iOS 12, tvOS 12 & watchOS5 are all out today. No upgrade horror stories so far! MacStories has a very thorough review of the new stuff in iOS 12 for both iPad and iPhone, with Shortcuts and Screen Time some of the highlights. Apple has a nifty user guide for Shortcuts. My favourite feature is the ability to use 3rd party password managers system wide. watchOS5 brings a new Siri watch face, a podcasts app for offline listening, a cool walkie-talkie feature that my wife and I are already abusing, new workouts and updated watch faces. tvOS 12 doesn't have many interesting features, but there's some impressive new screensavers and Dolby Atmos support for the 4K Apple TV.
Yusaku Maezawa (a Japanese billionaire) is giving SpaceX shitloads of cash to take him and some mates on a joyride around the moon in Elon Musk's Big Fucking Rocket (BFR for short). Musk & Maezawa announced the trip at SpaceX's HQ and launched a little website to build some hype for the week long journey. It'll take place in 2023 and Maezawa will bring with him six to eight artists — sculptors, writers, painters, architects and film directors, who will create art based on their experience and create what is probably the most expensive and elaborate art project ever. You can watch the entire announcement, including Elon Musk's meandering presentation, then Q&A, on the SpaceX YouTube channel. Oh and the bloke Elon called a pedo has officially sued him, like Elon dared him to.
Twitter has "heard feedback" about the wacky changes to the timeline and is providing the option to put it back to a normal, chronological order. "Today we updated the "Show the best Tweets first" setting. When off, you’ll only see Tweets from people you follow in reverse chronological order. Previously when turned off, you’d also see "In case you missed it" and recommended Tweets from people you don’t follow". Twitter plans to make this more obvious with a switch in the settings that'll show the bullshit algorithmic timeline or the proper chronological timeline. I guess their thinking is that people will leave the crappy timeline on for daily use, but when there's an event on and you wanna see tweets as they come in, you can turn that off then go back when things have died down.
The gambling regulators of 15 European countries, plus Washington state in the USA, have "joined forces to call on video games companies to address the clear public concern around the risks gambling and some video games can pose to children". In a joint declaration, they've specified four areas they're worried about. Skin betting (3rd party sites that let you bet on better in-game items), loot boxes (randomised in-game purchases), social casino gambling (primarily gambling apps that let you buy in-game credit with cash), and "the use of gambling themed content within video games available to children". The full declaration can be found here - it's pretty sad there's videogames resorting to these tactics.
After years of drip feeding the public info on the e-tron electric SUV, Audi has finally revealed the damn thing. It'll go on sale Q2 2019 and cost US$86,700 at launch, with a base model coming later that'll start at US$74,800. The e-tron is an all new platform, but closely resembles the Q7 in terms of size. The e-tron has a 95 kWh battery that'll get around 400km range and supports 150kW charging - faster than Tesla's Superchargers. It's got cameras instead of mirrors on the sides, but they aren't legal in the USA (and I bet aren't legal here either). I really like the e-tron and it'll probably be better built than a Tesla. Shame it won't be on sale in Australia until mid-2020 and will cost more than I'll ever be able to afford.
Apple's 2nd favourite
propagandist writer, Steven Levy, has conducted an oral history of Apple's time in their Infinite Loop campus - their HQ from 1997 until 2017, when the new Apple Park campus opened down the road. A nice read for an Apple tragic. Some of my highlights: People got really upset when the Newton (Apple's PDA) was nuked. Absolute nerds had a picket line outside Apple's HQ, demanding Apple bring the product back. Steve Jobs' office in Infinite Loop is still there, just as he left it, even his whiteboard hasn't been erased. Chris Espinosa tried to put out a pirate flag in the main atrium, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, but it only lasted 4 hours until some security goons pulled it down.
Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, is known for being a straight up bastard. Constantly flames people on various mailing lists and has been doing so for decades. Yesterday, he kinda had a moment of clarity and kinda apologised on the Linux Kernel mailing list: "This week people in our community confronted me about my lifetime of not understanding emotions. My flippant attacks in emails have been both unprofessional and uncalled for. Especially at times when I made it personal. In my quest for a better patch, this made sense to me. I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry". There's even a brand new Code of Conduct something the Linux Kernel, one of the most influential open source projects, has sorely lacked.
That's it, see ya tomorrow!