2 August 2007

Isn’t it stupid that Flickr’s default photo view is so small?

@apple@

Looks like AirPort Extreme Update 2007-004 (from July 31st) is supposed to fix the MacBook’s wifi troubles when off the AC adapter, and it also looks like it’s actually working. I can finally use my computers (plural courtesy of Remote Desktop) from my bed right by the window. Too bad the sun is hidden today.

Wondering how hard (or easy?) it would for aliens picking up our old TV signals to figure out how they work.

7 August

Here’s what Twitter is useful for: be alerted within the minute that you forgot to check out the Jobsnote.

Didn’t some people say this keynote was gonna give us faith again in the Mac’s future?

Funny they’d launch the new crippled wireless keyboard on the same day as Numbers.

8 August

Exactly what is Dell’s excuse for not having an iMac clone? They’ve got laptops, they’ve got flat screens, all the technology is there.

August 2007 Jobsnote

@apple@

I’m getting quite tired of being disappointed by Jobs keynotes now, so you’ll have to excuse me if I sound grouchy at times. This is what it looks like nowadays when Apple promises a Mac-only keynote: they pretty much stuck to the promise, but it managed to be even more boring than the last few presentations.

 

@apple@

Unimaginative as it was, I liked the latest rumored iMac redesign (which was just a slightly thicker Cinema Display). Sure, the aluminum and black does work, and it’s kinda classy, but… it doesn’t really make sense — the rounded black bezel around the screen feels kinda random, just like the juxtaposition of different materials on the iPhone. Has Jonathan Ive lost his edge? Or have Jobs and Ive grown tired with the whole zen esthetic? You better get ready for chrome spinners on the next Mac Pro design — wait, where was that, by the way, and how about Cinema Displays?

Watching the ad, though (and what kind of an ad is that?), I have to admit that the new design might grow on me pretty fast. Just look at how outdated it makes the classic OS X desktop look: that’s a pretty good sign.

Firewire 800 is cool. Glossy screen is not. Wired disses the video card.

 

@apple@

The new keyboards look much better than they did in the leaked pictures, as you might expect. Nevermind that the more expensive model loses its numeric keypad just as Apple introduces Numbers (it kinda makes sense for the wireless keyboard to be smaller so you can leave it on your coffee table, but if they’re going to have two form factors they might as well let you choose the number of keys independently — many people use a wireless keyboard on their desktop, just to reduce clutter), what really confuses me is that the special keys have been moved around, just as seen on the previously leaked pictures. What is the point of moving Dashboard and Exposé from the right-hand to the left-hand side?

I just realized, though: moving the Exposé and Dashboard functionality to the “fn” level (I assume OS X will allow you to choose whether F-keys are active or inactive by default, like it does on a laptop) actually makes more room for software functions on F9-F11.

Except for the fact that power users, who usually keep the F-keys active because their applications need them, now have Exposé hidden behind” fn.” Oh, wait, they’ve got multi-button mice, too, so it doesn’t really matter after all.

Ah, and there’s only one Exposé key. While F9 and F10 can easily be merged (try pressing F9, then Tab), you might wonder where F11 went. That is, if you forgot that you aren’t supposed to use the desktop anymore once you upgrade to Leopard. (I’m sure there have been internal builds at some point with the desktop icons completely disabled, and some engineers have had to fight for them.)

I realize that I didn’t mention it when the new keyboard was originally leaked, so I’ll say it now: I didn’t like the old keyboard’s feel, and it was one of the most inefficiently designed computer peripherals ever — my mini’s keyboard is filthy, and as far as I’m concerned it’s just uncleanable. The new keyboard should be much, much easier to keep clean. And the design nicely complements the mini, too. I think I want to buy a wireless one.

 

@apple@

I haven’t looked much at iPhoto, because unless it somehow integrates with Photsohop it will never be the right solution for me, but the new iMovie is looking good: I’m currently exploring the idea of possibly doing some kind of stuff or other with a camcorder, and it’s been immediately apparent to me that the program lacked a common iPhoto-like library for organizing all your movie clips.

The .Mac galleries are nice enough (I really don’t like the black header), and seem to fail very inelegantly without Javascript (the progress spinner just never stops). They do work in Explorer 6, though, after you’ve dismissed the warning message advising you upgrade to Safari. Or Firefox. Or Explorer 7 if you have to.

Considering how the galleries disregard the most basic accessibility rules, I don’t expect iWeb’08 to fix blog permalinks, but it’s nice (in a creepy monopoly kind of way) that they integrated AdSense.

 

@apple@

Photo upload was apparently activated automagically on iPhones in the wild. I doubt that it was an “over-the-air” activation, so it must have been scheduled for a specific time; you can now expect Apple bloggers to try changing their system date by a few months every time the iPhone firmware is updated.

 

@apple@

I can’t say I care about Numbers (or Keynote or Pages, for that matter). I guess it’s a good thing, along with Pages’s new word processor mode — I’ve had to launch NeoOffice once in a while, and it’s always been pretty painful.

 

@apple@

And the “One More Thing” was a Q&A… where Steve Jobs actually answered the “why don’t you have Intel Inside stickers” question instead of crucifying the moron who asked that. Well, I guess he counted on bloggers for that.

@misc@

Writing all articles in both English and French was a nice exercise, but now that I’ve proven I was able to do it I’d rather spend my time in more productive ways — or other unproductive ways. From now on, my posts on #FF00AA may be available in only one language (which may randomly be English or French — although it’s likely to be more often English) just like they are on my personal blog. Maybe I’ll post more this way. Or maybe not.

@apple@

When I saw one of the new iMac’s publicity shots, with the remote standing up between the cables, I just thought they must have wanted to keep the machine itself clutter-free, but Engadget confirms it: the remote just doesn’t stick to the iMac’s side.

I guess it makes sense, though, and I’m wondering: I figure that aluminum isn’t magnetic (can’t say that I knew it, but it does ring a bell), but maybe it would even magnetically shield any metal inside from the remote?

@apple@

Infinite Loop:

Apple has a battery page that has some general information about the way lithium batteries are charged and discharged. They stress that you should charge your batteries early and often, rather than let them drain (almost) completely. […]

One recommendation is that you “keep the electrons flowing” by working on the battery from time to time—at least once a month. And you need to run on the battery until the device sleeps once every 30 cycles or so to make sure that the charge indicator stays in sync with the actual battery capacity. […]

[The aging] process is greatly accelerated by two factors: a high temperature and a full charge. This is probably the reason why laptop batteries can be completely worn out after a few years: the battery is completely charged most of the time, and the insides of a computer generate a lot of heat.

9 August

QuickTime export is pissing me off.

I’m going to blow a fuse if I can’t define my own preset settings for iMovie’s QuickTime export dialog.

10 August

@apple@

Daring Fireball:

The analogy that comes to mind is to the keyboard on the original Macintosh, which had no arrow keys. The most commonly cited reason for this omission was that Apple wanted to force users to use the mouse, and not allow them to fall back on keyboard-centric habits forged on pre-Mac computers. But another reason was to force developers — including themselves — to design a system and apps that could be accessed entirely by mouse. Pre-Macintosh, how did you move up and down in a list? With arrow keys. How did you move the insertion point in a text editor? With arrow keys. By not even having arrow keys, there was no option but to design software meant to be used with a mouse. […]

By giving users and developers only a mouse for movement, it forced them to learn the Mac way. The lack of cut/copy/paste on the iPhone likewise forces users, along with Apple’s iPhone development team, to do things the iPhone way, rather than the Mac way.

By the way, the point about the original Mac is an interesting reminder just as Apple released the new BlueTooth keyboard — Steve Jobs is indeed a keyphobe. Wanna bet that he uses the new wireless model on his personal iMac?

11 August

@web@

A little reminder that DRM aren’t good, courtesy of Google (if the Video Marketplace hadn’t actually been a failure, you’d have to wonder if it was intentional):

Google ignominiously shut down its video marketplace today via an email to us and everyone else who’s ever tried the service. […] The email to users, which is copied below, also lets them know that any videos they’ve purchased will no longer be viewable. Money spent on videos is not being refunded, either. Users get a sixty day credit on their Google Checkout account instead.

Uh… “Don’t be evil”?

14 August

Visualizing Steve Jobs’s face when the buzz about the 300-page AT&T bills reached him. Hee.

iPhoto ‘08’s auto-eventing is weirdly buggy.

16 August

@apple@

I’d heard about it before, but I didn’t realize it actually had qualities: Mailplane [via] is a dedicated OS X browser for accessing Gmail; the cool thing is, it remembers passwords independently from Safari (if you have several accounts on different Google services, you know what a pain it is that Safari never knows which password you need) and lets you use several Gmail accounts simultaneously.

Untested as of yet (because using the official Gmail notifier circumvents my issue #1 with the service, and I’m not sure I’d actually need several accounts), but sounds pretty cool.

20 August

@windows@

This is too ludicrous not to be true: Skype crashed for several days because millions of Windows users rebooted at the same time. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

Experts have pointed out that Skype generates a lot of traffic between log-in servers and supernodes.

22 August

@phone@

Financial Times [via]:

The contract, which was signed by three European mobile operators in recent days, requires that the operators hand over to Apple 10 per cent of the revenues made from calls and data transfers by customers over iPhones.

The deal gives manufacturers of handsets for the first time a direct share of the revenues a mobile phone operator makes from calls and data transfers, marking a shift in the relationship between the parties.

Wow. If that’s true (and we’ll know within a week or two, when the next bit is supposed to be officially announced) it’s no wonder the iPhone is so important to Apple. 10% of all telephone revenue, phew.

The contract was signed by T-Mobile of Germany, Orange of France and O2 in the UK, people familiar with the situation told FT Deutschland.

Orange. Damn. Well, better than nothing, and I like changing phone numbers. Plus, it looks a lot like I won’t be able to afford it anyway.

23 August

@apple@

imédias :

Orange n’a pas, à ce jour, signé avec Apple pour la commercialisation de l’iPhone en France. « De nombreux opérateurs discutent encore avec Apple. Il ne devrait pas y avoir d’annonce avant plusieurs semaines. »

(Je rêve ou on ne peut pas sélectionner de texte sur leur site pour le copier-coller ? Pour la peine, rel=nofollow.)

Beginning to think it’s not whether you’re using the adapter or battery — just that the MacBook loses wifi every time it’s moved.

24 August

Either iMovie or the Silverlight dmg has borked my Finder.

28 August

@apple@

I was picturing Steve Jobs’s face when he found out that the Google phone rumors were solidifying, then I realized: is that the reason why the iPhone integrates with some token Yahoo services in addition to all the Google stuff? Did Jobs run to Yahoo HQ, and nonchalantly manipulate them into begging him for the privilege of push e-mail exclusivity on the iPhone, just as a way of retaliating to Google?

Mac OS X 10.5 9A527 Screenshots

@apple@

The latest iteration of the menu bar does look better than in previous versions, although we still wish it weren’t transparent. I’m surprised that the default new background (which I couldn’t believe was actually the official OS X background until I saw the full Think Secret gallery — even after the introduction of Time Machine, it still looks at odds with Apple design) has a big glowing star right in the middle of the menu bar, but that could actually be a good sign: I recently realized that the transparent menu bar could actually work if they decided to blur the background beneath it (à la Aero, yes). And, if they’re leaving a star there, maybe that’s actually because they know it won’t be so visible when everything’s programmed. Or, yeah, maybe not.

What the hell is up with the fluorescent window controls? There’s something really weird with Leopard so far: on the one hand, they’re pushing everything towards medium grey; on the other, you’ve got the flashy gems and starry background and transparent menu bar that looks so out of place and distracting. All of which makes for a very weird combination.

And Apple’s designers aren’t so good at designing large-scale icons. They look terribly… crude. Plus, Cover Flow doesn’t work so well with traditional OS X icon design. I’m surprised they didn’t think of switching to real 3D icons yet. I guess the next big cat will get on that.

29 August

@apple@

Du 25 au 29 septembre se tient Apple Expo, le rendez-vous incontournable des fondus de Mac !

Un accès illimité aux 5 jours du salon, un accès à la salle de presse (pour, entre autre, bloguer en direct du salon !), la possibilité d’intervenir sur la web TV Apple Expo, c’est ce que nous vous proposons grâce aux Pass Presse !

La soirée blogueurs se passe rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, je peux difficilement trouver une excuse pour sécher. Même si l’accès presse en lui-même, à moins qu’ils me refilent un iPod avec…

31 August

@apple@

Here’s to the crazy ones. I missed that. Cute.

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