Archive for March 12, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Better Strategies Through Types

Joshua Emmons:

We have to limit our delegate to class implementations because delegates are assumed to hold mutable state.


So rather than holding our strategy’s implementation in instance methods that need to be instantiated, we’re going to move it all up into type methods on the type.


If all this .Type and .self stuff feels a little awkward, it’s probably because Swift already supports this kind of thing as a language feature. It has a specific syntax just for passing around types that are used to specialize implementations. We know it as “generics”.

However, a key difference is that, unlike delegates, the type cannot change at runtime.

The Original Siri App Compared to Siri Today

Mitchel Broussard:

In 2008 Siri began as spin-off of SRI International, where Winarsky was the President, and eventually launched as an app for iOS in February 2010. Two months later Apple acquired Siri, and just over a year after that introduced it within the iPhone 4s, shutting down the standalone app shortly thereafter. Seven years later, Winarsky said that Siri’s capabilities have fallen short of his earlier predictions for where he thought the assistant, and Apple’s development, would end up.

Specifically, Winarsky’s comments focus on what Siri’s intention was “pre-Apple” versus where the assistant is today. According to the co-founder, Siri was originally meant to be incredibly intelligent in just a few key areas -- travel and entertainment -- and then “gradually extend to related areas” once it mastered each. Apple’s acquisition pivoted Siri to an all-encompassing life assistant, and Winarsky said that this decision has likely led Apple to search “for a level of perfection they can’t get.”

Kevin Clark:

It’s fascinating that the original Siri demo is still better than today’s Siri in a few aspects.

Nick Heer:

For fun and frustration, I tried all of the original commands featured in that eight year old video on my iPhone[…]


What’s clear to me is that the Siri of eight years ago was, in some circumstances, more capable than the Siri of today. That could simply be because the demo video was created in Silicon Valley, and things tend to perform better there than almost anywhere else. But it’s been eight years since that was created, and over seven since Siri was integrated into the iPhone. One would think that it should be at least as capable as it was when Apple bought it.

John Voorhees:

Eight years is an eternity in the tech world.

Wojtek Pietrusiewicz:

Examples attached: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Basically, I expect so much more of her today, that she feels stupider than back in 2011, when she launched on the iPhone 4S.

HyperCard Zine

Jae Kaplan (via Hacker News):

Now accepting submissions!


On the 20th anniversary of HyperCard’s discontinuation, I want to pay tribute to the programming tool that started it all.


Please make your stack using the Classic size template so that it is playable on older machines and in Mini vMac. While you’re free to use color, I’d recommend against it so that you can guarantee how your stack will look on all machines.

Once you’ve finished your stack, please compress it in StuffIt to preserve any resource forks or other extended attributes.

This last part is not really necessary except for notalgia. Other formats such as disk images and .zip and .tar archives also support resource forks, and HyperCard does not need any extended attributes.

Mark Hughes:

There's a few modern variants, but nothing I know of that works[…] So everyone just gives up and uses emulation, because making a new Hypercard is impossible. If you're going to do that, do it the easy way: Hypercard in the Browser

Previously: HyperCard on the Internet Archive.

Can U.S. States Hang on to Net Neutrality?

Geoff Duncan:

States aren’t pinning all their hopes on successfully suing the FCC: several are working to enact their own net neutrality laws, and this week Washington became the first state to put such a law in the books.


Going for the purse strings is a nice idea — and very likely ducks under the FCC’s preemption authority — but broadband operators are already used to dealing with innumerable state and local utility commissions. It’s the sort of thing that can be sidestepped with shell companies and finagling — and in markets like New York, Texas, and California, there’s more than enough money at stake for broadband operators to do just that. In smaller markets, broadband operators may simply choose not to comply, effectively holding improved Internet service hostage until regulators relent. That too would hurt users — and, of course, state services like schools and educational institutions.


Notice who isn’t participating in this debate? Major Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. All these firms took public stances in favor of net neutrality — because it helps their businesses — but have been remarkably silent on state efforts to preserve some semblance of net neutrality.

Previously: Network Neutrality, Ajit Pai, and Title II.

Update (2018-03-15): Jon Brodkin:

Some states are trying to evade the federal preemption with indirect measures that apply only to ISPs that accept state contracts. No one knows for sure how a court would rule on state bills that regulate net neutrality directly. Even legal analysts who support net neutrality laws disagree on whether such laws would survive lawsuits filed by ISPs.

Van Schewick argues that the FCC’s preemption claims are invalid.

“While the FCC’s 2017 Order explicitly bans states from adopting their own net neutrality laws, that preemption is invalid,” she wrote. “According to case law, an agency that does not have the power to regulate does not have the power to preempt. That means the FCC can only prevent the states from adopting net neutrality protections if the FCC has authority to adopt net neutrality protections itself.”

Via Karl Bode:

In other words, when the FCC rushed to neuter its authority over ISPs it also neutered its authority to stop states from filling the void and protecting consumers.

Update (2020-09-14): Patrick Collison:

Has anyone written a good retrospective of what actually happened after US net neutrality rules expired two years ago? A lot of predictions were made; I’m curious how they look now.