Weekly Digest - 2020.09


Safari will reject HTTPS certificates with over 13 months validity

Apple has announced that from September 1, Safari will reject any website that uses HTTPS certificate with more than 398 days of validity. Certificates issued before September 1 will not be affected until the date of their next certificate renewal.

ARM Macs in 2021?

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, first ARM Mac could be ready for sale in first half of 2021. Apple is working on ARM Mac for couple of years now, as part of switching from Intel processors to custom silicon chip. New CPU will not only allow Apple to become independent from Intel, which has been an issue in the past. But also will introduce more efficient silicon, which might result in better performance or/and battery life.

More Xbox Series X details

Phil Spencer shared couple of new details about upcoming console:

  • Xbox is powered by chips based on  latest AMD’s  Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures enabling 12TFLOPS of computing power,
  • Support for Variable Rate Shading (VRS) - instead of rendering all effects at the same frame rate, VRS will allow developers to apply different refresh rate to each of the effects,
  • Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing will allow to achieve even more realistic computer graphics,
  • Quick resume will allow to resume multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, thanks to fast SSD storage,
  • Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) will help to reduce lag between console and wireless controllers,
  • Support for 120FPS,
  • Support for HDMI 2.1.

Coronavirus affects tech conferences

Facebook announced that their annual developer conference - F8 - has been canceled due to coronavirus outbreak. F8 was scheduled to take place on May 5th and May 6th this year. Although, the conference will not take place, Facebook is planning to organize local and online events.

Also, Game Developer Conference (GDC), that was planned for this March,  has been postponed to this summer.

Weekly Digest - 2020.06


Faking trafic jam on Google Maps

Google Maps monitors traffic data using various sources, including phones with location services turned on.  Sam Wecker tricked Google Maps and created virtual traffic jam by walking through empty streets of Berlin with 99 second-hand phones loaded on a small wagon.

Google is aware of this flaw and, in response to 9to5Google, stated that they liked the idea, and hope that it will somehow improve the service.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip leaked

A video showing upcoming Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip has been shared on Twitter. Phone itself looks more like a traditional flip phone that folds up into a compact device. There is not much information about this phone, but here is what we know so far based on the leaks:

  • It will have 6.1- inch foldable main screen,
  • Smaller screen on the back for clock & notifications,
  • Front facing camera built into the main screen,
  • Double camera system on the back.

The Galaxy Z Flip is expected to be revealed at Samsung's Unpacked event on February 11.

GeForce Now finally released

Nvidia's game streaming service -  GeForce Now - left the beta and is finally available for everyone. At the moment, players can choose one of two tiers:

Free

  • Play session is limited to 1 hour,
  • Raytracing is disabled.

Founders

  • Costs $4.99 a month,
  • Unlimited play time,
  • Priority access to servers,
  • Raytracing is available.

GeForce Now allows to play already purchased games from Steam, Uplay, and Epic Store. The list of compatible games is impressive.

At the moment, the client is available for Windows, macOS i Android, but Nvidia also plans to release the PWA version.

Microsoft forgot to renew a certificate, again

Microsoft Teams went down for nearly three hours after Microsoft forgot to renew a critical security certificate. Teams users couldn't sign into the service because the app was failing to establish an HTTPS connection to Microsoft’s servers.

This is not Microsoft's first incident with expired certificate. In 2013,  Microsoft Azure was not available for couple of hours.

AMD Powered macs?

New beta of macOS 10.15.4 Catalina continues to reference the AMD processors. Those references could mean one of couple of things:

  • Apple is just playing with AMD's hardware and there is nothing more to the story,
  • AMD's CPU and GPU will power rumored gaming computer,
  • Apple is going to replace Intel's chips with AMD ones in future iMacs and MacBooks.

Image credits: Google Maps

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

How to add Open in VS Code option to Finder


I know "true" developers only use the terminal 🤪, but sometimes using Finder is more convenient. I use Finder most of the time, and I always missed the option to open selected directory in Visual Studio Code. Recently I open folders in VSCode quite often and lack of ability to do that from the Finder became quite annoying.

I did a little research to see how can I add this feature myself. And it turned out it is really simple.

1. Open Automator

You can do this by either:

  • searching Automator  in the Spotlight  CMD + Space or
  • opening it directly from ~/Applications/Automator.app.

2. Select Quick Action template

3. Get Selected Files/Folders from Finder

The first step it to figure out what files or folders are currently selected in Finder. We can achieve that using the Get Specified Finder Items action in our workflow:

  1. Select Files & Folders group from the library,
  2. Find the  Get Specified Finder Items action,
  3. Drag and drop this action to the workflow.

4. Open selected items in VSCode

The last step is to open those files in the VSCode. We can do this with Open Finder Items action:

  1. Select Files & Folders group from the library,
  2. Find the  Open Finder Items action,
  3. Drag and drop this action to the workflow, below the Get Specified Finder Items action,
  4. In the Open Finder Items action, there is open with option.  Just select the VSCode.

5. Save the action

Save the action under clear and meaningful name like Open in VSCode. The name is important as it will be displayed in Finder!

6. Use it

Once the action is saved, it should be automatically added to Finder's Services list. You can access it by right-clicking on a file or folder:

That's all. It took less than 5 minutes to make my, and hopefully yours, life easier.