Project Tapestry →

The folks at The Iconfactory have a Kickstarter campaign running for an app built for the open web:

What if you had one app that gave an overview of nearly everything that was happening across all the different services you follow? A single chronological timeline of your most important social media services, RSS feeds, and other sources. All of the updates together in one place, in the order they’re posted, with no algorithm deciding what you should see or when you should see it.

With Project Tapestry, we’ll create a universal, chronological timeline for any data that’s publicly available on the Internet. A service-independent overview of your social media and information landscape. Point the app toward your services and feeds, then scroll through everything all in one place to keep up-to-date and to see where you want to dive deeper. When you find something that you want to engage with or reply to, Tapestry will let you automatically open that post in the app of your choice and reply to it there. Tapestry isn’t meant to replace your favorite Mastodon app or RSS reader, but rather to complement them and help you figure out where you want to focus your attention.

I think this is super interesting, and pitched in $40 as soon as I saw it. I do have one feature request: to rebuild a Nuzzel-like experience, letting me quickly see what links are being talked about most across the sources I have loaded into the app.

Hobbes OS/2 Archive Shutting Down →

Benj Edwards, writing at Ars:

In a move that marks the end of an era, New Mexico State University (NMSU) recently announced the impending closure of its Hobbes OS/2 Archive on April 15, 2024. For over three decades, the archive has been a key resource for users of the IBM OS/2 operating system and its successors, which once competed fiercely with Microsoft Windows.

In a statement made to The Register, a representative of NMSU wrote, “We have made the difficult decision to no longer host these files on hobbes.nmsu.edu. Although I am unable to go into specifics, we had to evaluate our priorities and had to make the difficult decision to discontinue the service.”

This has the potential to be a big blow to the OS/2 community, but thankfully mirrors are being spun up at the Internet Archive and OS/2 World.com.

Understanding Apple’s Proposed Changes to Meet the DMA’s Demands

John Voorhees has a great walk-through of the changes Apple is making in response to the DMA:

What makes understanding last week’s announcement difficult is that, superficially, Apple’s press release bears a vague resemblance to a typical Apple product announcement, at least until you catch its tone. EU users will now have a choice of browser engines, new payment options, and access to alternative app marketplaces. If you were watching a WWDC keynote and heard these things, you’d probably expect they’d apply across Apple’s OSes.

However, that’s not the case with most of what was announced last week. Instead, the changes announced are carefully tailored to address the DMA and nothing more. These aren’t product announcements. They’re regulatory compliance responses by a company that has made clear in various contexts that it will respect local law that impacts its products, but isn’t interested in letting one country (or countries in this case) dictate how it designs its products. I’ll revisit this point at the end of this story, but it’s important to keep in mind from the outset. Once you view the details through this prism, you can see the shape of the DMA in every facet of what Apple announced, which makes the situation easier to understand.

It’s important to note that these are proposals, as John Gruber wrote:

I’ve emphasized throughout this piece the word proposals. That’s key, because no one, including Apple, knows whether the European Commission is going to find any or all of them compliant with the DMA. Apple has met with EC representatives dozens of times across several years regarding the DMA, but the way the EC works is that (1) they pass laws; (2) companies do all the work to attempt compliance with those laws; and only then (3) does the EC decide whether they comply. Companies like Apple don’t get to run ideas past the EC and get a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. They have to build them, then find out.

[…]

The delicious irony in Apple’s not knowing if these massive, complicated proposals will be deemed DMA-compliant is that their dealings with the European Commission sound exactly like App Store developers’ dealings with Apple. Do all the work to build it first, and only then find out if it passes muster with largely inscrutable rules interpreted by faceless bureaucrats.

On today’s Upgrade, Myke and Jason talked through the changes, and it’s the best podcast episode I’ve heard on the topic so far. Understandably, there have been a lot of errors in early reporting, all three of these pieces benefit from the work that went into them.

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A Tour of QuickTime VR →

Michael Steeber:

Despite the profound impact Apple Vision Pro will have on the Apple Retail experience, I’ve scarce mentioned it here on Tabletops, and that’s no accident. A major new platform deserves careful study and an awful lot of context — the kind that’s only possible to grasp when the product is available in stores.

The future makes more sense when you understand the past, which is why I’m sharing this slice of history with you today.

Alternative Browsers Coming to EU iPhones →

As part of the sweeping changes coming to the iOS ecosystem in the wake of the Digital Markets Act, iOS will be opened up to run third-party browser engines, and regardless of their underpinnings, third-party browsers will be presented as options to users. John Voorhees has the details:

One element of the changes coming to iOS in the European Union is that beginning with iOS 17.4, EU users will see a choice of browsers when they first launch Safari that can be set as the systemwide default browser. For each country, that list will contain the 12 most popular browsers from its App Store storefront displayed to the user in a random order.

As you can imagine, there is overlap among EU member countries, but there are plenty of differences, too. If you’re curious which browsers will be listed in your country, check out the lists for each of the 27 EU member countries after the break that Apple has told us will appear the first time Safari is launched in iOS 17.4.

If this sounds a bit familiar, it’s because the EU has been down this road before.