Content Blockers and You

iOS 9 came out almost 24 hours ago. Content blockers, a new extension feature in iOS 9 that allows for blocking of web requests, cookies, and HTML elements, are already at the top of the App Store charts with tens of thousands of downloads.

This has a potentially large impact on the future of the Web. The mobile web used to be a relatively safe zone for ads – to block ads/trackers on iOS, you had to be savvy enough to know how to (or accept the security compromise of) jailbreaking your device, or use a VPN, or be on a corporate network that blocks such things. Now, it’s as easy as updating to iOS 9 (which the majority will do within a few weeks, as always), finding and installing an app, and turning it on in the Safari settings.

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Fix for slow folder opening on OS X 10.10.3

For some time I've been experiencing really slow folder opening in Finder and Open/Save panels. Clicking to open a folder would take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute to appear. I lived with this for some time, until I was debugging something and went to watch my syslog.

As it turns out, this is caused by a corrupt CloudKit database. The cloudd daemon repeatedly crashes trying to read it and then gets re-launched by launchd. Here's an example of the syslog message:

Apr 06 23:05:14 yivo cloudd[426] <Error>: *** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSGenericException', reason: 'Error executing SQL: "begin exclusive" (266) - errcode:010a, msg:"disk I/O error", path:/Users/USER/Library/Caches/*/CloudKitMetadata'

Trying to read the database with sqlite3 proved my suspicions further:

/Users/kirb/Library/Caches/CloudKit$ sqlite3 CloudKitMetadata
SQLite version 3.8.5 2014-08-15 22:37:57
Enter ".help" for usage hints.
sqlite> .dump
PRAGMA foreign_keys=OFF;
BEGIN TRANSACTION;
/**** ERROR: (10) disk I/O error *****/
ROLLBACK; -- due to errors
sqlite> 

The fix - just delete the database. OS X will download and recreate the data for you.

In Finder, press Shift-Command-G. Type in: ~/Library/Caches/CloudKit. When it eventually loads, move CloudKitMetadata, CloudKitMetadata-shm, and CloudKitMetadata-wal to the Trash. Alternatively, open Terminal (it's in /Applications/Utilities), and enter:

rm ~/Library/Caches/CloudKit/CloudKitMetadata*

Give cloudd a moment to crash and relaunch, and all will be good.

TypeStatus Plus Released

TypeStatus Plus

Pebble

Now that I have your attention (April Fools, sorry), here's a status update. TypeStatus Plus and TypeStatus 2 - the successor to the current free TypeStatus - are in active development. I got really, really, busy after the extremely premature announcement of TypeStatus Plus back in July last year, and very little is currently implemented. TypeStatus 2 has been re-thought and much of the development restarted about twice in order to do things in a way that's more closely integrated with the status bar frameworks. I'll be posting updates occasionally, and betas of TypeStatus 2 will appear on the HASHBANG Productions repo (cydia.hbang.ws, of course). TypeStatus Plus betas will only be available to a small selected number of friends (sorry), but after release all purchasers can download them from our repo.

FlagPaint 2.4 will also be submitted as soon as I remember to finish up on it. It most likely won't yet have all features working on iOS 8 - although the majority of the tweak does work - since I just don't have sufficient time to work on everything. The release is more because it's been impossible for new users on iOS 8 to purchase it for too long - sorry.

Chariz has been coming along really well and pretty quickly. Huge thanks in particular to Timon and Alex for their devotion.

Finally, as more of a little side project, Opener is gaining some cool new features, like being able to choose which app will be launched when you tap a link - similar to when you open a file from Safari or Mail, or when opening a link on Android. You'll really enjoy it, and that means the missing settings you've always wanted to toggle features of LinkOpener (and soon, YTOpener) and the apps they open if you have multiple will be there. It also improves how link overrides are implemented, so they will always open reliably.

Thanks for your patience, and I swear nothing except the headline is a joke. (I think.)

Wow, you exceeded the number of rants this kirb is capable of.

So hi.

Here's the deal. I'm leaving the jailbreak community. Most likely not permanently, but that depends on what happens in coming months. I don't want to live in a world where monopolistic people violate their own philosophy for the community and try to control every corner of it. This issue which you've no doubt seen come up a lot over the past few months is very important to me, and I had to do something with a big enough impact to make the relevant parties seriously think about it.

My big problem with that is... I like writing tweaks. You might have noticed me getting really excited about Substitute officially supporting OS X, and not so excited about the confusing state of Substrate on OS X.

In other words, I'm moving to the Mac.

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New again

Well after a mishap in what I thought would be a quick and painless WordPress upgrade, I've ended up rewriting this site to use the pretty cool Wintersmith, which the Cydia repo has been using for some time. Given this site is now made of completely static files generated by my computer at home and not the server, that won't happen again.

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End of season

It's that time of year again when a new major iOS has just come out and the jailbreak community starts to significantly decrease in size. Thus, I'll be releasing a final update before I stop working on tweaks until the iOS 8 jailbreak release - FlagPaint7 1.3. Here's the changelog of the update I just submitted to BigBoss:

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This month in HASHBANG history

The first five months this year were definitely nowhere near as good as they should have been for HASHBANG, in terms of getting well-tested tweak updates out quick. We're working hard as of this month to improve that, and we've kicked that off with a major FlagPaint7 update only a week after the previous.

The following updates are to be completed and released, hopefully in this order, over the next month or so. And I mean it!

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Opener settings issue

We're currently sorting out an issue that's causing Opener's settings to display an error message ("There was an error loading the preference bundle for Opener"). Until then, you can manually install an update for the HASHBANG Productions Common package which fixes this.

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TypeStatus for Mac Oopsie

TypeStatus for Mac beta 1 was actually... a really early build from April 2013. Oops.

Head over to the TypeStatus page to download the real TypeStatus beta. This fixes the lack of support for Obsidian Menu Bar, and email addresses/phone numbers showing instead of contact names. I also included a simple updater that checks when you launch Messages, and optimized files so they take up less space.

That thing you've been waiting on for a very long time

TypeStatus for Mac

After collecting dust on my hard drive for over a year, TypeStatus for Mac has finally entered the public beta stage. If you haven't already heard of it, TypeStatus started as an iOS jailbreak tweak that swaps out the status bar with the name of the person who is typing an iMessage to you, or has read an iMessage you sent. Now, you can experience it on your Mac.

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Opener 2.0

It's taken way longer than it should have, but nevertheless, Opener 2.0, MapsOpener 1.3, and LinkOpener 1.3 have been submitted to BigBoss.

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The Big HASHBANG Tweak Update

It's about time for The Big HASHBANG Tweak Update. Some of these have long-standing bugs that I've never gotten around to fixing, or features I've really wanted to add. You'll find all of these updates in Cydia soon.

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Introducing Aphelion

Recently, HASHBANG Productions has been working on an app for iOS devices running iOS 7. You'd know that already if you've been following @AphelionApp on Twitter. This app is (yes, yet another) Twitter client, with the aim of looking right at home in iOS 7's new UI, as well as allowing you to multitask. This is something that's been very lacking in current iOS Twitter clients, and as heavy Twitter users ourselves, this was something that needed fixing.

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Instability of TypeStatus 1.1b4

HASHBANG Productions is very sorry for the issues in the latest TypeStatus beta release (beta 4 and 4a - 1.1~beta-137 and 1.1~beta-139 respectively). If you’re experiencing issues with this TypeStatus release and would like to downgrade to a more stable version (1.1b3 - aka 1.1~beta-79), follow these instructions.

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