch

The mistake developers make when coding a hamburger menu

HTTP/3: From root to tip

Programming Fonts - Test Drive


Image credits: Apple.

Weekly digest - 2018.52


During this week I looked back on what happened this year and I decided to pick my top 3 news from each month. Here are my picks.

January

  1. Bitcoin bubble burst,
  2. Meltdown and Spectre discovered,
  3. EA became scared of YouTubers.

February

  1. SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space,
  2. Elon Musk started selling not a Flamethrowers,
  3. Apple started selling HomePods.

March

  1. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal,
  2. Apple fixed buggy iPhone X ad before fixing the actual iOS 11 bug,
  3. Current frequency deviations in Central Europe.

April

  1. Mark Zuckerberg testified before members of Congress,
  2. SpaceX reached the promised land of launching every two weeks,
  3. GTA V has become the most profitable entertainment product of all time.

May

  1. Google Duplex has been announced,
  2. GDPR has become effective,
  3. Premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

June

  1. Microsoft bought GitHub,
  2. Apple held WWDC,
  3. Apple Pay became available in Poland.

July

  1. Apple updated MacBook Pros,
  2. New MacBook Pros fixed keyboard but overheats,
  3. Clone Wars TV series has been renewed.

August

  1. Apple became first IT company to be worth 1 trillion dollars,
  2. Twitter limited access to the APIs,
  3. CD Project released first gameplay of the Cyberpunk 2077.

September

  1. Apple unveiled iPhone XS, XR and Apple Watch 4,
  2. Google was celebrating its 20th birthday,
  3. iOS 12 and macOS Mojave has been released.

October

  1. LucasFilm shared details about first Star Wars tv series - The Mandalorian,
  2. Apple shoved new iPad Pro,
  3. Google unveiled Pixel 3, a tablet and HomeHub.

November

  1. Disney announced new streaming service - Disney+,
  2. Stan Lee has passed away,
  3. Robert Kubica returned to F1.

December

  1. Microsoft announced that it's working on a new browser,
  2. YouTube Rewind 2018 became the most disliked video on YouTube,
  3. Google’s Home Alone ad.

That's all folks. This was an incredible year. I hope next year will be event better.
Happy New year guys and see you soon!


Image credits: Annie Spratt.

Weekly digest - 2018.46


This week Stan Lee has passed away at the age 95. He lived wonderful life and left us his great legacy in form of superheroes: Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, The X-Men, The Hulk and The Fantastic Four.
We have lost a great visioner and storyteller, but today his creations are more popular than ever. He and his life's work will be remembered by many generations.
Rest in piece Stan Lee.

In terms of the tech news nothing special happened, so I just prepared the list of more interesting news:

As this week was pretty boring, maybe this list of cool things will be more interesting.

Gogs: a painless self-hosted Git service

web.dev - the ultimate resource for developers

What Web Can Do Today

To www or not to www – Should you use www or not in your domain?

My App Is Dead in the Water

Creating iOS 12 Shortcuts with JavaScript and Shortcuts JS

Emoji Builder


Image credits: Wikimedia.