Hi! My name is Cédric Bozzi, I make websites and iOS apps, and this is my blog about technology (mostly a Twitter archive, really).

1 July 2011

“Walking Around In Circles: As Google+ Opens Up Will People Start Using It Correctly?”

Who knows, maybe I’m just a Silicon Valley guy who has lost touch with reality. It’s entirely possible. But maybe, just maybe, the opposite is true. Maybe “regular” people have been allergic to using groups in the past because they simply don’t want to use groups. Maybe it’s one of those things that’s a good idea on paper or in a brain-storming session, but doesn’t translate onto the web.

That’s a very interesting theory — as a geek, I love the idea of Circles (like Diaspora’s aspects), but are regular users ever going to be interested in that concept at all?

Not to mention that I’d already planned to post that quote yesterday, before getting my own invite to Google+, but now I’m in and I can tell that the interface for Circles sucks. Sure, the concept is viable, but there are lots of little missteps that make it annoying and confusing (UI elements jumping around, semi-compulsory multiple selection, an unintuitive flow to simply see a prospective contact’s profile, and a bunch of other tiny details that mount up). In short, Google has made the interface uncharacteristically flashy… but they still haven’t gotten user-friendly.

2 July

Looks a lot like my client’s spam filters are nuking all the App Store “Ready for Sale” messages. That’s convenient.

If Google Plus wants to have a killer feature that Facebook refuses to implement, it’s pretty simple: just add a “-1” button.

“Brief thoughts on Google Plus”

Within hours, the early Plus invitees were actually using Google Plus for conversations. Not just nattering back and forth, not just comments on the service itself, but real conversations.

That’s fundamentally different from Google Wave, where I rarely saw any discussion that wasn’t about Wave itself.

Interestingly, I’ve seen the same with my contacts — and I really don’t know why that would be. I don’t share stuff on Facebook nor on Plus, so I have no idea what motivates those people to actually start posting to Plus this time.

Except for the fact the Wave’s interface was too daunting, obviously.

4 July

Aww, it’s so cute, I have two contacts whose Latitude location is up to date. Android users, obviously.

Just disabled the “+1’s” tab on my Google+ profile after I accidentally tapped the +1 button during a medical Google search on my iPad.

“Oh. What? Shit. No! Cancel! Back! Back! I meant to open the link, not +1 this page about anal fungus that I haven’t even read yet!”

5 July

Just realized there seems to be a difference between “added you on Google+” and “started sharing with you” and I have no idea what it is.

6 July

I want to design a Google+ desktop client but I’ll never have the time — or courage — to program it. Who wants to get rich?

7 July

I won’t be able to resist the temptation to install Lion as soon as it’s released, so let’s start a little SuperDuper session.

8 July

Yeah, maybe it’s time I read a PDO tutorial.

Open Google to look up something, click on the Plus notification count, close the window and forget I was ever looking for something.

9 July

J’ai plus de “people in your circles” que de “people who’ve added you”. C’est la grosse honte.

Can’t wait to sell my kidney for an iPad Pro. iOS 5 is laggy on iPad 1 in a way that doesn’t scream “will be fixed in release” to me.

10 July

I don’t know for how long OS X Mail has had an “x” to remove a blockquote while replying, but I only discovered it last week.

The Google+ stream: where YouTube ads take up half the video.

Ah, tiens, mais ils ont pas du tout pensé à un équivalent des hashtags, sur Google+, du coup ?

11 July

E-mail is only dead if you’re writing to people who are swamped with spam. If everybody just moved to Gmail the problem would be solved.

Little-known fact: I have absolutely no patience for people who can’t communicate / work efficiently by e-mail.

Other little-known fact: I have absolutely no patience for people.

Tempted to plug a second USB cable and try to restore my iPhone and iPad simultaneously. KIDDING! KIDDING! Not rocking the boat.

12 July

There’s one corrupted file among the 32,000 that constitute my iPad’s backup, and as a result the restore fails entirely.

The kicker: I have no idea how to find out which file is corrupted. If I try to copy the folder in Finder, it fails in the middle, but no idea where.

Idle thought — if you’re banned from Google+ for posting objectionable material, do you lose your Gmail account along with it?

Looks like I should have stuck with (redacted) beta 2. Can’t read more than a dozen RSS posts in a row, whether in my app or Reeder.

I know it’s the pettiest of all pet peeves, but why can’t Apple send all the regional earning reports on the same day?

14 July

Following “famous” people on Google+ is painful as hell, with the comments eternally pouring in under their posts.

15 July

Apple just confirmed, as I expected, that they wontfix the bug / functionality that makes a mess of Uniconsole in iOS 5.

“Google+” works for the service’s name, but having both “Google” and “Google+” in the App Store is gonna be a mess.

Is there a keyboard/modifier shortcut for “Reply to All” in Echofon Mac or do I have to use the context menu?

16 July

Am I really the only one put off by Flipboard regularly mistaking a swipe for its opposite?

RT @BodyofBreen: What say we all tweet “iPad” on Tuesday midnight GMT and then immediately report all the spam we receive. Make the point by killing Twitter.

17 July

Gonna try to restore my iPad to iOS 4.3, can’t deal with the crashy web views anymore. Willing to downgrade: that’s how much I need my iPad.

Successfully unbricked the iPad. Now on to try and brick it again.

I’d hate to think that Twitter spam actually works.

Wow, pas mal, la nouvelle interface d’aka-aki (qui date de je ne sais pas quand).

18 July

There you go, successfully wasted an entire day trying and failing to get my iPad back to 4.3. Yay.

How to downgrade iOS 5 beta to 4.3

The devil is in the italics: if it fails, use the other version of iTunes.

In case you were wondering (I was), iOS 5 backups are unrestorable to iOS 4. Using a backed up backup from early June. Still, worth it.

Ah ben ouais, même en iOS 4.3 l’appli Twitter pour iPad crashe, j’avais oublié, tiens.

19 July

I don’t understand the point of the free SketchBook Copic Edition, but it reminded me how much better it is to draw on a Wacom than an iPad.

WTF. The Google+ app refuses to run on iPads and iPods touch. Bad start. (Also, it crashes on my iPhone, but that’s probably iOS 5.)

That’s a nice fail for Google+ with iOS early adopters, who (1) want to use their iPads, and (2) have installed iOS 5 beta on their iPhones.

I’d be proud to see that Google, like me, has decided to go with embedded web views for their app—if it didn’t turn out that the app is shit.

A Google+ app update within hours? I’d love to be as blacklisted by the App Store review team as Google evidently is.

Lessons in good UI design: if you look at the latest Echofon Mac’s window while it’s inactive, you won’t know which tab is selected.

20 July

It’s a little weird to have your G+ post reshared by someone, and then not be able to see it as you’re not in the circles he reshared it to.

Wow, no more plastic MacBooks. Also, I want one of the new Minis.

The Thunderbolt Display has FW800 and Ethernet ports. Drool. (But odd that they didn’t find a way to get rid of the separate MagSafe cable.)

You can plug a second 27” Thunderbolt Display to your 27” Thunderbolt Display. And then… it’ll turn off when you full-screen an app in Lion?

Now that Dashboard is gonna be more integrated and more convenient to reach, any useful widgets to recommend?

I wish I could buy Lion online today and get the USB key for $40 when it’s available. Not so much for convenience, I just want the object.

On me souffle dans l’oreillette que je serais le seul couillon à mettre trois heures pour charger Lion ?

Somehow the linen pattern seems to work much better on my computer screen than in Springboard folders.

Re-enabling the back/forward gestures: set “Swipe between pages” to “swipe with three fingers”.

I liked the idea of natural scrolling more than the fact. Main disconnect, possibly: content is scrolling underneath a cursor staying still… unlike my fingers.

RT @gruber: My number one Lion tip: No matter how wrong it feels, stick with the new trackpad scrolling direction. Give it a week.

Never mind, I’ll do the switch to natural scrolling later — when I’m not Teleport’ing to a Core Duo Mac mini every five minutes.

All hail the “View/Customize…” option in System Preferences.

Oh yeah, that’s convenient. Download Xcode on the App Store and it hides an “Install Xcode” icon at the back end of Launchpad. Yeesh.

21 July

What do you know, running the Xcode installer three times in a row finally did the trick.

Every other time I want to switch from one app to another, the mouse stops responding. Which of these apps is the culprit?!

Do I buy more RAM so my MacBook doesn’t have to swap apps in the background, or wait until I buy myself a top-of-the-line MacBook Air ?

Holy shit, le kit 4 Go Macway est à 40 €. Mais pourquoi ils me proposent un kit 8 Go alors que je devrais être limité à 4 ?

RT @fraserspeirs: Thought: “natural” scrolling in Lion would feel better if the OS blanked the cursor after scrolling starts.

22 July

I can’t open several files at the same time in Excel from the Finder anymore. How the hell did they manage that?

Who doesn’t love having to wait for the scrollbars to fade out before you’re allowed to click the last file in the window? (In list mode.)

Why did I ever tell my client to type his data into Excel instead of immediately making a web-based form? I’ll pay for that a long time.

It’s bound to occur to Twitter at some point that sorting our lists alphabetically could be a bit less confusing?

Trying out Wunderlist, thought it was crashy in Lion — no, it was just confused by my Cmd-, because it has no Preferences window.

23 July

Wait, Mission Control can not be navigated with the keyboard at all?

I’m beginning to think that maybe Lion just doesn’t like my custom-installed hard drive.

There was a warning icon next to my syncing iPhone in iTunes, so I clicked it. That just made the warning icon disappear.

Would Lion actually be worse than Snow at remembering the size and options of Finder windows?

I think I hate Mission Control. How do you choose, say, a Finder window, when you’ve got a bunch open and they’re all superposed?

RT @louije: You can still drag on the app’s Dock icon to trigger All Windows. Hitting space makes Exposé come up quicker.

Oh, that’s gonna be really fun, having Xcode automatically flush from memory every time I hide it, and spin a while when I need it again.

One ethernet router or switch per room, all daisy-chained. Gonna take a week to find which part of the network is broken.

And this is why you buy an iPad with 3G. Pretty sure I will next time. (Especially if it’s a super-expensive iPad Pro already.)

24 July

“Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Server: The Review”

Looks like a horribly amateurish mess to me. Another nail in the Mac’s coffin.

I have “$first = min($first, 0);” in my production code. I get this wrong EVERY TIME. I should override min() and max() to “die”.

I can only hope someone discovers some more sensible hidden preferences for Mission Control before I throw the MacBook through the window.

I’m beginning to suspect that my Lion stalls happened because the system was randomly waking up, and waiting for, my network-connected Drobo.

Geeks have the weirdest priorities. NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled is less than the least of my worries in this shitty OS.

25 July

Oh. It may be my fault that OS X (even Snow) kept waking up my network-connected Drobo. I’d put a shortcut to it in my Home directory.

The ability to undo multiple steps in the Finder, that’s new, isn’t it?

I know 26:00 on a Sunday isn’t the best time to ask, but anyone got a recommendation for a hosted VPN service?

Come on, there must be a way to do a physical check of a hard drive in OS X without buying a $100 third-party utility?

Graaah. Je mets les fichiers corrompus à la poubelle pour que SuperDuper ne bute pas dessus, mais il copie aussi la poubelle.

26 July

Zeroed out the drive three times, SMART still says it’s good, so I guess I’m gonna assume it’s good. I’ll just backup three times a day.

In other news, reinstalling on a formatted drive with the home-made DVD works great. Only difference is, final online registration is not optional.

So… is “Find my Mac” available in Lion somewhere and I can’t find it, or will it only be enabled after iCloud is launched?

“Google Responds to Google+ Account Suspension Controversy”

Horowitz also took time to dispel the rumor that a suspension of a Google+ account means that a user loses his or her access to Gmail, Google Docs or other Google services. “When an account is suspended for violating the Google+ common name standards, access to Gmail or other products that don’t require a Google+ profile are not removed,” he said.

Is he saying that all the testimonies to the contrary were lies? I’m not buying it. I’d be a lot more confident if they said that disabling Gmail accounts was a mistake and they’ll never do it again — but denying that it ever happened in the face, of so many articles? This whole thing is a giant screw-up and they’re making it worse by the day.

“Design Sales Site Fab.com Hits 350,000 Members, Raises $8M To Celebrate”

Fab.com, which started out as Fabulis, a social networking site for gay men, has not only recently changed its name but also started from scratch with an entirely new business centered around online flash sales of design items.

No, wait, seriously?

27 July

Ah, the 1Password extension for Safari has been fixed (shows as a popup rather than in-browser), so I’m switching back again back.

Oh, yeah. Maybe next time I won’t launch FileVault encryption just while Spotlight is re-indexing the whole drive. That’d be more sensible.

Kernel panic while FileVault was encrypting the disk. (Caused by Xcode.) I’m sure I’ve got nothing at all to worry about…

I must say, imperfect as it is, I love switching from one space to another with a swipe.

If I’d won Euromillions I’d have hired a programmer to make a spatial Finder replacement based on my specs. Go ahead and weep.

OMFG I HATE YOU. TextEdit disappears from the Dock right after I’ve closed the last file, before I have time to drag the next files to the icon.

28 July

I’d love for iOS 5 to get a visual redesign of the blue alert boxes. They’ve gotten seriously old, much more so than the other interface elements.

29 July

“Switch friends to Gmail” is kind of an odd call to action. Like “Surprise your friends, enlist them in the army.”

Ahhhh I can hide my Gmail labels from IMAP, and even the “All Mail” box? That should make Mail’s sync so much more responsive!

I’m still not getting used to the t.co URLs; my first reaction is always “why would an article thus described be on a TechCrunch?”

I’m worried about what will happen to my desktop icon placement when I use the MacBook on the go, without the external screen.

30 July

I love signup forms where the compulsory, restricted, and Javascript-populated “state/region” field is above the “country” field that determines its contents. Ungh.

Oops, I was this close to paying for my auto-renewing VPN service with PayPal. Like I haven’t read enough horror stories just this week.

Um… if the VPN’s secret key for L2TP is the same for all users… doesn’t that mean anyone knowing the key could intercept the data?

“Aaron’s Twitter Viewer”

Displays the entire conversation thread from a tweet. With bookmarklet. A must-have.

Maybe, just maybe, launching Google+ right over the July-August slump was incredibly stupid.

Oh, yeah, I forgot that Americans don’t have summer vacations, so they don’t realize what goes on in Europe (via @pppaulppp)

No choice but to sniff the user-agent if I want to check whether I’m in a mobile browser that can do uploads? That’s ridiculous.

31 July

It’s a good thing I have a hot corner for “Show Desktop” because I’m unable to reliably execute the gesture.

Ooh, looks like Lion-scrolling beyond the top in Echofon now marks the timeline as read. I like this.

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