Another week has come and gone.

On 22 June 2022 Chromecast with Google TV was released in New Zealand – available through ‘big box’ stores (to quote an Americanism) such as Noel Leeming (where I bought mine) as a replacement for the built in ‘Smart TV’ software (Samsung uses Tizen). The problem with my television is that it doesn’t support 5GHz WiFI which requires me to run an ethernet cable from my television to my router which isn’t ideal where as I was able to hook up the Chromecast with Google TV to my television and connect to my 5GHz WiFi network without any problems.

Once all hooked up there was a 758MB download to update it to the latest version. I was holding out for an updated version but I decided that what ever improvements may exist in a theoretical future product, I doubt it’ll be a massive improvement to justify holding off till its launch. All the apps are rock solid and the device is working great, fast and responsive – funny enough I’ve found it more responsive than my Apple TV. If you’re wanting an affordable alternative to Apple TV that is just as good then the Chromecast with Google TV does the job.

Another interesting thing that has happened recently is Twitter launching Notes (link) which will enable long articles to be written as a single article rather than it being spread across multiple tweets that are sewn together. It’ll be interesting to see whether this poaches some end users from Facebook as Twitter add features to make their service more comprehensive beyond just microblogging capabilities. It’ll be interesting to see whether, at some point, Twitter offer a messaging app that is seperate from their Twitter app for those who want it or whether they’ll keep it part of the main app particularly if the rumours of Musk wanting end to end encryption, maybe utilising Signal to achieve that. Although I am on Mastodon I also keep my Twitter account just in case things change but most of the time these days I am on my Mastodon account where the vibe is a lot nicer than on Twitter.

I’m going to write up an article about the whole overturning of Roe vs Wade but I’ll do that tomorrow. All I can say is that this overturning of Roe vs Wade is part of a much longer plan that the right wing have been working on for decades. If you believe that the rolling back of rights will stop at Roe vs Wade then, to quote a great Americanism, “I have a bridge to sell you”. This is what happens when you keep telling yourself that “I’m not interested in politics” – well, you may not be interested in politics but politics are very much interested in you.

Enjoying the last few days before getting back to work.

At home chilling out watching Season 1 of Law & Order – starting from the first season and moving forward. I was going to have a small holiday away from Wellington but winter has been so crappy I decided to stay at home and enjoy the warmth and familiarity of home. The temperatures so far have been getting down to as low as 6°C – hopefully there won’t be too many wet days, I can handle a cold dry days because you can still get things done with an extra layer of clothing to keep warm but rainy days are just horrible.

Monday I’m going to get my kitchen sorted out now that I’ve given the splashbacks a good 72 hours to dry but I’ll check with my sister whether it’s ok since I’m not an expert in that area. Once given the all ok I’ll put everything back to normal then complete the backlog inn washing that needs to be done. At the moment it is raining so what I’ll do is put the clothes on the clothes horse then have the dehumidifier running to dry the clothes quickly and avoid the damp smell and making the house damp.

Watching some of the more recent videos put out on the WWDC 2022 sessions page – I think the larger theme that one can deduce from the videos is:

  1. Swift is the language of macOS development going forward – Swift is to macOS like what Objective-C and Objective-C++ to Mac OS X. Not all the frameworks may not be 100% mature and ready such as Swift UI but when it comes to where Apple is heading then it is best to get on board the Swift bandwagon.
  2. Metal, updated to Metal 3 in macOS Ventura, is being pushed and Apple is addressing the shortcomings to fill in the gaps that OpenGL developers need filling. Long term eventually Apple will remove OpenGL support particularly as big names like Adobe move their codebase over to Metal.
  3. End of the line for traditional kernel extensions – the future are userspace drivers based on DriverKit. DriverKit is not only available on macOS but also on iPadOS running on M1 iPad – I wonder whether there is a difference in the kernel settings which makes DriverKit support a M1 only feature rather than available to all iPadOS devices.
  4. Apple has consolidated the improvements that have been made available via the Safari Technology Previews into Safari 16 but even with the improvements I can’t help but feel that Apple is dragging their feet to protect their App Store interests by crippling the browser from being able to run complex Progress Web Applications (PWA).
    There is also ‘The Competition and Markets Authority’ in the UK who are concerned about Apple stifling competition in the browser space on iOS due to Apple’s refusal of allowing browsers vendors to bundle their own web engine with their software and thus forced to use Webkit – the concerns have also been voiced by European regulators as well along with Apple’s vice like grip on the App Store by blocking cloud based gaming platforms to distribute one app for their whole library which is accessible via their streaming platform.
  5. The operating systems are maturing, if you have a look at the API changes (link) the focus appears to be on laying foundations and optimising for Apple Silicon rather than flash new features. The focus appears to be about nurturing the third party ecosystem a lot more as a way of propelling hardware sales.

I’m going to keep track of how things progress while experimenting with different content blockers. What I hope is that as Manifest V3 that issues raised will be resolved although interesting discussions are being had behind the scenes at Google about the possibility of pushing back Manifest V2 support being removed as concerns are being addressed but time is running out for the 2023 deadline.

A rather lacklustre WWDC 2022.

Well…that was a rather lacklustre WWDC 2022 having watched both the Keynote and Platforms State of the Union not just once but twice in the belief that maybe I missed something given that it took place at 5:00am and I was a groggy but I made it through (I then had a quick nap then woke up just in time for the ‘Platforms State of the Union’). Part of my frustration is the lack of details regarding Safari 16 in particular regarding the newly implemented standards along with very being said about how much closer to compatibility for the Webextensions API Manifest V3. I checked out the sessions videos believing that maybe some details about what Safari 16 brings to the detail in terms of closing the gap between Safari vs. Chrome, Edge and Firefox but unfortunately that wasn’t to be the case. At the moment I am running Chrome on my Mac but I’ll see what happens once macOS 13 is released into the mainstream but I’m not hopeful.

I’m looking at taking my laptop maybe next week once the weather gets a bit better – the space bar is becoming a bit of a nuisance at this point. Hopefully when the public beta is released that maybe some features that didn’t make it in the developer betas will usable.

Google tidying up it’s offerings.

After much rumours regarding the place of ‘Duo’ in the Google communications line up there is an announcement by Google that they’re pretty much going to do what every else expected them to do – merging Duo and Meet into a single product (link). I can’t help but get the feeling that what we’re seeing is what I speculated where the ‘productivity applications’ (for the lack of a better term) are now falling under the stewardship of the Workspace team. Regarding consumers, if consumers want to use Meet and Chat then great, but Google aren’t going to bend over to make ‘customer friendly’ version when the reality is that most customers are happy to use ones designed for the enterprise – see the consumer uptake of Microsoft Teams as an example that.

The other thing to keep in mind is the recent overhaul of their payment and wallet services, Movies and TV are being merged (I remember posting it either on my Reddit or Twitter account last year) so I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing a rebranding of the PlayStore to something like the Google Store into something like what Microsoft has which will sell apps, games and hardware which will bring all the acquisitions under one roof and simplify the distribution of physical products. It’ll be interesting to see whether this time line is sped up as the likelihood of Google being broken up increases – that is assuming that ‘The Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act’ (link) is passed by the senate. The senate has a habit of ‘talking a good game’ but then suddenly killing the bill in the middle of the night with the public left wondering, “I wonder what happened to that bill?” and the media never following up on why it never passed.

Chromecast with Google TV is finally officially coming to New Zealand on 22 June 2022 (link) – 2 years after it was officially launched in the United States. It’ll be interesting to see whether this is a signal that more Google branded hardware will be coming to the shores of New Zealand in the future such as the Pixel phone range – at the moment the only option for anyone seriously considering a flagship Android phone is Samsung. When it comes out in NZ I’ll pick it up – the software that comes with Samsung TV’s is pretty lousy at the best of times.