Weekly Tech Roundup #7
“It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” ― Terry Pratchett
Apple battles Ableton Live with new Logic Pro X 10.5 features
Today, Apple announced Logic Pro X 10.5, a major update to its popular digital audio workstation (DAW) for macOS. Key new features include a pro version of Live Loops, a new drum-machine-like tool (Step Sequencer) for making drum beats and other sounds, and some significant updates to the Sampler tool.
Taking a page right out of competing DAW Ableton Live’s book, Live Loops offers a grid-based approach to plotting out loops and samples. Apple also introduced a new feature called Remix FX that allows application of filters in a way that works for live performance. Live performance is something most music producers feel competing DAW Ableton Live excels at, compared to Logic, so this reads as an effort to close that gap.
Moog Music Subharmonicon synthesizer leverages the past to make music
While the present global situation has forced many to resort to all kinds of pastimes and distractions, it has also given rise to a newfound desire to create. From the physical to the digital, people around the world are finding ways to tap into their talents and their dreams to produce or try out things they have never done before. It is almost fate, then, that Moog Music, one of the world’s biggest names in analog synthesizers, is now launching its latest product, the Subharmonicon. Whether by itself or with other synths, the box promises to open a new world of organic and fluid beats and patterns, with a little help from the past.
Hack Like It's 1987 (An Introduction to the Telehack Retro Game)
Whether you miss the good old days of Telnet or you want to know what hacking was like when security was nothing but an afterthought, Telehack is the game for you. The text-based hacking game is a simulation of a stylized combination of ARPANET and Usenet, circa 1985 to 1990, with a full multi-user universe and player interactions, including 26,600 hosts.
Before cloud computing, social media, and online shopping, there existed something called ARPANET, the precursor to the internet as we know it. When ARPANET expanded in the '80s, it became the wild west of computers. PCs were just becoming a thing and were no longer reserved for prestigious universities and national laboratories. And hacking didn't even become illegal until 1986 when the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act became law.
Google Chrome will finally help you organize your tabs
Google Chrome is rolling out a new feature to help you better manage all your open tabs. The company announced today the launch of “tab groups” for the beta version of its web browser, which will allow you to organize, label and even color-code your tabs for easy access. The feature will make its way to the stable release of Chrome starting next week.
To use the new feature, you can right-click on a tab and choose “Add tab to group.” You can then select an existing group to move the tab to or create a new one, which you’ll also name and label.
What's new in Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.0, coming soon
Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) is being released soon with the May 2020 Update (Windows 10 2004) and comes with new features and performance improvements.
The Windows Subsystem for Linux feature allows you to install and run Linux distributions within Windows 10.
WSL version 1 (WSL1), though, used a Linux-compatible kernel that translates Linux system calls so they could communicate and work with the Windows NT kernel. This decreased the performance and made it difficult, if not impossible, to run certain Linux applications.
In Windows 10 version 2004, Microsoft has been testing new features for Windows Subsystem for Linux, which uses in-house built Linux kernel and full system call compatibility to run more Linux apps.
Facebook Acquires GIF Platform Giphy For $400 Million
Facebook on Friday announced that it has acquired the popular GIF-making and sharing website, Giphy and its plan is to integrate the Giphy library into Facebook’s various platforms, including Instagram.
While the financial terms of the agreement were not revealed, according to Axios, who first reported the news, estimates the deal to be valued at around $400 million. Apparently, the companies were already in talks even before the COVID-19 pandemic started, says the report.
For those unaware, Giphy, styled as GIPHY, is an American online database and search engine that allows users to search for and share short looping videos with no sound, that resemble animated GIF files. Facebook already uses Giphy’s API to provide GIFs to Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
The HTTP headers you don't expect
A few days ago, I was poking around Creditkarma's blog and I noticed this HTTP header:
1X-hacker: If you're reading this, you should visit wpvip.com/careers and apply to join the fun, mention this header.
My first thought was: "Wow, back in the days we had the Millennium Bug to save a few bits on a date, and now companies have an entire job offers in an HTTP header!"
This made me very curious, so I did some research!
That specific header seems to be a "default" one if you host your site on WordPress VIP, the enterprise WordPress hosting solution managed by Automattic.