31 août 2010

"A New Look for the Oval Office"

Meh. Especially the ugly couches. And table. And the rest. Carpet may be okay.


I don't understand why Apple still gives case manufacturers early access to the new iPods when those guys can't keep their mouths shut.


“Palm puts webOS 2.0 SDK into limited release starting today”

I like card stacks — navigating both the list of running applications, and the list of open Safari tabs, is pretty much a chore on iOS, and Palm has a big advantage there by treating each web page as a separate open app (um, I think that’s how it works?). Just Type, or Quicksilver for mobile, is very promising if the API is well structured. And Exhibition, which lets apps display ambient information when the phone is docked, is something iPhone users have been dreaming of for years.

Nothing huge so far, but very nice refinements; I can’t wait to see what devices HP proposes to run this OS on. (Is there any chance at all we could be spared the inevitable iPad clone?)


Guess it's time to get a more expensive server and move all my stuff. Once more. Argh.


Rewriting the site's chat system isn't having quite the effect I hoped on server load. Did I ever mention I hate the internet?


"The force of the action knocked the breath from her lungs and her purse from her grasp." Ah, free Kindle books.


It's August 2010 and Clients From Hell publishes the CD-ROM drive / cup holder "joke" as new content. Unsubscribed.


"Upcoming WoW Patch Removes Support for PowerPC-Based Macs"

What?? Oh, wait, I don't care about WoW.

Still — insulting.


New Xbox controller now official

The problem with the existing D-pad is that it tries to do too much (four directions plus push down), ending up not doing any of it right. I seriously doubt that adding a pinch of Decepticon functionality on top of that will make it perform better.

At least the new pad (which will apparently be only available separately, at least for a while — huh?) looks pretty. Mostly. I’m not sure about the black accents.


World War Z, Max Brooks ★★★★

This book is everything you wouldn’t expect: well researched, realistic, and damn grim. It’s a little slow, and the different speakers all have pretty much the same voice, but it gets better and better and really works.

And I was looking for comic relief right after I’d read Maus. That’ll learn me.


GTA IV as a first-person shooter

Didn't think I would, but damn do I want to play that game.


I was about to reorganize my follows and lists because of people whose accounts are private, then I thought — it's their problem, not mine.


Facebook, Gmail, et al., need to stop advertising features that "will trickle down to your own account someday sometime who knows when."


Oh, right. Can't make my own note-taking webapp, because Safari asks me to confirm the invalid SSL cert and type my password each time. Ack.


How did that goddamn fly get here and why isn't the cat chasing it?


30 août

Oh! Adobe Ideas for iPad is now available in France.


Forget sync, I'm just gonna use a 100%-web-based solution. With a goddamn 'Save' button and no Ajax. And make my own if I have to.


I was gonna switch my stuff back to Simplenote, and what do you know — it lost the changes I made yesterday. Damn, the cloud is hard.


Oh, Stanza for iPad actually does progressive turning almost as well as iBooks. (But of course I just tap to change pages.)


The hardest part about using an e-reader is keeping yourself from beginning to turn the page before you're all the way down.


Si c'est pour me répondre les tarifs standard sans spécialement prendre en compte ma demande, Typhon pouvait bien les mettre sur le site…


Stanza for iPad isn't really loving that 1,000-ePub pack I downloaded.


Maus — The second book is less inspired, but the first one is really touching.


28 août

"Apple's iPad order shipping times improve to 24hrs"

There you go, shut up about your rumors of new iPads.


I'm so bored and listless that I'm this close to picking up Infamous again. I have more interesting games but they'd require more attention.


Rha, les avions radio-commandés sont carrément presque abordables.


If you've got an online store with Javascript links that prevent me from opening product pages in new tabs, …well, you suck.


Aujourd'hui c'est un hydravion radiocommandé que je veux. Pour quand on sort en mer.


Day three of browsing sites about radio-controlled helicopters, and drooling.


27 août

I want to make a site for video game trailers that doesn't suck like they all do. Any investors interested?


Stupid push notification service ignoring the badge number because it was JSON-encoded as a number in a string, not as an integer.


I only just realized that Reeder's obnoxious scrolling bug must be due to its stupid, useless slide-up-for-next-article hack.


Idea: radio-controlled toys for cats (cars, robots… helicopters?) designed not to scare them with mechanical noises.


Greuh, j'aime pas qu'il fasse nuit quand je me lève. A quatorze heures au mois d'août.


Cats aren't that stupid; what is it that prevents them from realizing, after a month or a year, that they'll never catch the laser pointer?


26 août

“Apple’s Next Generation iPod Touch and Nano Cases Outed”

As for those small square things above the bigger cases, those are supposedly for the sixth-generation iPod Nano. The case seems to be created specifically for a touchscreen device, as the entire back of the gadget would be covered, but the whole front would not be. And considering we’ve heard rumors that the new Nano will lose that trackwheel, we’re beginning to think those earlier leaked images of the iWatch (or whatever) were indeed showing off the iPod Nano.

Oh man, it totally is time for an Apple watch, isn’t it? Just have the iPod nano display the time of day (with an OLED screen — where only the active pixels are lit — it may be possible to make the battery last, like, a whole day!), put interchangeable straps of leather on each side and, boom:  Watch.

And, yes, I’d buy it even though I haven’t worn a wristwatch in a year.


Bon sang, il va passer par la fenêtre, ce disque externe de merde qui disparaît à chaque fois que je reboote.


"How bathroom posture affects your health"

"We were not meant to sit on toilets, we were meant to squat in the field."


So I'm really gonna have no choice but to make my own PHP scripts to process the iTunes Financial Reports. It's ridiculous.


A free iPhone app to upload uncompressed video to YouTube

I’m reluctant to give my Google account credentials to a third-party app, but having bought an iPhone 4 and iMovie for iPhone in order to make pretty 720p videos [of my cat], I just can’t avoid it.


La Poste est vraiment obligée de couvrir ma carte bleue de colle ? Je fais quoi, je nettoie la puce à l'acétone maintenant ?


Did I just correctly realize that the default settings on a fresh MySQL install are pretty much unworkable?


25 août

RT @wilshipley: “The big problem with the Apple TV is Steve doesn’t watch TV. He has literally no idea what we want.”


Holy shit, record monthly earnings for me on the US App Store. Yay for Unicode.


Woot woot ! Vive la prime pour l'emploi, vivent les impôts, vive Sar... k... hurk.


"Etching Some Elegance Into Your iPhone"

Lovely. Wonder how it would look on an iPhone 4.


J'espère que la reprogrammation aura l'effet escompté, parce que je ferai pas ça tous les jours.


It would be a nice gesture from Valve to its fans to scrap their new celeb voiceover and get the original Wheatley in the sound booth.


Persepolis me rappelle que la seule façon de ne pas être misanthrope, c'est d'avoir soi-même la mentalité d'un collabo.


C'est bizarre de lire Persepolis après avoir vu le film ; impossible de ne pas avoir les voix de la famille Deneuve dans la tête.


Goddamnit I suck so much as a sysadmin.


That was clever, launching the big server migration at 3am when there are fewer users online. Now I have to stay up until 10am or so.


24 août

“Jack Dorsey connected the dots to create Twitter”

"How could this possibly work?" said IDC Financial Insights analyst Aaron McPherson, adding that eliminating a merchant account is akin to dangling fresh meat for criminals. "They are just so overhyped and it seems to be entirely based on Dorsey’s celebrity."

First time I see anyone actually make sense in a Square writeup. (But the rest of the profile on Jack Dorsey is interesting.)


That's what I thought. Reeder for iPad still has the bug that disables scrolling inertia; it just happens less often now.


And I didn't want to believe it, but it's true: Jake Gyllenhaal has zero charisma as an action hero.


Prince of Persia — Meh, obviously. It's not even pretty. Or sexy. The script is passable; a good director could have made a movie of it.


22 août

[Brace yourself for the tweet that nobody ever tweeted before.] I enjoy spending money so damn much better than earning it.


Sherlock Holmes doesn't need a remake, he's already quite modern… even though this first story is historical in the most unexpected way.


A Study in Scarlet — Unsurprisingly enough, the original story is much better than the TV reinvention of earlier this year.


I have the hardest time deciding which I hate less, between NetNewsWire and Reeder for iPad. And I spend my days reading feeds.


I'm appalled by the number of iPad games that don't save state when you switch away. I didn't even think Apple allowed this.


21 août

Comanche Combat Sim Coming to iPhone?

How many flight sim screenshots from 1992 have held up so well? Voxels FTW.


Does anyone here have Dribbble invites? Not that I use Photoshop very often, but still.


I'm so damn jealous that kids today have access to cheap radio-controlled helicopters. It won't be as fun if I buy one at my age.


Wait. Twitter has added "You both follow" and "Also followed by" to user pages, but still can't be bothered to compute "Is following you"?


20 août

In these days of ubiquitous self-publishing, it's just jarring to detect even the slightest sign of editing after you've been interviewed by a reporter.


“Flash Player 10.1: This Video is Not Optimized for Mobile”

Truth be told, it can all be summed up in just a few sentences: “I’m the last person on Earth who wanted to believe Steve Jobs when he told Walt Mossberg at D8 that ‘Flash has had its day.’ I’m sad to admit that Steve Jobs was right. Adobe’s offering seems like it’s too little, too late.”

Laughing Out Loud.


Je regrette d'avoir délaissé mon blog, ça m'aurait fourni une excuse pour créer un club Playstation Home (parce que "bien sûr" c'est payant).


19 août

Goes without saying you can't trust Facebook not to suddenly make your entire check-in history public with a subtle privacy policy update.


There's no way letting you tag your friends in your check-ins can work in the real world. Too many pranks, it will defeat the whole point.


It's nice of Facebook to open the Places API to Foursquare et al. so that they can't make much of a fuss. Before they die, forgotten by all.


The Big C 1.01 — Good writing, good actors, but I don't think I wanna watch more of this. I don't think I like the director, either.


RT @nevenmrgan: “Good things come to those who wait, and also bad things, and pretty much any other kind of thing if you wait long enough.”


“Manager’s best friend: Dogs improve office productivity”

They wondered in particular if the mere presence of a canine in the office might make people collaborate more effectively. And, as they told a meeting of the International Society for Human Ethology in Madison, Wisconsin, on August 2nd, they found that it could.

Filed for future reference.


“Apple’s ’Freedom From Porn’ Enforcer Drawn To Porn Stars and Escorts on Twitter”

"Apple’s policy allows for employees to have apps on the App Store if they’re developed and published prior to their start at Apple." But in fact, as Chen shows, three of Shoemaker’s seven apps went onto the app store weeks after his employment began, according to dates gleaned from Shoemaker’s Twitter accounts and from the iTunes profiles of his apps. In one case, a Shoemaker app was published over a month after Shoemaker started work at Apple; in two other cases, they were published nearly three weeks after his work began.[…]

Shoemaker himself is in the fart-app game with his pre-Apple offering Animal Farts

I don’t give a damn that the guy in charge of the App Store follows escorts on Twitter — it is a bit weird, but none of our business. But, really, Apple hired to direct the App Store a guy who made a fart app, a pee simulator, and poetry magnet apps?

Just… why?


That Lara Croft downloadable game is really fun in local co-op.


18 août

“Avatars Will Be Redesigned For Kinect”

Rare updates Xbox 360 Avatars as unrealistic proportions affect hand-eye coordination when using Kinect.

That sounds a little stupid, but (a) the whole point of Kinect is to target morons with no sense of abstraction, and (b) I’m not gonna mourn the bobbleheads. I don’t like PlayStation Home, but at least my avatar there is somewhat sexy.


Finalement, j'espère que Gran Turismo sera mieux jouable au pad que Forza. (C'est possible, les sticks de la PS3 sont plus faciles à doser.)


Ah ouais, donc les volants Logitech, pour avoir les paddles, faut acheter le modèle à 300 euros.


Okay, I wrote 45 lines of PHP, I think I'm good. (For the record I must admit I insert a new line before opening curly braces.)


17 août

Ack, les quatre boîtes de Tic Tac y sont passées.


So I tried locking myself in my room with a bad (I mean, a worse) Céline Dion album, and it still doesn't get me working. I'm out of ideas.


Behind door 1: Get to work. Behind door 2: Keep staring at the wall while eating four boxes of Tic Tacs. It's easy, just pick a door.


16 août

True Blood 3.09 — Those "officers" are the most literal approximation of a shark jump since the original shark jump. And the rest, too.


When I bought those Cranberries records (I did buy CDs in those times), I didn't like my life but I thought I had a future.


15 août

I like making tiny improvements to my iPhone apps. But having to redo all my screenshots because I added a small control… ugh.


I always forget that I have to redownload the iOS SDK for every minor OS update I install on my devices. And I was feeling productive.


14 août

I can't believe how short Kathleen Turner's résumé was before Romancing the Stone. Or how short it is after that.


By the way, Scott Pilgrim absolutely is Twilight for boys. Same irresistible Mary Sue who doesn't know what's good for them.


Not quite sure how to rate the Scott Pilgrim comic, but I do know that Michael Cera is (unsurprisingly) an idiotic casting choice.


Sony MDR-RF840R — Pour agrémenter un son à chier (distorsion, zéro basse), le plastique du casque grince en permanence. Retour à Amazon.


Downloaded 1.5 GB of comics into CloudReaders and, again, I somewhat wish I'd bought the 64-gig iPad.


“jQuery’s Mobile Strategy”

Great news! jQuery is updating for mobile platforms, I’ll finally be able to use it everywhere again! Oh, wait…

Note that we’re not releasing a separate “mobile only” build of jQuery. The bug fixes and workarounds that we develop will be included directly in mainline jQuery. You will be able to continue using the single script file containing jQuery and get all the benefits of working across all the new mobile browsers. Thus far these changes are only yielding a minimal increase in file size (no more than a couple hundred bytes) and no appreciable change in performance.

Well, that’s great, isn’t it — because jQuery is already too big to fit in most iPhones’ web cache* (meaning it has to be reloaded with every page, meaning page loads are slow, meaning you just can’t use it on an iPhone site**), so bigger is… better than… a mobile-only version… that would have been smaller… and would have worked.

I used to think that jQuery was the work of geniuses. But it seems that no open-source project can ever escape entropy. (It would be so simple to selectively load a different javascript file depending on the platform you’re running on — you know, if you intended to actually optimize for mobile browsers and mobile networks.)


* In case you want to tell me that jQuery is 24KB when gzipped: The object size limitation in Safari is based on the decompressed file. I just downloaded the latest minified jQuery, and it’s 70KB, so it would be cached on no iOS device except the iPhone 4.

** Unless you make it one single page that loads everything in Ajax, which is… well, I think it’s more acceptable on the mobile web than on the desktop, but it’s still poor form. And if you’re doing a full-on web-app, people want App Store apps instead anyway.


I'm beginning to think that either the Dropbox API or the Obj-C library they offer is buggy as all hell.


13 août

Je sais que Steve est maigre mais c'est quand même mesquin de concevoir l'iPad pour qu'il soit le miroir perpétuel de ton double-menton.


Android Voice Actions demo video

Impressive demo. Not sure I'd ever use it much, but I want it all the same.


So, if Photoshop Express for iPad launches the GoodReader app for you: you have to start it in portrait mode. Weirdest bug ever, or what?


Futurama has been depressing for years now, but did they really just conclude an episode with "Oh well, maybe God exists, maybe not"?


So I'm gonna have to make my own iPad clients for Google Reader, Dropbox, and Read It Later. Believe.


12 août

Fuck it, I spend too much time in Google Reader to tolerate Reeder's bugs, so I bought NetNewsWire for iPad. I think I do like it better.


The Deep 1.01–1.02 — Lazy crap. It's a deep-sea mission, not Big Brother; they don't usually select idiots and cowards to maximize conflict.


“Twitter Blog: Pushing Our (Tweet) Button”

You can very easily transform their branded button into a “Post to Twitter” bookmarklet for you to use anywhere, and it’s silly that they didn’t think to publicize that fact (but then, geeks haven’t been their main target for a while). I’d been looking for an official bookmarklet for a while now, one that wouldn’t need to go through third-party servers, especially since I’ve gotten my iPad: having to copy and paste URLs is a pain when hitting a bookmarklet should work just as well.

So here’s the bookmarklet (which you could conceivably extend to populate the tweet with selected text when appropriate, but I don’t care, and I don’t mind using copy-and-paste for that):

If you don’t see anything above, that’ll be because I put it in a textarea so it could easily be copied and pasted on the iPad. You can also drag this link to your bookmarks bar if you’re on a platform that provides such elaborate functionality. (You’d think maybe someday iOS would let users create bookmarklets without jumping through so many hoops?)


Avranches découvre Ben & Jerry's (peut-être pour les touristes anglais ?). Je ne pouvais pas ne pas en acheter six.


11 août

1Password now available for Windows, with Dropbox sync. Don't know how good a port it will be, but go buy it anyway.


Good: Apple didn't waste any time fixing that dreadful PDF vuln. Hopefully they were motivated a bit by security, and not just jailbreak.


Trying to convince an experienced web developer that usetranssid is evil. Because PHP allows experienced web devs not to realize that.


Pet peeve: cross-platform apps with "Check for updates" in the Help menu. Ah, they'll move Preferences to the app menu — but that one, nooo.


Is there such a thing as affordable wireless headphones that don't suck?


Wow, Gmail looks much cleaner. What a difference a few pixels make.


10 août

J'ai pas envie de couper la clim, je vais devoir mettre le chauffage.


Not sure the Mafia 2 demo makes me want to buy the game. Driving in simulation mode is cool, though. Cars were fun in those times.


Lost Epilogue — Um, yeah, whatever. It's just a cheap DVD extra. Needless, pointless, and harmless.


That's the problem with modernizing Holmes, isn't it: you do risk to naturally end up making CSI if you're not careful and talented.


Sherlock 1.03 — Not as bad as the second, but still not fulfilling the concept's potential; might as well be CSI. Let's not make more.


8 août

Reading List, 2010 part 2

Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End ★★★

Vinge takes on William Gibson, with mitigated results: not nearly as well written (that wasn’t as jarring in the previous books, possibly because they were in their own universe), but with better characters, and an interesting world and story, although the ending is not all you’d like it to be.


Robert Charles Wilson, Spin ★★★★

Taking the premise of Greg Egan’s Quarantine and running with it in a completely different direction: much lighter on the hard sci-fi and more interested in the characters. Not exactly memorable, just masterful storytelling and an enjoyable read.


Charles Stross, Glasshouse ★★★

Not that it isn’t well written, but the story doesn’t interest me — well, it actively repels me, in fact (I can’t stand stories of people being trapped, never could, never will). There are clever ideas in the way the author replicates the 1950s society through game theory, but a lot of the story feels hackneyed and predictable.


David Brin, Sundiver ★★

I thoroughly dislike the universe, the oremise, and the writing. In short, I instantly disliked the man. Which is too bad, because he asks interesting questions. Poorly.


Greg Egan, Permutation City ★★

When I started reading books by Egan, I thought his love for matryoshka sets of parallel universes and dimensions was exotic and original; now I’m really getting tired of it. I love his knack for imagining and describing every single facet of post-physical humanity, but hate the theoretical mumbo-jumbo of mathematical impossibilities.


I appreciate the serendipity of beginning to read Permutation City just after I've spent the better part of two days in Playstation Home.


7 août

Je comptais bosser aujourd'hui, et au lieu de ça j'ai acheté un sac de Haribo World Mix. Oh, well.


Les Guides du Routard gratuits sur iPhone sont toutes les villes que j'ai envie de faire (sauf Marrakech, et manque Tokyo). Moi, hipster ?


Oh shit, just got the best idea ever for a Second Life-like. Investors, please send your millions by Monday.


C'est chiant, la moquette (surtout sombre), si tu ne passes pas l'aspirateur une fois par an, ça fait crade.


“Deep Inside Xbox 360 Kinect and Why It’s the Future of Microsoft”

The Kinect’s size and shape is dictated almost entirely by the 4 microphones located along the bottom. It has to be precisely that large to accommodate the mics and the exact positions they need to be in.

Interesting. Also, there’s a fan instead the Kinect — it’s just made of three cameras and four microphones, and there’s a fan (which only kicks in when needed). Probably because Gizmodo says it uses a freaking laser to illuminate your living room.


“There can be more than one”

I’ve noticed the same effect: Mac and iPhone zealots tend to talk up how much they like their devices, while Windows and Android zealots tend to talk up how much they hate Macs and iPhones. This asymmetry has always struck me as odd.



6 août

I'm not saying I need everything to be spelled out (I loved Limbo), but Flower's premise makes no sense.


Besides everything I knew I'd hate about Heavy Rain (I'm playing the demo), the walk controls are the most absurdly obnoxious in history.


PS Home is better than I thought; wouldn't take that much to make it a success. Mostly, cheaper swag — it would encourage player investment.


If Playstation Home items were sold for ten cents I couldn't resist a few of them. But one euro for the cheapest pieces of crap? Come on.


5 août

My PSN ID is garoorag, by the way.


I know I'll get used to it, but my gut reaction is that I haaate the PS3's Xross Media Bar.


The latest Reeder on iPad is pissing me off. Display bugs, and scrolling inertia keeps turning off somehow (really wonder how they manage).


"Cheap HDMI Cables is now following you on Twitter!" Not. Helping.


Je suis sûr d'avoir déjà tenu dans mes mains un câble HDMI et l'avoir rangé quelque part, mais où, et pourquoi j'aurais eu un câble HDMI ?


Fuuuuck. J'ai oublié le câble HDMI.


Google Wave is officially dead

Wow, that must hurt. Hope they do reuse that technology, because the service was mostly just too complicated for the real world.


4 août

Okay, the in-car camera is much more enjoyable on a 1080p screen #forza3


Now that my Mac mini is connected to a pretty 22-inch, I really want to find the courage to boost its hard drive and RAM.


Katherine Moennig in Dexter S5

Yay, I thought her career was dead when she went to Three Rivers.


Weeds 6.01 — "Ha! Deep end." "No." That five-year character buildup has been annoying, but it wasn't all in vain.


3 août

"iPhone Remote App Is A One Man Job"

Not surprised. And that's why we have no iPad version.


The latest Reeder update with image zoom is great for reading webcomics.


Le chat joue à Maru avec le carton du moniteur, et je n'ai plus de place sur l'iPhone pour filmer. Pff.


Visiblement, Amazon n'a pas prévenu UPS que mon moniteur était censé arriver avant 13h.


Sherlock 1.02 — Yeah, that was crap. All of the flaws of the first one, none of the qualities.


Kingdom of Heaven Extended Director's Cut XXL++ — You wouldn't have known from that old two-hour trailer, but it's a good film.


2 août

I need to delete the Wired app so I don't get roped into buying the next issue. Will Ferrell as a guest? What happened to this magazine?


Google Images is now incompatible with Cmd-clicks. Sticking to the eyesore of "zen simplicity," and screwing up the essentials.


RT @myracles: “Tis better to have loved and lost the will to live than never to have loved but lost the will to live anyhow. That was depressing.”


iPhone, iPod touch, iPad: no two of them have all buttons and ports in the same place. What gives?


1 août

Chuck S1 — Really fun and well done. I know I said the same thing about Warehouse 13, but it's more true of Chuck.


Buying a nice new 22-inch monitor was supposed to be a happy time, not a stressful emergency.


Ungh, va-t'en choisir un moniteur sur Amazon, tiens. Si j'avais les moyens de me payer un Cinema Display ça serait tellement plus simple.


I wanna watch a movie on my iPad without worrying where my fingers rest or if I'm tripping the Home button. The Lock switch would be a great fit for… locking the controls.



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