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Re: Google is on a mission to stop you from reusing passwords

Google has been trying to fix passwords for a while:

“Passwords are one of the worst things on the internet,” Mark Risher, Google’s senior director for account security, identity, and abuse told The Verge. Though they’re essential for security and to help people log in to many apps and websites, “they’re one of the primary, if not the primary, ways that people actually end up getting compromised.”

It’s a strange thing for a Google security executive to say because the last time you logged into Gmail, you probably typed in a password. But the company has been trying to nudge users away from the model for years, or at least minimize the damage. And in the coming weeks, one of Google’s quietest tools in that fight — the Password Checkup plugin — will be getting a higher profile, as it joins the Security Checkup dashboard built into every Google account.

Any time I work on any web project that requires accounts, I always think about how if it can be done without passwords. I wrote the user account system for this website (I’m the only one who has an account right now) and it started out with NO passwords at all.

Originally, logins to this website were only done by entering an email address. If the email matches an account in the system, it would send an email with a login link. Clicking on that link logs the user in and keeps them logged in for a few days.

I eventually added a password field because waiting for the login email was annoying and I didn’t want to rely on a third party email service. 🤷🏾‍♂️

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Re: The Mac’s iconic startup chime is back in macOS Big Sur

The Verge wrote about the Mac startup chime coming back in the new version (11! not 10.x) of macOS:

Apple is bringing back the Mac’s iconic startup chime in macOS Big Sur. The company hinted it might return by playing the chime very prominently during yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, and people who have installed the first Big Sur developer beta have reported that it’s back.

The startup chime was first removed from Macs in 2016 with the redesigned MacBook Pros released that year, and Macs released since then (with the exception of the 2017 13-inch MacBook Air) didn’t play the chime when you turned them on.

I would guess removing the chime was a Jony Ive decision (along with the keyboard and the obsession with thin devices with small batteries). It looks like a lot of things Apple has been doing lately are about undoing those choices. And the whole product line seems better for it.

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Writing Code for my Twitch Stream

Krisp.ai - Noise Cancelling App

I started using this app called Krisp over the weekend, and I’m def impressed.

I was using Discord over the weekend and tried the built in noise suppression. The description for the feature explains that it uses an embedded version of Krisp for it. The app uses machine learning to figure out which sounds are voices, and filters out everything else.

I live right above a night club (which sadly has been silent for the past few months) and next to the N train (which seems to run exactly the same as it always has) and New Yorkers are still New Yorkers so voice calls have been hard with all the noise. I’ve been using Krisp for my Discord, FaceTime, and Hangout calls over the weekend and it completely blocks out all of it.

I’m impressed with how it works but I’m also into machine learning (ML) and all the stuff people are calling AI these days so it’s even more interesting to me. I’ve also been reading about NVIDIA’s version of this, which works through their RTX graphics cards.

I’ve been wanting to start using ML in my projects for a while but I never came up with good enough applications for it. Voice detection is a perfect use case. I think this might have given me a reason to try playing around with it again.

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Re: Zoom releases 5.0 update with security and privacy improvements

I’m glad Zoom is continuing to improve things:

Zoom is clearly responding quickly to the issues that have been raised, just as it has seen an influx of millions of new users using its service during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Zoom reported a maximum of 10 million daily users back in December, but this skyrocketed to more than 200 million daily meeting participants in March. There are still more issues to address and improvements required, but 20 days after Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan promised changes, we’re now starting to see exactly how Zoom is responding.

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Re: Apple’s new iPhone SE doesn’t come with custom U1 locator chip

This is weird to me. I wonder how Apple is going to explain that U1 related features won’t work on the new phone while claiming it’s “Everything Apple has to Offer".

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Re: Apple and Google partner on COVID-19 contact tracing technology

Interesting and concerning. I feel more trusting of Apple getting this right than Google of course.

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/04/apple-and-google-partner-on-covid-19-contact-tracing-technology/

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