Daily Archives: 2023-12-05

Beeper Mini for Android sends and receives iMessages, no Mac server required

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: ...Some high schooler reverse engineered the iMessage protocol suite and these folks are making an interoperable product out of it. It should be legally protected (reverse engineering for compatibility), but no doubt Apple is going to fuck with them. Honestly, there are protocols worse than iMessage, it'd be nice if it was an open standard, getting back to widely-used chat platforms that are interoperable instead of vendor lock-in jails is really the social value.
Beeper messages looking iMessage-like blue on an Android phone

Enlarge / A Pixel 3, messaging a savvy iPhone owner, one with the kinds of concerns Beeper hopes to resolve for its customers. (credit: Kevin Purdy)

In the past week, I have sent an iMessage to one friend from a command-line Python app and to another from a Pixel 3 Android phone.

Sending an iMessage without an Apple device isn't entirely new, but this way of doing it is. I didn't hand over my Apple credentials or log in with my Apple ID on a Mac server on some far-away rack. I put my primary SIM card in the Pixel, I installed Beeper Mini, and it sent a text message to register my number with Apple. I never gave Beeper Mini my Apple ID.

From then on, my iPhone-toting friends who sent messages to my Pixel 3 saw them as other-iPhone blue, not noticeably distracting green. We could all access the typing, delivered/read receipts, emoji reactions, and most other iPhone-to-iPhone message features. Even if I had no active Apple devices, it seems, I could have chosen to meet Apple users where they were and gain end-to-end encryption by doing so.

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The pandemic’s toll on schooling emerges in terrible exam results

Source: Hacker News

Article note: The wild part is still not the drop in the median performance, it's the increase in the standard deviation. The extremely self motivated kids, and the kids whose parents had the means to educate them at home when things were dysfunctional are as-good-if-not-better than normal times. The kids who just rode out the dysfunction are _fucked_. It was a massive inequality multiplier.
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