tech Tag

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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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'Smart' chastity device has been trapping penises permanently

YO WHAT??

Some devices are better left disconnected from the wonder we call the internet. Case in point: this “smart” chastity sex toy that’s been leaving users’ penises locked up with no method of escape. It’s like something out of a techno-horror film, really.


More information from the penetration testing and security services company that reported the issue: Pen Test Partners.

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Nova (Code Editor)

Panic (the company that makes popular macOS dev apps… and the Untitled Goose Game) just released a new editor called Nova.

It looks really good. Lots of great features. I love the website! 1 I won’t be using the app though.

The marketing angle is that it’s native to macOS and takes full advantage of the OS. That’s cool, but I end up doing work on Linux, Windows, and macOS these days and it’s nice to have the consistency of an editor that works on all of them.


  1. Do you see how the image under the “The Interface.” section is using a CSS animation with a polygon clip-path?? I’m into it. ↩︎

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Microsoft snubs Apple’s olive branch to cloud gaming: ‘a bad experience for customers’

I mentioned Microsoft not being happy with Apple in Epic vs Apple vs Everyone a couple weeks ago. The Verge reported today that Microsoft told them as much in a response to Apple’s updated App Store rules for streaming game services.

From the Streaming games section of Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines:

4.9 Streaming games

Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.

4.9.1 Each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual app so that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, has user ratings and review, can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, appears on the user’s device, etc.

4.9.2 Streaming game services may offer a catalog app on the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find the games on the App Store, provided that the app adheres to all guidelines, including offering users the option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase and use Sign in with Apple. All the games included in the catalog app must link to an individual App Store product page.

Microsoft doesn’t like that of course:

“This remains a bad experience for customers,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. We’re committed to putting gamers at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is core to that mission.”

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htop and Burnout

I use htop sometimes on this Ubuntu server to check CPU/RAM usage. I’ve been using version 2.1.0, which has been out since early 2018.

Today I saw that version 3.0.0 was just released!

It turns out the project was forked after the developer stopped maintaining it at 2.1.0 and the new developers did the 3.0.0 release. The original developer wrote about his experiences maintaining the app, the burnout he felt, and his relief after hearing about this new release. From his comments:

I guess here it’s a good point to make a note that might be useful for others: yes, burnout is a very real thing and for FOSS maintainers it can be hard to identify. I’ve experienced burnout at work before, and it’s easier to spot — because of the performance pressures — and to deal with — because ideally you have a supportive organization around you. For FOSS maintainers, the best-effort nature of the endeavor in most cases may make it hard for you to measure that effort, to balance your sense of duty to a community (that at times you built yourself!) to that of the effect it has on you (as in “why did I start doing this in the first place”). If you find yourself looking at your own FOSS projects and sighing, I guess that’s a sign!

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Flexbox and CSS Grid Reference

I created a lil reference page for Flexbox and CSS Grid (I don’t have much of CSS Grid done yet; it’s coming soon) today. I usually use the guides at CSS-Tricks (A Complete Guide to Flexbox and A Complete Guide to Grid), but I wanted to create something organized the way I like it.

I’ll be improving the design and adding properties for a while. I hope you find it useful!

Flexbox and CSS Grid Reference

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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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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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