Archive for March 17, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Rotate to Pixel Zoom

Keir Thomas:

Now repeat all the above, but this time rotate the image back to the way it was (that is, you’ll need to tap the rotate button three times). Tap Done.

Main feature illustration You will now be able to zoom into the image via the pinch-expand gesture, and will be able to keep going all the way down to pixel detail – although the pixels will be blurred because of the way iOS handles zoom.

Google Home Now Testing Audio Ads

Katyanna Quach (via John Gruber):

Promos for Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast flick, released in American cinemas today, are being mixed into Google Home’s responses to questions. In a test with a Home owned by a Reg writer, the chatbot device started touting the kids movie in between telling the time and news headlines. This is with the default configuration: no opt-ins or opt-outs.

[…]

Google’s official response to this is absolutely pants-on-head mad:

This isn’t an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.

Nick Heer:

I don’t care how much storytelling tinsel an advertisement happens to be wrapped in — an ad is an ad.

I looked through Google’s support documentation for Home and even downloaded the app looking for anything that would specifically state that the device could be used for advertising. Nothing on the Google Home website implies that ads would start running on the device.

Update (2017-03-20): Nick Heer:

Disney may not have paid Google to tell Home users about their new movie, but that’s what it felt like to a lot of people.

Netflix to Replace Star Ratings With Thumbs Up/Down

Tim Hardwick (via Luc Vandal, Hacker News):

Previous star ratings given by users will be used to personalize their Netflix profiles, but the ability to rate a TV series or movie by awarding stars is set to disappear altogether, according to Variety.

[…]

According to Netflix, at one point subscribers had awarded over 10 billion 5-star ratings and more than half of all members had rated more than 50 titles. However, the company eventually concluded that star ratings had become less relevant, with some users giving documentaries 5 stars and silly movies just 3 stars, even though they would watch the silly movies more often than the highly rated documentaries.

Janko Roettgers:

“We are addicted to the methodology of A/B testing,” Yellin said. The result was that thumbs got 200% more ratings than the traditional star-rating feature.

I don’t think people agree on what a rating is supposed to mean, anyway. Secondly, the thumbs aren’t really a binary system because you can choose not to rate at all. So it seems to me that they’re effectively just getting rid of the 2- and 4-star options.

Update (2017-03-19): Jeff Johnson:

I think movies should be rated by how many times you’d watch them. 0 if you regret watching, 1 for a decent movie, and going up to infinity.

Update (2017-03-20): John Gruber:

For a personally curated collection, 5-star ratings can be meaningful. But for a recommendation service that averages ratings among all users, they are not. It’s the difference between designing for the ideal case of how people should behave versus designing for the practical case of how people actually behave.

Kirk McElhearn:

Binary ratings make a lot more sense in certain contexts, and with YouTube, it’s a natural fit. You don’t rate a movie on YouTube; you generally rate a cat video, a TED Talk, or something short.

I disagree that this type of rating will work on Netflix.

Making an External Display a Monitor, Not a TV

Erica Sadun:

What I didn’t expect was how awful the text looked on it. I hooked up the monitor to the MBP using my Apple TV HDMI cable. The text was unreadable. I use similar TV-style monitors for my main system and they display text just fine. However, I’m using normal display ports and cables for my mini. This is the first time I’ve gone HDMI direct.

[…]

All the searches lead to this ruby script. The script builds a display override file containing a vendor and product ID with 4:4:4 RGB color support. The trick lies in getting macOS to install, read, and use it properly. That’s because you can’t install the file directly to /System/Library/Displays/Contents/Resources/Overrides/ in modern macOS. Instead, you have to disable “rootless”.

System Level Breakpoints in Swift

Daniel Jalkut (tweet):

So, as a rule, Swift programmers who want to be advanced debuggers on iOS or Mac platforms, also need to develop an ability for mapping Swift method names back to their Objective-C equivalents. For a method like UIView.layoutSubviews, it’s a pretty direct mapping back to “-[UIView layoutSubviews]”, but for many methods it’s nowhere near as simple.

[…]

If the API has been rewritten using one of these rules, it’s almost certain that the Swift name of the function is a subset of the ObjC method name. You can probably leverage the regex matching ability of lldb to zero in on the method you want to set a breakpoint on[…]