Archive for September 2, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

You Don’t Need Motivation

Kirby Turner:

What helped me was structuring my day so that I worked on my book at least an hour each day. I started work on the book at the same time every day, which was 9 am. Some days I only worked on it for an hour, other days I would work on it all day. It depended on how I felt. But I always worked on it for at least one hour starting at 9 am every day even when I wasn’t motivated to work on it.

Previously: How to Survive Working at Home.

Go at Basecamp

Noah Lorang:

Basecamp is a Ruby company. All of our customer facing applications are written with Ruby on Rails, we use Ruby for our systems automation via Chef, we deploy via Ruby through Capistrano, and underneath most rocks you’ll find a Ruby script that accomplishes some task.

Increasingly, however, Go has found its way into our backend services and infrastructure in a variety of ways[…]


Personally, I like Go because the semantics of channels and goroutines are a great fit for building data pipelines, and the innate performance of Go programs means I don’t have to think as much about the load that a parser might be adding to a server. As a language, it’s a pleasure to write in—simple syntax, great standard library, easy to refactor.

Adware Simulates Mouse Events to Access Keychain

Dan Goodin:

“What they’re basically doing is using provided system calls to get the location of the [permission] window and the location of the OK button in the window,” Thomas Reed, Malwarebytes’ director of Mac offerings, told Ars. “Then they’re simulating a mouse click. I’m surprised nobody thought of that before.”


The discovery also underscores a potential weakness that could be exploited by other unwanted adware or, worse, by outright malicious espionage trojans. For instance, it’s not hard to imagine a trojan disguised as a benign program that remains dormant for some period of time. Then, when the machine isn’t in active use, the app asks for permission to access a password for iCloud or Gmail and in the blink of the eye approves the request. Unless end users have overridden default Mac settings, the app would now be in possession of the credentials.


As you can see there from that pseudo-code (generated from the assembly code by Hopper Disassembler), the installer is using three calls to CGCreateMouseEvent: one to move the mouse, one to simulate a mouse down and one to simulate a mouse up. (This is done after another routine parses the information returned by CGWindowListCopyWindowInfo to find out where the button is.)

Ultimately, it seems that this window is probably one that shouldn’t show up in that list of windows. However, I’m not enough of an expert at the inner workings of OS X to know how that would affect the Accessibility features of OS X, or if it would at all.

It doesn’t seem that simple, though, because the window is already frontmost with the Allow button as the default. Presumably, the app could just simulate a Return key event. This window does not appear very frequently, so perhaps a solution would be for it to ask for your password.

Google’s New Logo

Armin Vit:

We should get one thing straight first: the serif Google logo we’ve gotten used to seeing since 1999 — that’s 16 years, a period in which many of us have built our professional careers and relied on Google to do so many things — is not good. Not by any standard. It’s an old-looking, disproportionate piece of typography that no designer would think of using in a logo pitch to a client. We currently think it’s good and many are mourning its demise not because it was a great piece of design like the IBM logo but because we’ve grown so accustomed to it that anything different is an assault on what we know to be dear and true on the internet. To me, it was about time for that logo to go away.


One of the aspects that makes this redesign interesting is that they have bestowed logo duties on three separate elements: there is the logo, a set of dots, and a monogram. The impressive thing about this is that all three scream Google on their own — even the dots, simply by being the Google colors. You won’t mistake them for Microsoft dots, that’s for sure. The three elements, together, are the representation of the brand at every point: when you fire up an app through the G monogram, while the app is thinking through the dots, and when the app is loaded through the wordmark. This is a very clever way of building a visual ecosystem that imprints the Google DNA at every turn.


Any other solution to the logo — anything more effusive, more visible, more different, more visually explosive — would have been met with terrible anger. This “boring” solution is safe and almost expected but it’s extremely appropriate.

Update (2015-09-11): Thomas Benkö compares the colors with Microsoft’s logo.

Update (2015-10-14): Jaume Sanchez Elias (via ange):

In this post I’ll talk a bit about techniques and tricks learned while trying to recreate the new Google logo with SVG in 305 bytes (or less!).