SpaceX to send two humans around the moon

2018 will be a huge year for SpaceX. I’m very excited for this:

“We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year. They have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission. Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.”

Safari and App Nap

Safari is by far the most efficient browser for OS X. It is so efficient, it even suspends tabs you don’t look at. While this probably saves a lot of energy and CPU usage, it also causes a few problems.

For example, if you use Facebook or in your browser, you rely on the notification sound. When the tab is active, everything works well. If it’s inactive, you won’t get any notification sound, not until you open the tab.

Unfortunately it is not possible to deactivate App Nap specifically for Safari. You have to disable it system-wide:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES

Unitymedia sind die Kunden egal

Seit Anfang 2015 läuft auf meiner von Unitymedia gestellten FRITZ!Box 6490 die Firmware FRITZ!OS 6.24. Ich bin Business-Kunde und kann theoretisch den Bridge Modus verwenden, um eigene Switches bzw. Router zu nutzen. Einige schwerwiegende Bugs, die bis heute nicht behoben wurden, schmälern jedoch das Vergnügen.

Ich nutze eine AirPort Extreme als Router, die über Gigabit-Ethernet an der 6490 angeschlossen ist. Die Bandbreite des Anschlusses beträgt 150/10 (Down/Up). Maximal erreiche ich über Bridging 60 MBit/s. Laut Hotline ist dies ein bekannter Fehler. Seit nun fast einem Jahr. Bis dato gibt es keinerlei Informationen ob und wann die 6490 eine neue Firmware erhält.

Will man die FRITZ!Box 6490 als Router nutzen, kann man über das 5GHz WiFi-Netzwerk bis zu 1300 MBit/s (802.11ac) erreichen. Jedoch hat die aktuelle Firmware einen weiteren Bug, der anscheinend bei mehreren TCP Anfragen das 5GHz Netzwerk verlangsamt. Nutzt man 802.11n mit 20MHz treten keine Probleme auf, jedoch ist hier die Datenrate wesentlich geringer. Dieses Verhalten scheint nur in Verbindung mit AirPlay aufzutreten, in meinem Fall mit einem B&W Zeppelin Air. Ist der Zeppelin nicht verbunden, ist das drahtlose Netzwerk stabil.

Die Frage ist nun, mit was man zuerst rechnen kann: einem Firmware Update von Unitymedia oder der freien Routerwahl, die Mitte 2016 möglich sein soll.

Update, 04.02.2016
Laut Hotline soll in Q1 die neue Firmware-Version freigegeben werden.

Update, 19.02.2016
Version 6.30 wird nun für die 6360 freigegeben, die 6490 erhält vorerst keine neue Firmware. Absolut unerklärliches Verhalten.

Update, 08.04.2016
6.50 ist nun verfügbar. Es behebt unter anderem den Bridging Bug.

Self-driving cars within 5 years

“Google cofounder Sergey Brin said Google will have autonomous cars available for the general public within five years. “You can count on one hand the number of years it will take before ordinary people can experience this,” he said at the signing of SB 1298, which establishes safety and performance standards for cars operated by computers on California roads and highways.”CNET

German car makers should really get their shit together and identify Google as the winning company here. Germany doesn’t understand that data will be existential. They are still amateurs in that sector. Utterly disappointing.

“What Apple’s Tim Cook Overlooked in His Defense of Privacy”

Farhad Manjoo, writing for the New York Times:

“Mr. Cook is fond of arguing that “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer; you’re the product.” That view is simplistic because it overlooks the economic logic of these services, especially the idea that many of them would never work without a business model like advertising. Services like social networks and search engines get substantially better as more people use them — which means that the more they cost to users, the worse they are. They work best when they’re free, and the best way to make them free is to pay for them with another business that depends on scale — and advertising is among the best such businesses.”

Good article. I also recommend “Privacy vs. User Experience” by Dustin Curtis.

A few weeks with the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is a nice little gadget with useful features. In the last four weeks I wore the watch every day, the bands are very comfortable and the device itself isn’t too heavy. The build quality is very good. The battery lasts nearly 2 days.

My two most used features were: telling the time and notifications. I barely used any apps, not even the pre installed Apple apps. I liked the glances, especially heart rate, weather and maps. I fear third party apps will have a hard time. Tapping on the watch doesn’t feel very natural and I’m thankful for the digital crown.

All in all, I still use and love my iPhone the same, but receiving notifications on a device you are wearing is really quite neat. My iPhone is now muted all day long, with my Watch informing me whether I should put it out of my pocket or not.