iOS 12 Tidbits From Macstories by Muhammad Amir Ayub

Previously available only on 3D Touch-enabled iPhones or with a two-finger swipe on the iPad’s keyboard, trackpad mode can be activated in a much easier way in iOS 12: just tap & hold on the space bar until the keyboard becomes a trackpad. This mode (seemingly inspired by Gboard and other custom keyboards with a similar implementation) gives owners of iPhones without 3D Touch a way to more precisely control the cursor in text fields.

I've been a heavy user of the 3D Touch cursor control when typing and now can't live without it. The long press is an excellent way to access it for non-3D Touch devices.

If you write longform content on an iPad, or if you want to always make a great impression with your ‘Sent from iPhone’ emails, iOS 12 has just the feature for you: a built-in thesaurus that lives alongside the system dictionary.

Having the thesaurus built in is excellent too. I always use it on the Mac.

For the past couple of years, iOS has offered a native Markup mode to annotate images and PDF documents. Initially rolled out for Notes and Mail, this feature eventually expanded to QuickLook for document previews as well as screenshots. In iOS 12, Apple is making Markup mode more powerful by adding new drawing options and a color picker with 120 color choices.

One of the weaknesses of the recent iOS releases were the very limited color choices during Markup. My children like to draw and scribble in Notes and were not happy when the color palette became limited to only a few colors instead of the many shades of each color.

Among the new skills it’s learning this year, Siri in iOS 12 is capable of finding one of your devices nearby and playing a sound on it. To try this feature, ask Siri to “find my iPhone” and the assistant will tell you whether or not it was able to locate it nearby. Additionally, Siri will offer to play a sound on the selected device (if you have multiple devices with a similar name under your iCloud account, you’ll have to select one from a list inside Siri); the sound won’t stop playing until you find and unlock your device. This is no different from what is already supported in the Find My iPhone app, but Siri activation makes it easier and faster to use.

This is useful. Many a times I've had to use the app on another phone or use iCloud on the laptop to use the feature and find lost iPhones (of course taken away by the children).

Other purported stuff include Podcast chapters (which I don't really care for) and tapbacks in notifications (which is useless in the non-US part of the world as iMessage isn't popular: Whatsapp/Telegram and the likes rule this part of the world by a mile).

I've been on the developer beta and like it so far: even the developer betas are much more stable than the initial public betas of the previous version of iOS.

Trying Out Programming Again, and Again, and Again... by Muhammad Amir Ayub

I'm a geek at heart, and it pains me to still be inept at programming and coding. Once upon a long time I was the Mac packager for Wesnoth, but I'm very much self-aware of my deficiencies. The lack of knowledge + skill plus the transition from student life to housemanship made me readily give up the role to people who professionally have a background in programming. I'm interested in just learning the ways and make programs that I can use to help myself in my daily activities (certainly not to make a fortune, though that'd be nice). For many years, the effort has never been consistent. I want to try again, now with Swift (previously tried out Objective-C but I failed miserably to get anywhere).

One area I want to try is to make a program to log my 5/3/1 progress. Currently I use Numbers to calculate my weights automatically (by keying in my training maxes) and log progress (with 5/3/1's estimated 1RM calculator):

 The only numbers and details that matter nowadays are the ones in the box below the name of lift (e.g. 211 kg) and the numbers to the right of each main lift (percentage followed by weight, calculated automatically). The rest are all very outdated (e.g. that 143 kg was once upon a time my deadlift PR).

The only numbers and details that matter nowadays are the ones in the box below the name of lift (e.g. 211 kg) and the numbers to the right of each main lift (percentage followed by weight, calculated automatically). The rest are all very outdated (e.g. that 143 kg was once upon a time my deadlift PR).

 My log to chart lifts along with E 1RM's. Note how I only bothered to key in the dates only early on. The estimated 1RM formula is based on multiple reps and gets it wrong when I do a single rep only with the last set (there is no if condition). Consistency in lifting is key.

My log to chart lifts along with E 1RM's. Note how I only bothered to key in the dates only early on. The estimated 1RM formula is based on multiple reps and gets it wrong when I do a single rep only with the last set (there is no if condition). Consistency in lifting is key.

 The derived charts. Note the drops coinciding with the moves to housemanship, Melaka (this one was major), HKL again, post competition. My progress has been stagnant for the past 3 months due to whatever.

The derived charts. Note the drops coinciding with the moves to housemanship, Melaka (this one was major), HKL again, post competition. My progress has been stagnant for the past 3 months due to whatever.

So now I'm trying to learn programming again; my mania has taken over (with help of copious amounts of home cold brewed coffee). Currently I've managed to write something in Swift that will calculate my training max (for now based on my true max) and subsequent training weights, with say my deadlift:

import UIKit

var helloPlayground = "Hello, playground"
print(helloPlayground)

class Lift {
    var liftName = String()
    var kg = "kg"
    var liftTrainingMax = Double()
    var liftLiftingMax = Double()
    var weight = Double()
    var percentage = Double()
    
    func calculateLiftTrainingMax(using liftLiftingMax:Double){
        liftTrainingMax = 0.9 * liftLiftingMax
        print("Say that my \(deadlift.liftName) max is \(deadlift.liftLiftingMax) kg \nMy training weights will be:")
    }
    
    func calculateLiftWeights (){
        var percentage: Double = 0.4
        var liftWeights = [percentage:weight]
        while percentage < 1 {
            var weight = percentage * liftTrainingMax
            percentage = (percentage*100).rounded()/100
            weight = (weight*10).rounded()/10
            liftWeights [percentage] = weight
            percentage += 0.05
            }
        for (percentage, weight) in liftWeights.sorted(by: <) {
            print ("\(Int(percentage*100))% : \(weight) kg")
        }
        }}

let deadlift = Lift()
deadlift.liftName = "deadlift"
deadlift.liftLiftingMax = 100
deadlift.calculateLiftTrainingMax(using: deadlift.liftLiftingMax)
deadlift.calculateLiftWeights()
deadlift.liftTrainingMax = 211
print("\nSay that I've a preset training max of \(deadlift.liftTrainingMax) kg (my actual current training numbers)\nNow my training weights will be")
deadlift.calculateLiftWeights()

And it's subsequent output:

Hello, playground
Say that my deadlift max is 100.0 kg 
My training weights will be:
40% : 36.0 kg
45% : 40.5 kg
50% : 45.0 kg
55% : 49.5 kg
60% : 54.0 kg
65% : 58.5 kg
70% : 63.0 kg
75% : 67.5 kg
80% : 72.0 kg
85% : 76.5 kg
90% : 81.0 kg
95% : 85.5 kg

Say that I've a preset training max of 211.0 kg (my actual current training numbers)
Now my training weights will be
40% : 84.4 kg
45% : 95.0 kg
50% : 105.5 kg
55% : 116.1 kg
60% : 126.6 kg
65% : 137.2 kg
70% : 147.7 kg
75% : 158.3 kg
80% : 168.8 kg
85% : 179.4 kg
90% : 189.9 kg
95% : 200.5 kg

My mania has led me to pay quite an amount to resubscribe to the Apple Developer Membership, and yes, I'm using the Developer beta's for iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave (which are actually much more stable than even the first public beta's for the previous versions of the 2 OS'es). I'm currently learning a bit from Youtube and trying things out (with Google, you can search anything for help quickly without thorough browsing of the documentation). Let's see where this rabbit hole will take me.

Trump' Child Separation Policy to Deter Immigrants by Muhammad Amir Ayub

Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy has been making news for a while, but the noise has never been louder. Yet the Republicans are not backing down on the policy of separating children from their parents, literally in cages. And it's the immigrants who are very much losers on this from the barbaric policy (and people talk smack about this country's handling of illegal immigrants): 

But after seeing news reports of wailing children in cages, Centeno said he now planned to stay longer in Mexico, taking a low-paying job in the kitchen of a seafood restaurant rather than risk losing his children indefinitely.

”You leave with the intention of going to the United States, where you can improve your life and that of your sons,” he said, flanked by his two boys, Axel, 9, and Steven, 3.

”But as things stand today, it’s difficult, because if you get caught, they take your kids away. I think I’m going to stay here, in Mexico, and establish myself.”

A rebound in the number of Central American migrants - most fleeing incessant gang violence in their impoverished homelands - being detained on the southern border prompted the Trump administration to implement the zero tolerance policy.

That policy, announced in April, directed that all immigrants apprehended while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally should be criminally prosecuted.

Parents referred by border agents for prosecution are held in federal jails, while their children are moved into border shelter facilities under the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a Department of Health and Human Services agency.

It's probably this straw that's broken the camel's back:

The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

Gruber has linked to an article highlighting just how ridiculous the defense has been.

The Trump administration is playing a game of choose your own facts, but every single version of this story ends with screaming children in cages.

All this in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Shaped by immigrants all over the world in it's history (including Trump's own bloodlines). The fucking richest country of the world.

It's a good thing that the US is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. They have no right to be there if they're only interested in regressing:

The announcement came just a day after the U.N. human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents. But Haley cited longstanding U.S. complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel. She had been threatening the pull-out since last year unless the council made changes advocated by the U.S.

“Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded,” Haley said.

Still, she suggested the decision need not be permanent, adding that if the council did adopt reforms, “we would be happy to rejoin it.” She said the withdrawal notwithstanding, the U.S. would continue to defend human rights at the United Nations.

The move extends a broader Trump administration pattern of stepping back from international agreements and forums under the president’s “America First” policy. Although numerous officials have said repeatedly that “America First does not mean America Alone,” the administration has retreated from multiple multilateral accords and consensuses since it took office.

Since January 2017, it has announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, left the U.N. educational and cultural organization and pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. Other contentious moves have included slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum against key trading partners, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

...

Added Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch: “All Trump seems to care about is defending Israel.”

I wonder if this administration can last a full term.

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