Linked List: January 2007

Nolobe Acquires Interarchy From Stairways Software 


Stairways Software Pty Ltd today announced the acquisition of Stairways Software’s flagship program, Interarchy, by Nolobe Pty Ltd. In what amounts to an employee buyout, lead developer Matthew Drayton has formed Nolobe Pty Ltd and acquired all rights to Interarchy, the award winning file transfer and web maintenance client.

Matthew Drayton has been leading the development of Interarchy for some years now, so customers can expect the same level of quality software development and innovative features as Nolobe continues to develop and enhance Interarchy going forward. Nolobe will honour all existing licenses, and expects to release a new free upgrade (8.5) soon before continuing work on the next major release (9.0) due out later this year.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow.

Michael Dell Back as CEO of Dell 

Tom Krazit, reporting for CNet:

Dell announced Wednesday that Kevin Rollins has resigned as chief executive officer, and company founder Michael Dell will be retaking the helm of the PC company.

My advice: Sell the company’s assets and give the money to the shareholders.

Boston Blows Up the Mooninites 

Typical Red Sox fans — scared silly.

Update: Now they’ve arrested the guy who put these things up, “charged under a new statute that makes it a crime to place, transfer or possess a hoax device that results in panic” — despite the fact that they weren’t intended as anything other than innocent advertisements. In what way is this a hoax? Ludicrous.

Yankee Stadium to Host 2008 All-Star Game 

I’m not sure what the big deal is — every game is an All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

Molly Ivins Dies at 62 

Sad to see her go; she was a terrific columnist.

We’ll See 

From a CNet report on Windows Vista:

If you are in the market for a new Windows PC because your old computer is outdated or otherwise failing on you, Vista is your best bet, all experts agree. That’s even if you’re considering buying a Mac, said David Litchfield, a noted security bug hunter.

If you’re looking for “a new Windows PC”, yeah, a Mac probably isn’t a good choice.

“If you’re looking to buy a new computer, the security features built into Vista tip the balance in its favor over other options such as Mac OS X,” Litchfield said. “We’ve moved beyond the days of lots of bugs and worms. Recent history shows that Microsoft can get it right, as they did with XP SP2. With Vista, they will again demonstrate that.”

I hope he’s right. I bet he’s wrong.

Bearskinrug, The “Signal Flares” Page 

Relive all the excitement from Kevin Cornell’s guest stint back in December at

Java’s Ridiculous URL Comparison Method 

Wow, is this stupid. (Via Simon Willison.)

Patching Panther for New Daylight Savings Time Dates 

John Poole shows how to hack a 10.3.9 or 10.2.8 system with the new dates for Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. and Canada.

iRed Lite 

Lets you use your Apple Remote to control any app; it’s a freeware rival to Twisted Melon’s $16 Mira. (Via Lifehacker.)

Update: There’s also Remote Buddy, which costs €10 and supports a bunch of third-party remote controls.

Anil Dash: ‘I Am Okay With My Yahoo Sign-In’ 

Anil Dash on the odd backlash against Flickr’s requirement that early Flickr adopters soon switch to using a Yahoo ID to sign in:

Any information that users are afraid of Yahoo having is clearly already available to the company, since the servers are all hosted in the same place and connected together — this is just a formality. Frankly, I watch online communities a lot and am only rarely baffled by the vagaries of mob justice. But this one has me stumped.

Skype for Mac 2.5 

Fresh out of beta, with better video and SMS support.

iLounge: ‘Five Key Facts on Apple’s Colored iPod Shuffles’ 


Last year’s silver Shuffles shipped with Apple’s old, somewhat uncomfortable, and bass-weak earbuds, even though the Shuffle came out after two new iPod/iPod Nano models that had lighter, better earbuds. Today, all of the Shuffles come with Apple’s latest earphones, which are also sold separately for $29 as Apple iPod Earphones.

Clint Ecker on the iPhone/ARM/LLVM Speculation 

Clint Ecker does a nice job connecting the dots, and the answer seems to be that the iPhone is using a Samsung CPU, probably either the ARM1156 or ARM1176 — neither of which has actually been released yet. Perhaps that’s why Apple’s been so tight-lipped regarding the CPU — that they’re under NDA from Samsung until the processor has been released.

Apple Contributing to LLVM ARM Backend 

Apple’s Chris Lattner, in a post to the LLVMdev mailing list:

I’m happy to announce that Apple is contributing some major extensions to the LLVM ARM backend. The improvements include support for ARM v4/v6, vfp support, soft float, pre/postinc support, load/ store multiple generation, constant pool entry motion (to support large functions), and support for the darwin/arm ABI.

In other words, more evidence that the iPhone is using an ARM processor, and that Apple is using LLVM to get higher performance out of what is, compared to a Mac, the iPhone’s wimpy CPU and GPU. (John Siracusa had some good background pieces on LLVM a few months ago.) It’s worth pointing out that Lattner declined to comment on whether this was actually related to the iPhone, but, well, come on.

Wes Felter says VFM support implies that it’s not an Xscale CPU, which I think narrows it down to Samsung.

One Slot in the Deck for February 

Jim Coudal:

One slot in The Deck for February is open. If you have a product or service that could benefit by being in front of millions of creative, web and design professionals, and you can pull the trigger quick, give us a holler. We’ll cut you a nice deal.

MacZealots Looking for Writers 

Justin Williams:

Because of this, we are now accepting third-party writers to contribute articles. We are still striving to deliver feature-length articles and tutorials just like before, but we need a little bit of help to keep the site going on a consistent basis.

(Take note of Gus Mueller’s comment underneath, too.)

Friggin Lawyers 

Damn frigtard lawyers
Force Fake Steve to walk away.
Hope this, too, is fake.

BetterZip 1.4 

New version of my favorite archive tool for Mac OS X.

Other Web Apps for Organizing Meetings 

Regarding the aforelinked Diarised, a bunch of readers sent in links to other web apps for helping teams agree on meeting times, including MeetWithAproval, Meet O Matic, and Doodle.

Jayson Stark: Greatest Hits, in the Palm of Your Hand 

Jayson Stark, ESPN:

It’s hard to say exactly which moment it was that we realized the iPod had taken over our entire civilization. But it might have been this one:

The day we first heard, last summer, that baseball players were using their iPods to do their pregame video studies — as opposed to, say, their pregame Shakira video studies.


In total, Apple was ordered to pay nearly $700,000 — a small amount for a company that reported nearly $1 billion in profit in the December quarter, but a large moral victory for bloggers, journalists and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which helped defend against Apple’s subpoenas.

Apple pretty much got creamed in this case.

BSOD Through the Ages 

Nice collection of photos of crash screens from various operating systems. How come Vista still uses that ugly DOS terminal font? (Thanks to Rich Siegel.)

Rands Interview With Allan Odgaard 

TextMate author Allan Odgaard, in an interview with Rands:

So what is stopping me from open sourcing TextMate? Basically two things:

1) if TextMate is open source, can I make any money?

2) if TextMate is open source, will people actually contribute?

Answers: “No”, and “Maybe, but probably only the easy stuff”.


Rob Enderle:

Which brings us to the iPhone. Is it just me, or did anyone else see the launch of Apple’s new iPhone as a security nightmare in the making? I’m talking about the increasing number of employees who will be buying these things, putting company information on them, and then losing them.

For once, I completely agree with Enderle. Corporate IT departments should block the iPhone, at least until June.

Why It’s Taking So Long for Adium to Get to 1.0 

They committed to using a bunch of Java library dependencies, then Apple deprecated the Cocoa-Java bridge.

KnowledgeBase: USB Storage Device Supported Formats and Protocols for AirPort Extreme Disk Sharing 

Supports HFS+, FAT16, and FAT32:

The AirPort Extreme (802.11n) shares storage devices based on the format used to initialize the storage device. For example, if HFS-plus formatting was used, AFP and SMB/CIFS protocols are used to share the device on the network. If FAT16 or FAT32 was used, SMB/CIFS protocols are used.

(Via Jesper, who quipped that he has a bridge for sale to anyone who still doubts that the new AirPort Extreme base station is running an embedded version of OS X.)

Apple Offers Free Demo of Vortex iPod Game 

Free two-level demo version of a game that looks like a cross between Tempest and Breakout.

Daylight Saving Time Changes vs. Old Versions of Mac OS X 

Andrew Laurence in TidBITS:

Unless updates are issued for prior releases of Mac OS X, the clocks on computers running 10.3 or earlier will not show the correct time for three weeks in March and one week in November, in perpetuity.

I suspect Apple’s unofficial stance on this is that users of pre-10.4 versions of Mac OS X are on their own and need to manage these time changes manually.

SubEthaEdit 2.6 

Now with tabbed editing. I love the drag-and-drop implementation — you can drag to reorder tabs within a window, drag tabs between windows, and drag tabs out into their own new windows.

However, it highlights an ever-more-common conflict in Mac OS X’s standard keyboard shortcuts. SubEthaEdit 2.6 still binds ⌘T to Show Fonts and sticks New Tab with ⌘⌥N. Long-term, I think Show Fonts needs a new standard shortcut; ⌘T belongs to New Tab.

Pilotless Drone 

The San Francisco Chronicle has started podcasting voicemail from crackpot readers. This first one is pretty funny. (Via Andy Baio.)

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 

Available for pre-order today, expected to ship in mid-February. $199 through the end of April, then the price goes to $299. I still think adding “Photoshop” to the name is silly, but in practical terms, Lightroom is clearly a worthy rival to Aperture, and is highly innovative both in terms of its UI and its programming architecture (with significant chunks written in the Lua scripting language).

USA Today: ‘Verizon Rejected Apple iPhone Deal’ 

Leslie Cauley, reporting for USA Today:

Verizon Wireless, the No. 2 U.S. cellphone carrier, passed on the chance to be the exclusive distributor of the iPhone almost two years ago, balking at Apple’s rich financial terms and other demands.

Among other things, Apple wanted a percentage of the monthly cellphone fees, say over how and where iPhones could be sold and control of the relationship with iPhone customers, said Jim Gerace, a Verizon Wireless vice president. “We said no. We have nothing bad to say about the Apple iPhone. We just couldn’t reach a deal that was mutually beneficial.”

I’m sure Apple negotiated with all the major U.S. carriers, but if their last talks with Verizon were two years ago, I’m not sure how close to a deal this could have been.

AirPort Extreme 802.11n Enabler for Mac 

Apple’s 802.11n $2 upgrade for Intel-based Macs is now available. For those of you who still think Apple is doing this for the money, check this note at the bottom:

Note: The software license for the 802.11n Enabler software allows you to install and use it on all computers under your ownership or control.

Color iPod Shuffles 

Now available in orange, blue, green, and pink. Unsurprisingly, I still like gray the best.


Super-simple new web app. You set up a meeting with a couple of proposed dates and times. Diarised emails the attendees, asks them which times they prefer, then reports back to you with the best times for the meeting.


Remember that Kettle chips “beta” flavor promotion back in November? The winning flavor was Island Jerk, which, to be honest, I thought tasted pretty foul. My vote was for Twisted Chili Lime.

Mitchell and Webb 

The new U.K. “Get a Mac” actors are in fact a long-standing British comedy duo, David Mitchell (PC) and Robert Webb (Mac). Their shows include Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look.

Unsurprisingly, there are a ton of clips on YouTube and background information on Wikipedia.

(Thanks to everyone who sent email about them.)

Hipster Shuffle 

Someone page Merlin Mann — these guys have engineered a multimedia upgrade for the Hipster PDA.

Fenêtres Volantes 1.0 

Screensaver for Mac OS X that takes your open windows and sends them spinning and flying about your screen, like weightless objects in outer space; they snap back into place when you dismiss the saver. Freeware. (Thanks to Ian Roberts.)

Andy Hertzfeld’s Meeting With Bill Gates Regarding Switcher 

A lot of readers are emailing me about the Macintosh on Bill Gates’s desk in this picture from the ’80s in yesterday’s New York Times profile of Steve Ballmer. It’s not really all that surprising — back then, writing Mac software was a much bigger part of Microsoft’s overall business. This story from Andy Hertzfeld is a perfect example — he had a one-on-one meeting with Gates to negotiate a deal to write Switcher, the first multi-tasking implementation for the Mac.

‘Get a Mac’ Ads for the U.K. 

Interesting casting choices compared to their counterparts on this side of the pond. Mac is sort of laconic and (appropriately for the U.K.) more droll; PC, though, is more demonstrative.

Most of the spots are remakes of U.S. commercials, but some are original. I really like “Trust Mac” and “Pie Chart” — I think they’re both funnier than the American versions.

Mint 2.0 

Here it is, version 2.0 of Shaun Inman’s Mint — the world’s best web stats tracker. $19 to upgrade, $30 for a new license. Improvements in version 2.0 include everything from additional stats to significant layout improvements (e.g., a single-column mode well-suited for Wiis and mobile browsers). The improvements to the Referrers pane alone are worth $19 to me.

Google is the new http:// 

Frantic Industries:

One of the top search results in Google (number 6 at the time of this writing), is “Google”. Hundreds of millions of users are trying to get to Google through Google. Does this make any sense? No. But it shows that users don’t think about Google as a specific web page, they think of it as the service, an essential part of the internet experience. They’re using this service to get to the page they want: in this case, Google.

Have Another Mint // 2 

Looks like Mint 2 is launching “twomorro”.

The Best Tech Writing of 2006 

Steven Levy is editing the 2006 edition of Best Technology Writing, and is looking for submissions:

So now I’m asking for your help. The good people at Michigan are collecting nominees for the best writing on tech subjects in the year just passed. This could include magazine, newpaper or online articles and columns, and certainly includes blog postings. Don’t think of “tech” too narrowly– I won’t! Ideally, though, the choices will be grokable by a general audience, and no longer than 5000 words.

Google’s Mac Team Camped Out Overnight for the Macworld Keynote 

At 5:15 a.m. — four hours before Jobs took the stage — the line was already two blocks long. I’m going to say a little prayer of thanks here to the press pass gods.

Steve Ballmer’s Office 

I’ve heard of CEOs with humble offices, but this is really quite remarkable. Part of a series of photos accompanying this long New York Times profile of Ballmer.

A few other tidbits that caught my eye:

  • Ballmer uses a ThinkPad.
  • He gives about 120 speeches a year and spends about one-third of his time talking to customers.
  • He manages his calendar with an Excel spreadsheet. Is this an indictment of Outlook or an accolade for Excel as a hacking tool for non-programmers?
  • Check out the Mac on Bill Gates’s desk in this photo from the mid-’80s.
SFTP Client Speed Comparisons 

Not exactly a rigorous test, but sheesh, Cyberduck seems awfully slow:

Transmit 3.5.5: 39 seconds
Fetch 5.2: 39 seconds
Interarchy 8.2.2: 29 seconds
Cyberduck 2.7.2: 9 minutes 53 seconds
Manton Reece on Using VoodooPad to Produce Mac OS X Help Books 

This little write-up and screencast by Manton Reece really makes VoodooPad look like a terrific tool for writing Mac OS X help books.

Fake Scoble Blog 

Richard Scoobie:

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among the A-list blogs. Very few of them linked to my exclusive four-hour video tour of Intel’s new chip plant, preferring instead to briefly mention that Intel has invented a new type of chip.

Admittedly my video wasn’t very interesting at first, but if you look closely at the 2:13 mark, you can see a man in one of those bunny suits (think Intel ads rather than Donnie Darko!!!) walk past the window carrying some kind of high-tech tool. It’s not that clear because I dripped sweat on the lens again, but it’s there.

See here for context.

(Via Fake Steve.)

How to Disable Those Incredibly Annoying ‘Snap’ Previews 

You know those stupid “here’s a thumbnail preview of the site this link points to” things that are suddenly appearing on a bunch of web sites when you hover the mouse over a link? They’re from a company called Snap, and the second question in their FAQ gives you a way to set a cookie to turn them off.

And if you have these things on your site, turn them off. They’re stupid and distracting.

Microsoft Emails Reveal Envy Over Mac OS X Tiger Features 

The hits just keep coming from the internal Microsoft emails that are being released as evidence in the anti-trust suit in Iowa. This one is a thread of comments in the wake of Mac OS X Tiger’s unveiling at WWDC 2004. Lenn Pryor, former Director of Platform Evangelism, wrote:

Tonight I got on corpnet, hooked up to my Exchange server and then downloaded all of my mail into the local file store. I did system wide queries against docs, contacts, apps, photos, music, and … my Microsoft email on a Mac. It was fucking amazing. It is like I just got a free pass to Longhorn land today.

Calvin Trillin Reviews the Self-Parking Lexus LS 460 L 

I love Calvin Trillin:

The Advanced Parking Guidance System works only if the spot is six and a half feet longer than the car — the sort of spot, in other words, that the average Manhattan parker comes upon about once every 14 or 15 years. The only parker who might need help from a guidance system to get into such a spot is a parker who is driving himself home from rotator cuff surgery. For Lexus to offer a self-parking system for a spot that size is the equivalent of some high-end kitchen-equipment manufacturer offering a self-carving system that only works on meatloaf.

NYT: ‘Intel Says Chips Will Run Faster, Using Less Power’ 

John Markoff reports on a new breakthrough in chip manufacturing that Intel is set to announce on Monday. He writes:

The microprocessor chips, which Intel plans to begin making in the second half of this year, are designed for computers but they could also have applications in consumer devices.

There’s no need for a “but” there: consumer electronics, increasingly, are computers. Apple understands this, and that’s why they think they’re five years ahead of anyone else with the iPhone.

Adobe COO Thinks John Warnock Was a Type Designer 

Adobe COO Shantanu Narayen, asked by Forbes for his favorite font, said:

“There are some Warnock fonts that are absolutely spectacular that we use within the company. John Warnock, as a founder of the company, did some amazing fonts.”

John Warnock, along with his cofounder at Adobe, Chuck Geschke, invented the PostScript language. He is not a typographer. Warnock Pro, the excellent typeface Narayen is apparently referring to, was designed by Robert Slimbach.

I could point to this, but I won’t.

Twitterrific 1.1 

A few new features for The Iconfactory’s excellent little Twitter client.

Google Integrates YouTube Into Google Video 

Seems like it’d be foolish not to do this, but, then again, as the first commenter points out, Yahoo still hasn’t integrated Flickr into its photo search.

My Basement Mac Collection 

More like a museum than a hobbyist’s collection. (Thanks to Bryan Bell.)

Bill Gates to Appear on ‘The Daily Show’ for Vista Launch 

He’ll be on this coming Monday’s show, on the eve of Vista’s launch.

John C. Dvorak Might Be Fucking Nuts 

John C. Dvorak explains why he doesn’t like Macs:

I, personally, do not like the Mac — snappy response aside — [because] of the way it feels when saving files. I know this is silly, but I’ve never felt comfortable with it. It was mushy in some weird way that always gave me the creeps. I always felt that if something weird happened on a Mac I would never be able to recover a file. I’ve never felt that way with a PC. I figured that with a PC, I could take the hard disk out and easily put it into another machine and then go exploring the drive without worry.

Is it just me, or is this crazy talk?

This is a minor thing to people who would be fearful of removing a hard disk, and that, to me, would be a typical art director at an ad agency who used a Mac. He’s buying the machine because it looks good and he/she likes the way it feels.

So Mac-using art directors are the ones who make their computer decisions based on irrational feelings — but Dvorak, the technical genius who isn’t fearful of removing a hard disk, he makes his platform decision based on how “mushy in some weird way” it feels when files are written to disk.

Jackass of the Week: Aaron deBruyn 

26-year-old Aaron deBruyn shot his wife’s 79-year-old grandmother with a taser gun after arguing with her regarding his repeated spanking of his infant son. Real family man.

Fog Creek Copilot 2.0 

Joel Spolsky:

Fog Creek Copilot is a remote tech support service that lets one person control another computer remotely, much like VNC or RDC, with the advantage that it requires zero configuration, works through firewalls, and installs nothing.

The big news for Mac users is that version 2.0 now runs on Mac OS X, and 24-hour day passes cost just $5. (Monthly plans start at $20.)

Macalope: ‘The Peter Principle’ 

So much jackassery, so little time.

Web 2.Clueless 

Josh Williams, responding to some clown who thinks to be a successful “web 2.0” company, you have to charge in micropayments:

Bob says our pricing strategy is “out of this world,” and rips our Gold plan for charging a business $24 a month to send up to 250 invoices. Let’s do some math. Our Silver plan cuts off at 50 invoices. So if you’re on the Gold plan that means you’re typically sending over 50 invoices a month. 50 invoices at $.50 a pop (as Bob suggests) would cost you $25. Then, we only would make 30 cents on the dollar due to the merchant fees, and we’re left with about 8 bucks. Congratulations, you’ve now successfully created a business model where both the buyer and seller are getting screwed. The bank however makes out pretty well.

Hints of Keynote 4? 

Brian Peat goes through the Macworld Expo keynote looking for features in Steve Jobs’s version of Keynote that aren’t in Keynote 3.

Mobile Phone Use Linked to Brain Tumors 

Nic Fleming, reporting for The Telegraph:

A large-scale study found that those who had regularly used mobiles for longer than 10 years were almost 40 per cent more likely to develop nervous system tumours called gliomas near to where they hold their phones.

Better order the Bluetooth headset with that iPhone. Update: Oops, wait, Bluetooth = radio, so that’s no good, either. At least the iPhone headphones work as a wired headset; that’s apparently the way to go.

No Free Service From Cingular With iPhone 

Cingular rep to Gizmodo, regarding Jim Cramer’s speculation that they’d offer 18 months of free service to iPhone buyers:

The report is nonsense. We’ve always said the only way you can get the iPhone is with a Cingular rate plan.

If it sounds too good to be true...

Comwave Claims ‘iPhone’ Trademark in Canada 

Apple filed for the “iPhone” trademark in Canada first, but Comwave has been using it there since 2004 to sell some sort of VOIP service that no one has ever heard of.

CARS: ‘Macworld Only Now Ending for Some’ 

Speaking of the loquacious Stan Sigman.

Macworld: First Look: ModBook 

Jonathan Seff’s first look at the ModBook — the third-party tablet Mac announced at Macworld Expo.

Simply put, the ModBook is a stock Apple MacBook that’s been given a radical makeover by Axiotron (and sold exclusively by OWC). As such, the guts of the system are basically the same as the MacBook.

Macword also has a nice video podcast in which Seff demos the ModBook. If you’re dying for a tablet Mac, go ahead and check it out.

Launchy: The Open Source Keystroke Launcher for Windows 

Since I mentioned Enso earlier, it’s probably worth pointing to Launchy, a freeware Quicksilver/LaunchBar-style launcher for Windows. Two Windows software links on DF in one day — I’m pretty sure that’s a record. (Thanks to Rob Allen.)

Jim Cramer: ‘AT&T Will Win Wireless War With iPhone’ 

More from Jim Cramer on his scoop that AT&T intends to offer free service with the iPhone:

Management sounded like kids when talking about the iPhone and how it was going to remake AT&T and that it was the greatest invention they’ve ever seen.

Now, AT&T’s all about market share, and if you read between the lines, I think you see a strategy coming where the device’s $500 price point is preserved but the service contract is greatly reduced. I think that AT&T — and not Apple — is the key to this next leg, and CEO Stan Sigman can make it happen.

Update: Here’s a link to Cingular’s Q4 2006 conference call (26 MB MP3 file). If you liked Cingular CEO Stan Sigman’s riveting performance onstage during the Macworld keynote, you’re going to love this. He talks about the iPhone only briefly, just past the 28:00 mark, and says nothing about any sort of free service plans.
Update 2: I created a 300 KB MP3 consisting of just the 43-second snippet where Sigman talks about iPhone; save yourself some bandwidth.

AT&T to Give Away 18 Months of Free Service With iPhone? 

Jim Cramer of says that’s what AT&T told analysts in their conference call; they want to use the iPhone to draw customers from Verizon.

Apple Patent Filings for Bottom-Loading Optical Disc Drive 

Nice catch from AppleInsider. Seems kind of weird to imagine having to load a disc underneath your notebook, but as Apple’s patent application states, as notebooks get smaller and thinner the real estate along the edges gets smaller and more valuable.

AppleInsider Reports That iPhone CPU Is From Samsung 

Two bits of news on the “What CPU does the iPhone use?” front. First, AppleInsider, citing “people familiar with the new Apple handset”, reports that the CPU is from Samsung. That contradicts the report last week in the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, in which the CEO of Intel Italy was quoted saying the CPU is from Marvell.

What’s interesting is that the article in Il Sole 24 Ore has been revised and no longer includes any mention of the iPhone at all. Right down the memory hole.

My best guess is that Apple has iPhone prototypes using different ARM-family CPUs and they haven’t yet decided or finalized the deal. It doesn’t take six full months for FCC approval of a new device, so I think they have a bit of time to tinker before they need to set it in stone.

Example of Apple Calling Itself ‘Apple Inc.’ Back in 2000 

Yet another sign that Apple’s dropping of the “Computer” from its name is not a sign of a shift in the company’s focus: Hans Derycke was watching the Steve Jobs keynote from MWNY 2000 and noticed that the credits and copyright are assigned to “Apple Inc.”

Apple has been referring to itself, marketing-wise and promotionally, as just plain “Apple” since shortly after Jobs returned to the company. My guess is that maybe they wanted to change the legal name to Apple Inc. back in 2000 but were held up by legal wrangles with The Beatles’s Apple Corps; that they’ve now officially changed the name might be another sign of an impending deal to get The Beatles catalog in the iTunes Store.

Khoi Vinh on Address Book’s Merge Feature 

One sign of good UI design is when you take a guess how something should work, and you’re right. Khoi Vinh had that experience with Address Book when he double-clicked a vCard file containing updated information for an existing contact in his database.

Gizmodo: iPhone for Canada Confirmed on Rogers Wireless 

No official word from Apple or Rogers, though.

Humanized Enso 

New utility for Windows users, sort of like a cross between Quicksilver and Mac OS X’s Services menu. Aza Raskin, the president of Humanized, is the son of the late Jef Raskin, to whom the software is dedicated. One interesting idea is that to enter the mode where you type Enso commands, you just hold down the Caps Lock key. Seems a little vague overall, and the demo video emphasizes hype instead of clarifying exactly how it works.

Walt Mossberg gives it a pretty positive review in today’s Wall Street Journal.

(Thanks to Erik Barzeski.)

Tim Bray on the Microsoft/Wikipedia Dispute 

The “historical footnote” sure sounds like a story I’d like to hear more about.

CNN: ‘Microsoft in Hot Water Over Wikipedia Edits’ 

I don’t think this is outrageous, certainly not by Microsoft’s historical standards, but I do think Microsoft knew that this sort of arrangement is against Wikipedia’s policies. “We think IBM is doing the same thing” is not a good defense.

Transmit 3.5.6 and Unison 1.7.8 

Minor Transmit update to fix a bug from the MOAB gang, along with a bug-fix release for Panic’s other major app, Unison.


Terrance Talbot’s parallel tale to Paul Kim’s:

Imagine this: IFC looked a helluvalot like AppKit, in Java. No AWT. And it came with a friggin’ Interface Builder!

The Sun Also Sets 

Paul Kim on how Java desktop application development turned into such a convoluted mess:

It quickly became evident that the people involved from the JavaSoft side had little to no experience with OO and/or GUI programming. I realized that if these were the people in charge of implementing the GUI toolkit for a platform, then the project is going to be a mess. Various design discussions ensued with the people who didn’t have any real experience with OO programming or developing and shipping real desktop apps overriding those who did.

Marc A. Garrett Interviews Mark Hamburg Regarding Adobe Lightroom 

Terrific interview with Adobe’s Mark Hamburg about Lightroom’s user interface, particularly its use of task-oriented panels rather than Photoshop-style dialog boxes:

Mark Hamburg: So the diagram that I would draw for this: Photoshop with a big circle in the middle, and you go out to various things; you go out and come back, you go out and come back. The model for Lightroom was to say “We still have a core but the user never actually goes into it. The user just goes and bounces around the things that are on the outside of the circle.”

Record Labels Contemplate Unrestricted Digital Music 

Victoria Shannon, reporting for The New York Times:

As even digital music revenue growth falters because of rampant file-sharing by consumers, the major record labels are moving closer to releasing music on the Internet with no copying restrictions — a step they once vowed never to take.

As I wrote back in June, if the record industry really wants interoperability, they’re going to have to abandon DRM.

Should I Exhibit at Macworld? Part 2: On the Show Floor 

Second part of Paul Kafasis’s informative series on exhibiting at trade shows.

Food Network Running Subliminal Ads for McDonald’s? 

Single-frame (i.e. 1/29th of one second) ad for McDonald’s appears on Food Network. I’m hoping maybe this is some sort of mistake — but one of Kottke’s readers emailed him to say they do it all the time. Andy Baio points out that studies have shown this sort of thing doesn’t actually work, but the fact that they’d even try it is rather disturbing.

(And of course now I’m thinking about the scene in Fight Club where Tyler Durden takes a job as a movie theater projectionist...)

Jobs Questioned by SEC Investigators Regarding Backdating Saga 


Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs was questioned by government investigators leading the U.S. probe into backdated stock options grants at the company, lawyers familiar with the matter said.

Jobs met with officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department last week in San Francisco, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the interviews are confidential. Apple said last month an internal review found “no misconduct” by Jobs or current management.

FinderPop 2.0.1 

Turly O’Connor’s contextual menu juggernaut gets another minor update.

Pirating the 2007 Oscars 

Terrific analysis from Andy Baio on how long it takes for Oscar nominated films to be pirated. (Answer: not long.) He also draws an interesting conclusion that the more effort a studio exerts trying to keep a screener (a DVD distributed to Oscar voters) from being bootlegged, the worse chance that movie has of winning an award. The anti-copying measures make it less likely screeners will even watch it.

Methinks the movie industry is getting closer and closer to their date with a Napster-style reckoning.

Walt Mossberg on Vista’s Performance 

Walt Mossberg:

I tested Vista on three computers. On a new, top-of-the-line Hewlett-Packard laptop, with Vista preinstalled, it worked smoothly and quickly. It was a pleasure.

On a three-year-old H-P desktop, a Vista upgrade installed itself fine. But even though this computer had a full gigabyte of memory and what was once a high-end graphics card, Vista Ultimate reverted to the Basic user interface. And even then, it ran so slowly and unsteadily as to make the PC essentially unusable.

Mac OS X is the only desktop operating system I know of that has gotten faster, rather than slower, with each major release. The classic Mac OS was just as guilty as Windows in this regard. (Going from System 6 to System 7 was painful.)

Sure, part of it is that 10.0 was just so damn slow, but I think it’s a sign that Apple’s executives value engineering as a core principle. Apple spends engineering resources to improve the performance of existing code. Marketing-driven companies never do this because you can’t use “Many things are now a little bit faster than they used to be” as a selling point for an upgrade. I suspect this is a big part of why OS X appears to run so well on the iPhone.


SIMBL hack for Mac OS X that lets you turn any window full-screen:

Just press Command-Enter, and the front-most window grows to fill your entire monitor. Press the same keys, and it shrinks again.

Update: Worth noting that Megazoomer only works in Cocoa apps.

Cocoa Tutorial for Absolute Newbies 

Scott Stevenson:

My goal with this was to do the simplest thing possible while still ending up with something useful. It’s a relatively short read by design — probably about twenty minutes. Essentially, you’re shown how to launch Xcode, create a project, launch Interface Builder, add a few items and compile the result. There’s no code, but we do bask in the glow of NSTextView’s rich text handling.

Security Update 2007-001 

Fixes the QuickTime ‘rtsp://’ URL handler buffer overflow from the Month of Apple Bugs project.

Joel Spolsky on ‘Dreaming in Code’ 

Joel Spolsky on Scott Rosenberg’s Dreaming in Code:

Scott Rosenberg’s excellent new book, which was supposed to be a Soul of a New Machine for the hottest open source startup of the decade, ends up, in frustration, with Scott cutting the story short because Chandler 1.0 was just not going to happen any time soon (and presumably Rosenberg couldn’t run the risk that we wouldn’t be using books at all by the time it shipped, opting instead to absorb knowledge by taking a pill).

Still, it’s a great look at one particular type of software project: the kind that ends up spinning and spinning its wheels without really going anywhere because the vision was too grand and the details were a little short.


Another aptly named freeware utility for covering your desktop with a plain background.

Microsoft Expression Suite 

Suite of design apps that seem intended to compete squarely against Adobe’s Creative Suite for the Windows professional design market. (Please, no snickers about that being an oxymoron.) So now Adobe is getting platform-specific competition from both Apple and Microsoft. The danger to Adobe is that they’ll get out-Windowsed on one end and out-Mac’ed on the other while they attempt to straddle both platforms.

(Via Metafilter.)

Update: Expression Media is Microsoft’s new version of iView MediaPro, which they bought back in June.

Screenshot Helper 

Free utility that displays a full-screen image or solid color. Intended for taking screenshots, but perhaps useful for the I-only-want-see-what-I’m-writing crowd as well. (Thanks to Victor Gavenda.)

Eric Meyer on Twitter 

Good criticism overall, but it’s a tricky spot for the Twitter team. A big part of Twitter’s appeal is its nearly utter simplicity. My guess is Twitter will eventually accommodate most of his complaints, though.

Microsoft Tech Evangelist Viewed Industry Analysts as Bribable 

(Warning: Link is to a PDF.)

This Comes v. Microsoft antitrust case in Iowa is a veritable gold mine for Microsoft internal communications dirt. This PDF includes a memo written in 1997 by James Plamondon, a Microsoft technical evangelist. From p. 48 (the strike-through humor is in the original):

Analysts are people who are paid to take a stand, while always trying to appear to be disinterested observers (since the appearance of independence maximizes the price they can charge for selling out). Treat them as you would treat nuclear weapons — as an important part of your arsenal, which you want to keep out of the hands of the enemy. Bribe Hire them to produce “studies” that “prove” that your technology is superior to the enemy’s, and that it is gaining momentum faster.

Did I just hear someone say “Rob Enderle”?

(Thanks to DF reader James Bass.)


New file system plug-in from Google’s Greg Miller, for use with Amit Singh’s MacFUSE:

SpotlightFS is a MacFUSE file system that creates true smart folders, where the folders’ contents are dynamically generated by querying Spotlight. This differs from Finder’s version of smart folders, which are really plist files with a .savedSearch file extension. Since SpotlightFS smart folders are true folders, they can be used from anywhere — including the command line.

OK, that is fucking cool.

$1,995 docking station for iPods that provides “better than CD” audiophile sound. It requires modifications to the iPod itself to get digital audio out. (Thanks to Rich Siegel.)

Steve Jobs: ‘Design Is How It Works’ 

With regard to the comments on Jeff Atwood’s aforelinked “There Are No Design Leaders in the PC Industry”, it is astounding to me how many of those defending the status quo think that “design” only means “cosmetic appeal”. This quote from Steve Jobs, from a piece in The New York Times Magazine back in 2003, says it best:

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like,” says Steve Jobs, Apple’s C.E.O. “People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Optimus Prime iPod Dock 

More than meets the eye.

Coding Horror: There Are No Design Leaders in the PC World 

Jeff Atwood:

Whatever you may think of Jobs, he’s had the same vision for the last twenty years: the design of a product, the art of it, is just as important as the engineering. This is a lesson that the PC industry needs to take to heart.

He has some great quotes from Steve Jobs on the role of design and art in the computer industry. (Worth noting, perhaps, that Atwood is far from an Apple fanatic.)

Wii Transfer 2.0 

Manton Reece’s nifty utility for converting and copying movies, photos, and music to your Wii. Version 2.0 adds the ability to share photos and music over your local network. $14 regularly, available for just $9 until the end of January.

(Thanks to Daniel Bogan.)

Star Wars TSG 0.9.3 

Darel Rex Finley’s Star Wars TSG is a wonderful little Mac OS X utility that lets you create your own fake Star Wars-style opening credits — everything from the 20th Century Fox logo to the yellow text crawl.

Daring Fireball Fox

Why Cocoa Matters Even if the iPhone Really Does Remain Closed to Third-Party Developers 

Stephen Hargrove asks:

Since third party developers have been locked out (because we can’t have one rogue app bringing the entire West Coast network offline), how is this an advantage? No matter how cool the developer tools might be, when you take the community out of the development equation, who’s listening?

Even if the iPhone remains closed, it’s an advantage for Apple because Apple’s own engineers get to use Cocoa to write the iPhone apps. Otherwise they’d be stuck using something worse or making something new from scratch.

Dan Benjamin: ‘iPhone’s CPU: Still Irrelevant’ 

Dan Benjamin:

The way I see it, Apple’s new motto might as well be “Thanks to OS X, the CPU is irrelevant.”

Desktop Curtain 

Peter Maurer’s donationware utility for covering the desktop with a plain (i.e. uncluttered) picture.


Mark Pilgrim on the full-screen text editor craze:

I guess the part I don’t understand is the target audience. Who is so serious about writing that they need a full-screen editor, but so unserious that they don’t have a favorite editor already?

This is an insightful observation, but no one else had the guts to say it (yours truly included). Back when I started Daring Fireball in 2002, there were two weblogs that served as significant inspirations. One was Dive Into Mark, and this is a perfect example why.

Jens Alfke: ‘In Which I Think About Java Again, but Only for a Moment’ 

Jens Alfke:

Desktop Java never worked because Sun tried to build their own OS on top of the real OS, duplicating every API and feature. This led to terrible bloat, making every app as heavyweight to launch as Photoshop. Worse, the GUI portions of the Java platform are awful, because Sun is a server company with no core competency at GUIs. The APIs are too clumsy to code to, and compared to any decent Mac app, the results look like a Soviet tractor built on a Monday.

In short, Cocoa kicks Java’s ass for developing any app where the UI matters. That Cocoa is at the heart of iPhone app development gives credence to Steve Jobs’s claim that the iPhone is “five years ahead” of anyone else. What other phone or PDA OS has developer tools and frameworks that compare to Cocoa?

Waffle: About Java on the iPhone 

Jesper is right: “standard” Java phone apps not only wouldn’t fit in look-and-feel-wise, they wouldn’t fit in hardware-wise, either.

The only possible way Java would be relevant to iPhone development would be through the Cocoa-Java bridge — a bridge that Apple deprecated starting with Mac OS X 10.4.

Amnesty Generator 1.0 

Update to Mesa Dynamics’s free utility for converting Google gadgets, Flash applets, and more into Mac OS X Dashboard widgets.

Fake Steve: ‘Face It, Jim Allchin’s Got a Man Crush on Me’ 

Fake Steve:

Allchin was really just looking for an excuse to come down and sit in the same room at me and bat his eyelashes. Or beg me for a job.

Microsoft’s Jim Allchin Trashed Windows Media-Based Music Players in November 2003 

Todd Bishop:

A November 2003 e-mail by Windows chief Jim Allchin, made public today as part of the company’s Iowa antitrust trial, sheds new light on the frustration that the company felt with its digital music device partners, before deciding to come out with its own Zune music player and service to challenge Apple’s iPod.

I almost feel bad for Allchin for these emails that are coming out as a result of this lawsuit. In this one, he talks about his experience with a top-of-the-line Creative player, and pretty much trashes the entire experience, from the player itself (“I mean it is ugly, not smooth to the touch (hard edges and uncomfortable to hold, etc.), fragile (easy to break), the controls are difficult and they hurt your finger if you use the ‘jog’ dial much at all”) to the software to the synching.

He concludes by writing, “I think I should talk with Jobs. Right now, I think I should open up a dialog for support of the iPOD. Unless something changes, the iPOD will drive people away from WMP.” The emails are from about a month after Apple’s first version of iTunes for Windows.

(Allchin sure has a weird sense of capitalization.)

Fork JavaScript 

Another new JavaScript library, this one from Peter Michaux. Stated goal, more or less, is to combine the best ideas from Prototype and the Yahoo UI library.

(Via Simon Willison.)

Microsoft Could Launch Zune in Europe by End 2007 

Reuters, after interviewing Zune marketing director Jason Reindorp:

He said Microsoft planned extensive research with focus groups in Europe to see how it could be modified for a European consumer.

Ah, yes, focus groups. That’s how they’ll come up with something innovative.

53 CSS Techniques You Couldn’t Live Without 

Great list of links to a slew of useful CSS tips and tricks.

Web Site Source Code Easter Eggs 

Hidden messages on some famous web sites’ HTML source code and HTTP headers. (Thanks to John Siracusa.)

Matthew Paul Thomas: ‘A Broken Oven’ 

This is why Apple needs to make home appliances.

First Image From ‘Wall-E’, the Next Pixar Movie After ‘Ratatouille’ 

Luxo, a weblog about Pixar:

In a letter to Disney shareholders, President and CEO Robert Iger revealed the first image of Disney-Pixar’s next animated film after Ratatouille.

The director is Andrew Stanton from Finding Nemo.

(Via Andy Baio.)

Italian Newspaper: iPhone Using Marvell CPU 

The Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore interviewed Dario Bucci, CEO of Intel Italy, and asked about the iPhone’s CPU:

Q: The chips in the new Apple iPhone are made by Intel?

A: No, they’re Marvell’s. We sold our Xscale architecture to this company. However Apple is one of our best customers for flash memories and our NANDs are featured in the new handheld.

So the irony is that while they’re not Intel processors, they would have been if Intel hadn’t sold its ARM division to Marvell. Now the question is: Why is Apple being so secretive about this?

(Translated from Italian by DF reader Rocco Poiago; thanks to several other DF readers in Italy for sending the link.)

Prototype Javascript Library 

New web site for the Prototype JavaScript library that ships with Ruby on Rails. (Via David Heinemeier Hansson, who just announced Rails 1.2.)

Universal and Sony Prohibit Zune Sharing for Certain Artists 


In a non-scientific sampling of popular artists by Zunerama and Zune Thoughts, it looks like it’s roughly 40-50 percent of artist that fall under this prohibited banner, and the worst news is that there’s no warning that a song might be unsharable until you actually try to send it and fail.

Welcome to the social.

What kind of moron looks at the Zune’s restrictive “three days, three listens” DRM sharing policy and thinks, “That’s just too liberal?”

George Ou Receives Apple Community Wedgie 

Crazy Apple Rumors:

Ou may have had the last laugh, however, as he said shortly after the wedgie-ing that he liked a “snug fit” anyway and did not intend to make any “adjustments.”

“I’m good,” Ou said, running a hand across his waistband.

Feeder 1.4 

Update to Steve Harris’s $30 tool for creating RSS feeds, with specific support for podcasts, appcasts, and more. Might prove useful to anyone who hand-edits RSS feeds.

EDGE vs. EVDO Download Speed Comparison 

This is why people are bitching about the iPhone’s support for EDGE. Uploading looks even worse. (Thanks to Dunstan Orchard.)

Net@Nite Podcast Episode 10 

As part of my recent podcast saturation bombing campaign, I appeared as a guest on this week’s episode of Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur’s Net@Nite podcast. Dan Dorato of Uneasysilence was the other guest. We mostly talked about, what else?, the iPhone.

Dorato seems particularly down on the iPhone — among other things, he said, “I am certainly not going to buy one” and “It’s another Newton” — but most of his complaints seem to be that he doesn’t believe it’s going to be as good as Apple claims. I.e., he thinks Apple’s 5-hour battery life claim is wildly optimistic.

The ‘Mac’ Name Was Also Trademarked by Another Company 

Leander Kahney:

According to the biography of former Apple CEO John Sculley, Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, Jobs launched the Mac in 1984 even though the “Mac” trademark belonged to another company.

“Knowing we would face trademark challenges over Steve’s decision to launch Macintosh under its original codename, Al (Eisenstat, Apple’s general counsel) had argued at full volume that Steve should pick another name for the computer,” Sculley writes on page 208.

(Thanks to Dan “Yet Another Redesign” Benjamin.)

Steve Ballmer Laughs at iPhone’s Price 

Video interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, where he’s asked for his initial reaction to the iPhone:

“$500! Fully subsidized! With a plan! I said that is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine.”

Here’s how it’s going to go. Starting now, Microsoft will mock the iPhone. They will mock the price, they will mock the closed software platform, and they will say that phone users demand and crave the wide variety of products in the Windows Mobile market.

But behind the scenes, they’ve already started working on a Zune clone of the iPhone. Remember their old party line on music players?

AppleInsider and iSuppli’s Bullshit iPhone Gross Margin Numbers 

No one outside Apple has seen the inside of an iPhone, so most of this is just speculation. But even if we concede for the sake of argument that these part costs are accurate, that doesn’t mean the margins would be 50 percent. The cost to produce an iPhone is greater than the cost of its components. It’s not like they’re shipping kits of tiny pieces you have to solder yourself.

If they’re really arguing that someone could produce something with the same features and display as the iPhone and sell it for a profit for just $300 or $350, then how come no one is?

AppleInsider’s OS X for Consumer Electronics Scoop 

I rag on the rumor sites when they’re wrong, so it’s only fair to point out when they hit a home run. This story from a month ago on AppleInsider pretty much nailed the “OS X at the heart of Apple’s consumer electronics” strategy announced last week at Macworld Expo.

Andy Ihnatko on the iPhone 

Andy Ihnatko, who spent 45 minutes using a prototype last week:

And there are no lags, no pauses, no waiting for the slickly animated UI to catch up with you, even when you’re scrolling through a stack of album art that’s flopping past your finger in 3D: It’s liquid.

Free Quicksilver User Guide 

Howard Melman’s free PDF book is the most comprehensive Quicksilver reference I’ve seen.

New Stikkit Package 

Mac utilities, including a Services menu item (created with ThisService), designed to make it even easier to create new items in Stikkit.

Codepoetry on Embedded OS X 

I too suspect the new AirPort Extreme Base Stations are running a version of OS X.

The overarching theme of Macworld Expo 2007: OS X isn’t just for Macs any more.

Macworld First Look: Up Close With AirPort Extreme 

Dan Frakes reviews Apple’s new 802.11n-capable AirPort Extreme Base Station.

iPhone Ringer as a MIDI File 

Did you notice the nice ring tone Steve Jobs demoed on the iPhone during the keynote? DF reader Andrew Neesley transcribed it and made it into a MIDI file. I dig it.

Jackasses of the Week: Washington Post Reporters Mike Musgrove and Alan Sipress 

Reporting for The Washington Post on Apple’s Q1 2007 financial results, they quote, of all people, Rob Enderle, who offers this golden nugget:

Analyst Rob Enderle said Apple might soon start to feel more pressure from its longtime rival Microsoft, which is about to launch a big marketing splash for Windows Vista, the biggest upgrade of its operating system since the arrival of Windows XP in 2001. That “will probably keep people out of Apple stores for a while,” Enderle said.

Please, Mr. Enderle, offer me a wager as to whether Apple Stores will suffer a downturn in either foot traffic or sales upon the release of Vista.

Screen Mimic 2.0.1 

$65 screencast recorder for Mac OS X, saves movies in QuickTime and Flash formats.

Apple Confirms $1.99 Price for 802.11n Updater 

Glenn Fleishman:

A spokesperson with Apple provided me with a response that explains that the updater will be available for purchase from their online store at a “nominal fee” in order “to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for revenue recognition, which generally require that we charge for significant feature enhancements, such as 802.11n, when added to previously purchased products.”

Ripcord Canopy 

Some sort of video conferencing VOIP phone, apparently. They’re billing it as “The iPhone for grownups”, which seems really weird given that the product shown in the photo is not a mobile phone. What makes this antagonism interesting, though, is a look at the company’s board of directors, which includes: Gil Amelio, Steve Wozniak, and Ellen Hancock.

Update: Maybe they’re talking about the Linksys iPhone?

Thomas Fitzgerald on How the Electronics Industry Still Fails to Get the iPod 

Thomas Fitzgerald:

Electronics firms are not going to respond to the iPhone, because in their eyes, the iPhone couldn’t possibly be a success. Just like when the iPod was released, they will sit back absolutely convinced that device will to fail to capture the market.

He makes some good points here. Rather than try to compete with the iPod in terms of experience, consumer electronics companies have stuck to their traditional “feature count matters more than experience” design model. (Microsoft’s Zune may be the only exception.) The iPhone doesn’t do more than other phones; it just does the same things way, way better.

Toronto Sun: Deal for Beatles on iTunes in Works 

According to The Sun, the announcement might come in a Super Bowl commercial. The numerous Beatles appearances during last week’s Macworld keynote suggest that something is afoot. (My thought during the keynote was that it might be the “One More Thing”.)

Khoi Vinh on the iPhone: ‘Bad for Palm, Good for Typography’ 

Khoi Vinh:

What sealed the deal, though, was a quiet milestone that the iPhone hits in design sophistication: it’s the first mobile device that I know of — and certainly the most elegant — to use the typeface Helvetica throughout its interface.

Regarding the Use of Java for iPhone App Development 

Robert Scoble suspects Steve Jobs of “sandbagging” with regarding to allowing third-party software developers to write apps for the iPhone. Scoble writes:

I think Steve is trying to get a better deal from Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems. After all, Java already is running on a billion phones.

Jobs may well be spinning with his statements regarding third-party iPhone apps in general (and I hope he is), but his disdain for Java is completely straightforward. Java is no more relevant to iPhone app development than it is to Mac app development. iPhone apps are written in Cocoa and are designed specifically for the iPhone user interface. Cross-platform crippity-crap Java apps would stick out just as sorely on the iPhone as they do on the Mac.

Paul Kafasis on the Cost of Exhibiting at Macworld Expo 

Nice breakdown of the costs, and sound advice overall.

Michael Tsai on the Non-Free AirPort Upgrade for 802.11n 

Gus Mueller and another commenter hint that Adobe has run into this problem as well.

Apple Reports Record First Quarter Profit 

$1 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2007, up from $565 million a year ago.

“This one was for the record books,” Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said in an interview.

Apple shipped 1.6 million Macs and more than 21 million iPods during the quarter, representing a growth of 28 percent and 50 percent respectively from the year-ago holiday season.

Those are both incredible numbers. 21 million iPods is bit less than my prediction of 24 million, but way up from last year’s 14 million and also ahead of all the analysts’s expectations. And it used to be that 1 million Macs made for for a good quarter.

Microsoft Windows 386 Promotional Video 

Starts out like an embarrassingly corny promotional video from the ’80s. And then you get to the 7-minute mark.

Wi-Fi Networking News: ‘Steve Jobs Says Apple Will, In Fact, Charge $5 for 802.11n Updater’ 

Glenn Fleishman, reporting on an email Steve Jobs sent to someone inquiring about the rumored $5 charge to enable 802.11n Wi-Fi on capable Macs sold prior to Apple’s recent AirPort updates:

Jobs replied, simply, “It’s the law,” which would confirm that the Sarbanes-Oxley requirement that seemed bizarre to me is, in fact, correct. In several reports, the law is cited as requiring different accounting for earnings on products that are shipped and later provide new functionality that wasn’t initially advertised.

Back when the 5.5G iPod were announced in September, there was a bit of speculation about why certain of the new features, like searching, weren’t made available via a firmware update for owners of original 5G iPods. A couple of friends at Apple told me their best guess was that it was for compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley.

Tog: The iPhone User Experience: A First Look 


The origins of these bits and pieces, however, is not what’s important about the iPhone. What’s important is that, for the first time, so many great ideas and processes have been assembled in one device, iterated until they squeak, and made accessible to normal human beings. That’s the genius of Steve Jobs; that’s the genius of Apple.

Symantec: Malware for the Apple iPhone? 

Eric Chien on the Symantec Security Response Weblog:

The lack of the ability to install just any software will greatly mitigate the risk of malicious code on Apple iPhones. Can malicious software exist? Will malicious software exist? Probably, but the amount of malicious software will definitely not be on the scale as it is today with Windows and likely not reach the levels of current malware for current mobile devices.

Why compare to Windows? Why not compare to the amount of malicious software plaguing Mac OS X? Start with the current level of malware on Mac OS X and then remove the ability for users to add third-party apps that haven’t been vetted by Apple.

YayHooray and ‘Helvetica’ Join The Deck 

Swell additions to The Deck ad network. YayHooray is the community site from the Threadless crew. And seriously, a documentary about the Helvetica typeface? You know you want to see it. If you’re a type nerd, the film’s weblog is not to be missed, either.

Ze Frank Going to Hollywood 

Nice profile in The New York Observer. (Via Kottke.)

BurnAgain DVD 1.0 

New (and renamed) version of BurnAgain, Thomas Bauer’s $24.50 multi-session CDR, CDRW, and DVD+RW burning tool:

If you burn items twice, BurnAgain will automatically compare them to the versions already burned and only new or changed files will be added, overwriting the previous versions if required.

Cool features, sure — but still no smoking special effects.

Tangerine 1.1 

Update to Potion Factory’s $25 “magical” playlist generator for iTunes; new features include presets based on criteria rules for easier control over the resulting playlists.

Michael Tsai on BBEdit 8.6’s New Binary Plist Editing 

I forgot to point out in my BBEdit 8.6 blurb that it can now read and write binary plist files directly. Open a binary plist file in BBEdit and it displays in XML format; make changes and it gets written back out to disk as a binary plist again. Great for preference file hacking.

RubyCocoa 1.0 Sneak Preview 

This is the bridge for writing Cocoa apps using Ruby that is going to ship with Leopard. I really like some of this syntax quite a bit; my gut feeling is that writing Cocoa apps with Ruby is going to be one of the sleeper hit features in Leopard, from a developer perspective.

Dan Benjamin: Regarding the iPhone 

Insightful, as usual (but I think he sort of overstates the role that FreeBSD plays in OS X’s portability).

Three New ‘Get a Mac’ Ads 

Jobs showed “Surgery” during the Macworld keynote; the other two new ones, “Sabotage” and “Tech Support”, are pretty good too.

Jason Snell: Hands (and Fingers) on the iPhone 

Jason Snell on using an iPhone prototype:

It feels small, and quite thin. The screen is remarkably responsive — I could sense no delay between when I pressed an on-screen button and when the phone responded to that finger press. I typed on its on-screen keyboard with my index finger, and after about a minute I felt that I was already well on my way to be a proficient iPhone typist.

“Remarkable responsiveness”, if it holds up in the actual shipping units in June, is going to be a key aspect of the iPhone’s user experience. Any sort of perceptible lag could break the illusion that you’re actually touching things, as opposed to the more abstract feeling that you’re using your finger to manipulate a UI.

Remote ‘man’ With BBEdit 

Chris Pepper:

I frequently need to read manual pages from Suns and Linux systems, but prefer to read in BBEdit. Today’s trick facilitates this, by grabbing the manual page from a remote machine via ssh, unformatting it with col, and dumping it into a BBEdit window (which doesn’t ask to be saved).

David Maynor Speculating on iPhone Security 

Robert McMillan, reporting for IDG News Service on speculation regarding iPhone security, spoke to David Maynor:

Because the iPhone will be new and relatively untested, but running a familiar operating system, Maynor believes that there will be plenty of places for hackers to look for bugs. “My feeling is that this is going to be one of the easier devices to find vulnerabilities in,” he said.

We can only hope iPhone users suffer from malware the same way Mac users do.

sshfs for Darwin (Mac OS X) 

It would be interesting to see someone compare this to using sshfs with Amit Singh’s MacFUSE. (Thanks to Daniel Bogan.)

Update: According to this thread on the MacFUSE development mailing list, sshfs performance through MacFUSE is pretty poor. Update 2: Chris Pepper’s testing shows sshfs via MacFUSE outperforming an SMB connection to the same server.

Dave Winer’s Supposed Cable Conspiracy 

Dave Winer:

I’ve heard from people who were at the Jobs presentation this week that there was a wire connecting his cell phone to something. I can’t tell you myself, because I am not allowed to attend Apple press events. If I were there, I would tell you.

Jobs specifically called attention to the cable during the keynote, explaining that it was a custom rig that allowed the display from his iPhone to be mirrored to the big screen on stage.

The iPhone’s software certainly isn’t complete, but the prototypes apparently work as advertised. David Pogue even has video of one in action, no cables attached.

Steven Frank: ‘I’ve Got iPhone Fever!’ 

Steven Frank:

Steve made a comment during the keynote which, paraphrased, was something like: “I hope you never know how amazing this is.” Having been struggling with half-baked smartphones for over 5 years, I know EXACTLY how amazing it is.

Matthew Lynn, Columnist for Bloomberg: ‘Apple iPhone Will Fail in a Late, Defensive Move’ 

I’m collecting links like this. I’m thinking they’ll make for a nice laugh in about a year or so.

Lastly, the iPhone is a defensive product. It is mainly designed to protect the iPod, which is coming under attack from mobile manufacturers adding music players to their handsets. Yet defensive products don’t usually work — consumers are interested in new things, not reheated versions of old things.

Right. The iPhone isn’t a new thing, it’s just a reheated iPod.

Also great is Lynn’s wishlist for features that would truly constitute “a fresh blast of competition”:

Or with never-ending batteries? Or chargers that don’t weigh three times as much as the phone?

Never-ending batteries? Jiminy, why hasn’t anyone ever thought of that before? Oh, that’s right, because of the laws of physics.

Macworld Expo 2007 Keynote on iTunes 

Way better than the streaming version.

DiskWarrior Boots 25 Percent Faster From DVD Than CD 

Great tip from Michael Tsai. 25 percent might not sound like that big a deal, but it’s actually a couple of minutes.

iPhone Trails 

Jason Fried speculates on gesture-based shortcuts for the iPhone. I could definitely see something like this being used for, say, speed dialing favorite numbers.

Tavo Gloves 

Gloves that allow for the use of capacitance-based touch pads like iPod clickwheels and, presumably, iPhones. (Thanks to Peter van Broekhoven.)

TED Blog: The New Apple iPhone and Jeff Han 

This makes it sound like Jeff Han was not involved with the iPhone multi-touch display and UI, although he does seem to like what he sees. (Thanks to Amar Sagoo.)

Twitterrific 1.0 

If you use Twitter, you’ll want this free new app from The Iconfactory. It’s that simple. Great work by Craig Hockenberry.

Another Cardboard iPhone Mock-Up 

Unlike that lazy-ass Kottke, when Steven Toomey made his cardboard iPhone, he rounded off the corners. Someone ought to give one of these to Merlin Mann’s That Phone Guy.

A Plea for the Fat-Fingered 

Jason Santa Maria, worried that his “working man hands” are too fat of finger for the iPhone virtual keypad, wonders if a horizontal mode is in the works. (As he shows in a mockup, it wouldn’t leave much room above.)

AirPort Extreme Drive Sharing 


AirPort Extreme, AirPort Disk turns almost any external USB hard drive into a shared drive. Simply connect the drive to the USB port on the back of your AirPort Extreme and — voila — all the documents, videos, photos, and other files on the drive instantly become available to anyone on the secure network, Mac and PC alike. It’s perfect for backups, collaborative projects, and more.

Regarding Java and the iPhone 

Ed Burnette, regarding Steve Jobs’s statement that “Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.”

Perhaps someone should tell Steve about one of the advantages of supporting Java: managed applications in Java or .Net are inherently safer than unmanaged applications. Unmanaged applications, written in languages like C++ or Objective C (the standard OSX programming language), are closer to the hardware and can suffer from problems like wild pointers, buffer overruns, and incorrectly using deallocated memory. Managed applications don’t have pointers and leave memory management to the virtual machine they run in.

They also have the advantage of being compiled once into a portable intermediate representation (bytecode) that can be run on any hardware architecture. C/C++ applications must be built separately for each and every architecture you want to support.

Steve Jobs doesn’t give a shit about pointers. And he most certainly doesn’t give a shit about apps written for multiple platforms. What would an app written for cross-platform compatibilty look like on an iPhone? No other phone has a UI even vaguely like the iPhone’s. The only apps on the iPhone are Dashboard widgets and apps written specifically for the iPhone using Cocoa. This is to be considered a feature, not a limitation. If you consider it a limitation, the iPhone is not for you.

Jobs’s stated fear that opening the iPhone to third-party software might bring down Cingular’s network, on the other hand, sounds like poppycock. Plenty of other phone platforms allow third-party apps to run.

Also, regarding memory, it’s entirely possible that the iPhone’s OS X supports Objective C 2.0 with garbage collection. That’s not the same thing as Java-style managed code, but still.


Another clever little portable camera tripod; instead of suction (like the aforelinked Mosterpod) it uses bendable wraparound legs. And also unlike the Monsterpod, there are versions that support SLRs. $40 at Amazon. Update: Ends up the Monsterpod doesn’t use suction, it uses viscoelasticity — a goo that’s both viscous and elastic.

(Thanks to Pete Marozzi.)

Crummy NY Times Article Conflates iTunes With FairPlay-Protected Media Files 

Randall Stross, in the second-most-emailed article published in the Sunday New York Times:

Even if you are ready to pledge a lifetime commitment to the iPod as your only brand of portable music player or to the iPhone as your only cellphone once it is released, you may find that FairPlay copy protection will, sooner or later, cause you grief. You are always going to have to buy Apple stuff. Forever and ever. Because your iTunes will not play on anyone else’s hardware.

No. You can “pledge a lifetime commitment to the iPod” and never once come into contact with a FairPlay-protected song or video. If you don’t like FairPlay’s restrictions — and there are plenty of good reasons not to — then don’t buy any, and rip your music from regular CDs.

iTunes Store music and video locks you in. iPods and iPhones do not.

iPhone CPU Is Not From Intel 

People keep emailing me with the theory that it’s some sort of super secret x86 processor from Intel. It isn’t.

David Pogue: Ultimate iPhone FAQs List, Part 2 

The most interesting tidbits:

  • Java is still a definite no, but Flash support in the iPhone web browser is apparently a maybe.
  • The touchscreen only works with your skin; you can’t use a fingernail or use it while wearing gloves.
Correo 0.1 — New Thunderbird-Derived Email Client for Mac OS X 

As Camino is to Firefox, Correo aims to be to Thunderbird. Still pretty nascent, though. It’ll be interesting to see how it compares to the Thunderbird-derived version of Eudora, if that ever devaporizes. (Via Hawk Wings.)

Mark Alldritt’s Journal 

New weblog from the author of Script Debugger and Affrus.

Camino 1.1 Alpha 2 

Pre-release version of Camino includes built-in (no plug-in hacks required) support for saved browser sessions: Quit Camino and when you relaunch it, it automatically restores your previous open windows and tabs.

The only hitch is that the session saving feature is off by default and there’s still no UI to enable it; this forum thread contains the instructions for turning it on with a directive in your users.js preference file.

AT&T Hangs Up on Cingular 

AT&T apparently plans to eliminate Cingular as a standalone brand; by the time the iPhone ships, it’ll be AT&T.


Nifty-looking stick-anywhere mini tripod. Here’s a short review that shows one sticking to the side of a tree. Get it at Amazon for $30.


FingerWorks was a company which was apparently acquired by Apple in 2005; their gestural touch-based input technology seems like something that might be used in the iPhone. (Thanks to DF reader Kenneth Miller.)

Leopard Technology Series: Introducing Dashcode 

Nice getting started tutorial for Dashcode, Apple’s Dashboard widget IDE.

Stephen Colbert on the iPhone and Apple’s Name Change 

The legendary and dreaded Double Wag of the Finger. (Thanks to Bryan Bell.)

James Duncan Davidson: Spectators at the iPhone Display 

Terrific photos. He really captures the way people stood in awe. (Apple really did a great job with the displays, too.)

Wes Felter Has a Point, Sort Of 

What makes Apple’s choice of processor for the iPhone interesting isn’t really which specific something-other-than-x86 CPU it is, but rather that they have OS X compiling and running on something other than PowerPC or x86 at all. Not surprising, but interesting.

Siracusa on Apple’s Corporate Name Change 

John Siracusa:

Also, about renaming Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc., I could swear Apple did that already a few years ago. Anyone else know what I’m (apparently mis-) remembering? Whatever, I don’t see it as a big deal. People fretting about the name change itself have cause and effect reversed. The name reflects the product mix, not the other way around.

The way I remember it, Apple began calling themselves “Apple” instead of “Apple Computer” right around the same time they switched from the six-color Apple logo to the monochrome logo. I.e. in terms of their advertising and marketing, they’ve been just plain “Apple” since the end of the ’90s. Now they’re just officially changing the legal name of the corporation to match.

Pure conjecture on my part, but perhaps the fact that they didn’t change this earlier had something to do with their legal wranglings with The Beatles’ Apple Corps.

iPhones Are Available for Pre-Order From Amazon in Germany? 

Unless this is some sort of prank, Amazon is taking pre-orders for unlocked no-contract iPhones; €999 for the 8 GB, €899 for the 4 GB. (That’s roughly $1,300 and $1,150, respectively, but don’t forget that the dollar is way down against the euro. Update: I forgot that German prices include a 19 percent VAT, too.)

At this writing, the 8 GB iPhone is their top-selling item in electronics; the 4 GB model is way down at #58.

Cisco May Have Lost the Rights to ‘iPhone’ Trademark by Not Using It 

See also this article from Reg Hardware regarding similar laws in Europe. The gist of it seems to be that you can’t just hold on to a trademark that you never use, and Cisco’s launch of an “iPhone” VOIP handset last month might be too little too late. (In their filing for an extension to hold onto the trademark, they needed to show a photograph of the trademark in use; they submitted a photo of an existing handset package with an “iPhone” sticker placed outside the shrinkwrap.)

(Thanks to DF reader Zac Grose.)

Cingular: We Made Apple Bend 

Smooth move, Cingular president of national distribution Glenn Lurie — go ahead and start getting people hepped up for future models of iPhones six months before the first iPhones even ship.

Merlin Mann Interviews Bare Bones’s Patrick Woolsey for MacBreak 

Nice video interview with Bare Bones Software’s other founder.

M:Metrics Analyst Seamus McAteer Is a Moron 

However, Jobs has a reason to make the iPhone live up to its hype, M:Metrics analyst Seamus McAteer said: 1993’s failed Newton handheld.

“There’s one big black blotch on his resume. … This is his chance to wipe that clean, and I don’t think he’s going to screw it up,” McAteer said.

Really? “1993’s failed Newton handheld” is a blotch on Steve Jobs’s résumé? The same Steve Jobs who was booted from Apple in 1985 and didn’t return until 1996, and whose only involvement with the Newton was to pull the plug on it?

I mean, holy shit, how stupid does an analyst have to be before a reporter decides he’s just too dumb to be quoted?

iPhone iPhud 

The Macalope responds to iPhone critics Paul Kedrosky and Robert Scoble:

“How do you operate your phone under a table at a meeting”? This is exactly why Apple’s design is better than Microsoft’s. The five jackasses who need to do that — instead of paying attention to the meeting — can keep stroking their Blackberrys under the table.

In the comments, Robert Scoble claims that “if Microsoft had shipped this you’d be deriding it as the worst cell phone ever shipped.” What kind of sense does that make? I think most people might have had a stroke if Microsoft had shipped something this innovative.


Amit Singh has ported FUSE (File System in User Space) to Mac OS X:

FUSE makes it possible to implement a very functional file system in a normal program rather than requiring a complex addition to the operating system. More importantly, the FUSE API is very easy to program for. The large number of interesting and/or useful FUSE file systems out there is a testament to this. An often-cited example of such a useful file system is sshfs, which until now was not available on Mac OS X.

The biggest immediate practical upside is read/write access to NTFS volumes.

Jeff Han, of ‘Multi-Touch Interaction Research’ Drops Hint of Deal With Apple 

Jeff Han, whose “multi-touch” screen interaction demo from a while back both looks and sounds quite similar to the “multi-touch” screen technology in the iPhone:

Yes, we saw the keynote too! We have some very, very exciting updates coming soon- stay tuned!

David Pogue’s Ultimate iPhone Frequently Asked Questions 

Outstanding resource — there are numerous answers here that I haven’t seen anywhere else, including that the iPhone’s web browser supports neither Flash nor Java, and that the camera doesn’t (at least yet) support video.

Steve Jobs Talks About Third-Party Development for iPhone 

Speaking to John Markoff of The New York Times:

“These are devices that need to work, and you can’t do that if you load any software on them,” [Jobs] said. “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be software to buy that you can load on them coming from us. It doesn’t mean we have to write it all, but it means it has to be more of a controlled environment.”

Markoff points out that even if Apple maintains complete control over native software running on iPhone, third-party developers still might have an in by writing web apps targeted at the iPhone’s web browser. The problem with that is that web apps, even really clever web apps, are never going to be as cool UI-wise as native apps.

David Pogue on the iPhone and Its Virtual Keyboard 

One of my first negative reactions to the iPhone during the keynote is that now matter how well done, the on-screen keyboard couldn’t possibly be as good as a keyboard using physical buttons. David Pogue got to spend an hour with one of the prototypes, and concurs:

The iPhone is not, however, a BlackBerry killer. The absence of a physical keyboard makes it versatile, but also makes typing tedious. …

Fortunately, you don’t have to be especially precise. Even if you hit the wrong “keys” accidentally, the super-smart software considers adjacent keys — and corrects your typos automatically. If what you actually managed to type is “wrclme,” the software proposes “welcome.” You tap the Space bar to accept the fix. It works beautifully.

Cisco General Counsel on the ‘iPhone’ Trademark Suit 

Mark Chandler, Cisco Senior Vice President and General Counsel:

Despite being very close to an agreement, we had no substantive communication from Apple after 8pm Monday, including after their launch, when we made clear we expected closure. What were the issues at the table that kept us from an agreement? Was it money? No. Was it a royalty on every Apple phone? No. Was it an exchange for Cisco products or services? No.

Sort of sounds like what Cisco wanted was a legal arrangement with Apple to be “cool like you guys are”.

Apple Job Listing for iPhone Software Engineer Mentions ARM Experience 

Another strong hint that the iPhone uses an ARM processor. (Thanks to Chris Ryland for the link.)

Gotham Rounded: Corners Cut by Popular Demand 

Stephen Coles has a nice write-up for Typographica regarding the new Gotham Rounded:

Regardless, expect to see a lot of H&FJ’s “draftsman’s alphabet” in the next few months. It’s undeniably appealing, and quiet enough that I don’t think we’ll tire of it very quickly.

Apparently There Are a Bunch of Crappy ‘iPhones’ on the Market 

Here’s one that’s a VOIP handset selling on Amazon for $19. Then there’s the Teledex iPhone for use in hotels; and the Comwave iPhone which isn’t even a phone — it’s a VOIP telephone service and router-ish box.

These seem to be what Apple spokesman Steve Dowling was referring to in his comments to The Wall Street Journal Law Blog:

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling called the Cisco lawsuit “silly,” adding there are several companies using the term iPhone for VOIP products, and Cisco’s trademark is “tenuous at best.” “We’re the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone,” he said. “If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we’re very confident we’ll prevail.”

Gotham Rounded 

Lovely new font from Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Nice, friendly feel to it.

Penny Arcade: The Microsoft Zune: 2006-2006 

The comic is funny, but the title is even funnier.

43 Folders Podcast: Snell and Gruber on iPhone Applications 

Brief interview by the one and only Merlin Mann with Jason Snell and me, talking about whether or not the iPhone is going to be open to third-party software development. (The answer, alas, is “no”, or at least “not yet”.)

Update, 9 January 2017: The original audio file is lost to the sands of time, but here’s a copy.

Mac Office 2008 

Includes a screenshot of a seriously revamped PowerPoint.

Cisco Files Suit Against Apple Over Use of ‘iPhone’ Trademark 

So much for there being an agreement “ready to sign”.

This is just weird. Seems a bit reckless for Apple to launch this without the trademark rights in hand. It’s worth noting, by the way, that the prototype hardware units on display here at Macworld Expo do not have “iPhone” printed on them anywhere.

Cabel Sasser and John Gruber at the Irish Bank 

Some of you would gladly cut off a finger to see what was on Cabel’s screen when Buzz took this picture. Maybe two fingers.

There are some pictures on Flickr from our little show at Macworld’s booth earlier in the day as well.

Kottke’s Comparison of the Relative Size of the iPhone Compared to Other Popular Gadgets 

Jason Kottke:

A lot of people are wondering just how big this thing is. Using the technical specs from, I grabbed some cardboard, scissors, and glue and made a scale model of the iPhone.

Similar effort from Engadget here.

Macworld Photos, Day One 

My photos from yesterday, including the keynote and the iPhone.

The iPhone, on display.

Cisco Is Expecting ‘Signed Agreement’ on iPhone Trademark 

Sounds like Apple and Cisco have reached an agreement.

Time Magazine on the iPhone 

Lev Grossman has a terrific report on the iPhone on

Weaknesses? Absolutely. You can’t download songs directly onto it from the iTunes store, you have to export them from a computer. And even though it’s got WiFi and Bluetooth on it, you can’t sync iPhone with a computer wirelessly. And there should be games on it. And you’re required to use it as a phone — you can’t use it without signing up for cellular service. Boo.


The iPhone is a phone, an iPod, and a mini-Internet computer all at once, and contrary to Newton — who knew a thing or two about apples — they all occupy the same space at the same time, but without taking a hit in performance. In a way iPhone is the wrong name for it. It’s a handheld computing platform that just happens to contain a phone.

“Newton” comes to mind in another way, as well.

Regarding My Previous Commentary on the Use of the ‘iPhone’ Brand Name 

Me, last month, in the wake of the Linksys “iPhone” announcement:

Did people really think that Apple, if — and it’s still an “if” — they produce a cell phone, was going to call it “iPhone”? The fact that clearly belongs to someone else was a strong hint that they weren’t.

At least I wasn’t alone.

And, amazingly to me, still points to a junky page from “The Internet Phone Company”. And I still haven’t heard any definitive answer regarding how Apple plans to use this name if Linksys claims the trademark and is using it for their own product.

BBEdit 8.6 

My favorite new app from 1992, now with extensive Markdown support.

(New version of TextWrangler with Markdown support, too.)

Yojimbo 1.4 

My favorite new app of 2006, now with extensive AppleScript support.

Apple iPhone 

What you cannot appreciate looking at iPhone photographs on your computer display is how amazing its screen is. 160 DPI is an amazing resolution — tiny, tiny text is amazingly legible. And the device itself is very thin.

The battery policy, though, is exactly like that of other iPods: it’s sealed inside the case, and is not swappable.

Apple: 802.11n 

The only actual Mac news from Apple, and it didn’t even get mentioned in the keynote.

Apple’s Stock Price Graphed Against Palm and RIM 

Remember back in November when Palm CEO Ed Colligan was quoted saying, with regard to a then-hypothetical Apple phone, “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

Guess what? They’re just walking in.

Ajax Web Interface for .Mac iDisk 

This is not news — apparently it was released months ago and I just hadn’t heard about it — but Apple now offers a web-based interface for your iDisk. The UI is good and performance is great. It’s clearly the iDisk sibling to the new .Mac webmail UI.

What’s sick is that performance using the Finder is still so poor — there’s something inherently wrong that a web UI for iDisk is faster than using the Finder.

Cabel Sasser: Apple’s Next-Generation User Interface Themes 

Cabel Sasser on an Apple patent filing for resolution-independent user interfaces, and the screenshots of an apparent user-interface theme design tool revealed within the patent filing.

(There’s an interesting tidbit at the end of his article, for those of you attending Macworld Expo.)

WSJ Reports Apple and Cingular Launching Cell Phone 

No details, but the fact that it’s The Wall Street Journal carries a ton of weight. The Journal had the “switching to Intel” story before WWDC 2005.

Update: Here’s the link to the story on; the full article is only available to subscribers.

2nd Update: Thanks to DF reader Sean O’Leary, here’s a link to the full Journal story on another web site. It’s kind of a shitty story, really; one thrust of it is that iPod growth is slowing significantly, but they base this largely on projected iPod sales figures for 2007 from Morgan Stanley.

John Siracusa’s MWSF 2007 Keynote Bingo 

Don’t be fooled by imitators; Siracusa’s is the original keynote bingo. Siracusa writes:

The way I see it, the most important part of keynote bingo is the card itself. The choice and arrangement of squares documents the hopes and fears of the card maker, and perhaps the larger Mac community, at a particular point in time. And the detailed definitions for each square provide important context for each prediction.

Both diagonals look like possible winners to me.

Special Twitter Page for Macworld-Related Updates 

Might be a good place to follow along for live updates from keynote attendees.

The Macalope’s Macworld Predictions 

Not a bad batch of predictions, except the one about Leopard shipping “earlier than expected, possibly right after the keynote”.

Attack of the Zombie Computers Is Growing Threat 

Front page story by John Markoff from yesterday’s New York Times about how zombie PCs — Windows machines controlled by malware — are a burgeoning plague. One small line about the Mac:

So far botnets have predominantly infected Windows-based computers, although there have been scattered reports of botnet-related attacks on computers running the Linux and Macintosh operating systems.

Scattered reports from whom?

Nisus Writer Pro Pre-Announced 

Not shipping until later this year, but judging from the announced features, looks like a pretty interesting word processor.

Toast 8 

Roxio’s new Toast 8 Titanium includes TiVoToGo support:

Toast 8 brings TiVo and the Mac together for the first time, enabling users to enjoy their favorite TV programs on their Mac, burn them to disc, or easily convert them for viewing on a mobile device such as an iPod or PSP.

Still no support for smoke special effects, though.

Tabbed Editing Coming Soon to SubEthaEdit 

Including the use of drag-and-drop to rearrange tabs and to drag tabs out into their own windows. (Thanks to Jesper.)

Matt Neuburg: PreFab UI Browser 2.0 Better Than Ever 

Matt Neuburg in TidBITS:

PreFab UI Browser is a scripter’s tool. You don’t need it unless you need it, but if you need it, it’s exactly what you need.

Anime-Style Portrait of The Simpsons Cast 

Love the Marge.

Daring Fireball Store Back Online 

I took the store for Daring Fireball memberships and t-shirts down a few days ago in the course of moving this site to a new web server. It’s now back up.

The Hivelogic Podcast: Episode 2 

Part 2 of my stint as Dan Benjamin’s guest on The Hivelogic Podcast, just making stuff up about iTV other speculation about what might be announced at Macworld Expo. Good music this time.

David Maynor Now Blogging, Still Friends With George Ou 

David Maynor:

George is awesome because he is by far one of the most technical reporters I have ever talked to.

WriteRoom 2.0 

I don’t personally feel the need for a full-screen writing mode, but many people do, and WriteRoom 2.0 looks like a great implementation of the idea. It’s a tricky problem to solve: How do you make an app that feels Mac-like but which hides the entire Mac user interface? WriteRoom 2 feels like the answer.

WriteRoom 1 was (and remains) freeware; version 2 costs $25. Unsurprisingly, the cheapskates popped out of the woodwork to complain about the price, and WriteRoom developer Jesse Grosjean seems at least somewhat disappointed by their criticism. This sort of thing is inevitable for indie developers: if your price is high enough for you to be successful, some people will complain, sometimes harshly, that it’s too high. But if no one is complaining about your price, it isn’t high enough.

Is That a Phone in His Pocket? No, Something Bigger 

Nicely written Valleywag piece by Paul Boutin on Steve Jobs’s Macworld Expo keynote. He’s got a good point: the teaser image on hints that something big is going to be announced. That makes everyone think it’s a phone. But everyone expects a phone, and the biggest keynote announcement are usually very surprising.

The Hivelogic Podcast 

The good news is that my friend Dan Benjamin has finally started The Hivelogic Podcast. The better news is that his first guest is yours truly, and we spend the whole show speculating about the possibility that Apple will announce a mobile phone at Macworld Expo next week.

Sell Daniel Jalkut Your Product 

Daniel Jalkut, regarding the Garrett-Ball xPad dispute:

But what I can’t believe is that a relatively mature product like this sells for only $5000. And Garrett was including 50 hours of consulting with the deal. By my reckoning that means he was essentially selling 50 hours of work and throwing in the business for free.

But this got me thinking. Will anybody sell me their product for $5000? I am a good buyer. Make me an offer, and if I like what you’ve got, I’ll pay cold hard cash for it. No installment crap.

Luxpro Wins in Taiwanese Court, Then Files Countersuit Against Apple 

A Taiwanese court has rejected Apple’s suit claiming that Luxpro’s MP3 players are infringing rip-offs of the first-generation iPod Shuffle. Luxpro is now countersuing for $100 million in damages stemming from the “valuable market opportunities” they lost as a result of Apple’s legal action.

(Thanks to Chris Pepper.)

Think Secret Reports iWork ’07 Will Include a Spreadsheet 

They’ve even got a screenshot, albeit apparently from a development build they admit may be long out of date. Seems like something they almost have to add to the iWork suite, especially considering the demise of AppleWorks, but then again, I said the same thing last year.

Re: My Love of Vinyl Records 

Fake Steve:

And what is it about vinyl? It friggin breathes, and I don’t know how or why. I’ve brought all my iPod engineers in here to listen and try to figure it out. We’ve got “Golden Slumbers” on right now and Paul’s voice is making the hair on my neck stand up. It’s like he’s standing here in the room with us.

Richard Dawkins: ‘Executing Saddam Hussein Was an Act of Vandalism’ 

Richard Dawkins:

Imagine, in fancy, that some science fiction equivalent of Simon Wiesenthal built a time machine, travelled back to 1945 and returned to the present with a manacled Adolf Hitler. What should we do with him? Execute him? No, a thousand times no.

(Via Dan Benjamin.)

Rory Prior: ‘On the Ball’ 

Rory Prior:

I’ve dealt with Brian Ball before when I had InstantGallery on macZOT last year and I’ve had a number of IM conversations with him since, my lasting impression is that he’s not someone I’d want to work with again.

Steven Frank’s Macworld Expo Predictions 

Regarding the possibility of a tablet computer:

There is no market. Yes, it would be cool. No, nobody in any statistically significant number would buy them. Apple has been out of the business of creating products that have no identifiable customer for a decade now.

Great conjecture regarding the possibility of an Apple phone, too.

VLC 0.8.6a 

Bug fix for the exploit released by the MOAB project three days ago.

Digg Thread on the Garrett Murray/Brian Ball xPad Dispute 

Includes a bunch of juicy comments from Murray and Ball. Ball’s username is “ideabrian”; most of his comments have been moderated beneath the default threshold, so you might need to click them to see them.

Update: It’s worth noting that this Digg story, despite 400+ diggs in the last 8 hours, was “buried” off the front page of Digg. Burying is intended as a way for the Digg community to flag spam and other inappropriate stories, but it can also be used by a cadre of individuals to make an article they don’t like simply disappear.

Adobe Is Going to Bring Premiere Back to the Mac 

Jim Dalrymple, reporting for Macworld:

Adobe will announce on Thursday that it will revive a Mac version of Premiere, the software maker’s video program aimed at professional editors. The new Mac version will only run on Intel-based Macs and will be part of a larger Adobe Production Studio suite that will include Adobe Encore DVD and Adobe Soundbooth.

Interesting. This says a lot about the Mac’s growing resurgence in the professional media-editing space. Or maybe it’s more about the surging popularity of Final Cut Pro.

Paul Thurrott Responds 

Paul Thurrott responds to my “Speaking of Clowns”, but addresses none of my actual points of criticism (other than to reiterate his acclaim for Enderle’s nutty idea that “Steve Jobs” is a construct created by “Apple’s agency”). He finishes with this:

But I do know this: Both Enderle and Forrester are credible.

Enderle’s track record speaks for itself. As for Forrester, they themselves have stated that the report Enderle is talking about does not show a drop in iTunes Store music sales. They say iTunes sales are “leveling off”, meaning that growth is slowing, not that sales are dropping — a big difference.

(Most of the reports I’ve seen, though, indicate that iTunes Store growth continues to grow at about the same rate as iPod sales — the average number of iTunes Store songs sold per iPod has remained remarkably steady at about 20–25.)

What Happened When Garrett Murray Sold xPad to MacZot’s Brian Ball 

Garrett Murray:

I also feel it’s important for people to know what kind of business Mr. Ball conducted with me, in case people have potential business with him in the future. Consider this fair warning that things might not go too well.

This is really quite a story. Short version: Get your money up front if you sell an app to Brian Ball.

Amazon Leaks Placeholder Pages for iLife and iWork ’07 

Not really much of a spoiler at all, though, really. It would be far more surprising if iLife and iWork ’07 updates were not announced during the keynote next week.

Guardian Story Ostensibly About What It’s Like to Have a Meeting With Steve Jobs 

Sort of a bait and switch, in my opinion: this piece written by former Apple sales executive David Sobotta is billed as an insider’s view of what it’s like to have a meeting with Steve Jobs and what his thoughts are regarding tablet computers and mobile phones, but, really, it doesn’t seem like Sobotta ever had much face time at all with Jobs, and the piece is really mostly about Sobotta’s completely speculative predictions about Macworld Expo. The most interesting tidbit is Sobotta’s claim that Jobs is so secretive he won’t allow people to take notes when he speaks during meetings.

The best ever “what it’s like to meet with Steve Jobs” tale of recent vintage remains Cabel Sasser’s “The True Story of Audion”.

2007: The Year in Preview 

Macworld asks Chris Breen, Andy Ihnatko, Adam Engst, John Moltz, and yours truly for our predictions for 2007. Am I nuts for thinking we might see 8-core Mac Pros announced next week?

Dan Benjamin’s Macworld Expo Predictions 

Nice list. I agree with a bunch of them.

Chinese Democracy Syndrome 

Gus Mueller:

There is a lot of hard work that goes into making things easy and obvious (which is totally appropriate). However, I think sometimes developers can get caught in a trap of trying to make things too “perfect”.

Landon Fuller’s Application Enhancer Patch for the MOAB QuickTime ‘rtsp://’ Exploit 

My gut feeling is that it’s overkill to install this — especially if you aren’t already running any Application Enhancer haxies — but it’s a nice idea. Note, too, that Fuller says disabling the “rtsp://” URL protocol isn’t a complete defense.

Design Quotes 


“The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.” —Bertrand Russell

“I’ve been amazed at how often those outside the discipline of design assume that what designers do is decoration. Good design is problem solving.” —Jeffrey Veen

(Via Cameron Moll.)

Second Issue in ‘Month of Apple Bugs’ Is a VLC Buffer Overflow 

How does a bug in VLC qualify as an “Apple bug”?

Martin Pittenauer on the Chaos Communication Congress 

Good summary of the Mac-related topics at this conference last week, including the FileVault session and Amit Singh’s session on Mac OS X internals and TPM.

Month of Apple Bugs: QuickTime ‘rtsp://’ URL Handler Stack-Based Buffer Overflow 

The first Month of Apple Bugs exploit is out, and it’s an attack that takes advantage of a buffer overflow in QuickTime’s handler for “rtsp” URLs. Their example exploits are all Intel-specific, but it’s probably a potential problem for PowerPC systems, too. (It’s a problem with QuickTime, not Mac OS X, so it apparently works on Windows systems with QuickTime installed as well.)

The example exploits use the /usr/bin/say command to speak “Happy new year shit bag”, but if that works, it could just as easily do something destructive like deleting the contents of your home folder. If you want to play defense while waiting for Apple to fix the bug, you can disable ‘rtsp’ URLs using RCDefaultApp.

Intriguing New Year Teaser on Front Page of 

“The first 30 years were just the beginning. Welcome to 2007.”

Sounds like a big Macworld Expo to me.

Costco Using Zune Stand to Sell iPods 

This one’s worth more than a thousand words.