Linked List: July 2007

Apple Schedules Media Event for Tuesday, August 7 

Invitation explicitly states product announcements will not be related to iPods or iPhone. New iMacs are a gimme; I think it’s time for revamped MacBook Pros, too.

Khoi Vinh: ‘Don’t Ever Leave the Airport’ 

Reminds me of this old Letterman Top 10 list.

Safari 3.0.3 Beta and Security Update 2007-007 

Both are available via Software Update; release notes for both Safari 3.0.3 beta and Security Update 2007-007.

Apple: About the Security Content of iPhone v1.0.1 Update 

All MobileSafari issues — cross-site scripting holes, a buffer overflow in PCRE (the regex library used by JavaScriptCore), anti-phishing measures, and more.

iPhone Software 1.0.1 Released 

First bug fix and security update for iPhone. Get it via iTunes.

Anil Dash: Pixels Are the New Pies 

Now that he’s pointed this out, I suspect I’ll notice this trend everywhere.

iTweet — iPhone Web App for Twitter 

First third-party Twitter web app to offer “Older/Newer” links in your friends timeline, and, thus, now my preferred iPhone Twitter interface.

The iPhone Dev Wiki: UIKit Hello World 

Sample program for iPhone, produced using reverse engineered header files and a jury-rigged set of developer tools. You can see how closely iPhone’s UIKit resembles Mac OS X’s AppKit.

Microsoft Mac BU Releases Remote Desktop Connection 2.0 Beta 

Universal binary update to Microsoft’s free utility for connecting to Windows machines via RDC. They’ve also updated their free Mac OS X converter for the new “Office Open XML” file formats.

Fox News Updates Cavuto Transcript 

Where he was previously quoted as saying:

Lo and behold, we’re told 146,000 iPhones were activated in the day and a half between the phone’s launch and the most recent quarter’s end.

He is now quoted as saying:

Lo and behold, we’re told 270,000 iPhones were sold in the day and a half between the phone’s launch and the most recent quarter’s end — trouble is only about 146,000 were actually activated.

The transcript still claims Apple had projected “half a million” opening weekend sales (they didn’t), and still uses the adjective “hotsy-totsy”.

FaceSpan 5 Alpha Weblog 

Mark Alldritt, whose Late Night Software is behind such terrific scripting tools as Script Debugger and Affrus, took over development of FaceSpan about a year and a half ago. FaceSpan 4 is an interesting improvement, at least in some ways, over Apple’s own AppleScript Studio — but the downside is that because it’s fundamentally based on AS-Studio, it is also in many ways limited by AS-Studio’s own limitations.

Alldritt, with the help of his long-time co-conspirator Matt Neuburg, is hard at work on FaceSpan 5, a ground-up rewrite completely untethered from AppleScript Studio. I’m lucky enough to be be alpha testing it, and even at this early stage it is extraordinary. Testing is private, but Alldritt has launched a weblog to document its progress and show off some of the ways it works. If you’re interested in scripting and development tools, you’ll want to keep an eye on this.

Bill Walsh, Genius Coach of the 49ers, Dies at 75 

I rooted against Bill Walsh’s teams passionately. No single game has ever broken my heart like the 1981 NFC Championship (a.k.a. “The Catch”). (An eight-year-old Cowboys fan just isn’t equipped emotionally to deal with a game like that.) But the man was a genius, both strategically and in terms of his uncanny ability to spot genius in players. At least three of his draft picks — Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Ronnie Lott — are in my opinion the best to ever play their positions in the NFL. That is not a coincidence.

Bill Walsh personified what makes football a glorious sport.

iLounge Reviews Apple’s Bluetooth iPhone Headset 

Jeremy Horwitz:

Apple’s new iPhone Bluetooth Headset ($129) takes a nearly opposite approach: made largely from black anodized aluminum and designed to look less geeky than the vast majority of its predecessors, its appeal is almost entirely in its shape, size, and simplicity, rather than any major performance advantage it offers over competing options. Consequently, though it may appeal aesthetically to some users, it’s not as impressive as we would have expected for its relatively high price, and offset mostly by an interesting packed-in item in its box.

Bejeweled Comes to iPhone 

Wow, a game with no sound whatsoever. Sweet!

The Register: ‘Apple’s [sic] Takes Flak as AT&T Drops iPhone Bomb’ 

The Register:

AT&T’s declaration that only 146,000 Apple iPhones registered on its network in the first two days it was on the market has led to widespread shock at what is now being seen as the device’s failure and a down period for Apple shares, sliding 7.5 per cent over a few days last week, a fall of some $10bn in total market capitalisation.

What is it about this “146,000 activations” number that has rotted out the minds of the business press? If you care about opening weekend iPhone sales, the number that matters is 270,000, which is how many phones Apple sold. As for the effect on Apple’s stock price since the iPhone went on sale, the stock is up. It closed at $122 on June 29; as I type this it’s at $137.

iPhone Troubleshooting Assistant 

When in doubt, restart. (And if you have a frozen app, you can press-and-hold the Home button for six seconds to force quit.) (Via Jeffrey Zeldman, who also linked to an interesting tip to use iSync (remember iSync?) to reset iCal synching if you’re having problems getting calendars to your iPhone.)

David Chartier on NetworkLocation 2.0 

David Chartier at TUAW is impressed by Network Location 2.0:

In addition to automatically changing settings like system volume, opening a webpage, playing an iTunes playlist or switching Mail servers all based on the wired or wireless network you connect to, this new version adds a great new feature that users have been dying for: the ability to auto-detect which network you’re connecting to and begin changing any settings you prefer with no effort on the user’s part.

Shawn Blanc: ‘Be a Better Designer’ 

Shawn Blanc, with good advice for anyone:

That was the first and last time I ever acted like a high-and-mighty graphic designer who treats his clients as if they were perpetually inconveniencing him. Now when I receive a job-request the first sentence in my email reply starts with “thank you.”

Neil Cavuto of Fox News, Jackass 

It was inevitable that this clown would eventually win a Jackass of the Week:

The company announced its hotsy-totsy iPhone was going to revolutionize the world — bad when you start out using that word “revolutionize,” by the way.

That it would sell 10 million in the first year and half a million of those in the first couple of days — days!

Lo and behold, we’re told 146,000 iPhones were activated in the day and a half between the phone’s launch and the most recent quarter’s end.

Apple has stated — and reiterated several times — that they hope to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008. I think they’re on pace to beat that. But neither Apple as a company, nor any Apple executive speaking on the company’s behalf, ever speculated on opening weekend sales. That “half a million” estimate came from outside analysts, not Apple. And if he hadn’t botched this enough already, the “146,000 activations” number was from AT&T; Apple announced last week that 270,000 iPhones were sold in the first two days.

And, lastly: “hotsy-totsy”?

Update: Fox News has since updated their transcript of Cavuto’s remarks.

iTunes Store Sells Three Billionth Song 

They hit 1 billion back in February 2006. They hit 2 billion 11 months later in January 2007. Only seven months later, they’re at 3 billion. (Via 2lmc Spool.)

Tom Snyder, TV Talk Host, Dies at 71 

Loved his show.

Chris Hanson on Sparkle Scalability 

The other problem with Sparkle’s model is that by asking to update when you first launch the app, it’s interrupting you at the moment when you actually want to do something with the app.

Belfry SciCalc 

Scientific calculator web app for iPhone, complete with easy-to-bookmark ‘data:’ URL for offline use.

Ingmar Bergman Dies at 89 

He influenced many other film makers, including Woody Allen, who according to The Associated Press said in a tribute in 1988 that Mr. Bergman was “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera.”

Michael Tsai on FogBugz 

Michael Tsai:

I’m currently using OmniFocus as my issue tracker and am loving it. It’s also rigid, in a way, but the workflow that it enforces happens to be a close match to what I’ve always tried to achieve with other tools.

Gus Mueller on FogBugz 

Gus Mueller has shifted his bug and feature request databases for Flying Meat Software to FogBugz, and he’s pretty happy:

You know what? It’s worth it. Anything that makes my life this much easier in the support arena is worth 129 bucks. The idea of going back to Apple Mail to handle my support load makes me cringe. It’s a time saver, and one of my rules for being an indie dev is to spend your time wisely. 129 bucks is nothing for what it does for me.

The Talk Show, Episode 4 

New episode of the podcast for your weekend enjoyment. This week: digital photography, with special guest James Duncan Davidson.

Jackass of the Week: Jose Trujillo 

According to TechCrunch, a Cook County, Illinois man filed a class action lawsuit against Apple and AT&T because he didn’t know his iPhone battery wasn’t user-replaceable. Good luck with that.

iPhones Generally Can’t Take Calls While Using EDGE 

I’ve run into this: If you get a call while a web page is loading (or EDGE is in use for anything else), the call goes straight to voicemail. This is a limitation of the most common form of EDGE network.

Terrific Motion Graphic and Menu Design: DiRT for Xbox 360 

I love the way these menus look and move. (Via Khoi Vinh.)

CP Labs Investigates ‘Cloverfield’ Trailer 

The more I learn about this movie, the scarier it gets.

Dave Winer: What Twitter Is 

Best description I’ve seen of Twitter yet:

It’s a network of users, with one kind of relationship: following. I can follow you, and you can follow me. Or I can follow you and you don’t follow me. Or you can follow me, and I don’t follow you. Or neither of us follow each other. Pretty simple. Just arrows at either or both ends of the line, or no line at all. There are no labels on the arcs.  

Apple Gross Margins, 1992-2007 

Thanks to some research by DF reader Jim Frisby, I have a simple table showing Apple’s gross margins from 1992 until the present. That’s 15 years of data. The average: 27%. Check out those fat margins from ’92 and ’93, though.

AT&T ‘Marketing Settings’ 

Nima Yousefi on how to opt out of AT&T’s on-by-default “please send junk mail and spam to me via mail, email, and SMS” marketing settings. There’s also a setting for switching to paperless billing.

Regarding Engadget’s Photos of a Supposed New Apple Keyboard 

Erik Barzeski has a good run-down of what’s new if this rumored keyboard isn’t a fake. If it’s real, Apple is moving toward MacBook-style hardware functions for F-keys; the Help button being replaced by “Fn” would allow you to toggle the F-keys between hardware functions and regular F-key functions. I think it’s a fake, but it’s elaborate and well-done enough that I wouldn’t bet much against it. (I also don’t think white keys go well against a silver background.)

Fake Steve on Dvorak 

Fake Steve:

Because if this frigtard Dvorak now likes our machines, I think we must have done something wrong. Honestly. This idiot has been so consistently wrong for his entire career that we use him as a contrarian indicator. Now he likes us, and I’m afraid this might mean we’ve jumped the shark or something.

Joy of Tech on Dvorak 

For what it’s worth, I used to enjoy Dvorak’s back-page column in MacUser in the early ’90s.


David Pogue on AT&T’S tree-killing format for iPhone bills:

But then — get this — I get SIX PAGES of listings of data tidbits that the iPhone has downloaded in the form of email and Web pages–KILOBYTE BY KILOBYTE! Every graphic on every Web page, every message sent or received–it’s all carefully listed by date and time. Not as anything helpful like NYTIMES.COM HOME PAGE or EMAIL — no, no. Instead, every single one of the hundreds of listings says the same thing: “Data Transfer” of type “Data” at rate code “MBRF,” along with how many kilobytes it was (usually 1K or 3K).

I just got mine, and it’s the same thing, except the “Data Transfer” listing weighs in at 45 pages.

The New Math 

The more you think about this equation from CARS, the funnier it gets.

iPhone Is More Than the Sum of Its Parts 

Charles Arthur in The Guardian, back on July 12:

So are we all getting gouged here? The problem with these analyses is that they assume that these products fall out of a clear blue sky, their design realised by morphic resonance (where everyone suddenly understands something simultaneously), and that Apple — and other companies, for Toshiba’s creation of the miniature hard drive for the original iPod accounts for a lot of the product’s rocketing success — just sits around deciding where to buy advertising spots.

CARS Coverage of Apple Q3 Earnings Call 

“Analysts complained about a droning noise on the line, but Oppenheimer explained that it was just the sound of Stan Sigman still delivering his Macworld speech.”

What Happens When Your iPhone Voicemail Box Is Full 

Doesn’t drop old ones; it just stops accepting new ones.

Think Different 

Fake Steve on Apple’s stock: “Yeah, it was a good day.”

TinyBuddy: AIM for iPhone From AOL, Sort Of 

Jason Snell on an intriguing web app interface to AIM for iPhone:

TinyBuddy uses AOL’s OpenAuth servers to authenticate you, meaning that the TinyBuddy web site never touches your password — so it can’t store it and use it later. Instead, TinyBuddy’s embedded JavaScript only handles a special authentication token provided by AIM.

Safari 3’s New Keyboard Shortcut for Blocking Pop-Up Windows 

Poka-yoke in action.

One Book to Specify Them All 

Khoi Vinh interviews Stephen Coles about FontBook, “the largest typeface reference in the world”.

What Too Much Clarity Looks Like 

Lightroom 1.1’s Clarity tool is amazing, but Duncan Davidson has a good example of its limitations.

Microsoft to Provide Advertising for Digg 


Digg Chief Executive Jay Adelson said his company also considered partnerships with Google and Yahoo Inc, but chose Microsoft because of the level of customization the software maker offered with its advertising platform.

I’m sure it wasn’t that Microsoft guaranteed the most money.

Apple Stock Way Up 

Reached an all-time high of $148.50 at one point. 73 percent year-over-year growth in quarterly profit will do that.

“A Product Transition I Can’t Get Into” 

Noted by Forbes’s Brian Caufield, a tantalizing statement from Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer during the quarterly conference call, when he was asked why Apple’s guidance for the current quarter is just 65 cents per share, far under the 92 cents they just booked in the past quarter and the 82 cents analysts pulled out of their butts:

Oppenheimer gave three reasons for the shift, two prosaic, and one very tantalizing. Apple’s back-to-school product promotions will cost the company. Prices are rising for key parts, such as the flash memory that powers the iPhone and many of Apple’s music players. Finally, Oppenheimer said, there will be a “product transition I can’t get into.”

If it’s going to affect earnings, that seems to imply not just something new announced by the end of September, but something available for sale during the quarter. Curious.

Update: Here’s how I’m interpreting this. I think what he’s saying is that Apple is going to replace an older product which currently has high margins with a new product that, at least at first, will have significantly lower margins. Imagine, say, new iPods that sell at the same prices as current models but which cost more to produce. Or maybe it means they’re going to switch to the subscription-based accounting for more products?

QuickTime 7.2 Brings Leopard Functionality 

Ken Aspeslagh:

Following a continuing trend of adding new things without telling anyone, the recent QuickTime 7.2 update includes more than just bug fixes. We’ve confirmed that the QTKit Capture functionality previously billed as a feature of Leopard is included with the update.

(Via MDJ.)

The New Backpack 

Nice update to 37signals’s Backpack. Much more control over the order of elements on the page, plus account-wide search. Alas, the rollover-based UI for editing items doesn’t compute on the rollover-less iPhone.

Update: One day later, and they’ve already got a workaround for using it on an iPhone. A quick tap on any item reveals the same editing controls typically available by rollover.

The Items We Carry 

Irresistible (at least to me) new Flickr group started by Naz Hamid. Moleskines and iPhones are well-represented. (Surprisingly many Field Notes notebooks for a yet-to-be-released product.)

Redefining ‘Growth Stock’ 

Boy, that really is slow.

Daring Fireball Display Preferences 

For those of you who think the font size on Daring Fireball is too small and never noticed the link at the bottom of every page: you can use the DF Prefs page to set a bigger font size, saved in a cookie in your browser.

Faceball: Your Face, Our Balls 

I believe I would do very well at this game.

AppleCare for iPhone 

$69 to extend the iPhone warranty for repair coverage from one year to two. I’ll risk the jinx and admit here that I never buy AppleCare — or extended warranties for anything, for that matter. But I know a lot of AppleCare fans have been waiting for this.

Regarding Opening Weekend iPhone Sales and Apple’s Stated Revenue Therefrom 

Peter Hosey observes that Apple’s Q3 summary data (PDF) lists 270,000 units sales for “iPhone and Related Products and Services”, but only $5 million in revenue from them.

It’s not clear from the description in the data summary whether that means 270,000 iPhones were sold, but during the conference call, Apple made it clear that that’s exactly what it means. As for why the revenue from those iPhones is just $5 million, that’s because, as stated during their previous earnings call three months ago, Apple is accounting for iPhone revenue and earnings over 24 months, which they believe is required to comply with U.S. accounting regulations while still providing new features in future free software updates. The revenue from an iPhone sold today won’t be fully on the books until 2009.

TUAW: Live Coverage of Apple’s Q3 Earnings Call 

Apple won’t comment on its cut of iPhone subscriber fees from AT&T, and won’t say how much it’s getting from Yahoo or Google for the iPhone apps that are tied to their services.

Michael Gartenberg: ‘Is the iPhone a Success or Flop?’ 

Smartest thing I’ve seen so far regarding AT&T’s “146,000 iPhone activations in two days” number.

Apple Reports Third Quarter Results 

The highlights: 1.7 million Macs sold, 9.8 million iPods, $818 million in profit; those three numbers are up 33, 21, and a whopping 73 percent from the same quarter last year. Notebook computers are outselling desktops by 2-to-1. These numbers certainly validate Apple’s decision to delay Leopard — Tiger certainly isn’t hurting Mac sales.

270,000 iPhones sold in the first two days, and Jobs is quoted in the PR saying “we hope to sell our one-millionth iPhone by the end of its first full quarter of sales”.

Pixelmator: Still Vaporware 

Note to everyone who complained about my skepticism that they’d ship in July: Told you so.

Caroline McCarthy: ‘The Vintage Allure of Fake Steve Jobs’ 

Caroline McCarthy:

Yeah, he’s funny. But take away the push-button publishing, the RSS feeds, and the post tagging, and look at the bigger picture: Fake Steve, as a concept, is downright old-school. Think about it. In a culture captivated — obsessed, even — by the antics of high society, an anonymous satirist starts publishing over-the-top missives purporting to be from an insider in that privileged niche.

(Via Anil Dash.)

Jeffrey Zeldman: ‘What Apple Copied From Microsoft’ 


Maybe all Windows users won’t switch to Macs, but many Mac users will dump Entourage, Eudora, and the like once they sync an iPhone to their computers. What “free” wasn’t enough to achieve, “seamless” just might be. If I can change work habits, anyone can.

Andy Ihnatko: ‘The Truth About Fake Steve Jobs’ 

3000 words of classic Ihnatko genius, wrapped around this four-word admission:

I’m not Fake Steve.

Borked iPhones Boot Into Single-User Mode 

Full restore from iTunes fixes it, apparently.


Data center 365 Main issued a press release yesterday morning bragging about having provided two years of 100 percent uptime. In the afternoon, they lost power and all the sites they host went down.



Punchscan is an optical scan voting system invented by cryptographer David Chaum and is designed to offer integrity, privacy, and transparency. The system is voter-verifiable, provides an end-to-end audit mechanism, and issues a ballot receipt to each voter. The source code was released on November 2, 2006 under a revised BSD licence.

AT&T Reports Disappointing iPhone Numbers From First Two Days 

Laurie J. Flynn, reporting for The New York Times:

AT&T said it signed up 146,000 iPhone customers, well below analyst estimates, which ran as high as 500,000 units. Shares of Apple fell more than 6 percent, closing at $134.89, down $8.81 on the day. AT&T’s shares were off less than 1 percent, closing at $39.68, a decline of 35 cents.

Apple’s stock got decked by this news. It’s not clear to me what exactly AT&T reported here; the iPhone went on sale with just two days left in the quarter, but clearly it seemed like more than 146,000 iPhones were sold over the opening weekend. Maybe this is only the number of iPhones AT&T sold itself?

We should find out more when Apple reports its earnings Wednesday afternoon.

Simply Invoices 

Web app for easy invoicing based on the time you log in Basecamp. Is Back, but Their Stock Is Down 

Their site is now back up; no explanation, but it wasn’t caused by the San Francisco area power outages. Their stock is down seven percent on news that they’ve lost customers quarter-to-quarter for the first time since 1999. (Via Nat Irons.)

Craig Hockenberry: One Line of Code 

Done, thanks.

Webjimbo 1.0 

Adrian Ross:

Webjimbo is a web interface for Bare Bones Software’s Yojimbo. It lets you view and edit your Yojimbo data from any computer with an internet connection and a web browser.

Webjimbo does an amazing job mimicking the native look-and-feel of Yojimbo from within a web app. Unfortunately, that’s not great for using it from an iPhone — but Ross says an iPhone version is planned.

Netflix Outage has been “temporarily unavailable” for about 24 hours. There’s a notice that they “anticipate” the site will be back up at 1 pm Pacific, but a few hours ago it said 11 am. They’ve been pushing the anticipated return back a few hours all day long. Anyone know what’s wrong?

Update: Perhaps the power outage in San Francisco is to blame.

The Mac OS X Lexicon 

$15 e-book by Andy Baird and Sharon Zardetto; sort of a concise “everything you ought to know about the Mac” resource. Clever design, too: a clickable A-Z index runs alongside every page.

Derek Powazek: ‘How to Take Halfway Decent Photos With an iPhone’ 

Great tip:

After some experimentation, I’ve found that the shutter does not fire when your finger goes down on the shutter button - it fires when your finger comes off. So one successful technique is to put your finger down on the button, line up the shot, then release to shoot. It helps lessen the lagtime.

It’s highly counterintuitive because while software buttons almost always work like this (activating on release), camera shutters always activate on press.

NewsGator Mobile, Optimized for iPhone 

iPhone-optimized web-based feed reader from NewsGator. The killer feature is that it syncs with NetNewsWire — you get the same subscription list and it syncs the read/unread status of the items you read.

You Park Like an Asshole 

Necessary public service. Be sure to check the gallery.

iPhone Tells You Where Unknown Numbers Are Calling From 

I love this feature.

Artie MacStrawman Lives 

The Macalope:

Yes, nobody should receive death threats for anonymously stating they developed a worm but refusing to prove it publicly. A good pantsing, maybe, but not death threats.

Yahoo/iPhone ‘Push’ IMAP Doesn’t Use SSL? 

If I’m reading this right, using Yahoo’s “push” IMAP with an iPhone, your login credentials are put on the wire unencrypted. Update: Got it now: They’re not sent in the clear, but since it’s not sent over SSL, an attacker can capture (say, over Wi-Fi) your transactions with Yahoo and replay the authentication bits.

I can’t think of a good reason why email servers don’t mandate SSL nowadays; to have a service that doesn’t even support it is appalling.

Silent Evidence 

John August on Nicholas Taleb’s new book, The Black Swan.

Glass Houses 

Ed Burnette on his ZDNet weblog on Saturday, after Duke admitted their Wi-Fi problems were caused by their Cisco equipment:

What’s interesting about all this is how the mainstream press jumped all over the problem. Fox, CBS, ABC, the Associated Press, and others all ran stories on the incident.

Even more interesting: Burnette himself, three days earlier, ran a post titled “Apple iPhone KO’s Cisco Network at Duke”.


Dashboard widget for displaying Google Analytics web stats.

Poll: 70 Percent of Zune Owners Will Switch to iPod or iPhone 

Talk about switchers.

Security Firm Demos iPhone Exploit to New York Times 

John Schwartz, reporting for The New York Times:

Dr. Miller, a former employee of the National Security Agency who has a doctorate in computer science, demonstrated the hack to a reporter by using his iPhone’s Web browser to visit a Web site of his own design.

Once he was there, the site injected a bit of code into the iPhone that then took over the phone. The phone promptly followed instructions to transmit a set of files to the attacking computer that included recent text messages — including one that had been sent to the reporter’s cellphone moments before — as well as telephone contacts and e-mail addresses.

The researchers have set up their own web site with additional information.

Fuel for Thought 

James Surowiecki in The New Yorker, on why many Americans support higher fuel efficiency standards even though they don’t buy fuel efficient cars:

Back in the nineteen-seventies, an economist named Thomas Schelling, who later won the Nobel Prize, noticed something peculiar about the N.H.L. At the time, players were allowed, but not required, to wear helmets, and most players chose to go helmet-less, despite the risk of severe head trauma. But when they were asked in secret ballots most players also said that the league should require them to wear helmets.

Shiira 2.2 

Now compatible with the Safari 3 beta version of WebKit. (Via David Chartier.)

ISO 6400 With 1D Mark III 

James Duncan Davidson is using his new Canon 1D Mark III to shoot at up to ISO 6400 and is getting usable results. Amazing.

Twitter Undo 

Convenient script from Daniel Jalkut to delete your most recent Twitter post; because you can’t edit a tweet once it’s posted, you can use this to correct typos by deleting and re-posting.

Red Sweater Software: Usable Keychain Scripting 

Worth a re-link: Daniel Jalkut’s free Usable Keychain Scripting is 200 times faster than Apple’s bizarrely slow Keychain Scripting scripting addition. If you want to access keychain items from AppleScript, you want this.

Quinn 3.5 

Updated version of Simon Härtel’s excellent freeware Tetris clone; new stuff includes a new UI and universal binary support. I’ve said it before and will say it again: Quinn’s my favorite Tetris game for Mac OS X.

Harry Potter and the Phantom Delivery 


Here’s what I think happened. I think UPS’s network was overwhelmed by Amazon’s Potter-volume in some parts of the country and they had no way to deliver all those packages. […] So, UPS just marked all of those packages they had no intention of delivering as “oops, we missed you, you must have been out”.

iPhone-Optimized Google Search 

Google search results optimized for display on iPhone. (Via Scoble.)

Stephen Colbert Gets an iPhone 

“I’ve been using this non-stop. I’ve been making calls. I’ve been petting it. I’ve been turning it sideways — all the things you dream of doing with a phone.”

PeepCode: Ajax With Prototype.js 

90-minute screencast on the fundamentals of Ajax web development with the Prototype.js library. $9 for the whole screencast, free three-minute preview available.

Fox News Left Their Root Image Directory Open 

Reddit users poke through open image folder on Fox News web site.

The Problem With Duke’s iPhone Problem 

Ben Worthen of The Wall Street Journal:

And this is why information-technology departments always worry about employees’ bringing new technologies like the iPhone into the workplace. The conventional wisdom in IT shops is that anything that’s not standard-issue will cause unanticipated problems when it’s introduced into an existing network. The new technology may be perfectly innocent; but the network still goes down, and the IT guys have to fix it.

Translation: A lot of IT infrastructure is fragile rickety crap, and the people responsible for it aren’t smart enough to fix it so they make rules and place blame based on little more than superstition.


Michael Tsai:

I just issued a refund to a customer who bought SpamSieve under the assumption that it would run on his iPhone. This was not an unreasonable assumption.

The Real Thing 

Gedeon Maheux on Coke’s redesigning packaging for Coca-Cola Classic:

Gone are the superfluous swooshes, bubbles and halftone tints that have been creeping onto Coke’s cans these last few years. In their place is one of the strongest treatments of the company’s brand I’ve ever seen.

Agreed. It’s beautiful.

I Believe in Science 

Great slogan, nice shirts. (Via the Coudal Swap Meat.)

‘Anti-Landmark’ Screenprint 

Gorgeous seven-color screenprint by Dan MacAdams, available at the CP Swap Meat.

Worst Headline of the Week 

MSN Money’s headline for article about Duke’s “It was Cisco’s fault, not the iPhone’s” statement: “Duke: iPhone Didn’t Cause Power Outages”.

Google Lobbies for Consumer Choice in Cellular Networking 

Google lobbies to make cellular networking more like computer networking — in the same way that your ISP doesn’t force you into “contracts” tied to your PC, Google wants your cellular plan uncoupled from your mobile device. Verizon and AT&T are opposed, surprise surpise.

A Sneak Preview of PyObjC 2.0 

Ronald Oussoren:

The development of PyObjC has slowed down to a standstill, or so it would seem if you look at the website or subversion repository. That’s far from the truth however, I’ve been hard at work on a major new version of PyObjC and the effort is paying off.

Jackass of the Week: Duke’s Kevin Miller 

Kevin Miller, assistant director of communications infrastructure, Duke University, last week:

“I don’t believe it’s a Cisco problem in any way, shape or form.”

And, of course, it was exactly Cisco’s problem in every way, shape, and form.

This is what’s wrong with our news media — they report allegations rather than facts. Why were no reporters skeptical about this?

Duke CIO on iPhone Wi-Fi ‘Problem’: Nevermind! 

Tracy Futhey, Duke University’s chief information officer:

Cisco worked closely with Duke and Apple to identify the source of this problem, which was caused by a Cisco-based network issue. Cisco has provided a fix that has been applied to Duke’s network and there have been no recurrences of the problem since.

Let me guess whether we’ll see as much coverage of this news as the original report that iPhones were at fault: No.

iPhone May Not Be Cause of Duke Wireless Woes 

Jim Dalrymple reporting for Macworld:

Duke University is taking a softer stance on the cause of its wireless networking problems on Friday. Earlier in the week Duke administrators put the blame squarely on Apple’s iPhone, but a report due today from the university may exonerate the iPhone.

Surprise, surprise.

Apple Web Server Security Issues 

More existence proof that Apple gives credit to those who report security issues.

Touching Is Believing 

Back-page ad from Apple in the July 23 issue of The New Yorker.

Joel Spolsky on Weblog Comments 

Joel Spolsky:

When a blog allows comments right below the writer’s post, what you get is a bunch of interesting ideas, carefully constructed, followed by a long spew of noise, filth, and anonymous rubbish that nobody … nobody … would say out loud if they had to take ownership of their words.

Jason Santa Maria: ‘Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes’ 

Philadelphia just got a little less smart.

Twitter Blog: Friends, Followers, and Notifications 

Twitter simplifies even further.

Fraser Speirs: ‘A Subversion User Looks at Git’ 

Git’s suddenly getting a bit of attention from Mac developers — Michael Tsai wrote about it last week. Speirs has a good observation about one of the advantages to Git’s simpler file system layout:

There’s one .git directory at the root of the repository and absolutely nothing else. Anyone who has had to check RTFd files into Subversion and then edit those files with TextEdit will be cheering right about now. For those who haven’t, understand that RTFd files are actually bundles, and bundles are directories. Thus, Subversion adds a .svn directory inside your RTFd file. When TextEdit saves this file, the .svn directory is lost and the file appears disconnected from its history.

Keyboard Maestro 2.1 

Universal binary support for one of my favorite utilities.

Buzz Andersen: Three Weeks with the iPhone 

It’s amazing how consistent iPhone reviews have been, both regarding what’s great and where it falls short.

Duke University vs. iPhone 

I keep seeing wire service stories about iPhones supposedly being responsible for bringing down Duke University’s campus-wide Wi-Fi network, but I have yet to see a single technical explanation for how this might be possible. Why aren’t iPhones bringing down anyone else’s network, if they’re to blame?

Update: This NetworkWorld article has some additional details, but it’s still far short of a complete explanation. (Thanks to Dan Kurtz.)

Checkmate for Checkers 


Jonathan Schaeffer and his team at the University of Alberta, Canada, have been working on their program, called Chinook, since 1989, running calculations on as many as 200 computers simultaneously. Schaeffer has now announced that they have solved the game of American checkers, which is played on an 8 by 8 board and is also known as English draughts.

I’ve been working on a side project to do the same thing with tic-tac-toe. (Thanks to Jesper.)

Piper Jaffray Analysts: AT&T Sharing Revenue With Apple 

Speculation, but I suspect something like this is true.

Guardian Interview With ‘Helvetica’ Director Gary Hustwit 

Gary Hustwit, in an interview with Andrew Dickson:

“When I started this project, I couldn’t believe that a film like this didn’t exist already, because these people are gods and goddesses. What they do is more than just logos and corporate branding - they design the type that we read every day in newspapers and magazines, onscreen and on television. Fonts don’t just appear out of Microsoft Word: there are human beings and huge stories behind them.”

David Maynor Is Not LMH 

So someone posted a message to several computer security mailing lists, ostensibly from David Maynor, wherein he revealed himself as LMH, the pseudonymous hacker behind The Month of Apple Bugs, among other exploits.

This message was a spoof. Maynor, on his own weblog, disavows it, and correctly chastises anyone who took these messages at face value without verifying that it wasn’t a spoof. Anyone can send an email message “from” a fake name, claiming any crazy thing. That The Register ran with this without verification is appalling, even by The Register’s already low standards.

iPhones Nearly Everywhere, iPhone Stories Exceed Those of Harry Potter So Far 

Carl D. Howe:

Only 10 Apple stores out of 165 are out of stock of iPhones today. With five new Apple stores opening this weekend (presumably with iPhone stocks pre-planned), we may be looking at the best weekend for iPhone availability since the iPhone launch.

Worth a bookmark: Howe’s iPhone availability map.

3D Mailbox 

I can’t believe this isn’t a joke.

iPhone Tech Talks 

Free day-long sessions from Apple on developing web apps optimized for iPhone. Dates in San Francisco, LA, Chicago, and New York.

JiWire Wi-Fi Finder for iPhone 

iPhone-optimized version of JiWire’s directory of public Wi-Fi networks. (Thanks to Chris Pepper.)

iPhone Demand Remains Strong 

Carl Howe is tracking “iPhone Buzz” by counting the stories that appear in Google News; amazingly, it’s gone up since going on sale.

Bookmarklets for iPhone 

Worth it just for the Find in Page bookmarklet alone. (Thanks to Chris Long.)

Macworld: Securing Your iPhone’s Traffic 

Wonderfully detailed look at iPhone wireless network security by Glenn Fleishman. Comprehensive look at which traffic can be protected by SSL and how the VPN features work.

Update: Fleishman’s wrong about one thing: iPhone’s VPN support does work with key fob tokens — just enter your server info in the VPN settings and when you use the network, it’ll challenge you for the token credentials.

Blinking Bluetooth Headsets 

Matt Linderman: “An open letter to people who wear those Bluetooth headsets that blink.”

One Word 


Dooce: ‘Because They Needed Something Else in Common’ 

“And then we’re going to the Apple Store.”

Mike Davidson: A Low-Fi Solution to E-Mail Overload: 

I’ve been inching closer to this without making it an outright policy.

Let’s Make It ‘Understand the Dock Day’ Instead 


So let’s stop treating July 17 as if it’s some proof that iCal is inadequate and focus the attention where it should go—on the Dock, the program that you may not like but can’t live without, the launcher that Apple claims as superior but really knows is so defective that it will not allow third-party competition for it.

Rands on Why Twitter Matters 

Great analysis from Rands on why Twitter is such a great idea:

Twitter is an informational yard sale. You simply never know when that off-the-cuff comment you toss will alter a person’s day.

I Can’t Believe People Pay $95 for This Crap 

Gartner released a $95 report last week entitled “iPhone First-Generation Security Is Too Weak for Enterprises”. A DF reader forwarded a copy. It includes gems like:

Client virtual private network (VPN) choices are not mainstream, and e-mail choices are not business-quality options.

IMAP over SSL is not a “business-quality” option? Jiminy.

Gartner believes that critical malware aimed at the iPhone will appear within weeks of its release;

I will take that bet.

Microsoft Patents Adware Delivery Based on Your Hard Drive Contents 

John McBride:

The adware framework would leave almost no data untouched in its quest to sell you stuff. It would inspect “user document files, user e-mail files, user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, computer status messages (e.g., a low memory status or low printer ink),” and more. How could we have been so blind as to not see the marketing value in computer status messages?

Python Plugin for VoodooPad Updated 

Gus Mueller:

What this does is allow you to make short one-file plugins for VoodooPad written in Python.

New York Times: ‘Ad Downturn Threatening the Survival of Business 2.0’ 

I’d say boring, irrelevant content is what threatens their survival.

The Talk Show, Episode 3 

Still no real web site, but another episode of our podcast is in the can.

We’re up to 6,000 weekly listeners; if you’d like to sponsor the show, get in touch.

Update: Yes, I need to get closer to the microphone. Sorry about that.

How Top Bloggers Earn Money 

BusinessWeek looks at the economics of professional weblog publishing.

Never Use a Warning When You Mean Undo 

More from Aza Raskin, this time in the latest issue of A List Apart.

PodWorks 2.9 

It’s been a while since Buzz Andersen last updated PodWorks — check out the actually-spins scroll wheel in the app icon — but he’s back with an update to the premier utility for transfering songs from iPods.

Aza Raskin on the iPhone User Interface 

Smart analysis overall, but I strongly disagree with his idea about the volume buttons.

Apache Configuration Language Module for BBEdit, Version 1.0.7 

Minor update to my BBEdit language module for syntax coloring Apache configuration files (e.g., “.htaccess” and “httpd.conf” files); adds keywords for the new directives introduced in Apache 2.2.

(Guess who’s hacking on a new web site?)

iPhone Scrolling Tip 

Great tip for scrolling within web page text editing fields on an iPhone: use two fingers, sort of like two-finger trackpad scrolling on a Mac. (I should just write a script to auto-link whenever Hockenberry posts something.)

The Open Library 

Ambitious new project from Aaron Swartz and Brewster Kahle:

What if there was a library which held every book? Not every book on sale, or every important book, or even every book in English, but simply every book — our planet’s cultural legacy.

Storing iPhone Web Apps Locally With ‘data:’ URLs 

Crude but clever workaround for storing web pages for offline access on an iPhone. (Thanks to Melissa O’Neill.)

Multi-Touch on the Desktop 

Craig Hockenberry:

If you’re one of the people who think that a multi-touch monitor is a good idea, try this little experiment: touch the top and bottom of your display repeatedly for five minutes. Unless you’re able to beat the governor of California in an arm wrestling match, you’ll give up well before that time limit. Now can you imagine using an interface like this for an eight hour work day?

Knox 1.5 

Easy-to-use but extremely secure $30 encryption utility. Knox stores data using Mac OS X’s encrypted disk images, so your data is accessible even without Knox installed.

3G vs. EDGE Battery Life Analysis 

AnandTech uses a Samsung Blackjack to test whether 3G data networking draws significantly more power than EDGE. (Answer: Yes, especially for voice.)

Leaflets: Outstanding iPhone Portal and Web Apps 

Very well-designed portal site for iPhone by the crew at Blue Flavor; includes new iPhone-optimized web apps like an RSS aggregator and iPhone-optimized presentations of content from The New York Times, NewsVine, and more. Fast page load times even over EDGE, but certainly not a bare-bones design. I like the visual aesthetic very much: it looks iPhone-ish without specifically aping the look-and-feel of native iPhone apps.

Bookmarklet for iPhone to Open All Links in New Pages 

Run this bookmarklet against any web page in MobileSafari, and it changes all the links to open in a new page.

I Love It, It’s Perfect, Now It Changes 

New York Times story on feature creep in the design of everything from running shoes to cars to digital watches.

Joyent Connector and Slingshot Open-Sourced and Free 

David Young:

Today Joyent is releasing the source code for our Connector and Slingshot products under the GPL v2.

Introducing Hide-a-Pod 

Advanced anti-theft case for iPods, also compatible with iPhone.

W2: A Little Wiki 

New minimalist wiki by Steven Frank, optimized for use on iPhones. Advantages vs. iPhone Notes apps: accessible from other computers, uses Markdown, does not use Marker Felt.

Brett Arends, Jackass columnist claimed last week that the “true cost” of a new 8 GB iPhone is $17,670; now he’s upset that people think he’s a jackass.

King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters 

Documentary on the two best Donkey Kong players in the world. I love how the one guy keeps his hair 1982-style. (Via Michele Seiler.)

Survey: iPhone Owners Overwhelmingly Happy 

Edward C. Baig reporting for USA Today:

In one of the first such studies, 90% of 200 owners said they were “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their phone. […] The findings are “pretty much off the charts,” says Jason Kramer, Interpret’s chief strategy officer. […]

Interpret’s survey also bodes well for AT&T. Half the buyers switched from another carrier. Of those, 35% paid an average $167 to break a contract.

Makes you wonder how many people have already decided to buy an iPhone and are just waiting for their current contract to run out. (Via The Macalope.)

1-18-08 (a.k.a. Cloverfield, a.k.a. Slusho): A Quick Primer 

Best coverage I’ve seen regarding J.J. Abrams’s mysterious “1-18-08” trailer.

Airbag iPhone Wallpapers 

iPhone wallpaper images by Greg Storey.

More iPhone Dialling Codes 

Including how to check your account balance and available minutes.

Simple Spark Catalog iPhone 

Another iPhone web app listing site. 

Good list of iPhone-optimized web apps, but they take the whole “apps” thing so far. Linking to a web app is not “launching”. Worse, they don’t give credit to the actual developers of these sites, leaving the impression they’re all by or specific to Mojits.

Lovely iPhone and Newton Photos 

Great photos by Phillip Carrizzi of his new iPhone and old Newton MessagePad 2000 side-by-side. Chokes me up a bit.

Creating an Icon With Lineform 

Good screencast to show off some of Lineform’s features, but they should be shot for distorting the type with crude scaling.

Macworld: The Truth About iPhone Battery Lifespan 

Macworld’s Jason Snell talks to Apple marketing vice president Greg Joswiak about the iPhone’s expected battery life:

“After 400 complete cycles, the iPhone’s battery still has 80 percent of its charged capacity,” Joswiak said. “And by a complete charge cycle, I mean completely draining the battery, a full chemical cycle.” In other words, using a little battery and then putting your iPhone back in its dock doesn’t count as a charge cycle. If you use a quarter of your iPhone’s battery and then re-charge it, Joswiak said, that’s the equivalent of a quarter of a charge cycle.

“If you top it off, you’re not wasting a charge cycle,” Joswiak said.

iPhone Field Test Mode 

Dial a special number and the iPhone switches to a diagnostic app that shows information about your local cell towers and network.

Valleywag: ‘Whole Foods CEO Proud to Be an Internet Blowhard’ 

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has been posting on Yahoo Finance message boards about his company and himself under the username “Rahodeb”, including this classic: “I like Mackey’s haircut. I think he looks cute!”

Wesabe API 

Marc Hedlund:

As a result, we’re not just providing an API for our own site, but also for all the bank and credit card sites that Wesabe supports, as well. Since Wesabe supports banks and credit cards in over 30 countries around the world, we’re effectively providing developers everywhere a way to unlock data from their financial institutions and put that data to work.

Sensible Computerworld Article on the iPhone, Enterprise, and Standards 

Jon Espenschied:

Those who use their Windows Mobile phones to access Exchange over IMAP will have little trouble with the iPhone, while those who click through the ActiveSync setup wizard in Exchange will think it’s incompatible. No, they just chose incompatibility. The funny thing is that we’re still free to use Exchange, Outlook, Notes and the like, but the perceived interoperability problems are already solved if we just care to look for a standard protocol.

(Via John C. Welch.)

John C. Welch on the Exchange Team’s IMAP/EAS/iPhone ‘Analysis’ 

Their analysis conflates email server protocols with client-side application features (and with non-email-related features like calendaring).

Microsoft Exchange Team Blog on IMAP vs. Exchange ActiveSync 

More FUD on the insecurity of IMAP. When in doubt, use a table with a big feature checklist. (Thanks to Andrew Laurence.)

Apple Purchased CUPS in February 

Michael R. Sweet, yesterday:

In February of 2007, Apple Inc. acquired ownership the CUPS source code and hired me (Michael R Sweet), the creator of CUPS.

CUPS will still be released under the existing GPL2/LGPL2 licensing terms, and I will continue to develop and support CUPS at Apple.

(Via MacRumors.)

Posting Top Like Don’t Still I 

Thoughtful piece by Charles Miller on email quoting styles, including a very insightful conclusion regarding Gmail.

Physics Still Matters, Even With Special Effects 

Yegor Gilyov on why the three-dimensional Dock in Leopard is a bad idea.

Jury Still Out on iPhone Success, Says Verizon Executive 

CNN Money:

(Verizon Wireless’ General Counsel Steve) Zipperstein said that it was too early to tell whether the iPhone would ultimately be a success in the market.

“Despite the hype about the iPhone in the media over the last couple of weeks, the product has only been available for the last 10 days,” said Zipperstein. “The jury is still out and we will have to see how the market reacts.”

Translation: We really hope people stop buying them.

According to reports, nearly 1 million iPhones have been sold in its first 10 days. Apple has set a public target of selling 10 million devices by the end of the year.

No, Apple’s stated goal is to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008.

(Un)filtered, Michael Sippey’s New Weblog 

Love the design.

Another Way to Add Signature Support to My Non-Top-Posting Reply Script 

Morgan Aldridge shows how to use GUI Scripting to select a signature from Mail’s pop-up menu.

Apple Releases QuickTime 7.2 and iTunes 7.3.1 

QuickTime 7.2 finally includes full-screen movie playback in the free version of QuickTime player. That previous versions didn’t was arguably the biggest nickel-and-dime move in Apple history.

Introducing iUI 

Joe Hewitt:

It’s about time I write something here about iUI, the little JavaScript and CSS bundle I’ve been working on that makes developing iPhone web apps easy.

Helio: Compare AT&T iPhone to Helio Ocean 

Not a completely honest chart, but kudos to Helio for taking the iPhone rivalry head-on. Unlike BlackBerry, for example, Helio is pretty much competing for the same audience as the iPhone. One small thing that sticks out to me is that they call it the “AT&T iPhone”, and never once mention “Apple” or “iTunes”.

The Level of Moral Relatively [sic] and Vacuousness We Have Come To 

If you enjoy schadenfreude at the expense of hypocritical “abstinence-only” Republicans like I do, this one’s for you. (Via Josh Marshall’s splendidly redesigned Talking Points Memo.)

Typographica: Our Favorite Fonts of 2006 

23 of the best new fonts from 2006.

Google Maps: Mapplets 

Google Maps extensions for aggregating similar locations onto a single map view. E.g., there’s one for crop circles, which led me to this one, which I enjoyed for obvious reasons.

Marker Felt 

Merlin Mann:

Marker Felt is Comic Sans with a shave and a breath mint. Nothing more.


More info on the movie behind the “1-18-08” movie trailer I linked to yesterday:

So before the transformers movie there is a trailer for a unnamed JJ Abrams movie (right now it’s going under the name “Cloverfield”) The cool thing is, just like Lost, there are secret sites and trails around the internet with clues about the movie.


Craig Hockenberry on MobileSafari’s lack of support for CSS fixed positioning.

Will It Blend? 

An iPhone in a blender. This is what YouTube was made for. (Thanks to Joseph Lorenzo Hall.)


Now this is what I call a trailer.

iPhone Backup Decoder 

Open source Python script by Padraig Kennedy for decoding the iPhone backup files iTunes stores on your computer.


I love this. Poka-Yoke is a Japanese phrase that originated at Toyota to describe designs intended to be mistake-proof; e.g., an ignition key that can’t be removed unless the car is in Park. Via Mike McCracken, suggesting a logical reason why Apple Mail’s keyboard shortcut for Send (Shift-Command-D) is relatively out of the way.

Marc Hedlund’s iPhone Observations 

Interesting observations from Marc Hedlund, who’s owned “one Newton, two Blackberrys, three Palms, and three Treos”. He praises the iPhone’s network threading, but dings the keyboard:

The iPhone keyboard blows. Let’s not mince words, here: text input was better on a Newton. The keys are way too close together, full stop. The auto-suggestion works okay if you’re typing dictionary words (and not, say, street names, as in the Google Maps app) and if you’re in a context where typing space to accept is useful (in URLs, for instance, there is no space bar).

NewsLife 1.0 

Fresh out of beta: ThinkMac’s $16 feedreader.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: A Letter to Optimus Prime From His GEICO Auto Insurance Agent 

John Frank Weaver:

Your policy with GEICO only reimburses you for accidents that occur while you are engaged in the reasonable use of your truck and trailer. As I told you when you originally purchased the policy, GEICO does not offer Megatron coverage, Starscream coverage, Soundwave coverage, Decepticon coverage, or Energon-blast coverage. Those are just not the types of damages we would expect from reasonable use.

(Via Jason Santa Maria.)

James Duncan Davidson: ‘iPhone Backup Data’ 

The Notes data gets backed up to an SQLite datebase containing HTML. (Or perhaps that’s the native storage on the iPhone, and the database just gets copied over when you sync.)

Steven Johnson on iPhone’s Battery 

Steven Berlin Johnson, responding to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera’s claim that the iPhone’s unreplaceable battery is a consumer-hostile design decision:

How ludicrous and superficial — not to mention consumer unfriendly — to think that people might like a smartphone that’s significantly lighter and thinner than the competition!

Simpson Family Values 

Long feature on The Simpsons by John Ortved for Vanity Fair, including interviews with cast members, Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, Conan O’Brien, and Brad Bird. (Via Andy Baio.)

More iPhone Battery Jackassery: CNN and CNet 

From Kent German and Donald Bell’s iPhone review for CNet, republished by CNN:

Unfortunately, the Phone does not have a battery that a user can replace. That means you have to send the iPhone to Apple to replace the battery after it’s spent (Apple is estimating one battery will last for 400 charges — probably about two years’ worth of use).

Replicating iPhone Buttons the ‘-Webkit’ Way 

Matthew Krivanek shows how to make iPhone-style horizontally scalable push buttons using just one PNG for the image, thanks to WebKit-specific CSS instructions. (Via Brent Simmons.)

iPhone and the Death of the Mobile Web 

Nate Mook:

Pocket IE, a staple of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform is largely useless for loading anything but pages specially designed for mobile browsers. Opera Mini arguably does a better job, but requires Java and does not work on many popular phones such as the Samsung Blackjack. The Palm OS browser is a relic at this point.

This is what makes the iPhone’s debut especially important, because an answer has finally been found.

iTunes 7.3 UI Changes 

Rory Prior:

iTunes 7.3 has a number of subtle user interface enhancements that aid usability and in some cases improve the cosmetics.

Wil Shipley: ‘iPhone’S AJAX SDK: No, Thank You’ 

Wil Shipley:

Us programming in AJAX while Apple programs in real OS X is basically a case of Apple not eating its own dogfood, except that JavaScript isn’t dogfood, it’s dog shit.

Plus, regardless what you think of JavaScript as a language (and Shipley doesn’t think much of it), one enormous difference between Cocoa and AJAX development is that Cocoa has Interface Builder. NeXT programmers have been bragging — rightfully — about using a GUI tool to lay out GUIs for almost 20 years. With AJAX, you’re back to specifying your interface with code.

Shipley makes a great point about this being a tremendous opportunity for Apple, too:

If you look at it from another perspective, this is a “crisortunity” — it’s Apple’s chance to write a new, tighter Cocoa, that has a HUGE built-in market (eg, all iPhone users) to attract developers to it. And, then, eventually Apple could port this back to Macs, and in a few more years it could gently replace the old, kind of bloated Cocoa we have now, as Cocoa is doing with Carbon as we speak.

Jalkut on the iPhone ‘SDK’ 

Daniel Jalkut:

It’s a common theme among developers that we feel burned not by the lack of an SDK, but by the fact that Apple expects us to believe that this is one.

That is precisely the point I was trying to make with my “shit sandwich” remark.

iDVD and the Spinning Pizza of Death 

Just because an app looks like it’s wedged doesn’t mean it is. Halfway through a very lengthy video conversion, it looked like iDVD had gotten stuck with the beachball cursor. Tim Foster investigated — using some serious nerd-fu — and realized it wasn’t actually stuck, so he let it continue, and eventually it did finish. (Via John Siracusa.)

Why Daring Fireball Is Comment Free 

Transcribed by Shawn Blanc, quoting me during my talk with Cabel Sasser at Macworld Expo in January. By far and away, the most frequently asked question about Daring Fireball.

Getting Photos From Lightroom to the iPhone 

James Duncan Davidson:

But what’s the easiest way to get images from Lightroom to the iPhone? After a few hours playing with all the other features of the iPhone, I took a bit of time and set out to find out for myself.

Great suggestions.

Roughly Drafted: ‘The iPhone Threat to Adobe, Microsoft, Sun, Real, BREW, Symbian’ 

Daniel Eran Dilger:

In any case, the iPhone is Apple’s best shot at killing Flash, and Apple appears happy to be using it as such. The company just recently removed all remains of Flash from its corporate website, implementing everything that had been Flash-based using standards-based Ajax techniques instead.

My hunch is that beyond the technical considerations are political ones. For one thing, Apple and Adobe seem to be in a bit of a cold war. For another, is there any part of iPhone’s software that is based on source code Apple doesn’t completely control? Flash is in Adobe’s control, not Apple’s. I know Mossberg just wrote that Apple does plan to include Flash in a near-future iPhone software update, but with the release of Safari for Windows and complete control over the iPhone, I can’t help but wonder if Apple is working on a rich web app development environment of their own — something that takes advantage of technologies like Quartz and Core Animation, rather than ignoring them like Flash does — and the hook for which would be that it’s the only browser plugin environment that works on iPhone.

David Young on Flash and iPhone Safari 

David Young:

On the application side, many Flash applications (no naming names) written to run in Flash in a browser just don’t care about performance or resource utilization because most web applications have a process lifetime of a page view, or about 10 seconds. Finally, in a mobile context, consider the effect that Flash’s inefficient programming model will have on battery life. The last thing to remember is that the Flash runtime’s performance is about 4-20x worse on Mac OS X than it is on Windows — I bet Apple evaluated its options and decided it didn’t want to have its browser experience marred by Adobe’s lack of focus.

I’m not sure what Young’s source is for the “4-20x times worse” figure, but in my observations, it’s true.

Restarting Innovation 

Michael Tsai, regarding Paul Kafasis’s idea that it would be good for indie developers if Apple were to release more WebKit-style system-wide frameworks:

To build a really innovative application you may have to start from scratch, and then you’ll wish that the framework didn’t exist. If the framework provides 70% of what you need, you’re now spending 100% effort to get that extra 30% ahead of your competition. Because of the framework there are now lots of 70% applications that took a weekend to build, and some of which are free, so it’s harder to differentiate your product.

This Technique Certainly Makes Product Reviews Easier 

Tim Carroll of Palm Infocenter conducts a “ten-round” comparison between the iPhone and Palm Treo, scores it 6-5 in favor of the Treo. Then in the comments, he admits he not only doesn’t have an iPhone, he hasn’t even seen one in person.

Next up: reviews for films he hasn’t seen and books he hasn’t read.

Mossberg Says Flash Is Coming to iPhone 

Walt Mossberg:

At launch, the iPhone version of the Safari browser is missing some plug-ins needed for playing common types of Web videos. The most important of these is the plug-in for Adobe’s Flash technology. Apple says it plans to add that plug-in through an early software update, which I am guessing will occur within the next couple of months.

Apple hasn’t said this to anyone other than Mossberg, that I know of.

iPhone Contractions Shortcut 

Another outstanding iPhone typing shortcut:

Type “helll,” and the keyboard software will recommend “he’ll.” Type “welll,” and the keyboard software will recommend “we’ll.”

This is great, but too bad it doesn’t work for typing “itss” for “it’s”.

Update: Reader Morris Tsai points out that if you type “itsa”, the suggested correction is “it’s”. Excellent.

The Great Social Security Number Scandal of 2007 

Michael Tiemann throws a fit over the fact that your Social Security Number is a required field to activate an iPhone — despite the fact that Apple explicitly states they don’t store it with your iTunes account — but then admits:

Now, I’m sure that it’s possible to get a phone activated without giving up one’s SSN. I did it with my carrier several years ago by walking the issue up to a VP’s desk and posting a $1,000 bond for two years. So it can be done.

In other words, it’s a standard part of the credit-check process for any cell phone contract. So his problem is with the entire U.S. cell phone industry, not the iPhone. Good thing he didn’t publish this with a hysterical iPhone-specific title.

Ollie Kottke 

Wonderful news.

iPhone Native-Looking CSS Skin 

JavaScript and CSS by Joe Hewitt to allow web apps to mimic the native look-and-feel of iPhone apps.

Speculation as to Why iPhone Doesn’t Include Flash 

Brent Simmons:

I have a theory that I haven’t heard yet: Flash wasn’t included because it crashes so much.

Yes, plus it’s a gluttonous resource hog on Mac OS X.

Introducing Templatemaker 

Adrian Holovaty’s new Python library for creating automated templates for screen-scraping. Great idea. (Via Andy Baio.)

Mark Simonson’s Frutiger Talk 

Slides and transcript from Mark Simonson’s wonderful presentation on typographic demigod Adrian Frutiger.

Letting Go of the Trumpets: A Week With the iPhone 

From Mike Davidson’s excellent iPhone review:

I have to say, I am almost embarassed to take this thing out of my pocket. You take it out at a bar and people swarm around. You take it out at an airport and other travelers stop their Blackberrying to gawk. Guys. Girls. Pretty much everyone who has seen a commercial (which is everyone). This effect won’t last forever, thankfully, but it’s a testament to how Apple has once again — actually, no — for the first time ever — captured the mainstream world’s attention with a product introduction. The Macintosh never did that. Neither did the iPod. This is a first.

My wife’s 81-year-old grandmother saw her iPhone, and said, “Oh, you got one of those crazy phones!” Amazing.

Microsoft Plans $1 Billion Charge for Xbox Repairs 

Microsoft also announced that they shipped 11.6 million units as of the end of June. Do the math: $1 billion divided by 11.6 million equals about $85 per unit. Not just per broken unit, but for every Xbox 360 console that’s been sold to date. Yikes.

iPhone Remote 0.9.7 alpha 

Free, open source utility offers remote access to your Mac from an iPhone via a collection of web apps. Extraordinarily clever; includes screen sharing, script execution, iSight image capture, and some basic developer documentation for creating additional modules. Update: The name has been changed from Telekinesis to iPhone Remote.

Which Is More Expensive: A Free Treo 680 or an iPhone? 

It works out to about the same total cost over two years because the Treo unlimited data plans are $40/month and the iPhone’s are only $20.

iPhone’s Processor: Samsung S3C6400 @ 667 Mhz? 

Matches what I heard back in January at Macworld Expo.

The Anthropomorphic iPhone 

David Weiss:

Apple has posted their iPhone User’s Guide for all those of you who can’t get a hold of one, and all throughout are references to ‘iPhone’, not ‘the iPhone.’ […]

Why would Apple do this? No one talks this way.

I think it’s weird, too, but then I caught myself using it the other day.

OmniFocus and iPhone 

The latest pre-release alphas of OmniFocus contain a built-in web server providing a web interface — optimized for iPhone — to your OmniFocus data.

Apple Form Factor Evolution, 1976–2007 

Timeline presentation by Edwin Tofslie of all major hardware products released by Apple. Wonderful. (Via Core77.)

Paul Krugman: ‘Sacrifice Is for Suckers’ 

Paul Krugman:

Back when the investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity began, Mr. Bush insisted that if anyone in his administration had violated the law, “that person will be taken care of.” Now we know what he meant.

Grey’s Law 

“Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.”

(Via Merlin Mann.)

Better (or at Least Cheaper) Headphone Adapter for the iPhone 

Derek K. Miller figured out that the headphone adapter that shipped with the Sport Case for the original iPod Shuffle works great as an adapter for the recessed jack on the iPhone.

Verizon Wireless COO on iPhone: ‘iWhatever’ 

From a company-wide memo titled “iWhatever”, sent by Verizon Wireless COO Jack Plating:

In this area, too, we have an advantage — choice. We currently offer customers a choice of 18 multimedia devices — at various price points — that download music and surf the Web, wirelessly, at broadband speeds. Customers can choose from a wide range of device designs, colors and applications that best fit their needs.

Why stop at 18? Go for 30.

Outspring Mail — Vaporware Email Client for Mac OS X 

Jeff Baudin:

Tentatively titled Outspring Mail, this product is a complete departure from conventional email readers. In fact, it is so radically different that we are working on and expect to be awarded no less than five unique patents for some of the features in OSM.

It must be good if it has patents!

Letterman’s iPhone Nano Sneak Peek 

Also a breath mint.

‘It Could Work: A 3rd Party Email Client for OS X’ 

Michael McCracken on whether there’s a market for a third-party email client:

I do think there is a market for a pro email client for OS X, and I’ll use another core app category to explain - Text Editors. I think they are a better analogy than music or browsers. Shipping in every Mac, TextEdit is a solid basic free editor, but everyone needs something more. […] How is the market for programmer’s editors? XCode is free and very good, emacs, vim, etc. are also free and excellent. But there are people making money selling text editors.

Probably the best categorical comparison, but the difference is that Mail is far more ambitious than TextEdit. Update: Via Twitter, John Siracusa suggests PathFinder as an example of a commercial “pro” app carving out a niche against a bundled, ubiquitous free app.

Microsoft Extends Xbox 360 Warranties to Three Years to Cover Defective Hardware 

Costing them more than $1 billion, supposedly. 

Relaunched for the upcoming open source release of MT 4.

NY Times River 

Dave Winer’s mobile-optimized news source pulled together from The New York Times’s various RSS feeds. Bookmarked on my iPhone.

Paul Kafasis: ‘The Rise of the OS’ 

Responding to Brent Simmons’s musings on the email client market. In a comment, Kafasis writes:

I think a nice solution here, and perhaps in general, would be a MailKit framework, similar to WebKit. Mail could be built on top of it, and be free, and developers could build custom clients as well.

The Times Online: O2 Wins Rights to Sell iPhone in U.K. 

The Times:

O2 has beaten its rivals to win the exclusive UK rights to offer Apple’s iPhone. The tie-up, the mobile phone industry’s most sought-after deal in years, marks a major coup for the 18 million-customer group. The final contract is expected to be signed imminently.

The phone, which should be on sale in time for Christmas, is expected to prove a key weapon in enabling O2 to win and retain customers in one of Europe’s fiercest mobile markets.

By the way, notice how Apple waited until after the iPhone’s U.S. debut to finalize deals with European carriers. Apple bet big on the iPhone selling well, and now they’re cashing in.

Gems for iPhone 

Simple web game from Steven Frank, optimized for iPhone. Might be worth a bookmark.

Shooting With the iPhone 

Example photos taken with the iPhone camera.

Mac OS X Audio Update 2007-001 

Intel-only update for 10.4.10 with a fix for the “popping” problem with external speakers.


“Who is this guy, Morty Seinfeld?”

Fake Steve on the Music Industry 

Fake Steve:

Ironically the mistake the major labels made was the same one that IBM made when it gave the DOS franchise to Microsoft nearly 30 years ago. They were faced with a new market that they didn’t understand. They had a piece of work that they couldn’t do on their own or didn’t want to do on their own and they didn’t view it as critical or important, so they outsourced it to a partner. The partner turned that seemingly unimportant work into a way to accrue power and create a monopoly and control the industry.

Jesus Christ, is Fake Steve good. That’s like a Mickey Mantle home run analogy right there.

Danny Goodman: ‘Web Applications for iPhone’ 

Danny Goodman has written some of the best books I’ve ever read on scripting for the Mac and web. Unsurprisingly, he’s now writing about iPhone web app development, including some practical developer notes. His first iPhone web app is a tip calculator. Someone call Ryan Block.

Apple Stores Are Nearly Sold Out of iPhones 

The only two Apple Stores I see with iPhones in stock are the Shadyside store in Pittsburgh (great neighborhood — my wife lived there while attending Pitt) and the Bridgeport Village store in Tigard, Oregon.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to prices on eBay.

FlyGesture Now Free 

Gus Mueller:

FlyGesture is now free!

Brent Simmons: ‘No Suitable Email Apps for Mac OS X’ 

I see the problem as this: Of course Mac OS X needs to ship with a good, free, built-in email client. But Mail aspires to much more. Apple more or less intends for all Mac users to use Mail, everyone from simple users who get a handful of messages per week to developers who subscribe to dozens of high-traffic mailing lists and get dozens of personal messages each day. I don’t think it’s possible for a single email client to be great for all users; and in any case, Mail certainly fails. But the alternatives are all severely lacking and the presence of Mail — free, bundled, integrated — spooks developers from trying.

T-Mobile HotSpot @Home 

David Pogue on T-Mobile’s new HotSpot @Home service. For an extra $10 per month, you get to make unlimited calls over IP whenever there’s Wi-Fi available. Includes free use of T-Mobile for-pay hotspots in Starbucks.

Ugly Airline Math: Planes Late, Fliers Even Later 

New York Times story on the worsening problem of airline delays. The airlines only officially count how long individual planes are delayed, not how long fliers are delayed, which can be much longer because of missed connections.

This is why I fly Southwest whenever I can.

More on Scott Moritz’s Phony iPhone Sales Projection 

Remember Scott Moritz’s jackass-winning bullshit on about a “whisper number” projecting a million iPhone sales over the first weekend? Anthony Piraino dug around looking for someone — anyone — who called for one million iPhone sales over the opening weekend. Ends up even Moritz himself thought the best they could do was 400,000.

iPhone TTY 

Joe Clark on using an iPhone with a teletype machine. At least for now, I don’t think iPhone is a good phone for the hearing impaired.

Errata Security: Our First iPhone Bugs 

Robert Graham (David Maynor’s partner at Errata Security):

The thing that interests us most, though, is that we think the iPhone is inherently more secure than competing smartphones (such as those based on Windows Mobile or Symbian). While Apple is slightly behind Windows on the desktop/server (that Samba bug still appears to be unfixed), it’s still light years ahead of the mobile vendors. The mobile market is completely screwed up right now: while carriers know about the widespread vulnerabilities in their phones, the carriers are unwilling to patch them.

In short, Apple’s biggest security advantage with iPhone is that they’re going to push software updates out to all users via iTunes.

No Bonjour on the iPhone 

James Duncan Davidson:

But what is surprising is that you can’t use the .local domain to browse websites in Safari on the iPhone. Instead, if you want to surf a website running off a server on your local network, you have to enter in the IP address.

When I encountered this, I found it shocking. It’s been years since I needed to note my Mac’s local IP address.

Pogue’s Awesome iPhone Period-Typing Shortcut 

Best iPhone tip ever? At the very least, best so far. (Via Larry Angell.)

ADC: Web Development for iPhone 

Finally outside the WWDC NDA bubble.

The iPhone Dev Wiki 

The latest news on hacking the iPhone. (Via Andy Baio.)

Episode 2 of The Talk Show 

Me and Dan Benjamin, talking about our initial iPhone impressions. This entire endeavor breaks all of my perfectionist instincts — e.g. the super-simple unbranded web site — but I’m enjoying it.

Helpful ‘Tip’ for Ryan Block 

From page 3 of Engadget’s massive iPhone review, regarding the Calculator:

Missing from the iPhone, though, are dedicated tip and scientific / graphing calculators, or, perhaps more usefully, a tip calculator.

If you know enough math to even know what a scientific calculator is, why would you need a “dedicated tip calculator” mode? Take the total and multiply by 1.2 for a 20 percent tip.

Delicious Monster Shirts 

Every time I see Delicious Monster employees out in public, like at WWDC, or in this picture from the iPhone launch day when they waited in line together, they’re always wearing Delicious Monster t-shirts. Except for Shipley, who’s always wearing one of his patented tailored jobbies.

Bloomberg: 700,000 iPhones Sold So Far; More than Razr Sold in Entire First Month 

Connie Guglielmo, reporting for Bloomberg:

The iPhone broke AT&T’s opening-weekend records, selling more in three days than phones such as Motorola Inc.’s Razr did in their first month, according to [AT&T] spokesman Michael Coe. Siegel declined to give specific sales figures for any of the devices.

FCC Documents Reveal iPhone Innards 

High quality cutaway photos of the iPhone innards from Apple’s FCC filings. (Thanks to Chris Pepper .)

Jackass of the Week: Scott Moritz 

Scott Moritz, for

The sales goal — or so-called whisper number — both internally at Apple and on Wall Street was a nice round 1 million phones.

Who said this before the iPhone went on sale?

Missing this hugely ambitious target is hardly a failure, but competitors in the wireless sector are certainly breathing a little easier.

“There’s a lot of rejoicing at Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile,” says IAG Research’s Roger Entner. “By not selling out, it is still a solid success, but it also proved that not everyone in the country is willing to drop $600 on a new phone.”

Sure, that’s right — some people thought maybe everyone in the country was going to buy one on opening weekend. This iPhone thing couldn’t be going any better for Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon.

(Via Gedeon Maheux.)

Using iPhone Without AT&T Service 

Alex King:

I canceled the AT&T service for my iPhone as planned and the iPhone seems to work just fine as a wifi-only device. Excellent! […]

Per AT&T’s terms of service: If you cancel your AT&T service within 30 days you do not have to pay an early termination fee; and if you cancel within 3 days you get a refund of your activation fee.

I have a feeling you’ll be able to buy an iPod that works like this later this year.

Nice Touch on the iPhone Box 

The Home button on the box is indented, just like the real button on the iPhone.

Belkin Headphone Adapter for iPhone 

Looks ugly. The one from Griffin looks good, but isn’t available yet. (Me, I’m happy with the standard iPhone earbuds — and I love the combination mic/button.)

Old Meets New 

Michael Tsai:

The iPhone User’s Guide contains lots of interesting information about the iPhone. But the most interesting thing, to me, is that the document was created on a Mac using Adobe FrameMaker 6. This version of FrameMaker was released in 2000 and ran under Mac OS 8 and 9.

Tog on the iPhone 

Bruce Tognazzini:

The iPhone really is a study in “delight.” It really is wonderful that, in an industry rife with companies striving for mediocrity, one company is still doing things right. Those of us who flocked to Apple in the beginning did so not to build computers, but to change the world. Apple is once again doing just that.

(I disagree with Tog’s suggestion that there should be one universal “inbox” that shows all incoming messages together: email, SMS, and voicemail. I think that view is the Home screen, which lists the unread counts for all three.)

A Sort of Homecoming 

John Siracusa on joining Macworld’s rotation for the new back-page Spotlight column:

Before the web, MacUser, Macworld, and MacWeek were the entire Mac universe to me. I’m not sure Mac fans born in the Internet age can ever understand what that was really like, so thoroughly has the vast and varied Mac web supplanted (and in many ways, surpassed) those print publications. But there was something magical about that time, before Windows 95, before the dark times… before the Empire. By writing for Macworld, the last of the big three still in print, I feel like I’ve completed some kind of cosmic circle. I’m thankful for the opportunity, and I hope to do it again.

Dead Man Walking? 

Warm wishes and good thoughts to Derek K. Miller.

From his next-day follow-up:

These bodies of ours are fragile things, and amazing things. Here’s to keeping my jalopy running for awhile yet.

Yes, here’s to that.

Soft on Crime 

The Times editorial board nails it:

Presidents have the power to grant clemency and pardons. But in this case, Mr. Bush did not sound like a leader making tough decisions about justice. He sounded like a man worried about what a former loyalist might say when actually staring into a prison cell.

Brier Dudley, Another Poor Baby Who Didn’t Get a Free iPhone 

Brier Dudley:

Apple’s smug attitude will keep a lot of people from even considering this device. Individuals I’ve dealt with at the company seem very nice, but the institution exudes a better-than-you attitude that I find repelling.

What the fuck is he talking about?

I’m not bitter that Apple gave iPhones to Walt Mossberg and David Pogue first, but I am amazed that Apple gets a pass for its attitude and controlling behavior.

Oh, I see what he’s talking about. They didn’t send a test unit to The Seattle Times.

Bush Commutes Libby’s Prison Sentence 

The New York Times:

President Bush said today that he had used his power of clemency to commute the 30-month sentence for I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, who was convicted of perjury in March and was due to begin serving his time within weeks.

Appalling, but not the least bit surprising. It’s not like Bush has to worry about a low approval rating.

James Duncan Davidson: My iPhone Lists 

Another great list of kudos and wishes. Between Duncan and Steven Frank, many of the things I’ve noticed since publishing my initial review are covered.

Beyond Sweet 

Very thoughtful essay by Craig Hockenberry on what the iPhone does for the state-of-the-art in UI design.

Ta-da List for iPhone 

Very nice iPhone-optimized version of 37signals’s simple list-making app. The iPhone version is just an optimized front-end — it shares the same lists as the regular web version. (My only quibble is the use of black as a background color; black is so perfectly black on the iPhone display that it looks like the screen has shrunk.)

iPhone Screen vs. Microtech Knife 

Seriously scratch resistant.

The Official stevenf iPhone Review 

From a man who knows his handheld gadgets.


Flickr photoset of a 7-11 dressed up as a Kwik-E-Mart as a promotion for The Simpsons movie. I love that they stocked the shelves with Simpsonsverse products.

Edward Tufte: Megan Jaegerman’s Brilliant News Graphics 

Edward Tufte on news designer Megan Jaegerman:

Her work is elegant, smart, finely detailed, inventive, and informative. A fierce researcher and reporter, she writes gracefully and precisely. Her best work is the best work in news graphics.

With terrific examples from her work for The New York Times. (Via Kottke.)

iPhone Opening Weekend Sales 


Shoppers may have bought as many as 700,000 units over the weekend, Goldman Sachs Inc. analyst David Bailey said, twice his projection of 350,000. Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster pegged sales at about 500,000, more than twice his original 200,000 estimate.

Rival Manufacturers Chasing the iPhone 

New York Times story on the Korean and Japanese electronics companies’ reactions to the iPhone:

Cellphones in these technology-saturated countries can already play digital songs and video games and receive satellite television. But now that analysts and industry executives are getting their first good look at the iPhone, many here are concerned that Asian manufacturers may have underestimated the Apple threat.

I.e. these companies compared their offerings to the iPhone based on a checklist — email, web, music, video; check, check, check, check — but they’re totally screwed on the actual experience.

iPhone Not Quite the Cash Cow eBay Sellers Were Hoping 

Corey Spring analyzed 933 eBay auctions for iPhones and found that over 50 percent of them came and went without a single bidder.

Kottke on New iPhone Features 

I’ve been thinking about this all weekend. Yes, I want cut/copy/paste and selectable text. But it’s easy to see why iPhone doesn’t have these features: it’s not at all obvious how they could be added without adding physical buttons or on-screen clutter.

Some pretty good ideas in the comments.

iPhone Components 

Samsung CPU and flash memory, Wi-Fi chipset from Marvell.

Paul Kafasis’s iPhone Timeline 

Paul Kafasis, 14 hours into “waiting for activation”:

12:54 AM: Consider calling 9-1-1 with the iPhone’s Emergency Mode, just to get it doing something. Reject idea out of hand as a criminal waste of resources.

1:01 AM: Recall Charlie Brown. Feel that I too got a rock. Both sit there doing nothing, but only one costs $600.

Potentially helpful for anyone one else stuck waiting for activation: He fixed it in an hour the next day by calling AT&T customer service.

Waiting in Style 

Smart guy: Dan Budiac spent Friday waiting in line at the 5th Avenue Apple Store with his dog and a great book.

Steven Johnson: How to Make the iPhone More of a Phone 

Steven Berlin Johnson, on the fact that it takes about 6 taps to go from a turned-off iPhone to placing a call to a favorite:

On my old Nokia, I could generally get to my wife’s number (assuming it was recently dialed) in 3-4 steps, even if I’d left the phone running the Gmail app. My gut is that 6 steps is asking a bit too much for calls you make ten or twenty times a day to your core group.

So here’s my solution: double clicking the home button automatically takes you to the phone favorites screen.

Maybe if you wake your phone with a double-tap of Home, it should take you to the Home screen after sliding to unlock, instead of taking you back to what you were doing when it went to sleep.

Mocked London Olympic Logo ‘Evolves’ 

But it still “sucks”.

New Definition of ‘Only’ 


The iPhone is designed to work with only one music store, iTunes (though MP3s unprotected by digital rights management, as sold by stores like eMusic, can be played, just like on other phones).

So it only works with one music store, except for a bunch of other stores that don’t count because they don’t use DRM. WTF?

This is how mainstream business journalists say that Apple refuses to support Microsoft’s proprietary DRM.


Mark Pilgrim:

You gotta admit, that’s at least a little bit funny.

It does seem funny. Except when I want to paste a URL from one Safari page into a Twitter text field in another Safari page.

Palm Reports Profit Drop, Expects iPhone Effect 

Palm CEO Ed Colligan, in a conference call to analysts forecasting a small quarterly loss, on the effect the iPhone might have on Palm:

“They will have 30 days to return (iPhone) so we hope we’ll benefit from that, if that happens.”

Great plan. And maybe next week Colligan will find a billion-dollar bill on the sidewalk.

(Via Mike Rohde.)

RIM’s Shares Hit Three-Year High 

Seems like an odd thing for their stock to jump so high the same day the iPhone was released, but the BlackBerry-maker reported surprisingly strong quarterly results. There are a lot of happy BlackBerry users.