Archive for June 18, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Faster Swiping Between Pages

Keir Thomas:

One of the irritations is that, if you’re using a trackpad, it reloads the page each time you two-finger swipe to go back. This can be slow but also infuriating if you’re scrolling through an auto-updating webpage list, for example, because the page will reload and you’ll be thrown back to the top of the list.

The solution is to activate three-finger back gesture—and then train yourself to make use of it. Here’s why: For reasons only known to Apple software engineers, using this gesture instead of the standard two-finger swipe means the page isn’t reloaded. It’s looks just as it did when you clicked away from it and it instantly appears without any redrawing or rendering.

The only caveat is that—again for reasons unknown to we mere morals—the three-finger swipe gesture works in the opposite direction compared to the two-finger swipe.

I’ve also noticed weirdness swiping with a Magic Mouse. System Preferences offers three options for “Swipe between pages”:

I’m not sure whether there is supposed to be a difference in the gesture between scrolling and swiping. The first option is the default and does not work well for me. I have frequent problems where either (a) nothing happening when I try to change pages, (b) it changes pages unintentionally, or (c) it starts to change pages, gets stuck partway through, and the Mac stops responding to input for 5–10 seconds. Even when it does work, this swiping feels slow because of the long animation of the page sliding over.

Swiping with two fingers has none of these problems and is also much faster. However, it comes at a cost: if you’re using two fingers to change pages you can’t also use two fingers for “Swipe between full-screen apps,” which I use to change spaces. There is no option in System Preferences to use a different mouse gesture to change spaces. (I also tried setting one up with BetterTouchTool but was unsuccessful.)

Update (2018-06-19): Friedrich Markgraf:

I believe scrolling with one finger actually scrolls the ScrollView to the appropriate edge, and when it goes into overscroll, starts moving the whole page. Try it on a view that has a horizontal scroller.

Quick Look Cache Reveals Sensitive Data From Encrypted Drives

Wojciech Regula:

I found out that Quicklook registers XPC service that is responsible for creating thumbnails database and storing it in /var/folders/…/C/ directory.

It means that all photos that you have previewed using space (or Quicklook cached them independently) are stored in that directory as a miniature and its path. They stay there even if you delete these files or if you have previewed them in encrypted HDD or TrueCrypt/VeraCrypt container.

Via Swati Khandelwal:

Patrick Wardle, chief research officer at Digital Security, equally shared the concern, saying that the issue has long been known for at least eight years, “however the fact that behavior is still present in the latest version of macOS, and (though potentially having serious privacy implications), is not widely known by Mac users, warrants additional discussion.”


In a separate blog post, Wardle demonstrated that macOS behaves same for the password-protected encrypted AFPS containers, eventually exposing even encrypted volumes to potential snooping.

This also affects third-party applications such as EagleFiler that use Quick Look to display images.

Update (2018-06-20): See also: MacRumors, Slashdot, ZDNet.

Update (2018-06-25): Patrick Wardle:

Want to disable Quick Look from caching your sensitive files?

$ qlmanage -r disablecache

Howard Oakley:

I am delighted to offer an update to improve my new tool for managing your QuickLook (or Quick Look) cache, Aquiline Check.

Update (2018-06-26): Howard Oakley:

Here is a brief overview of some of the potentially sensitive information which macOS secretes away in unexpected places.

How Apple Can Fix 3D Touch

Eliz Kılıç:

Not all of these buttons can be 3D Touched. How are you supposed to know which is which? The only possible thing you can do is try 3D Touch and remember it. And to make things worse, 3D Touch is not a gimmick anymore. You need to know you should be pressing hard on the “4 Button Control” to access “Personal Hotspot” or “AirDrop” toggles.

Now that we know what the problem is, here is my solution. Like we did with the link texts years ago on the web, we should visually distinguish 3D Touchable buttons.


My solution is adding a line on bottom-right of things that can be 3D Touched. Let’s call them Force Decorators (with reference to Force Touch).

Via John Gruber:

Total agreement from me on this.

Craig Mod:

Not only is 3d touch undiscoverable but it only reliably activates about half the time (less so on home screen icon grid). 3D touch and the touch bar are two of the most inscrutable apple design decisions in recent years.

Benjamin Mayo:

It’s been three years since Apple debuted pressure-sensitive screens and I still have conversations with my family about how to access what should be simple features … features that just so happen to be gated behind a firm press gesture.

Apple’s usage of 3D Touch throughout the system is inconsistent. that they artificially wall off features with 3D Touch gestures, when they aren’t needed at all. In Control Centre, you should be able to long-press on the platters to open them up. There’s no reason for this action to rely on pressure. Another case of this kind of misappropriation is the ‘Clear All Notifications’ button in Notification Centre. A long-press could serve the same job, and it doesn’t. That’s weird.

The iPhone X Suica Problem

Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

The iPhone X Suica problem is an issue that causes transit gate errors when using Suica Express Transit on iPhone X. Errors occur with any transit gate or any reader device. Overall iPhone X Suica transit gate performance is sluggish. iPhone 8 / 8 Plus and Apple Watch Series 3 are free of the Suica problem and work reliably. It’s not clear what the cause of the problem is: iOS 11 software or a iPhone X NFC related hardware flaw.

Joel Breckinridge Bassett (via Meek Geek):

It’s a problem in Japan because transit cards like Suica require much higher performance than low performance EMV contactless credit cards. Transit gates are not cash registers. EMV was developed for slow pokey credit card payments at your local supermarket, not whizzing through a transit gate at Tokyo rush crush hour. This is why EMV sucks at transit.


I believe that Apple’s inability to fix the iPhone X Suica problem despite multiple iOS 11 updates is proof of a iPhone X NFC related hardware problem: if it was just software it would be fixed by now.


Whatever the outcome, Apple’s complete silence and non-action regarding the iPhone X Suica problem has left iPhone X Japanese customers saddled with an inferior product that does not work with Apple Pay in Japan.

Previously: iPhone 6 Bendgate and Touch Disease.

Update (2018-06-19): Friedrich Markgraf:

FWIW I had great trouble pairing a Sony Alpha 7 III with iPhone X via NFC. It took me multiple minutes, but eventually it worked.

Update (2018-06-23): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

iPhone X users with Suica problem units have no reliable way to obtain a good unit because Apple Support has no method to identify bad units or supply good units for exchange.

Update (2018-07-16): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

The bad news: iOS 11.4.1 does not fix the iPhone X Suica Problem.

Update (2018-07-24): Joel Breckinridge Bassett (tweet):

Enough nonsense, if Apple can’t call it I’m calling it: iPhone X units produced before April 2018 have a NFC problem.

Update (2018-07-27): See also: iPhone X Suica Problem Q&A.

Update (2018-08-17): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

As you can see below, the reader feedback iPhone X production tally suggests Apple made production changes in April 2018 that fixed iPhone X NFC hardware issues. I call these NFC error free units Revision B iPhone X. Readers report that Rev-B iPhone X NFC performance is substantially better and immediately noticeable.

Update (2018-09-03): Apple:

Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 8 devices contain logic boards with a manufacturing defect. Affected devices may experience unexpected restarts, a frozen screen, or won’t turn on. Apple will repair eligible devices, free of charge.

Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

Hopefully it will not be long before the other shoe drops and Apple issues a iPhone X Logic Board Replacement Program for the “very small percentage” of iPhone X units with defective NFC. The iPhone 8 Replacement Program came first because its logic board is much easier to replace, not so for iPhone X which is considerably more complex, and costly.

Update (2018-09-07): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

The feel of Apple Pay Suica on a Rev-B iPhone matches what readers have been reporting: NFC performance is snappy with none of the problem iPhone X lag or errors going through the transit gate. The difference will be noticeable if you are familiar with Apple Pay Suica performance on iPhone 7.

Update (2018-09-11): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

A reader in America took the iPhone X Suica NFC problem unit replacement challenge and shared his experience. He had to go to the Apple Store Genius Bar but was able to obtain an exchange for a 2018 Production Week 32 Rev-B iPhone X.


It’s very disturbing that Apple has internal support docs acknowledging the iPhone X NFC issue but refuses to acknowledge the issue publicly.

Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

To me 7 months of faulty iPhone X production (September 2017~March 2018) is a huge design failure. NFC on iPhone X was a dud. There is no way around it. There is no other excuse or explanation. The worst part is that Apple willingly sold iPhone X devices they knew were bad up to the April 2018 Rev-B iPhone X production switchover. The internal support doc is Apple’s attempt to limit a potentially huge number of iPhone X exchanges to something manageable: problem iPhone X devices using Apple Pay Transit in Japan and China.


Do not expect Apple to issue an exchange program: the internal support doc and iPhone X production tally prove the iPhone X NFC problem is too big and unwieldy to conveniently window down to a “very small percentage”of devices.

Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

More bad: Docomo source said they knew about iPhone X Suica problem but told to keep quiet

Update (2018-10-24): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

iOS 12 Apple Pay Suica bugs are causing headaches for some users getting exchanges for iPhone X Suica problem devices (a NFC hardware problem across all iOS versions): users find they have the same Suica problems running iOS 12 (iOS 12.0 specific software bugs) on NFC hardware problem free Revision B iPhone X devices. Unfortunately for iPhone X users the 2 issues merge in a perfect storm. It’s confusing and only natural to assume nothing is fixed and yet another Apple Support runaround iPhone X exchange is needed to fix it. If you are using iOS 11.4.1 on Apple Pay Suica iPhone X, I suggest staying with it and not updating to iOS 12 just yet.

Update (2021-10-19): Joel Breckinridge Bassett:

One of the weird aspects of the saga is that I’m almost certain it was an Apple employee who emailed and suggested that I gather and compare iPhone X manufacturing dates to find the cause. That and the internal Apple Support doc says all that you need to know: Apple knew iPhone X NFC was defective but chose to ignore the problem and ride it out.

Apple chose this path of inaction because: (1) it was only a problem in Japan as Japan was the only country with Apple Pay Express Transit at the time, (2) Apple considered the Japanese market expendable enough to hang out and dry because Japanese customers don’t complain loudly like American and European customers or at least enough to cross the language barrier (so convenient that), (3) the IT tech press wasn’t competent enough to catch and report the issue.

Who Gets to Be on the Steam Store?


The challenge is that this problem is not simply about whether or not the Steam Store should contain games with adult or violent content. Instead, it’s about whether the Store contains games within an entire range of controversial topics - politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identity, and so on. In addition, there are controversial topics that are particular to games - like what even constitutes a “game”, or what level of quality is appropriate before something can be released.


Valve shouldn’t be the ones deciding this. If you’re a player, we shouldn’t be choosing for you what content you can or can’t buy. If you’re a developer, we shouldn’t be choosing what content you’re allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.

With that principle in mind, we’ve decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.

Previously: Lessons Learned From the App Store.