Microsoft Word Now Flags Double Spaces As Errors

Michael Tsai:

I have shelves full of books typeset with LaTeX, which by default puts more than a single space at the end of each sentence. It think this looks much better. But, crucially, LaTeX only makes the space fractionally larger. There’s no easy way to do that with most software, and if it’s a choice between one and two spaces, I think two looks odd.

Single spaces introduce a technical problem, which is that the software can’t tell whether a period is at the end of a sentence or merely following an abbreviation. LaTeX’s solution is that you have to manually mark periods that are not sentence ending. People often forget to do this. It also treats runs of multiple spaces as a single space, like Web browsers do.

I stand in the camp of using one space after a period because that’s what I’ve been taught and used growing up.

However, I ran into the problem Michael pointed out just a few days ago. I was doing some translation and the translation management software had issues identifying whether the space after a period marks the end of a sentence or a just an abbreviation. Although this is a very specific scenario that I can manually resolve, it still a legitimate case against single space.

When I get to set style guides, I tend to use the New Hart’s Rules aka Oxford Manual of Style where abbreviations, contractions, and acronyms are used without periods. Dropping periods for abbreviations would enable resolve the issue mentioned above.

AirPods Pro Thoughts

Michael Tsai:

Overall, I find it difficult to evaluate AirPods Pro because I have such mixed feelings about them. If I had to pick one model, I would buy the Pros because the seal and noise cancellation make them usable in situations where I couldn’t use the regular AirPods. That said, in situations where I don’t need noise cancellation or a long battery life, I always reach for my original AirPods. They feel better in my ears, and the case makes me happy.

Interesting review. I love my AirPods 2 and I’ve been curious to try the AirPods Pro, especially when I encounter situations that active noise cancelling would have been awesome.

Also, Matt and I had a short chat about AirPods a few days back.

Keyboard shortcut app

I wrote earlier about an iCloud Keychain App. Then I saw a post about setting up keyboard shortcuts. This is in the similar situation as keychain.

Managing shortcuts is simple enough for short replacements. However, if you want to expand larger chunks of text, then it becomes tricky managing these shortcuts. Typinator is to Keyboard Shortcuts what 1Password is to iCloud Keychain.

There Should Be an iCloud Keychain App

Michael Tsai:

Bradley Chambers:

The problem with managing passwords on iOS and macOS at the moment is the functions are scattered around. Some of the syncing happens on in the backend with no way to quickly see (especially on iOS). A prime example of this is the syncing of Wi-Fi passwords. It’s easy to remove old networks on the Mac, but on iOS, it’s all happened without being able to remove anything.

Keychain stores passwords based on the url it was entered, so you have to search by the domain name. And you can’t group different urls under the same password. These are two major reasons I’m still on 1Password.

And also the ability to generate 2FA codes that’s automatically copied to the clipboard.

How to Restart the Touch Bar

Michael Tsai:

The Terminal commands are:

sudo pkill TouchBarServer
sudo killall ControlStrip

Useful commands. I killed TouchBarServer and ControlStrip via Activity Monitor.

I had issues when I first used my MacBook Pro. Three times in the past five months, though they seem to have disappeared after a recent macOS update.

Google chief: I’d disclose smart speakers before guests enter my home

Leo Kelion reported for BBC News that Google chief: I’d disclose smart speakers before guests enter my home.

After being challenged as to whether homeowners should tell guests smart devices – such as a Google Nest speaker or Amazon Echo display – are in use before they enter the building, he concludes that the answer is indeed yes.

[…]

“Does the owner of a home need to disclose to a guest? I would and do when someone enters into my home, and it’s probably something that the products themselves should try to indicate.”

Surprised? Even if the manufacturer isn’t malicious, there is always the risk of the device being hacked.

Laptop customer service and tech support: 2019 ratings and reviews

Laptop released its customer service and tech support: 2019 ratings and reviews.

Apple has dominated the top spot in our rankings for the past few years, and that hasn’t changed for 2019. The Cupertino company’s tech support agents continue to be among the fastest and most knowledgeable in the business, delivering accurate answers to our Mac questions across live chat, social media and over the phone.

Apple has taken very good care of me and my 2012 MacBook Pro. Superb service that solved my issues. Cleaned up my device free of charge whenever I bring it in. Repaired a GPU problem for free years after my warranty ended. Very pleased with my experience with their customer service and tech support.

Amazon Prime to get faster deliveries with one-day shipping pledge

Trevor Mogg reported for Digital Trends that Amazon Prime to get faster deliveries with one-day shipping pledge.

Amazon already offers some Prime members one-day shipping, and even a two-hour delivery service called Prime Now, but it’s only available in selected areas and covers a limited range of goods. Its long-standing two-day unlimited shipping pledge covers its entire Prime membership base and it’s this that the company wants to reduce to just a single day, though Olsavsky hinted that several of its delivery time frames could eventually merge into one.

I amazes me that you need to pay for same day or next day delivery. In China, JD provides same day delivery for orders placed before 10 am and next day delivery for orders placed before 11 pm without any additional costs.

Facebook stored millions of Instagram passwords unencrypted

Kurt Wagner reported for Recode that Facebook stored millions of Instagram passwords unencrypted.

Facebook first announced late last month that it had stored hundreds of millions of user passwords unencrypted on its servers, a massive security problem. At the time, it said that “tens of thousands” of Instagram passwords were also stored in this way.

On Thursday morning, Facebook updated its blog to say that, actually, “millions” of Instagram users, not “tens of thousands,” were impacted.

Drip PR once again. Announce it as tens of thousands before admitting more were impacted. Go change your Instagram password. They will probably store it encrypted this time round.

Facebook says it ‘unintentionally uploaded’ 1.5 million people’s email contacts without their consent

Business Insider reported that Facebook says it ‘unintentionally uploaded’ 1.5 million people’s email contacts without their consent.

Facebook harvested the email contacts of 1.5 million users without their knowledge or consent when they opened their accounts.

Since May 2016, the social-networking company has collected the contact lists of 1.5 million users new to the social network, Business Insider can reveal. The Silicon Valley company said the contact data was “unintentionally uploaded to Facebook,” and it is now deleting them.

How can this be unintentional? Facebook asked new accounts to enter their email passwords. That was already one big no-no. Then Facebook imports contacts from the email account. It actually shows a message saying it is importing the contacts, so that functionality is built in.

This highlights the importance of fencing your online accounts. I highly recommend that you don’t allow any third party to access your email account. Have a secondary account liked to your primary account, and if you really have to, allow access to the secondary account instead.