Sega Forever Brings Sonic and Other Classics to iOS

John Voorhees:

Today, Sega began releasing classic Sega games under the banner Sega Forever.

The first titles released are Sonic the Hedgehog, which was already available on iOS, Comix Zone, Altered Beast, Kid Chameleon, and Phantasy Star II. The games, which are standalone downloads, are free and include ads that can be removed with a $1.99 In-App Purchase.

I was a Sega kid growing up (Nintendo was expensive in NZ and harder to get). This brings back a lot of gaming nostalgia, I remember playing Altered Beast in the arcade. Pity they aren’t all available on the Apple TV.

Community Update: Unsplash Branded License and ToS Changes

Ryan Merkley:

Unsplash, a photo sharing startup, has launched their own branded license and updated their terms to add new restrictions and remove CC0 from their platform. As a result of the changes, Unsplash images are no longer in the public domain. The permissions offered can be revoked at any time, and Unsplash now has the right to pursue infringement on behalf of their users.

Well that’s a shame, I’ve used Unsplash in the past purely because of its great content and it’s nearly unrestricted license.

Google & Facebook, the real spy networks

John Naughton:

What bugged him (pardon the pun) was the unfairness of having state agencies pilloried, while firms such as Google and Facebook, which, in his opinion, conducted much more intensive surveillance than the NSA or GCHQ, got off scot free. His argument was that he and his colleagues were at least subject to some degree of democratic oversight, but the companies, whose business model is essentially “surveillance capitalism”, were entirely unregulated.

It’s scary that we so freely as a society have given away our privacy to the likes of Google & Facebook to corporate entities that literally make money off spying on and analysing us.

How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication on All Your Online Accounts

Natt Garun:

Just about any account you own on the internet is prone to being hacked — and one of the easiest ways to add an extra layer of security is to enable two-factor authentication. Also known as two-step verification or 2FA, the process gives web services a secondary access to the account owner (you!) in order to verify a login attempt. Typically, this involves phone number and / or an email address.

If you haven’t already set up 2 factor authentication on all your accounts I recommend you do so immediately.

Dealing with the fallout of a hacked account is too great a risk. Let alone the act of having to update all your accounts passwords especially if for instance your email account is hacked would not be a fun task.

Winter of Xamarin 17

I was lucky enough to attend the Microsoft Winter of Xamarin 2017 event in Auckland on Saturday the 17th of June. It was held in Beca House Auditorium, a very nice venue located in Pitt Street, Auckland.

The day was a great learning experience were throughout the day we made a cross platform app of iOS, Android and Windows UWP using Xamarin and Xamarin Forms.

The finished app
The venue was packed with close to 100 people all giving up their Saturday to learn about Xamarin. There where people of all ages, some just trying to get their first development job, students and veteran software developers all keen to give cross platform development a go. We had great catered food & coffee, enthusiastic presenters, swag and prizes all for free.

Visual Studio for Mac
I was impressed with the new Visual Studio for Mac, it didn’t feel like a gross cross platform IDE. In fact I’d see say it’s on par with Xcode and Android Studio. Throughout the day I felt very much at home developing cross platform with C#, the API’s for Android and iOS felt very familiar wrapped in a C# way. The concepts of Xamarin and Xamarin Forms were easy to pick up, you had a lot of control to do specific UI overrides when you needed to for specific platforms.

Free swag! Xamarin beanie
Xamarin development experience felt much easier than React Native the only cross platform tool I’ve used heavily in the past. Being able to spin up an iOS or Android emulator straight from the debug menu of Visual Studio was great. It felt as natural as working in Xcode or Android Studio, but you have the benefit of code sharing (including the UI) all in the same project.

Another highlight was a look at Visual Studio Mobile Center (currently in Preview), which bundles up a lot of the boring bits of app development like CI, cloud building and ad-hoc distribution into one easy to use web portal.

I came away from the event enthusiastic to learn more and build an app for the competition using Xamarin.

Google Hires Veteran Chip Designer Away From Apple to Build Custom Chips for Pixel Smartphones

Joe Rossignol:

Google has hired veteran chip architect Manu Gulati, who worked at Apple for the past eight years, according to Variety.

Gulati is now a Lead SOC Architect at Google, where he began in May, according to his recently updated LinkedIn profile.

Gulati was “instrumental” to the company’s efforts to build custom chips for the iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV, according to the report.

Now this could get interesting. Will Google be a threat to Apple? Or more likely to the Android device makers Samsung, HTC etc.

A Complete Guide to Switching From HTTP to HTTPS

Vladislav Denishev:

HTTPS is a must for every website nowadays: Users are looking for the padlock when providing their details; Chrome and Firefox explicitly mark websites that provide forms on pages without HTTPS as being non-secure; it is an SEO ranking factor; and it has a serious impact on privacy in general. Additionally, there is now more than one option to get an HTTPS certificate for free, so switching to HTTPS is only a matter of will.

I made the switch to HTTPS when I upgraded to a new Linux server this year. Much easier than I thought it would be.

This is a great comprehensive guide to do the same for your own website.