Archive for July 30, 2021

Friday, July 30, 2021

Playdate Pre-Orders

Panic (Hacker News, Slashdot):

The Playdate store is now open.

Juli Clover:

Priced at $179, the Playdate is a pocket-sized gaming system that has a unique design. It features a black and white display, bright yellow chassis, a d-pad, A+B buttons, and a crank on the side that serves as a flip-out rotational controller.


There will be several games available at launch, and an additional game will be delivered each week for a few months.


Safari Extension Rejected Because Developer Not “Reputable”

Thomas Reed:

We had a free Safari app extension rejected by an App Store reviewer last night, because such software is only allowed from “reputable companies.”


We are reputable enough to have the kext signing entitlement and the EndpointSecurity entitlement. We constantly hear about Apple support reps recommending us. But the reviewer knows none of that. What are the qualifications of an App Store reviewer, exactly?


The irony there is that there are a bunch of shady antivirus apps on the App Store from developers nobody’s ever heard of. How are they “reputable” when Malwarebytes is not?

First, Reed and his company very much are reputable, and their products have even been recommended by Apple itself. Second, Apple claims to treat developers the same. Third, how can a new developer ever get started if being reputable is a prerequisite? (Note that Safari App Extensions can only be distributed through the Mac App Store.)


Update (2021-08-02): See also: Hacker News.

Thomas Reed:

Hey, great news! The appeals process worked much faster than it did last time I had to use it, and Browser Guard is live on the store!


My last experience with a rejection that required appeal didn’t go so nicely. We ended up having to spend a couple months ripping a feature out and replacing it with something lesser… when other apps were already doing the thing we wanted to do. This was a few years ago, tho.

Stephane Philipakis:

And the “ptsd” lingers a long time after experiencing that type of rejection from the app review. It’s definitely something tough as a business or even a dev to feel that powerlessness. You tend to self limit yourself which is not good for the product or the users in the end.

Avalanche Can Import Google Photos Libraries

Claudia Zimmer:

Many users who used to enjoy free and unlimited high quality photo storage have found themselves having to pay or migrate their images to another service.


Starting with version 1.4, Avalanche adds the ability to transfer Google Photos libraries to Adobe Lightroom, Luminar 4 or AI, and Capture One.


Google Photo libraries have very limited metadata (much less than what the online experience suggests), so the migration is therefore more limited in functionality.


Implementing a Focusable Text Field in SwiftUI

Gabriel Theodoropoulos (via Dave Verwer):

What I mentioned above is definitely good news, but it regards evolvements that are going to be working in macOS Monterey and above. That’s nice, but what about backward compatibility? What if we wanted to make apps that support macOS versions prior to Monterey, such as Big Sur or Catalina?

The answer to these questions is what this post is all about. In the following parts, I will take you step by step through the implementation of a custom text field capable of:

  1. Getting the focus automatically when a view appears; that means that the text field will be ready to start typing into without clicking on it first.
  2. Moving the focus on subsequent text fields by pressing the Tab key.

I still find it surprising—or maybe not, since it was designed for a device with neither a mouse nor a keyboard—that it took three releases for SwiftUI to get the equivalent of firstResponder, one of the most basic Cocoa concepts. Maybe in a few more years it will support setting the nextKeyView.

Jonathan Wight:

< 400 lines of SwiftUI

That said I can’t figure out how to layout a resizable username/password login dialog without hardcoding widths or breaking causality.

Rob Napier:

The paradox of SwiftUI.

I find it utterly infuriating and incredibly promising.


Compelled to Unlock With Face

Zack Whittaker (via Hacker News):

His Windows laptop was one of several devices seized by the FBI, which investigators said was protected with a password but could be unlocked using Reffitt’s face.


Reffitt’s lawyer told the court that his client could “not remember” the password, but the court sided with the government and granted the motion to compel his biometrics. Reffitt’s lawyer told CNN, which first reported the court order, that the laptop is now unlocked.


Courts across the U.S. are still divided on the reading of the Fifth Amendment and whether it applies to the compelled use of a person’s biometrics.


Update (2023-07-11): Matthew Weaver (via Hacker News):

Ernest Moret, 28, a foreign rights manager for Éditions la Fabrique, was approached by two plainclothes officers at St Pancras station on Monday evening after arriving by train from Paris to attend the London book fair.

He was questioned for six hours and then arrested for alleged obstruction in refusing to disclose the passcodes to his phone and computer.

GitHub Token Authentication Requirements for Git Operations

Matthew Langlois:

In July 2020, we announced our intent to require the use of token-based authentication (for example, a personal access, OAuth, or GitHub App installation token) for all authenticated Git operations. Beginning August 13, 2021, we will no longer accept account passwords when authenticating Git operations on

Update (2021-08-13): GitHub (Hacker News):

As previously announced, starting on August 13, 2021, at 09:00 PST, we will no longer accept account passwords when authenticating Git operations on Instead, token-based authentication (for example, personal access, OAuth, SSH Key, or GitHub App installation token) will be required for all authenticated Git operations.

Biden and FTC on Right to Repair

Clare Duffy:

President Joe Biden on Friday signed a sweeping executive order aimed at promoting competition in the US economy. It includes a provision directing the Federal Trade Commission to issue rules preventing manufacturers from imposing restrictions on independent device repair shops and DIY repairs. While cellphone makers aren’t the only ones facing criticism for obstructing repairs, the order specifically calls them out for practices that make repairs “more costly and time consuming.”

Lauren Goode (via Hacker News):

[The] Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously to enforce laws around the Right to Repair, thereby ensuring that US consumers will be able to repair their own electronic and automotive devices.


See the section titled “What the Magnuson-Moss Act Does Not Require” of the FTC’s “Businessperson’s Guide to Federal Warranty Law” to understand why this is not even close to “enforcing right to repair”. Aside from the fact that the FTC can’t enforce a right to repair law that doesn’t exist, the promise to enforce the Magnuson-Moss Act doesn’t even scratch the surface of what right to repair aims to accomplish. For example, farmers who have famously campaigned for right to repair for years (decades?) aren’t covered by the Act because their equipment is for commercial, not consumer, use.


Apple Subpoenas Coalition for App Fairness

Juli Clover:

Members of the Coalition for App Fairness earlier this month filed a lawsuit (via AppleInsider) attempting to prevent Apple’s subpoenas from being approved. The Coalition for App Fairness is afraid that Apple will use those private communications to retaliate against coalition members.

The Coalition for App Fairness says that it is not involved in Apple’s antitrust matters, which were filed before the coalition was formed.


Apple is seeking a “host of documents and communications,” such as formation documents, activities, meeting minutes, recruitment efforts, membership lists, financing, communications between coalition members and potential members, and communications between coalition members and any foreign or domestic governmental entity or official relating to Apple.

I guess what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Epic was a founding member, after all. But something to be aware of before getting involved with an organization like this.