Yarn: A new package manager for JavaScript

In the JavaScript community, engineers share hundreds of thousands of pieces of code so we can avoid rewriting basic components, libraries, or frameworks of our own. Each piece of code may in turn depend on other pieces of code, and these dependencies are managed by package managers. The most popular JavaScript package manager is the npm client, which provides access to more than 300,000 packages in the npm registry. More than 5 million engineers use the npm registry, which sees up to 5 billion downloads every month.

We’ve used the npm client successfully at Facebook for years, but as the size of our codebase and the number of engineers grew, we ran into problems with consistency, security, and performance. After trying to solve for each issue as it came up, we set out to build a new solution to help us manage our dependencies more reliably. The product of that work is called Yarn — a fast, reliable, and secure alternative npm client.

We’re pleased to announce the open source release of Yarn, a collaboration with Exponent, Google, and Tilde. With Yarn, engineers still have access to the npm registry, but can install packages more quickly and manage dependencies consistently across machines or in secure offline environments. Yarn enables engineers to move faster and with confidence when using shared code so they can focus on what matters — building new products and features.

You can try yarn right now:

npm install -g yarn

The yarn CLI replaces npm in your development workflow, either with a matching command or a new, similar command:

npm install → yarn

With no arguments, the yarn command will read your package.json, fetch packages from the npm registry, and populate your node_modules folder. It is equivalent to running npm install.

npm install --save <name>yarn add <name>

They’ve removed the “invisible dependency” behavior of npm install <name> and split the command. Running yarn add <name> is equivalent to running npm install --save <name>.

Oculus loses face as the Note 7 dies

The Note 7 debacle hasn’t been good for anyone — not for Samsung, not for Android, not for consumers, not for airlines, not for fire departments, not for stylus-lovers and certainly not for Oculus.

The Facebook-owned virtual reality powerhouse currently has its entire mobile VR future pinned on the successes of Samsung’s handsets and the discontinuation of Note 7 production is likely going to stunt Oculus’s Gear VR sales (and brand) in a pretty damning way.

Today, shortly before Samsung issued a recommendation that all Note 7 users shut off their devices, Oculus disabled Note 7 support for the Gear VR. Users on Reddit discovered the message this morning.

Exploding phones admittedly do not seem ideal for a peripheral that straps the phone to your face, so the real surprise is that it took this long.

The success of the Gear VR is intimately tied to Samsung in more ways that just the phones. Samsung injected major life into the Gear VR platform by capitalizing on the excitement of the Galaxy S7 and shipping a ton of free headsets with pre-orders.

The $99 Gear VR is currently Oculus’s main touch point with consumers, most of whom have likely not even seen higher-end VR systems like the Rift. Oculus announced at their OC3 conference last week that there were over 1 million monthly active users on Gear VR, much of this likely having a lot to do with giveaways on the part of Samsung. No official numbers are out there in terms of sales, but analysts from SuperData Research estimate that while the Oculus Rift will sell just over 355 thousand units this year, there will be over 2.3 million Gear VR’s in the wild by year’s end.

Long story short, Gear VR is huge to Oculus’s brand and now the platform’s immediate future is likely going to see a very unfortunate period of slowed growth given that the next new compatible device from Samsung probably won’t emerge until next spring.

I actually like the new Gear VR headset, but I use it with my S6. The various redesigned pieces to work with the Note 7 will end up going away. But, given how much was put into making this work with the Note 7, it’ll be a bit of a loss.

Yahoo makes it difficult to leave its service by disabling automatic email forwarding

Following Yahoo’s September announcement of a data breach affecting 500 million user accounts, the company has made it more difficult for Yahoo Mail users to transition to another email service. At the beginning of October, Yahoo disabled an email forwarding feature, which would allow users to automatically redirect incoming emails sent to their Yahoo address to another account.

[..]

This message reads as follows:

This feature is under development. While we work to improve it, we’ve temporarily disabled the ability to turn on Mail Forwarding for new forwarding addresses. If you’ve already enabled Mail Forwarding in the past, your email will continue to forward to the address you previously configured.

In other words, Yahoo Mail users who had already set up forwarding won’t be affected, but anyone trying to forward their mail now won’t have the option.

Why are people still on Yahoo mail?

The AnandTech iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Review: Iterating on a Flagship

AnandTech:

Overall, I think that if there’s any phone that is worth 650-750 USD at its base, it’s the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. If you’re upgrading from the iPhone 6s Plus you probably won’t find a ton of differences, but it’s still a significant step up in display, camera, speaker quality, battery life, and system performance.

The iPhone might not excite like smartphones once did, but the amount of attention to detail and execution in the hardware is unparalleled and a cut above anything else in the industry.

Samsung is suspending all production of the Galaxy Note 7

After a batch of replacement Note 7 phones have caught fire, and combined with Samsung’s carrier partners announcing they would stop selling the Note 7 entirely, Samsung is finally suspending production of the Galaxy Note 7.

My question is this…. Why did it take so long to finally stop production of this phone? Reports came in back in August about the Note 7 catching fire, and after doing a round of replacement phones (that ended up having the same issue and even sending at least one person to the hospital), they now decide to just halt the line entirely? Samsung should have thrown in the towel on the Note 7 the first time it started catching fire.

Life after death for Apple’s Xserve

Andrew Cunningham at Ars:

Apple put the final nail in the Xserve’s coffin in January 2011 when it officially stopped selling rack-mounted servers. Instead, the company started pushing server customers toward Mac Pros and Minis. On Sept. 20 of this year, Apple lowered that coffin into the ground when macOS Sierra dropped software support for the systems. And while Xserves running El Capitan will keep getting security updates for a couple of years and the current build of the macOS Server software still runs on El Capitan, the hardware will soon be completely buried.

For a few years after the Xserve’s death, the company offered Mac Pro and Mac Mini Server configurations (PDF) that could do some of the same things, but even those options eventually disappeared. Even though Apple never offered true server-class hardware again, that doesn’t mean the hardware isn’t still out there doing its job.

I actually know of several people who still run Xserves to this day. They were hardy rack servers that did their job loudly.

Federico Viticci on the iPhone 7

Federico Viticci of MacStories.

I started testing the iPhone 7 thinking that a small phone could no longer fit in my daily life, and I’m still going to upgrade to an iPhone 7 Plus. But using the iPhone 7 also made me appreciate the meaning of changes that will reshape the iPhone platform going forward – something that’s more significant than endlessly debating what we left behind.

The Microsoft Band is dead

Chris Welch, writing for The Verge:

In a statement earlier this month, Microsoft insisted that it remains “deeply committed to supporting our customers and exploring the wearables space.” (HoloLens is technically a wearable, after all.) At the time, Microsoft also noted that the Band 2 was still actively being sold — but that’s no longer the case as of today. The Band’s software development kit, which allowed apps to be created for the device, has also been removed. Also in September, the company renamed its smartphone health app to Microsoft Band; that software remains available for existing users.

The Band is a wearable I’ve seen for sale at Best Buy alongside the Pebbles, Gears, Jawbone UP bands, Fitbits, misfits and various other wearable arm bands, but you never stopped to look at one. In fact, the local Best Buy never even had anyone asked to try on the band they provided to make sure you were getting the right size Band the whole time they had it, and Microsoft never did much to promote it.

The Band was a hobby product inside Microsoft and that was it. Not that different than Google Glass, but I’m sure if the interest had been there they would have kept it alive a little longer.

Microsoft Confirms Its October Windows 10 Event

Paul Thurrott:

As expected, Microsoft will hold a major press conference on October 26, 2016 in New York City. And while details are vague at this point, it’s fair to say that the rumors we’ve heard so far are almost certainly correct.

I’ve received an email invitation to the event, but its a bit vague. So here’s what I’ve heard from my sources.

New Surface tablets are expected as usual.