When a problem suddenly gets solved.

Back to using Safari after having some flirtation with Chrome. Funny enough after moving back and using Google Chat it appears that they’ve addressed the scrolling issue (it wouldn’t scroll down after sending a message resulting in having to manually scroll down after each message sent). It’s one of those things where a bug has existed for months then suddenly Google fixes it without much fanfare, oh well, at least it is now working which is the main thing. On the subject of Safari, Webkit is being developed with a frantic pace but the million dollar question is about the speed in which features developed and made available in the Safari Technology Preview make their way into the mainstream release of Safari.

It appears that websites are getting more and more crafty in their attempts to work around content blockers but on the good side I’ve be reporting those websites to AdGuard developers so that the relevant filters can be updated. It truly is frustrating when website owners do this sort of thing – if people are using content blockers when visiting your website then maybe this is an opportunity for you to question the decisions you’ve made up to this point in your life. I understand the need to have advertisements on the website to keep the lights on but if your advertisements are obnoxious and take away from the ability for the end user to enjoy the website then don’t be surprised that more people will use content blockers.

I went to mum’s house and had dinner with my sister, her partner and daughter, we had roast chicken, potatoes, kumara and, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots with cheese sauce. It’s always good to have some home cooking which funny enough has motivated me to getting my act together to start cooking some decent meals at home rather than the kind of half assed meal preparation I’ve been doing for the last few years ever since the pandemic. While I was there I updated mum’s computer which is stuck at Windows 10 due to the computer being too old but that being said it is perfectly adequate for what mum uses it for. Oh, and she’s happy with her iPhone SE – a replacement for her old Nokia mobile phone. If I trip over some winnings from a lotto ticket then I’ll get her a new laptop and desktop (Apple Mac of course).

It’s that time of the year again and I’m looking at seeing what the ‘big three’ aka Vodafone, Spark (Skinny being a sub brand of Spark) and 2 Degrees. Vodafone is looking pretty good at this stage when you consider that they’ve finally sorted out their billing system so that you can log in and see ones mobile and internet on the same bill not to mention that Vodafone offer a better entry level ‘pay monthly’ than what Spark and 2 Degrees offer. I’ll see what happens in 8 September when Apple have their presentation which will be the announcement of the iPhone 14 Pro Max – see what deals Vodafone have to offer.

Just to end this blog post a small reminder to those who like to offer ‘corrections’ in the comment section of YouTube and other forums:

If you’re going to be arrogant in your correction while throwing in unrelated nonsense in your post (what this has to do with ‘woke’ is a mystery, it appears that certain individuals throw it around in much the same way that right wings throw around socialism or communism as a place holder for ‘all things bad’) then you might want to make sure that you get your facts right. The video never said you couldn’t have have a song longer than 3 mins on a 45 rpm record, the video stated that if you tried to squeeze more onto a 45 rpm record that the quality suffers because of the closeness of the grooves resulting in audio ‘lacking punch’. When it comes to how they might have made available Hey Jude on a 45 rpm record then it might have something to do with the specifications:

Given that it was in mono then the result may have been the audio taking up less space on the record which may allow 7:08 to fit on a single side while maintaining fidelity.

Welp, never going to do that again.

Well, after working all day I thought “I’ll treat myself to some KFC delivered” so it I ordered it online, it arrived 20 minutes late and half of the order was missing and was cold, I sent it back with the driver and the replacement arrived with it missing the coleslaw and drinks. During the time I rang the store six times – no answer. I rang the 0800 KFC KFC but because it was after 10pm it had closed – the last order was at 10pm, wouldn’t it make sense to be open past 10pm to address scenarios such as what I experienced? Well, I sent through a complaint – I want my money back. To wait 1 1/2 hours for a meal that was completely incorrect I think that is the least that they should do. Yeah, it sounds kind of Karenish but it really was beyond a joke particularly when you consider the driver was also stuffed around because the expectation is that when he picks up delivery everything should be in the bag ready for the driver to drop off.

My iPhone is acting pretty buggy at this stage – random applications freezing such as Reddit app suddenly failing to load a subreddit then I force quit it then launch it again with it suddenly working. The other issue with the screen waking up but I’m unable to press any of the buttons on the scree – when the alarm goes off in the morning I press the ‘stop’ button and it doesn’t register my touching of the ‘stop’ butt with my finger. I thought it may have been the software but this issue never happened until recently so I thought I might as well give DFU reset a try to see whether a clean install will fix it. Then I thought maybe it is the software with that brand if iPhone but nope, the problems were unique to my phone. I’m going to hold onto the phone until it I’ve got the money saved but so far there is will be announcement at the 7 September Apple has planned where they’ll announce their new iPhone. Then there is the Pixel 7 and hopefully that’ll mean more markets that Google is selling into but not optimistic then there is the presentation early next year when Samsung announces the refresh for the Galaxy S range of phones which will have Android 13 preinstalled along with probably OneUI 5.1. I guess it’ll be a situation of “wait and see” because it is the sort of investment you only make every 3-5 years so you want to make sure you make the right decision.

I had the unfortunate experience of coming across yet another individual who embraces the aesthetics of the left but in process push reactionary politics under the guise of being ‘anti-revisionist’ (link). Left wing politics isn’t in conflict with liberalism, it is the natural evolution that builds upon liberalism, a realisation that the phrase ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’ rings rather hollow when you’re struggling to survive – how are you going to enjoy your freedom when you’re not free (due most of one’s time spent merely surviving) to being develop yourself and be more than just a interchangeable cog in the capitalist machine that is hell bent on ‘make line go up’ at all costs? As Noam Chomsky pointed out (outlined in many videos on YouTube where he is giving answers to questions put to him by students), such an individual (the writer of the linked essay) see themselves as the van guard who will whip the population into shape or by hell or high water send the ‘misbehaving types’ who display ‘bourgeois immorality that is incompatible with socialism’ (aka members of the ‘alphabet mafia’ such as myself) to gulags to ‘straighten up and fly right’. When your understanding of the proletariat is a characterture that you’ve conjured up in your mind based on stereotypes and second hand information then don’t be surprised that very few people are interested in following the particular ideology that you’re pushing.

Back to working from home.

The weather has been atrocious so I told my boss that it would best to work from home to avoid the cold weather. I’d prefer to going into work since it provides a ‘wall of separation between work and home life’ which avoids the two from intermingling resulting in personal time being overtaken by work. It is good that my boss is flexible – I work just as productively at home as I do at work.

I’ve installed Chrome on my MacBook and reading some of the changes that will be made with Chrome in the upcoming releases (link) with the interesting change which stood out being ‘Align Timers (including DOM timers) at 125 Hz’. In the explanation notes it appears to benefit Mac users by reducing Chrome’s energy Impact by 10% on macOS. I’m sure further reading will uncover more features but appears that Google is doubling down on improving Chrome on macOS.

There is also the ongoing saga regarding Manifest v3, webRequest and its successor declarativeNetRequest (link) with the continuing discussion between third party extension developers having to deal with the real world while the programmers at Apple, Microsoft and Google can’t seem to accept that their replacement API severely hampers the ability for third party developers to create sophisticated content blocking extensions. Hopefully we’ll see cooler heads prevail and there will be a satisfactory resolution which will avoid a bad experience for all concerned.

Enjoying the weekend so far.

Well, something strange occurred this week. I logged into my iCloud account to check something with my domain settings then checked my mail settings – funny enough it appears that Apple had fixed the issue where I had an old custom domain email alias still appearing in the iCloud Mail aliases even though I had deleted it in the custom domain settings. I wonder whether there has been some updating of the iCloud backend resulting in these sorts of anomalies fixed up in the process. It is always interesting when a problem just corrects itself without having to intervene.

Logged into WordPress and it appears there is a 50% off on buying a Workspace subscription being offered I’m always drawn back to Google’s enterprise offering because the Google Drive performance being better than iCloud Drive not to mention that Google will be setting up a local datacenter that’ll make the performance even better. It reminds me of this article (link) when thinking about how Google has suddenly appeared to get their house in order: Finally having a messaging strategy, Chat and Meet available for all users etc. It finally appears that the CEO has unofficially announced that the days of behaving like a startup with throwing ideas at a wall to see what sticks is over, that the focus is on maintaining and building what exists rather than simply creating new products to get noticed all for the sake of end of the year review (the same sort of toxic playing politics occurred in Microsoft back when they had stack ranking resulting in features being added but existing projects being not being maintained or poorly maintained because one received more brownie points for creating new features). Google has many great products and services, they just need to get their act together and execute them better so then they can gradually ween themselves off advertising revenue (just in case the US government grow a backbone and force a break up or impose some sort of regulation on ‘big tech’) in favour of growing their ‘paid for services and products’ revenue.

The saga of Safari 15.6 and YouTube continues. For those not following me on Twitter or Mastodon, there is a compatibility issue between YouTube and Safari 15.6 (it started before that version) where you click on the back arrow but the page doesn’t back to the previous page. I originally thought it may have been AdGuard Safari Extension so I setup a new account on my Mac then logged in to try it on Safari 15.6 with a clean install – same situation occurred again. I’m going to see what happens regarding Safari when macOS 13 ‘Ventura’ to see whether this is a situation of a bug in Safari or YouTube using a web technology that is either not implemented or a buggy implementation of it.Whatever the case maybe I don’t want to make a rash decision so I’ll see what happens.

Another week working from home.

Still got a nasty cough so I’ve decided to work from home but so far it isn’t too bad. The weather is still pretty bad and it’ll put back my recovery being out in the cold. There is also a lot of rain that is occurring at the top of the South Island so it’ll be interesting to see whether that ends up coming further north – another thing I would like to avoid if possible. At the moment it is raining outside so it could be the start of that rain making its way up to Wellington. Long story short, although the initial infection of COVID19 mostly cleared up in two weeks there are still lingering effects that may take longer – I checked out a few government websites regarding how long symptoms eventually disappear and what many of them note is that it can be anywhere from a week all the way to a month.

I had a brief encounter with Twitter today so I can see what is happening on the platform I left behind and after a few hours using it I realise why I left the platform. I guess it’s like the old Bill Hicks routine about the ‘hate camel’ – maybe I need to pop my head into Twitter for a nosy around as a reminder why I no longer use it. Mastodon has a much more chill atmosphere and devoid of wall to wall politics. I’m not about denying what is happening out in the real world but the constant stream of depressing news, fighting and arguing, misrepresentation of the facts etc. basically everything that frustrates me. For me social networks should be about sharing funny memes, photos of food etc. maybe the odd post about politics underlying all that is a understanding that the conversation takes place in good faith. Far too much of social networking has turned into a battle ground between ‘political tribes’ whose concern isn’t about getting to the truth but instead ‘winning’ at all costs even if it means misrepresentation and lying.

It has been around two weeks since my Apple Silicon Macs arrived and even after two weeks I’m still astonished at the huge leap of performance Apple has made over Intel while being incredibly efficient in terms of power usage. What I have found funny is how macOS on Apple Silicon feels a whole lot less buggy than the Intel version, that quirks and strange behaviour don’t appear, Safari behaves a lot more reliably along with AdGuard Safari Extension. I can’t make heads or tails given that in theory they share the same code base but that being said, given that iOS has a larger installation base I wonder whether the crash logs, telemetry data etc. enabled them to fix many of the issues that pertain to the ARM branch (large projects will have code that is shared and architecture specific components) of the various OS components resulting in a well optimised version of macOS when they made their transition. It’ll be interesting to see what the upcoming operating systems will be like when Apple will release in the next couple of months.

Another week of coughing, better things to come hopefully.

Almost the end of another week and although I’m not totally healed I’ve decided to go back to work but instead of going into the office I’m working from home because I still have a nasty cough. Given the cold weather out there at the moment with the combination of rain and cold weather what I hope is that I can keep working from home. I’m going to see whether I can stay at home for this week to work from home – the bad weather is continuing which will exacerbate my cough. On a good side, in the second week of September my work schedule moves to 11:30 to 20:00 and 13:30 to 22:00 – I’m more of a night owl so that’ll result in a return to a schedule that is more in keeping with my body clock.

Both computers are going well and I’m looking forward to seeing the release of the next Apple operating systems – rumour has it that the release date is in October although there are other rumours circulating that they may push it back. With all that being said, the usual schedule is an event at the end of September where the next iPhone is announced and maybe a few updated products but primarily it is an iPhone announcement event. For me the interesting announcement will be next years Samsung Galaxy announcement with rumours that they’re going to go all in with Snapdragon but then again the same rumour mill claimed that they weren’t going to ship Exynos chips with AMD GPUs but they ended up doing it.

As much as I am getting frustrated by YouTube not behaving itself with Safari, I’m not going to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ by going with Chrome. I’m hoping that a lot of the improvements that have made their way into the Technology Previews will end up in Safari 16 or at the very least there is some catch up in future 16.x updates. The biggest benefit with Safari is that it is super efficient – memory, cpu utilisation and taking advantage of the various optimised frameworks that take advantage of Apple Silicon.

Going to have Fish Pie this evening followed by sticky date pudding with custard on top – it’s a cold miserable day where I am. Although the temperature is 8 degrees celsius it does feel a lot colder than the temperature lets on. I can’t wait for spring and summer to come so that things can get a bit warmer rather than freezing to and from work not to mention the cost of warming the house – keeping in mind that I’ve got good insulation as well as double glazed windows which result in better retaining of heat.

Perusing Geekbench makes for interesting reading.

The one thing that astonishes me is the massive leap in performance between my old MacBook Pro 15 inch (2017) and my mew laptop – the single core and multicore performance doubles in a space of 5 years and within that space that SoC is so efficient it no longer requires a fan. I don’t know about you but the more by Apple to their own in-house SoC is the best move they’ve ever made. When I first heard about the change I was expecting maybe some modest improvements but holy heck the improvement is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. The performance of my Mac Studio, the single core is twice as fast and the multicore performance over triple the speed of my iMac 27 inch (2017). I’ve loaded dBpoweramp onto my Mac Studio to try out ripping and encoding music – very fast, no complaints by me. I’m tempted to see how things work with Handbreak when I have the chance but long story short the fact that it was all done without firing up the fans really goes to show the love of investment Apple has made.

To be frank, I was one of those who were sceptical about whether Apple could scale up an ARM based SoC but I’ve been happily proven wrong. The other benefit of having spent years optimising for ARM has been a rock solid macOS that is optimised for ARM from day one. The reason why I was sceptical was because scaling up GPUs, for example, can be incredibly difficult – scaling isn’t always linear so it isn’t always possible to take a lower power design then scale it up simply by scaling up the number of cores. The other scepticism was regarding Apple’s ARM CPUs from the point of view that the power efficiency may become a limiting factor but once again I’ve been happily proven wrong.

There are rumours that Apple has a big architectural change in the next couple of years so maybe that’ll make the move to ARMv9 which will include SVE2 plus other enhancements but that being said , as Rene Ritchie noted, Apple has already made a lot of those improvements available in their own implementation. The big thing will be where SVE2 fits into it but that being said I don’t think it’ll be the massive improvement given that Neon SIMD extension is good enough for the vast majority of programmers who write software.

It’s more complicated than that.

There was an interesting ‘Brooks and Capehart’ discussion on PBS regarding the issue of abortion with David Brooks raising the issue that although European countries have more restrictive abortion access laws, Europe also have more comprehensive ‘wrap around’ services in the form of welfare.

This makes me wonder about the issue of gun violence n the United States and the focus by many on passing more restrictive laws on the basis that restrictive laws keep the public safe. That being said, if we follow David Brooks line of thinking that maybe the issue is more complex than what people make the gun issue out to be, that the complimentary nature of having a public healthcare system with well funded mental health facilities married up with reasonable gun regulations results in better public safety rather than it solely being a matter of just passing gun regulations alone. I thought it was an interesting way of having a look at an issue that uniquely plagues the United States in terms of the number of mass shootings that take place in the United States.

It has been a long time.

Yeap, it has been a long time since I last updated my blog. The clumsy person that I am, I had an accident which damaged my laptop and desktop beyond repair resulting in the only device I have left over is an iPhone which is wholly unsuitable for completing blogs online hence I’ve been offline for the last couple of weeks. The replacement computers being a Mac Studio, Monitor and a Mac laptop. He laptop has arrived today and is going through the processing of being setup – the Apple Silicon experience is a massive leap from the Intel era. When Apple first announced the Apple Silicon I was expecting just modest improvements but holy heck is it fast.

The other ‘interesting’ event in my life is the fact that I’ve had COVID for the second time but this time it feels a whole lot worse than the first time due to the first time being not too long after my booster shot. I originally thought a week off from work should sort it out but even after a week I’m coughing heavily, brain fog and other symptoms. I really want to get back to work but I’m not all that useful if I’m spending most of my time either coughing or taking too long to do basic functions that in the past I could easily get done in a few seconds. It is probably best for all concerned that I take time off from work until I’m back to full health.