Archive for January 8, 2020

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Federico Viticci:

Like the aforementioned Shortcuts utilities, LaunchCuts was born of its developer’s frustration with the lack of folders in Shortcuts – a basic feature that is still bafflingly absent from the app in 2020.


LaunchCuts can only read data from your local Shortcuts library by running an additional helper shortcut inside the Shortcuts app. This shortcut is based on an advanced technique that uses the native, Apple-developed ‘Get My Shortcuts’ action to generate a list of all your installed shortcuts and extract metadata from each. I’m oversimplifying what the LaunchCuts Helper does, but, essentially, the shortcut scans the entire contents of the Shortcuts app and parses details such as the names of your shortcuts, their colors and glyphs, whether you’re using them as widgets or action extensions in the share sheet, and even the contents of certain actions contained inside them (more on this later).


There are caveats to this approach. In addition to being dependent on a technique that Apple may easily close off in the future (see footnote above), it means you’ll need to run the LaunchCuts Helper shortcut manually and periodically to give the LaunchCuts app a fresh database with your latest shortcuts and modifications to existing ones.

Twitter Will Add Options to Limit Replies

Dieter Bohn (via MacRumors):

Xie says Twitter is adding a new setting for “conversation participants” right on the compose screen. It has four options: “Global, Group, Panel, and Statement.” Global lets anybody reply, Group is for people you follow and mention, Panel is people you specifically mention in the tweet, and Statement simply allows you to post a tweet and receive no replies.

“Getting ratio’d, getting dunked on, the dynamics that happen that we think aren’t as healthy are definitely part of ... our thinking about this,” Xie says. When asked if there’s a concern if the ability to limit replies could mean misinformation couldn’t be as easily rebutted, Xie gestured to the ability to quote tweet as one possible resolution, but it’s “something we’re going to be watching really closely as we experiment.”

I don’t see how quote tweets would really help with that problem, since people would have no way of finding them.


Update (2020-01-10): Mike Rockwell:

I mean, this does seem incredibly easy to bypass. Presumably, you could simply mention the person who published the Statement and not give your tweet the reply distinction. You could also just add a link to the statement to specifically reference what you’re “replying” to.

Benjamin Mayo:

Brands are definitely going to be making use out of the Statements mode. Below almost every brand tweet I see, often when the brand has paid for the tweet to be promoted to a wider audience, are replies from people complaining about something about the company’s products that is completely unrelated to the tweet content.


A Statement option would close that hole and make promoted posts much more like traditional display advertising. A public placard with no interaction.

Separately, I think Twitter certainly risks losing some of its ‘community’ if all celebrities suddenly switch to posting in Statement mode and thereby hiding all reactions to their tweets. I find a lot of the fun of Twitter is that feeling of everyone being able to jump in the same conversation.

Chosen-Prefix Collision for SHA-1

SHA-1 is a Shambles (via Hacker News):

We have computed the very first chosen-prefix collision for SHA-1. In a nutshell, this means a complete and practical break of the SHA-1 hash function, with dangerous practical implications if you are still using this hash function. To put it in another way: all attacks that are practical on MD5 are now also practical on SHA-1. Check our paper here for more details.

See also: Bruce Schneier.


Update (2020-01-10): Git has been working on the SHA-1 problem since 2017, but it seems like the default behavior is still to use it. Here’s some information on the efforts. A recent post on the Git mailing list about the chosen-prefix collision did not generate much interest or a definitive statement.

Xcode Preview Snips

Jordan Morgan:

Look, you know where I’m going with this. If you’ve adopted SwiftUI (or even if you haven’t - view controllers apply here too) then you know Xcode Previews are more than a time saver. They are a fork in the road. There’s no going back once you get hooked on that instant feedback.

Today, I’ll share a few quick snips of my go-to previews. Some of these are already well known, tweeted and blogged about - but my topic for this post is my favorite things to use with PreviewProvider, so I’ve included them anyways for posterity’s sake. Let’s take a look.