Transforming a Culture – by Gerry McGovern. Loads of good stuff in here, including “Nothing better illustrates an organization-centric, old model culture than the proliferation of PDFs on a website”.
Ericsson Mobility Report – “The number of mobile subscriptions now exceeds the world’s population.” 7.5bn mobile subscriptions globally, of which ~4.125bn (55%) are smartphones.
Freedom on the Net 2016 – “Internet freedom around the world declined in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year. Two-thirds of all internet users – 67 percent – live in countries where criticism of the government, military, or ruling family are subject to censorship”. Caveat: there are suggestions that the report is somewhat biased; see @lucideer’s replies to my original tweet.
Leave your phone at the door: side channels that reveal factory floor secrets – “if you place a phone near a manufacturing device (CNC mill or 3D printer in the demonstrated attacks), or even just make a phone call to someone standing near one of those machines on the factory floor, then you can gather enough information from the phone sensors to reconstruct the object being fabricated!”
The Guardian has moved to HTTPS – “It allows us to take advantage of emerging technologies, such as service workers, web notifications, ‘add to homescreen’ prompts and offline web pages.”
HTTPS Usage – since 2015, from Chrome users who share usage stats.”Secure web browsing through HTTPS is becoming the norm. Desktop users load more than half of the pages they view over HTTPS and spend two-thirds of their time on HTTPS pages. HTTPS is less prevalent on mobile devices, but we see an upward trend there, too … the prevalence of HTTPS has increased quickly in Russia compared to Japan, which has seen slower growth of HTTPS usage.” Also, and a list of top sites (“By our estimates, the list of sites below accounts for approximately 25% of all website traffic worldwide”) and their HTTPS status.
Pointing the Way Forward – a nice overview of Pointer Events, which unifies listening to mouse, touch and stylus in one model and one API. It’s been a long and winding road to getting them in Blink, but they’re coming next Chromium version. Yay!
VR & accessibility – “there are people who will simply never be able to take part in VR as it currently exists … But other barriers are avoidable, through the right design considerations – through accessibility.”
SVG Authoring Guide by Doug Schepers (W3C) and Chaals McCathie Nevile (Yandex). Looks pretty blumming good.
India in mobile fast lane, but rural areas lag – “research shows that once a woman starts using a mobile phone, the impact is much greater than when a man starts using one, so recommends the government target women first in its campaign to expand mobile penetration in rural areas.”
Is WebVR Ready? – a look at the support of the various necessary APIs in browsers.
Samsung targets recovery as mobile slumps – Samsung profits are down because of Galaxy Note 7 recall. Its recovery plan includes new mid-to-low end devices and a “new flagship smartphone”. Networks business profits were up due to LTE growth in emerging markets.
Gartner’s Top 10 Predictions for 2017 and Beyond – “By 2019, 20% of brands will abandon their mobile apps… They simply haven’t delivered the level of adoption and customer engagement that companies expected… Watch for Apple’s reluctant embrace of the mobile web as a vehicle for customer engagement.
Consumer usage patterns in the era of peak smartphone Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2016: UK Cut. Contains nuggets like “”an online search for a product is over three times more likely to start in a browser (50%) than in an app (15%)” and Millennials prefer laptops (80% ownership) to tablets (59% ownership). 19% of 18-34 year olds intend to buy laptop in next year
Intent to Implement: Shape Detection API – “Photos and images constitute the largest chunk of the Web, and many include recognisable features, such as human faces or QR codes. Hardware manufacturers have long been providing support for such operations given their (high) computational complexity. The Shape Detection API allows accessing these hardware-accelerated detectors where available.”
Generic Sensor API (Working Draft) aims to “promote consistency across sensor APIs, enable advanced use cases thanks to performant low-level APIs, and increase the pace at which new sensors can be exposed to the Web”
M-commerce: has the mobile web finally won? – “Not only are more smartphone users purchasing with their mobile devices, but more people are choosing to make those purchases via mobile web rather than via mobile apps.”
Copresence in WebVR – “multi-user chat prototype that uses peer-to-peer audio and data connections to establish a virtual audio experience. Voices are spatialized based on the position and orientation of each participant (using Web Audio). Also, you can shrink and grow, which, in addition to changing your avatar’s size, pitch shifts your voice.” by Boris Smus.
Welcome to the Age of Digital Imperialism – “As Thailand is discovering, the smartphone — for all its indispensability as a tool of business and practicality — is also a bearer of values; it is not a culturally neutral device”
Binary Safety Warning – “Bitcoin.org has reason to suspect that the binaries for the upcoming Bitcoin Core release will likely be targeted by state sponsored attackers.”
Web Page Test now allows you to check how fast your site loads (and what it looks like) in Opera Mini’s Extreme Mode (e.g., the maximum compression). Choose “Dulles, VA USA (IE 8-11,Chrome,Firefox,Android,iOS 9)” as the test location, and select a device with Opera Mini in the browser drop down list. A big thank you to Patrick Meenan for adding this.
The buzz: how the vibrator came to be – “In 19th-century Britain, women suffering from chronic anxiety prescribed pelvic finger massage. Doctors found this tedious and time-consuming, so they invented something to do the job for them” (Safe for work)