29 avr. 2011

“White iPhone 4 thickness creates issue for case makers, owners”

Well, the size difference creates a potential consumer issue since cases (at least the good ones) are manufactured against the tight tolerances supplied by Apple. We’ve confirmed ourselves, that an Incase slider that fits a black iPhone 4 just fine has to be forced into place on the new white model. Unfortunately, Apple’s own spec page doesn’t highlight the change in thickness (measured at 9.5mm by TiPb). Instead it still shows a 9.3mm depth with a tiny disclaimer stating, "Actual size and weight vary by configuration and manufacturing process."

That whole thing is astonishingly un-Apple-like. The white iPhone was always a bad idea (the whole point of the original design is that the device disappears behind the screen’s contents) but, beyond that, I’m amazed that Apple never thought: oh well, maybe we should give up. It was delayed, then it was delayed again, then they had to redesign a bunch of internal stuff, and then it wouldn’t fit existing cases… and be released a couple of months before the iPhone 4 is officially obsolete. The whole affair was a disgrace anyway, why not just cancel it altogether? Is it stubbornness or hubris?

 

27 avr.

You never realize how effective the iPhone 4 and iPad's oleophobic coating is until you handle an old iPod touch again.

 

25 avr.

Looks like I can get Xcode 4 to crash by typing code blocks incorrectly because I can never remember the proper syntax.

 

23 avr.

And of the two rumors I'm obviously much more inclined to believe the white iPhone 4 is coming.

 

It makes zero sense to me that Apple would launch the white iPhone 4 in May, and a completely different new design in September.

 

22 avr.

We need to standardize on a less ambiguous system for spelling web or e-mail addresses out loud (because those have zero fault tolerance, unlike whatever people ever had to spell over the phone before).

 

It's funny that WikiLeaks abused the omnipresent "wiki" prefix, and now "leaks" has become the meaningless suffix du jour. #coolstorybro

 

“New Magazine App Tells The Story Of Portal 2’s Creation”

[…] brand new magazine-style app called “The Final Hours Of Portal 2.” [$1.99] It’s essentially an interactive article — with loads of text, some videos, and even pictures — that tells the story of the creation of Portal 2 and brings to light a lot of cool, previously unknown information.

Seriously? Is this gonna become a thing — have a topic for an article, launch a new app?

I’m not sure I like this.

I’m not sure I don’t.

And the main reason I blog this is so that I have a chance to see it again in a few days and decide if I do want to buy it.

 

21 avr.

As useless as News.me appears (no way anyone will pay for that), the accordion effect when you go from one page to another is really cute.

 

“Why PHP Was a Ghetto ”

Rasmus Lerdorf is an interesting figure. He created the original version of PHP, continues to contribute, is widely considered a demigod in the community and the authority on almost anything PHP. He steals masses of attendees at conferences, gets hired by big internet places, and garners the respect of everyone despite one glaring property: Rasmus represents what most non-PHP developers hate about PHP.

Rasmus generally promotes abstention from using frameworks, and the use of PHP as more of a templating language. To him, this translates to raw speed and scalability (load-wise). To everyone else, this translates to piles of procedural spaghetti code, and unmaintainable projects. For roughly 10 years following the birth of PHP in 1995, this was how PHP projects were written.

Aww. I’m feeling a lot less alone tonight.

 

19 avr.

Type a last name in Mail, six e-mail addresses appear. Which one does he actually use, again? Oh well, I'll send him a message on Facebook.

 

The title should be "Apple sues Samsung for not having enough of a patent portfolio of its own that it could sue back."

 

iTunes 10.2.2 "addresses an issue where iTunes may become unresponsive when syncing an iPad." Now that's promising.

 

17 avr.

I wonder what other commands I typed in the wrong terminal window while moving my stuff from one server to the other.

 

Oh, cool, there are 8 entries in my /proc/cpuinfo now; when I first checked right after getting the server, there were only 4.

 

16 avr.

“Whois Masking Considered Harmful”

In a trademark infringement case, a 2009 United States District Court ruling in U.S.A. held that, for domains with “private registration”, the privacy service is legally the “owner” of the domain. The privacy service acts as the “cyber-landlord of the Internet real estate”, and the domain is “licensed” to the customer of the privacy service.

Eep.

 

“Privacy vulnerability in Skype for Android”

It has been brought to our attention that, were you to install a malicious third-party application onto your Android device, then it could access the locally stored Skype for Android files.

These files include cached profile information and instant messages. We take your privacy very seriously and are working quickly to protect you from this vulnerability, including securing the file permissions on the Skype for Android application.

Bear in mind that, on a PC or a Mac, any application can access Skype’s chat logs. I have no expectation that they might be encrypted — Adium’s logs aren’t, Mail’s data isn’t, and so on. But the difference is, you actively avoid installing malicious apps on your Mac or PC.

Over the last fifteen years we’ve all learned the absolute rule of “Don’t run that, you’ll get a virus!” Even civilians know it: worms can’t count on users launching executables anymore, they have to exploit browser vulnerabilities. Yet it took only a couple years of iOS sandboxing for everyone to completely forget that basic principle when it comes to their smartphones: they’ll install anything, any time, assuming that the worst that can happen is they’ll just have to delete the app.

Even though that assumption is never entirely right (even with a non-jailbroken iPhone — there’s no risk of an app accessing another app’s data, but we’ve had apps uploading the user’s address book to the cloud without asking), mostly it is. You shouldn’t forget how afraid we used to be of executables, and don’t need to be anymore — you know, the next time you want to bitch about how the iPhone is locked down and the App Store is closed.

 

Adobe Eazel for iPad

The five-finger trigger to get to the controls looks pretty smart.

 

“Cutting That Cord”

iBooks does this. If you pause while reading a book on your iPad, then resume reading on your iPhone, it picks up on the same page in the book. Kindle and a bunch of other e-reading services do this too. The point isn’t that iBooks is unique or ahead of the curve in this regard. It’s that you don’t need MobileMe for iBooks. It’s all handled by the iTunes Store itself. You buy books on your device, you read them on your device, and your history, bookmarks and other metadata all get synced to your iTunes account in the cloud.

I had no idea that was the case. It’d be really interesting if Apple were to open such a system to third-party developers. (Although I can see big problems with that if they keep ignoring the needs for multiple profiles on an iOS device. Were you annoyed that your iPad couldn’t keep your Angry Birds scores separate from your kids’? Well, now you can enjoy seeing them overwritten from one device to another!)

 

15 avr.

Grouchy because UIAlertView makes it way too hard to make the user confirm an operation. Yes, it's a stupid reason to be in a bad mood, so?

 

It never occurred to anyone other than Microsoft that forcing us to write "div.parentNode.removeChild(div);" was idiotic?

 

Shocked that the PlayBook requires tethering to a BlackBerry to be useful? Remember that the original iPod was Mac-only. Decent strategy.

 

I expected the BB PlayBook to get much worse reviews. Good performance and okay battery life? We all thought the UI demos were vaporware.

 

14 avr.

My iPhone should automatically switch to "passcode-lock after 2 minutes of inactivity" when it's not on my home wifi.

 

Can't help but jump on the iOS update even though I've never experienced any of the bugs that it fixes. Idiot.

 

Nope, deleting all iTunes plugins didn't cure my iPad sync process. Still stuck a few pixels away from the end of "backing up." Goddamnit.

 

“What is ’ix.Mac.MarketingName’ and why is it listed as a supported device for iOS apps?”

On today’s session of "things to ponder before lunch," we have a strange new text string added to the iTunes preview of some iOS apps, which identifies an "ix.Mac.MarketingName" as one of the compatible devices with software designed for iOS.

I noticed that earlier today, but just assumed it was a translation bug in the French App Store. If it’s not, then… does it indicate that Lion will run iOS apps? (Why else would existing iOS apps be advertised as compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and… what else is there? what else that could be referenced by the "ix.Mac.MarketingName" internal string?) Or Apple’s web developers are just bored and they wanted to launch a gratuitous rumor today.

 

13 avr.

Je savais que c'était fin et léger, un iPod touch, mais ça fait quand même bizarre d'en tenir un dans la main, par rapport à un iPhone.

 

12 avr.

“Amazon Introduces an Ad-Supported Kindle”

Amazon has just announced that it’s releasing a new Kindle: "Kindle with Special Offers." This version is $25 off the regularly priced e-reader (that is, for $114 instead of $139), because those "special offers" include advertising.

The e-books themselves won’t have ads in them, but the home screen and the screensaver will.

This makes no sense. I realize that it’s experimental, and that they’re basically beta-testing their ad platform, so they may not be looking to sell millions of them right away — but who in their right mind is going to choose to get ads for only a 15% discount on the device? All this is gonna manage to prove is that people would rather not have ads.

 

11 avr.

Someone's lost their mind. “@atebits: you can use the existence of a Message button [on their profile] as an indicator [of whether a Twitter user follows you]”

 

9 avr.

“What it’s like to share an article from one of these iPad magazines”

Isn’t it amazing how it’s 2011 and we can just share these things quickly? Remember when you first used email and you were like, whoa dude, did you just send a letter to a possibly hot possibly girl in Cambodia? And you mean to tell me that she is going to be able to read it before I’m done saying this senten holy crap she wrote back already! Remember that? So since it’s 2011 this is going to be so much more amazing, yeah?

 

“Xcode install from Mac App Store wiping systems?”

In a slowly growing thread on the Apple Discussion boards, some people have complained that the installer for Xcode has wiped their hard drives, resulting in them needing to restore their systems from backup.

For fuck’s sake, Apple.

Bugs are a fact of life. But any developer found responsible for a bug that wipes the user’s hard drive should be fired on the spot (if applicable laws don’t allow to shoot them). To teach everyone proper priorities when designing their codebase.

 

iTunes getting stuck when backing up your iPad? Deleting all iTunes plug-ins — no matter how unrelated — might actually help. #knockonwood

 

Dear iPad magazine: at least let me draw moustaches on the cover instead of having to keep watching a slooow download progress bar.

 

8 avr.

Looks like writing "emoji" in the release notes made my app fall in an App Store black hole. Free version: no emoji, immediately approved.

 

“Missing the point”

The new Acer Touchbook is comical. […] Presumably, Acer’s management actually thought that, like the quote above from the review, iPad owners type on glass because we like the feeling or something.

 

Oh, wait, Transmission for Mac supports IP block lists? I'd forgotten it'd been announced. Is it supposed to be reliable?

 

7 avr.

Tried rebooting the iPad just before syncing but, no, iTunes is still getting stuck on the "Backing up" step.

 

“Facebook Comments Epitomizes Everything I Hate About Facebook”

Facebook Comments is basically Facebook writ small: while it’s maddeningly mediocre lowest-common-denominator crap, it’s not quite bad enough not to use.

But just take a moment, please, if you’d be so kind, to scroll down to the bottom of this page, consider the comments section, and reflect on the fact that what you are looking at is the very best product that a $75 billion software company, one famous for allegedly only hiring A-list talent, was able to build. If that doesn’t make you weep for the future just a little bit, then I don’t know what will.

Who cares about blog comments anymore, though? The short articles I read in my newsreader; the long ones I read in the Instapaper app for iPad. Can’t quite remember the last time I actually read comments on a blog because, even when I do open a blog in my browser, I make sure to close the tab before I get there.

 

“Charging In The Dark: Right Side Up For Cell Chargers”

Simply affix small felt pads to the front side of your charger. Now when you grab your charger you can instantly recognize which side is up without having to look at the charger, just by feeling the texture.

I’ve been meaning to do that for a while (except I wanted to find fluorescent stickers, but I’m just realizing that would be overkill), but it boggles the mind that Apple, with all its attention to detail — and to disabled users — still hasn’t thought to have a dimple, ridge or whatever on one side of the plug.

I’m guessing you’re supposed to only use docks… but that isn’t appropriate to all cases (e.g., watching a movie in bed with the iPad plugged in because the battery’s low).

 

6 avr.

Well, that's a new one. All of a sudden, both my trackpad and keyboard were completely unresponsive — but the Wacom tablet still worked.

 

4 avr.

How fucked up has my Mac mini's OS got to be for even a simple "killall Dock" to cause my Terminal to hang?

 

“Spring: A Group Project”

I’ll be using Everyday to remind myself to go outside and take a photograph of the tree behind my place from my balcony. It will ask me to align my nose and mouth and I will laugh at it as I choose to align my photos with the branches of the tree.

And that’s what you’ll be doing too. We are all going to agree to take a photograph every day of our favourite plant or tree as it starts to recover from being depressed about just how stupidly cold the world can be at times.

(Do read the original post all the way up to the final stop if you think that’s too corny an idea.) (Also, no, of course not I’m not actually gonna do it.)

 

Browsing a forum for people who play with OS X Lion beta, and it's full of morons who are surprised that there are glitches and bugs.

 

1 avr.

Feel a bit stupid buying a Drobo to be at the mercy of an OS X system update that would wipe external drives again. #neverforget

 

“Regarding Multitouch Multitasking Gestures on iOS 4.3”

This all sounds wonderful but I still think they’re a bad idea and shouldn’t ship enabled by default. The problem isn’t that they’re not handy (zing), rather that they break what I feel is one of the key wonders of iPad — it becomes the application that is running. These multitasking gestures add a set of interactions that relate not to what is on the screen but to an abstract higher-level of functionality. The touch screen is now an input into two systems: the application and the operating system.

That’s a great point. Sadly, I don’t think it’s going to have much weight in Apple’s decision. (Fortunately, the number of incompatible games might.)

 

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