Garoo

Hi! Do you remember blogs? Well, this used to be one. Now it just serves as an archive for my multiple Twitter accounts.

 

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19 October

RT @stroughtonsmith: Interesting psychology: Pebble lasts a whole week, but I feel more annoyed charging it than I do something I charge every night.

RT @maxime: Fun fact: Apple fixed the “Utah” typo from their Keynote in the official recording. [youtube.com]

Deux heures du matin et il y a la queue devant le Gibus. J’espère qu’ils payent cher l’opportunité de mettre des fanions “Matinee” devant la porte, parce que visiblement ça marche.

Semi-expensive home heaphones. Expensice iPhone headphones. And a pair of in-ear monitors when I need to travel light. So I’m that guy now.

18 October

Plus je file de fric à Apple, moins chaque achat me rend heureux. Pas par désensibilisation mais par culpabilisation.

Je déteste constater à quelle vitesse gagner de l’argent fait relativiser la valeur d’icelui.

Au Louvre il y a deux McDo, deux Starbucks, un Apple Store et des mecs dans les buissons. Ca ne pourrait pas être plus la Terre Promise.

Depuis le temps, on pourrait pas foutre une vraie grille autour de la Pyramide du Louvre au lieu de ces barrières pitoyables ?

UX is a funny thing. I could have spent the whole summer in a park with my iPad, but until Instant Hotspot I just couldn’t be bothered.

C’est pas mon genre de me plaindre mais, bon, l’été indien, ça me sert pas à grand chose si le soleil se couche une heure après mon lever.

RT @DanielEran: Can’t wait for Apple Beta season to end. Maybe 10.10.3 and 8.1.4. And then I can buy an Apple Watch and start over with Photos 1.0.

17 October

RT @billlabus: So sad that iOS 7 has destroyed UI design expectations from Apple to the point that Yosemite looks good to most people by comparison.

Instagram updated for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Phil Schiller might wanna call them to point out he’s officially endorsed the iPad as camera.

I’ll surely be raging later at the disappearance of some function or other, but I’m not hating iTunes 12’s UI. Might be Stockholm syndrome.

“‘Hunger Games’ Star Donald Sutherland…” Anyone got a good TV / cinema blog / news site to recommend? I need to kick that one off my reader.

So convenient. Every time you google “Is such and such software compatible with Yosemite?” all you get is “We don’t support beta OSes.”

16 October

RT @harrymccracken: The most tangibly exciting things in this Apple event were the two brief 3rd-party iPad demos. Apple should do a whole event of ‘em someday.

RT @shawnblanc: Normally I’m not a fan of scroll hijacking, but this is clever:

[apple.com]

RT @elkmovie: Then again, this could be a clever way to move the Mini downmarket without admitting it. (“no, that’s last year’s model”)

And I don’t want to get the cheaper version with… no Touch ID… wait, the ONLY difference for $100 is Touch ID? The fuck?!

Well, I don’t know. I’d been thinking of buying an iPad mini, but getting the previous generation’s CPU at that price is disheartening.

The screen’s damn tempting but it’s mind-boggling that they didn’t seize the opportunity to retire the aging aluminum iMac design.

The Dyson fan of umbrellas

I love that the voice-over guy didn’t bother to fix the googletranslatisms.

Aujourd’hui j’ai rouvert le code de NoPic pour avancer un peu. Et voir où j’en suis. Et je suis allé pleurer sous ma couette.

Will.i.am’s smartwatch is basically traced from the most popular Apple Watch concept renderings you could find on the web before September. Which, all things considered, is not a bad choice — nor an ugly device. It’s still dead in the water, though. Comically so.

RT @devincf: I was getting all excited about STAR WARS again until I heard that the Emperor’s canon first name is Sheev.

Ce moment où tu finis de refaire tout le back-office de ton client en Ajax et tu te dis que ça aurait été tellement plus simple en iframes.

15 October

“Ultra Power Saving Mode”

There’s “ultra power saving mode,” which turns the [Samsung Galaxy] Note 4 grayscale and turns off everything but texting, phone calls, and manually refreshed email. It turns your ultra-modern phone into a pretty cool Treo circa 2006, but it turns 10 percent battery into hours and hours of life.

That’s both hilarious and absolutely awesome. I couldn’t find a good explanation online of why turning the display to grayscale makes it use less power, but it looks like that’s probably an AMOLED specificity which wouldn’t apply to iPhone anyway.

I liked the rumored “Licorice” better but I did wonder how that would translate to a cute mascot statue on the Google campus.

As excited as I was about the idea of a massively multiplayer Minesweeper, it’s now stressing me out and I wish I could play it offline.

RT @raphaelschaad: Steve Jobs Introduces the Apple Store (2001). This is such a weird video. [youtu.be]

14 October

Ca fait un bail que je ne suis pas allé retirer un colis au Cityssimo, il va falloir aller remédier à ça sur Amazon.

A peine le temps de me poser dans un parc avec mon iPad et mon McDo qu’il fait nuit et le parc ferme #gosouth

RT @HiddenPinky: Your password must contain at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.

Every once in a while I get to play an online race in Driveclub that is so much fun I can’t help but spend the next hour trying to connect again.

La magie de tout enterrer dans un nouveau gestionnaire de todo-lists, c’est aussi d’avoir une inbox presque vide dans Mail.

13 October

I can’t believe how much Spotlight in iOS 8 deliberately gets in the way of launching apps.

Wow, I didn’t realize how much stuff Siri can read from the lock screen if it isn’t disabled—notes, inbox contents, surely more. So secure.

I just finished the first season of You’re the Worst and I’m really glad it’s been renewed. Much recommended.

Why can’t I find more complaints online about the noise reduction algorithm in iOS 8’s camera app? Am I only imagining that it’s terrible?

12 October

Ah, of course the 2Do app for iOS has such an over-engineered UI (because who doesn’t nowadays) that it lags a little on my iPad Air.

Fell into the cyclical GTD rabbit hole. Damn, 2Do is pretty nice — but not quite polished enough for 50 € total (iOS + OS X).

What do you know, Doctor Who can still be fun sometimes. Give that writer a raise.

Shit, it’s about time I found out that you can right-click the Retweet icon in Tweetbot for Mac to choose which of your accounts will do the retweet. (And same thing on iOS with a tap-hold. Even the iPad version has it, that’s how long it’s been possible. I’d been searching for such an option in the menus so many times!)

RT @stroughtonsmith: I walked around the Nostromo a bit and took a few very unscientific comparison shots: [ai-v-a.tumblr.com]

I like how much this week’s Korra was inspired by Japanese horror movies. Plus, the twist. This season isn’t starting out so bad after all.

Hard to watch Sarah Paulson’s scenes in American Horror Story: Freak Show without focusing on the technical performance… and its failings. Also hard to get over the obnoxious sound mix, or Jessica Lange’s intermittent accent. And I can’t say I’m captivated by what’s left, either — let’s rewatch Carnivàle instead.

10 October

Why does the Kindle app reflow the text every time you switch back to it? It’s obnoxious when you’re alternating between a book and a Twitter conversation.

RT @jcieplinski: We can make fun of the multiple Yosemite GMs, but how much better off would we have been if we had had a few more iOS 8 GMs?

I will never understand how it became standard for online support systems to invite end users to “open a ticket.” Almost any phrasing you could think of would be less hostile — less nonsensical — to regular customers. What kind of support do you hope to provide if you’re gonna start talking to them like they’re engineers with the very first word you print on your page?

RT @kirkhamilton: The Forza Horizon 2 intro has got to be the most hilarious/ridiculous/epic driving-game intro ever [youtube.com] it is so good

I don’t like how the height of Swarm’s Today widget changes back and forth as it refreshes its data, and I hate that iOS 8 insists on wasting a third of the screen to display the date, whatever you do.

9 October

Does the rest of the audience actually enjoy the fact that ATP is 99% followup? It was funny once, but I can’t stand it anymore.

8 October

So here I am on the Apple Store page, checking out current iPod touch prices to evaluate how much I need to have in my account next week. All because of every podcasting developer saying “oh yeah, the 6 Plus is a totally different device, you need to own both” for a month.

And if a 5.5-inch iPod touch comes out, I’m afraid I might “have” to buy it “as a developer.” For reading books and playing minesweeper.

“It’s been way too long” can’t be about the Mac mini — Apple has never cared much about it. My guess is, iPod touch is not dead after all.

7 October

DriveClub (PS4)

I had been counting on Driveclub to fulfill my quota of driving games for the first year of this new console generation; instead, it may end up being the game that convinced me to buy an Xbox One so I could play Forza Horizon 2. (Soon. I just spent a full console’s price on a new pair of headphones last week, so it’ll have to wait a bit. Plus, I’m supposed to be working at the moment.)

Driveclub is an exercise in frustration that takes sweet graphics, pitch-perfect sound, and a pretty good driving model, then manages to almost ruin the experience with some very poor design choices. It’s a game evidently balanced for driving very fast cars that starts with four or five hours of dreadfully boring races in slow cars — since you can’t even adjust the assist settings to make the races more interesting, you’re stuck with nothing better to do than bouncing from opponent to wall (because the game gives you no reason not to) and winning almost every race on your first try, hoping that the game will miraculously get better at some point. Which, actually, it does.

If you manage to trudge through the first half of the single-player campaign, you’ll finally unlock your first Ferrari and the game will suddenly transform. Races become exciting and fun. The AI becomes fast enough to be a challenge. (While remaining dumb as bricks.) The choices that made the first races so boring — no damage, little to no penalty for hitting a car or a wall — start to make sense, as everything is now going so fast that wasting a couple of seconds in a fender bender is enough to cost you several places, and anything more realistic would have you abandon the race after the tiniest mistake. But, lest the game become too fun, that part only lasts for two or three hours before the campaign shouts ‘Halt!’ and makes you replay previous races to grind for the levels required to unlock the highest-performance cars without which you can’t enter the last championships.

Maybe it’s unfair to focus so much on the single-player campaign of a game that has ‘club’ in its name, but I’ll always be a single-player-first kind of guy. And, you know, many people are, and many people still don’t have a connection good enough to enjoy online races. Which is a shame, because Driveclub is, in fact, really fun in multiplayer. (When it works. Let’s assume the servers are just going through growing pains right now.) While the generous collision model allows you to continue a solo race after making a mistake, it’s even more enjoyable for how it will let you survive someone else’s mistakes. And there’s something to be said for the way the game’s inept AI, always utterly unaware of your presence or the fact that you’re about to brake before a corner, prepares you to face and endure online opponents. But, so far, the boneheaded playlist system and the repetitious tracks don’t make it look like multiplayer will have a huge lasting appeal for me, even if connection issues clear up.

There are more negatives: the impersonal menu system in general and the multiplayer UX in particular; the lack of a promised dynamic weather, or even a photo mode, at release; the fact that some cars can only be unlocked after leveling up your online club, which is not possible until your club has several members; the conspicuous absence of brands like Lamborghini and… others I care much less about. But there are also positives: the excellent livery customization interface, extensive yet cleverly streamlined; the upcoming dynamic weather and photo mode; the fact that (part of) the game is free with PSN+.

I’m quite curious about that free version. I managed to push through the first few hours of boring play because I had a full review copy; if I had paid the full price for the game, that would have also motivated me to go on. But a free full-length demo? If the progression is even half as slow as in the full game, I can’t see most people sticking with it long enough to reach the good bits.

So, bottomline: if I’d paid anything close to full price for this game, I’d be annoyed. A rental, at best. And I’ve now transferred all my hopes onto Project Cars — though I expect that it’ll probably be a little too hardcore for my taste. Christmas wishlist, meet Xbox One.

You know, I’ve never played a racing game on anything bigger than a 20-inch monitor, and I’m beginning to think I’m missing something.

6 October

5 October

Found out that Uniconsole’s keyboard extension is crashing some apps, so it’s further delayed. Probably have to rewrite the UI in code. Ugh. (At least it seems to be a 100% reproducible bug, so that’s helpful.)

As tired as we all are of Doctor Who being about saving the world, at least that was a refreshing twist on the formula.

Des gens dans les rues, à cette heure, jusque dans mon quartier ? Heureusement que ce n’est qu’une fois par an, parce que c’est intolérable.

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