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The Impossible Dream of USB-C

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Marco Arment, a prominent developer best known for co-founding Tumblr, explains things that are still crippling USB-C, despite being around for years and being used in mainstream products. Arment writes: While a wide variety of USB-C dongles are available, most use the same handful of unreliable, mediocre chips inside. Some USB-A dongles make Wi-Fi drop on MacBook Pros. Some USB-A devices don't work properly when adapted to USB-C, or only work in certain ports. Some devices only work when plugged directly into a laptop's precious few USB-C ports, rather than any hubs or dongles. And reliable HDMI output seems nearly impossible in practice. Very few hubs exist to add more USB-C ports, so if you have more than a few peripherals, you can't just replace all of their cables with USB-C versions. You'll need a hub that provides multiple USB-A ports instead, and you'll need to keep your USB-A cables for when you're plugged into the hub -- but also keep USB-C cables or dongles around for everything you might ever need to plug directly into the computer's ports. Hubs with additional USB-C ports might pass Thunderbolt through to them, but usually don't. Sometimes, they add a USB-C port that can only be used for power passthrough. Many hubs with power passthrough have lower wattage limits than a 13-inch or 15-inch laptop needs. Fortunately, USB-C is a great charging standard. Well, it's more of a collection of standards. USB-C devices can charge via the slow old USB rates, but for higher-powered devices or faster charging, that's not enough current.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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letssurf
30 days ago
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USB-C fail
Northampton, UK

PSA: A new phishing attack could trick you into giving away your Apple ID password

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If you’ve used an iOS device at all, you’ve almost certainly been presented with the above popup asking you to enter your Apple ID password. It often appears within the App Store and iTunes Store, but it also has a tendency to randomly popup from time to time due to something running in the background.

A new blog post from developer Felix Krause, however, explains how that popup could be used to easily trick someone into handing over their Apple ID and password…

more…





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letssurf
37 days ago
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I've been saying this...
Northampton, UK

PhpStorm 2017.3 EAP 173.2941.8

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The new PhpStorm 2017.3 EAP build (173.2941.8) is now available! You can download it here or via JetBrains Toolbox App. Or, if you have the previous PhpStorm 2017.3 EAP build (173.2463.17) installed, you should soon get a notification in the IDE about a patch update.

This build delivers new features, bug fixes, and improvements for PHP and the Web, and includes the latest improvements in IntelliJ Platform.

Performance Improvements

We’ve been working hard on performance improvements in the last two EAPs and we’ve managed to decrease typing latency in the very complex PHP files. For example, we’ve measured the following changes in mPDF main file (38k lines, a mix of PHP/JS/HTML):

Min Delay (ms) Max Delay (ms) Average Delay (ms)
PhpStorm 2017.3 EAP 15.4 46.2 27.3
PhpStorm 2017.2 124.9 210.4 134.6

The measurement was performed using the amazing tool, Typometer, that captures the delay between key press action and its appearance on the screen. As you see the delays have decreased by a factor of 4.

The work is still in progress and we hope to boost performance even further.  If you have particular examples of files that are sluggish in PhpStorm, please comment or create an issue in YouTrack.

Composer Log

In this build, we’ve implemented a Composer Log console. Before all the messages about composer actions and related settings changes were shown in the Event Log, which was overwhelming and not always informative. Now we’ve made a dedicated Composer Log for all Composer related actions and notifications in the project. As a bonus, you can also rerun all actions right from the Log. The Composer Log can be opened from the composer.json editor panel or from the Event Log when you get a first Composer notification. Check it out and let us know what you think!

composer

From the platform side the update brings:

  • Better synchronization of your settings across devices (more details here)
  • Mocha test runner: support –watch option (WEB-11104)

Apart from new features, this build has many bug fixes, including these:

  • Parse exception while converting JSON to object class working with GitHub (IDEA-178764)
  • Only some foreign key edges are shown in the diagram (DBE-2130)
  • Postgres: Database console sets different timezone in session that PGAdmin (DBE-2996)

See the full list of bug-fixes and improvements in our issue tracker and the complete release notes.

Download PhpStorm 2017.3 EAP 173.2941 for your platform from the project EAP page or click “Update” in your JetBrains Toolbox App. And please do report any bugs and feature request to our Issue Tracker.

Your JetBrains PhpStorm Team
The Drive to Develop

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letssurf
42 days ago
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At last, some performance love 💕
Northampton, UK

Apple fixes the Disk Utility APFS bug: What you need to know!

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If you create an additional, secure APFS container on an existing APFS drive using Disk Utility, and set a password hint, there's a bug that will show your actual password instead. But a fix is already on its way.

Apple has just pushed out a macOS High Sierra Supplemental Update to fix an issue with Disk Utility, APFS encrypted containers, and password hints.

From Matheus Mariano:

This week, Apple released the new macOS High Sierra with the new file system called APFS (Apple File System). It wasn't long before I encountered issues with this update. Not a simple issue, but a potential vulnerability.

The issue, as best as I understand it, was as follows:

  1. If you have an APFS formatted SSD drive and:
  2. You create a new container on that drive using the Disk Utilities GUI and:
  3. You make it an encrypted container and:
  4. You add a password hint for the container

Then the GUI would mix up the fields and store the container password in the plain-text password hint field and display the password as the hint whenever you re-mount the container.

If you didn't use the Disk Utility GUI and created the container through Terminal, or if you used the Disk Utility GUI but didn't set a password hint, you wouldn't be affected by the bug.

As bugs go, it was super dumb. But Mariano had already reported it to Apple, and Apple is already deploying a fix.

The number of people affected — those with physical access to a device with an existing APFS container that also has an additional, encrypted APFS container who wouldn't also have the password to that container — is probably tiny. Still, Apple has provided the following instructions for how to roll back even under those circumstances:

  1. Install the macOS High Sierra 10.13 Supplemental Update from the App Store updates page.
  2. Create an encrypted backup of the affected encrypted APFS volume.
  3. Open Disk Utility and select the affected encrypted APFS volume in the sidebar.
  4. Click Unmount to unmount the volume.
  5. Click Erase.
  6. When asked, type a name for the volume in the Name field.
  7. Change Format to APFS.
  8. Then change Format again to APFS (Encrypted).
  9. Enter a new password in the dialog. Enter it again to verify the password, and if you'd like to, provide a hint for the encrypted APFS volume. Click Choose.
  10. Click Erase. You can see the progress of the Erase process.
  11. Click Done when the process is complete.
  12. Restore the data that you backed up in Step 1 to the new encrypted APFS volume that you just created.

The macOS High Sierra 10.13 Supplemental Update should be live by the time you read this, and you can access and update to it via the Mac App Store.

Also note, if you used the same password for your encrypted APFS container as any other accounts (for example, your Mac user account), change those accounts. Better safe than sorry.

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letssurf
42 days ago
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Oh dear Apple. Poor show.
Northampton, UK

Apple is Really Bad At Design

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Joshua Topolsky, writing for the Outline: Once upon a time, Apple could do little wrong. As one of the first mainstream computer companies to equally value design and technical simplicity, it upended our expectations about what PCs could be. "Macintosh works the way people work," read one 1992 ad. Rather than requiring downloads and installations and extra memory to get things right (as often required by Windows machines), Apple made it so you could just plug in a mouse or start up a program and it would just... work. Marrying that functionality with the groundbreaking design the company has embodied since the early Macs, it's easy to see how Apple became the darling of designers, artists, and the rest of the creative class. The work was downright elegant; unheard of for an electronics company. [...] But things changed. In 2013 I wrote about the confusing and visually abrasive turn Apple had made with the introduction of iOS 7, the operating system refresh that would set the stage for almost all of Apple's recent design. The product, the first piece of software overseen by Jony Ive, was confusing, amateur, and relatively unfinished upon launch. [...] It's almost as if the company is being buried under the weight of its products. Unable to cut ties with past concepts (for instance, the abomination that is iTunes), unable to choose clear paths forward (USB-C or Lightning guys?), compromising core elements to make room for splashy features, and executing haphazardly to solve long-term issues. [...] Pundits will respond to these arguments by detailing Apple's meteoric and sustained market-value gains. Apple fans will shout justifications for a stylus that must be charged by sticking it into the bottom of an iPad, a "back" button jammed weirdly into the status bar, a system of dongles for connecting oft-used devices, a notch that rudely juts into the display of a $1,000 phone. But the reality is that for all the phones Apple sells and for all the people who buy them, the company is stuck in idea-quicksand, like Microsoft in the early 2000s, or Apple in the 90s.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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letssurf
47 days ago
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Sad times
Northampton, UK

macOS and iOS kernel source code is now available on GitHub

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Apple has released the source code of the XNU kernel used in its macOS and iOS operating systems on GitHub for developers to build upon or examine the internals of the company's software. Read more...
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letssurf
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Interesting
Northampton, UK
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