Stuart Breckenridge

How to Avoid Flash on the BBC Website

Anthony LaForge, on the Chrome Blog:

In December, Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default experience, except for sites which only support Flash.

The biggest culprit for not moving to HTML5 is the BBC. Their content defaults to HTML5 on mobile devices and Flash on desktops — resulting in a You need to install Flash Player to play this content alert. Their reasoning to run with this approach for as long as they have continues to baffle me. Luckily, there is an easy fix for Safari:

  • In Preferences -> Advanced: enable the Show Develop menu in menu bar option
  • In the Develop menu -> User Agent submenu: Select one of the Safari — iOS options
  • Reload the website and the Flash content will be presented as HTML5 content.

I can’t wait until Flash is no longer used.

iPhone 7: Are the Secondary Speaker Holes Cosmetic?

Joe Rossignol, for MacRumors:

The text in the documents refers to the area that occupies the 3.5mm headphone jack on current iPhones as having simply a microphone and microphone mesh, with no mention of a speaker in that location. Most of the secondary holes would be non-functional, except for the one furthest to the right, which would double as a microphone.

I’m hoping this design document is a fake and the speaker grille is actually, you know, for a speaker. It’s decidedly un-Apple like to include something so misleading in their hardware design and I can’t think of any other examples of them doing this.

The only reason I think they would include a speaker grille in that location is to give the bottom of the phone the appearance of being symmetrical. I think this is a pretty poor reason though. The iPhone has been around for nine years and the bottom of the phone has never been symmetrical. This has had no impact on sales and I’ve never read a complaint about the look and feel of the bottom of an iPhone. There are, quite frankly, bigger design problems to solve.12

  1. On Plus size devices: the location of the power button is ergonomically obtuse. ↩︎

  2. On 6 and 6s non-Plus devices: the phone is too light (use it in a windy place), the battery life is not good, and it’s too slippy in hand without a case. ↩︎

The Collatz Conjecture

This short post on Daring Fireball regarding the Collatz Conjecture and Swift code in playgrounds piqued my interest. I thought I’d have a go at putting together a playground with full markup and graphs of the results. My code is available as a gist.

Note: Interestingly, I discovered that XCPlaygroundPage.currentPage.captureValue(value: T, withIdentifier: String) has been deprecated and there is no replacement. There is a basic for loop at the end of the playground which produces the graph.

Adding San Francisco Mono to Font Book

Apple introduced a new fixed width font in Xcode 8 — San Francisco Mono — but they’ve not made it available for system-wide usage.

If you want to make the fonts available for system-wide usage, you need to extract them from the Xcode 8 beta and add them to Font Book.

Assuming Xcode is installed in /Applications, navigate to the below folder using Finder:


Then select the fonts in that folder and drag them to Font Book.

Office Fonts from H&Co


Today we’re introducing twelve families of Office Fonts, all of them available for purchase and download. Some coordinate with our best-known typefaces (which serve the world’s best-known brands), Office Fonts for Gotham, Archer, Whitney and Sentinel. We’re also introducing Office Fonts for some of our newest releases, including this year’s Whitney Narrow and Operator.

I own Whitney Pro and Operator Mono. It’s mildly irritating that there are now Office versions of them.