July 13, 2021

Snippet: Apple’s Weather App Not Nice ☍

Chaim Gartenberg for The Verge:

If you’re an iPhone user, the weather is always a particularly nice 70 degrees. Or 68 degrees. Any temperature but 69 degrees, actually, because it turns out that the built-in weather app on some versions of iOS — including the current version, iOS 14.6 — will refuse to display the internet’s favorite number, even if the actual temperature in a given location is, in fact, 69 degrees, along with several other (less meme-able) numerals like 65 and 71 degrees.

It’s not clear if this is a bug or an intentional attempt from Apple to cut down on 69-related humor. The rounding is only visible in the weather app itself: clicking through to Apple’s source data from Weather.com will show the proper temperature, as do Apple’s home screen widgets. But the iOS weather app will refuse to show 69 degrees anywhere in the forecast, whether it’s for the current temperature, the hourly forecast for the day, or the extended forecast.

That’s it. Time to break-up the company! Apple has gone too far with its power! Shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.

Jokes aside, it seems it might be a bug related to conversion of Celsius to Fahrenheit, but I did notice this myself due to a stretch of mild weather in the Midwest—my Home Screen widget would show 69 degrees, but opening the app would always be 70 (yes, my humor is juvenile).

May 12, 2021

Snippet: The Death of Panic’s Code Editor ☍


Code Editor — originally called “Diet Coda” then later “Coda for iOS” — was our powerful and full-featured iOS editor for developers. Introduced in 2012, it was packed with innovation, like our “Super Loupe” designed to make iOS cursor placement more precise — even fun, and an “iPad Preview” that let you use your iPad as a dedicated website preview screen long before Sidecar. The goal was to make a great code editor for iOS that anyone could use on-the-go.

Unfortunately, like Transmit iOS and Status Board before it, we’re discontinuing Code Editor as it doesn’t generate enough revenue to cover its continued development.

This was a gut-punch, mostly because I use Coda Code Editor on my iPad for this site and a few other projects and it’s the perfect mix of design and features for me. I’m not even sure there is a proper replacement from someone else (feel free to email if there is!)

For what it’s worth, I would’ve loved to pay a subscription to keep Transmit and Code Editor going, but I also understand that there just may not be enough people to even do that. Apple’s heavy-handedness with the App Store played a role to prevent adding additional tools, but I think there’s also the disconnect that people aren’t willing to pay for professional, complex software on mobile like they are on desktop operating systems.

Being able to run many iOS apps on the M1 Macs, along with this announcement has me wondering some random thoughts for the first time in awhile—should my next computer be a MacBook Air and replace my iPad and Mac mini with one machine that can do it all?

March 25, 2021

Snippet: Area-Codeless Local Calls Will Largely Go Away in October—But For a Good Reason ☍

Mitchell Clark for The Verge:

In many places, you can call up a neighbor or local pizza parlor just by dialing seven numbers, as long as you have the same area code — but that ability will soon be going away, in order to make the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline easier to reach. If you live in one of the areas where the change is taking place, you’ll soon have to dial 10 numbers whether you’re making a local call or not.

Each cellular carrier has a support page explaining the change (we’ll link to all of them below, and a list of the area codes will be included at the end of the post), but the basic gist is that, starting October 24, 2021, anyone trying to call a local number using only seven digits will be met with a recording telling them to hang up and try again with the full area code. The change will apply to landlines, cell phones, and VoIP systems.

While most people would argue that we don’t really even think about phone numbers if they’re stored on smartphone contact lists or found via a favorite mapping app, there’s still plenty of office jobs that dial numbers by hand. Either way, phone numbers have ten digits, have for a long time, and anyone still thinking in terms of seven digits needs to get with the times.

There will probably be a handful of people grumpy about this, but it’s for a good reason and also means that phone numbers that use the 988 prefix (i.e. (###) 988-####) won’t need to be changed or reassigned. In many other places, ten-digit dialing has become the norm due to new area codes overlaid on top of existing ones (or having a phone number from an area code that’s different where you live).

Snippet: Amazon Denies Stories of Workers Peeing in Bottles, Receives a Flood of Evidence in Return ☍

James Vincent for The Verge:

Amazon is trying a new tactic in its endless PR battle against stories of its exhausting and exploitative working conditions: outright denial. It’s not working.

When replying to a tweet from Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) complaining about the company’s union-busting tactics and the fact that some of its workers are forced to “urinate in water bottles,” Amazon’s official Twitter account responded: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”

But people do believe these stories and for a very simple reason: there are numerous accounts of it happening, documented by employees and journalists around the world.

Snippet: T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T Stop SMS Hijacks After Motherboard Investigation ☍

Joseph Cox for Vice / Motherboard:

All of the major carriers made a significant change to how SMS messages are routed to prevent hackers being able to easily reroute a target’s texts, according to an announcement from Aerialink, a communications company that helps route text messages. The move comes after a Motherboard investigation in which a hacker, with minimal effort, paid $16 to reroute our text messages and then used that ability to break into a number of online accounts, including Postmates, WhatsApp, and Bumble, exposing a gaping hole in the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.

I didn’t get a chance to post Cox’s initial report, but basically for $16, someone could easily get access to intercept any SMSes inbound for your number. Unlike port-out and SIM swap hacks, you’d still have working service on your phone. I think it’s a good thing that this was addressed so quickly (less than two weeks), but highlights the fragility of some of these behind-the-scenes systems that so much of our lives are tied to.