Archive for December 15, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Another Git Catastrophe Cleaned Up

Mark Dominus:

At that point I realized that git-filter-branch also provided a less peculiar way out of the pickle once we were in: Instead of using my merge driver approach, I could have filtered the original topic branch to produce just branch B, which would have rebased onto master just fine.

I was aware that git-filter-branch was not part of my personal toolkit, but I was unaware of the extent of my unawareness. I would have hoped that even if I hadn't known exactly how to use it, I would at least have been able to think of using it. I plan to set aside an hour or two soon to do nothing but mess around with git-filter-branch so that next time something like this happens I can at least consider using it.

Update (2016-12-21): See also: Hacker News.

macOS 10.12.2 Impedes Safari Bookmarklets

Daniel Jalkut:

Safari Bookmarklets that invoke a custom scheme yield a warning like this in 10.12.2.

There’s a Cancel/Allow confirmation alert each time you invoke the bookmarklet, even multiple times for the same app in the same session. It’s really annoying. I often use to bookmarklets to create blog posts in MarsEdit and to archive Web pages in EagleFiler.

Nick Heer:

The (relatively recently) redesigned confirmation dialogs don’t help matters. I thought it was a scam on first sight.

Some people say that Safari’s newish iOS-style alerts are supposed to help users distinguish alerts that Web sites create via JavaScript from alerts created by apps or the system. That makes it harder for a site to trick you. That sounds nice in theory, but of course the distinction is absent on iOS. And, more importantly, why then is Safari presenting this bookmarklet alert as if it were from JavaScript?

eBay Is for Suckers

Matthew Sag (via Jeff Atwood):

The wonderful thing about eBay when it first arrived was that it freed so many people from the tyranny of small markets. eBay provided a marketplace where trust was built on reputation and feedback and the size of markets was only constrained by the cost of shipping. Recently, however, eBay has reengineered its services so that buyer trust is based on a seemingly absolute guarantee that the seller will always lose in any dispute.

No one should be surprised that unscrupulous buyers use eBay to commit fraud on unsuspecting sellers. What surprised me was the extent to which eBay now facilitates this fraud through its “buyer protection program”. In October this year I listed a very slightly used iPhone 6S for sale on eBay and was quite satisfied when it eventually sold for $465. This satisfaction was short-lived, however, as I came to realize that I had been taken in by an eBay scammer.

If at all possible I sell via Amazon or Gazelle. Their Web sites are much better designed, too.

eBay is still great for buying hard-to-find items. I no longer use it for deals on common items, because, even though you have a lot of protection as a buyer, it takes a lot of time to actually get your money back.

Update (2017-05-15): Jessica Gorst-Williams (via Hacker News):

I sold a non-working Apple MacBook on eBay for spares for repairs. With a lot of bids it went for £460. After I sent the item off, the buyer asked for a return and refund as, he said, it did not match the description.

The item I received back was a different MacBook. It was much more damaged and worth far less, if anything at all, especially as I don’t have its box or paperwork. The buyer insisted I had fraudulently sold him this item and that the pictures I posted on the listing were of another MacBook.

The Businesses Apple Has Left Behind

Stephen Hackett:

This year, Apple has exited the external display business and is rumored to be discontinuing its AirPort wireless routers.

These developments have left a bad taste in many users’ mouths, but 2016 isn’t the first time Apple has shuttered an entire product line.

By my count, there are five major categories of products or devices that Apple has abandoned over the years.

Evernote Privacy Policy

Evernote (via Ragnar Tørnquist, Rob Price, Hacker News):

To get there, Evernote data scientists need to do spot checks as they develop the technology. If you choose to participate, they’ll see random content, but they won’t know who it belongs to, and they’ll only see the snippet they’re checking. Not only that, but if a machine identifies any personal information, it will mask it from the employee. If you choose not to participate, your notes will not be included in this research.


If you do opt out, however, you may not be able to get the most out of your Evernote experience. And please note that you cannot opt out of employees looking at your content for other reasons stated in our Privacy Policy (under the section, "Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?").

Jeff Benjamin:

That’s not to say that I agree with Evernote’s policy, but understand that this update isn’t really changing much from what’s already possible with the currently existing policy.

Tim Hardwick:

Evernote says that only a limited number of employees who have undergone background checks will be able to access note content and that users can encrypt notes to prevent staff from reading them.

Update (2016-12-16): Husain Sumra:

Evernote tonight announced that it no longer plans to implement a controversial new privacy policy that caused some Evernote users to threaten to stop using the service.