2 May 2008

Twistori

Unlike the Digg Labs visualizations, this doesn’t hog my CPU; and it’s more artistic. I absolutely want to hack it into a screensaver.

“Next-gen iPhone spotted in the wild?”

The reason I find this picture interesting is that it’s a perfect blend of the current iPhone design with a bit of telephoniness added in; it’s at the same time elaborate and subtle enough to ring true.

Times 1.0

Now available for download; it’s a little too CPU-expensive for my computer (although disabling page curls in the Preferences helps) and crashed when I added the fourth feed to a “Garoo Network” page, but it looks nice and works as advertised. If you’ve got an Intel Mac (2GB of RAM is probably preferrable) and have never really cared for RSS aggregators, I strongly recommend you give this one a try — it looks to be great for randomly surfing the daily news and discovering stories, rather than methodically reading every little post that each blog or news site publishes. If my iMac could handle it better, I’d probably keep Times around to have an occasional look at the stock-provided News and Entertainment pages.

6 May

10 May

Facebook Borrows $100 Million to Buy Servers

Business Week estimates the $100M will be used to buy roughly 50,000 servers. Last month, Data Center Knowledge published a report estimating that the social network currently has around 10,000 servers in operation.

What the hell kind of growth are they still expecting?

13 May

Orange vient de m’appeler pour me demander comment je me servais de mon iPhone, si j’en étais satisfait, etc. (Je n’ai répondu au numéro masqué que parce que j’attends une livraison.) Ils sont en train d’évaluer l’intérêt de renouveler le contrat d’exclusivité avec Apple ?

14 May

A web page as screensaver

I was looking again for a way to make Twistori into a screensaver on my Mac, but this time I found it: IdleWeb [via] lets you use any web page (or several pages, and I don’t know how it works in that case) as a screensaver. All you’ve got to do is set it up in “kiosk mode,” otherwise it seems to reload the home page after five seconds, when the site’s Javascript redirects to an internal URL. (And it’s only the preview that’s screwed up because it’s on a small screen; the actual screensaver displays the page flawlessly.)

15 May

Flash Player 10

Flash finally gets real 3D transforms (and other distort filters). It’s about goddamn fucking time, for crying out loud — that’s probably the first time in years I can’t wait for a new Flash release to be widely adopted. (I still can’t believe the adoption rates for Flash 9. How do they get people to actually update their plugins?)

 

16 May

Use Fluid to bring mobile web apps to your Mac desktop

That’s a very cool idea; I just created a Facebook instance that’s pretty and simple (and focuses on content rather than advertising and stupid notifications) and I’m going to make a Google one just for fun.

I used to like the idea of Twistori, but now that it’s my screensaver I’m opening my eyes to the inanity of the twittersphere.

21 May

GetSignOff

An upcoming web application dedicated for webdesigners to communicate with their clients — uploading mockups, commenting and annotating them, and publishing design revisions until the client finally signs off on a final design. The point being that every note and comment is logged and you can shove the client’s nose in their own contradictions.

As often, I wouldn’t really be inclined to use a third-party web app for that kind of thing, but it does look really interesting.

22 May

Acer Aspire Predator

I want this. I’d have to rip its guts out and stuff it with a dozen Mac minis, but I just love the design. (Okay, scratch that; maybe I’d want to play Crysis, and hackintosh it on a secondary drive.)

23 May

Un eeePC, ça marche sur chargeur solaire pour téléphone à trente euros ?

26 May

On Video Comments

Merlin Mann:

Video comments add useful context to the thoughts you’re sharing. E.G. it looks like your Mom hasn’t dusted your action figures for a while.

That’s the best argument for Seesmic I’ve ever seen.

 

Corollary: When they’re widely adopted, video comments could also double as an IQ filter; just ignore all video comments and you’ll be rid of most of the morons participating in that particular comment thread. It actually is easier to not play an embedded video than to not read an idiotic comment.

27 May

Word Clock Screensaver

A pretty screen saver for geeks (if you’ve enjoyed Helvetica, the movie, then you have no choice but to download this) that goes to the trouble of being very extensively customizable — and available in 18 languages.

That’s the new screensaver on my iMac (my Mac mini still runs Twistori, although I’m getting tired of it).

28 May

Si Orange m’appelle toutes les semaines pour me demander si je suis satisfait, l’iPhone va finir par passer par la fenêtre.

“Windows 7 demo at D6: Really? That’s it?”

What do you know — Windows 7 is basically an iPhone inside Vista. (Or you could say it’s Microsoft Surface on a laptop/desktop if you’re more pro-Microsoft than pro-Apple, but then you wouldn’t be reading my blog.)

What I love about the demo video is that photo manipulation on a Dell laptop is way more laggy than on an iPhone. And I also like the implication that there’s no way we won’t get Apple multitouch computers in or before 2009.

29 May

Android Demos

I just can’t believe how cool this looks — and how unabashedly they’ve taken inspiration from the iPhone in the way it handles gestures and finger flicks. In only six months, Android demos have gone from “a better Windows Mobile” (an easy goal) to what you could very arguably qualify as “a better iPhone” (and it pains me to write this). I really never expected Google to go for Apple’s jugular like that, and the next few months are going to be very interesting.

30 May

Adobe’s UI designers gone crazy

I don’t mind so much the custom window controls, or even the toolbar buttons in place of the window title; but single-window mode with no resize widget?

31 May

“Google Android” didn’t sound so ominous until the Google overlords demonstrated they could actually assimilate the iPhone.

Find out what makes your Mac sluggish

For quite a while now I’ve had a problem on my iMac where, after a few days, launching any new application would result in the CPU gauge going to 100% for thirty seconds, and the temperature and fan speed rising accordingly — which wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have a bunch of AppleScript applications that I regularly had to launch, or if I didn’t have to restart Safari every so often to reset resources.

I used to think the likely culprits were either Firefox 3 or Mercury Messenger, because it seemed to happen in a more reproducible way after I’d open them a couple of times (I won’t delve into the reasons why Firefox and Mercury are intrinsically associated in specific, uh, tasks), so I cut back on using one, or the other, or both — and today it started happening again even though I was certain I hadn’t used either since I last booted up. I went scrubbing my InputManagers folders again, as those are the prime suspects when something goes wrong with every application’s launch sequence, but there was still only 1Password, and removing it changed nothing. So I started thinking about alternate solutions, and suddenly remembered hearing about this Unixy thing that OS X has and I heard it lets you look at everything your computer does or something.

I googled a bit for the dtrace syntax; here is, for future reference, the Terminal instruction that did the trick:

sudo dtrace -n 'syscall::open*:entry { printf("%s %s", execname, copyinstr(arg0)); }'

This tells dtrace to display in real time every file that’s being opened on disk; I looked at what was happening at the moment when the CPU went crazy, and I ended up removing the macam QuickTime component (which lets you use legacy USB webcams) and apparently solving the problem. I don’t know why a QuickTime component would start loading with every single program after a certain uptime delay, or why Mercury and/or Firefox would be accelerating that process, so I’m not 100% sure that I found the true root of the problem, but at the very least I did find a useful Unix comment, and hence this post.

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