The Nuclear-Access-Code Edition Monday, June 10, 2019

Hacking My Mother’s Phone To Save Her Memories, by Leslie Berlin, New York Times

I typed in the code a second time. Again, nothing. My sisters and I looked at one another. A tightness gripped my stomach as I realized that the code Mom had given me couldn’t possibly work: That code had contained four digits, and her phone was asking for six.

Six digits means one million possible combinations, and her phone would give us only 10 tries before Apple would erase all of her data. Her old passcode had been the last four digits of the phone number at our childhood home, which ended in a zero. We decided to add two zeros to the end and were so confident that we knew how Mom’s brain worked that I paused dramatically before I tapped in the final zero, certain it would work. It did not.

After that failure, my sisters and I treated every one of the remaining tries like some sort of nuclear access code. We made a few more attempts, none successful. With each failure, the phone made us wait longer between tries. Eventually we decided it was best to stop and find a different way in — the risk of permanently erasing everything was too great.

Apple Arcade Is Poised To Make Apple The ‘Art House’ Gaming Platform, by Leif Johnson, Macworld

But perhaps more importantly, it would be the go-to hub for folks who prefer short but memorable games in the vein of Donut County. It’ll be a game platform for people who want their gaming experiences to be as focused as a good documentary or TV episode rather than drawn out over 100 hours in sagging RPG plotlines. Put another way, it’ll be a platform for people who entirely see gaming as a hobby rather than a lifestyle. Increasingly, I believe I’m a member of that camp. And again, it’s an approach that will work for Apple because so many of iOS and Mac gaming’s standout titles fit that description.

Apple Puts Accessibility Features Front And Center, by Steven Aquino, TechCrunch

Although the meat of Apple’s accessibility news from WWDC has been covered, there still are other items announced that have relevancy to accessibility as well. Here, then, are some thoughts on Apple’s less-headlining announcements that I believe are most interesting from a disability point of view.


Apple’s Homepage Teases The New Mac Pro's Launch Month, Possibly In Error, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

However, if you look at the Apple homepage right now, there’s a link to get notified about forthcoming Mac Pro news. If you click that link, a box appears that readily states the new Mac Pro is coming in September.

5 Reasons I'm Not Sorry I Bought My Mac Mini And Didn't Wait For The New Mac Pro, by David Gewirtz, ZDNet

For now, the Mac mini is a much more practical, cost-effective solution that's delivering all the power and flexibility I need.

Soulver Notepad Calculator App For Mac Adds Dark Mode, Date & Time Math, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Soulver for Mac is a powerful hybrid between a calculator app and a text editor, allowing you to make quick calculations using a notepad-like interface. Now, version 3 of Soulver has been released with new features like a redesigned interface, date and time math, Dark Mode, and more.


Maker Faire Halts Operations And Lays Off All Staff, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations. TechCrunch was tipped off to Maker Media’s unfortunate situation which was then confirmed by the company’s founder and CEO Dale Dougherty.

For 15 years, MAKE: guided adults and children through step-by-step do-it-yourself crafting and science projects, and it was central to the maker movement. Since 2006, Maker Faire’s 200 owned and licensed events per year in over 40 countries let attendees wander amidst giant, inspiring art and engineering installations.

The Restaurant Owner Who Asked For 1-star Yelp Reviews, by Zachary Crockett, The Hustle

In 2014, chef Davide Cerretini advertised a special that would forever change his fate: Anyone who left his restaurant a 1-star review on Yelp would get 25% off a pizza.

See, his Bay Area-based Italian joint, Botto Bistro, was at a crossroads. Like many small businesses, it was enslaved to the whims of online reviewers, whose public dispatches could make or break its reputation.

He’d had enough: It was time to pry the stars from the “cold, grubby hands of Yelpers” and take control of his own destiny.

The Ambitious Plan To Reinvent How Websites Get Their Names, by Mike Orcutt, Technology Review

To people like Steven McKie, a developer for and investor in an open-source project called the Handshake Network, this centralized power over internet naming makes the internet vulnerable to both censorship and cyberattacks. Handshake wants to decentralize it by creating an alternative naming system that nobody controls. In doing so, it could help protect us from hackers trying to exploit the DNS’s security weaknesses, and from governments hoping to use it to block free expression.

Bottom of the Page

I've put it off long enough: it's time for me to figure out how to let my family access my phone once I am dead.


I'm not dead yet.


Thanks for reading.