Archive for January 19, 2023

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Folders With High File Counts

Mike Bombich (Hacker News):

Any time a folder has more than a few thousand items in it, the filesystem is going to be a lot slower when working with that folder. Adding a new file, for example, requires that the filesystem compare the new item name to the name of every other file in the folder to check for conflicts, so trivial tasks like that will take progressively longer as the file count increases. Gathering the enormous file list will also take progressively longer as the list gets larger.


Last week, one of our users found the task as shown above. Upon closer analysis, we determined that the “media” folder had 181,274 files in it. In other words, more than 10% of the files on the whole startup disk were in that “media” folder. In extreme cases like this, the delay to retrieve a file list can be so long (i.e. longer than 10 minutes) that the task aborts with an error[…]


For a contrasting example, consider how Mail organizes a potentially astronomic list of files. If you navigate to the hidden Library folder in your home folder, then to Mail > V10 > {any UUID} > {any mailbox} > {another UUID} > Data, you’ll see folders named by number, four layers deep, until you finally get to a Messages folder with actual files in it.

Apple should also employ this technique for Core Data external storage and Spotlight temporary files.


Amazon Closing AmazonSmile

Amazon (Hacker News):

In 2013, we launched AmazonSmile to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities. However, after almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.

So if it had grown more—i.e. it was costing Amazon more—they would have kept it?

Once AmazonSmile closes, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.

Eric Schwarz:

I’ve used this feature almost since the beginning and find it slimy that Amazon would end it with the excuse “it’s spread too thin” when even the small amounts going to some organizations (such as schools and animal rescues) make a big impact.

Annie Palmer (via Hacker News):

Amazon on Wednesday will begin a fresh round of job cuts in what’s expected to become the largest workforce cuts in its 28-year history.

Earlier this month, CEO Andy Jassy said the layoffs would affect more than 18,000 employees, primarily in its human resources and stores divisions.

Rich Johnston:

Today, there are significant redundancies and firing occurring at Amazon, with executives sending statements to staff. This included staff members at the digital comic book publisher and distributor ComiXology, acquired by Amazon and later integrated into the main Amazon site, with reports of up to 50% layoffs.

Update (2023-01-20): this_my_sportsreddit (via mrzaius):

Here’s the most messed up part. I used to work at Amazon corporate, let me tell you how the entire program Amazon Smile got created.

So basically, when a customer wants to buy a product, they usually go straight to and enter what they’re looking for. But there’s also a large segment of customers who begin their search on google, and ends up at Amazon. Well guess what. When that type of search to purchase experience happens, Amazon has to pay google. Internally, Amazon thought that if they could force users to go straight to Amazon, offer a small but obviously less amount of money to charity from each customer than would have been paid to google, it would help kill customers going to google, save Amazon more money than paying google, and be good overall for the brand value of Amazon.

That’s why for the program to work, the user has to start shopping at Until recently, the option to use amazon smile wasn’t even available in the app, and even then the user still had to ‘renew’ being a part of Smile multiple times a year. There is no way for a customer to go through the traditional shopping experience, and then during checkout decide they want to give a portion of their purchase to charity, because giving to charity isn’t the point of the overall program. Amazon Smile was developed by the Traffic Optimization team, whose entire purpose is increasing efficiency and lowering costs of getting customers to Amazon.

Update (2023-01-21): Emily Schmall (via John Gordon):

Amazon’s decision to remove certain charities from the program drew the ire of prominent Republicans, who accused the company and its founder, Jeff Bezos, who was Amazon’s chief executive at the time, of discriminating against conservative groups and indulging in what they described as “woke activism.”


For some organizations, AmazonSmile donations represented significant support. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, for instance, said in November that it had received $15 million in donations over the lifetime of the program.


Mr. Malone said that “many of the people” who had worked on the AmazonSmile program were among the company employees who were being laid off.

But it was “not a cost-cutting measure.”

Issues With Apple TV Remotes and iCloud Terms

Greg Pierce:

Maybe just lucky, but since upgrading to the newest Apple TV, with the USB-C remote, we've had to reboot the remote periodically to make it work the TV volume.

Despite using Apple TVs for many years, I was not previous aware that you could reboot the remote.

Tim Hardwick:

Several MacRumors forum and Reddit threads have been created to bring attention to the issue, which seems to relate to the Siri Remote's inconsistent Bluetooth connection with the latest Apple TV 4K, even at close proximity.


Press and hold the TV/Control Center button and the Volume Down button at the same time. Hold the buttons down for about 5 seconds, or until the status light on your Apple TV turns off and on again.

Benjamin Mayo (via Paul McGrane, Hacker News):

A viral tweet today highlights a somewhat frustrating limitation with the Apple TV software. As of a recent software update, tvOS expects users have access to an iPhone or iPad in order to do things like accept new iCloud terms and conditions, or update their Apple ID settings.


Apple contacted @hugelgupf to provide a workaround. Apparently, fully signing out of iCloud and back in on the Apple TV will prompt terms and condition screen which can be accepted on the same device. Weird.


What About “Log in With Twitter”?

Adam Chandler:

There are many websites, like this one who use Continue with Twitter / Login with Twitter” I assume that many sites responsibly implemented this and still set a password for the user and a user id but one thing I think most of us have not had to think about is what happens with “sign in with” (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter) go away?


With the future of Twitter being so uncertain, anyone who has users who joined via a Twitter OAuth handshake may want to make sure they’re ready for that service that holds thousands of tokens to suddenly stop working.


Update (2023-04-04): Mike McCue (via Hacker News):

In addition to turning off their API, #Twitter has also inexplicably turned off access for users to sign in to Flipboard and other platforms with Twitter SSO.

This is an unacceptable breach of trust between Twitter and their developers and users.