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

1 July 2010

I think I want to put my shiny new iPhone in a ziploc bag to protect it from my sweaty pants pocket.

“Pressure Sensitive Drawing on iPad”

Ten One Design, makers of the Pogo Sketch, posted a demo video of their latest creation, a pressure-sensitive sketching software for the iPad that allows you to draw on screen with a stylus and it’s able to capture different levels of pressure from that stylus.

How. The. Fuck?

Actually, after the initial amazement, I can imagine how — I think the OS knows the size of the contact point on the screen, so if it’s accurate enough, and if the stylus is squishy, you can make it work.

So the next question is: When? Why not on by default? I want!

Andy Ihnatko reviews (and breaks) the iPhone 4

I asked Apple if the Apple Stores offered a specific repair for a broken back panel. […]

Apple referred me to the standard policy regarding out-of-warranty repairs: it’s a flat-rate fee of $199. I suspect that replacement rear panels will soon become popular items on fix-your-iPhone-yourself retail sites.



(The rest of the article is forgettable fanboyism. Ihnatko is a much better podcast guest than writer.)

2 July

Futurama 6.03 — It’s funny because we called it eyePhone. See, instead of iPhone? eyePhone! Funny! And Twitcher! Bam! We’re on fire today!

“Apple: iPhone 4 reception problem is a software issue, fix coming in ’a few weeks’”

Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.

Right. Meanwhile, John Gruber measures a 33% drop in bandwidth when his hand bridges the antennas.

I can’t blame you for having excerpt-only RSS feeds. But excerpts and ads in the feed? That’s a double-dip too far.

4 July

“The entire Steve Jobs email story… It’s real”

This is interesting. When the thread was initially published, and then when Apple denied its authenticity, I figured that nobody could ever know for sure one way or another — can’t prove that Steve sent the emails, can’t prove that he didn’t.

But I hadn’t thought about that:

I have been given access to Jason’s Google Apps email client and verified those headers to be legitimate, undoctored, and kosher.

I don’t know if Google modifies the headers of messages you import via IMAP, but I suspect that it ought to; if that’s the case, it becomes nearly impossible for someone to fake the exchange. (I’m not suspecting BGR of lying about their verification; they do have a track record, and it would have been so much easier for them to admit that they were duped.)

It wouldn’t be the first time Apple PR would lie, and it wouldn’t be that surprising they would scramble to control a Steve thread that went too far.

But it’s damn bad form, and it’s reckless.

Finally downgrading to Transmit 3. I can’t take the slowness and bugginess of DropSend in Transmit 4 anymore. I hate that I paid for it.

5 July

6 July

iPhone bumpers aren’t bad, the buttons have a nice clickiness, but damn does it make the mute switch cumbersome to use.

I hate the iPad. It has my fat, pasty face on it.

Oh, the horror of not having folders on the iPad’s home screen.

Hee. Unicode looks great on my iPad. Me proud.

Moodboard on iPad is pretty close to what I intended to make. Possibly close enough that I won’t have to do it myself.

I think I really like the feel of Apple’s iPhone Bumpers, and that confirms the iPhone 4 was just made to be slipped into a case.

7 July

I can’t believe how cheap laser printers have gotten. Why do I have this crappy inkjet? I don’t print photos!

The iPad has finally convinced me to switch my Mac’s mail client to IMAP, but I’m not sure how to still keep a reliable local backup.

Sniff, the few people I know on We Rule have very crappy cities that they haven’t played with for more than two minutes.

8 July

24 hours with an iPad

Oh, it’s smaller than I expected. Oh, it’s heavier. Oh, it’s shinier and I really don’t like to see my face in it. Oh, and the pixels are so big and pixely, and there are no goddamn folders on the home screen (that’s much worse than the lack of multitasking).

And, well, I love it.

Like the iPhone 4 (and much more so), the iPad looks better in person. The overall proportions, the bezel’s size, everything, is much more appropriate to its real size than to blown-up photos on apple.com. It just looks really nice, and works fine (excepted for the aforementioned lack of iOS 4), and damn if this isn’t the best netbook ever imagined, let alone manufactured.

The first few minutes were really a bit hard for me, mostly because of iPhone 4 — this post’s first paragraph accurately describes my reaction step by step. But once I installed and sifted through all the many, many apps I had on my account, I was convinced: I love this thing in just about exactly the way I expected to.

The lack of iOS 4 is a torture, and it’s going to be really painful next year when they introduce the new model with a Retina screen and more RAM (which is why I didn’t get the 3G model this year — actually, I realized today that, contrary to what I had assumed so far, they could very well introduce a new model this fall, in tandem with the availability of iOS 4). But this thing is great, and fully satisfying, as it is already.

I’ll spare you the rest of the superlatives, because everything’s already been written about this thing in the past two months. Just know that everything’s true, and it is worth buying (assuming that the resale value next year will be good — and unless, of course, you never ever spend any time idling in your couch or bed, as those are definitely the settings the iPad is made for).


Just a double nitpick to justify my salary: First, the screen spinning every single time you put the iPad down on a table (because the movement itself is interpreted by the accelerometer as an orientation change) is really annoying, and I wonder if having a gyroscope like in the iPhone 4 would help.

Second, and related, it’s really annoying, when you want to quit an app, to find out that you’ve ended up with the Home button on top. When I read about the development prerequisites (it is pretty much forbidden to have an app that supports portrait but not upside-down portrait), I thought it was a weird idea; I was right.

(Although it is convenient that you can read a magazine with the iPad resting on your lap while charging, with the power cord pointing out the top rather than digging into your thighs. But that would have been solved by putting the dock port somewhere else or engineering it differently.)


After the break: all the apps you should or shouldn’t download.

[continue reading]

Oops. No wonder I didn’t get a notification from We Rule and lost precious crops, I had turned them off when I first launched the game.

Gonna need a better solution than keeping my Mac mini busy for an entire day to convert just a few hours of video for the iPad.

9 July

Requesting expedited review of the Snap Filters fix, resisting the urge to write “…cause it’s Apple’s fault as much as mine” in the e-mail.

“Droptext allows you to edit Dropbox files on your iPhone”

It’s only the first offshoot of Dropbox opening up its API, and the interface really sucks (you can’t create folders; you have to name a new file after you’ve typed its contents; you to have to tap “Edit” first before you can create a new file; the app creates a compulsory “Droptext” folder in your Dropbox without asking permission and with no good reason that I can imagine). But it’s there, it works, and it beats using Simplenote on the iDevice plus Notational Velocity on the Mac.

You could wait until someone produces a better note-taking application for the Dropbox API, but Droptext is only $1, and good enough in the meantime.

“Osmos for iPad: An Evolutionary Step In iPad Gaming”

I intended to be working this afternoon, but it’s gonna be very hard. This game is gorgeous and addictive — and quickly gets pretty difficult, but in a good way.

10 July

“More App Store hackery may be afoot”

Apple insisted that iTunes servers were not compromised. Reed—an experienced e-commerce developer known for his work with Threadless—told Ars that he is convinced there is a more serious security problem that Apple isn’t sharing.

Reed’s password, a string of random alphanumeric characters, isn’t easy to guess, though it is possible that it could be determined by brute force.

So, yay, nobody’s safe and, one way or another, the iTunes Store servers are hacked (which isn’t a surprise considering how incompetent we know Apple to be at anything server-based).

But removing your credit card info from the Store and using gift cards is so inconvenient!

I was copy-pasting changes to a bunch of PHP scripts, and suddenly my clipboard contents were replaced with “incompetent.” Uh.

Grâce à l’iPad, je n’ai plus une assiette propre et je m’en fous, je boufferai direct sur le sol plutôt que de devoir faire la vaisselle.

Désolé, je débarque, mais vous ne trouvez pas la pub McDo tellement subtile et alambiquée que c’en est insultant, vous ?

Finishing up my next application (which looks gorgeous on the iPhone 4, thank you) feels so claustrophobic — how can a screen be so small?!

11 July

I’ve added 20GB of movies to iTunes but there’s no way I can let go of my iPad long enough to sync them.

Huh. So it’s true that Vampire Diaries isn’t awfully written. It’s just badly produced, cast, and directed, but the scripts may not be bad.

How much do I need a MacBook Pro now that I have an iPad, and the new Mini is more than perfectly transportable?

12 July

Oh for fuck’s sake, not Mia Kirshner.

It’s so weird and wrong to see Jasmine Guy as a grandmother. (But witch, that works.)

Casting directors always have their preferences, but it’s ridiculous how 100% of the male actors in Vampire Diaries could be brothers.

Yay! They have fixed the We Rule servers, I can get my farms neatly aligned again.

13 July

“Use Indoor and Outdoor Fans to Get Rid of Bugs”

If you had always wondered how mosquitoes pick their targets:

A fan dilutes and disperses the carbon dioxide you exhale. Carbon dioxide is one of the major chemicals that attract mosquitoes. The wind from a fan also cools you off. Sweat, lactic acid and body heat attract mosquitoes — factors that a fan can help minimize.

Even I thought the iPad would be mostly a toy — but everything it’s capable of doing, I prefer doing on the iPad rather than on the Mac.

Okay, good enough for a first release. Beam me up, Application Loader!

It really, consistently bugs me, on iPhone and iPad, to have the video progress bar on top, and playback buttons at the bottom.

14 July

The Vampire Diaries S1 — Watch the pilot and you’d think those voices saying “It’s actually not bad at all” are insane. Yet they’re right.

I kinda like the apps and services that tweet as an “I” (e.g. @1Password) but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

I don’t think Fruit Ninja HD brings enough updates to be worth that price if you’ve already bought the iPhone version.

“Newspaper to Charge People to Comment”

From tomorrow, the Sun Chronicle, a Massachusetts paper, will charge would-be commenters a nominal one-off fee of 99 cents. But it has to be paid by credit card, which means providing a real name and address.

And the name on the credit card will be the name that will appear on comments. So it’s goodbye to anonymity.

Ballsy. I actually hope it works.

Now that I read RSS feeds on the iPad, I’m gonna be posting links on Twitter rather than my blog. But do I post here or on a new account?

Okay, scratch that: two-player Fruit Ninja on iPad is pretty fun.

My GMail IMAP conundrum was so simple to solve: just move read messages from the inbox to an “On my Mac” folder, like I’ve always done.

“Microsoft Executive Mocks iPhone 4, dubs it Apple’s Vista”

A top Microsoft executive today compared Apple’s iPhone 4 to his own company’s problem-plagued Vista operating system.

It’s totally like Vista in that Vista had good reviews in the press but nobody wanted to buy it, and all the media is asking for the iPhone 4’s head on a platter but I’m convinced it will hardly make a dent in real-world sales. So… yeah.

(I don’t want to be a fanboy blindly defending Apple — especially not as their handling of the problem so far has been pathetic — but this lynchmob mentality is really pissing me off. OMG, Apple has finally made a mistake! Let’s all report and amplify it so that people stop being so in love with iPhones, it was indecent! And demanding a recall if gonna make us look like good journalists taking the people’s interests at heart!)

15 July

J’ai pas envie d’aller faire des courses, il faudrait que je lâche mon iPad pendant au moins trois quarts d’heure.

Bon, va falloir arrêter les conneries avec le bouton “Buy” de l’App Store, là, si je veux pouvoir manger la semaine prochaine.

While I’m at it, finally setting up my Gmail on my Mac’s Mail app, because IMAP is magical and hello 1995.

“TeamViewer - Free Remote Access and Remote Desktop Sharing over the Internet”

TeamViewer connects to any PC or server around the world within a few seconds. You can remote control your partner’s PC [or your own] as if you were sitting right in front of it.

The desktop client/server is free (and works well on the Mac, without any kind of root install); the iPhone/iPad client is free; it all works pretty seamlessly, whether you want to provide remote tech support to a relative (they only have to run a small app that doesn’t require an install, even on Windows) or access your computer on the go (in that case you only have to register — still for free — and set up a more secure custom password).

That can’t be legit, can it? It can’t possibly work and be honest and be secure, all three at the same time, for free?!

OS 3.2.1 for iPad supposedly improves wifi

Now that’s more useful and welcome than bigger cellular bars.

Okay, I’m gonna get tired of receiving a spam tweet or two every single time I use the word “iPad.”

The Book of Eli — Painful. Mila Kunis is alright; she needs to fire her agent.

Va-t-il aller jusqu’à acheter un casque spécial (bon son, fil court) pour son iPad ? Le suspense est… dérisoire, comment résister ?

16 July

I want a sarbacane. To mess with the cat.

“Apple Knew of iPhone Antenna Glitch”

Normally I’d say Apple engineered this article so that the public (or media, since the public doesn’t care that much, if at all) would know in advance that there wasn’t gonna be an iPhone 4 recall tomorrow — to manage their expectations, as Gruber writes — but this bit doesn’t really belong in a shill piece:

Apple engineers were aware of the risks associated with the new antenna design as early as a year ago, but Mr. Jobs liked the design so much that Apple went ahead with its development, said a person familiar with the matter.

Steve Jobs, not at all going mad with power.

Or: we’re damned if he leaves, damned if he doesn’t.

(In the real world this would be too absurd to believe, but it just fits with Jobs’s first email response on the subject, doesn’t it?)

iPhone dev: You were probably always supposed to do any and all UI stuff on the main thread, but with iOS 4 it becomes way laggy if you don’t.

iTunes spent the whole night backing up my iPad to update the OS, then proceeds to give up because Apple’s auth servers are overloaded. Yay.

Firefox Sync for iPhone: would be much more useful (to me) if it could push URLs from the iPhone to the desktop.

Futurama 6.05 — Still unimaginatively checking the boxes of every single cultural phenomenon that happened while they were canceled.

Well, I just won $30 today, like I expected. (I won’t be able to choose a third-party case, but then I actually like the Bumper.)

But overall, Bullshit Central. If there wasn’t an engineering mistake to be fixed, the offer wouldn’t be [roughly] limited to existing iPhone stock.

So they were reluctant to offer free Bumpers because they didn’t have enough, and they knew it’d mean having to pay for third-party cases.


The iPhone 4 seems more Frank Lloyd Wright than Dieter Rams right now. Who cares if the roof leaks? It’s the best house ever!


You can’t toss terms like “magical and revolutionary” around and then be all “oh, we expect people to maintain a sense of perspective”.

“Major Arcana by Jak Flash”

Oh, I’ve got to remake my tarot app.

“Griffin Technology: Loop - A clean, simple stand for your iPad.”

Well done, kinda want, not worth $30 obviously but that’s the standard-issue price tag for all Apple accessories these days, so who can complain? I did buy a Bumper.

On disait donc, le gouvernement s’impliquait dans le fiasco de la Coupe du Monde à cause de l’image de la France à l’étranger ? #france.fr

17 July

“Apple’s condescending iPhone 4 press conference”

“The iPhone 4 drops less than one additional call per 100 than the 3GS,” he said. As Jobs sees it, that’s not a big rise in dropped calls. Yet that’s not an obvious conclusion. Last year, an AT&T spokesman told me that AT&T’s average iPhone dropped-call rate is 1 percent—in other words, the old iPhone dropped one call out of 100. If the iPhone 4 drops nearly one additional call out of 100, that could be close to a 2 percent dropped-call rate—or double the dropped-call rate of the old iPhone. That sounds a lot more serious, doesn’t it?

That’s probably true. When I read about that awfully convoluted statistic in the transcript, I figured they must have been avoiding percentages at all costs because those would look bad. And a 100% increase in dropped calls would indeed look bad.

(When you stop to think about it, I feel that 1% of dropped calls, in and of itself, also looks bad, but for all I know those are normal numbers.)

“iPhone 4 antenna: unanswered questions, unearned trust”

Steve Jobs said the following at the press conference:

“Apple’s been around for 34 years. Haven’t we earned the credibility and trust from some of the press to give us a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, of our motivations, the fact that we’re confident and will solve these problems? I think we have that trust from our users, but I didn’t see that in the press.”

Ah, what glorious fullness of shit.

I don’t know if Apple has earned the trust of its users (seeing as how I’m a user and don’t trust a word out of Jobs’s or Apple PR’s mouths anymore, I probably think they haven’t), but there’s definitely no such thing as a corporation earning the press’s trust that they’re gonna solve their problems and those problems don’t really deserve serious reporting — and I’m going to put a full stop on this post in a hurry before I start comparing Apple to BP because it’s not warranted in any way but it’s just too damn tempting.

The Daily Digg for iPad

The Daily Digg – an app recently discovered by MacStories - does this by presenting a variety of Digg categories in a newspaper-style setting.

The app could be prettier, needs Instapaper integration, and either it’s a little buggy or my iPad is having a bad day — but it’s free and a good idea executed well enough to be useful.

Near Dark — That first half hour was just unwatchable, and I doubt it would have gotten better.

“Final thoughts on Antennagate”

I haven’t read one legitimate new opinion on this whole debacle for well over a week now, and yet, the same crap keeps cramping up my rss feed.


Are they saying anything at all? Are they regurgitating someone else’s viewpoints, or are they adding to the commentary? If it’s a regurgitation, you might want to take a moment and remove them from your RSS feed. Anyone can copy and paste someone else’s thoughts, but very few in this industry seem able to come up with original thoughts. If there’s one thing I can promise to you guys, the readers, it’s that we’re trying hard to create unique commentaries on our posts. Sure, sometimes we fall short, be we recommit to being better every week.


Well, except for the commitment part. You don’t deserve my commitment. YOU CAN’T HANDLE MY COMMITMENT! Um. Anyhoo. As austere as this blog’s contents have become, I mostly restrict myself to posting links when I have something to say about them — that hasn’t been said a million times elsewhere.

But, of course, in that respect it does help that I don’t count on AdSense to pay my salary.

18 July

As a user with multiple accounts, I liked Twitter’s new-follower notifications better when they began with “Hi, %YourNameHere%.”

On est en 2010, et carrefour.com renvoie sur le site corporate et carrefour.fr sur le site pour les civils.

Found an old iPhone power adapter. There you go, a third dock connector on my desk (already one per Mac, both too weak to charge the iPad).

“Inside Apple’s Actual Distortion Field: Giant Chambers, Fake Heads, And Black Cloaks”

At one point we were told that the iPad had been in testing in this facility “for years.” Even more interesting may be that the iPhone 4 specifically had been in testing in these chambers for 2 years.

Hrm. I guess it kinda makes sense in that the previous design lasted just two years, so they would have started work on the replacement as soon as the iPhone 3G was out, but you just don’t picture Apple having to spend so much time from design to release.

Or did the 3GS have the same design as the 3G precisely because they were having trouble with the next iteration? (I’m sure Steve would love it if the Fortress of Foamitude press tour only resulted in more wild speculation.)

Seriously, though, it does impress me that they’ve had a $100-million antenna testing facility “for years.”

“Ex-Google News, Bing Engineers Set Out To Build ‘Newspaper Of The Future’”

Apollo is quite similar to Pandora in that it uses an algorithm (using factors such as time spent on articles, sources favorited, articles liked/not-liked as well as social elements like Twitter and Facebook mentions and similar peoples’ tastes etc.) to help users discover the best content for them in a variety of categories (Top News, Business, Tech, Sports and so on).

The app crawls thousands of the top blogs and news sources on the Web within said categories, ranks them, and clusters related articles together. […]

The iPad app is priced $4.99, but will be $2.99 until Monday July 19.

I’m sure the algorithm is worthy, but the interface is pretty unpleasant and I doubt it can succeed with the iPad crowd unless it’s fixed — the graphics as well as the way it works. Have to tap ‘more’ before I can scroll down ‘more,’ really? Have you ever used a Twitter client on iPhone?

Actually, the whole interface does scream of never having used even an iPhone (they did develop the app before the iPad was available), and jumping on the bandwagon because that’s where the money is.

So, yeah, I use the iPad enough that I’m downgrading my wishlist from 15-inch-HD MacBook Pro to 13-inch MacBook with a DIY 7200 rpm drive.

It takes a full minute to rename a single video in iTunes, but I can’t help it, I need to tidy up the library.

19 July

I eat less since the iPad because my hands are busy, but I also eat worse as I can’t be bothered to cook; the end result looks negative.

On the other hand, that’s just the perfect opportunity to try meal substitutes again.

Kick-Ass — Okay script; stupid, annoying movie. And the guy is way too pretty for the part, but that’s not much of a negative.

C’est con mais ça fait plaisir, les “*** a donné trois ou quatre étoiles à Webmaster.”

“Don’t Hold Them Wrong”

Okay, maybe Steve has reasons to be frustrated. (Surprised by how many have the antenna on top.)

Making a demo video of a phone running Windows Phone 7? Then lock the goddamn exposure on your camcorder!

Engadget’s Windows Phone 7 UI walkthrough

Feels more like a featurephone than a smartphone, but I like the interface.

Idea: a line of stickers made for the iPad’s Home button. I’m always losing the damn thing, and it’d be the perfect subtle customization.

“Shutting Themselves In”

I knew about the hikikomori, but not the programs designed to draw them out.

True Blood 3.05 — Isn’t that piece of backstory literally absurd?

20 July

I Love You Phillip Morris — Why, just why, why on earth? And what kind of film did they think they were doing there?

Il faut que je fasse une “fail whale” pour nopic, des idées ?

“HP PalmPad dual-mode multitouch display with active pen input tipped”

Having seemingly gained a name, HP’s PalmPad webOS based tablet is now gradually getting fleshed out with hardware capabilities, too.  According to The Examiner, their source suggests HP will use a dual-mode touchscreen that combines a Wacom active digitizer with a finger-friendly multitouch capacitive layer.  

If you want to have a shot against the iPad, that’s the only way to do it. A pen+touch webOS tablet would definitely be the second most frustrating product launch for me, as an iPad owner who can’t possibly buy two tablets. (First would have been the late Courier.)

Kinect officially priced at $150

Meanwhile, the hard-drive-less new Xbox is gonna be $200. One is a supercomputer; the other is two webcams on a motorized stick. One is sold at a loss, or at cost, subsidized by games sales; the other… well, it would sell games, too, if it weren’t so damn expensive, wouldn’t it?

I can’t believe there’s a valid engineering or manufacturing reason for this price point (most of the cost of Kinect has to be software, and with software you do make it up in volume), so this can’t be anything but a total failure of marketing and strategy — someone evidently believes they’ll never sell enough units to recoup the development costs, and priced the peripheral in accordance… with their self-fulfilling prophecy.

In other words, an eminently Microsoftian strategy.

21 July

In the Loop — Not exactly The West Wing, but entertaining enough.

Clash of the Titans — Silly, but not insultingly so; harmless fun and pretty effects. Gotta wonder how they got those actors, though.

Rappel : ne pas dévisager les mecs à Leclerc. Ils sont hétéros, ici.


I just pulled my MacBook Pro out of my backpack with the unconscious intention of docking it to my iMac and syncing with iTunes. Send help.

Bought Limbo for 360. The question isn’t whether I’ll have nightmares tonight, but if I’ll ever manage to fall asleep again at all.

22 July

Flipboard’s business model

Give the app for free to make it up in volume, and become as powerful as Apple. Um, okay.

The timeline seems inoderni… indod… oddly quiet today. Also, I’m still sleepy.

Tried setting up a Behance portfolio for my LinkedIn profile, but the complexity and paradoxical limitations made me scream.

Flipboard doesn’t mind showing me the same link a dozen times in my Twitter feed. Style over algorithm, I’m afraid.

“Nous avons procédé aujourd’hui au remboursement automatique [de votre bumper iPhone].” Euh, ouais, c’était la CB de ma mère, mais bon.

Does Flipboard use a screwed-up font for titles, or do they actively replace hyphens with em-dashes?

On recherche un ou une japonais(e) avec un micro de bonne qualité pour finalement faire the appli d’apprentissage des kana.

23 July

“High-Speed Robot Hand”

More agile than a Cylon — especially the last bit, catching a cell phone (via Buzz Out Loud).

How did @instapaper think it was a good idea to have the browser actively prevent the user from interacting with the page while loading?

“Mass Effect 2 Enters The Lair Of The Shadow Broker”

That’s a story-based DLC I’m gonna have to buy, unlike the others.

Mongrels 1.01–1.04 — Some good jokes, but mostly wasted potential and unexportable British pop references & guests.

24 July

“Tab Candy: Making Firefox Tabs Sweet”

Way geeky (as in, you will never ever see that in Safari), but nicely done, for power users who live in their browsers.

I don’t ever have more than four tabs open at any given time now (mostly since I started using Reader Helper, and recently replaced it with either Instapaper or Read It Later), but a few years ago I would have had wet dreams after watching this video.

(It would also be nice on an iPad, though. I’m sure someone will post a half-assed, unusable version of this on the App Store soon enough.)

When you look at Flipboard… it’s unacceptable for any modern Twitter client to be content displaying a bit.ly URL. Expand & fetch the title!

You Gotta See This! for iPhone 4 

I like the idea but I’m hesitant to buy an iPhone app whose site crashes my iPad.

C’est de plus en plus le bordel, OVH, ou c’est juste que j’ai des serveurs dans chaque salle donc je suis touché par chaque incident ?


Shorter Apple to other phone makers with antenna problems: “If we’re going down WE’RE TAKING YOU WITH US.”

“Daft Punk Helmet replica finally completed”

Link is days old but I hadn’t watched the video yet. Amazing and insane.

“Apple attacks Droid X antenna”

This is turning into one of those charming cage matches in which wrestlers desperately try to maim each other with chains and chairs and blows to very private regions.

In a new video, posted to both its own Web site and to YouTube, Apple attempts to show that the dazzling new Motorola Droid X, which many seem to rather appreciate, also has something of an issue when it comes to being held in the Death Grip.

What this is turning into is a little kid who shouts “He does it too! And him! And him!” several hours after the matter has been settled by his parents — mostly in his favor.

We got it, Apple feels wrongly singled out in this matter, and at this point I have no idea and don’t really care one way or the other (even if it’s unfair, it still goes with the territory when you have the best, most adored phone on the market — and when you’re an arrogant ass about it); I just can’t believe they’re still updating their comparative page instead of letting the matter die.

(Yes, it’s only been a few days, but won’t you give the tech press a chance to move over already?)

“Does Language Influence Culture?”

One of the key advances in recent years has been the demonstration of precisely this causal link. It turns out that if you change how people talk, that changes how they think. If people learn another language, they inadvertently also learn a new way of looking at the world. When bilingual people switch from one language to another, they start thinking differently, too.

The scientific studies mentioned in this article are as fascinating as they are scary. (By the way, I always thought that about being bilingual.)

25 July

The jumbo bottles of Coke Zero give me headaches yet I keep drinking them.

“Concerning FourSquare”

The problem is because people don’t think about what they’re doing. People are infuriating like that, but it’s the truth of the matter. People see the function to pair the FourSquare and Twitter account so they do, and they see the function to broadcast their check-in to Twitter so they do. They’re in an application context of closed friends, and they don’t consider that they’re spreading information into different places.

Several interesting, well thought-out points about developing a social network or any kind of online service that interacts with them.

26 July

Warehouse 13 1.01–1.05 — Really silly , but fun, and the stories aren’t bad.

“How to restore the color of dingy old Lego bricks”

The plastics these [old computers] were made of is called ABS and to make it flame retardant (just in case it catches fire after a marathon session) the plastics manufacturers added chemicals that caused the plastic turn yellow or, even worse, brown over a long period of time.

Ooh, so that’s why. I always thought it was just natural for old plastic to do that.

A chance discovery was made in March 2008, by The CBM Museum at Wuppertal in Germany, that immersing parts in a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide for a few days could partially reverse the process.

Warehouse 1.06–1.13 — Unsurprisingly, the show gets somewhat more annoying as it starts taking itself more seriously.

“HyperMac Stand doubles as an external battery for your iPad”

The design is clever enough (except I don’t see much in the way of protective padding for the iPad’s front glass) and it includes a battery for when you’re using your iPad literally all day long (as I am), so it’s awesome, right?

Well, if I’m reading the info correctly, they didn’t care to pay Apple the dock connector tax, so… if you want to use the included battery, you’ve got to connect the iPad to the stand with a USB cable. That’s a great deal of inconvenience for no less than $130.

Demo: Kane & Lynch 2 (360)

The first game had two problems: outdated graphics and muddy controls. I really like what they’ve done to the sequel’s visuals (you’re basically looking at the game through a cheap camcorder, or poorly encoded news clips on YouTube, or something like that, the point isn’t clear but it works, although I’m not sure how annoying that gets after a while), but instead of fixing the poor controls they’ve worked around them in a pretty cheap and lousy way: tuning auto-aim to the max.

The default (at least in normal difficulty) is GTA IV-level aim assist, which is probably fine for the more casual audience (can the casual audience really be that interested in a game like Kane & Lynch?) but ridiculous in a game whose sole point is shooting enemies; worse, even if you turn auto-aim off, it’s still there — just weaker. And for me to notice auto-aim in a shooter, it’s got to be really conspicuous.

(Unlike, say, Halo — where I’ve never perceived aim assist but I’ve heard often enough that it’s there — the game doesn’t actually help you much at actually following a target while you, or it, is moving; it just snaps violently to the nearest target when you squeeze the aiming trigger, then leaves you on your own. Not that it would be very usable either if you could really turn aim assist, though, because aiming doesn’t zoom the view at all.)

It’s a pity that they’re wasting such nice visual and atmospheric effort with poor controls. On the other hand, that game seems to be much, much better than you could ever have expected of a sequel to the first Kane & Lynch, so it’s not really all negative.

Limbo (360)

Let’s get this out of the way: Limbo is a terrific artistic achievement and, like Braid a year ago wow two years ago time flies, you absolutely ought to buy it, both for the exceptional experience and to reward the developers’ talent and originality.

It’s just that you couldn’t be blamed for not finishing the game. (But then I didn’t finish Braid either.)


The first third, or half, of the game, is an absolute masterpiece. The atmosphere is just fantastic — visuals, sounds, the universe, everything fits, and the controls are perfectly tight (and devilishly simple). I’m not sure I’ve ever been as scared playing a game before (well, I don’t play the Resident Evil games et al. because I don’t like them — but this is a simple monochrome 2D platformer, so it’s not really making it easy for itself to immerse and freak the player out). The first part has one of the most unnerving enemies I’ve ever encountered; the second part has the best non-speaking secondary characters; then… it all kinda goes to shit.

Some people don’t seem to mind that the puzzles become punishingly complicated, and maybe I’m a lazy casual gamer at heart, but what’s inarguable is that the environments become unoriginal, boring, pointless, and it definitely feels like they’ve been padding the game a lot to justify the price.

Limbo would be much better — it would probably be perfect, in fact — if it was half as long and $5 cheaper. But, as it stands, it’s still a must-buy; you can just use an online guide to power through to the end (that’s what I did and I have no regrets). Or you could stop playing, but you’ll want to see the end. Even though it’s short and, uh, doesn’t show much of anything. (That’s just a warning, not a spoiler.)

27 July

Sherlock 1.01 — It’s just silly how much of a The Doctor they made him, but it’s really, really well done.

Fuck shit ass. Magic Trackpad requires 10.6.4, i.e. an Intel Mac.

28 July

Still using target=_blank? Bear in mind that it completely craps out in almost all third-party iOS apps (Reeder, Twitter clients, etc.).

Still not used to having to count to ten after I turn on the iPad before I can use internet-based apps. Is it the same on iPod touch?

Corollary: If your iPad app doesn’t have a “Retry” button for when it hasn’t found the internet, you fail.

29 July

“New Amazon Kindle announced: $139 WiFi-only version and $189 3G model”

For the first time I can unambiguously write that the Kindle is a nice object. And it’s now quite affordable. Not to the point of having to lug it around in addition to my iPad, but for everyone who isn’t going to buy an Apple tablet, it’s time to get the Kindle.

I’m glad I hiked up the price of Unicode; I’m gonna be able to eat for the next two weeks.

“OhLife — Stupendously Easy Life Journaling”

Every evening, at 8 p.m., you get an email asking you what your day was like. Reply, and send.

That’s an excellent idea, and the site looks pretty. Not that I would ever trust a third-party with my diary.

“Great, even our beds could be causing cancer”

Thus, as we sleep on our coil-spring mattresses, we are in effect sleeping on an antenna that amplifies the intensity of the broadcast FM/TV radiation


Sounds dubious, but not altogether absurd.


CNN must still be polishing an “Android app steals all ur data” headline, and Google is finalizing its press conference plans. Just wait.

30 July

Quelqu’un pourrait m’expliquer pourquoi mon serveur MySQL sur SSD plante régulièrement sans que je puisse trouver de log d’erreur ?

Ca fait bizarre, la diversité des voitures dans Engrenages. Avec le placement produit, pas l’habitude de voir autant de marques différentes.

Merde, j’avais oublié que je n’avais pas la S3 d’Engrenages. Je ne vais quand même pas commander les DVD sur Amazon…

Not a fan of the new ads on Echofon Mac. Where. Is. Tweetie 2.

31 July

Citizen Kane — I can see how it’s important to the history of cinema, but unlike other classics I find it more dated than anything.

Buzz Out Loud raises an interesting question: why don’t more people use an iPod touch with a Verizon MiFi and Skype?

I can’t imagine what Twitter could do to eradicate spam bots, but they’ll be the death of the service.

This Omnifocus for iPad review makes me want to buy it

Especially the ‘Review’ feature. As soon as I win the lottery…

Hour-long iTunes backups are a nice way to discourage you from downloading magazines on your iPad.

Again an hour, or two, of backing up my iPad just so that I can sync a dozen wallpapers. I hate you so much, iTunes.

A few home-made iPad wallpapers

I had to spend the whole afternoon backing up and syncing my iPad to test the photos on it (seems like the backup process consistently takes hours — literal hours — if you’ve made big in-app purchases, and I gave in and bought the new Wired two days ago), so you better enjoy those wallpapers. And don’t make me regret skipping the whole watermark business (it’s so 2005).

I’m not giving you the obligatory Bratz doll photo, that one’s exclusively mine. High-res wallpapers for iPhone 4 possibly coming later. Ah, and those are busy images, so they’re intended for the Lock Screen rather than as Home Screen wallpapers. I have to look into making some kind of patterns for the Home Screen… someday.


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