Behind the Design: Carrot Weather – Discover

Image of app turning into sun with carrot weather-themed clouds and graphics on a black background

Generally speaking, weather apps don’t threaten your life.

They don’t insult your life choices. They don’t tell you that the sun makes your skin look, and we’re quoting here, “like curdled oatmeal.” And they rarely, if ever, try to conquer the world.

Carrot Weather does all three — pretty much on a daily basis. But that’s not the most interesting thing about the meteorological marvel created by mild-mannered Philadelphia native Brian Mueller. Prior to launch, Mueller had no background in development, less background in meteorology, and frankly seems way too nice to have won an Apple Design Award with an app that routinely calls those who use it “meatbags.”

No, the most interesting thing is this: Underneath his humble (and objectively non-murderous) exterior, Mueller knew that meme-worthy jokes wouldn’t be enough — Carrot had to be a best-in-class weather app, too.

iPhone images of Carrot Weather’s light and dark modes

“There are basically two apps here,” says Mueller, who codes, designs, illustrates, and writes the (often real-time) gags himself. “One is an entertainment app — something you want to open apart from learning about temperatures and conditions. The other is a professional weather app. I wanted both.”

He got them. Carrot Weather presents its meteorological metrics — humidity, UV index, and sunrise and sunset — in splashy, colorful screens that match its acerbic voice. (“Does the sun really think he can hide? We see you behind those clouds, stupid star.”) The app is available on for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. And earlier in 2021, Mueller released an update that lets users customize Carrot however they please, creating, in essence, a “Choose Your Own Weather App“ experience (albeit one that occasionally threatens you with scary clowns).

*Carrot Weather*’s creator, Brian Mueller

*Carrot Weather*’s creator, Brian Mueller

It’s a long way to go for a guy who started developing on the side seven years ago while pursuing a full-time career as — not entirely surprisingly — a screenwriter. “I’m an English major with a creative writing minor,” Mueller says. “I love to write and create characters and tell stories, but I had no real idea of what I would do with my life.” He found the idea of apps intriguing, but had no experience to draw from. “I figured if I was going to build an app, I’d just hire someone to do it for me,” he says. “I got a book on iOS development, mostly so I could flip through the vocabulary and not sound like a complete idiot. But it wasn’t anywhere near as over my head as I thought, so I just started building.”

In a matter of months, Mueller had his first title, a to-do list app called Grailr whose mascots were an Indiana Jones-type character and his cartoon dog sidekick. “The dog’s name was Sir Waffles, and he had a top hat and monocle,” Mueller laughs. “I liked him. But it was way too hard for me to animate a cartoon dog.”

Instead, he popped into Photoshop, drew a simple pattern of three circles, and then began playing around with animation, eventually landing on a nefarious-looking pulsing red light drawn straight from the HAL and GLaDOS school of evil sentient robots. “There was no genius idea,” he says. “That was basically the extent of what I could do in Core Animation in iOS at the time.”

Vector image of stick figure holding computerized umbrella in rain

This necessity became Carrot’s look. Her dark, devious personality, however, comes from those closest to Mueller: his mom, sister, and wife — all of whom tease one another relentlessly. (Sister Beth, for instance, commemorated Carrot’s Apple Design Award win by emailing him the following: “You’re probably getting lots of congratulatory messages, so I just wanted to remind you that you are the worst.”)

“A lot of the dialogue for Carrot is drawn out of stuff that we’ve actually said to each other,” he says. “Every time my wife says something funny, I write it down. Sometimes she gets annoyed by that, but she’s a lot funnier than I am.”

With his robot ready, Mueller began releasing a series of apps — Carrot To-Do, Carrot Fit — all with the same distinct approach to motivation. His to-do list yells when you fail to complete a task. His alarm clock mocks you for sleeping in. His fitness app shames you for slacking off.

Weather was a logical next step. Carrot Weather began strictly as an entertainment app — one that leaned in entirely on Mueller’s digital doppelganger. “It was a cool, gimmicky kind of thing, and people liked it,” he says. But over time, people started asking for more metrics: cloud cover, wind speed, pressure. Data, data, and more data. “I’d spend an hour or so sketching and figuring out how to fit things in,” he says. “That’s how I started learning how to solve design challenges.”

Early sketches of Carrot Weather’s ocular sensor and weather readouts

The inaugural version of Carrot Weather focused almost entirely on the current temperature; the second version began to dig in on forecast, radar, and notifications. But its next redesign was a big one: The 2017 model brought Carrot to Apple Watch, which Mueller says was the “turning point” in transitioning the app into something more than a repository of jokes.

“I couldn’t really have long jokes on the Watch, so I had to focus on making a really good weather app,” he says. “I started over from scratch. I tried to use all of the hardware features built into the Watch as much as possible to abstract away a lot of what would normally be visual in the interface on the iPhone.”

Mueller focused the experience on a few key data points and used color to communicate weather conditions so that people could quickly get a sense of their forecast. From there, he worked in reverse, bringing his favorite features back into the iPhone and iPad app.

Vector image of a cow caught in a tornado

Today, the Carrot universe comprises seven iOS apps and an iOS sticker pack, as well as Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac versions of Carrot Weather. The app now offers a fully customizable interface for those who want to craft their perfect weather app. You can record customizable weather reports replete with sassy teleprompter dialogue, or have Carrot taunt you in augmented reality. (She turns red if you annoy her. You’ll probably annoy her.)

There have been upgrades on the sarcastic side too: Mueller regularly updates the app’s text to reflect current events, which means he can respond to current events — everything from political headlines to console releases — within minutes. “People are tweeting me all the time how they get their news from a weather app,” he laughs.

And yes, if so moved, you can even mitigate the darker sides of Carrot’s personality. “I wanted an option for people who were more interested in the cool professional features — or maybe for the people who don’t want the ‘Oh, Carrot wants to kill you,’ kind of thing” he laughs. “Even if you turn off the personality completely, you’ll still get the fun animations and features.”

Carrot weather’s main screen on Mac

For all his success, Mueller remains humble (even a little bemused) by all this attention. His design process, he jokes, isn’t as formal as many of his Apple Design Award-winning peers — it’s “basically throwing a bunch of stuff on a screen until I don’t think it’s hideous.”

Even so, it’s that singular focus and care (and dash of self-deprecation) that makes Carrot stand out. Mueller’s constant iteration and exploration — whether he’s iterating on interface designs, supporting new API, or crafting a late-breaking joke — keep the app fresh and entertaining long after you’ve checked the day’s weather.

Learn more about Carrot Weather

Download Carrot Weather from the App Store

Bringing CARROT Weather to Apple Watch

With help from Google, impersonated website pushes malware

With help from Google, impersonated website pushes malware

Scammers have been caught using a clever sleight of hand to impersonate the website for the Brave browser and using it in Google ads to push malware that takes control of browsers and steals sensitive data.

The attack worked by registering the domain xn--brav-yva[.]com, an encoded string that uses what’s known as punycode to represent bravė[.]com, a name that when displayed in browsers address bars is confusingly similar to, where people download the Brave browser. Bravė[.]com (note the accent over the letter E) was almost a perfect replica of, with one crucial exception: the “Download Brave” button grabbed a file that installed malware known both as ArechClient and SectopRat.

From Google to malware in 10 seconds flat

To drive traffic to the fake site, the scammers bought ads on Google that were displayed when people searched for things involving browsers. The ads looked benign enough. As the images below show, the domain shown for one ad was, a site that sells apparel for professionals.

But when people clicked on one of the ads, it directed them through several intermediary domains until they finally landed on bravė[.]com. Jonathan Sampson, a web developer who works on Brave, said that the file available for download there was an ISO image that was 303MB in size. Inside was a single executable.

VirusTotal immediately showed a handful of antimalware engines detecting the ISO and EXE. At the time this post went live, the ISO image had eight detections and the EXE had 16.

The malware detected goes under several names, including ArechClient and SectopRat. A 2019 analysis from security firm G Data found that it was a remote access trojan that was capable of streaming a user’s current desktop or creating a second invisible desktop that attackers could use to browse the Internet.

In a follow-on analysis published in February, G Data said the malware had been updated to add new features and capabilities, including encrypted communications with attacker-controlled command and control servers. A separate analysis found it had “capabilities like connecting to C2 Server, Profiling the System, Steal Browser History From Browsers like Chrome and Firefox.”

As shown in this passive DNS search from DNSDB Scout, the IP address that hosted the fake Brave site has been hosting other suspicious punycode domains, including,,, and Those translate into lędgė, sī teleģ, and bravę.com, respectively. All of the domains were registered through NameCheap.

An old attack that’s still in its prime

Martijn Grooten, head of threat intel research at security firm Silent Push, got to wondering if the attacker behind this scam had been hosting other lookalike sites on other IPs. Using a Silent Push product, he searched for other punycode domains registered through NameCheap and using the same web host. He hit on seven additional sites that were also suspicious.

The results, including the punycode and translated domain, are:


Google removed the malicious ads once Brave brought them to the company’s attention. NameCheap took down the malicious domains after receiving a notification.

One of the things that’s so fiendish about these attacks is just how hard they are to detect. Because the attacker has complete control over the punycode domain, the impostor site will have a valid TLS certificate. When that domain hosts an exact replica of the spoofed website, even security-aware people can be fooled.

Sadly, there are no clear ways to avoid these threats other than by taking a few extra seconds to inspect the URL as it appears in the address bar. Attacks using punycode-based domains are nothing new. This week’s impersonation of suggests they aren’t going out of vogue anytime soon.

Best deals for July 31 — TP-Link mesh Wi-Fi, Star Wars Lego, and more!

Saturday’s best deals include $30 off TP-Link mesh Wi-Fi for your home, $10 off the Logitech MX Anywhere 3 compact mouse, a discount on the Lego Star Wars X-Wing Fighter, and more.

Shopping online for the best discounts and deals can be a difficult and annoying task. Rather than sifting through miles of advertisements, check out this list of sales we’ve hand-picked just for the AppleInsider audience.

You’ll find more than just Apple products here. Each section is organized by product type or brand, and can contain anything from furniture to iPhone cases.

This post was originally published on July 31 at 10:00 a.m. ET. If an item is out of stock, it may still be able to be ordered for delivery at a later date. These deals won’t last long, so act fast for anything that might be of interest to you.

Deals are added every day, throughout the day. The newest deals will appear at the top of each section.

Brydge Pro+ on sale for only $139.99

Brydge is holding its Back to School sale and customers can score up to 65% off of some products. Check out some sales below.

  • Brydge Pro+ for iPad Pro 12.9-inch & 11-inch, was $169.99 now $139.99
  • Brydge Pro for iPad Pro 12.9-inch & 11-inch, was $149.99 now $89.99
  • Brydge 10.2 MAX+ for iPad (8th & 7th Gen), was $149.99 now $89.99
  • BRYDGE 10.2 for iPad (8th Gen) & iPad (7th Gen), was $129.99 now $99.99
  • MacBook Vertical Dock, was $169.99 now $129.99
  • Stone Lite, was $129.99 now $99.99
  • Brydge SPX+ for Surface Pro X, was $159.99 now $119.99
  • Brydge 12.3 Pro+ for Surface Pro 4-7, was $149.99 now $99.99
  • Brydge 10.5 Go+ for Surface Go Go2, was $139.99 now $89.99
  • W-Touch for Windows, was $99.99 now $79.99
  • Computers and computer accessories

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    • Mike uses this, you’ve seen it on his desk – TEDNETGO Gaming Mouse Pad, was $19.99 now $12.93 if you clip the coupon
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    MSI Sword 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop currently $200 off

    MSI Sword 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop currently $200 off

    • MSI Sword 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop with Intel Core i7 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050ti 512GB SSD 8GB RAM, was $1199.99 now $999.99
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    • Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 15.6-inch Intel Core i7 16GB RAM 512GB Storage, was $1299.99 now $1149.99
    • Lenovo Yoga 7i 2-in-1 15.6-inch Touch Screen Laptop with Intel Core i5 and 256GB Solid State Drive, was $849.99 now $599.99
    • Gigabyte Aero 15.6″ UHD 4K AMOLED with Intel Core i7 11th and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, was $1,799 now $1,499 with promo code 82BTSWKN474
    • Lenovo 13.3-inch ThinkBook 13s G2 ITL Laptop, was $779 now $649

    Monitors and monitor accessories

    • AOC 15.6-inch USB-C powered portable monitor, was $179.99 now $115.59
    • HUANUO Dual Monitor Stand for 13-27 inch VESA Monitors, was $27.99 now $11.19 with coupon on page AND 35ZZLHB9 promo code at checkout
    • HUANUO Single Monitor Gas Spring Stand, was $32.99, now $13.19 if you clip the coupon and apply code 8LKNXD4J
    • Samsung 49-Inch CRG9 120Hz QHD Curved Gaming Monitor, was $1499.99 now $1082.57
    • Samsung M7 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD Smart Monitor, was $399.99 now $349.01

    Networking and smart home

    NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Mini Mesh System currently $100 off

    NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Mini Mesh System currently $100 off

    • NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000, was $169.99 now $149.99
    • TP-Link Deco Mesh Wi-Fi System, was $189.99 now $149.99
    • NETGEAR Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Mini Mesh System, was $299.99 now $199.99
    • RING Spotlight Cam, was $199.99 now $149.99
    • NETGEAR 4-Stream AX1800 WiFi 6 Router, was $149.99 now $57.98
    • Netgear Orbi Pro was $299.99 is $199.99
    • TP-Link AC5400 Tri-band Wi-Fi Gaming Router, was $279.99 now $199.99
    • Netgear GS308 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch, was $27.99 now $17.99
    • Netgear GS305E 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch, was $34.99 now $20.99
    • Netgear GS305 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch, was $22.99 now $15.99
    • eero 6 AX1800 Dual-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System (3-pack), was $279 now $223
    • ASUS RT-AX55 AX1800 Dual Band WiFi 6 Gigabit 802.11ax Router, was $129.99 now $99.99

    TV and TV accessories

    • Manor Park Farmhouse Barn Door TV Stand for up to 64-inch, was $250.00 now $129.00
    • Mijia Mini Projector Portable was $499.99 is $488.99
    • Epson Home Cinema 2100 1080p Projector – Refurbished, now $399.99
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    • Roku Streambar 4K/HD/HDR, was $129.99 now $99

    Video games and toys

    • LEGO Star Wars Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing Fighter, was $49.99 now $40.00
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    • Larger Than Light for macOS or Windows, was $5 now FREE
    • DJI Magic Mini Drone was $499 is $399
    • 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ controller was $49.99 is $42.50
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    House goods

    Roborock S6 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner currently $272 off

    Roborock S6 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner currently $272 off

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    Headphones and Ear Buds

    • Sony Wireless in-Ear Headphones WI-C310/B – All colors, was $39.99 now $18.00
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    • Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds, was $129.99 now $99.99
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    • Rawlings Official League Recreational Grade Baseballs – 24, was $74.00 now $29.99
    • Force1 U34W Dragonfly Wi-Fi FPV Camera Drone, was $129.99 now $54.99
    • Sony Alpha a7 with 28-70mm Lens, was $1,598.00 now $1,198.00

    Charging and other phone accessories


    MagSafe Charger on sale at Daily Steals for $28.99 with promo code

    MagSafe Charger on sale at Daily Steals for $28.99 with promo code

    • Apple Leather Wallet with MagSafe, was $59 now $49.55
    • Apple MagSafe Charger at Daily Steals, was $39.99 now $28.99 with code DSMAG
    • Apple MagSafe Charger at Amazon, was $39.99 now $34
    • Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter, was $19.00 now $16.47

    Other accessories

    • UGREEN USB C Hub, Type C to USB 3.0 4 Ports, was $9.99 now $7.49 with promo code UGREENSD350
    • Anker USB Wall Charger and Outlet Extender, was $14.99 now $9.99 with promo code ANKERA9221
    • Anker Qi-Certified Wireless Charger and PowerWave Stand in Black, was $18.99 now $15.29
    • Tile Mate + Tile Slim Combo – Key Finder 4 Pack (2 Tile Mate + 2 Tile Slim), was $99 now $45
    • Tile Mate & Slim Combo Item Tracker 4-Tiles, was $69.99 now $43.45


    Apple iTunes sales

    Apple iTunes sales

    There are a multitude of digital content sales on iTunes each week. For the most seamless purchasing experience, AppleInsider recommends opening video purchase links on an iPhone or iPad.


    How Mobile App Testing can fulfill modern-day customer expectations  

    As per the statistics, 48.88% of the world population use mobile apps, and in fact, have become an integral part of their lifestyle. This modern age millennial generation can step without cash but not a mobile phone. As mobile apps have become an integral part of the modern millennial generation, their expectations are also increasing with time. As per the estimates, 68% of the app users uninstall an app having a high loading time. Any obstacle to in-app usage can lead the customer to switch to your competitors. Due to this high competition in the mobile app market, the brands are focusing on mobile app testing to provide a seamless and excellent user experience to their customers.

    Increasing the page loading speed

    While using mobile applications, having high loading speed is a must otherwise it irritates the customers. If your mobile app consumes a great time in loading, instead of providing service to the customer, the app consumes their time. Hence mobile app testing is required to ensure that the application runs seamlessly.

    Performance testing helps in validating the performance, stability, reliability, scalability, and resource usage of a software application under a particular workload. The page loading speed of the application is reduced by validating the app through a number of tests like load testing, stress testing, endurance testing, spike testing, volume testing, scalability testing, etc. Hence all these validations, help the QA teams to analyze the number of users and set a high loading time.

    Provides Simple and attractive UI

    The UI of the application is the first impression for the customers, hence even the wrong color scheme can affect the brand impression. The menus should be functional and user-friendly, likewise, the entire navigation must be very simple in the mobile apps.

    Hence the GUI testing ensures that your mobile app functions well has simple navigation and is bug-free. In GUI testing all the UI elements are checked if they are functioning well, their alignment, color, etc is validated.

    Enhances user experience

    Mobile app testing techniques like cross browser testing enhance the user experience by validating the compatibility of the mobile apps with multiple browsers, devices, etc. Nowadays, new versions of browsers, mobile devices, etc. get updated frequently. Hence if the mobile app is not compatible with the new browser updates, the user might face device fragmentation issues. Hence in order to maintain a good user experience, the application must be compatible with the complete range of device and browser versions to maintain compatibility.


    We are living in a digital transformation era where new app features get released every now. Due to the high customer demands, brands make sure that the new features meet customer expectations with on-time delivery. Hence brands are focusing on mobile application testing to make sure that the application is bug-free, functions well, and provides excellent user expectations. In the Agile model, the features are tested even after being deployed to the production server. Hence if the client-side spots any bugs, they can be immediately rectified. Also, mobile app testing analyses the amount of user load to make sure that the app does not gets crashed due to the high amount of users. Hence all these factors prove that mobile application testing is a must to ensure an excellent user experience.

    WWDC21 Challenges – Discover – Apple Developer

    A text bubble with three Emojis; puzzle piece, stopwatch, and fire.

    Discover fun, interactive ways to learn about the latest technologies and frameworks. Solve a puzzle using memory debugging techniques or script a short film in AR with Apple’s speech synthesis engine. Design SwiftUI views with a time-hopping twist. Explore Create ML or build visualizations in Swift Playgrounds. No matter your level of expertise, challenge yourself to explore something new — and share your creations with others through the Developer Forums and social media.

    Read the WWDC21 Challenges Terms and Conditions

    Visit the Apple Developer Forums


    Speech Synthesizer Simulator
    Accessibility & Inclusion
    Simulate a conversation using speech synthesis.

    Challenge: Speech Synthesizer Simulator

    Build an app that recognizes custom audio through ShazamKit
    Audio & Video
    ShazamKit lets you use custom audio catalogs inside your app to recognize that same audio “in the wild.” Dream up your own ShazamKit audio matching experience as you work off a starter sample project.

    Challenge: Build an app that recognizes custom audio through ShazamKit

    Create your first 3D model with Object Capture
    Augmented Reality
    Object capture provides a quick and easy way to create lifelike 3D models of real-world objects using just a few images. Use the new Object Capture Swift API to build your very own 3D model from scratch.

    Challenge: Create your first 3D model with Object Capture

    Design a quiz in Swift Playgrounds
    Design a “How well do you know me?” quiz using Swift Playgrounds to see who knows the most about your quirks and interests.

    Challenge: Design a quiz in Swift Playgrounds

    Achievement Unlocked — Fabulous Fails
    Graphics & Games
    Creating achievements that surprise and delight players as they make their way through a game can help provide a strong feeling of accomplishment, and even make people laugh. We challenge you to create or share a Fabulous Fails achievement that is fun, strange, and delightful.

    Challenge: Achievement Unlocked – Fabulous Fails

    Build an app using built-in Sound Classification
    ML & Vision
    With Sound Classification, you can create experiences for camera, video, productivity, and game apps on all Apple platforms — and for this challenge, we’re inviting you to explore a sample project and build your own.

    Challenge: Build an app using built-in Sound Classification

    Animated artistry in SwiftUI
    SwiftUI & UI Frameworks
    Put trigonometry to good use and show us your artistic side by creating a stunning graphical animation in SwiftUI.

    Challenge: Animated artistry in SwiftUI


    Large Text Challenge
    Accessibility & Inclusion
    Design for large text sizes by modifying the user interface of a simple app.

    Challenge: Large Text

    Design multi-step shortcuts
    The best shortcuts help us get repetitive things done more easily: Develop a multi-step shortcut for designer or programmer productivity.

    Challenge: Design multi-step Shortcuts

    Design for declarative device management in your MDM solution
    Education & Enterprise
    Calling all MDM developers and enterprise administrators! Explore designing new declarative device management solutions that move management policies from the MDM server to the device.

    Challenge: Design for declarative device management in your MDM solution

    Create a musical instrument in Swift Playgrounds
    The first part to composing a musical masterpiece is making your own instrument from scratch! Use graphical tools to create a musical instrument that will leave your audience floored (and waiting for an encore)!

    Challenge: Create a musical instrument in Swift Playgrounds

    Achievement Unlocked — Title Teasers
    Graphics & Games
    Some achievements can pique a player’s interest into exploring something new in your app — even if the achievement only has its locked text visible. We challenge you to write a Title Teaser achievement that gets people excited about what they might uncover.

    Challenge: Achievement Unlocked – Title Teasers

    Throwback with SwiftUI
    SwiftUI & UI Frameworks
    Whether you’ve been coding for 40 years, you’re new to the SwiftUI scene, or you’re a designer — everyone loves a good throwback. Give in to the nostalgia and imagine what your app might look like if designed for the Mac or iPhone interfaces of yesteryear.

    Challenge: Throwback with SwiftUI


    Voice Control Synonyms
    Accessibility & Inclusion
    Challenge yourself to make your app accessible through Voice Control and provide support for voice-based interaction.

    Challenge: Voice Control Synonyms

    Framework Freestyle
    Augmented Reality
    One ARKit sample app. One framework of your choosing. What can you create in 100 lines of code or less?

    Challenge: Framework Freestyle

    Memgraph capture the flag
    Developer Tools
    One of our engineers has hidden a memory easter egg in our secret app. We need your help to find it, but all we know is that it has the format flag_<unknown_string_here>@WWDC. Using only macOS command line tools, investigate the memory issue, recover missing symbols, and capture the rogue flag.

    Challenge: Memgraph Capture the Flag

    Create amazing documentation
    Developer Tools
    Explore Xcode’s new documentation features and learn how to add documentation to your own framework or package — or to your favorite open source project.

    Challenge: Create amazing documentation

    Create fun visual effects in Swift Playgrounds
    Ever wonder how to make it seem like confetti is raining down from the sky? Or how to create a kaleidoscope effect using code? This challenge gets you to create an artistic rendering using only shapes and your imagination.

    Challenge: Create fun visual effects in Swift Playgrounds

    Achievement Unlocked — Series Finale
    Graphics & Games
    Whether your game is divided into chapters, levels, or challenges, you can use achievements to help progress your narrative in unique and interesting ways. In our last challenge of the week — our series finale — we invite you to create a series of achievements that tell a story and encourage people to complete a set of tasks.

    Challenge: Achievement Unlocked — Series Finale

    Focus on Focus in SwiftUI
    SwiftUI & UI Frameworks
    Focus can help people move through your app efficiently, whether they’re using the keyboard, Siri Remote, Apple Watch Digital Crown, or accessibility features. Find an interaction within your app and show us how you would use the SwiftUI Focus APIs to fine-tune that interaction.

    Challenge: Focus on Focus APIs in SwiftUI


    VoiceOver Maze
    Accessibility & Inclusion
    Navigate to the end of a dark maze using VoiceOver as your guide.

    Challenge: VoiceOver Maze

    Explore spatial audio soundscapes
    Audio & Video
    Use spatial audio to tell more immersive stories in your app and explore the demo used in the “Immerse your app in spatial audio” session.

    Challenge: Explore spatial audio soundscapes

    Create an engaging tutorial
    Developer Tools
    Learn how to write an interactive tutorial to show developers how to use your own project — or add a tutorial to an existing open source project.

    Challenge: Create an engaging tutorial

    Sense the world around you in Swift Playgrounds
    Just like our senses, our devices constantly gather data from their environment, and can use that information to do interesting and important things. In this challenge, you’ll harness this device sensor data to create a visualization or experience of your choosing.

    Challenge: Sense the world around you in Swift Playgrounds

    Prototype with SwiftUI
    SwiftUI & UI Frameworks
    While SwiftUI is a powerful framework, one of its key features is its simplicity. Designers with very little knowledge of code can easily create prototypes with human-readable syntax and interactive Xcode Previews. As we say goodbye to WWDC21, we invite you to say “hello, world” with a brilliant SwiftUI-based prototype.

    Challenge: Prototype with SwiftUI

    Software downloaded 30,000 times from PyPI ransacked developers’ machines

    Software downloaded 30,000 times from PyPI ransacked developers’ machines

    Open source packages downloaded an estimated 30,000 times from the PyPI open source repository contained malicious code that surreptitiously stole credit card data and login credentials and injected malicious code on infected machines, researchers said on Thursday.

    In a post, researchers Andrey Polkovnichenko, Omer Kaspi, and Shachar Menashe of devops software vendor JFrog said they recently found eight packages in PyPI that carried out a range of malicious activity. Based on searches on, a site that provides download stats for Python packages, the researchers estimate the malicious packages were downloaded about 30,000 times.

    Systemic threat

    The discovery is the latest in a long line of attacks in recent years that abuse the receptivity of open source repositories, which millions of software developers rely on daily. Despite their crucial role, repositories often lack robust security and vetting controls, a weakness that has the potential to cause serious supply chain attacks when developers unknowingly infect themselves or fold malicious code into the software they publish.

    “The continued discovery of malicious software packages in popular repositories like PyPI is an alarming trend that can lead to widespread supply chain attacks,” JFrog CTO Asaf Karas wrote in an email. “The ability for attackers to use simple obfuscation techniques to introduce malware means developers have to be concerned and vigilant. This is a systemic threat, and it needs to be actively addressed on several layers, both by the maintainers of software repositories and by the developers.”

    The researchers thanked PyPI maintainer Dustin Ingram “for quickly responding and removing the malicious packages” when notified. Ingram didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Different packages from Thursday’s haul carried out different kinds of nefarious activities. Six of them had three payloads, one for harvesting authentication cookies for Discord accounts, a second for extracting any passwords or payment card data stored by browsers, and the third for gathering information about the infected PC, such as IP addresses, computer name, and user name.

    The remaining two packages had malware that tries to connect to an attacker-designated IP address on TCP port 9009, and to then execute whatever Python code is available from the socket. It’s not now known what the IP address was or if there was malware hosted on it.

    Like most novice Python malware, the packages used only a simple obfuscation such as from Base64 encoders. Here’s a breakdown of the packages:

    Package name Maintainer Payload
    noblesse xin1111 Discord token stealer, Credit card stealer (Windows-based)
    genesisbot xin1111 Same as noblesse
    aryi xin1111 Same as noblesse
    suffer suffer Same as noblesse , obfuscated by PyArmor
    noblesse2 suffer Same as noblesse
    noblessev2 suffer Same as noblesse
    pytagora leonora123 Remote code injection
    pytagora2 leonora123 Same as pytagora

    Karas told me that the first six packages had the ability to infect the developer computer but couldn’t taint the code developers wrote with malware.

    “For both the pytagora and pytagora2 packages, which allows code execution on the machine they were installed, this would be possible.” he said in a direct message. “After infecting the development machine, they would allow code execution and then a payload could be downloaded by the attacker that would modify the software projects under development. However, we don’t have evidence that this was actually done.”

    Beware of ‘Frankenstein’ malware packages

    Rather than spending days developing code that performs everyday tasks, coders can instead turn to repositories like PyPI, RubyGems, or npm to obtain mature app packages that peers have already developed. Among the 2.7 million packages available on PyPI, for example, are ones developers can use to make apps ​​predict a home’s selling price using data scraped from the Internet, send emails through Amazon’s Simple Email Service, or check open source code for vulnerabilities. PyPI provides packages for software written in Python, while RubyGems and npm provide packages for Ruby and JavaScript apps.

    This crucial role makes repositories the ideal setting for supply-chain attacks, which have grown increasingly common using techniques known as typosquatting or dependency confusion.

    Repository supply-chain attacks date back to at least 2016, when a college student uploaded malicious packages to PyPI. Over a span of several months, his imposter code was executed more than 45,000 times on more than 17,000 separate domains, and more than half the time his code was given all-powerful administrative rights.
    Since then, supply-chain attacks have become a regular occurrence for RubyGems and npm.
    In recent months, white hat hackers have cooked up a new type of supply-chain attack that works by uploading malicious packages to public code repositories and giving them a name that’s identical to a package stored in the internal repository for a popular piece of software. These so-called dependency confusion attacks have already snared Apple, Microsoft, and 33 other companies.

    The JFrog researchers said that, based on the current state of repository security, the Internet is likely to see more attacks in the future.

    “Almost all of the code snippets analyzed in this research were based on known public tools, with only a few parameters changed,” they wrote. “The obfuscation was also based on public obfuscators. We expect to see more of these ‘Frankenstein’ malware packages stitched from different attack tools (with changed exfiltration parameters).”

    Elon Musk asking to be Apple CEO allegedly led to profanity-laced tirade from Tim Cook

    Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk are talking on the phone. The 2016 unveiling of the make-it-or-break-it Model 3 is coming soon, but Tesla is in serious financial trouble. Cook has an idea: Apple buys Tesla.

    Musk is interested, but one condition: “I’m CEO.”

    Sure, says Cook. When Apple bought Beats in 2014, it kept on the founders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

    No, Musk says. Apple. Apple CEO.

    “F— you” Cook says, and hangs up.

    What Is Solana Crypto and What Is It Good For?

    Solana is a cryptocurrency project. And like pretty much every cryptocurrency project, Solana promises faster transactions and smaller fees.

    However, the real promise in Solana may be in its platform and ecosystem for developing blockchain-based applications.

    So, what is Solana, and how does it work? Let’s take a look.

    What Is the Solana Cryptocurrency?

    Yes, Solana does incorporate a cryptocurrency, the $SOL token. As far as “Altcoins” go, it’s pretty strong.

    The crypto world is subject to rapid change, but at the time of writing writing, SOL is one of the top twenty most-traded coins on Coinbase. The coin reached an all-time high of $56 in May 2021, before a drastic correction to $24 later that week. The coin has been reliably trading above $25 (with some fluctuation) ever since.

    Related: What Is An Altcoin?

    SOL is used for transactions within the Solana blockchain but can also be reinvested in the Solana platform in exchange for various boons.

    What Is Solana’s Blockchain?

    Naturally, part of SOL’s success is due to the blockchain it is built on. Solana’s blockchain provides some significant innovations in the layer 1 protocol, which largely eliminates the need for layer 2 protocols.

    Related: What Is a Blockchain Protocol and Why Is it Important for Crypto?

    Solana claims to be “Proof-of-History,” a unique take on consensus that establishes the relative order of transactions—instead of requiring validators to establish transaction times. This approach remains secure but allows greater flexibility for developers and validators.

    Even more importantly, this system allows the blockchain to function efficiently regardless of network activity. This gives Solana an advantage over other protocols that can bottleneck when network activity is too high or too low.

    Solana also utilizes Cloudbreak. In addition to a distributed ledger that keeps Solana honest, you can think of Cloudbreak as a distributed archive that prevents the transaction history from taking up too much computing space to be practical.

    This also separates the role of a node into that of a validator and that of an archiver. The result is that while dedicated miners may still have to be more powerful machines, smaller computers can still contribute to the network by serving as archivers.

    What Is Solana Good For?

    With the exception of Bitcoin, blockchains tend to do something other than just support transactions. So, what does Solana do?

    In addition to its blockchain and cryptocurrency, Solana is a platform for developers to create mobile apps. The platform works with the C and C+ programming languages, as well as Rust, with more integrations on the way.

    Related: Reasons Rust Is the Most Exciting new Programming Language

    The platform incorporates “composable building blocks” that make it easier to create apps that work and work together. That is, with one another and with the Solana blockchain, token, and ecosystem.

    What Is Solana Used For?

    If you’ve ever been upset by buying apps or making purchases within apps, you might understand why Solana could become so significant. By incorporating an app-building platform with its blockchain and native digital currency, Solana could enable more people to create apps and help creators and users avoid troublesome app stores.

    Another problem that this might solve is that of the microtransaction. One of the reasons making in-app purchases can be such a nightmare is that they typically require credit card payments that need to be above a certain dollar amount to be profitable. Because Solana transactions cost fractions of a cent, they have the potential to change the game.

    Related: What Are Microtransactions and How Do They Work?

    Solana-based games and applications may also one day feature rich player-to-player markets like we see in some online games and ecosystems today. The music streaming platform Audius is built with Solana and promises a more fair compensation model for recording artists enabled by the Solana blockchain.

    Can Solana “Beat” Ethereum?

    Photo of various cryptocurrency coins

    The crypto space is incredibly competitive. Many voices in the space are asking questions like: “Can Solana overtake Ethereum?” Solana and Ethereum are very different projects. They both have their strengths, and there’s no reason that one needs to “win.” Still, the Solana vs. Ethereum discussion can be illuminating.

    We’ve already said that Solana isn’t great because of its crypto but because of what its blockchain is capable of. This puts it in a very similar arena to Ethereum. Ether is a cryptocurrency, but the Ethereum blockchain is beneath a huge number of exciting projects and has largely popularized the smart contract as we know it.

    Things like smart contracts are possible on Solana, but the native tools are less developed. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t workable, it just means that they are usually enabled by other applications like Chainlink and Serum. On the other hand, apps can be built on Solana easily because of the advantages and utilities that Ethereum doesn’t offer.

    Solana Crypto Brings It All Together

    If Solana was just a modular app-building tool, it would be pretty exciting. If it was just an efficient and scalable blockchain, it would be pretty exciting. By combining these things, it may be building its own app-based economy. That’s the most exciting thing.

    We’ll have to see how it performs over the coming years, but its future certainly looks bright.

    Image Credit: Solana

    bitcoin tether feature image
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    Apple Entrepreneur Camp applications open for Black founders and developers – News

    Apple Entrepreneur Camp supports underrepresented founders and developers as they build the next generation of cutting-edge apps and helps form a global network that encourages the pipeline and longevity of these entrepreneurs in technology. Applications are open now for the next cohort for Black founders and developers, which runs online from October 26 to November 4, 2021. Attendees receive code-level guidance, mentorship, and inspiration with unprecedented access to Apple engineers and leaders. Applications close on August 17, 2021.

    Learn more about Entrepreneur Camp

    Learn about some of our inspiring alumni

    Android developer news for July 2021

    2 hours ago

    With each passing month, we’re edging closer and closer to the official release of Android 12. This month we got Android 12 Beta 3 and the final APIs for developers to sink their teeth into.

    But that’s not all that’s new in the world of Android development. Perhaps even more interesting is the release of the Android Game Development Kit (AGDK) and Android Game Development Extension (AGDE). Both were announced at the Google for Games Developer Summit.

    Never a dull moment. And there’s more, too, so keep reading to get up to speed!

    News stories

    Android 12 Beta 3 and final APIs — This new version brings a bunch of useful new features, including an enhanced auto-rotate, scrolling screenshots, and privacy indicator APIs. Moreover, it also brings the finalized Android 12 APIs and the official SDK. This means it’s go-time for developers that want to start testing and updating their apps in anticipation of Platform Stability, coming with the next Beta.

    Platform Stability

    From Google

    12 Beta 3 also lets us play around with Game Mode APIs, which will allow devs to configure their creations based on user preferences (such as performance vs battery life). This will be tied to the upcoming “game dashboard” that will offer an in-game overlay and access to utilities during gameplay.

    Google drops a new Android 12 beta that exists purely to squash bugs – Our take on the new changes.

    Introducing the Android Game Development Kit — The Android Game Development Kit will provide Android development with powerful libraries written with C and C++. This will reduce reliance on the Java Native Interface (JNI) and should result in faster performance.

    Right now, the libraries focus on “activity and input.” Game Activity provides a foundation for Android development, handling things like screen rotation and app lifecycle. Game Text Input and Game Controller both do exactly what you would expect.

    Google says it is responding to the “top frustrations.” However, it looks more like it is finally providing the bare minimum for game development handled in Android Studio. And the result is looking like yet another subsection of Android development for developers to try and familiarize themselves with.

    With that said, it plans to add more over time, and will also be working with Unity and other game engines for greater synergy and stability across the spectrum. Let’s hope the support comes thick and fast.

    Android Game Development Extension is now available to all Android game developers — If it feels like the Android Game Development Kit could have gone further, AGDE promises to “meet developers where they are.” That’s assuming that where they are is Microsoft Visual Studio

    Still, this is very good news for those that enjoy cross-platform development through Xamarin. This should ensure libraries and support remain stable and up-to-date when using Visual Studio. The result will hopefully be less switching between IDEs and easier multi-platform worfklows.

    Google Play services discontinuing updates for Jelly Bean (API levels 16, 17, and 18) — Android Jelly Bean is now nine years old. Today it only accounts for 1% of Android devices. To that end, Google is discontinuing updates for the platform. Check the post to discover what this means for devs, and what options you have.

    Announcing Android’s updateable, fully integrated ML inference stack — It’s not just game developers that got some love this month. On-Device Machine Learning has also been given a boost, thanks to the Android ML Platform. This is a fully-integrated ML inference stack that will provide developers with built-in on-device inference essentials, a consistent API across all Android versions, and TensorFlow Lite available on all devices with Google Play Services. This should address some key pain points for developers that rely on ML for their applications.

    Updates from the Google for Games Developer Summit — All the announcements from the event, including the AGDK and AGDE. Other highlights include “Play as you download,” which will allow users to start playing their games instantly while assets are downloaded in the background, and the Play Integrity API, designed to help developers combat abuse. There’s also that exciting-sounding in-game overlay coming. 

    Allowing developers to apply for more time to comply with Play Payments policy — Those devs that need it can request a six-month extension.

    Android 12 Beta 3 for TV is now available — Showing the Android TV devs some love! There are some significant changes, too, so it’s worth checking out the post if it applies to you.

    android 12 beta 2 privacy dashboard pie chart 2

    Android developer news for June 2021: Android apps on Windows 11, and more!

    Android Developer Monthly