Years ago there was this Medical Doctor, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis. He invented the concept of handwashing after observing that childhood wards run by Doctors had 3 times the mortality of those run by Midwives.
He found that simple antiseptic behaviour (hand washing) reduced mortality to below 1%.
Because this conflicted with the luddite’s of the day (who felt that hand washing was beneath them) he was locked up in an asylum and beaten, where he died.
A few years later Lous Pasteur came along and confirmed the existence of germs. A bit late for poor Iggy.
But not too late for you. So wash your hands and ignore the anti-maskers, leave them for Darwin, another contemporary of these folks.
You see, I am a huge fan of 2-factor authentication. Something you have and something you know. And one of the methods I use is a USB device called a YubiKey.
Recently my desktop got updated to an AMD 3990X. 128 threads. With an AMD RX-Vega 64. Beefy. Tied to 3 monitors.
Nearby is a rarely used multi-function printer, samsung scanner/laser, that sort of thing.
How does this tie together you ask? Well, they are all involved as co-conspirators. You see, when i plug in my YubiKey, its not uncommon for the circuit breaker to trip and require a trip to the basement. Why? Well, you see, the printer driver requests a service called colord. This is something that snoops on your devices and looks for colour profiles. E.g. when you insert a camera, it sees the type of raw jpg, etc.
Now, any USB device might be something with a colour profile (for some reason). So inserting the YubiKey wakes up the colord. Colord in turn sends a broadcast out. (Note: long open issue, feel free to vote!) which is picked up by the Scanner. Scanner responds by waking up, firing up the laser drum and heater, you know, just in case its time to print something (I print about 2 things per year). Takes a surge of power.
Well, you add that, the monitors, the new PC w/ the big beefy silicon. Throw in a mix of the fancy new lamp from the great de-purpling of the lamp. And, well, sometimes the surge is just too much.
So, there’s about a 1 in 3 chance that inserting my YubiKey to authenticate to some web site throws the breaker, and leaves me in the dark. Today I had a word w/ colord. It has agreed to stop starting up. Problem solved!
If you check out this petition, on change.org, seeking to have Apple add support for an open standard called Push on iOS.
In a nutshell, Push allows an open web developer to send push notifications to your phone. Imagine being able to make Email as a web application. Or alarm notifications from your Home Assistant. Wouldn’t that be better than the developer being forced to write their software for iTunes and publish through the Apple store?
Now, Apple obviously wants to force all developers to go through the iTunes, since it means they get 30% of the revenue.
But open standards are not necessarily about making Apple richer. Sure, Tim Cook might buy 1 less faberge egg omellete, but, enabling the great unwashed to do great things is a more noble goal.
Now, I have a selfish reason too. We have just launched a fantastic new feature, involving multi-factor-authentication and web push. Its super simple for people to use. Except if they have the misfortune to have an iPhone.