Issue 731

Tuesday, 25th September 2018

In This Issue


macOS Mojave 10.14 is now available

macOS Mojave 10.14 is out today, you can grab it from the App Store now. MacStories & Arstechnica have in-depth reviews of Mojave that are worth a read if you're wondering what's new. This release of macOS seems to be a bit more focussed on the backend (which is good), but there's still some interesting features. Highlights include Dark Mode (the entire UI is black so the intense white doesn't burn your eyes), a new screenshot editing tool, an all new App Store, Finder Quick Actions (kinda like the iOS share sheet) and the ability to use your iPhone's camera on the Mac. Someone noticed a flaw in Mojave's inter-app privacy protections, but other than that I can't see any horror stories besides the usual 3rd party apps not working right because their developers didn't get an update out in time. I'm waiting for 10.4.1 and will be doing a traditional clean install. Maybe I'm just superstitious, but it's never failed me in over 13 years of macOS use.

Instagram's co-founders are leaving Facebook

The co-founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are quitting Facebook. In their public statement, they said that they're simply "taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again", but according to Recode, the pair are "resigning from the company they built amid frustration and agitation with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's increased meddling and control over Instagram". The co-founders of WhatsApp quit Facebook ealier this year, also due to beefs with Zuck's desire to compromise WhatsApp's privacy to make a few more bucks. This was inevitable right? It would be so naive to think Facebook would drop billions on something and not want to extract every last drop of revenue it can out of it. A modest return on a product people love isn't enough for the shameless capitalists at Facebook.

Microsoft releases Office 2019 & more at Ignite conference

Microsoft's Ignite conference kicked off in Florida today and there's loads of announcements - so many that they gave the media a 27-page booklet of it all! Most are niche enterprisey kinda things that you don't need to care about unless its your job (if it is your job, you should really pay attention). The most relevant announcement to me, I guess, is Office 2019 for both Windows and Mac. If you've got an Office 365 subscription, the new version of the apps will be available in a few weeks. Some other interesting stuff is Azure offering a virtual Windows 10 desktop in the cloud, OneDrive's files on demand feature is coming to the Mac and a second version of the Surface Hub (Surface Hub 2) coming mid-2019.

Google's got a bunch of new search related features coming soon

Google also had an event on today, related to its crown jewels - search. Google Images will get Google Lens support so you can take a photo of something and it'll tell you what it is and show you more images of it. Collections, a new thing, is basically Google's take on Pinterest. Stories are coming to Google search with an AI that "will generate stories built up from articles, images, and videos on a search topic and incorporate them into search results". Google Feed (was a thing on Android and the Google Search app) is now called Google Discover and will show you stuff on the Google homepage that Google has learned you might like, based off the things you repetitively search for. There will also be more cards (those boxes with info about a topic Google auto-generates) and info showing you links on a topic you've clicked before when you search for that topic.

A Facebook moderator that got PTSD on the job is suing

Selena Scola has sued Facebook for being "exposed to highly toxic, unsafe, and injurious content" during her employment as a content moderator at Facebook. While she worked there between June 2017 and March 2018, she developed PTSD due to "constant and unmitigated exposure to highly toxic and extremely disturbing images at the workplace" without "proper mental health services and monitoring in place". I am absolutely not surprised this happened to Selena. Does anyone expect Facebook's management to have the level of understanding or compassion to make providing moderators with ample mental health support their top priority? Of course not. All Facebook is concerned about is doing the bare minimum to keep public sentiment about their product high enough so the number of monthly active users doesn't drop.

Not News, But Still Cool

Dude that started Craigslist donated $20m to do investigative journalism into big tech

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has donated US$20m to Julia Angwin (a journalist at ProPublica) & Jeff Larson (a data scientist) to create The Markup, "a news site dedicated to investigating technology and its effect on society". They're gonna hire 24 journos, pair them with programmers and use that $20m to report on the tech industry, exposing their dirty laundry. "The site will explore three broad investigative categories: how profiling software discriminates against the poor and other vulnerable groups; internet health and infections like bots, scams and misinformation; and the awesome power of the tech companies". Stories will start getting published in early 2019 and I can't wait. ProPublica does awesome work, so if it's basically that, but covering tech, it's gonna be super interesting.

There's a new range of YubiKey authentication devices

Yubico has announced a new range of YubiKeys - the 5 Series. If you don't know about these little things, they're USB sticks that act as authentication devices. If your software or website supports one of these acronyms: "FIDO2 / WebAuthn, FIDO U2F, PIV (smart card), OpenPGP, Yubico OTP, OATH-TOTP, OATH-HOTP, and challenge-response" - you can use it to make your account virtually un-phishable. It means even if someone steals your password, or manages to trick you into giving them your password, or steals your phone number (to get login codes sent via SMS) or trick you in to telling them a login code, unless they also have this physical item in their possession, they can't log in to your account. There's even NFC enabled models, so on Android (dam u iphone) you can tap a YubiKey to your phone to log in, so even if your phone is stolen and they know your PIN, your accounts are still safe.

10% off eBay Sitewide, cheap Nintendo Switch, Samsung DeX & Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia