Archive for October 5, 2021

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Celebrating Steve Jobs

Jason Fried:

On the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs’ passing, Jony Ive reflected on the man he worked with for nearly 30 years. It was a lovely remembrance, primarily orbiting the sanctity of the creative process and the burbling of ideas. It reminded me about something else Jony said about Steve in shortly after his death:

“And just as Steve loved ideas, and loved making stuff, he treated the process of creativity with a rare and a wonderful reverence. You see, I think he better than anyone understood that while ideas ultimately can be so powerful, they begin as fragile, barely formed thoughts, so easily missed, so easily compromised, so easily just squished.” —Jonathan Ive

John Gruber quotes Ive’s remembrance.

Dave Mark (tweet, MacRumors):

Start off by going to Apple’s front page, check out the short film, “Celebrating Steve” and scroll down for the “Statement from the Jobs family”.

That pic of Steve slouched in an office chair, about 4 seconds in, struck me as familiar. Was that Susan Kare’s chair?

Jason Snell:

The fact that so much of Apple’s growth has happened since Jobs’s departure hasn’t reduced him at all. It would be relatively easy to argue that the success of Tim Cook’s Apple suggests that, despite everyone’s concern in the late days of 2011, the company actually could go on without Jobs at the helm. But that’s not what anyone thinks. Instead, Jobs is credited for putting Apple on the path that led to it becoming what it is today.


Update (2021-10-20): Joe Rossignol:

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs passing away on Tuesday, Apple shared a short film called “Celebrating Steve” on its website, and Apple has now made the video available on YouTube for those who may have missed it.

Tim Cook:

Steve believed that “people with passion can change the world for the better.” That’s the philosophy that inspired him to create Apple. And it lives in us today.

Scott Forstall:

Ten years ago today I lost a mentor, colleague, collaborator, design partner, and—most importantly—friend, when Steve Jobs left us too soon. He had an incalculable effect on everyone he impacted, which as far as I can tell, is everyone on the planet.

Michael Dell:

The royalty he was talking about would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, and the math just didn’t work, because most of our customers, especially larger business customers, didn’t really want the Mac operating system[…] Steve’s proposal would have been interesting if it was just us saying, “OK, we’ll pay you every time we use the Mac OS” -- but to pay him for every time we didn’t use it … well, nice try, Steve!”

James Dempsey:

To honor the memory of Steve Jobs on the tenth anniversary of his passing, I was joined by thirty-two members of the Apple tech community to record a song that has special meaning to us—and hope it will for you too.

See also:

iPadOS 15 Multitasking

Kirk McElhearn:

Apple first introduced multitasking features back in iOS 9, and expanded on them with iPadOS 13, but they were hard to use, and most iPad users only encountered them when an accidental swipe on their tablet’s screen enabled them. Now, in iPadOS 15, these features are a lot more usable, and easy to discover.

In this article, I’ll explain how to use multitasking on the iPad to view two apps at a time, and more.

Federico Viticci:

The new multitasking menu is both a reflection of how iPadOS has evolved over the years and an indictment of iOS 11’s solution, which required hidden drag and drop gestures and was undiscoverable by people who don’t read reviews like this one. iPadOS 15’s multitasking represents the beauty of a button: you see it because it’s always there, you click it, and it does what you expect.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a modern Apple multitasking control if it also didn’t serve double duties via hidden gestures and other implementation details. For starters, the multitasking button also acts as an active app indicator while in Split View or Slide Over to show you which of the app displayed onscreen is the active one receiving keyboard input. As you can see in the screenshot below, the active app on the left gets an enclosed button with darker dots compared to the inactive one on the right[…]


Streaming Cropped Video

Daniel Kreps (via Hacker News):

Seinfeld finally arrived on Netflix Friday, and while all 180 episodes are now available on the streaming service, some jokes didn’t make the cut, literally.

As noted on social media, some of the visual gags from the series have been cropped out due to the series’ now-16:9 aspect ratio that updates the picture for HD televisions, as opposed to its original and boxier 4:3 ratio from when the series first broadcast on TV.


There’s a great blog post by David Simon on the conversion of The Wire from 4:3 to 16:9. It goes into a lot of depth about some of the trade-offs and considerations as well as the lack of communication from HBO. Unfortunately, the video examples don’t seem to work anymore. I can’t help but wonder if HBO sent YouTube a DMCA takedown for David Simon’s clips from the post (or they got taken down automatically). It’s pretty sad if the creator of a show can’t even post short clips from it to illustrate some of the design decisions behind them.


This was the case with Simpsons when it came onto Disney Plus - they took the 4:3 and didn’t just blow it to 14:9, but 16:9 -- throwing away a quarter of the original image.

There’s now an option to show the original aspect ratio, I didn’t discover it for a long time though.

Amazon prime on my phone blows up 16:9 material too, chopping off the top and bottom to fit the wider aspect ratio, unless you’re careful to ‘zoom out’

Facebook BGP Outage

Celso Martinho and Tom Strickx (Hacker News):

Social media quickly burst into flames, reporting what our engineers rapidly confirmed too. Facebook and its affiliated services WhatsApp and Instagram were, in fact, all down. Their DNS names stopped resolving, and their infrastructure IPs were unreachable. It was as if someone had “pulled the cables” from their data centers all at once and disconnected them from the Internet.

This wasn’t a DNS issue itself, but failing DNS was the first symptom we’d seen of a larger Facebook outage.


BGP stands for Border Gateway Protocol. It’s a mechanism to exchange routing information between autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet. The big routers that make the Internet work have huge, constantly updated lists of the possible routes that can be used to deliver every network packet to their final destinations. Without BGP, the Internet routers wouldn’t know what to do, and the Internet wouldn’t work.

The Internet is literally a network of networks, and it’s bound together by BGP. BGP allows one network (say Facebook) to advertise its presence to other networks that form the Internet. As we write Facebook is not advertising its presence, ISPs and other networks can’t find Facebook’s network and so it is unavailable.

Santosh Janardhan:

To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms. We’ve been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now back up and running. The underlying cause of this outage also impacted many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem.

See also: Brian Krebs (Hacker News), Bruce Schneier, Hacker News.

Update (2021-10-20): Santosh Janardhan:

Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

Via Nick Heer:

For comparison, as I write this, Apple’s System Status page shows a resolved outage in Apple Pay and Wallet. For over seven hours yesterday, “users were not able to add, suspend, or remove existing cards to Apple Pay”, and this issue has simply been marked as “Resolved” but there are no more details. This explanation-free status update has been the standard for every iCloud-related outage, including serious incidents. It does not build confidence.

Reuters (via Hacker News):

Messaging app Telegram gained over 70 million new users during Monday’s Facebook outage, its founder Pavel Durov said on Tuesday, as people worldwide were left without key messaging services for nearly six hours.

Mark Zuckerberg (via Hacker News):

First, the SEV that took down all our services yesterday was the worst outage we’ve had in years. We’ve spent the past 24 hours debriefing how we can strengthen our systems against this kind of failure. This was also a reminder of how much our work matters to people. The deeper concern with an outage like this isn’t how many people switch to competitive services or how much money we lose, but what it means for the people who rely on our services to communicate with loved ones, run their businesses, or support their communities.