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

1 June 2009

Arghhh on m’avait rappelé hier que lundi était férié, et j’avais réoublié. Forcément qu’il y avait du monde partout dehors.

Vous savez bien pourtant qu’il faut me prévenir en triplicata à chaque fois qu’il y a un jour férié, merde !

“Prepare For The Facebook Vanity URL Landrush”

You’ve got to wonder how it took them so long to figure out that they could benefit from giving facebook.com/username URLs to their users, when even MySpace had it right from the start.

Facebook has recently polled users to see if they’d pay for a vanity URL. We have no idea if they plan on charging for the landrush at this point.

Urgh. I’d be curious to see the results for that poll.

“Go Bing Yourself, Right Now”

Bing is live. It might or might not be better than Google for non-geeks, I don’t know; it certainly doesn’t do anything for me. The main www.bing.com page is a letdown, compared to all the screenshots that had been posted: the background picture is actually tiny (all things considered).

Oops, it does make sense that if you overcook fish sticks in the oven that’s when they’re gonna liquefy instead of getting crisper.

“Hamann gives the Rolls-Royce Phantom a shot of adrenaline”

I want that. (Would you believe that I only found out today’s Bentleys aren’t reskinned Rollses anymore. Well, you wouldn’t care, but I used to read car magazines religiously. Guess I moved on to touchphones.)

Well, my E3 posts will be much faster to non-write this year if I can’t find a source for decent videos on the web.

2 June

E3 2009, day 1

  • Crackdown 2: Waiting to see what the game looks like, but not so fond of the idea that it’s gonna be a zombie/monster game. Laughed out loud at the opening sound in the video, even though I’ll never forgive Crackdown for not crediting me with the last agility orb.

  • Left 4 Dead 2: I didn’t believe that rumor, not expecting Valve to publish a sequel so soon. The locations sound fun, and I’m curious to see if the addition of melee weapons turns the game into a first-person Dead Rising.

  • Forza 3: I’m still disappointed that the PGR team is gone doing Mario Kart, but the trailer (all CG, obviously) is actually pretty cool, and the emphasis on drifting might be a sign that the actual game is gonna be more fun.
    Oh, wait. The Forza guy in the press conference introduced that video as being made in-game, with the video editor, and so says the intro for another trailer. It might be embellished, or the game may push the visuals a bit when exporting (as the first one did with stills), but if gameplay really looks anything like that, Gran Turismo is dead and I’m damn happy I own a 360.
    I’ll bet Microsoft breathed very heavily down the developer’s neck until they achieved those graphics (and added cockpit view).

  • Other games: No interest. Can’t even imagine how new Halo games — and prequels at that — can garner that much interest when it’s so profoundly more of the same and the story isn’t just predictable, but known.


  • Project Natal: Jesus-Christ, Microsoft and names… Anyway, it doesn’t seem like there’s any video of actual gameplay, so I’ll reserve judgment. One of the videos starts with a guy doing real karate moves at the screen, and there’s no telling if games will actually be able to do that kind of thing — but the technology may indeed be precise enough.
    Although EyeToy and the wiimote both looked rather promising in their time.

  • Milo: I don’t know how cool that… thing might or might not be, but on the screenshot it just looks creepy, like one of those horror or kiddie flicks where a little boy is swallowed and trapped by the TV. Uncanny valley for the win. (Interesting choice, making Molyneux a privileged developer to work with Natal in advance of everyone. Good fit.)

  • Full games downloadable on 360: Someone had to bite the bullet and drive the final nail into the coffin of retailers; I guess XBLA games sell well enough that Microsoft thought they could just go forward and risk whatever retaliation Gamespot can organize before going bankrupt. Now I’m really gonna want a 120GB hard drive.

  • Twitter integration: Oh please.

  • Facebook integration: Oh pl… Wait, no, actually, this can be cool: iPhone games that publish your high scores to Facebook can become as addictive as Live achievements. I just hope they don’t try and force-spam your Facebook feed with every single achievement you get, in which case I’d probably end up unlinking the account.


In an ideal world, Sony could still win E3 if they introduced stunning surprises tomorrow (mostly because Microsoft couldn’t demonstrate any actual use of Natal). In the real world, they’re probably going to focus on the PSP Go with its lonely nub, so forget about it.

Quelqu’un a une objection à ce que je laisse exp1rer lolornot.com demain (et les regarde.com dans le courant du mois) ?


There’s laughing at first, but then people get into the rhythm of it and study the various little muscles as they pull and twitch on Kirk’s face.


One thing Wolfram Alpha is better at than Google: converting timezones. Interestingly, it’s case-sensitive: “9am PST” works, “9am pst” not.

“Stop Pretending That Buffy’s Giles Spin-Off Will Happen, Dammit”

I think he found at that point the drive was different, so he suggested this one film that we were going to make. He told me this story that he had written, and it’s absolutely beautiful, and I hope that one day it gets made, whether it’s in the guise of Ripper or whether we just tell it as a one-off TV movie.

Il faut que j’arrête les couscous Picard avant de me casser une dent.

And yet I’m theoretically aware that, living in the Marais, keeping my worst-fitting clothes for laundry day is a bad strategy.

3 June

With my paranoia subsiding, “reviewing your app may take longer” could mean they intend to approve it with parental controls next week.


Uh-oh. Flight Control just updated with new maps and aircraft. There goes my next hour.

“Creating New Documents”

Interesting overview of the problems with interfaces for creating new documents, and two great OS X tips: either use the “Stationary Pad” checkbox (which, like everyone else, I always forget exists) or, better yet, create a locked folder of template files, add it to your dock, and drag a template from the dock whenever you need a new file (it will create a copy instead of moving the template, because the folder is locked — remember to lock the folder, not the templates themselves).

Is it me or does iTunes 8.2 come with new, less readable icons for the connected iPhone’s battery level?

E3 2009, day 2

It’s so much more fun when you watch the keynote streamed live on the internet and you can make fun of the bullshit that comes out of their little corporate mouths. (The disadvantage is that you can’t fast-forward.) So this one is in mostly chronological order — sort of a delayed liveblog.

It seems like videos are a long time coming, so I guess I’ll update with links tomorrow (because everybody cares).


  • Super Mario Bros. Wii: Apparently, Miyamoto just invented the fourth dimension of multiplayer, or something. I’m surprised that it’s just a regular 2D platformer, but I don’t even understand Mario culture, so I’m sure that’s a good thing.

  • Wii Sports Resort: It does look like it may be more skill-oriented (which I’m not sure is such a good thing for Wii Sports). I still do not believe that they actually needed MotionPlus for most of that, unless the original wiimote really had awful tech.


  • Uncharted 2: That was a good video, but I’m still confused why they felt the need to bring the Uncharted franchise to environments so reminiscent of that other PS3 exclusive, Metal Gear Solid 4. Aren’t there more than enough games in urban settings already? (This trailer is a much better sell, though.)

  • Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker: The graphics look very nice for the PSP, but more importantly I’m impressed by how deliberately Kojima fucked Microsoft with his smirking emphasis on “this is a real sequel and the story’s really mine.” Now I wish I’d watched yesterday’s keynote to compare with what he actually said then.

  • Agent: A Rockstar North exclusive? Sony must have put serious dough on the table… for something that doesn’t even have the GTA moniker. But 1970s espionage does sound like fun. More fun than gangsters, even (for me at least).

  • Assassin’s Creed 2: That looks very pretty, and the new mechanics are rather interesting, but I’m not going to have irrational hopes about the gameplay until I see it in person.

  • Final Fantasy XIII: Once again, it feels like Microsoft got played yesterday, showing stuff that had mostly been seen before while Square Enix saved the real trailer for Sony.

  • Final Fantasy XIV Online: Sony has finally realized the value of exclusivity, and been liberal with the checkbook. I thought they had a chance of winning E3 by introducing good games, but they went for the jugular and quite thoroughly screwed Microsoft over.

  • Sony motion control: I don’t know what to think about this, other than I’m pretty much convinced they didn’t originally intend to introduce it this year. I’m not sure it has anything over the wiimote (or at least MotionPlus), but their demo was orders of magnitude cooler than Nintendo’s ever was. The augmented reality aspect was nice, but this is probably going to turn into a gimmick extending the PS Eye, whereas I feel Microsoft’s Natal is somehow more versatile and could bring more significant advancements to gaming.

  • ModNation Racers: Nice design and good tech (the track editor is just amazing); it’s too bad I’m not a Mario Kart kind of guy.

  • The Last Guardian: Uh, I expected it to look more… different. I don’t know about you, but I’m wishing very hard I hadn’t seen the leaked video before; the final trailer would have had much more of an impact — and I’m afraid liked the beast’s design (and, possibly, its sound, I’m not sure) better in the preliminary render.

  • Gran Turismo 5: Ah, they’re not dead yet, and they haven’t been twiddling their thumbs all this time, either. The game looks even more gorgeous than Prologue, and it includes Nascar (yuk) and rally cars. Considering that they’ve got Blu-Ray and I’m under the impression they’re known for making meaty games (so it shouldn’t be just a couple token rally races) I think I might need a PS3. I remembered earlier today that the PlayStation also has so much better wheel controllers than the 360 (or does it).

  • God of War 3: Oh… my… God. I wasn’t convinced by anything that had been shown before, because it looked too staged and cinematic; turns out that GoW 3 just happens to be the most cinematic game ever. Amazing, and such a perfectly fitting evolution to the very first game’s fixed cameras. (And I love how it looks like the start menu integrates with your current checkpoint.)

  • I need need need a PS3.


Away from the press conferences…

  • Avatar: I appreciate Cameron’s commitment to making sure the licensed game isn’t a drag, and accept that Ubisoft is capable of releasing good games. But what’s worrying me — and not just regarding the game — is that I don’t see anything interesting about the universe as it is described (beyond the colorful animals) that would justify how much time he devoted to the production of this movie.

  • Tony Hawk: Ride: When I saw pictures of the board controller I thought it was a completely stupid gimmick, but I didn’t realize you could actually spin it around — that makes it potentially quite cool (for people interested in those games). You can thank EA for giving Activision incentive to innovate.

  • Red Steel 2: The MotionPlus gameplay could work, and it’s hard too tell with the video compression but the visual style seems to be be well realized as well. The Wii is definitely made for cel-shading.


And coming back to…

  • Project Natal: having watched a live gameplay video, I think it has potential to, if not revolutionize videogaming, at least replace the Wii as the obligatory party-game console that you fire up to make your friends look stupid in front of the TV. Implemented correctly, the technology is certainly capable of being more immersive than the Wii. And more dangerous, too (to your muscles, your TV and your friends around you).

  • Milo: it strikes me that this game addresses Molyneux’s very personal drive to raise a virtual child, and the game would be much less creepy, and more approachable, if you had a choice to make the character a fluffy white bunny or a fierce dragon. Or an EyePet.


Odd. Emails from friends across world that start “I had the strangest dream about you last night”. No wonder I woke up tired. #neildreams

Jet fighters turn the auto-pilot on automatically when the pilot passes out after a tight turn. Cool. #buzzoutloud

4 June

Oh, je devrais être en train de regarder la télé, là, pour décider si je vais voter dimanche ?

Palm Pre reviews are up

I have the biggest crush on that software; even the calculator is so lovely.

But it occurs to me that the main reason I’m lusting after the hardware keyboard is that I’ve never used a smartphone with a hardware keyboard — I want one, but come to think about it I have no reason to believe I’d ever actually find it usable.

“Stop Writing Mid-Sentence to Ward Off Writer’s Block”

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck … That way your subconscious will work on it all the time.

I can’t imagine deciding to stop writing in the middle of a paragraph, let alone a sentence.

5 June

“Debating the power of Google’s Wave”

Some interesting points, and an answer to my interrogation about how you’re notified of where there are new replies in a long thread (uh, wave) — and that is: you’re not.

Sure, it’s only an alpha version, and that issue is only client-side, but it’s a rather major problem and I’m afraid it will be very hard to define an interface that makes it easy to navigate changes. (I mean, more elegantly than a wiki-like list of edits, because that would kind of defeat the point.)

E3 2009, day 4

Presumably concluding this blog’s coverage of E3…

  • Mass Effect 2: I’ll judge the graphics upgrade when I see it running on my own screen, but the interesting point is that it looks like they could be keeping their promises that the sequel would be more realistically playable like a shooter. (If you want. And I do.)

  • Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Nice graphics, nice cast. (Damn, I ought to buy it just for Natasha McElhone!) But I know now that God of War 3 is gonna be too good for any clone-ish game to be relevant.

  • The Agency: Not showing anything very new, but it just feels like it could be fun (if you forget the pretense that it’s an MMO). As for any game of this type, though, success won’t depend on graphics, or ping, or whatever, but on how well it enforces cooperation among a group of assholes.

  • Aliens vs. Predators: I like the multiple view modes and the way you select where to jump, but it looks like your Predator uncloaks automatically every time you use a weapon, or even your blades; I understand the necessity for balancing, but it looks like you have to re-cloak manually each time and that’s idiotic.

  • Split Second: It’s quite pretty (the on-car HUD is a nice gimmick… that might not be so usable) and might even be fun, but I’ll forever despise the absurd conceit.

  • PixelJunk Shooter: I was very much seduced by the videos of Eden, but this time I just don’t get the point. Probably hard to judge that way.

  • Crysis 2 pushes PS3 to limits”: I don’t know how realistic it is that a relative newcomer to the platform could assess how efficiently they tap the hardware, but I’m more interested in the fact they don’t mention the Xbox. The PS3 is supposed to be so much more powerful than the 360; if it’s maxed out, what does the same game look like on the other platform? (And why aren’t I paid by a magazine to roam the E3 floors if I’m the only one thinking to ask?)

  • Invizimals: I love everything having to do with augmented reality, but that’s a particularly smart implementation (even though I have no interest at all in a Pokémon-like game).

Erf, je paye 45 cents pour Amazon S3, et 1 euro de commission. Il faut que j’uploade plus de fichiers.

6 June

“Libération veut taxer les FAI pour financer la presse… papier”

L’idée serait d’ “ajouter aux factures de leurs abonnés au Web une somme forfaitaire de quelques euros : le coût de l’information gratuite”.

Ah, ce beau réflexe du “internet rend notre modèle économique obsolète, taxons internet,” on ne s’en lasse pas. Je n’imagine pas que ça puisse se réaliser (il faudrait que le gouvernement trouve moyen d’en exclure les journaux de gauche), mais rien que pour le principe j’ai modifié le script qui ouvrait entre autres liberation.fr tous les matins quand j’allume mon ordinateur (dans un effort illusoire d’être vaguement exposé aux grands titres nationaux).

Faites passer. Si les stats de libe.fr ne s’effondrent pas courant juin, il n’y a pas de justice.

“Google Code Blog: Introducing Page Speed”

Page Speed is a tool we’ve been using internally to improve the performance of our web pages – it’s a Firefox Add-on integrated with Firebug. When you run Page Speed, you get immediate suggestions on how you can change your web pages to improve their speed. For example, Page Speed automatically optimizes images for you, giving you a compressed image that you can use immediately on your web site.

Very interesting tool. Page Speed doesn’t like my :hover rules deep in the CSS hierarchy, for instance — it seems to me that browsers should be able to optimize that kind of thing, but I guess some may not, and Google certainly knows better than me.

“ iTunes 8 crashes when trying to delete any songs or podcasts”

At least I’m not the only one. (I need to stop pressing “Ignore” reflexively when the app crashes and Apple offers to send a bug report.)

Wikipedia: Summer

The seasons are popularly considered to start on different dates in different cultures. […] From a purely astronomical viewpoint, the equinoxes and solstices would be the middle of the respective seasons, but a variable seasonal lag means that the meteorological start of the season, which is based on average temperature patterns, occurs several weeks later than the start of the astronomical season.

Snap Filters free on the App Store for 15 days

I originally intended for Snap Filters to be released for free for a few weeks, then set a price, but Apple prevented that. Now that I’m allowed to publish free apps, and since I’ve had a hard time getting review sites to be interested in the application (because there are so many photo filter apps already), it’s time to take a step back in my launch plans and make the app free for two weeks — celebrating the nice weather (if you’re in the northern hemisphere).

The point of Snap Filters is that it makes pretty pictures out of the crappy iPhone camera; and it has a rather snappy interface that lets you quickly browse through the filters and select the ones that will make your images pop — I find that it’s more usable and stable than many of its competitors, in a subtle way that is hard to demonstrate until you try it out for yourself.

That’s why you should download it right now from the App Store, because it’s free until the summer solstice. (If it asks you to pay, try again in a few hours.)

And don’t forget to rate it on the App Store.

“John Nack on Adobe: Instant-turnaround feature requests”

From a list of user-requested Photoshop features that already exist (and I like that he’s not afraid to call out those he finds most obvious):

That capability [to have adjustment layers affect only the group they’re in] has been there since layer sets/layer groups were introduced: put the adjustment layer into the group, then set the group’s blending mode to Normal. (By default it’s set to “Pass Through.”)


7 June

The Wire season 4 — Too many damn kids. And I didn’t expect that when people said this season was fucking depressing. Geez.

Oh, j’ai des nouveaux voisins.

I’d think it would be appropriate for the new neighbor borrowing screwdrivers to actually introduce himself, but this is Paris.

Qu’est-ce qu’ils ont tous à parler de “sources” et de “rumeurs” pour les estimations des élections avant 20h ? Ils n’ont pas internet ?

Notes for my SF opus: Most animals are symmetrical because they’re constrained by two axes — gravity, and the need to move in one direction.

“Google vs. Bing: The Blind Taste Test”

[BlindSearch] provides search results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo and asks you to vote on which results are best. However, BlindSearch takes your biases out of the equation by stripping away the branding and logos.

Excellent idea.

Funny, I chose Yahoo on both of my ego searches.

MOTHER FUCKER. iTunes is backing up the 1.3 GB of videos I’ve added to my iPhone in Air Sharing.

“Explosive Decompression and Vacuum Exposure”

There are several cases of humans surviving exposure to vacuum worth noting. In 1966 a technician at NASA Houston was decompressed to vacuum in a space-suit test accident. He lost consciousness in 12-15 seconds. When pressure was restored after about 30 seconds of exposure, he regained consciousness, with no apparent injury sustained.

Why is there still a debate?

I’m not convinced of the dangers of explosive decompression, either — it seems to me that, unless your ship actually explodes or you’re teleported into space, the loss of atmosphere would almost always be a wind (as the air escapes from whatever contains it) rather than a sudden decompression.



The best Earthly comparison is what happens to people who walk into a room containing a pure-nitrogen atmosphere. Such accidents happen occasionally in industry. Sudden loss of consciousness occurs within 10-15s, and death follows quickly. Stringent precautions have to be taken to prevent such accidents, because survival is rare – you get no warning that you’re about to keel over.

Wow. Only ten to fifteen seconds between the lungs being emptied of oxygen and the brain shutting down.

8 June

Nature is a like a lazy engineer. It keeps adding patches over patches over lousy outdated designs, and you end up having testicles.

10 June

Unstevenote 2009.06

Well, that’s the second time Apple schedules a keynote just as I’m in Smallville celebrating a birthday in the family, and… once again, I wasn’t missing much.



Nothing much to say here, except that the laptop range finally makes sense again; also, I want one of each. Damn, the MacBook Air is available for 1,400 euros.

MacBidouille has an interesting theory that they’re adding the ‘Pro’ label to save face while putting Firewire back, and they’re keeping the plastic MacBook alive because of the economic crisis — but I think I have a simpler version of events: Apple engineered the aluminum 13-incher, and were very happy with it, but they never managed to lower the costs enough to reach the $999 price point, so they kept the white model alive and either didn’t think to name the aluminum one ‘Pro’ because that wasn’t the original plan, or didn’t want to because they thought it would be temporary; and either they still couldn’t get it down to $999 now, or they realized a bit late that there was nothing wrong and everything right with having both a MacBook and a MacBook Pro at this end of the line.

As for Firewire, I think it could just as well be completely unrelated. Apple has learned to fix mistakes these past two years; they’ve done that several times on the iPhone. (And they just did with Safari.) Besides, regardless of strategy or pettiness or whatever, it’s just great news that Apple has heard the complaints and will now leave Firewire alone for a little while. Let’s just celebrate.


Snow Leopard

We already knew almost all of it, and I’m not going to get very excited anyway because I’m not eligible (unless I gut both my iMac G5 and Intel mini and make a single FrankenIntel out of them).

I like that Exposé is finally more structured; funny that, for all of the (classless) digging at Windows in the keynote, the Exposé-from-the-Dock feature is just about lifted from Seven (or is it Vista).

The price is a tad lower than it could have been, which is nice, but I’m a little sad that Apple now starts selling OS X upgrades that check what system was previously installed. Welcome to Microsoft’s world, where you have to install the previous OS again if you’re going to reinstall from scratch on a new hard drive. Sure, it’s not as horrible when it’s OS X’s almost one-click install, but as a matter of principle it’s just the end of an era. And who’s going to buy the Tiger-to-Snow upgrade anyway?


Safari 4

Who woulda thunk that Apple was equipped to listen and react to the complaints of beta testers? Personally, I’d rather they hadn’t, because I didn’t mind the tabs at the top and, more importantly, the slightly redesigned tab bar is just fugly (the bottom of the active tab looks like it’s been chopped off), but the public had spoken loudly and clearly.

The new loading spinner is pretty — I’m choosing to assume that Apple had some kind of a reason for going from a progress bar to an undeterminate spinner, and couldn’t or wouldn’t undo that — but I’m not sure about the way it changes colors to become more subdued once most of the page is displayed; isn’t it just as important at this point to know that there’s still something loading? In fact, it mostly depends on what Safari means exactly when the Loading bar turns gray; page loading is too fast for me to investigate what the criteria are, and what might still be loading at that point, but, if the Loading goes from blue to gray as scripts are still loading — or if it does before the <body onload> is triggered, and that’s likely — then I’d consider it a mistake, because on some pages that’s when you’re most going to need to know that loading isn’t quite finished.


iPhone 3.0

Once again, we knew almost all about it; and the reason I’m most impatient to see it released is that I want to see if my gay chat app is finally approved once parental controls are live.

I find it hilarious that tethering and MMS will not be available right away on AT&T; I’m not sure whether it’s been rumored or announced, but everybody’s talking about a 30-euro “unlimited” data plan for France, and that doesn’t seem half-bad — another thing that makes me pine for an Air. I like that it can work either over Bluetooth or USB; I don’t like so much that it’s going through iTunes, but I’ve come to accept that the iTunes department of Apple is a metastized tumor eating all of the company from the inside and you’ll soon — oh, wait, I just realized that Snow Leopard lets you edit and upload video in QuickTime X rather than in iTunes. Amazing.


iPhone 3G S

I cannot imagine that Steve Jobs signed off on that name. Sure, they had painted themselves into a corner when they called the previous generation “3G” but… “3G S”? That’s the most cumbersome product denomination Apple has had since Jobs came back — and it just happens to be introduced while he’s away?

“Pro” could have been the opposite of “Home” or “Fun” or whatever; but would you mind telling me what “iPhone Speed” is the opposite of, and how on earth is Apple okay with calling last-year’s model utterly non-speedy while still selling it as an entry model? How was “iPhone Video” not a better choice?

On the flip side, that leaves “iPhone Pro” available for an upcoming device with a physical keyboard. It certainly doesn’t imply that they do intend to launch one, but I’d say it does mean they are working on prototypes, and haven’t yet decided to completely shut that option down.

Stupid name aside, I want this thing (obviously). I’m really curious to see how Apple is going to manage having one App Store serving too devices with vastly different performance (poorly, probably), and I like the implication that the existence of “oleophobic screens” has on the possibility of touch-screen Mac laptops and desktops.

I can’t wait to try the camera and see how well that autofocus works; from where I’m standing, it sounds absurd that, according to what I read, your selected focus point is also used to determine white balance and exposure. Unless Apple assumes that you’ll always focus on people’s faces, it seems much worse to me than just using the whole frame. I also want to see the video capture and editing app for myself; and I can’t really believe that they couldn’t have added voice command on OS 3.0 for all phones. With autofocus photo and video capture, it seems to me Apple didn’t need to pad out the 3G S’s appeal by restricting voice command to the new model, but I’m not the one paying their bills.

Speaking of, it’s funny how many people seemed to expect that Apple and carriers would forever offer unmissable bargains for iPhone users to upgrade their phone each year. Guess it didn’t stick in people’s minds that last year was an exception, and network providers had great incentive to subsidize the new devices, because it let them get out of the original contract that gave Apple a share of the subscription revenue; Orange hasn’t announced its plans yet, but I don’t expect to be able to afford a 3G S very soon, as much as I’d want to. (And kinda need to, actually, because I need to make sure my applications work with it. Ooh, that’s a nice excuse.)

The worst part is that France has broken the exclusivity deal with Orange, so that I can’t even sell my old 3G unlocked to someone who’s stuck with another carrier — or at least not at any price that would make it painless for me to upgrade.

I knew that would happen; many people chose to hope against reason. Welcome to the world of smartphones.


One More Thing

Well, now… how about that rumor that Apple was saving a major announcement for Steve Jobs to announce in a keynote when he returns? This week, Apple certainly did announce everything that was expected of them, and nothing more; they sure could have saved something big for the end of the month.

Or, you know, maybe we just had another one in a growing number of unventful Apple keynotes.

Heh, orange.fr a copié-collé “”MMS n’est peut-être pas disponible auprès de votre opérateur sans fil” sur la page iPhone.

Mill Colour (iPhone)

Yet another color grading application for your iPhone photos, but this one is done by professionals, has a very pretty interface, and is faster than I ever thought an iPhone photo app could be.

I sure hope it’s not gonna stay free forever, because I might as well retire Snap Filters. At any rate, you absolutely must download Mill Colour now before the developers change their mind.

The only thing it’s missing is thumbnails instead of having to swipe to switch filters; but the effects look great (don’t forget to go into the Settings app if you want to save your photos full-size).

Status of the Web is Pink app

Received yesterday a second copy:

Your application, Web is Pink, is requiring unexpected additional time for review. We apologize for the delay, and will update you with further status as soon as we are able.

The interesting part is that it was sent out of the regular approval process — I could tell on the site that they reviewed the app about a week ago, not yesterday — but one day after Apple officially announced the long-expected parental controls for iPhone.

So I’m holding out unrealistic hopes again that the app could be approved when iPhone OS 3.0 brings those controls to the mobile App Store. Let’s meet here in ten days to witness my crushed expectations.

“It’s Apple screwing us, not AT&T : Macenstein”

I forgot to mention this in my complete writeup. I’ve said what I thought of the idea that Apple or carriers owed us a cheap way to upgrade, but there is an interesting point there:

AT&T is charging $699 for the iPhone 3G S if you do not want to lock in to a long-term contract. I’m going to go ahead and round that to $700. Now, let’s take a quick look at the 32 GB iPod touch that Apple sells. It costs $400 ($399). So the iPhone 3G S costs $300 more than the iPod touch. Now, let’s think about that.

11 June

“Jon Rubinstein takes over as Palm CEO”

Wow. Nicely done. (If webOS devices don’t tank.)

“Even at WWDC, developers can’t get straight answers about App Store rejections”

Surely, if you’ve paid thousands of dollars to not only join the ADC, but also buy a WWDC ticket, that earns a referral to an actual human being and not just a stock-answer to “e-mail” the App Store support center.

Safari 4’s tabs are so ugly they make me feel like every site I visit looks crappy and unfinished.

Twitter should make it easy to unfollow people based on keywords (e.g. #squareyouknowwhat). It’s in their interest to improve the content.

12 June

Comment je sais que c’est bien mon propriétaire qui a mis son nouveau RIB dans ma boîte aux lettres, et pas un usurpateur ?

“YouTube Just Became the TwitPic of Video”

YouTube has just added a small feature with big implications: the ability to link your Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader accounts to YouTube and automatically send out an update as soon as you upload a new video.

That’s clever. For a Google-acquired product, YouTube is surprisingly alive. (Maybe you need to be losing billions in bandwidth fees for the Google overlords to notice you. Jaiku, Dodgeball et al. couldn’t compete.)

Days are so long and boring when you wake up at noon.

Arg, la Haagen-Dazs en promo à 4,70 €, pas cool pour ma taille ni pour mes comptes.

The Wire season 5 — Great American Novel indeed. I only wish I’d had the experience of following it in real time.

13 June

Damn, I was respecting the Twitterific devs again, and they go and fail the Twitpocalypse.

Thousands of Snap Filters downloads since it’s gone free. And I was afraid I didn’t know how to publicize it.

14 June

905 points Orange. Je ne vais pas aller loin.

I wouldn’t know what to do with one of those “life” things.

15 June

Sheeeeeeeeeit. With iPhone 3.0 I can have geolocation in the Web is Pink web app… but people can’t upload their photos.

“YouTube - Running iPod / iPhone OS on Mac Pro”

I’d say hoax, but I don’t see the point.

I don’t see the point either way, really.

Les câbles audio plaqués or sont trop chers, alors je me suis rabattu sur un sandwich merguez-frites. Suis pas bien sûr de ma logique.

16 June

“Trust, hostility, and the human side of Apple”

The last session of WWDC ‘09 yesterday was about publishing on the App Store. […] The session itself blew through its lightweight examples quickly, ending 45 minutes early. The majority of the audience was clearly there for the Q&A. […] The Apple engineers, usually staying around the stage for one-on-one questions, were gone. The lights came up instantly, and it was the only session that didn’t end in music. The audience was stunned.

It was a giant middle finger to iPhone developers. And that’s the closing impression that Apple gave us for WWDC. Clearly, they had absolutely no interest in fielding even a single question from the topic that we have the most questions about.

You could also say that they’re evidently very aware that there are problems, and while they’d rather not discuss them they might intend to fix them someday — like I wrote after the keynote, they’ve already fixed mistakes in recent history.


I also learned, through various statements and implications, that the App Review team tries to actively avoid major blog publicity about bad rejections, and it’s something they take very seriously.

Interesting. And very obviously unsustainable.

Avec ce grand pan de trottoir tout lisse et tout neuf pas étonnant qu’il y ait des bruits de skate toute la soirée depuis le printemps.

“Microsoft sources play down reports of new Xbox in 2010”

With that said, I can confirm that Natal will run on Xbox 360 so no new console investment will be necessary.

If the intention was to unambiguously deny the rumors of a new Xbox, the person who wrote that sentence ought to be fired — because the “necessary” bit is all but confirming the possibility of a hardware upgrade coming soon (presumably with a better video chip and more RAM, both of which are totally unrelated to Natal but would be a welcome upgrade). I’ve always expected Microsoft to proceed that way, with past and future games remaining compatible with both versions of the console for as long as possible — just like on PC.

“Opera Unite service opens a door to the PC”

Of course they’re not “reinventing” anything; they’re just adding yet another kitchen sink to their application, because the success of Netscape Communicator has demonstrated that’s what people want of their browsers.

A spokeswoman for Opera confirmed to ZDNet UK on Tuesday that there is no encryption involved in the Opera Unite. Asked whether the platform could be used by someone to access data on the host’s PC that the host had not chosen to share, the spokeswoman said: “Definitely not — unless they’re a hacker.”

Uh… huh. I sure hope that Opera’s engineers are more responsible than their PR department. (But I wouldn’t bet on it, if there’s no encryption in the first place.)

Opera’s spokeswoman said that if a user was found to be distributing copyrighted material, Opera would ask the user to remove the content and, if the person did not comply, would block the account. “This would only happen if the matter was brought to Opera’s attention, as Opera does not monitor your data,” the spokeswoman added.

Oh, yeah, that’s gonna work great, too.

Of iPhone interface design

Between this and this, I’ve decided today that the iPhone SDK’s standard toolbars are dead.

Consistency was nice for a while, but it’s now time for snazzy custom buttons. I guess the fact that all apps are full-screen makes it okay.

Is TVShows.app broken? I know most of the shows are in hiatus, but I haven’t had any of the Colbert Reports from Iraq.

Huh. Cette fois je suis sûr que ce n’est pas une de mes machines virtuelles Parallels.


P.S. Tiens, je suis con, j’ai changé la configuration de mon wifi avant de penser à regarder si j’avais accès à quelque chose sur son ordinateur.

17 June


Hitting the ‘check for software update’ button in iTunes, like it was Engadget on stevenote-day.

“iPhone 3G S Hardware Features”

My somewhat-informed understanding of Voice Control is that it uses new digital signal processing hardware.

Huh. I guess that’s possible.

“Alice and Kev”

This is an experiment in playing a homeless family in The Sims 3. I created two Sims, moved them in to a place made to look like an abandoned park, removed all of their remaining money, and then attempted to help them survive without taking any job promotions or easy cash routes. It’s based on the old ‘poverty challenge’ idea from The Sims 2, but it turned out to be a lot more interesting with The Sims 3’s living neighborhood features.

It doesn’t really make sense that the part of upgrading iPhone OS that takes ages is backing up after the upgrade.

They should at least change the background pattern of table views from one major system version to the next.

3.0 is a poor consolation for, and a sad reminder of, the fact that I’m not gonna be able to afford a 3G S anytime soon.

Andy Ihnatko’s photos taken with an iPhone 3G S

Looking really good as long as you don’t check the full-size version (and I guess that amount of noise is inevitable in a sensor that small). The white balance seems to be miraculously accurate.

18 June


I have a feeling this homemade showercap will result in my parents trying to convince the mortician that it is NOT autoerotic asphyxiation.

“I kept waiting, you know, thinking that I’d do something to change my circumstances. Such an awful waste, you never get it back.”

Benjamin Button — Still the worst pitch ever, and the effects aren’t good enough (plus, damn botox), but some bits worked.

So, with iPhones being handled by Apple’s accountants as a two-year subscription… does that mean iPhone Edge users will have to pay for 4.0?

“Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iPhone OS 3.0”

Quite the definitive writeup of everything that’s new in 3.0.

The iPod and Phone icons also receive minor cosmetic diagonal line background tweaks to bring their designs more in-line with the new Messages icon, for whatever reason.

Yeah, that bugs me.

AutoFill settings can be adjusted from the Safari section in the iPhone or iPod touch Settings app.

Apparently, saving passwords was disabled by default on my phone, so you know where to go if you want to enable that.

New controls can now be found on the Now Playing screen when listening to audiobooks or podcasts. The normal Shuffle button is replaced by a variable-speed playback button allowing the user to select half-speed, normal speed, or double-speed playback, and the center button now provides the ability to immediately skip back 30 seconds.

Very nice. Get that into iTunes as well, stat.


C’est quand le monde s’est passionné pour la mouche massacrée par Obama que j’ai compris que ça ne tournait plus rond ici-bas


Ah, ben, dans ce cas… qui veut un iPhone 3G désimlocké pour 550 euros ?

Downloaded the Android SDK. Couldn’t make sense of it. Started looking at the documentation. Command-line instructions? Fuck that.

C’est le nouveau truc à la mode, la terrasse du Printemps ? (Re: aka-aki.)


Just watched Star Wars on Blu-Ray. Now the womp rats bullseye Luke first. With walkie-talkies.

Random “iTunes could not connect to this iPhone because an unknown error occurred” messages, looks like iTunes 8.2 must hate my USB hub.

“iPhone 3.0 Update: 10 Hidden Features”

In the 3.0 software update, you can now install an unlimited number of application. [Any] apps installed above the 176 that could fit on these pages will not be visible. However, these invisible apps can be accessed via Spotlight.

That’s what I assumed. (Not sure whether they tested it, or just assumed as well, though.)

Because of multiple functionalities for the Home button, this key will no longer force quit unresponsive apps like it did in 2.X software. To force quit an application in 3.0, you have to hold the sleep/wake button at the top until the red power off slider appears. Then you have to hold down the home button to quit the unresponsive application.

That’s just not right. You don’t change such essential controls, making them twice as complicated and three times slower. Especially considering that holding the Home button does nothing at all on anything but a 3G S.

19 June


What kind of Facebook quiz are you?! Answer a few questions and find out - it’s easy!

The Phantom of the Opera — It would be awful no matter what, but I’m curious how it would be if their voices didn’t make me cringe so much.

“Microsoft: There Will Be ‘No New Console’”

But we’re barely halfway through this generation. We’re happy with the Xbox 360, so there are no changes from that standpoint. For the time being, we’re really just showing a whole new category of gaming.

Okay, now that’s more like a denial.

Switching back to Twitterific Mac for my main account, I think. More compact and displays DMs in the main view.

“@akaaki will spend the weekend in paris.” Heh, we’ll see if they choke on the cock shots from the local gay community.

Comment font les gens qui vont dans un club de gym ? Je continuer de transpirer pendant deux heures après.

YouTube - ‘2012’ Trailer

Apocalypse porn. As stupid as it’s gonna be, it might be worth seeing in a theater.

“Palm says no webOS SDK till end of Summer”

Reps from the company say that although they’ve been cranking away on getting their SDK in shipshape (the version given out to current devs is apparently very rough), they won’t have anything for a broader audience anytime soon.

I guess it’s hard to bitch about that after I’ve paid to be shit upon by Apple. Uh, and the more relevant thing to say was, the iPhone SDK was only released one year after the phone launched.

20 June

God, you’re kidding? Each iPhone revision has a “warmer” screen than the one before? In three years it’s an amber terminal?

I seriously want to slap people who make a video of, say, an iPhone comparison, and don’t lock the damn focus on their camcorder.


OH on 3.0: “Cut copy paste?” No I was just trying to place the cursor. “Cut copy paste?” No I’m just scrolling a web page. “Cut copy paste?”

And once again I’m having a bout of productivity on a Saturday night. I’m just terminally jet-lagged.

21 June

The pen is still mightier than the sword. It’s just that the nuke is mightierer.

Why haven’t I seen long disserations on HOW the iPhone’s autofocus works? Is it supposed to be obvious?

Tiens, le voisin a des poutres apparentes. Pas étonnant que j’aie un mètre sous plafond et que je n’entende pas un bruit du dessus.

Fête de la Bière 2009 : Oups, j’avais oublié que je l’avais déjà faite, celle-là, et j’avais oublié pourquoi.

22 June

True Blood 2.01

There was more better funny than in the first season, wasn’t there? Too bad there were also “serious” parts. By which I mean, too bad Sookie and Bill were still there; the writers can give Michelle Forbes as stupid a storyline as they like, she’ll make it work. (Although… she didn’t so much in Razor.)

Must remember to spend one hour on my elliptical bike each day until Saturday.

True Blood 2.02

God I love Michelle Forbes. But, whatever the special effect is supposed to mean, it sucks.

Kings 1.07–1.08

Oh, there were still episodes in the drawers — it’s weird watching those after I’d completely written the show off, like an action movie death scene that’s artificially prolonged too far (unlike Pushing Daisies, for which I actually cared).

But it didn’t take so long to get back into its rhythm; Christopher Egan is still disarmingly cute (and almost naked!), the hospital apparition was fun, and the flashbacks were actually very good story. It got cancelled just before it started to make a point.

23 June


Mom: ‘How do you get to Tweeter?’

Me: ‘No, mom, tweeter doesn’t exist anymore. Step away from the computer.’

Wow, there’s a single confirmation to delete a Twitter account and it doesn’t even ask for your password.

Ah, that would be because deleting your Twitter account doesn’t actually delete anything, and it doesn’t free up the e-mail address.

“iPhone In-App Purchases Already Leading To The Dreaded Two Words: Bait And Switch”

Gokivo sells for $0.99, but that doesn’t give you access to the biggest selling point of the app: Turn-by-turn navigation. That will set you back another $9.99 a month. […]

Part of that was Gokivo’s somewhat tricky wording when the app first launched. That wording has been cleaned up now, but it’s still not good enough. Basically now you have a series of asterisks on the app page sidebar denoting the most important part of the app: That it’s $9.99 a month to use the turn-by-turn features.


And what else is a bit annoying to a number of developers I’ve talked to, is that Apple is forcing you to charge at least $0.99 to have in-app purchases as an option. As I understand it, this is because Apple wants to maintain a section of the App Store that is totally free.

Oh, that makes sense. But it’s a poor way to go about it.

Twitter protip: Spare me the cookie-cutter “Thank you for following me” semi-auto message. It’s insulting to me and to yourself. #notmyspace

“Reseller market for iPhone 3G is a lot like used Macs”

But not in France.

Anyone know for a fact whether unlocked French phones actually work outside the country, or they’re just re-locked to work with the three French carriers?

“Gmail Makes Its iPhone Web Version More App-Like With Swipe Gestures”

That’s another trick I have to steal from them, along with the fancy position-fixed toolbar.

24 June

I need to find one single prominent twitterer I can convince that quotation marks are the ideal way to denote quoting someone’s tweet.

Blogging protip: Everyone uses Google Reader nowadays and it makes long articles full of images a huge pain; please rediscover “read more.”

“iPhone 3GS JavaScript Performance Blows Away Rivals, Approaches MacBook Speed”

…and the article culminates with a nice graphic showing that the 3GS is twelve times slower than the reference MacBook. “Approaches,” right. Damn, I hate journalists.

“HTC Hero hands-on”

I’m sure it’s great to have a smartphone with Flash (okay, no I don’t), but the only thing I really care to comment about is: why the hell did they give it a chin again? Is there a single person in the universe that thought it was cool on the G1? It’s even worse on this phone, since it’s thinner.

“Bucky’s Nightmare”

Not sure I’d want to sit on it, but I like the idea.

25 June

Gran Turismo PSP Gameplay

Wow… no way?!

Via Kotaku’s screenshot gallery, which I couldn’t believe either.

If that’s the way the PSP version looks, it confirms I’m absolutely going to need to buy a PS3 by the time Gran Turismo 5 comes out.

“Mark Sanford: A Very Strange Man”

I don’t give a fuck about adulterous American governors (hey, I’m French — and that’s meant to address the ‘adulterous’ part), but this… this:

Other sources claim that Sanford, who owned a hydraulic excavator at the time, digs holes on his property to unwind.

So cool. (If you don’t click through and find out that it’s a story about an eight-year-old girl dying. Which I don’t care about, but you might, because some of you have a heart. Wait, no. Only my fellow cynics still read this blog.)

Asher Roth

(Photoshop fail, though — they must have color-corrected his skin, and it makes it look like he’s wearing lipstick.)

Fuck, they’re going to reject my Unicode application because it has an Apple logo on it.

“Porn Comes to the iTunes App Store”

…and hundreds of other posts with similar titles.


Damn puritans.

— Bla bla MSN bla bla Hotmail.

— La question c’est plutôt pourquoi l’iPod et l’iPhone ont réussi à trouver le succès alors que les gens semblent toujours préférer les solutions les plus merdiques.

— Oui, je me demandais pareil. Peut-être c’est une question de seuil.

— Noon ! Je viens de comprendre !
C’est parce qu’iTunes sous Windows est une daube !

26 June

iPod touch owners don’t upgrade to 3.0

Not a surprise, considering the price tag, but something to remember for developers. Or, you know… screw iPod owners.

Dean Cain promotes IE8

I do not believe that those videos are actually commissionned by Microsoft. Because they’re funny.

“Who Exactly Is In Charge Of The App Store? Anyone?”

Here is Apple’s statement to CNN earlier today:

Apple will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography. The developer of this application added inappropriate content directly from their server after the application had been approved and distributed, and after the developer had subsequently been asked to remove some offensive content. This was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program. The application is no longer available on the App Store.

Oh, fuuuuck. They really are ruling the App Store by reacting to whatever catches the blogs’ attention. A lot of morons called it porn because it had female nipples, so — poof! — the app is gone.


It’d be one thing if Apple didn’t have a rating that accounts for sexual content, but it does. So clearly it expects some apps to have “”Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity” in the store. But according to its statement, it won’t allow for them. […]

The App Store approval process has basically been a joke for much of the past year. I was hopeful it would get better now that parental controls are a part of the iPhone 3.0 software. Apparently, I was wrong — it looks like it’s getting worse.

Ditto. And I just reuploaded the Web is Pink application yesterday, after recompiling it to be 3.0-only (since 3.0 introduced parental controls). Now it looks like, even if I somehow finally got the app approved, it might just be pulled if it ever became too popular. That’s just awesome.

Testing Palringo. Disconnects from my computer when I launch it on the iPhone. What’s the point of an IM client on the cloud then?

With all my contempt for the Flash plug-in, it’s hard to blame Adobe when WebKit takes 100% CPU to render a single animated gif. Pathetic.

“iPhone 3GS Signal Strength Oddities”

Almost immediately after getting my new iPhone 3GS, I noticed that it spent more time connected to the EDGE network, rather than the faster 3G network, than did my prior iPhone 3G. […]

According to Apple, the software behind the status bar on an iPhone 3GS does a better job of showing when a switch from 3G to EDGE has occurred than does the comparable software on an iPhone 3G.

Translation: iPhone 3G was a lying bastard, and now Apple can’t be bothered anymore to pretend that AT&T’s coverage is better than it is. (I mean, there’s no way the 3G’s hardware has trouble knowing whether it’s on 3G or Edge, so it could have part of the software update.)

Reading Greg Egan’s Diaspora: Why don’t virtual worlds all have spaces that expand to accommodate the number of people inside?

Looks like Apple tested my app today. I uploaded the latest binary yesterday. WTF? Just so they can reject it tomorrow on gay pride day?

27 June

Il n’y a pas deux sites de prévisions météo qui soient d’accord sur la journée de demain. Oh well, j’ai oublié de défriper mon hoodie, donc…


Aujourd’hui jour de Gay Pride, c’est la Saint Pédé. Bonne fête à tous les pédés !!! (avec la musique de Téléchat)

28 June

It’s fun to see the Snap Filters update being downloaded by the tens of thousands, but I wish there were more sales, too.

29 June

“Noah’s Tree”

Je trouvais l’objet très beau (de nuit — visiblement, de jour, ça le fait moins) mais je suis déçu de voir que c’est pour une opération de comm aussi peu intéressante.

Install an app to the iPhone, sync, remove the app, sync, download it again on the iPhone to try again, sync — bam, iTunes removed it.

There isn’t a single Twitter client that just works right, and when Tweetie still growls three-month-old mentions at launch… GAROO SMASH!

The heat. The nerves. It’s hard to imagine how any country further south could NOT be perpetually at war.

30 June

“Urban Dictionary: blerg”

The first definition is dated from 2003 — long before 30 Rock. Should the timestamp be trusted?

L’inconvénient de la gay pride un 27 juin, c’est qu’il n’y a qu’un week-end de transition entre Marais bondé et Paris déserté.


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