By John Gruber
WorkOS is like “Stripe for enterprise features.” Add Single Sign-On (SAML) to your app in minutes instead of months.
Lots of bug fixes; I’m most interested in the “.Mac sync services” and “Spotlight indexing and searching” fixes. Update: Ooh, and you can now tell iChat not to show smileys (View → Show Smileys); sweet.
Jonathan Rentzsch on Backup 3:
Unfortunately, the harm doesn’t end just in the black eye for Apple’s software quality-control, the valuation of .Mac, or the users who will lose data. Backup 3 also hurts the market for backup software that actually works.
See also: Michael Tsai.
Here’s a blast from the past: Turly O’Connor’s FinderPop — a very popular contextual menu utility from the old Mac OS — is now back for Mac OS X, currently in a public beta. I loved FinderPop on Mac OS 8 and 9. (Via Phil Dokas via email.)
Michael McCracken warns about Backup 3’s restore behavior. (Via Jon Rentzsch, who comments: “Backup 3 is the worst piece of software Apple is shipping today. Even worse than the Finder.”
If you’re thinking about buying Aperture, you can pre-order it at Amazon for just $450 (and kick a referral fee my way).
$10 app converts video files into iPod-compatible MPEG-4 or H.264 formats.
Nick Bradbury on the role of desktop apps in the Web 2.0 era. (Via Brent Simmons.)
Dealing with bugs in the OS are one of the hardest parts of the job for third-party developers. Dave Nanian reports on a bug in Tiger that has caused problems for users of SuperDuper (Shirt Pocket Software’s excellent drive-duplicating/backup software), and how they worked around it for the upcoming SuperDuper 2.0.
Upcoming book compiled by long-time Kubrick assistant Tony Frewin, consisting of a series of interviews with leading scientists compiled for an abandoned prologue to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Note that a certain butt-head astronomer refused to participate without a cut of the film’s profits. (Via Coudal, of course.)
They outgrew their datacenter, which has led to a series of recent service problems. I suppose I might feel a little differently if I used TypePad, but I do think it’s great the way they’re discussing the problems publicly. Honesty goes a long way.
The desire to redesign is aesthetic-driven, while the desire to realign is purpose-driven.
And you thought Microsoft Office was slow and bloated? According to these numbers from George Ou, OpenOffice is downright gluttonous.
Offer good through October 31.
Bigger is better. VeriSign might want to cough up a few million to acquire this service. (Via 2lmc Spool.)
Charming short film by Vera Brosgol and Jenn Kluska. (Brosgol illustrated the Konfabulator history comic.)
iPod Shuffle case made out of Lego bricks.
Minor bug-fix update to one my very favorite apps.
“Google Base” was live yesterday, briefly:
Google Base is Google’s database into which you can add all types of content. We’ll host your content and make it searchable online for free.
(Via Andy Baio.)
Matthew Modine’s account of shooting Full Metal Jacket with Stanley Kubrick.
TUAW has reader-submitted footage showing Front Row running on a Mac Mini after it was copied over from a new iMac.
iBelieve is a replacement cap and lanyard to convert the iPod Shuffle into a cross.
David Heinemeier Hansson on an apparently new version of Google’s Web Accelerator, which not only still wreaks havoc with web applications by pre-fetching web pages, but it now does so without sending an identifiable HTTP header. Update: It was a bug, now fixed.
Five ad spots that run across three of my favorite web sites: A List Apart, Coudal Partners, and 37signals. Just like the ads here on Daring Fireball, only one ad runs per page — which benefits both the reader and the advertiser. Of course, I shamelessly stole the idea off Coudal in the first place.
Songs are $1.69 AUD (~$1.27 USD), and albums are $16.99 AUD (~$12.76 USD).
Joel Spolsky on the rising tide of AdSense fraud:
The minute companies start cutting checks to “affiliates” at the end of the month that are based on nothing more than clicks, you’re bound to get the AllAdvantage phenomenon. AllAdvantage was probably one of the most spectacularly stupid business ideas to come out of the first Dot Com bubble: a company that paid you to look at ads. That’s because they fell victim to one of the better business ideas from the first Dot Com bubble: hiring armies of low-paid workers to look at AllAdvantage ads.
Jeremy Horwitz rates them as B+ and B, respectively.
From the “It’s About Time” department: Bare Bones Software chieftain Rich Siegel now has a weblog.
We announced the acquisition fairly soon after the papers were signed, and some things were left undecided, just due to timing issues. We talked about a number of possibilities for MarsEdit (you can probably imagine most of them).
And then the acquisition announcement was made, and we heard from lots of people who love MarsEdit.
So we listened — and decided to continue MarsEdit development at NewsGator.
A software bug causes AirPort networking problems in new iBooks with 1.5 GB of RAM. Until Apple releases a fix, a temporary workaround is to use Open Firmware to configure your iBook only to use 1 GB of RAM.
Major upgrade for James Thomson’s eminent calculator app; includes a Dashboard widget version. (Prior to Mac OS X 10.2, PCalc shipped as part of the software that came with certain new Macs.)
New developer documentation for people who want to write plug-ins for Shaun Inman’s Mint web stats package.
John C. Dvorak:
As big and as important as Microsoft is, the coverage of the company is quite mediocre. This is particularly true in the mainstream press. The reason for this is that today’s newspaper and magazine tech writers know little about computers and are all Mac users. It’s a fact.
Even if it’s true that most (or “all”, as Dvorak claims) mainstream technology reporters are Mac users, isn’t the most likely explanation that they use Macs because they do know something about computers?
For obvious reasons, Apple’s new Power Mac G5 benchmarks pit the new machines against the previous generation Power Macs, instead of against x86 hardware.
Interesting teaser from Safari developer Maciej Stachowiak:
Apple’s new post-production tool for professional photographers, Aperture, joins the growing list of innovative applications that use WebKit. Aperture hasn’t quite shipped yet but in the meantime check out the Gallery and Journal features on the Aperture Quick Tour. Take a look at the videos and screenshots, it looks really spiffy.
But so where is Aperture using Web Kit? Perhaps they’re using it to render the main content area? Like the “light table” layout area? Maybe they’re only using it to power the Web Gallery preview?
Dan Sugalski on what went right and what went wrong during his stint as lead architect of Parrot (the still-in-development runtime intended to serve as the foundation for the still-in-development Perl 6). Sugalski walked away from Parrot months ago, but until now hadn’t publicly said why.
Great work from the EFF.
Gap’s new web sites — which include Banana Republic and Old Navy — don’t work at all with Safari. Disgraceful.
Same thing happened to Clint Ecker as David Pogue — when he tried watching video while walking, he bumped into things.
Ever think, “I wish there were some competition for Photoshop?”
Looks gorgeous; I wish the whole Mac OS X UI looked like this.
Clever iPod-inspired navigation UI implemented using Ajax. Very promising. (Via Buzz Andersen.)
Many people — including Apple’s chief, Steve Jobs — have predicted that video on the iPod would never be as popular as music. One crucial reason is that watching requires your full attention. You can’t do something else simultaneously, like driving or working.
In practice, these predictions turn out to be absolutely accurate. (I established this fact through scientific hands-on testing. Unintentionally absorbed in an episode of “Lost” while walking through Grand Central Terminal, I marched directly into a steel support girder.)
The news is way at the bottom of the post. Yet another top-notch browser and HTML rendering expert goes to work for Google.
Hold down the Shift key while using the volume keys on your keyboard to suppress the beep.
Update: Dan Ridley emails:
I think it’s noteworthy that if you’ve disabled the volume change notification (in System Preferences, Sound, “Play feedback when volume is changed”); that Shift will make it play the tone instead. This is handy, for me, when I have my iBook hooked up to external speakers. (I know the volume of the internal ones, and I don’t need the feedback.)
(I also think it’s noteworthy that System Prefs’ Spotlight search knows this feature by the name “Alert when volume is changed,” but “feedback” returns no results, but that’s another story altogether.)
The software quality is obviously way beneath The New Yorker’s standards. (Via Kottke).
After an extended hiatus, Dan Benjamin is back with a new design for Hivelogic (and he’s written a new publishing system in Rails to power it).
Larry Angell’s first impressions.
XML-RPC Client is a free Cocoa-based developer tool for Mac OS X Tiger that allows you to access and debug XML-RPC web services from the comfort of your desktop.
(Via Brent Simmons.)
Coolfer compares the front pages of the leading online music stores. (Via 37signals.)
Tags, then a Google Maps mashup, then three clones ship, then you flip.
The TextDrive guys know their shit regarding running Rails apps in a production environment.
In other words, you read right: there’s no way to actually use backups made with Backup in any sane fashion. Do a full backup only to see your hard drive crash later? Sorry, that backup won’t work. Heck, Backup won’t even “restore” things as you’d expect when you finally figure out how to make it let you attempt to restore files — it copies things to a “Restored Files” folder.
Apple Developer Connection article on Aspyr’s experience so far with universal binaries.
“Macintosh Developer” and “Senior Macintosh Developer” positions.
Jim Coudal has screenshots and a link to a couple-of-years-old 30-second spot from Psyop that bears a strong resemblance, especially color-wise, to Apple’s new Eminem iPod spot.
Cover article on Apple. You just can’t buy coverage like this.
Update: Time Canada has the full article online. Here’s a snippet:
Sure, Jobs is perfectly pleasant to be around. And he pays attention to what you’re saying, but if he disagrees with it — if, hypothetically, you’re maybe airing a pet peeve about the fact that iMacs have all their ports in the back, where they’re hard to get at—he’ll come storming back and hammer at you until you change your mind or at least shut up. When he generously introduces you to the guy who runs Apple’s iTunes development team, Jobs makes it clear that you’re welcome to meet him but you can’t print his name. Jobs doesn’t want competitors poaching his talent. “You can mention his first name but not his last name,” Jobs says. “How’s that?” It’ll have to do. The guy’s name, by the way, is Jeff.
Odd that Jobs feels the need to be secretive about that; everyone knows Jeff Robbin leads the iTunes development team. I mean, jeez, look in the Wikipedia. Update Redux: Aaron Swartz points to this Fortune article, which contains a quote from Jeff Robbin, described as “lead software engineer for iTunes and the iPod”.
Screenshots of iTunes version 1 through 5. Perhaps SoundJam should be included, too?
It accounted for only 2-3 percent of their sales, but upwards of 15 percent of their technical support.
Mark Cuban on the Apple-ABC deal to put TV shows on ITMS.
Clever tip from Jan Erik Moström, but it’s worth pointing out that TextMate ships with a Markdown HTML preview function.
The gang at Coudal Partners are posting a slew of Kubrick-related links today. It’s like Christmas in July. Er, October. Must-read link: Filmbrain’s PDF version of Kubrick’s 1969 Napoleon screenplay, perhaps the greatest movie never made.
Apple doesn’t say exactly what the press conference will be about, but the invitation sent to MacCentral asks to join them as “we unveil Apple’s latest pro innovations.”
So this is where they’ll unveil the new Power Macs, and, I hope, new PowerBooks. Or, as they’re joking in the comments on the Macworld article, maybe they’ll unveil iTunes 7.
90-page $10 ebook by Brian Tanaka covering a topic that confuses the hell out of most Mac users.
Rubinstein will be succeeded as head of Apple’s iPod division by Tony Fadell.
Paul Ford is one of my favorite writers, and he’s now back to writing on Ftrain.com after publishing a novel, Gary Benchley, Rock Star, which is as good a reason for a weblog hiatus as any.
BitKeeper is a proprietary, commercial source code management system. Mercurial is an open source, free source code management system. Bryan O’Sullivan works at a company that uses BitKeeper, but on his own time, he worked on Mercurial. Larry McVoy (CEO of BitMover, the company behind BitKeeper) contacted O’Sullivan’s employer to “[convey] his very legitimate worry that a fast, stable open source project such as Mercurial poses a threat to his business, and that he considered it ‘unacceptable’ that an employee of a customer should work on a free project that he sees as competing.”
What’s ironic about this is that BitKeeper’s home page prominently features a quote from open-source demigod Linus Torvalds. (Cf. the Wikipedia entry on BitKeeper for more.)
Is the Apple-Disney deal a sign that Pixar and Disney might get back together?
Paul Graham on the Y Combinator Summer Founders Program, which seems to have been quite successful so far:
Startups can be irresponsible and release version 1s that are light enough to evolve. In big companies, all the pressure is in the direction of over-engineering.
I just noticed that Graham uses double
<br> tags instead of
<p> tags; how retro.
Clever little tripod speakers intended for use with the iPod Shuffle. (Via Khoi Vinh.)
Already have great home movies you want to play on your iPod? No problem. QuickTime 7 Pro helps you easily convert them to a format that iPod understands.
Slew of new cases for the iPod Nano.
Joel Spolsky on setting priorities for a development team.
Nifty new Photoshop action from the guys at Twinsparc to give you the reflected “shiny floor” treatment.
Mark Pilgrim, patriot.
Nifty. What you do is download “WebKit.app”, which is just a version of Safari with the very latest version of the Web Kit frameworks baked inside. It’s a very convenient way to play with or test against the latest versions of Web Kit without having to replace your Web Kit system framework (which is what other apps that use Web Kit depend upon.) The WebKit app icon has a gold rim so you can tell it apart from the real version of Safari in the Dock.
Get a discount when you purchase 10,000 or more songs at a time. It’s intended for contests and schools, not for spendthrifts.
This has to be a joke. Well, I guess it doesn’t have to be, but if it isn’t, as Kottke says, “This Web 2.0 math makes 0.0 sense.”
Even though it was the best quarter in Apple’s history, their stock fell 10.5 percent after announcing their statement because iPod sales weren’t as fantastic as analysts had hoped.
So here’s what I hear, as of 1:00pm ET:
I’ve heard nothing about new PowerBooks, but damn, that line-up is getting old.
Update: Right, right, right, wrong, right.
Interesting new web-based to-do list app. (Via Andy Baio.)
Not a photo of the new iPod itself, but a photo of an ad with an illustrated iPod. The screen is clearly wider and larger than on current iPods. iLounge.com is getting hammered, so here’s a local mirror. Credit to Larry Angell and iLounge.
Update: iLounge publisher Dennis Lloyd has a shot of the full ad on Flickr. (Thanks, Jesper.)
Includes an improved libgaim library, which significantly improves Adium’s ability to send file transfers over AIM.
Nate Mook, BetaNews:
Microsoft and Yahoo are set to announce on Wednesday a blockbuster interoperability deal that will reshape the landscape of the fragmented instant messaging market. The companies will connect their IM networks so users on each can communicate with one another using text and voice chat free of charge.
Blockbuster indeed. They’ll have more combined users than AIM.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page:
We hope that someday this institution will eclipse Google itself in overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems.
I can’t wait to show this to Bryan Bell.
Apple shipped 1,236,000 Macintosh units and 6,451,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 48 percent growth in Macs and 220 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.
For fiscal 2005, the Company generated revenue of $13.93 billion and a net profit of $1.335 billion, reflecting annual growth of 68 percent and 384 percent, respectively, and representing the highest annual revenue and net profit in the Company’s history.
“We’re thrilled to have concluded the best year in Apple’s history, with 68 percent year-over-year revenue growth and 384 percent net profit growth,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “This is the direct result of our focus on innovation and the immense talent and creativity at Apple. We could not be more excited about the new products we’re working on for 2006.”
So much for concerns (including mine) that pre-announcing the switch to Intel was going to cause Mac sales to dip in the interim.
Mark Pilgrim is working on microformat parsing for Firefox:
Imagine having your own private database of every person you’ve ever stumbled across online, and being able to download their vCards into your address book. And every event, which you can download into iCal/Sunbird/Outlook. Plus a list of all the Creative Commons-licensed content you’ve ever read, which you can repurpose — legally, according to the terms of the license.
Now imagine searching such a database. And subscribing to your search results as a syndicated feed.
It’s coming. Within weeks, not years. All the data is out there; people are publishing this stuff anyway. If they publish it just 1% better (with appropriate microformatting), I can get 1000% more out of it.
Terrific new “I can’t believe no one thought of this before” feature in the upcoming release of Excel for Windows, proving that there’s still plenty of room for innovation in spreadsheets.
Terrific interview in The Believer between two graphic design superheroes. Ends up Glaser did the “I♥NY” logo pro bono, and has never made a nickel from it. (Via Jason Santa Maria.)
Filed under “mutual admiration”.
So there’s this web site for amateur porno that was giving out free accounts to U.S. troops who could prove they were stationed in Iraq. What happened is that as proof, some of the troops started submitting grisly photos of dead Iraqis — charred remains, a cab driver whose entire head was blown apart — often with the troops themselves pictured gloating or laughing over the remains. Now that the situation has blown up into a small-grade scandal, the troops aren’t in any trouble, but the guy who runs the web site is.
Via Tom Tomorrow, who says it well:
The Pentagon found nothing worth investigating in the story about the porn site trading free access to soldiers in return for their grisly war photos — but in what is described as an entirely unrelated development, the operator of the porn site has been arrested on obscenity charges.
Not that anyone wanted to, you know, shut the site down or anything.
Correlating the selling price of the network ($25-40 million) with the number of inbound links on Technorati, he figures Engadget accounted for 30 percent of the deal.
My guess is that whoever made this decision at AOL didn’t do nearly as much statistical analysis as Louis has done here; who would sign off on a deal that values TUAW at over $1 million?
VeriSign buys Dave Winer’s Weblogs.com for $2 million, and announces version 2.0, which will apparently be a complete re-write of the back end. Do not confuse this deal with AOL’s purchase of Weblogs Inc. (Via Kottke, who gets credit for the scoop on this story.)
Update: Winer on the deal.
Type design rock stars House Industries now have a weblog. (Via Cameron Moll).
$25 million, reportedly. My question: How much of this money will go to the people writing the Weblogs Inc. weblogs?
Like the previous iPods I’ve owned, my nano has never been sheathed in a case. Like the others, I carry the Nano — by itself — in my pants or jacket or shirt pockets; or loosely in a briefcase or carry-on travel bag, in a pocket containing no other hard objects. This is also how I carry my Treo smart phone, whose screen is free of scratches after much longer and harder use than the Nano’s. My Nano hasn’t been dropped or scraped. Yet it is badly scratched.
This scratched-Nano situation might be turning into a real problem for Apple.
Mark Simonson on the newly released ITC Avante Garde Gothic Pro:
I was disappointed, however, to see that they took a huge short cut on the italics: they simply slanted the upright version, in spite of the fact that ITC designed and released optically correct obliques in 1977.
(We’re using Simonson’s excellent Proxima Nova as the identity font at Joyent.)
Whoa, Yahoo purchased Upcoming.org. It’s acquisition week, apparently.
[…] NetNewsWire users are asking for syncing features that NewsGator already has, and so we can make that happen in NetNewsWire.
And NetNewsWire users deserve a product with more resources behind it. If my time can be freed up so I can spend lots more time working on new features (and bug fixes!) then that’s good all around.
They offer no clue as to what it’s about, but my guess is that it’s new iPods. I just can’t see Apple heading into Christmas selling regular iPods that are more or less the same as last year’s. And here’s what the event invitations look like.
Terrific Q&A interview with Brent Simmons and NewsGator’s Greg Reinacker, explaining the deal. I’ll have more to say on this later, but as my quote in the press release announcing the deal indicates, I think this deal will mean good things for NetNewsWire users.
Easiest way to avoid unsightly scratches.
37signals’ latest app might be the clearest, simplest web application I’ve ever seen. It’s a one-page-at-a-time writing app. There are no user accounts; just pages composed in Textile format, created one-at-a-time, shared by email addresses, and protected by passwords. Pages are “owned” by whatever email address you use when you create the page. The only other notable feature is that you get full revision history, with snapshots saves automatically each time you save a page, and you can run a diff on any two revisions. And it’s totally free to use.
One thing it’s not is a real-time SubEthaEdit-style collaboration tool, like JotSpot Live tries to be.
Nifty-looking open source Lego modeling app for Mac OS X. (Via Tao of Mac.)
The 10.4 version of Preview adds a nice PDF bookmarking feature, but it’s incredibly fragile because it only tracks bookmarked files by exact path name — move or rename a PDF and your bookmarks to the file are lost. This could easily be fixed by tracking files through the Alias Manager, but Drunkenbatman reports on a bug filed against Preview which was closed by a bug screener at Apple who doesn’t seem to realize this is even possible.
Update: A reader asks whether this might not simply be the case of a bug screener who’s unaware of aliases, and that the correct response would be for the original reporter of the bug to reply to point out that using aliases would solve the problem nicely. (The original report, as quoted on Drunkenblog, doesn’t even mention “aliases”; it does mention “file system nodes”, but that’s pointless, since there aren’t any APIs in Carbon or Cocoa for dealing with files as inodes.)
Terrific essay from Tim O’Reilly to kick off next week’s Web 2.0 Conference. (Which I’ll be attending, by the way.)
Tim Bray reports from the OpenOffice.org Conference that they’re scrapping their current Mac OS X ports — an X11 version that’s, well, an X11 app, and an ever-so-slightly more Mac-like Java app that is slow and lags behind the OpenOffice state-of-the-art — and are going to do a true Mac app in Cocoa.
But we’ve heard this before — I called “vaporware” on the native Mac version of OpenOffice over two years ago.
This is great: Robert Ryang, the young film editor’s assistant who put together the gag remix of “The Shining”, has hit the big-time.
XML::Feed now lets you splice multiple RSS and Atom feeds together into a single Atom feed. (Month-old news that I didn’t notice until now.)