31 août 2009

RT @melismes: “Et mon frigo serait un peu comme l'armoire magique, façon Narnia, sauf qu'il ouvrirait sur un Daily Monop'...”


No Pic No Dial sur le site de Têtu

Je voulais de la couverture médiatique pour No Pic No Dial, be careful what you wish for : ce n’est pas juste le site, mais moi, et ma gueule, sur le site de Têtu — et pas juste dans une petite news dans le coin, mais au premier plan de la page d’accueil. (Le brouillon de ce post présentait la photo de moi en version large, mais je me dois de la remplacer par une capture de la page d’accueil. Et quelque part ça m’arrange, je n’aime pas voir ma tête ici.)

Si vous êtes inscrit sur No Pic No Dial (ou Web is Pink, mais depuis le lancement de l’application iPhone NPND est clairement défini comme le nom officiel de la version française) et que vous n’êtes pas revenu récemment, ou si vous avez eu la flemme de vous inscrire jusqu’ici, c’est le moment d’aller y faire un tour. Ca explosait déjà pas mal sur Paris, mais là ça devrait bien aider sur toute la France. Enfin, on peut espérer.

Merci à Ydikoi pour la photo — ça n’a pas été facile, je n’avais pas fait de photos de moi depuis longtemps, et j’aime encore moins que quelqu’un fasse des photos de moi (control freak). Hrm. C’est con, je n’avais pas remarqué que plus on réduit la taille de la photo, plus j’ai l’air de faire la gueule.


“Julie Rothhahn: Food Designs”

I love the cubes, and I like the factory-like cake at the bottom.


“Sand Art Performance”

It’s probably a little too long and there are screwy transitions, but the first few minutes are amazing.


So the vampire queen has the special power of learning to speak like the Paris Hiltons of each era?


“Tech21’s iBand protective case and its mystical, magical, non-Newtonian goo”

The video is painful to watch, but impressive. I think my regular Griffin case would also protect an iPhone from such falls, but the difference is that the case itself would probably break in the process.


30 août

I think my body's rejecting the elliptical bike. Fuck.


J'ai déjà trop abusé cette semaine, je devrais jeter le paquet géant de m&m's par la fenêtre.


Many of the reactions to the Maoam meme puzzle me. Are those people repressing the fact that they see it, or what? YOU CAN'T NOT SEE IT!


God damn you, PNG color correction! God damn you to hell!


“Snow Leopard’s System Preferences shuffle”

But the change many OS X users will really welcome is the capability to show the date in the menu bar, using the new Show Date option. Unfortunately, you can’t customize that date’s format; you’re stuck with Aug 28.

Oh, for crying out loud, Apple…

(I’ve set up the excellent iStat Menus to replace the OS X clock, and the part of the date I check most often is the day of the week.)


Unfortunately, [text substitutions] don’t (yet) work in all apps; for example, they work in Pages, TextEdit, and iChat, but not in BBEdit or Word. Developers need to add the right hooks in their software to gain this feature.

Huh. That kinda sucks. Pro: in the apps where it works, it’s going to be (well, I assume it is) so much more efficient and reliable than TextExpander. Con: it’s awfully confusing for the user to have such a basic system feature available in some apps and not others. (But then, it’s mostly for geeks, and geeks will quickly get used to knowing where they can and can’t use it.)


Another minor change from Leopard’s International pane: the Input Menu tab is now called Input Sources. And within that tab, there’s a new option that lets you select a different input source for each document.

And I have no idea what that means.


29 août

The 'about' blurbs are online, so are the new ads… now I only have to redo the blogs' header images, but I'm not feeling very photoshoppy.


La Poste vient de se décider à me délivrer (serendipity or precognition?) dix lettres datées de fin juillet. Dont le chèque d'un client.


Wow, it was no joke that Queen of the Damned is a magnificently abominable movie. And he… directed… BSG?!


Tiens, j'ai un doute : "délivrer un message," c'est un anglicisme ou pas ?


Well, there you go, blog redesign finished for now. And not worth a blog post.


Okay, I gave the flat grays a try for my blog redesign, and it doesn't work. Photoshopped shadows, I'm coming back to you.


I need to repost this here. "I wouldn't trust MobileMe to sync my boat." OMG I'm so witty I can't believe I breathe the same air as you.


Warming up to the thought that there might still be room for the idea of a Twitter client I'd had. But the API is a moving target right now.


Oh, good — I didn't know -webkit-border-radius now worked with <img>s.


28 août

Looks like I sold for roughly $120 of iPhone apps this month. (Won't bother calculating exactly, Apple makes it too hard.)


For the record: it is idiotic bordering on insane to suggest that Apple might release different tablets running different operating systems.


RT @hotdogsladies: “I can't believe a 4+ app like the iPhone camera lets you photograph a neighbor lady sleeping in her underwear.

Shame, Apple. Shame.”


Et un bol d'eau bouillante renversé par terre, un.


Defying Gravity is painful to watch... and they half-stole one of my TV show ideas. To make that.


“Did Flickr Delete Obama Joker Image After Receiving Fake Takedown Notice?”

Flickr user 3e actually verified that Flickr really doesn’t check the names on these notices. 3e just submitted a claim to take down one of his own pictures with a "once-off email address, using the name ’Joe Blow’ and giving no identifying information other than an obviously fake address ("Anytown, USA")." Flickr happily obliged and 3e’s photo was gone within hours.

That’s just insane. And there are people paying for this service. Nobody should accept that.

And doubly insane is:

As of now, Flickr doesn’t even have the capability to restore an image after it has been deleted.

Which goes against the DMCA (well, I’m sure the idea of accepting any anonymous email as a valid DMCA takedown also does), as it states the content poster should be allowed to deny infringement, in which case Flickr would reinstate the image and be cleared of any legal responsibility.


“Ferrari Builds a Steering Wheel Massa Would Love”

I really like that cockpit, but it doesn’t look much like a Ferrari, does it? (Well, the car’s front looks more like a Citroën’s anyway, so I guess it’s not a problem.)


“Snow Leopard could level security playing field”

It’s unclear whether rumors are true that Snow Leopard includes several internal features designed to prevent attacks that Vista and Windows 7 have, known as Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP) on that platform.

By randomizing the location of key pieces of data, ASLR makes it much more difficult for attackers to predict where data is going to be in order to execute their code or the code resident in the process. For exploit code that gets past the ASLR barrier, DEP will try to block it from running, recognizing that it is data and not a legitimate code.

I’m confused as to why anyone would focus on that kind of stuff when the real threat nowadays is trojans, and trojans are essentially just regular applications that rely on the user double-clicking them.

I mean, I’m sure it would be better for OS X to have ASLR and DEP and what have you, but it’s ultimately a moot point, not just because the Mac isn’t much of a target, but because viruses aren’t the bigger threat these days. Are they? (I’m not sure, I don’t follow security too closely.)


Not particularly impressed with the way Facebook 3.0 works. That "mosaic" button just isn't very tactile; users want to swipe!


27 août

Mobile Air Mouse (iPhone)

J’ai acheté cette application parce que je vis dans un petit studio, que mon lit est à deux mètres de mon bureau, et que je ne peux pourtant pas passer mes journées allonger sur le lit à contrôler mes ordinateurs à distance, parce qu’il n’y a pas de client Remote Desktop sur iPhone, que VNC merdoie sur Mac, et que les périphériques Bluetooth sont trop chers.

Je ne vais pas m’étendre sur l’application elle-même, vous pouvez regarder la description — l’interface n’est pas moche, et ça marche assez bien (enfin, sauf tout ce qui utilise l’accéléromètre, évidemment), mais… elle est incompatible avec le zoom système d’OS X.

Il est fort possible que vous n’ayez aucune idée de quoi je parle : beaucoup d’utilisateurs ne savent pas qu’en activant les bons réglages dans le panneau de préférences Accessibilité, ils peuvent zoomer sur leur écran à tout moment (depuis Tiger, je crois ?) en Ctrl-molettant sur la souris, Ctrl-bougeant-à-deux-doigts sur le trackpad, ou en utilisant des raccourcis-clavier personnalisables. C’était bien utile pour zoomer sur du texte, des images ou une vidéo avant que Safari ne propose le zoom pleine-page, et ça resterait une fonctionnalité bien utile pour utiliser mon iMac à trois mètres de l’écran, tout en étant capable de lire ce qui est écrit dans un chat Adium.

Mais, comme je le disais, Mobile Air Mouse n’est pas compatible : d’abord, il faut changer dans les réglages d’OS X la façon dont le zoom suit la souris, parce qu’avec certaines options le curseur sort tout simplement de l’écran ; ensuite, même avec ça, les clics ne se produisent pas là où est le curseur — ils sont décalés par une distance variable en fonction d’où se trouve le zoom dans l’écran.

J’ai contacté le support technique (qui m’a répondu dans les 24 heures), et ils m’ont dit qu’ils connaissaient le problème mais ne savaient pas comment le corriger. Pire, Teleport (qui est fondamentalement la même chose, juste de Mac à Mac) fonctionne parfaitement avec le zoom d’Accessibilité, ce qui me fait me demander à quel point la programmation d’Air Mouse Server peut être inélégante. (Il n’a pas l’air tellement stable, non plus.)

En l’état, cette application est à peu près inutilisable pour tous les cas de figure, à part un Mac mini branché sur une énorme télé 720p (pas une 1080p, parce que là les pixels seraient à nouveau trop petits pour y voir quelque chose depuis votre canapé) — ou peut-être l’utilisateur d’un autre media player qu’iTunes (sur PC ou Mac), qui ne peut pas profiter de l’application iTunes Remote d’Apple et aurait donc besoin des raccourcis intégrés à Air Mouse.

En ce qui me concerne : désinstallé. Je vais continuer d’attendre qu’Apple se décide à sortir un clavier Bluetooth avec trackpad intégré. (Et quelle putain d’évidence ce serait ! Si seulement Steve Jobs avait jamais, une fois dans sa vie, passé un peu de temps assis dans son canapé devant la télé.)


For fuck's sake, just playing Whitney Houston's new album in a 200x50-pixel audio applet takes 100% of my CPU. Die! Flash! Die!


That's peculiar. Everything survived the power outage just fine, except... a USB hub.


Didn't wanna risk turning my computers back on too soon after power came back, couldn't resist more than ten min. Or two that felt like ten?


Fuck, power is out. But I thought I paid my bills! Plus, cutting power for the whole neighborhood to get back at me is damn inefficient.


The Snow Leopard reviews are out

…and I’m not gonna be able to enjoy the upgrade anytime soon, so I’ll have to be content with looking at the reviews.


Does Snow Leopard feel faster than 10.5?

Hell, yeah.

Okay, then.


Apple continues to rely on the honor system for Mac OS X. Not only does Snow Leopard not require the entry of any serial numbers, but the standard version of Snow Leopard is a bootable “full install” disc that doesn’t actually check for the presence of Leopard in order to install.

When MacBreak Weekly discussed the upgrade procedure — just earlier today, but under NDA — I thought: “Come on, Apple hasn’t gone so evil yet that they’d check whether Leopard is installed on the drive, has it?” …but I wasn’t quite sure. I’m glad to see I was right.


Rosetta, the technology that enables code compiled for PowerPC chips to run on Intel chips, is available—but is not installed by default. Rosetta only takes up a few megabytes of drive space […] I can only assume that making Rosetta optional is an attempt by Apple to goad users to upgrade their apps and to shame developers who still haven’t recompiled their apps to run on Intel chips.

That is an odd choice. I guess, more than shaming developers, they really want to make it painfully clear that it isn’t Snowy’s fault that a certain application doesn’t feel any speedier than before.


By default, Snow Leopard still minimizes windows the same stupid way Mac OS X has for the last ten years. For us complainers, though, there’s a new alternative: A Minimize Windows Into Application Icon checkbox in System Preferences’ Dock pane.

Oh. Em. Gee.

But then, I’m not sure it’s quite usable, either: on Windows, when you minimize a window, you still see it appear in the taskbar, just as before (not sure how different it is in Vista/7 with some taskbar options). On Snow Leopard, though, if you turn this option on, minimizing a window will really make it all but disappear — and I can easily imagine having a bunch of forgotten Safari and Finder windows, all open on the same sites and folders. I never look at an application’s Windows menu, or its Dock icon’s menu.

Even better, this feature works with Exposé: When you invoke Exposé, all minimized windows line up together at the very bottom of the screen.

Okay, maybe it’s not so bad then. Although many people don’t use Exposé. (I don’t care, I do. And I love that it’s getting tidier, too.)


Several programs, including TextEdit, Mail, and iChat, can take advantage of a new systemwide Substitutions service that can autocorrect common mistakes (think teh to the), convert straight quotes to curly and vice versa, and turn double-minuses and triple-periods into em dashes and ellipses, respectively. Even better, a tab in the Keyboard pane of the System Preferences app lets you add shortcuts of your own.

I’m confused by this: A week ago, I read an article mentioning, like this review, that substitutions only worked on most of Apple’s applications. On the other hand, Andy Ihnatko’s review (linked further down) calls it systemwide — and it doesn’t make any sense for that functionality not to work in almost every third-party app, because the systemwide rich-text editor that’s provided “for free” to developers is one of the OS X SDK’s most touted qualities. So how could susbstitutions not work with all apps that use it?

I guess we’ll have to find out.


Apple’s QuickTime Player, long a stalwart tool for playing back audio and video, has been completely revamped for Snow Leopard. […] Every time I wanted to make my video louder or quieter, even via a keyboard shortcut, that floater appeared—and then remained for a second or two until finally fading away.

I’m quite glad to see I’m not the only one hating overlay controls. Emphasis mine on the particularly stupid behavior. And I also agree with the writer that having the player’s titlebar disappear when you’re not using it is completely ridiculous. But I guess there’s some strong-headed designer in the QuickTime Player team who won’t let go until he’s left his fingerprint on something ugly or impractical.


The changes also means that you can’t do quick’n’dirty edits [in QuickTime Player] by copy-and-pasting anymore (a favorite of Engadget editors)

Wow, I’m surprised not to see that mentioned more — video geeks will always tell you that being able to edit by using copy-and-paste in QuickTime is the basic skill any would-be editor needs to start practicing. And it is a really efficient way to do a quick-and-dirty edit when you need to.

But then I have nothing against the option of reinstalling QuickTime Player 7, I guess.

I don’t remember seeing Perian mentioned in any of the reviews, however. Can’t imagine that it’s 64-bit–ready, and I’m afraid updating the codecs might not be as simple as recompiling the bundle.


But if you click on a third-party preference pane that hasn’t yet been upgraded to a 64-bit version, System Preferences will tell you that it has to quit and reopen itself in 32-bit mode in order to open that preference pane.

Oh, gee, I’m sure it was so very important that System Preferences take full advantage of the speed of 64-bit computing. I mean, counting all those icons and stuff, that’s advanced computation.

(Okay, for all I know there may be a valid need for some of the preference panes to work in 64-bit. But, in that case, the correct workaround was definitely not to have System Preferences reopen every time you change panes. I’ve got 14 third-party panes in my iMac, some of which almost abandonware that I don’t expect to see updated for a while. How hard would it have been to have a second application bundle, called “System Preferences 32-bit,” launching separately when you wanted to activate a 32-bit pane?)


In Snow Leopard a mechanism was added to check for known malware signatures and display a user alert dialog. In these cases, rather than just advising the user that the file is an application, Snow Leopard provides a warning that the file contains known malware and suggests that the user move it to the Trash.

Uh-huh. The key words here being “added” and “just”: as in, judging from all the reviews, the new, secret anti-malware tool doesn’t dispense us of the goddamn warning when opening a file downloaded from within Safari. (I answered a tweet today about why use Safari rather than Firefox. I’d forgotten that this stupid dialog box — which only appears when a file has been downloaded from one of Apple’s apps — could just be reason enough for some to switch away from the system browser.)


The biggest compatibility-breaker is the demise of InputManager plugins in 64-bit apps. […] We also noticed problems with old standbys like Growl, GrabUp and Skitch […] There were some other head scratchers we saw on various systems, too. On a 17-inch unibody we were putting through the paces, the WiFi inexplicably has gone out and we have yet to get it working again. On a 15-inch, older generation MacBook Pro (3,1), Spotlight will only fetch search results in the dropdown – results in a Finder window come up empty. More annoyingly, on two other, newer models we were testing with, Safari crashes out when booting into 32-bit mode – meaning even Apple’s workaround doesn’t seem to… er, work.

Oh well, I suppose — well, I know — that every update has its horror stories. I’m always amazed that some people manage to concentrate so many of them. What the hell are they doing with their computers over there?


And, in conclusion: I want the new Finder! In fact, I simply demand that Apple release a Leopard version of the rewritten Finder for PowerPC users!


Also: god, this blog layout is unreadable when I intertwine quotes and reactions. Good thing I intended to redesign.


I can't decide whether it's okay for most Snow Leopard reviewers not to bother with typing the é in Exposé.


26 août

Coarse Toys

I just love stuff like that.


Yes, the camera adds ten pounds... and eight of them go straight to my face.


“Passwords on floppy disk”

he literally put the passwords on a floppy disk in the form of paper glued to the magnetic film. for those that still have some floppy disks around, this is a zero cost hack. we wouldn’t recommend this for state secrets, but for those prolific forum registrations it’s a great idea.


I want to launch a web 2.0 service with a mascot just so I can tweet for it in the first person. Wouldn't fit @webispink so much.


"@garoo I do understand your points though. Thanks for your feedback & for giving us a try." (@regator) Ooh, guilt trip. Might work, too.


The first augmented-reality app for the iPhone is French, made for Paris, and... I still don't have a 3GS.


I see how Regator could be interesting, but pushing me to choose between you and Google Reader? You can't win this.


Fake retweets by spammers are all the rage this week. Are retweets finally dying? Just let favorites show up in our timelines, @twitter!


Can't wait for next week's True Blood. No, really, I just wrote that?


25 août

"Guitar Hero 5 Matt Bellamy Trailer." Gaaah.


RT @nick: “I told my mom that success wouldn't change me. She started crying. "Why the hell not?"”


RT @sween: “Considering Superman has super-speed & super-senses, that criminals still roam free speaks to the inherent laziness of the Kryptonian male.”


RT @jsnell: “Glad to see Sony finally build a compelling competitor to Kindle. But tech boys, don't call it a Kindle-killer. The word is "competitor."”


“Sony PS3 Slim still sold at a loss; Motion-controller coming spring 2010”

Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai has confirmed that the company will continue to lose money on each of the $299 PS3 Slim consoles they sell.

What a surprise.


Wow, I'd forgotten how thin my iPhone was without the protective case.


Zac Efron

I don’t care how stupid his roles are, or how annoying he just has to be in real life…


24 août

Why do ladybugs keep coming to my room to die!


Still don't know if I have a fever or I'm just receptive to the storm building up, because that half-assed thunderstorm didn't… eh, climax.


RT @rainnwilson: “Broke my leg. Was going to call 911. Found out it was government run. Called various ambulance Co.s to have them bid. Died while on hold.”


“Hacking in a second hard drive in a MacBook Pro”

This idea (not new, I know) makes me so horny. Especially right now as I’m considering how much it would cost me (in several ways) to sell my iMac and buy a used MacBook.


Gift horse in the mouth, I know, but god the repeated install processes for DAZ Studio 3D are such a goddamn mess.


“Non-Randomness in Coin Flipping”

If the coin is spun, rather than tossed, it can have a much-larger-than-50% chance of ending with the heavier side down. Spun coins can exhibit "huge bias" (some spun coins will fall tails-up 80% of the time).

(Which makes sense, really. But it can make for a useful pub trick.)


“Snow Leopard shipping August 28th for $29, order now”

Time to be green with envy. (Or just find a way to upgrade to an Intel Mac.)


“Daring Fireball: How I Got the Google Voice/App Store Story Wrong”

My source did not (and would have no reason to) lie to me. He was wrong. What happened is that his source for the information, who had direct knowledge of Apple’s decision, told him, more or less, simply that Apple did not reject the Google Voice app.

What interests me about this — if true — is that it would mean Apple may not have been splitting hairs when they told the FCC “we didn’t reject it, we’re still looking at it.” That, maybe, they sincerely think there’s nothing wrong with holding an app in the review process for months while they decide whether to publish it, it’s just part of the process.

Which is kind of scary.


Adrienne Barbeau?! Other than that, bo-ring.


23 août

“SmillaEnlarger Enlarges Your Images without Artifacts”

SmillaEnlarger is an open-source and portable application designed to help you intensively massage an image enlargement to keep it from looking jagged and filled with artifacts.

Old, I know, but I had saved it for when I’d bother to try it out.

Much of the process consists in hiding the enlargement artefacts with a bunch of filters (rather than the pure algorithm magic Hollywood likes to invent), but the point is that, by just adjusting a couple parameters depending on each picture, you can get very easily a quite more usable result than Photoshop would give you using its best algorithm.

And, since it’s free, there’s no reason not to download it. (Except for the fact that… when do you ever need to enlarge an image anymore, anyway?)


Bu beaucoup trop de Coca ces trois derniers jours. Saleté de Franprix qui ne vend de la Saint-Yorre qu'un mois sur deux. Comprendrai jamais.


Yes, everybody knows what movie you're talking about, but it's not that hard to type exactly "Inglourious Basterds" #getoffmylawn


Oh, come on! I'm already gonna have to do a laundry again?


RT @chartier: “I love downloading ZIP files that open DMG files that open a window that finally lets me drag an app to install. Really, I do.”


iTunes Connect is like the lottery: every day you check your numbers, thinking "maybe this is the day that my app suddenly started selling."


C'est con, mais à chaque fois que je vois quelqu'un héler à grands gestes un taxi occupé, j'ai une envie de meurtre.


22 août

Il va me falloir un assistant / doublure-lumière pour faire un autoportrait. (Probablement de nuit aux Tuileries.)


“A Steve Jobs Confession, a Fanboy Shock”

Gruber did not respond to our emails, but so certain did the well-connected indy blogger sound [of AT&T ’s guilt] that we can’t help but wonder if he wasn’t snowed by Apple itself. The company would not necessarily have anticipated that a swift, aggressive and public FCC investigation into the Google Voice incident would have proven AT&T blameless. And it’s not like the company’s flacks haven’t been down this road before.


RT @secretGeek: “"It's badly decayed," said the forensic officer. "But squint your eyes and you may see: it was once a database schema."”


“Apple reconsiders rejected iPhone apps”

Perhaps the most encouraging sign is that Apple seems to actually be going back through rejected apps and contacting develops to resubmit their app (without any changes, mind you) for an "expedited review."

Huh. Maybe I was wrong to doubt Phil Schiller’s public commitment to improving the review process. (Well, no matter what, I wasn’t wrong to doubt it.)


“Apple Answers the FCC’s Questions”

For example, on an iPhone, the “Phone” icon that is always shown at the bottom of the Home Screen launches Apple’s mobile telephone application, providing access to Favorites, Recents, Contacts, a Keypad, and Visual Voicemail. The Google Voice application replaces Apple’s Visual Voicemail by routing calls through a separate Google Voice telephone number that stores any voicemail, preventing voicemail from being stored on the iPhone, i.e., disabling Apple’s Visual Voicemail. Similarly, SMS text messages are managed through the Google hub—replacing the iPhone’s text messaging feature.

That’s interesting. In other words, according to this official response (which could still be bullshit, mind you), what happened is that Steve Jobs (to be so anal, it would have to be him) decided the app was not acceptable because, if you started using it, your voicemail and text messages wouldn’t reach the iPhone’s Phone app anymore.

(I’m elaborating on this because it can easily be misinterpreted — if you follow the wording of the answer, the problem is not that it offers an alternate interface that replicates the system functionality of the iPhone. Even though that stupid “reason” has been used so many times for other apps, you’d expect Apple to stick to it.)

Interestingly, that’s exactly the kind of reasoning that the FCC might object to, and act upon: Apple just very officially declared that it wanted to stifle innovation and competition in the mobile space… and it’s so funny that they would have done it with AT&T not even knowing about it.

One still has to wonder whether — or how much — the recent evolution of the relationship between Google and Apple influenced that decision. But the sad thing is that, yes, you can absolutely imagine Jobs being outraged that an application would make users completely bypass his iPhone’s precious, original visual voicemail system and the SMS/MMS application he lovingly offered the world.


In addition, the iPhone user’s entire Contacts database is transferred to Google’s servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways.

If the app does this without asking you first, then it’s reason enough to reject it. (But if it does ask, it’s a moot excuse.)


Google is of course free to […] provide its “Google-branded” user experience on other phones, including Android-based phones, and let consumers make their choices.

Leave us the fuck alone and go play with their crappy handsets if you don’t like ours. Jobs oversaw the writing of this letter, didn’t he? (Well, of course he’d have to.)


From time to time, AT&T has expressed concerns regarding network efficiency and potential network congestion associated with certain applications, and Apple takes such concerns into consideration.

That’s… vague.


Apple does not know if there is a VoIP element in the way the Google Voice application routes calls and messages, and whether VoIP technology is used over the 3G network by the application.

If the app has been stuck in “requiring unexpected additional time for review” limbo for several months, shouldn’t Apple have an idea by now about whether Google Voice uses VoIP? (Especially when everybody knows it doesn’t?)


There are more than 40 full-time trained reviewers, and at least two different reviewers study each application so that the review process is applied uniformly.

Oh, that’s interesting. I wonder how long that policy has been in place. It does explain why I saw someone log into Web is Pink from Apple HQ a couple of days after I submitted the app, yet it took one more week, and another login, before they approved it.

(Now that you mention it, that could have seemed obvious at the time. But you know how it is about hindsight. And I did figure that it must have been two different reviewers; I just never thought they would have instituted that as a policy.)


Apple also established an App Store executive review board that determines procedures and sets policy for the review process, as well as reviews applications that are escalated to the board because they raise new or complex issues. The review board meets weekly and is comprised of senior management with responsibilities for the App Store.

That’s also very interesting: so maybe the dreaded “Your application is requiring unexpected additional time for review” isn’t complete bullshit after all — it’s just that your application has been flagged for the executive review board, and like any board of executives they’re not in a great hurry to deal with each and every case, because they’re already busy enough with other duties. And, when they have prominent applications from Google to debate week after week, you can’t expect your own app to be processed right away… or within your lifetime.


21 août

Fuck, I can't believe I bought marshmallows. Why on earth would I do that.


Oh, shit, I looked at the ImageMagick source for help with Snap Filters, but didn't think of the Gimp.


J'ai mis un participe passé en "-er" dans le texte d'aide intégré à @unicodeapp


Jesus-Christ, you have to hack XCode in the Terminal in order to test your apps on an iPhone running 3.0.1.


“Twitter Blog: Location, Location, Location”

We’re gearing up to launch a new feature which makes Twitter truly location-aware. A new API will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any tweet.

I don’t think I personally want my tweets to be geolocated on a general basis, but I think this is a great idea, and great for Twitter. Oh, but wait:

It will be off by default and the exact location data won’t be stored for an extended period of time. However, if people do opt-in to sharing location on a tweet-by-tweet basis, compelling context will be added to each burst of information.

The emphasis on tweet-by-tweet granularity is absolutely awesome; I’m impressed. (Also, I like every step towards adding more metadata to tweets, making room for real content within the 140-character limit.)

And, today more than ever, it boggles the mind that Facebook still hasn’t shown any interest whatsoever in geolocation.


RT @GreatDismal: “First pronbot with three-digit serial number.”


If New!Palm is really clever (which is possible), they might have astroturfed the internet freakout themselves.


Finally watched a couple of Palm Pre ads on YouTube and... what the fuck is everybody freaking out over?


20 août

I'm really impressed by how good Alanis Morissette is on Weeds, and I know I shouldn't be surprised.



Yeah, it’s pretty. But for some reason the visual design makes me think of Abyss, and how corny the director’s cut was. And there’s just nothing in the trailer that makes me feel like I’ll enjoy the movie.


Adium 1.3.6

[Adium] 1.3.6 also features an updated version of the Facebook chat plugin, fixing a number of issues, which were present in Adium 1.3.5 including unwanted email notifications, dropped messages and missing contact icons.

Emphasis mine. People seemed to think me crazy when I told them I’d quit using Adium to access Facebook chat because it still lost messages sometimes.


That made me realize I want to move out of here. Wanna pay my debts, sell my iMac, buy a MacBook, and travel.


Lost Planet 2 (démo 360)

On est en 2009, et je dois choisir une partie en ligne dans une liste ? Puis rechoisir, parce que la partie que j’ai sélectionnée est finie, ou complète, ou dieu sait quoi ? Oh que non. Je retourne de ce pas sur Battlefield.

(Enfin, j’ai aussi testé l’option solo… et quitté après deux minutes. De même que j’avais abandonné Lost Planet au premier boss-fight. Aucun intérêt.)


Dirt 2 (démo 360) ★★★★★

Si le premier Dirt était un brouillon intéressant, avec des problèmes difficilement acceptables de framerate et un feeling global assez stérile, il semble que les développeurs aient bien assimilé les leçons : Dirt 2 a l’air excellent.

Tout est pour ainsi dire parfait : les graphismes, le son, le modèle physique, la gestion des dommages, et même les menus. J’ai une seule critique, et elle est à la fois assez importante (c’est-à-dire que je vais maudire le jeu bien souvent si je l’achète) et plutôt superficielle : la mini-map qui affiche les virages à venir est tellement petite et peu visible qu’elle est pour ainsi dire inutilisable, et il est tout simplement impossible de gagner une course avant d’avoir mémorisé le parcours entier — ou peut-être qu’on pourrait dire que c’est un avantage, parce que ça va vous obliger à jouer plus longtemps.

Le mode multi tourne bien et, évidemment, on n’échappe pas aux abrutis dans les modes de course qui gèrent les collisions… mais on dirait que la version complète du jeu permet de choisir de ne participer à des courses que dans les modes qui, au choix, gèrent ou ne gèrent pas les collisions, selon que vous préférez le fun des auto-tamponneuses ou le sérieux des courses contre la montre et contre les ghosts.

Oh, et j’aime les petites touches comme la possibilité de personnaliser son cockpit avec, entre autres, votre avatar Xbox Live qui pend du rétroviseur.


Red Steel 2

Not that I’m suddenly gonna be interested in the Wii, but this game just looks really cool and well done — I’ll be curious to see it running once.


Good Afternoon Clock

Since I can’t read the time on an analog clock anyway, it might as well look original.


19 août

“Days of Danboard”

Gorgeous photography (and I love the figurine).

Via Fubiz, but I’m not going to link them because they didn’t link the original artist and I had to google him.


Swivel Media Stand

I really like that idea (although I’d say, at this point, your living room should be designed in such a way that you don’t need your TV stand to swivel around).


Je me sentirais beaucoup moins lourd après les sushi si je n'avais pas des scrupules idiots à commander du Coca en accompagnement.


18 août

“PS3 Slim hits September 1 for $300”

Oh my, what a totally unexpected surprise. (Well, actually: announcing it in the middle of August?) Anyway… I know how technology works — and I know Sony did the same with the PS2 — but I just can’t imagine how they can make a smaller PS3, with the same functionality (and no backwards compatibility, damn), and sell it for $300 only.

But, hey, the point is: PS3 Slim, please meet my Amazon wishlist.


Hum, c'est vrai que c'est terriblement bon, la Haagen-Dasz spéculos.


“Bad company alert: Fiji Water”

I sat down and sent out a few emails – filling friends in on my visit to the Fiji Water bottling plant, forwarding a story about foreign journalists being kicked off the island. Then my connection died. "It will just be a few minutes," one of the clerks said. Moments later, a pair of police officers walked in.

I can’t believe there is a dictatorship that efficient, no matter how small.


“Microsoft’s LifeCam Bumped To 720p”

Yum. Wonder if it would work on a Mac. Well, I doubt it would on my Mac anyway.


“Caran D’Ache Transforming Material Into The Divine”

Want. What’s $14,000 for a gorgeous roller pen?


Do we need that many blogs to post screenshots of Facebook 3.0 for iPhone? We're all gonna get it on our phones in a week anyway.


Chrome OS Screenshot?

I’m not sure what to think. I’ve always assumed that the development had to be somewhat advanced if they were suddenly announcing it — unlike many people who accused it of being vaporware — but the bits around the browser window scare me: they look ugly and temporary (a minimal, vestigial system tray? why the hell would you want that?) but the worst part is that Google is perfectly capable of releasing an OS that looks like this.

What I find really interesting, though (and unless you’ve always thought it would work that way, which I hadn’t, I’d say the cleverness makes it unlikely that it would be a fake) is the way tabs are roaming free on the desktop. Meaning, essentially, that there is no such thing as “tabs” anymore: each page is in its own window (and process, as we all know), and it just so happens that windows can be docked together. That looks like a great interface for geeks and regular users alike. (I had stupidly imagined that all pages would display in a full-screen window with tabs on top — but that’s unworkable on today’s web, as there still are legit uses for popups.)

You’ve got to wonder: had they planned this from the start? Is that why Chrome looks so different from every other browser, with its tabs on top and embedded blue background? Did they always intend for Chrome to be perceived as a little slice of Chrome OS on your desktop?

I’m not sure that Google itself did, but I’d bet the Chrome devs had it in mind.


iPhone blogs that still haven't figured out a way to make stable video of the iPhone lying flat on a table… (when it doesn't need tilt, duh)


17 août

RT @pppaulppp: “Les oiseaux viennent sur mon rebord de fenêtre pour mourir. C'est agréable.”


“Le clochard de la Poste du Louvre.”


Je croise quelqu'un qui parle sur MSN avex son plan cul sur son iPhone et je ne pense pas à lui fourguer Nopicnodial. #isuckatthis


Wouldn't you say it's time merriam-webster.com got a little cleaned up?


(Did I ever tell you how much it annoys me that '@' has become part of Twitter usernames when it's just supposed to mean talking to s/o?)


Would you kindly do me a favor and follow @unicodeapp so it doesn't look so much like a spammer on the follow notices?


RT @GreatDismal: “If you soaked all the money in America in a BIG vat, then removed the money and evaporated the water, how much cocaine would you have?”


Wow, the Twitter captchas are tough today.


A bit of Twitter follow-spam. Let's see if that works. (Damn, I knew I should have created a Twitter account for Unicode.)


Il fait trop chaud pour se servir de son cerveau.


Bentley Mulsanne

You’re kidding? This thing looks ten times worse than the Chinese Rolls-Royce knockoff.


RT @Greenspeak: “Dude just pulled out a giant wad of $100 bills. Was tempted to ask if I could have a few. Maybe with rich people it's like cigarettes.”


16 août

Really, Xbox, you can't give me a list of my friends who played the same game as me, so I can compare our achievements?


Damn you, Nurse Jackie writers. So many upcoming sleepless nights for just 45 seconds you needed to fill.


The problem with being broke is how often you have to do the goddamn dishes.


“Zune HD Grand Tour”

That interface is actually very nice. I’m quite impressed by the way they play with typography — reminiscent of Flash animations of a few years ago, but in a good way. Classy, and quirky. Yes, it is intentional that the’ e’ on” marketplace” is cut off, and I like that kind of ambition from a designer.

But… it’s still just a media player. The iPod touch is a PDA.

via mashable.com


Must... stay... awake... I don't wanna wake up at 10am.


15 août

Can't decide whether buying bubbly water would be unreasonable. Tap water particularly doesn't cut it with that temperature.


14 août

“Password Advice”

Ten good dos and don’ts of password security, with a nice (inevitable) conclusion:

I regularly break seven of those rules.

I only break six; wonder how he does worse than me. (I was very conflicted about typing my ISP password while on my parents’ computers last week — actually, I wouldn’t have if VNC had worked.)


— Qu'est-ce que vous appelez de l'Advil normal ?

— Celui qui est marqué juste "Advil" et n'est pas à 4 euros les 14, espèce de conne.


Fuck. I knew I'd break my electric shaver if I took it to Smallville with me.


Twelve South Backpack

This is a fantastic idea but (1) I’d like it a bit bigger and (2) I’m not convinced that the screws that let you set the height won’t get loose and send your hard drive crashing down.


I so don't want Twitter to endorse retweets. There are faves already goddamnit.


13 août

Je crois bien que j'ai le ventre plus plat qu'avant de partir pour Smallville. L'effet retard va tuer.


12 août

Oops, just realized I think I forgot to turn off Adium before I left. And VNC doesn't want to work for some reason.


11 août



10 août

Damn, the biggest web 2.0 news of the summer happens while I'm away.


The 14-year-old ahead of me on the train was playing bridge on his laptop. What?


9 août

Having a conversation in that tiny Facebook chat thing is horribly claustrophobic.


It's funny that Google Voice is exactly the way I wish modern IM systems worked.


I think my saucepan is leaking.


Where the fuck is everyone.


Um, I assumed I'd be able to go to my FriendFeed follower list one day and follow them back if I wanted to?


Je loue des serveurs chez un hébergeur qui génère des factures PDF en 100% Comic Sans.


7 août

I need to get into follow-spamming. Qwitter doesn't seem to work anymore anyway, so there's no consequences.


Oh, j'ai raté 07.08.09.


You'd think AdWords would let you say "spend that much money on this campaign" and be done with it. But that would be too much control.


Holy shit! Zac Efron in Firefly.


I was just gonna test-drive a Front Row clone, and here I am rewatching Firefly.


6 août

John Gruber flip-flops like an App Store reviewer

After going back to Ninjawords’s developers and conferring with some trusted sources within Apple, I believe what Schiller says here is genuinely the case — that what the App Store reviewers wanted for Ninjawords was a 17+ rating, not for Matchstick Software to filter its dictionary listings.

Well, then maybe you could have employed the same basic researching and critical thinking just a bit earlier, like right before you wrote in your previous article:

Someone from Apple called Dave to tell him that we were being rejected again for illicit content [..] and no matter what we did to our dictionary, it will have to be 17+ to make it to the App Store.

In other words, not only must the dictionary be censored — a dictionary — but even after being purged of “objectionable” words it would only be considered with a 17+ rating.

…even though the rejection e-mail, which was quoted in its entirety, helpfully provided the following (I wasn’t so lucky with my gay chat app):

Parental Controls have been announced for iPhone OS 3.0. It would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available.

It doesn’t seem like it would be too hard, for a cold-blooded high-profile blogger who’s supposed to be super clever and analytical, to figure out that nothing in what was quoted here implied that Apple wanted to apply both censorship and parental controls (whereas you can understand how the developers took the rejections quite personally, and overreacted a bit).

One would think such a blogger, and one who regularly touts their high-placed sources within Apple, would try and check their facts before posting such an incriminating story. But, hey, when you’ve got the scoop on such effective buzz to relay — uh, I mean, on such an important, shocking story — you’re not going to sweat it, are you? Let’s just write it up as it comes!


This is music to my ears. That Schiller was willing to respond in such detail and length, on the record, is the first proof I’ve seen that Apple’s leadership is trying to make the course correction that many of us see as necessary for the long-term success of the platform.

As a matter of fact, what’s music to your ears is that Phil Schiller wrote you personally. As for us lowly iPhone users and developers, we’d rather wait until there are tangible facts we can judge, thank you.


Am I the only one thinking that the article should end with “I asked Phil Schiller in reply to explain what was up with Google Voice, but he declined to answer” or something like that? Isn’t that the least you ought to do, under the circumstances?

Is it just inevitable that any prominent, opinionated tech blogger will turn into Michael Arrington?




Overlord II (démo 360) ★★★

Je vais faire court, parce (1) c’est pas comme si la démo venait de sortir, (2) c’est une suite, et (3) j’ai déjà écrit une longue critique (très positive) d’Overlord, même si je ne l’ai jamais finie ni publiée.

Donc, Overlord II est exactement la même chose que le premier, et il n’y a rien de mal à ça, parce que l’original était génial sur de nombreux points. Comme chacun sait, le premier niveau de la suite consiste à envoyer vos larbins massacrer des bébés-phoques, et c’est cette partie qui est reprise dans la démo (que je trouve un poil trop courte — elle ne donne pas le temps de voir le gameplay se développer un peu).

J’apprécie les nouveautés de la suite, telles que les montures pour larbins (un gimmick, mais mignon), mais la principale attente concernant cette version était une amélioration des contrôles — on avait toujours eu des difficultés, dans Overlord, à contrôler précisément ses larbins. Et voilà le résultat : c’est pire qu’avant !

Visiblement, les joueurs ne supportaient pas l’idée de ne pas pouvoir contrôler directement la caméra (alors qu’il suffisait de s’habituer à faire tourner le personnage principal pour changer l’affichage), donc le stick droit contrôle désormais à la fois la caméra et les larbins ; il devient donc impossible de regarder quelque part pendant que les sbires sont ailleurs, par exemple (ce qui peut être utile dans les boss-fights). Et, dans les cinq minutes que dure la démo, il y a eu plusieurs fois où je n’ai pas réussi à faire comprendre aux larbins que je voulais qu’ils bougent, rien à faire.

Il est possible que les développeurs considèrent la manipulation directe des larbins comme une facilité qui n’est pas la façon dont on est censé jouer, qu’ils veuillent en fait qu’on passe son temps à sélectionner une cible, puis envoyer des larbins un par un dessus… mais ce serait une incompréhension très bête de tout ce qui rend leur jeu amusant : contrôler directement une horde de gremlins et les voir tout détruire sur leur passage.

Reste que vous devriez tout de même charger la démo… puis décider d’acheter la version originale d’Overlord, que vous trouverez au rabais dans votre magasin favori.

Mais, pour ce qui est d’Overlord II, je ne suis absolument pas pressé de l’acheter.


IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey (démo 360) ★★★★

En mode arcade (le mode par défaut), c’est un très bon jeu de combat aérien : les graphismes sont corrects, les avions sont le top de la seconde guerre mondiale (ce qui implique que même les missiles ne sont pas téléguidés, et ça rend le combat aérien tellement plus intéressant), les contrôles sont assez bons (même si je ne suis pas fan de contrôler la vitesse avec le stick droit — personne n’a besoin de régler aussi précisément de 0% à 100%, surtout pas en mode arcade), et le modèle physique donne l’impression d’être parfaitement réaliste (contrairement à ce que m’avaient fait penser les vidéos du jeu).

En mode simulation, en revanche (et il est heureusement tout àf ait optionnel), eh… je n’ai aucune idée de ce qui se passe. Je n’ai pas une seule fois été capable de faire une manoeuvre aussi simple que faire pivoter l’avion et tirer sur le manche pour le faire tourner, sans me retrouver immédiatement à tomber en vrille. Peut-être qu’un avion est incroyablement plus compliqué à piloter qu’on ne l’imagine, et peut-être que la version complète a un tutoriel qui explique comment maîtriser ça, mais en l’état ce mode est juste injouable.

Heureusement, le mode arcade suffit largement. Les missions ont l’air d’être suffisamment variées (enfin, autant qu’elles peuvent l’être dans un jeu de combat aérien), et en bonus le jeu propose un “continue” illimité, qui vous replace exactement où vous étiez, comme une vita-chamber de Bioshock. Même le mode simulation ne vous interdit pas cette option (mais rien ne vous force non plus à l’utiliser, puisqu’il faut appuyer sur un bouton pour continuer). L’avenir Le présent est définitivement aux jeux qui ne pénalisent pas l’échec.

J’ajoute que j’ai lu quelque part le commentaire d’un jour qui n’arrivait pas à s’adapter aux contrôles, parce qu’il était trop habitué à Battlefield 1943. Et je tenais à dire : mon coeur pleure pour vous.

Impossible de tester le mode online, vu que je n’ai pas le privilège de Live Gold en ce moment. Mais cette démo est en tout cas à télécharger absolument si vous vous intéressez un tant soit peux aux avions (d’autant qu’elle propose bien assez de temps de jeu pour justifier le download). Probablement un peu moins fun et abordable que Hawx, mais plus intéressant, plus réel — comme Project Gotham Racing comparé à Burnout.


What's up with the number of Xbox demos that only work online (with a Gold subscription) these days?


4 août

Is there a way to fake your location on aka-aki ?


Il y avait la lune à ma fenêtre tout à l'heure, et elle n'y est plus !


2 août

I hate how iPhone devs have to beg. To think it might be different if I hadn't fallen off the face of the blogosphere a couple times.


Unicode 1.0.1 is live: spammed French blogs, spammed English blogs again for good measure, and cleaned up my inbox. Phew.


Pas fan des nouilles Nissin, et je pue l'huile de sésame maintenant.


1 août

En fait tout a commencé à partir en couille au moment où Monoprix a arrêté de vendre les pinces de crabe en surimi de Coraya.


Damn, having to develop without JQuery on the iPhone is such a pain.


Est-ce qu'un juif a vraiment le droit de demander à un passant de lui taper son digicode ? C'est pas un peu trop facile ?



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