Blog / Roundup: PWA on iOS, recurring Stripe payments, measuring time, and zero-width characters

April 6, 2018

iOS 11.3 adds support for basic PWA tech - Tom S

https://medium.com/@firt/progressive-web-apps-on-ios-are-here-d00430dee3a7

It’s happening! Well, it’s certainly on the way to be happening! In the latest iOS version, Apple has added a few of the basic technologies required for PWAs. However, as the blog post reports, there’s still work for Apple to do.

Stripe Billing - Henry T

https://stripe.com/blog/billing

Stripe have finally released recurring payments. It includes a few different models, including metered billing, which is relevant to the project I’m working on. However this will probably kill a little ecosystem of businesses that have developed around the void, which is a bit sad.

Measuring Time - Murray S

https://blog.dnsimple.com/2018/03/elapsed-time-with-ruby-the-right-way/

Finding this article about how relying on the system clock to measure things is a bad idea was very serendipitous for me. I’d just read “Time Travel: A History” by James Gleick and thinking about all the ways time can be confusing and unexpected is front-and-center in my brain right now. The article explains how the system clock can end up changing, and what you want to use is the monotonic clock instead.

Inserting usernames into text with zero-width characters - Elena T

https://medium.com/@umpox/be-careful-what-you-copy-invisibly-inserting-usernames-into-text-with-zero-width-characters-18b4e6f17b66

How someone secured the text from a private message board by fingerprinting the contents with the user currently logged in. If the the text showed up anywhere else, the username would be hidden inside it, as a zero-width string.

There’s even a Chrome extension to detect these characters: https://github.com/chpmrc/zero-width-chrome-extension.

The death of the newsfeed - Elena T

https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2018/4/2/the-death-of-the-newsfeed

The chronological feed has been replaced by the algorithmic feed, due to scaling issues. The problem is an algorithmic feed will always show you a sample size of your chronological feed and it’s really hard to guess what you actually want to see.

Track of the Week - Chris Stobart

Great modern cover of the 1961 original by Ben E King. Its a really uplifting piece and great for getting motivated.

Stand By Me - Florence + The Machine