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Month: April 2016

VisualEffectPlayground in Swift

When searching for information on implementing vibrancy effects and NSVisualEffectView, developers often find references to the VisualEffectPlayground sample code presented by Apple at WWDC 2014. However, they soon quickly discover that Apple pulled the sample code from the Apple Developer site. Perhaps the application was thrown together for WWDC and didn’t meet the usual standard for Apple sample code; however, to date Apple has not seen fit to post any replacement. And so the search continues.

During my own search, I discovered that a Xamarin engineer named Oleg Demchenko had ported the sample code to Mono and posted it to the Xamarin samples site. In order to get a working sample application, I decided to port this code back to Swift and posted it to GitHub.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t know C# and I’m still learning Swift. Nevertheless, the resulting application appears to perform as expected (although I haven’t made an exhaustive test). I will certainly consider any pull requests.

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Blocking autoplay videos on Macworld

I hate ’em, you hate ’em; even the writers hate ’em as well.  I finally got fed up enough to figure out how to completely block the autoplaying videos on the Macworld website.

Most instructions tell you to disable Flash, but I don’t even have Flash installed on my main computer (outside of the player embedded in Chrome, but I primarily use Safari).  It turns out that the Macworld website will then load a video player from Brightcove, so you have to block that too.

I’m using AdBlock, so I click its toolbar icon, choose Options, and go to “Manually Edit Your Filters”.  Click “Edit” and insert this text:

! Block autoplay videos on Macworld/PCWorld (need to block Brightcove as well)
www.macworld.com##DIV[class="video-wrapper small-player"]
www.pcworld.com##DIV[class="video-wrapper small-player"]
players.brightcove.net

That seems to be the lowest common division; higher level entities are named “how-to” or “security” or some such. Might as well get PCWorld while we’re in there. Don’t forget to click “Save”, and you’re done. (Also don’t forget to pay for AdBlock; I’m doing that right now…)

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