The Daring Fireball Linked List

Disabling Slack Indexing Seems to Improve Spotlight Performance on iOS 

Nick Heer:

I’ve generally had pretty good luck with Spotlight on iOS, but I’ve long noticed that results are delayed or nonexistent after not using it for a little while, particularly if I haven’t rebooted my phone recently. I thought I was losing my head a little bit, until I found a tip on Twitter from Anand Iyer :

Settings > General > Spotlight Search > toggle Slack off

A week or so ago I ran into this, where Spotlight was running so slowly on my iPhone that it was unusable. Restarting my phone fixed the problem, but I’ll bet it was this Slack problem.

Update: Sounds like there might widespread problems with Spotlight indexing on iOS 10, because a bunch of readers have written to say they have the same problem but don’t even have Slack installed.

How Anker Is Beating Apple and Samsung at Their Own Accessory Game 

Nice profile of Anker by Nick Statt for The Verge:

So in airports, the back of cabs, and on city streets we’re plugging into lithium-ion slabs in our pockets and bags to stay connected. The market for portable battery packs generated $360 million in the 12 months ending in March, 2017 in the US alone. The brands behind these packs are largely anonymous — Kmashi, Jackery, and iMuto — and they often stay that way.

Except Anker. The steady rise of the company’s profile is proof that it’s possible to meet one very specific consumer need and ride that wave as it continues to ripple out to other markets. A majority of Anker’s sales come from cables and wall chargers, and it’s now moving into the smart home and auto market — anywhere a plug and a cable can solve a problem.

It’s always satisfying to see a company thrive by focusing on making great products.

‘On Margins’ 

New podcast from the inimitable Craig Mod about the art of making books. The first episode is an interview with Jan Chipchase:

Researcher and author Jan Chipchase has a new book — “The Field Study Handbook.” We discuss how he came to produce this 500+ page magnum opus — a distillation of his life’s work — and why he is self publishing.

Boring Google 

Ben Thompson, in praise of Google’s “boring” I/O keynote:

Google Assistant has a long ways to go, but there is a clear picture of what success will look like: Google Photos. Launched only two years ago, Pichai bragged that Photos now has over 500 million active users who upload 1.2 billion photos a day. This is a spectacular number for one very simple reason: Google Photos is not the default photo app for Android or iOS. Rather, Google has earned all of those photos simply by being better than the defaults, and the basis of that superiority is Google’s machine learning.

Moreover, much like search, Photos gets better the more data it gets, creating a virtuous cycle: more photos means more data which means a better experience which means more users which means more photos. It is already hard to see other photo applications catching up.

Google Photos is Google at its best. Their visual recognition is clearly the best in the world right now, and Thompson makes a good point that the “virtuous circle” makes it difficult for anyone to catch up.

In addition to being a great product, technically, Google Photos also launched with a terrific ad campaign.

Every Color of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001 

Owen Philips, writing for The Awl:

Fortunately, Tim Lybarger, a 40 year-old high school counselor from just outside of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, wondered the same thing a few years ago. Back in 2011, on his blog devoted to all things Mister Rogers,, Lybarger recorded the color of every sweater Rogers wore in each episode between 1979 and 2001. “When I realized such a resource didn’t exist,” Lybarger told me over email, “I just felt like somebody needed to do it…might as well be me.”

The chart below uses the data Lybarger meticulously collected to show how Rogers’ preferences for the color of his cardigan changed over time.

When I was a kid I simply loved Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. (Via Kottke, of course.)

Scrolling Is Going to Change in Mobile Safari 

Here’s an interesting exchange in a Hacker News discussion about my criticism of AMP over the weekend. Malte Ubl, creator and tech lead of Google AMP:

With respect to scrolling: We (AMP team) filed a bug with Apple about that (we didn’t implement scrolling ourselves, just use a div with overflow). We asked to make the scroll inertia for that case the same as the normal scrolling.

Apple’s response was (surprisingly) to make the default scrolling like the overflow scrolling. So, with the next Safari release all pages will scroll like AMP pages. Hope Gruber is happy then :)

“Om2”, who seemingly works on WebKit for Apple added:

In current iOS Safari, webpage scrolling is inconsistent from all other scrolling on the system. This was an intentional decision made long ago. In addition, overflow areas are consistent with the rest of the system, and thus inconsistent with top-level webpage scrolling. This is semi-accidental. In reviewing scroll rates, we concluded that the original reason was no longer a good tradeoff. Thus this change, which removed all the inconsistencies:

Having all scrolling be consistent feels good once you get used to it.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it was a good idea for Google’s hosted AMP pages to use overflow scroll all along. The inconsistency definitely did feel weird. And the way they do scrolling prevents Safari from auto-hiding its top and bottom bars. I believe all the desired scroll effects could have been achieved without the use of overflow scroll.

That’s a pretty big change, but I’ll bet Om2 is right that it soon feels normal. Web views have had different scrolling inertia than other scrolling views ever since the original iPhone. (My beef with scrolling in AMP is not that that AMP’s fast scrolling is bad and Mobile Safari’s current slower scrolling is good, but rather that scrolling in AMP pages should not feel totally different than regular web pages. And I forgot to complain about the fact that AMP’s weird implementation also breaks Mobile Safari’s ability to hide the bottom and top browser chrome toolbars. Update: One more complaint: AMP breaks Safari’s Reader mode.)

News Explorer 1.6 Supports JSON Feed 

First native app I’ve seen with support for JSON Feed. Pretty interesting take on a modern Mac feed reader, including nice support for using the keyboard arrow keys to move around the UI.

‘Becoming Bond’ 

New documentary from Hulu on George Lazenby, who played James Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and then turned down an offer for a six-picture contract. Watched it over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it.


My thanks to Stashword for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Stashword is simple but feature-rich password manager for iOS and the web. In addition to passwords, Stashword can securely save notes, financial information, and more. You can even scan and save documents like your drivers license, insurance documentation, and passport.

Stashword is free to try for 15 days. Paid membership enables you to synchronize across all your devices and their website. As a special offer for Daring Fireball readers, through May 25 annual membership is just $7.99, which is 20 percent off the regular price.

MacStories’s iOS 11 iPad Wishes and Concept Video 

Federico Viticci:

I’ve been thinking about some of these ideas since iOS 9 (you can see a thread between my iOS 10 concept and this year’s version), while others would be a natural evolution for iOS on the iPad. Once again, Sam was able to visualize everything with a fantastic concept that, I believe, captures the iPad’s big-picture potential more accurately than last year.

Below, you’ll find our iOS 11 for iPad concept video, followed by an analysis of my iPad wishes with static mockups. I focused on foundational changes to the iPad’s software — tentpole features that would affect the entire OS and app ecosystem.

This isn’t a prediction of what Apple will announce at WWDC; it’s my vision for what the future of the iPad should be.

Viticci and Beckett put months of work into this, and it shows. Some of the ideas they present: system-wide drag-and-drop, a Finder app, a redesigned App Store, and much more.

The best part of this feature isn’t any specific idea, but rather Viticci’s profound enthusiasm for the iPad as a platform.

10-Year-Old Open Letter Calling for Apple to Make Glucose Monitors 

Amy Tenderich, 10 years ago, in an open letter to Steve Jobs:

If insulin pumps or continuous monitors had the form of an iPod Nano, people wouldn’t have to wonder why we wear our “pagers” to our own weddings, or puzzle over that strange bulge under our clothes. If these devices wouldn’t start suddenly and incessantly beeping, strangers wouldn’t lecture us to turn off our “cell phones” at the movie theater.

In short, medical device manufacturers are stuck in a bygone era; they continue to design these products in an engineering-driven, physician-centered bubble. They have not yet grasped the concept that medical devices are also life devices, and therefore need to feel good and look good for the patients using them 24/7, in addition to keeping us alive.

(Follow-up here in 2010.)

This was incredibly prescient, given the rumors that Apple is working on continuous non-invasive glucose monitoring for Apple Watch. Jobs didn’t live to see it, but I think it’s exactly the sort of thing he would be pushing for if he were still alive.

From chapter 37 of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs:

Even when he was barely conscious, his strong personality came through. At one point the pulmonologist tried to put a mask over his face when he was deeply sedated. Jobs ripped it off and mumbled that he hated the design and refused to wear it. Though barely able to speak, he ordered them to bring five different options for the mask and he would pick a design he liked. The doctors looked at Powell, puzzled. She was finally able to distract him so they could put on the mask. He also hated the oxygen monitor they put on his finger. He told them it was ugly and too complex. He suggested ways it could be designed more simply. “He was very attuned to every nuance of the environment and objects around him, and that drained him,” Powell recalled.

Scott Gilbertson: ‘Kill Google AMP Before It Kills the Web’ 

Scott Gilbertson, writing for The Register:

Quite a few high-profile web developers have this year weighted in with criticism and some, following a Google conference dedicated to AMP, have cautioned users about diving in with both feet.

These, in my view, don’t go far enough in stating the problem and I feel this needs to be said very clearly: Google’s AMP is bad — bad in a potentially web-destroying way. Google AMP is bad news for how the web is built, it’s bad news for publishers of credible online content, and it’s bad news for consumers of that content. Google AMP is only good for one party: Google. Google, and possibly, purveyors of fake news.

It’s time for developers to wake up and, as Jason Scott once said of Facebook, stop: “Shoveling down the shit sherbet” Google is now serving with AMP.

I’m on the record as being strongly opposed to AMP simply on the grounds of publication independence. I’d stand by that even if the implementation were great. But the implementation is not great — it’s terrible. Yes, AMP pages load fast, but you don’t need AMP for fast-loading web pages. If you are a publisher and your web pages don’t load fast, the sane solution is to fix your fucking website so that pages load fast, not to throw your hands up in the air and implement AMP.

But other than loading fast, AMP sucks. It implements its own scrolling behavior on iOS, which feels unnatural, and even worse, it breaks the decade-old system-wide iOS behavior of being able to tap the status bar to scroll to the top of any scrollable view. AMP also completely breaks Safari’s ability to search for text on a page (via the “Find on Page” action in the sharing sheet). Google has no respect for the platform. If I had my way, Mobile Safari would refuse to render AMP pages. It’s a deliberate effort by Google to break the open web.

Arctic Stronghold of World’s Seeds Flooded After Permafrost Melts 

Damian Carrington, reporting for The Guardian:

It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The big takeaway from this should be that climate change truly is a threat to civilization. But, I have to say, that melting permafrost wasn’t taken into consideration during the design of this vault seems like a glaring oversight.

Update: Looks like The Guardian might have shamelessly sensationalized this story. Mary Beth Griggs, reporting for Popular Science:

“If there was a worst case scenario where there was so much water, or the pumping systems failed, that it made its way uphill to the seed vault, then it would encounter minus 18 [degrees celsius] and freeze again. Then there’s another barrier [the ice] for entry into the seed vault,” Fowler says. In other words, any water that floods into the tunnel has to make it 100 meters downhill, then back uphill, then overwhelm the pumping systems, and then manage not to freeze at well-below-freezing temperatures. Otherwise, there’s no way liquid is getting into the seed bank — so the seeds are probably safe. […]

Still worried? Maybe this will help you exhale: “We did this calculation; if all the ice in the world melted — Greenland, Arctic, Antarctic, everything — and then we had the world’s largest recorded tsunami right in front of the seed vault. So, very high sea levels and the worlds largest Tsunami. What would happen to the seed vault?” Fowler says. “We found that the seed vault was somewhere between a five and seven story building above that point. It might not help the road leading up to the seed vault, but the seeds themselves would be OK.”

Sounds like the vault itself is designed to survive a climate apocalypse — it’s just the entry that isn’t.

‘It’s Borderline Stupid How Easy It Was’ 

Niclas Darville, on creating a JSON Feed template for Jekyll:

It literally took me longer to write this blog post than the JSON feed code, because I couldn’t get Jekyll to escape the Liquid code example.

On Twitter, Darville wrote:

One of the best things about @jsonfeed is how well it works as a Hello World kind of programming exercise.

Sure beats to-do lists.

Jason McIntosh described adding JSON Feed support to his home-grown blog engine as a “blowing-off-steam project”.

These reactions are exactly what I mean about JSON Feed being fun. There’s a time and place for specs that are drop-dead serious, but I think it’s often overlooked just how important fun can be in having a new spec gain traction.

Headline of the Week 

Actual headline in the staid New York Times: “Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation”.

Requiring Facebook 

Jason Ditzian, writing for The Bold Italic on what happened when the car sharing service he’d been using for 10 years was acquired:

However, City CarShare was recently bought by a corporation, Getaround. And Getaround built its platform on top of Facebook. So when I went to migrate my account over to them, I found that there’s literally no way to do it as a non-Facebook user. If I want to share cars with my fellow city dwellers, I’m compelled to strike a Faustian bargain.

To access the services of Getaround, one must authenticate their identity through Facebook. […]

I know that for you Facebook-having people, this is no big deal. You have resigned yourself to the idea of Facebook owning your data. But if you don’t, haven’t and/or won’t resign to this fate, you might end up left, like me, in a peculiar situation: the price of “sharing” a car equals money plus forking over a huge trove of personal data. Personal information is supplanting money as a form of currency.

There’s clearly a problem here, but I don’t think it’s Facebook’s fault. I think the problem is that Getaround sucks.

FCC Votes to Begin Dismantling Net Neutrality 

Karl Bode, writing for TechDirt:

Surprising absolutely nobody, the FCC today voted 2-1 along strict party lines to begin dismantling net neutrality protections for consumers. The move comes despite the fact that the vast majority of non-bot comments filed with the FCC support keeping the rules intact. And while FCC boss Ajit Pai has breathlessly insisted he intended to listen to the concerns of all parties involved, there has been zero indication that this was a serious commitment as he begins dismantling all manner of broadband consumer protections, not just net neutrality.

As you might have expected, the FCC was quick to release a statement claiming that gutting the popular consumer protections would usher forth a magical age of connectivity, investment, and innovation.

(Via Nick Heer.)

‘You Know My Name’ 

One of my very favorite songs from Chris Cornell — the opening credits theme to Casino Royale. A great song that just fits the movie so damn well.

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Dead at 52 

The New York Times:

Chris Cornell, the powerful, dynamic singer whose band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, died on Wednesday night in Detroit hours after the band had performed there. He was 52.

The death was a suicide by hanging, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. It said a full autopsy had not yet been completed.



There’s a cool command-line JSON processor called jq — easily installed on a Mac via download or Homebrew, and even more easily tinkered with using the online playground. Here’s how easy jq makes it to get, say, a list of the titles from DF’s JSON feed:

curl -s | jq '.items[].title'
The World’s First JSON Feed Viewer 

Maxime Vaillancourt:

Here’s a tiny proof of concept for a @jsonfeed viewer, built in an hour:

One of the things I love about JSON Feed is that it’s fun. JSON is so simple, and so well-supported by almost all programming languages, that you can build something interesting in just a few minutes, and something useful in an hour. There was a comment on the Hacker News thread about JSON Feed that I loved:

It is very likely than I am an idiot, but I’ve always found parsing XML too hard, specially compared to JSON which is almost too easy.

“Almost too easy” are three words no one has ever said about XML.

Apple Is Testing an Apple Watch Glucose Monitor 

Christina Farr, reporting for CNBC:

Tim Cook has been spotted at the Apple campus test-driving a device that tracks blood sugar, which was connected to his Apple Watch.

A source said that Cook was wearing a prototype glucose-tracker on the Apple Watch, which points to future applications that would make the device a “must have” for millions of people with diabetes — or at risk for the disease.

As CNBC reported last month, Apple has a team in Palo Alto working on the “holy grail” for diabetes: Non-invasive and continuous glucose monitoring. The current glucose trackers on the market rely on tiny sensors penetrating the skin. Sources said the company is already conducting feasibility trials in the Bay Area.

Non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring would be a life-changer for anyone with diabetes. But I can’t even imagine how life-changing this will be for kids with diabetes and their parents.

CMD-D: Masters of Automation Conference 

This sounds very cool: a one-day conference in August devoted to Mac and iOS scripting and automation, hosted by Paul Kent, Naomi Pearce, and Sal Soghoian.

Final Cut Pro X and Closed Captions 

Kevin Hamm:

Captions can be just text at timecode, which is simple. In their most complex, they are styled, located text at timecode. That’s it. Nothing more. I work in text and titles and timecode every day in every video I do, so there is no reason that this simple function isn’t baked in at this point. Words at timecode. That’s all it is.

That Apple is making their systems and products accessible is great. Xcode grants programmers the ability to build accessible apps, and has from the beginning, which is even better as it makes a massive part of the ecosystem accessible.

That Final Cut Pro hasn’t ever and still doesn’t create closed captions is a smudge on that image.

It seems bonkers to me that Final Cut Pro X doesn’t have support for closed captions. Coming from Apple, you’d think it would have excellent support for them. How does Apple create closed captions for their own videos?

Source Code for Panic Apps Stolen By Malware Thieves 

Steven Frank:

Last week, for about three days, the macOS video transcoding app HandBrake was compromised. One of the two download servers for HandBrake was serving up a special malware-infested version of the app, that, when launched, would essentially give hackers remote control of your computer.

In a case of extraordinarily bad luck, even for a guy that has a lot of bad computer luck, I happened to download HandBrake in that three day window, and my work Mac got pwned.

Long story short, somebody, somewhere, now has quite a bit of source code to several of our apps.

This is one hell of a story and quite a shock, but the crew at Panic kept their heads together and did the right thing: they’ve opened up completely and honestly, refused to deal with the blackmailer, and I think they are correctly unworried about their source code being leaked publicly.

Dave Itzkoff Profiles Jimmy Fallon for The New York Times 

Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at The Tonight Show, including a look inside Fallon’s briefcase (he’s got a Nintendo Switch in there).

Announcing JSON Feed 

Brent Simmons and Manton Reece:

We — Manton Reece and Brent Simmons — have noticed that JSON has become the developers’ choice for APIs, and that developers will often go out of their way to avoid XML. JSON is simpler to read and write, and it’s less prone to bugs.

So we developed JSON Feed, a format similar to RSS and Atom but in JSON. It reflects the lessons learned from our years of work reading and publishing feeds.

I think this is a great idea, and a good spec. I even like the style in which the spec is written: for real humans (much like the RSS spec). If you want to see a real-life example, Daring Fireball has a JSON Feed. I’ve got a good feeling about this project — the same sort of feeling I had about Markdown back in the day.

New Apple Videos Highlight Real-World Accessibility 

Nice piece for Mashable by Katie Dupere on a bunch of new videos in Apple’s YouTube channel, highlighting real-world usage of iOS and MacOS accessibility features. People who can’t move, people who can’t talk, people who can’t see or hear — doing amazing things. Apple’s commitment to accessibility is one of my very favorite things about the company. It’s not just the right thing to do for people who truly need these features — it makes the products better for everyone.

Update: Jim Dalrymple has all 7 videos collected on one page.

Lyft and Waymo Reach Deal to Collaborate on Self-Driving Cars 

Mike Isaac, writing for The New York Times:

Waymo, the self-driving car unit that operates under Google’s parent company, has signed a deal with the ride-hailing start-up Lyft, according to two people familiar with the agreement who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The deal calls for the companies to work together to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream through pilot projects and product development efforts, these people said.

The deal was confirmed by Lyft and Waymo.

Who knows, maybe Google would have made this same deal with Lyft even in the alternate universe where Uber didn’t steal Google’s tech. But it sure looks like Uber has made a powerful enemy.

Long Live MP3 

Marco Arment:

Until a few weeks ago, there had never been an audio format that was small enough to be practical, widely supported, and had no patent restrictions, forcing difficult choices and needless friction upon the computing world. Now, at least for audio, that friction has officially ended. There’s finally a great choice without asterisks.

MP3 is supported by everything, everywhere, and is now patent-free.

I wasn’t paying attention last week when Gizmodo, Engadget, and NPR got hoodwinked into writing “MP3 Is Dead” stories by an announcement from Fraunhofer pushing people to switch from the now-open MP3 to the still-patent-encumbered AAC.

On Twitter, Marco pointed to this 10-year-old piece from yours truly, describing the then-pipe-dream of Ogg Vorbis:

The ideal scenario would be for a genuinely open and free file format such as Ogg Vorbis to supplant MP3 as the de facto world standard. No patents, no licensing fees, a documented file format, open source libraries for encoding and decoding. That doesn’t seem to be in the cards, however. In the real world, major corporations only seem comfortable with multimedia formats backed by other large corporations.

Now that the MP3 patents have expired, the situation is even better, because MP3 has been so thoroughly vetted, patent-wise. Idealism seldom wins out in these format battles. But time always wins.

Engadget: ‘The First Television With Amazon Fire TV Built in Is Just Fine’ 

I think the big news isn’t that there’s a cheap TV with Fire built-in — it’s that Amazon is promoting it heavily on their home page. Google’s home page is probably still the most valuable advertising real estate on the Internet, but Amazon’s is almost certainly more valuable for selling consumer goods, because people visiting Amazon are ready to buy.

Loog Guitars 

Rafael Atijas, founder of Loog Guitars:

Loog Guitars are small, 3-string guitars designed to make it fun and easy for anyone to play music. They come with flashcards and an app that get you playing songs on day one.

I don’t know much about guitars, but these look cool, the prices seem very reasonable, and the app looks great. It’s a Kickstarter project, but it’s already fully-funded (several times over) and they expect to start shipping next month.

Today at Apple Launches 

Educational classes, photo walks, and more — from your local Apple Store. This, I think, is Angela Ahrendts’s biggest project at Apple to date. This is not just a program for the major flagship stores — it’s a program for every single Apple Store around the world. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Apple’s retail stores are one of the most overlooked / underestimated advantages in all of technology.

Via Sarah Perez, whose TechCrunch story points out that “The launch kicking off this week includes 4,000 sessions per day across Apple’s stores.”

Steven Levy Tours Apple Park 

Steven Levy, writing for Wired:

On a crisp and clear March day, more than five years after Jobs’ death, I’m seated next to Jonathan Ive in the back of a Jeep Wrangler as we prepare to tour the nearly completed Apple Park, the name recently bestowed on the campus that Jobs pitched to the Cupertino City Council in 2011. At 50, Apple’s design chieftain still looks like the rugby player he once was, and he remains, despite fame, fortune, and a knighthood, the same soft-spoken Brit I met almost 20 years ago. We are both wearing white hard hats with a silver Apple logo above the brim; Ive’s is personalized with “Jony” underneath the iconic symbol. Dan Whisenhunt, the company’s head of facilities and a de facto manager of the project, comes with us. He too has a personalized hat. It is an active construction site on a tight deadline — the first occupants are supposedly moving in within 30 days of my visit, with 500 new employees arriving every week thereafter — and I felt a bit like one of the passengers on the first ride into Jurassic Park.

Fantastic piece. Hard not to get a little choked up thinking about it as Steve Jobs’s final product:

“Could we have cut a corner here or there?” Cook asks rhetorically. “It wouldn’t have been Apple. And it wouldn’t have sent the message to everybody working here every day that detail matters, that care matters.” That was what Jobs wanted — what he always wanted. And the current leaders of Apple are determined not to disappoint him in what is arguably his biggest, and is certainly his last, product launch. “I revere him,” Cook says. “And this was clearly his vision, his concept. Our biggest project ever.”

When the World Is Led by a Child 

David Brooks has the line of the day:

We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.

The Washington Post: ‘Trump Revealed Highly Classified Information to Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador’ 

Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe, reporting for The Washington Post:

In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.

Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.

The Washington Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.

Is Trump a Russian collaborator? A bumbling idiot? Both? No matter what the answer is, he’s unfit to be president. This would be comical if the stakes weren’t so high. If a cabinet secretary had blabbed about this they’d be fired on the spot.

Derek Jeter on Why He Started the Players’ Tribune 

Matthew Panzarino did a terrific job with this interview with co-founders Derek Jeter and Jaymee Messler, on stage today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York. (Matthew very kindly set me up with backstage passes — one for me, and one for my son. Very cool.)

Derek Jeter Day 


Derek Jeter is the only player in MLB history to play 20+ years without experiencing a single losing season .

Great ad from Budweiser celebrating Jeter’s number getting retired today.

The Talk Show: ‘Anything Luxury’ 

For your weekend listening pleasure, a new episode of The Talk Show, featuring special guest Ben Thompson. Topics include Microsoft’s announcements from Build 2017, search engines, Amazon’s new (confusingly-named) Look and Show devices, the need for HAL 9000, Apple’s WeChat problem in China, and more.

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Squarespace: Customizable Design 

My thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Squarespace is the simplest way to create a beautiful website. Every template is customizable, so you can make it your own. Add a portfolio to showcase your work, a store to sell your products or services, a blog to share your ideas, and more. Start now — you can try Squarespace for free. When you’re ready to subscribe, get 10 percent off at with offer code DARING17.

Malware, Described in Leaked NSA Documents, Cripples Computers Worldwide 

The Washington Post:

Cybersecurity experts said the malicious software works by exploiting a flaw in Microsoft software that was described in NSA documents stolen from the agency and leaked publicly in April by a criminal group called Shadow Brokers.

Microsoft released a “critical” patch fixing the flaw in March, before the NSA documents were publicly released, but the patch was apparently applied inconsistently, with many computers continuing to be unprotected. The malicious software — called “ransomware” because it encrypts systems and threatens to destroy data if a ransom is not paid — is spreading among computers that have not been patched, experts said.

The NSA did not respond to requests for comment.

Remember last year when a whole bunch of people wanted Apple to create a special version of iOS for the U.S. government, under the promise that it would never escape their safe hands and get into the wild? Like this ignoramus, who was then campaigning for president.

Apple Invests $200 Million in Corning, First Investment From $1 Billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund 

Apple press release:

Apple today announced Corning Incorporated will receive $200 million from Apple’s new Advanced Manufacturing Fund as part of the company’s commitment to foster innovation among American manufacturers. The investment will support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs and state-of-the-art glass processing. Corning’s 65-year-old Harrodsburg facility has been integral to the 10-year collaboration between these two innovative companies and will be the focus of Apple’s investment.

The Amazing Dinosaur Fossil Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada 

Michael Greshko, writing for National Geographic:

At first glance the reassembled gray blocks look like a nine-foot-long sculpture of a dinosaur. A bony mosaic of armor coats its neck and back, and gray circles outline individual scales. Its neck gracefully curves to the left, as if reaching toward some tasty plant. But this is no lifelike sculpture. It’s an actual dinosaur, petrified from the snout to the hips.

The more I look at it, the more mind-boggling it becomes. Fossilized remnants of skin still cover the bumpy armor plates dotting the animal’s skull. Its right forefoot lies by its side, its five digits splayed upward. I can count the scales on its sole. Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral researcher at the museum, grins at my astonishment. “We don’t just have a skeleton,” he tells me later. “We have a dinosaur as it would have been.”

Looks more like a movie prop than a fossil.

HP Laptops Covertly Log User Keystrokes, Researchers Warn 

Dan Goodin, writing for Ars Technica:

HP is selling more than two dozen models of laptops and tablets that covertly monitor every keystroke a user makes, security researchers warned Thursday. The devices then store the key presses in an unencrypted file on the hard drive.

The keylogger is included in a device driver developed by Conexant, a manufacturer of audio chips that are included in the vulnerable HP devices. That’s according to an advisory published by modzero, a Switzerland-based security consulting firm. One of the device driver components is MicTray64.exe, an executable file that allows the driver to respond when a user presses special keys. It turns out that the file sends all keystrokes to a debugging interface or writes them to a log file available on the computer’s C drive.


Apple Will Announce Amazon Prime Video Coming to Apple TV at WWDC 

John Paczkowski, reporting for BuzzFeed:

Sources in position to know tell BuzzFeed News that Amazon’s Prime video app — long absent from Apple TV — is indeed headed to Apple’s diminutive set-top box. Apple plans to announce Amazon Prime video’s impending arrive to the Apple TV App Store during the keynote at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5 in San Jose, CA. A source familiar with the companies’ thinking say the app is expected to go live this summer, but cautioned that the hard launch date might change. Amazon had previously declined to even submit a Prime Video app for inclusion in Apple’s Apple TV App Store, despite Apple’s “all are welcome” proclamations.

Recode earlier reported that Apple and Amazon were nearing an agreement that may finally bring the Prime Video app to Apple TV. It’s now official.

Still no word on what exactly the holdup was, or what, if anything, has changed.

Apple: ‘How to Shoot on iPhone 7’ 

Cool new series of videos from Apple, showing how to get the most from your iPhone camera.

The Girls’ Soccer Team That Joined a Boys’ League, and Won It 

Raphael Minder, reporting for The New York Times:

The ponytailed forward cut through the rain and the defense and drove a low shot past the outstretched arm of the goalkeeper. The pinpoint strike — her 38th of the season — confirmed Andrea Gómez as the top scorer for her championship team.

The boys Gómez left in her wake, though, were not the first ones forced to retrieve one of her shots from their net. Gómez, 13, and her teammates had been confounding boys all season, playing so well that their girls’ team recently won a junior regional league in Spain over 13 boys’ teams.

“I always try to show that soccer isn’t just for boys,” Gómez said. “If you’re technically better, you can compensate for being perhaps physically weaker.”

Quite telling who gave them the most heckling trouble:

The transition was not easy. The girls finished 12th in an 18-team league in their debut season. But as the team improved, and began to beat boys’ teams with more regularity, its progress generated unpleasant reactions.

“It’s really been more a problem for parents rather than their boys,” Salmerón said of comments directed at the team during matches. “It’s strange, but most of the macho comments and insults have come from the mothers of some of the boys we play.”

Stack Overflow Trends 

David Robinson:

On a typical day, developers ask over 8,000 questions on Stack Overflow about programming problems they run into in their work. Which technologies are they asking about, and how has that changed over time?

Today, we’re introducing the Stack Overflow Trends tool to track interest in programming languages and technologies, based on the number of Stack Overflow questions asked per month. For example, we could compare the relative usage of three programming languages.

MacPaw’s Museum of Apple Hardware 

MacPaw, on their acquisition of TekServe’s collection of Apple hardware:

As the shop grew and became a landmark Apple dealer, the Tekserve team found themselves surrounded by beautiful Macs of all kinds. In twenty years they decided to turn the best of them, groundbreaking models, as they put it, into a museum-like exhibition. And later, when the shop was shutting down, an Apple Lisa, an alien Nextstation Turbo machine, and the rest of the grand collection had to find a new home on an auction.

The prospects looked pretty grim, because a collection like that had a high chance of ending up in some millionaire’s basement. Luckily, MacPaw’s CEO Olexandr Kosovan heard about the auction and made an instant decision. He secretly bought all of the iconic Macintosh computers before the collection was taken apart and sold piece by piece.

That is how almost 40 Macs from every generation were reverently moved to MacPaw’s Ukrainian office, to the uncontrollable joy of a hundred Apple fans who work here. We think there’s hardly a better place for historical Apple computers than our futuristic Apple-inspired office. And hardly a better audience than a team of passionate Mac developers.

Just gorgeous.

(Via Stephen Hackett.)


Josh Dawsey, reporting for Politico, “Behind Comey’s Firing: An Enraged Trump, Fuming About Russia”:

But the fallout seemed to take the White House by surprise. Trump made a round of calls around 5 p.m., asking for support from senators. White House officials believed it would be a “win-win” because Republicans and Democrats alike had had problems with the FBI director, one person briefed on the administration’s deliberations said.

Instead, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told him he was making a big mistake — and Trump seemed “taken aback,” according to a person familiar with the call.

By Tuesday evening, the president was watching the coverage of his decision and frustrated no one was on TV defending him, a White House official said. He wanted surrogates out there beating the drum.

So he fires Comey, calls Chuck Schumer expecting a pat on the back, Schumer instead tells him he’s making a big mistake, and Trump gets off the phone and mocks Schumer in a tweet. It’s almost comical that he expected this to be popular with Democrats.

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The Daring Fireball Linked List is a daily list of interesting links and brief commentary, updated frequently but not frenetically. Call it a “link log”, or “linkblog”, or just “a good way to dick around on the Internet for a few minutes a day”.

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