Stuart Breckenridge

Netflix Now Allows Downloads

From the Netflix Company Blog:

Netflix members worldwide can now download in addition to stream great series and films at no extra cost.

While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection.

I’m travelling soon, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.


A MacBook I Own Will Soon Be Obsolete

Joe Rossignol at MacRumors:

Apple plans to add select 2009 to 2011 model Macs to its vintage and obsolete products list on December 31, 2016, according to an internal memo seen by MacRumors.

On that list, emphasis mine:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009)
  • MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)

This isn’t normally news I’d write about, but I still own a 15-inch, Early 2011 MacBook Pro, which was bought just after release. It was my second Apple notebook. It’s not the same device as it was when I bought it: the HDD has been replaced with an SDD, the SuperDrive has been replaced with the original HDD, and the RAM has been upgraded1. I emigrated with it. I developed several apps on it. It has MagSafe!

However, it’s so thick and heavy — by modern MacBook standards — that I wouldn’t be surprised if it could cause a herniated disc. The screen is non-retina and looks really bad next to the 2016 MacBook Pro screen I am using now.

Importantly, it still works perfectly after five-and-a-half years, which is not something I can say of the Windows laptops I owned at university. It has never been taken to the Genius Bar.

The Early 2011 MacBook Pro is an incredible piece of technology.

  1. This was back in the day when Apple let their customers tinker with their notebooks. ↩︎


The Guardian Goes HTTPS Only

Mariot Chauvin and Huma Islam, writing for The Guardian:

By using HTTPS, internet service providers (ISPs) are not able to track the pages our readers are accessing. It means we protect the privacy of our readers when accessing content that may disclose political opinions, faith, sexual orientation or any information that may be used against them. It matches our core values.

This is particularly important given the recent introduction of the Investigatory Powers Act, which makes it mandatory for ISPs to store records of websites visited by their customers for 12 months. HTTPS protects your privacy.

Also of note, they’ve stopped using their very recognisable gu.com short URL:

Before Twitter stopped counting url characters and forced all urls to be shortened by its own service short urls had a utility. This is no longer the case. Our short url implementation also had a negative impact on latency as it was forcing the browser to perform three redirects. This is clearly something you want to avoid with HTTPS, so we simply decided to stop using them.

I quite like short urls from a how-they-look perspective, but I find it hard to argue with their reasoning: three redirects (gu.com to t.co to analytics.twitter.com to the destination URL) is excessive.

I’m a big proponent of going HTTPS only. Indeed, this website has been setup as HTTPS only since it was made live. It’s easy to implement and free (thanks, Let’s Encrypt). If you haven’t implemented HTTPS, I’d urge you to do so.


Millions Didn't Vote Illegally

He spouts any old shit that crops into his head regardless of whether it is based in fact. How does he get away with it?


An Update on How to Follow This Blog

2017-02-09: This post has been updated.

Hello! Here’s a tiny update on the new ways you can follow this blog:

Enjoy your weekend.

  1. Are you located outside of the U.S., the U.K., or Australia? Apple News means nothing to you! ↩︎