1 June 2011

“It’s About The Hashbangs”

Once you hashbang, you can’t go back. This is probably the stickiest issue. Ben’s post put forward the point that when pushState is more widely adopted then we can leave hashbangs behind and return to traditional URLs. Well, fact is, you can’t. Earlier I stated that URLs are forever, they get indexed and archived and generally kept around. To add to that, cool URLs don’t change. We don’t want to disconnect ourselves from all the valuable links to our content. If you’ve implemented hashbang URLs at any point then want to change them without breaking links the only way you can do it is by running some JavaScript on the root document of your domain. Forever. It’s in no way temporary, you are stuck with it.

Removing the free version doesn’t appear to have any effect one way or another or Uniconsole’s sales.

Tempted to switch to Chrome just for the cute animation when you open or close a tab.

2 June

“Microsoft gives the first official look of Windows 8 touch interface”

This looks like an interesting interface for tablets (though I have doubts about power efficiency, since it will rely a lot on HTML), but a lousy one for mouse-and-keyboard interactions. Evidently, Microsoft is banking for a future where all computers have touch-screens, and I guess they must be thinking that the only reason why Apple hasn’t implemented such a future yet is laziness. (Or they just don’t care if it’s a good thing at all for actual users, and are just looking at the buzz it’ll generate.)

There are many things I like in the Windows Phone 7 interface, but it appears that Windows 8 is also going to inherit two of its drawbacks: First, the home screen is not designed to give quickly access to a large number of installed apps (which is arguably less of a problem on a phone than on a computer). Second, it seems to me that, if you’re trying to design an app that fits with the rest of the system, you have a lot less freedom — both visually and in actual UX design — than in iOS, or in the previous iteration of Windows. But, on that front, only the experience of more daring developers will tell.

“Barnes & Noble Nook review (2011)” by This is my next…

Nice design and interesting tech; I find this thing a lot sexier than any iteration of the Kindle, and would get it in a heartbeat if buying anything other than a Kindle could ever be sensible or practical.

3 June

Is the “XProtectUpdater” that pops up in Little Snitch the anti-malware from the latest update, or the malware?

Open the App Store on iPad, start typing in the search field, then the Updates tab finishes loading and the search field disappears. Rage.

Ah ouais, on peut être contents d’avoir choisi pour le logo une couleur de fond qui compresse horriblement en JPG.

Aww, look at the cute wittle spotlight that follows you around when your cursor moves over an inactive tab in Chrome.

5 June

From the “who knew Google could do good UI” dept.: tabs in Chrome not resizing instantly when you close one, in case you’ll close others.

Oh shit, the keynote is tomorrow already? I didn’t see that week go by. (Gone too soon, like so many others before it. Grah, I’m old.)

6 June

Oups, j’ai accidentellement écrasé le moucheron qui faisait les cent pas depuis dix minutes sur mon iPad. Cadavre rétro-éclairé.

The body is a machine, the brain a computer. And both have been designed by Microsoft.

They know we want a stream. They’ve shown they can handle the traffic. So… are they afraid that Steve might collapse mid-sentence? #keynote

Ooh, I very much enjoy Twitter’s new notifications: “so-and-so retweeted to that many followers”. Yes, my pretties, come to me.

“Why do we have scrollbars?” So that we know where we are in the document, asshole. #keynote

If Mission Control is “the best feature in Lion” the update better not cost more than $30. #keynote

If the App Store delta updates are handled transparently by Apple, it’s pretty cool. Also, it’s bound to fuck up once in a while. #keynote

That’s fucking asinine. I do NOT want to upgrade my OS with a download. Even less a DRMed download. #keynote

I thought the Twitter single-sign-on rumor was stupid. Oops. #keynote

I’m sorry but it’s just stupid to have Twitter integration at the OS level but not Facebook. #keynote

It’s funny how Apple has to pay record companies for iCloud, but can rip ads off news sites in Safari without asking anyone. #keynote

Access camera from the lock screen — YAY! #keynote

Split keyboard on iPad is ridiculously ugly and nerdy but so very welcome. #keynote

Whereas the Lion bullshit is Mac OS on life-support, iOS 5 is its heir really coming of age. #keynote

Please tell me they haven’t invented YET ANOTHER chat system, distinct from both FaceTime and iChat #keynote

Oh yeah, that’s a beta OS I’m so installing. #keynote

And so much for the mean rumor that iOS 5 wouldn’t run on 3Gses. #keynote

“You might ask: why should I believe them? They’re the ones that brought me MobileMe.” <3 #keynote

Sounds like iCloud’s got the right idea, except for how I personally do NOT want the canonical copy to be the one out of my control #keynote

Time to pick a more secure password for my Apple ID #keynote

Cross-device game saves incoming! (That’s kind of all I want from this.) #keynote

With everything else being free, I’m not sure why you’d want to pay for iTunes Match. But at the same time, it’s cheap enough #keynote

Of all things, I’m a little surprised that the Time Capsule-as-a-hub thing didn’t pan out. Or it’ll just be announced later? #keynote

7 June

Oh, how I do not like having to download an iTunes beta so I can install the iOS beta. Do not trust at all.

There’s no Chrome extension to auto-hide the stupid download bar when all downloads are finished?

I expect developers will very quickly switch to iOS 5-only for their new apps. Some internal changes are big, and quite handsome-looking.

Oh, my iPad’s backups are 10GB each. That’s where my disk space went. (I keep several, because I don’t trust iTunes backups.)

iTunes in the cloud is limited to 25,000 songs. I have 23,100 at this time. (If you’re curious, that’s… 145 GB.)

I’m worried about what’s going on in the head of a dev who makes an OS X app with a gratuitous 35-pixel-wide menu-bar icon.

8 June

I’m just slowly coming to the realization that Apple did screw me over my top-earning app with iOS 5.

Reported a silly l13n bug, an enhancement request to the Lock screen notifications, and a change that makes Uniconsole nearly unusable.

In spite of the new Reminders system I’m still tempted to make my own, more powerful Groceries app.

Oh, did I mention the little issue that my client’s app doesn’t work AT ALL in iOS 5? I’m hoping it’s a simple fix, not a complete rewrite.

Ma vieille jet d’encre de merde imprime des pages blanches, je ne sais pas si c’est une fonctionnalité.

That is indeed how I learned, and it’s not such a stretch to imagine that could be why I’m so spectacularly good at it.

Passe le doigt mouillé sur le trackpad, toutes les icônes du bureau changent de taille. I HATE YOU.

I need to unfollow some Caps Lock tweeters, because they’re giving me bad habits.

9 June

“Evernote releases an app for your iPad’s Smart Cover”

It works like a series of flashcards, but with the help of the Smart Cover, it makes the process both easier and more fun. The app works by revealing a one line clue or question when you lift just the edge of the iPad Smart Cover. Once you lift the cover entirely, the answer is revealed.

Releasing it under the Evernote name is a bit of a stretch, but that’s a cute and clever trick.

In case you were curious: you can NOT publish an iPhone app that says “10% of the revenue from in-app purchases will go to charity.”

Reading List has a big advantage over the Instapaper app, though: displaying content in Safari proper instead of a glitchy UIWebView.

Installed Xcode 4.2 beta because otherwise I couldn’t live-test on my iOS 5 devices. Now I can’t live-test on my iOS 4 device. Can’t win.

Gotta love (or not) how Apple basically considers that you should have separate iPhone, iPad, AND development Mac to try out the iOS beta.

10 June

Dev tip: install Xcode 4.2, enable development on your device, uninstall 4.2, reinstall Xcode 4. You can still send apps to the device.

Bought a Wacom Bamboo for my mother and I can confirm the multitouch is much more glitchy than Apple’s. Was right not to buy one for myself.

13 June

“Snap! You Can Now Take Pictures With Your Headphones Too”

Taking a picture in iOS 5 is as easy as pressing the Volume Up button on the handset as well as doing the same on your iPhone headphones.

I haven’t tested it, but it makes sense. And it’s really cool — not just for discreetly taking pictures of little kids outside their school. I tried taking pictures with the iPhone’s volume button, and the button is so hard (which is a good thing when it’s used as a volume button) that it seems impossible not to cause the device to move as you’re triggering the shutter. And that’s exactly the opposite of what’s needed to make good pictures.

With the headphones as a remote, though: no such problem at all. It’s gonna be a little awkward having one hand holding the phone and one using the remote, but much better than the (lack of) alternative.

“Unicomp “SpaceSaver M” Keyboard”

If you fondly remember the old IBM “Model M” keyboards from the early PC days—with the loud “buckling spring” mechanical switches—you should know that the keyboards are still being made by a tiny company in Kentucky called Unicomp. […] Recently, though, they’ve made one more change—they’ve introduced a version of the keyboard for the Mac.

I’m still in love with Apple’s chiclet keyboards and have no intention of switching, but the idea of this on my desktop, and connected to a (presumably hidden) Mac, is just awesome.

Thankfully, the price tag is a suitable deterrent.

Retouvé mon K750i pour le filer à mes parents, et je n’en reviens pas comme il est petit et léger comparé à l’iPhone.

14 June

“One case for Apple bringing the cloud to average users at the right time”

A little birdie says that about 50 percent of Apple Store customers who need to get their iPhones swapped have never plugged them into iTunes after the initial activation and sync.

That’s just amazing. You’ve got to wonder: is it iTunes’ fault? It has to be, right — why else would you actively avoid plugging your iPhone into a computer… and who would blame you if you did want to avoid this bloated mess? (I know the iPhone is popular, but I don’t expect that such a significant number of owners would not have a computer, and would have used someone else’s PC just to activate their device.)

“Google Chrome - ⌘ + Q: I didn’t mean to do that”

The next time you press ⌘ + Q, a floating window will appear, instructing you to Hold ⌘Q to Quit.

When I started reading the article about how annoying it is to accidentally close the entire browser instead of a tab (which happened to me just today), I just expected they had introduced an Okay/Cancel dialog; instead, they went the Quicksilver route of holding Command-Q (wonder if that’s coming straight from Nicholas Jitkoff) and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

On the one hand, that’s just about as non-standard as can be (which is okay for Quicksilver, not so much for something as elementary as your main web browser). On the other, it is brilliant UX once you get used to it — just as efficient as the confirmation prompt, but so much less intrusive.

15 June

How has Apple not fired developers yet for including @2x bitmaps in their iPad apps and betas—over and over again?

I guess I understand why it’s this way, but I really don’t like that adding someone to a list on twitter.com is hidden behind two clicks.

I’m a little offended that my Radar bug was marked as a duplicate of one whose ID is higher by 2,200.

16 June

Wacom’s Bamboo Paper app is nice, responsive and at an unbeatable price. More and more tempted to buy their stylus (it got good reviews).

What I like about Bamboo Paper is, it shows Wacom isn’t throwing opportunistic crap at the iPad but seriously trying to do quality stuff (as I initially assumed).

“Lion gets a sexy new login screen with latest update”

I hate this “dark linen” pattern in general (it was okay when it was just the background of Safari’s margins, but it’s ugly as a background for home-screen folders or the new notification list) but this is a very sexy log-in screen.

Are Twitter’s e-mail notifications for retweets working erratically (i.e., not at all) for everyone? They’re enabled and I checked my spam folder.

17 June

Uh-oh, client’s app just entered App Store review limbo.

18 June

The fact you’re posting your cinemagraphs to Flickr (which doesn’t show animated gifs) tells me all I need to know without watching them.

20 June

“‘Reminder: Call Dad’ Is Another Notch In Google’s Belt Of Social Fail”

The backlash refers specifically to the note under Chat in Gmail that said “Reminder: Call dad” all day. […]

Albeit micro, ‘Reminder: Call dad’ is just one more example of Google not entirely grasping social niceties. It should be obvious that putting up a status message that’s offensive to some users (especially users whose fathers have passed away, or were abusive, et al.), in a place that most people consider private, might not go over well. But it wasn’t.

Social networks: Facebook is evil and manipulative; Google is just autistic. We’re setting ourselves up for such a great future.

21 June

When you click that one last link in Reddit before surrendering to the need to go pee, and the page takes a minute to load.

Twitter needs a mode that threads at-replies like Reddit comments. Well, every platform does, but Twitter most of all.

22 June

“Lytro’s Camera Lets You Shoot First and Focus Later”

With an innovative camera due out later this year from a company called Lytro, photographers will have one less excuse for having missed that perfect shot.

Lytro’s camera produces files, like this one, where a user can click on an area to bring it into focus. There is a larger version of this image available here. The company’s technology allows a picture’s focus to be adjusted after it is taken.

I can’t believe we’ve gotten to the point where this is going to come out “this year.”

Well, actually, I’ll start to try and believe it when they’re ready to talk about price points or, at least, announce the camera’s resolution. Until then, it’s vaporware and looks too good to be true.

23 June

Quelqu’un ici a déjà utilisé des paiements Internet+ ou MPME et a des recommandations ?

Direct consequence of iOS 5’s new notification display on the lock screen: I’m absolutely gonna have to buy an iPhone dock.

24 June

Why can’t I get iTunes to sort the WWDC session videos by title (i.e., by number)?

25 June

Today’s Echofon update now uses the dreaded OAuth when setting up a new account. Then, why do previously configured accounts still work?

Gave up and disabled my iPhone’s SIM PIN, it always screws up OS restores. Thieves are now more interested in the hardware than the network anyway.

Final Cut Pro X is just additional evidence that Apple is ditching the pros and, ultimately, the Mac. Doesn’t need them anymore.

28 June

Google+ might not suck, but I’m not holding my breath. Not to mention that I’ve never wished for a network integrated with my search engine.

Not that it matters, but you’ve got to wonder why Google gave its social network an ungoogleable name.

29 June

Who wants their social network to be run by the same company as the search engine and the browser in which they type “it burns when I pee”?

30 June

I don’t care that I didn’t wake up to a Google+ invitation in my inbox, I hate you all and don’t want to networkize with youse anyway.

How sad is it that Google’s “Latest” search option is a better interface to search Twitter than Twitter’s?

Google+ is gonna make it very inconvenient that I have both a Gmail and a Google Apps account, isn’t it?

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