macOS 10.13.4, iOS 11.3, tvOS 11.3 and watchOS 4.3 have been released; Facebook fall out continuing

So Apple has released updates for all their platforms today in the early hours of the morning and I installed them today – some pretty big updates with the macOS 10.13.4 update sitting at around 2.5GB with almost every part of the system having been touched including the APFS kernel extension along with various frameworks, the Finder itself (the macOS shell) along with smoother performance which makes mw wonder whether it includes improvements to the Metal framework given that the WIndowServer has been re-written from the ground up to be based upon metal along with various subsystems being moved from being based on OpenGL or a proprietary private framework stack to Metal. The installation took longer than previous updates which makes me wonder whether something regarding the filesystem was occurring behind the scenes to address some of the performance issues that have been reported around the internet. My iPhone X with 11.3 is running beautifully – responsive without any slow downs and the modem firmware was also updated along with the carrier settings being bumped up from 31 to 32 although I haven’t noticed a difference in terms of reliability of phone calls or signal strength I equally haven’t noticed an regressions so that is always a good sign.

Both iOS and macOS received Safari/Webkit updates which bumps up to version 11.1 (13605.1.33.1.2) but the interesting part was the release of the technology preview which was released a week before where part the changes included removing support for the NPAPI plugin framework thus leaving the only plugin support being for Flash but lets hope that the end of life for Flash, other than niche case scenarios, will be reached before the official 2020 deadline that Adobe has been talking about. If there has been one thing that has held back the web it is the insistence by certain players (website) insisting that their use case scenario absolutely necessitated the use of a proprietary technology instead of open standards. This mind set is particularly bad in the education sector particularly around employee training where I had to go out of my way to install Flash or head over to my mum’s place to use her Windows computer to get something completed that should have been achievable on any device had the website just simply used the open standards that exist.

I’ve been following the progress of LLVM and it is great to see how LLVM/Clang is progressing it’ll be interesting to see those improvements making their way into the Xcode IDE along with the improvements in compiler optimisations producing better optimised compilers:

LLVM: http://releases.llvm.org/6.0.0/docs/ReleaseNotes.html

Clang: http://releases.llvm.org/6.0.0/tools/clang/docs/ReleaseNotes.html

Part of the great progress has been Google jumping onboard to contribute where they’ve started to compile Chrome for Windows using Clang/LLVM with still some dependencies on Microsoft’s toolchain but according to this:

http://blog.llvm.org/2018/03/clang-is-now-used-to-build-chrome-for.html

The long term aim is to have an end to end Microsoft dependency free toolchain which will mean a unified developer toolchain that can be used on Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, ChromeOS and more not to mention having control over those lower layers such as the eventual move from Microsoft’s own MSVC STL to libc++. Firefox developers are also looking at moving over to Clang/LLVM for it’s own Windows development:

https://ehsanakhgari.org/blog/2016-01-29/building-firefox-with-clang-cl-a-status-update

So with all these new hands jumping on board to contribute to Clang/LLVM it appears that gradually it is becoming the quite the favourite tool also for Linux kernel development by virtue of Google compiling ChromeOS and Android using Clang/LLVM.

Regarding the fall out regarding Facebook; what is being ignored by so many isn’t the fact that Facebook was collecting data because most people accepted that Facebook offered a free service and then Facebook used the information given to them to provide ads tailored to the users interests to make money. The problem is, however, when a friend signs up for something and not only was information for that person is downloaded by the third party but all those whom that friend is connected to thus resulting in the consent of one person opening up a pandoras box to people’s information who had never consented to the third party being allowed to access their data along side the originator of the initial consent. At what point does it sound rational that a third party can gain access to information whom the owner gave no consent to give away in the first place? I think the bigger scandal is what there is to come when people find out that their data isn’t actually deleted when they delete their account, that all their past posts are still on the system along with contacts, personal data etc. That will be the bigger scandal and the question is whether politicians tightening the screws on such organisations that when people request that their account is deleted that the account is actually deleted along with all the content that the end user generated via that account.

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