Hi, I’m Dwayne. I’m a freelance web developer. I spend most of my time writing code, reading random things on the internet, and playing PC games. I created this website to share what I’m working on and reading about. Check out the about me page for info about me, and the tech page for more about the website. #BlackLivesMatter

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LastPass Free might not be worth using soon

Any time I talk about passwords with people, I always end up recommending password managers. I don’t really expect average computer users to have amazing password practices1 considering just how many different accounts you need for things these days. I’ve been using 1Password for a while, but I’ve been keeping an eye on some of the others (Bitwarden, Dashlane, LastPass, etc) too.

LastPass just recently decided to severely restrict the service’s free tier. Right now, you can sign up for LastPass for free and get access on all your devices. After March 16th, you’ll have to choose between having access on your computers (laptops, desktops, etc) or on your mobile devices (phone, tablet, watch, etc). Full access starts at $3 per month.

From the support page:

As a LastPass Free user, your first login on or after March 16, 2021 will set your active device type. You’ll have three (3) opportunities to switch your active device type and explore what’s right for you. Please note that all of your devices sync automatically, so you’ll never lose access to anything stored in your Vault or be locked out of your account due to these changes, regardless of whether you use computers or mobile devices to access LastPass.

I have no problem with having to pay for the service (1Password has no free tier at all), but springing this kind of change on people who have already been using it feels pretty shitty. It’s clearly not really useful this way since most people with more than one device are probably using one of each of the device types (phone and laptop), so they’re just kicking people off the free service without being direct2 about it.

Most of the people I’m seeing talk about this today are mentioning Bitwarden. It’s free for use on all devices (and has paid plans with more features) and is also open source.

  1. It mostly just comes down to length as far as I understand. The longer your password, the harder it is to crack. Sometimes it’s recommended to use passphrases (just put like 4 different words together) instead of passwords if possible. ↩︎

  2. Obviously there’s no easy way to tell your customers you gotta start charging more, but if it were up to me I probably would have wanted to announce a restructuring of the pricing tier, eliminating the free tier, and lowering the prices slightly and/or adding more value to the other ones. ↩︎

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Driverless Apple (Kia) Cars

There’s been some Apple Car news this week. According to this Cult of Mac article, a source for CNBC said that the first Apple Cars will be completely driverless (like Waymo). My guess is something like an Apple version of Uber, with self-driving cars.

It sounds more Appley to me than self-driving cars that people own. Some features I would expect to see that would be convenient for the user and pushes them further into the Apple ecosystem:

  • Integrates with Maps and Apple Pay. Open Maps, search for a location, hit a new “Request an Apple Car” button, then double click the “side button” to Pay. You can watch the car drive up on the map and get an alert when it’s close.
  • “Hey Siri, send me a car to go to Mom’s house.”
  • Uses the phone (or watch) to enter the car of course.
  • Personalization with your Apple account. All your Apple shit (News, Apple Music, Messages, accessibility settings, etc) is available on the touch screen where the steering wheel would be by the time you sit down. When it comes to Privacy, Apple will emphasize always-on encryption for any data that is ever transferred to or from the car, and complete destruction of encryption keys when exiting.
  • Optional spoken alerts.
  • “Homepod quality” speaker system with virtual surround sound and all the other audio tech Apple’s been into.
  • Safety built in with always-on GPS and monitoring of routes. If anything unsafe happens, you’ll be contacted through your phone, watch, and/or the car touch screen.
  • Everything as wireless as possible so you don’t have to deal with dirty or broken USB cables and like… food stuffed in the ports.

On that last point, I’m not sure how they’re gonna keep that Apple image of clean perfection when you’re sharing the car with other people. How often will they have to clean/inspect?

Earlier in the week, Bloomberg reported that Apple is about to sign a $3.6 billion deal with Kia Motors (owned by Hyundai). The plan is to introduce the Apple/Kia cars in 2024.

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Re: Cyberpunk 2077’s new 1.1 update introduces a game-breaking bug

New Cyberpunk updates, new bugs.

I have a feeling this is the fate of the game. It seems pretty obvious that whatever company/process/development/management problems fucked up the launch haven’t been addressed in any real way (and I don’t know how they would under these circumstances).

I would really hate to be a dev at CD Projekt Red right now.

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Apple announces new projects related to its $100 million pledge for racial equity and justice

I was very happy to hear about Lisa Jackson leading Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

From the Apple’s press release yesterday:

Apple today announced a set of major new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. These forward-looking and comprehensive efforts include the Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit; and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. Together, Apple’s REJI commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.

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Re: Razer has created a concept N95 mask with RGB and voice projection

…I don’t know about this.

I mean, considering we’ll be wearing masks for a while still (right??? please wear your masks), I definitely appreciate any attempts at making them better. I like the idea of having your mouth be visible but illuminated tho? Also, I thought there was kind of an unspoken agreement that relying on people to replace filters on masks like these is not a good idea.

It sounds like it’s still very early in the concept phase, so I guess they have time to figure things out but… I’m not really expecting this to go anywhere.

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Re: These Black Capitol Police Officers Describe Fighting Off "Racist Ass Terrorists"

From Emmanuel Felton of Buzzfeed News:

“That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us,” said the officer, who has been with the department for more than a decade. “They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs … They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,” the veteran said, referring to two suspected pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.

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Re: Twitter permanently bans Trump

Twitter has banned Donald Trump’s account. It sounds like he joined Parler1 earlier today.

Both Apple and Google are both either considering or have already removed Parler from their stores.

Edit: It will be interesting to see what happens with all the older articles that have linked directly to his tweets. From The Verge: Trump’s ban from Twitter creates the ultimate case of link rot in posts across the internet

  1. From Wikipedia: Parler is an American microblogging and social networking service launched in August 2018. Parler has a significant user base of Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing extremists. Posts on the service often contain far-right content, antisemitism, and conspiracy theories like QAnon. ↩︎

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Re: Confederates in the Capitol

Clint Smith, from an article in The Atlantic:

The fact that this photo was taken the day after voters in Georgia chose the first Black person and the first Jewish person in the history of that state to serve in the Senate; that it shows a man walking past the portrait of a vice president who urged the country to sustain human bondage and another portrait of a senator who was nearly beaten to death for standing up to the slavocracy; that it portrays a man walking with a Confederate flag while a mob of insurrectionists pushed past police, broke windows, vandalized offices, stole property, and strolled through the halls of Congress for hours, forcing senators and representatives into hiding and stopping the certification of the electoral process—it is almost difficult to believe that so much of our history, and our current moment, was reflected in a single photograph.

For everything I know about this country’s history, it’s still hard to believe I watched a man break into the United States Capitol and walk around with a Confederate flag with the encouragement of the President.

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MDN Web Docs on GitHub

The MDN (Mozilla Developer Network) Web Docs is by far my most used resource during development. If you do a web search for any web development tech, the top few results will either be from W3Schools (🙄) or MDN.

Back in August, Mozilla made some questionable decisions about how to stay profitable, which included laying off all of the people responsible for maintaining MDN. Web developers in general were definitely very concerned about this.

Mozilla’s plan was to create a new platform for MDN that stores the documentation in GitHub instead of a database they maintain. Contributors can just update the repo to update the documentation on the new system. They just opened up that repo today with their Code of Conduct and information on how to contribute.

Overall, I think this is pretty convenient for maintainers and contributors, so I’m glad it’s moving along the way they planned. I really wish they picked a version control host that doesn’t continue to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but I’m still glad MDN will be around for a while.

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Apple's AirPods Max

Apple just announced their AirPods Max today.

It feels like this announcement is filled with even more marketing speak than normal. The headphones seem very well designed (of course) and have integration with other Apple tech (Siri, the H1 chip, etc) you won’t get on other headphones, but there’s nothing that’s actually revolutionary about these.

I would probably really like them, but I would never spend $549.00 for them.

I am very curious about Apple’s implementation of spatial audio though.

Update: It sounds like Apple rushed this out before the holiday. It’s missing the U1 chip and a few other things that were planned. From Mark Gurman on Twitter:

Looks like they made some changes on these to get them out the door as was deemed likely after several development set backs over the past many months — not seeing swappable bands, and Apple Watch Digital Crown instead of touch panels, and left and right sides aren’t reversible.

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Coinbase Continues to be Trash

Coinbase published this blog post yesterday. It has this summary at the top:

Tl;dr: The New York Times is planning to publish a negative story about Coinbase at some point in the next few days online, and it will appear in print on Sunday. Given that this story may be read by your friends, family and professional contacts, we wanted to give everyone a heads-up and provide some important context.

That doesn’t sound suspicious at all considering the drama they’ve been involved in recently. 🙄

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