Archive for August 27, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Purchasing From the Kindle App

Phil Schiller (via Hacker News):

I just watched a new Amazon Kindle app ad on TV. […] While the primary message is that there are Kindle apps on lots of mobile devices, the secondary message that can’t be missed is that it is easy to switch from iPhone to Android.

Steve Jobs:

The first step might be to say they must use our payment system for everything, including books (triggered by the newspapers and magazines).

Which is exactly what they did. This exchange makes it sound as though Apple’s motivation was to limit users’ flexibility rather than making it easier for them to buy content (as some people had suggested at the time). However, I don’t see how this makes actually makes it more difficult to switch to Android. I guess that’s what iBooks is for.

Finder: Paste Item Exactly

Kyle Sluder notes that if you hold down the Option and Shift keys, the Finder’s Edit menu changes Paste to “Paste Item Exactly.” I think this was added in Mac OS X 10.7. It prompts for an administrator password and preserves the original file’s ownership and permissions. Super User says that it does not preserve access control lists (ACLs), though.

Researchers Reverse-Engineer the Dropbox Client

Michael Kassner:

In their paper Looking inside the (Drop) box, Dhiru and Przemyslaw get right to the point:

“We describe a method to bypass Dropbox’s two-factor authentication and hijack Dropbox accounts. Additionally, generic techniques to intercept SSL data using code injection techniques and monkey patching are presented.”

Dhiru and Przemyslaw accomplished this by reverse engineering the Dropbox client. That may not seem like much, as reverse engineering is a common practice. What made their effort unique was figuring out how to reverse engineer the client even though it was an obfuscated application written in Python.

Butterick’s Practical Typography

TidBITS on Butterick’s Practical Typography:

Typographer Matthew Butterick, who helped design fonts for Apple, Microsoft, and others, has released an exceptional online book, called “Butterick’s Practical Typography,” that is a must-read for anyone who works with text. The book revolves around a few simple rules that will dramatically improve your understanding and implementation of typography.