The EU is expected to ban US travelers when their borders open July 1, citing failures to control COVID-19.


That prospect, which would lump American visitors in with Russians and Brazilians as unwelcome, is a stinging blow to American prestige in the world and a repudiation of President Trump’s handling of the virus in the United States, which has more than 2.3 million cases and upward of 120,000 deaths, more than any other country.

Travelers from the United States and the rest of the world have been excluded from visiting the European Union — with few exceptions mostly for repatriations or “essential travel” —- since mid-March. But a final decision on reopening the borders is expected early next week, before the bloc reopens on July 1.

Prohibiting American travelers from entering the European Union would have significant economic, cultural and geopolitical ramifications. Millions of American tourists visit Europe every summer. Business travel is common, given the huge economic ties between the United States and the E.U.

I won't be surprised if Asia joins the ban party as well. The US and Brazil are cesspools right now.

NOTE: Since I can't read the NYT article due to having an tracking blocker, I shared an link instead.

Apple sends a letter to Hey: Change your app or get out of the App Store


Apple told the Basecamp team it has a few options. It can turn Hey into a standard email client in addition to the existing service, and allow users to log in with their existing Gmail and other accounts. Alternatively, it can let users pay for Hey from within the iOS app. "We are happy to continue to support you in your app business and offer you the solutions to provide your services for free," the company wrote, "so long as you follow and respect the same App Store Review Guidelines and terms that all developers must follow." But if there are no changes, it says, the App Review Board's ruling stands.

From DHH's birdsite post

Now Apple is telling us how to design our products too! They don't just want to dictate distribution, they also want to dictate product design, and define what an "acceptable" email client is.

I'm hoping Basecamp fights Apple until they're forced out. Apple has been bullies to consumers and developers for way too long.

Video Game Hall of Fame's 2020 class: Bejeweled, Centipede, King's Quest, and Minecraft


When it debuted in 1981, Atari’s Centipede challenged players to blast an insect as it zigzagged across the screen in challenging patterns and at various speeds. Ed Logg led a team that included Dona Bailey, one of the only female programmers in the 1980s arcade video game industry, to develop a game that helped attract more female players. It was an immediate success and became synonymous with the golden age of the arcade, though it also found later life in re-releases on home consoles, portable game systems, mobile game apps, and even as a board game.

Centipede appeals to a wide demographic and is often cited as a game that helped attract more women to the arcade in the early 1980s, said Jeremy Saucier, The Strong’s assistant vice president for electronic games and interpretation, in a statement. It’s as challenging and satisfying to play today as it was decades ago, he said. I had tons of fun playing this one in the arcades.

I'm even more shocked that it took THIS long for Centipede to get the recognition it deserves. Glad it finally did so.

Apple Is Trying To Shut Down HEY


Wow. I'm literally stunned. Apple just doubled down on their rejection of HEY's ability to provide bug fixes and new features, unless we submit to their outrageous demand of 15-30% of our revenue. Even worse: We're told that unless we comply, they'll REMOVE THE APP.

There is no chance in bloody hell that we're going to pay Apple's ransom. I will burn this house down myself, before I let gangsters like that spin it for spoils. This is profoundly, perversely abusive and unfair.

DHH's birdsite rant, plus some other links to articles from yesterday. cc

Hey email app rejected by Apple for not taking part in App Store's 30% cut


Waugh and Basecamp didn't think that rule applied. Hey does cost $99 a year, but users can't sign up or pay within the iOS app. It's an app for using an existing outside service, just like Basecamp's eponymous platform — and Netflix and Slack and countless other apps. "So we were like, OK, maybe we just got the Monday morning reviewer," Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson said. Lots of developers over the years have found that their app-review luck sometimes depended on who happened to be looking, and whether they'd had coffee yet. So Basecamp fixed more bugs, submitted a new version — 1.0.2 — and hoped for the best.

The app sat in the queue for review, then in the "under review" status for far longer than usual. Then Waugh got a phone call. The Apple reviewer said he was calling because the new app hadn't resolved the issue with rule 3.1.1. The issue had been escalated internally, and Apple had determined it was a valid rejection — the only way to move forward would be to implement Apple's payments system. And not only that: Waugh was told that Apple would like a commitment and a timeline for implementing the payment system, or Apple might be forced to remove Hey from the App Store entirely.

When Waugh and Basecamp pointed out that there were many other apps — even email apps like Spark or Edison — that allowed users to log in to their existing accounts without signing up through Apple, the reviewer told them they wouldn't discuss other apps. And that was that.

Folks, this is one of the many reasons why I haven't brought an Apple product in years now. This is such bullshit right here.

What timing too as they're officially investigated by the EU:

As Heinemeier Hansson pointed out to me, it's bold timing for Apple to take such a strong stance. On Tuesday, the EU announced it is opening two antitrust probes into Apple's App Store dealings, looking into the way Apple uses its platform to squash competitors. Spotify has been complaining for years about Apple's App Store tax, its feature restrictions and more. On Tuesday, Kobo joined the complaint, calling it anticompetitive for Apple to both operate its own book store and to charge a 30% commission on all books Kobo sold on Apple devices. "Apple's anticompetitive behavior has intentionally disadvantaged competitors," Spotify said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, "created an unlevel playing field, and deprived consumers of meaningful choice for far too long."

Remembering Windows 2000, Microsoft's Forgotten Masterpiece


Throughout the ’90s, Microsoft maintained DOS-based Windows along with NT to serve those who were still dependent on legacy MS-DOS and 16-bit Windows software. Microsoft was eager to transition to NT for all, but the system requirements for a reasonably useful Windows NT machine far exceeded what most consumers had at home.

By the late ’90s, many consumer PCs were finally powerful enough to run Windows NT, so they became ripe targets for potential Windows 2000 installations. Some at Microsoft hoped Windows 2000 would be the transition point for consumer Windows to become NT. However, Microsoft decided to hold off until Windows XP in 2001.

This made many who used Windows 2000 feel that much cooler for getting a taste of a stable Windows operating system ahead of time.

Enter Windows 2000, which ran with rock-solid stability on the very same hardware most people used with Windows 98. At the time, being able to leave a computer running without it crashing, and not having to reboot after installing software seemed like a miracle. In fact, Microsoft included “Dramatically Reduced Reboot Scenarios” as one of the primary selling features of Windows 2000 on its website back in 2000.

Windows 2000 is one of my fav OS of all time due to it's stability and simplicity at the time, now in it's 20th birthday. Such great memories!

Supreme Court says LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination in the workplace


The Supreme Court on Monday issued its most sweeping decision ever to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, finding that a federal ban on sex discrimination in workplaces also protects employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

"An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."

"Our work is not done. There are still alarming gaps in federal civil rights laws that leave people — particularly Black and Brown LGBTQ people — open to discrimination in businesses open to the public and taxpayer-funded programs," James Esseks, director the ACLU's LGBTQ & HIV Project, said in a statement.

"Congress must affirm today’s decision and update our laws to ensure comprehensive and explicit protections for LGBTQ people and all people who face discrimination."

This is a huge win for LGBTQ people in America when they need it. Rest assured though, the fight for their right to exist is still only the beginning.

Activists rally to save Internet Archive as a lawsuit from publishers threaten to shut it down


Perhaps in response, today the Internet Archive announced it was closing the National Emergency Library two weeks early. Founder Brewster Kahle wrote that he hoped the plaintiffs would "call off their costly assault."

If the court finds that Internet Archive "willfully" infringed copyright, the library could be on the hook for up to $150,000 in damages—per each of the 1.4 million titles. (You do the math.)

Many are preparing for the worst, a complete shutdown, but doing so is no easy feat. Many open-Internet activists have been discussing how to back up the archive and make it more resilient for years. The temptation would be to employ a distributed system, such as a blockchain, that would be censorship-resistant and couldn’t be legally shut down. Yet the amount of data makes any attempt at backing up the archive difficult.

If people are smart, it's time to archive the Archive right now. In other words, fork it and turn it unto a decentralized platform. I hope someone out there is working on that. Plus you have to think libraries need some decentralization as well as this lawsuit could kill libraries as we know them.

Zoom says China asked it to censor pro-democracy activists in US and it obeyed


Chinese officials reached out to Zoom in May and early June about four videoconference calls that were publicized on social media to commemorate Tiananmen Square protests, the San Jose, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post. Zoom said that China “demanded” the company terminate the meetings and host accounts because of the activity, which it deemed illegal.

Zoom said that at least three of the four meetings contained participants from mainland China, and it made the decision to end three of the meetings and terminate the associated accounts, two in the U.S. and one belonging to an activist in Hong Kong. “Going forward Zoom will not allow requests from the Chinese government to impact anyone outside of mainland China,” the company said.

Zoom announced Wednesday it had reinstated the closed U.S. accounts, and said it was working on technology that could prevent participants from specific countries from joining calls that were deemed illegal in those areas. The company will also outline a new policy to address these types on requests on June 30.

This is yet another reason why you should stay away from Zoom and just use Jitsi or p2pchat.

New Intel chip flaws disclosed: one can leak secure enclave data and another allows cross core info leakage; both have patches that partially fix the issues


The new SGX attacks are known as SGAxe and CrossTalk. Both break into the fortified CPU region using separate side-channel attacks, a class of hack that infers sensitive data by measuring timing differences, power consumption, electromagnetic radiation, sound, or other information from the systems that store it. The assumptions for both attacks are roughly the same. An attacker has already broken the security of the target machine through a software exploit or a malicious virtual machine that compromises the integrity of the system. While that’s a tall bar, it’s precisely the scenario that SGX is supposed to defend against.

Yikes, Intel in trouble with their CPUs again.