The personal blog of Stuart Breckenridge

Ferrari's First Ever First-Lap Double Retirement  

Jamie Strickland, via the BBC:

It’s taken 67 years, nearly 1,000 grands prix and 108 drivers, the likes of Ascari, Fangio, Hawthorn, Surtees, Lauda, Andretti, Villenueve, Prost, Mansell and Schumacher have come and gone, but Ferrari have finally suffered the ignominy of their drivers taking each other out on the opening lap of a race.

Now that has been a long time coming.

I was there, at turn 5, when it happened!

Going the wrong way, Seb.

Astonishment at the statistics aside, this is the first F1 incident that I’ve seen in person and I am glad that the drivers involved have not been hurt.


Another Apple Leak  

Someone at Apple leaked public download links for the iOS 11 gold master.

The HomePod leak was considered to be a mistake, but as this is the second time it’s happened, it’s clear to me that Apple has a security issue. This was leaked with malicious intent.


Daring Fireball is 15 Years Old  

  • Full columns: 1,048,662 original words (1,190,759 total words, including blockquotes).
  • Linked List entries: 952,854 original words (1,923,963 total words, including blockquotes).
  • Combined: 2,001,516 original words (3,114,722 total words, including blockquotes).

Lasting 15 years is one hell of an achievement for an independently run website. Congratulations.


MacBook Pro, Boot Camp, and Akitio Node

I hooked up an Akitio Node — armed with an nVidia GTX 1080 (from MSI) — to my MacBook Pro running Windows 10 in Boot Camp and boy does this thing fly. Battlefield 1, Crysis 3, Player Unknown’s BATTLEGROUNDS, Forza 3, and Gears of War 4 are all handled at 4K with relative ease.

So here’s my issue: I had planned on upgrading to Xbox One X, however, because future Microsoft first-party games, including Halo 6, will be cross-compatible between Xbox One (original, S, and X) and Windows 10, why would I bother? The MacBook Pro with an external GPU is a more powerful combination. Microsoft’s drive to harmonise the Xbox and Windows platforms is nullifying, to a certain degree, the need to buy Xbox hardware.


Stop Me If You've Seen This Before

The HomePod IPSW that was presumably released accidentally is the gift that keeps on giving. In a series of tweets many of iPhone 8 features have been revealed.

Infra-red Face-to-Unlock, via Steve Troughton-Smith (tweet):

The iPhone 8 design, via Guilherme Rambo (tweet):

Screen resolution of 1125x24361, via Steve Troughton-Smith (tweet):

Potential skiing workout on Apple Watch, via Steve Troughton-Smith (tweet):

This reminds of the iPhone 4 reveal when Steve Jobs joked:

Stop me if you’ve seen this before.

  1. Predicted in February by Ming-Chi Kuo. ↩︎


Face Detection Discovered in HomePod Firmware  

Erik Slivka (via MacRumors):

One iOS developer has dug into the firmware [for the HomePod] and discovered that it also contains hints of what we can expect for other devices. Most importantly, the firmware includes numerous references to infrared face detection within the BiometricKit framework that is currently home to Touch ID authentication, supporting claims that the iPhone 8 will rely at least in part on facial recognition.

I have no issue with face detection — but I still want Touch ID.


For Sale — 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro

Update(2017-07-31): Sold.

I’m selling my 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro on Carousell. It’s in near new condition, with original packaging, and has warranty until 30th October 2017.

Have a look.


Apple Discontinues iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Apple has discontinued the iPod nano and iPod shuffle after an incredible 12-year run. In a statement given to Business Insider:

Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod Touch, now with double the capacity, starting at just $199, and we are discontinuing the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano.

The first time I saw an iPod nano in use was in 2007 when a colleague was showing me family pictures. I remember thinking that the screen was incredible for such a small device. Shortly afterwards I went and bought one, and to this day, I still think the iPod nano was my favourite iPod.

It’s hard to get over the fact that all that remains of the iPod lineup is the iPod touch.


How Microsoft Has Become the Surprise Innovator in PCs  

Farhad Manjoo’s article, How Microsoft Has Become the Surprise Innovator in PCs, has some fundamental flaws. He writes:

The hybrid Surface Pro — the inheritor of that first Surface’s vision, the latest version of which was released in May — hasn’t just become a moneymaker for the company. It was also the clear inspiration for the Apple iPad Pro, which supports a pen and keyboard but still feels less like a full-fledged laptop than Surface does.

Why would you compare the iPad Pro to how much it feels like full-fledged laptop? If you want a full-fledged laptop then get a full-fledged laptop! And while you’re at it, define full-fledged. Does a full-fledged laptop need to have an Ethernet port, a Display Port, and some USB connectivity? If so, is a MacBook Pro with USB-C only connections not a full-fledged laptop?

I have an iPad Pro and a MacBook Pro and I don’t ever feel the need to define my iPad Pro in terms of its laptopyness. Similarly, I don’t compare a MacBook Pro to either an iMac or Mac Pro.

Farhad continues:

And in the spring, Microsoft showed off Surface Laptop, which sounds humdrum enough; in shape and purpose, it isn’t much different from the MacBook Air, Apple’s pioneering thin and light laptop. But Microsoft’s machine has a better screen than the Air, and, more important, a future. People loved the Air, but Apple doesn’t appear to want to upgrade it, so Microsoft stepped in to perfect Apple’s baby.

I’d argue that the Surface Laptop’s competitor is the MacBook, not the MacBook Air. The MacBook has a slightly smaller display but a higher PPI, USB 3.1, and is significantly lighter. That said, the MacBook doesn’t have a multi-touch display and the integrated GPU isn’t as good the one in the Surface Laptop.

Also of note: the article makes no mention of other PC makers. Is the implication that Asus, Lenovo, HP, et al., are simply not innovating at all?


The Drag and Drop API Is Simplicity at Its Best

Sometimes an API comes out of nowhere and astounds you with its power and simplicity. I’ve just had that experience with the new drag and drop API in iOS 11. In my FFI List app, with around 20 lines of code, I’ve been able to implement functionality that allows users to drag an FFI from the app into any other app that supports text drops.

The first step is specifying a drag delegate for the table view:

savedFFITableView.dragDelegate = self

The second step is implementing the UITableViewDragDelegate:

func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, itemsForBeginning session: UIDragSession, at indexPath: IndexPath) -> [UIDragItem] {
    return dragItems(for: indexPath)
}

The final step, similar to Apple’s sample code, is to create the drag item(s):

func dragItems(for indexPath: IndexPath) -> [UIDragItem] {
    let item = CDStack.shared.savedFetchedResultsController.object(at: indexPath) as! FFISavedEntity
    var validity:String {
        if item.valid == "false" {
            return "This FFI is currently not on the GIIN list."
        } else {
            return "This FFI is currently on the GIIN list."
        }
    }
    let string = "Name: \(item.name)\nGIIN: \(item.giin)\n\(validity)".data(using: .utf8)
    
    let itemProvider = NSItemProvider()
    itemProvider.registerDataRepresentation(forTypeIdentifier: kUTTypePlainText as String, visibility: .all) { completion in
        completion(string, nil)
        return nil
    }
    
    return [UIDragItem(itemProvider: itemProvider)]
}

With those three short snippets this is the result:

What I want to do — and what I haven’t worked out yet — is dragging from the search table view on to the saved tab in order to save FFIs. It’ll take a bit more work, but I’m sure it’s doable.