The Error-Fifty-Three Edition Saturday, February 6, 2016

‘Error 53’ Fury Mounts As Apple Software Update Threatens To Kill Your iPhone 6, by Miles Brignall, The Guardian

Thousands of iPhone 6 users claim they have been left holding almost worthless phones because Apple’s latest operating system permanently disables the handset if it detects that a repair has been carried out by a non-Apple technician.

Relatively few people outside the tech world are aware of the so-called “error 53” problem, but if it happens to you you’ll know about it. And according to one specialist journalist, it “will kill your iPhone”.

Apple: 'Error 53' Is Not A Bug, It's A Feature, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDnet

"We take customer security very seriously and Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device's other components. If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support."

‘Error 53’, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If the sensor can’t be trusted, clearly the whole phone should not be bricked — it should simply disable Touch ID and Apple Pay. And, obviously, it should inform the user why. Putting up an alert that just says “Error 53” is almost comically bad.

Apple Is Killing Some iPhones Repaired By Third Parties. But There’s Sort Of A Good Reason., by Lily Hay Newman, Slate

Apple doesn't have to leave Touch ID security this way. It could detect hardware changes and require extensive user reauthentication. It could offer third parties some type of parts-vetting process. It could give customers more leeway to choose what risks they want to take.

Hardware Bug Fix

Apple Launches Repair Program For Late 2013 Mac Pro Video Issues, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has determined that graphics cards in some late 2013 Mac Pros, manufactured between February 8, 2015 and April 11, 2015, may cause distorted video, no video, system instability, freezing, restarts, shut downs, or may prevent system start up.

One Word: Ergonomics

iPads For Writing? The Promise And The Pain, by Watts Martin, Coyote Tracks

But for a primary computer? As a writer of long-form works? The iPad may not only slow you down, it may cause you some pain. And not metaphorically.


OS X Hidden Treasures: Services, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Services are an excellent way to tie apps together in OS X, and they’re one of OX X’s hidden treasures, a feature that too few people think about and that suffers from Apple’s benign neglect. Nonetheless, services can make you more efficient with the apps you’re already using.

Moving Files To A Mac From A PC, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

"How can I transfer files from a 10-year-old Dell PC to a MacBook Pro?"


Apple Adds Server API To CloudKit, Unlocking New Developer Possibilities For The iCloud Service, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has quietly added a server-side API to CloudKit, following an announcement on the developer news blog. This will enable developers to add a lot of functionality to apps powered by CloudKit, enabling developers to interact with the iCloud CloudKit database outside of user interaction with iOS, Mac or web apps. The web service API enables developers to run independent code on servers that can add, delete and modify records in the CloudKit stack.

Many Controllers Make Light Work, by Soroush Khanlou

I make a lot of hay about how to break view controllers up and how view controllers are basically evil, but today I’m going to approach the problem in a slightly different way. Instead of rejecting view controllers, what if we embraced them? We could make lots and lots of small view controllers, instead of lots of lots of small plain objects. After all, Apple gives us good ways to compose view controllers. What if we “leaned in” to view controllers? What benefits could we gain from such a setup?

Interviewing, Applying And Getting Your First Job In iOS, by Orta Therox

When I was at the beginning of my career, my first developer job application was to a design agency who were doing Mac development too. It was pretty nerve-wracking to apply for my first programming job, and I came into the interview with no idea what to expect. I had just graduated from university and was at the first few steps of my career, I'd call this being a junior. It was a time period where I would need mentoring, and supervision in order to grow. [...]

Now that I'm both further on in my career, and involved with so many juniors in NYC, I'm meeting with a lot of people who are in the same position I was then and I get a lot of questions asking what they can do to prepare. This post attempts at being a comprehensive collection of recommendations. It is subjective, of course, and strongly biased towards my experiences.


Fake Flash Player Update Delivers Scareware To Mac OS X Users, by Catalin Cimpanu, Softpedia

There's a fake Flash Player update scam doing the rounds on the Internet, tricking users into installing a legitimate update, but also bundling the Adobe Flash Player package with scareware.

Why Can’t Apple Figure Out Television?, by Alan Walk, Slate

It was doomed because the companies that Apple wanted to compete against to pipe content into consumers’ homes—Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and others—own the Internet. Or at least the valuable “last mile” connecting the vast telecommunications networks to their subscribers’ homes.

Centriphone - An iPhone Video Experiment, by Nicolas Vuignier, YouTube

After almost two years of tinkering and tweaking I finally achieved the result I was looking for. No iPhones were harmed during the making of this video (I still use it everyday)

Rumor Of The Day

Twitter To Introduce Algorithmic Timeline As Soon As Next Week, by Alex Kantrowitz, BuzzFeed

The timeline will reorder tweets based on what Twitter’s algorithm thinks people most want to see, a departure from the current feed’s reverse chronological order.

Bottom of the Page

I think I can get used to a Mac OS X machine with a screen size as small as an iPad mini. I bet Apple can make it totally light, even with the attached keyboard.

Can't wait.


Thanks for reading.