Archive for December 11, 2019

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Linea 3 to Switch to Subscriptions

The Iconfactory (tweet):

We tried hard to avoid a subscription, but the costs to maintain the app are much higher than the income from new sales. This is obviously not a sustainable situation!

[…]

A majority of that time was not even spent adding new features, instead it was spent making sure that everything looked right with the operating system’s new Dark Mode!

[…]

All of this comes at a low price: 99¢ per month or $9.99 per year (a 20% savings.) Additionally, if you purchased Linea at any time in 2019, you’ll also get a free one year subscription.

It sounds like they are going to replace the old app with the new one, like with Twitterrific 6.

It’s going from $10 one-time to $10/year. On the one hand, that’s a hefty increase, but on the other hand $10/year is not a lot for an app that you regularly use. I haven’t seen many other developers choosing subscriptions this cheap. It seems like it could become a sweet spot between steady recurring revenue and a price that customers are willing to pay.

Previously:

Update (2019-12-16): Eric Blair:

Reading this, I’d assumed Linea 2 had been a paid upgrade. Apparently not - looks like the last time I paid for Linea was 2017.

It’s a little nuts that I got ~3 years of use and major upgrade out of the original $10.

Sustainable software is a good thing.

The Success of Intelligent Tracking Prevention

Michael Potuck (Hacker News):

Executives in the online publishing industry speaking with The Information say that Apple has been “stunningly effective” with its goal of Intelligent Tracking Prevention stopping websites from knowing what users are doing on the web. One of the results of this over the last two years is that costs for advertisers have dropped significantly for Safari users while they’ve gone up for Chrome.

[…]

While that might sound like a positive thing for advertisers, the reason the price for Safari ads has gone down is that they’re less desirable. Because of Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), marketers can’t focus on specific demographics, for example like those in higher-income brackets.

This sounds great, but I would also like to see a report on how many sites don’t work in Safari because of ITP.

John Wilander:

Any kind of tracking prevention or content blocking that treats web content differently based on its origin or URL risks being abused itself for tracking purposes if the set of origins or URLs provide some uniqueness to the browser and webpages can detect the differing treatment.

To combat this, tracking prevention features must make it hard or impossible to detect which web content and website data is treated as capable of tracking. We have devised three ITP enhancements that not only fight detection of differing treatment but also improve tracking prevention in general.

Previously:

Update (2020-01-03): Peter Steinberger:

Disabling Intelligent Tracking Prevention on Safari is now Zendesk’s official recommendation, just so you can log in.

SuperDuper 3.3 for Catalina

Dave Nanian:

In order to replicate this new volume setup, system backups of APFS volumes must be to APFS formatted volumes. SuperDuper automatically converts any HFS+ destinations to APFS volumes for you (after prompting), so you won’t have to do anything manually in most cases.

That’s too bad given APFS’s poor performance on spinning disks, which is what I mostly use for backups.

Those two volumes are further linked together with “firmlinks”, which tunnel folders from one volume to the other in a way that should be transparent to the user. But they can’t be transparent to us, so we had to figure out how to recreate them on the copy, even though there’s no documented API.

[…]

You can’t turn an already encrypted APFS volume into a volume group. As such, you’ll have to decrypt any existing bootable volumes.

Dave Nanian:

On some user systems, Full Disk Access doesn’t take after install, and they have to restart after installing the new version. This is because our bundle ID has changed due to notarization and the OS doesn’t handle it well.

[…]

In some circumstances, ownership wouldn’t be properly enabled for the system volume of an external Catalina volume group, which made the backup not boot. […] I could go into detail on the latter problem, but rather than bore you, I’ll refer you instead to this old post from 2005[…]

Dave Nanian:

We’ve got a few users whose systems are in a bizarre state where the loader is outputting […] when we run certain system command-line tools.

[…]

We also added a diagnostic that detects a rare situation where a user’s system has broken scripting tools (like a bad Perl install), which can cause problems.

Dave Nanian:

The unexpected part is that just before the beta, we made a change to the installer to try to improve our workaround for systems that required rebooting post-install to make Full Disk Access work. After we made the change, we didn’t re-run the full suite of tests because we (incorrectly) thought the change was isolated to the install process.

However, it was made in a runtime element that was shared with the way we executed bless.

Dave Nanian:

With volume groups, though, there are two potential volumes to mount...but keychain passwords might be under either the Data volume or the System volume, depending on what the user does.

Dave Nanian:

Eject would sometimes not eject both volumes of a volume group.

[…]

Some people were impatient and didn’t realize HFS+ to APFS conversion might take a while! We now tell them to get a tasty beverage!

Dave Nanian:

I’m happy to announce the release of v3.3 of SuperDuper, our fully Catalina-compatible version: happier, perhaps, then even you are in reading the news. It’s available via the normal update mechanism, or by downloading it from the web site.

[…]

The whole idea of the new version is, if we did our job right (and I think we did), things should just work the way you expect them to. […] But despite that, SuperDuper is doing a lot more things.

Dave Nanian:

There’s one remaining issue for 10.10 and 10.11 users: Erase, then copy backups are failing due to some unexpected “volume transformation” events that are occurring. When we validate the result, we’re being quite cautious, and we’re not seeing what we expect, so we fail the copy.

Previously: