Kuaishou users don't need to leave the app to buy on JD

Emma Lee on TechNode:

Short video app Kuaishou and e-commerce giant JD announced today a new partnership as the Chinese tech titans are gearing up for China’s biggest mid-year shopping extravaganza 618 on June 18.


  • Kuaishou’s closer relationship with JD comes a few months after a hiccup with Taobao Live, the Alibaba-backed livestream major that supports a similar referral feature.
  • Livestream e-commerce, on the cusp of its boom, is expected to become a new driver for the upcoming shopping spree 618.
  • The festival comes when the country is trying to boost domestic consumption to offset the economic slowdown resulted from the coronavirus outbreak.
  • JD shareholder Tencent invested $2 billion in Kuaishou last year in Kuaishou’s $3 billion pre-IPO round, giving Kuaishou a valuation of around $28.6 billion.

618 is JD’s equivalent of Alibaba’s 11.11 Singles Day. It’ll be interesting to see how this alliance helps to boost JD’s revenue for this upcoming event on 18 June.

I’m also curious what angle JD will approach the live streaming given the brand’s strength as a reputable, verified ecommerce platform. Taobao is an open marketplace so you see many entrepreneurs and small businesses selling on Taobao, and they conduct their live streams as the shop owner. In contrast, JD stores are more brand flagship stores or authorised resellers.

Camo Beta

Michael Tsai:

Reincubate (tweet, via Joe Cieplinski):

Want to look your best on video calls? The camera on your iPhone or iPad is leagues ahead of any webcam on the market, and Camo makes it easy to use your iPhone as a webcam.

iPhone cameras are getting better whilst webcams get worse. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the 2020 MacBook Air’s camera is worse than the 2010 model. Even the new MacBook Pro only does 720p, which even YouTube doesn’t consider “HD”.

Great idea. I expect it to get Sherlocked soon.

I have no complaints about my 16” MacBookPro’s camera. It is good enough for calls, but definitely lacking for serious video recording.

You can use all the fancy camera filters and effects in FaceTime on iOS but it doesn’t work on the Mac. That’s a bummer when you want to use Animoji in calls.

The painful death of BlackBerry

Shawn King wrote about the painful death of BlackBerry:

The reasons why BlackBerry failed staying as the coolest communication devices aren’t exclusive to them. When one of the biggest phone companies plummets to oblivion, it’s worth analyzing.

Check out the embedded video.

Jekyll and GitHub Pages

BakingPixel is now on Jekyll hosted on GitHub Pages! Since this is now a static site, you should see a massive boost in performance.

We’ve also used this opportunity to refresh the design. The old design we created with WordPress has been around for 7 years, with some minor tweaks over the years. This is the first major facelift and, like our other sites that we reworked, we have added auto dark mode support.

Thank you for your support all these years and we look forward to putting more content out here!

Students are failing AP tests because the College Board can’t handle iPhone photos

The Verge:

Bryner is among the many high school students around the country who completed Advanced Placement tests online last week but were unable to submit them at the end. The culprit: image formats.

A screenshot of the AP testing portal informing a student that they weren’t able to submit their responses. Screenshot: College Board For the uninitiated: AP exams require longform answers. Students can either type their response or upload a photo of handwritten work. Students who choose the latter option can do so as a JPG, JPEG, or PNG format according to the College Board’s coronavirus FAQ.

But the testing portal doesn’t support the default format on iOS devices and some newer Android phones, HEIC files. HEIC files are smaller than JPEGs and other formats, thus allowing you to store a lot more photos on an iPhone. Basically, only Apple (and, more recently, Samsung) use the HEIC format — most other websites and platforms don’t support it. Even popular Silicon Valley-based services, such as Slack, don’t treat HEICs the same way as standard JPEGs.

If they had tried testing it with the most commonly used devices they would have noticed this bug instead of only discovering it after rollout.

France orders social media platforms to remove extremist content in 1 hour or pay a fine

The Next Web: France orders social media platforms to remove extremist content in 1 hour or pay a fine.

France just passed a new law forcing major social media platforms requiring social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to remove sensitive content related to pedophilia and terrorism within just one hour of notification.

This new order also states that these platforms need to remove hateful content promoting racism, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and aggravated insults within 24 hours of notification.

Having seen hate speech run amok on social media of late, this is a much needed move.

Becky Hansmeyer's WWDC 2020 Wishlist

Daring Fireball:

Fiddling with the home screen on iOS is just awful. Whenever I sit down and try to clean it up — deleting apps I don’t use, moving apps into some semblance of order — it drives me insane. The 1984 Finder was awesome for rearranging icons, right on day one. Yet we’re 13 years into iOS and rearranging apps is still terrible, because the whole thing is based on a home screen design where there’s just one screen and no third-party apps. The concept worked fine when all you could do was rearrange 12 built-in apps on a single screen. It feels like a prank trying to use it today.

Having an option to select multiple apps and delete them all at once like photos would be really useful. Granted we won’t use it all the time but it will reduce so much friction.

Also, look at how we get to choose how what apps we want in the Dock on the Mac. What if we choose what we want on the home screen, let those we don’t want organise themselves based on category into folders, and we just search for them via Spotlight? Or just ask Siri to launch the app.

Search in Messages.app

Michael Tsai:

It doesn’t work very well in iOS 13, either. Many times, I’ll type the exact text that appears in the app, and it won’t find it. So I mostly just scroll and read. A long time ago, I reverse-engineered the transcript file format for EagleFiler, so that’s how I search older messages. Unlike in Messages, the matches are highlighted, and you can select the text.

Manuel Grabowski:

When I need to find something in my iMessages I just grab my iPhone. And let’s not forget that this option has only become viable since iOS13, before which it was just as bad on there as well.

That’s what I do as well. Search works so much better on the iPhone. Keying in the same text generally gives me no results on the Mac and what I’m looking for on the iPhone.

In comparison, It’s so easy to search in Telegram and WeChat on macOS.

Scunthorpe Sans, a profanity-obscuring font

Daring Fireball:


A s••• font that f•••ing censors bad language automatically

It’s able to detect the words f•••, s•••, p•••, t•••, w•••, c••• and dozens more, but with a special exemption for “Scunthorpe”; that town has suffered enough.

Pretty clever for a ligature trick.

Pretty clever name too.

Throttling Due to Thunderbolt Left Proximity Sensor

Michael Tsai.

State C shows that simply having stuff plugged in to TB ports raises their temperature significantly. Both the hub (mouse and keyboard ONLY) and HDMI adapter individually raise the temperature about 10 degrees, and 15 degrees together.

Note that high temperature on the right side appears to be ignored by the OS. Plugging everything into the two right ports instead of the left raised the Right temperatures to over 100 degrees, without the fans coming on. No kernel_task either, but the machine becomes unusable from something throttling.

I use the right Thunderbolt port probably 90% of the time so I haven’t noticed this issue. I guess there’s only one way to find out.