Linked List: June 2007

Scott Beale: ‘Sorry, No iPhones Today’ 

WallyWorld is closed.

AT&T Says Almost Sold Out of iPhones 

Selling like hotcakes.

Dissecting an iPhone Crash Log 

Fraser Speirs:

There’s an image called liblockdown.dylib, whose name seems very interesting.

Yes, it does.

Viddler iPhone Giveaway 

Video sharing site running a contest with two 8 GB iPhones as prizes. These guys were with me in line yesterday.

Additional iPhone Notes 

If you read my iPhone First Impressions post earlier in the morning, I’ve updated it with a few additional observations, including my irritation with the top-posting/quote-the-entire-message Mail app, and the way the UI prioritizes scrolling performance even when it can’t render the drag in real time.

Kottke: Quick iPhone Review 

Kottke has the low-down on the iPhone’s RSS reader:

To read RSS, just put a feed address into Safari and Apple redirects it through their iPhone feed reader. But it’s very much of an a la carte thing, one feed at a time. What’s needed is a proper newsreader with its own icon on home screen. Workarounds for now: Google Reader looks nice or you could make a collective feed that combines all the feeds you want to read on your iPhone and use that with the iPhone feed reader.

I need NetNewsWire for this thing so bad it hurts.

PCWorld iPhone Scratch and Drop Test 

Guy really beats the hell out an iPhone — tries to scratch it with keys, drops it on the sidewalk, everything. Takes a licking, keeps on ticking. The screen’s scratch resistance seems unreal.

Someone needs to forward this to Rob Enderle.

Braun ET44 Electronic Calculator 

Designed by Dieter Rams and Lubs Dietrich for Braun in 1977. Beautiful inspiration for the iPhone calculator. (Thanks to Auteuil in the comments.)

Matt Haughey Got a Broken iPhone 

Heartbreaking. Seriously.

iTunes 7.3 Source List Selection 

Changed back to something more like a standard gradient selection. I like it. (Feel free to put quotes around “standard”.)


Me, in August 2002, in the fifth post to Daring Fireball:

The article seems to insinuate that Apple could make Sherlock run on a cell phone; that’s impossible, unless the cell phone were actually running Mac OS X, which definitely is impossible.

Of course, it was impossible in 2002. (Thanks to Daniel Jalkut.)

iPhone User Guide 

Not included with the iPhone itself — the only docs that come with iPhone are a quick start guide. (That’s not really a complaint — the quick start guide is good.)

Activation Delays for Some 

Activation for our two phones — mine and my wife’s — was pretty quick and painless. We already had an AT&T family plan for our old phones; we upgraded with two $20/month data plans and that was it. Some people, however, are still waiting for activation five hours later.

iPhone Call Audio Quality 


Wirelessinfo knows what they’re talking about when it comes to cellphone calls. They’re the Mythbusters of cellphones, pulling out all sorts of scientific equipment to determine whether call quality is good—not just doing a “oh, this sounds good” test. Their results for the iPhone? Best they’ve seen.

iPhone Availability at 2-4 Weeks 

2-4 weeks availability for both iPhone models. Word on the street is that AT&T stores were not the place to go today — they were doing in-store activation and credit checks or something. I was about 45th in line at the King of Prussia Apple Store and was out of the store, iPhones in hand, by 6:20pm.

Apple’s retail store availability checker shows that they’re still available at all Pennsylvania and New York stores.

iPhone Disassembly 

This is just sick, but I’m glad someone is doing it.

Of Course I’m in Line 

I’d say about 150 people here so far. Word is there are only five people in line at the AT&T store at the other end of the mall. Update.

Totally Uncorked 

Joel Stein profiles’s Gary Vaynerchuk for Time magazine. (Speaking of Time, anyone else find it conspicuous that they didn’t get an iPhone review unit?)

The Lightswitch That Might Explain a Lot About Java 

It’s hard to believe this isn’t a joke.

iTunes 7.3 

Released with hours to spare.

Finger Tips 

iPhone how-to movies from Apple.

That’s My Mayor 

Philly Mayor John Street is third in line at a Center City AT&T store. (I saw him with a BlackBerry a few years ago.)

Gizmodo: AT&T EDGE Speeds on Steroids? 

I ignored these reports when they started appearing last night, because it just seems too good to be true. But according to numerous accounts in major metro areas (including Philly), data speeds on AT&T’s EDGE network have gone from around 40 kbs to 200 kbs in the last day or so.

Levy Mugged for iPhone, Live on TV 


Update: Ends up it was just some jackass trying to steal the reporter’s microphone.

Ping Pong 

Makes waiting in line look fun. (Via Gedeon Maheux.)

Jeff Atwood: ‘Why You Don’t Want an iPhone — Yet’ 

Emphasis on just how slow EDGE networking is. Based on the handful of reviews this week, this is clearly the iPhone’s weak spot. Atwood’s also got a good point about the fact that free public Wi-Fi spots are often hard to find.

But I believe Jobs’s explanation that it’s a reasonable trade-off for battery life. I’m buying an iPhone today (I hope), but I have no illusions that I might not be buying a new one a year from now.

AppleScripting Google Desktop 

Yet another way Google Desktop is better than Spotlight.

MacJournals on the Supposed ‘Apple Cult’ 

Free back issue of MWJ obliterating the notion that Apple’s customers exhibit “cult-like” behavior.

Maybe That Transparency Is Not Such a Good Idea 

First good zinger on Craig Hockenberry’s new weblog. I recommend subscribing.

The Talk Show: New Weekly Podcast With Me and Dan Benjamin 

So my friend Dan Benjamin and I have started a podcast, The Talk Show. 30 minutes (or so), once a week (or so). Take a guess what this week’s debut episode is about.

Jacqui Cheng Summarizes Jobs’s All-Hands Address 

Jacqui Cheng:

Someone from the audience asked whether Apple was concerned about cannibalization of business from the iPod with the introduction of the iPhone, and Steve answered that if there’s going to be cannibalization of Apple, they want it to be by Apple. He also answered a question about “why EDGE?”, saying that EDGE is more pervasive than 3G networks and that 3G chips are also power hogs.

I’ll Show You a Greasy Finger 

No one cracks me up like an angry John C. Welch.

Jobs Calls All-Hands Meeting for 11am Today 

Not exactly “rare” — these take place once or twice a year, when there are big product announcements.

Update 1: First time ever, the all-hands meeting is jammed full. Hundreds of Apple employees have been turned away and are wandering aimlessly around campus.

Update 2: Jobs’s announcement: Every full-time employee (and part-timers who’ve been there for at least a year) will get a free 8 GB iPhone by the end of July.

DayTime: ‘Searching for the HIG’s Boson’ 

Thoughtful essay by Sanjay Samani on the state of the HIG and consistency in Mac UI design.

Ditherati Returns 

On hiatus for years, Owen Thomas’s Ditherati returns.

Apple Changes Screenshot for .Mac iPhone Feed Reader 

Trust me, it’s a feed reader. Also, readers keep emailing me asking why the iPhone would need a web-based feed reader if it has Safari. Easy: iPhone Safari doesn’t have built-in feed reading. iPhone apps are totally and utterly different than Mac apps.

Securing Communications with SSL/TLS: A High-Level Overview 

Ever want to know the basics of how SSL works to secure a network connection? Check out Chris Pepper’s overview in TidBITS.

Is the Search for Aliens Such a Good Idea? 

Astronomer David Whitehouse asks why we’re trying to make contact with alien civilizations, given that the only ones that might possibly respond within our lifetimes would be, by definition, so technically advanced that they could conquer or destroy us.

I say don’t worry, Will Smith or Bruce Willis will figure something out.

Apple: iPhone Premieres This Friday Night 


All 164 Apple retail stores in the US will stay open until midnight, and customers can purchase up to two iPhones on a first come, first served basis. Beginning Saturday morning, iPhone customers can learn how to get the most out of the iPhone with free, in-depth workshops offered throughout the day at all Apple retail stores.

Pogue’s iPhone FAQ 

The keyboard does work when the screen is in wide orientation, but only in Safari. According to Pogue, Apple’s reason for not going with faster 3G data networking is the current 3G chipsets burn through batteries. (Given the iPhone’s long battery life compared to rival devices, this sounds plausible.) No stored passwords in Safari; I hadn’t thought of that. 

Holy shit: iPhone-only web-based RSS aggregator from Apple. No more making fun of Apple for not eating their own “web apps as iPhone SDK” dogfood. I tried loading it with Safari 3 set to spoof the iPhone Safari user agent string, but all I got was a blank window.

Given that it’s hanging off, I wonder if this means Apple will be encouraging Windows-based iPhone users to sign up for .Mac? That sounds crazy.

(Via Neven Mrgan, who, by the way, has written his own web-based app for iPhone.)

Fake Steve on Heilemann’s New York Magazine Piece 

Fake Steve:

Executive summary for those of you too lazy to read the entire awful eight pages: Everyone in the phone business is scared about the iPhone, and they’re hoping it will be a flop, but nobody (including John Heilemann) can say yet whether it will sink or swim; Steve Jobs is a dick and everyone hates him and if the iPhone fails his career is over.

Porticus 1.0b2 

Free Mac app for managing the MacPorts package manager (for installing Unix-level software for Mac OS X). (Thanks to Jesper.)

Valleywag: The iPhone Scorecard 

Nick Denton:

The first four hands-on reviews of Apple’s new wonderphone came out yesterday. The critical consensus? Buy the amazing device, if you can afford it.

Nintendo Pounds Sony and Microsoft in Sales 

Wii unit sales are higher than PS3 and Xbox 360 combined — and they still can’t make them fast enough to satisfy demand. Nintendo’s market cap has surpassed Sony’s. Love it.

Apple: iPhone Questions and Answers 

iPhone supports VPNs:

What kind of security features does iPhone offer?

You can protect your iPhone with a four-digit password, which is then required whenever iPhone is turned on or wakes from sleep. For secure Internet access, iPhone supports industry-standard Wi-Fi security and virtual private networking (VPN).

Poor Baby 

Tom Yager is pouty because Apple hasn’t sent the mighty InfoWorld an iPhone review unit yet.

Bloggers will buy iPhone for a shot at scooping us big guys on reviews, and of course, once they’ve spent their money and signed their 2-year contract commitment to AT&T, anything less than a glowing review is out of the question.

Sure, that’s right — bloggers are never critical.

Lightroom 1.1 

James Duncan Davidson on the just-released Lightroom 1.1 update. I just upgraded and the process was super simple. Attention, everyone else at Adobe: Please copy from the Lightroom team.

Laura Ries, iPhone Doubter 

Laura Ries, self-proclaimed “marketing guru” and branding consultant:

If the iPod is the biggest success of the 21st century then iPhone is likely to be the biggest flop of the 21st century.

Her explanation is more crap about how the iPhone is “convergent” and the mass market only goes for “divergent” gadgets. I can’t believe anyone pays for consulting advice like this.

Apple: iPhone Keyboard Demo 

Clever detail I hadn’t seen before: You can place the insertion point using a loupe-like magnifying UI.

Managing Humans 

Very clever web site from Michael Lopp, promoting his excellent new book, Managing Humans.


I’m getting dozens of emails about this sentence from Walt Mossberg’s aforelinked iPhone review:

It can also handle corporate email using Microsoft’s Exchange system, if your IT department cooperates by enabling a setting on the server.

I’m 99 percent sure he means IMAP, not something proprietary to Exchange.

Steven Levy on the iPhone 

Newsweek’s Steven Levy:

Of the 8 gigs on my iPhone, I now have 669 songs, one three-hour movie, three half-hour television episodes, 361 photos, and a bit of “other,” meaning e-mail and contacts.  It’s almost full.

Given that the plans start at $60/month, I can’t see many people picking the 4 GB model just to save $100. Levy has the same gripes as Pogue and Mossberg: EDGE is slow and it takes days to get used to the keyboard. Everyone seems to love iPhone Safari, though.

Levy also scored a few remarks from Steve Jobs:

During our iPhone conversation, however, Jobs professed that he wasn’t concerned about inflated hopes, and certainly not whether he would meet his own projections of 10 million sold in 2008:  “I think we’re going to blow away the expectations.”

Walt Mossberg’s iPhone Review 

Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret:

The iPhone’s most controversial feature, the omission of a physical keyboard in favor of a virtual keyboard on the screen, turned out in our tests to be a nonissue, despite our deep initial skepticism. After five days of use, Walt — who did most of the testing for this review — was able to type on it as quickly and accurately as he could on the Palm Treo he has used for years.

Regarding the battery:

And, for Web browsing and other Internet functions, including sending and receiving emails, viewing Google maps and YouTube videos, we got over nine hours, well above Apple’s claim of up to six hours.

Their biggest complaint is that it’s stuck on AT&T.

Pogue’s Example Photos From iPhone Camera 

Good for a camera phone, but the lens is way too slow for use in low light or with moving subjects.

Pogue: ‘The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype’ 

David Pogue publishes the first review:

But the bigger achievement is the software. It’s fast, beautiful, menu-free, and dead simple to operate. You can’t get lost, because the solitary physical button below the screen always opens the Home page, arrayed with icons for the iPhone’s 16 functions.

Battery-life-wise, Pogue got 5 hours of video playback, 23 hours of audio — with Wi-Fi turned on. Apple’s battery life claims are for real.

No surprises in the drawbacks: EDGE is slow and typing on the touchscreen is slow.

iPhone to Support Exchange ActiveSync? 

Mary Jo Foley claims a scoop:

Here’s what I’m hearing: Apple will announce this week — possibly as soon as June 27 — that it has licensed the Exchange ActiveSync licensing protocol. Via the licensing arrangement, Apple iPhone users will be able to connect to Exchange Server and make use of its wireless messaging and synchronization capabilities.

That means push email from Exchange to iPhone. I’ll believe it when I see the announcement, but my gut feeling is that she’s right. I can’t wait to see what excuses the “no iPhones on my network” IT guys come up with after this.

Glenn Fleishman Warns Against Buying iPhone in New York Post 

When did Glenn Fleishman’s column start running in The New York Post? Update: Fleishman has the backstory on his weblog.

You can bet that iPhone 2.0, probably available within the next year, will be faster and have more storage — probably for the same price.

This is, of course, true: the original iPhone will probably be the worst iPhone Apple ever makes. However, there is no end to this logic. By the time iPhone 2.0 is available, you can wait another year for iPhone 3.0.

To me, the most tempting reason to wait isn’t the next-gen iPhone, but to see if the next-gen iPod is like an iPhone without the phone (and, thus, contract).

Regarding Dropped iPods 

Remember Edward Snyder’s claim in The New York Times that dropping an iPod (and thus, he thinks, an iPhone) from hip height would break it? (Thanks to Tenolian Bell for reminding me about this.)

iPhone Family Plans 

The specifics aren’t mentioned in the press release, but the iPhone family plans are listed on Apple’s iPhone rates page. Shared minutes:

  • $80: 700 minutes
  • $100: 1400 minutes
  • $120: 2100 minutes
  • $160: 3000 minutes
  • $210: 4000 minutes
  • $310: 6000 minutes

Update: The footnote under the family rates says “Includes one line. Additional iPhone lines are $29.99 each.” Assuming that means you need to add $30/iPhone/month, a family plan for two iPhone is barely cheaper than two individual plans, and includes fewer total minutes and SMS messages.

(Slightly odd: the individual plans are priced like $59.99, but the family plans are evened out like $80.00.)

Why There’s an iPhone Craze 

Michael Mulvey:

The iPhone is the floating car we imagined we’d be driving in the future.

iPhone Activation and Sync Video 

Activation goes entirely through the iTunes Store, as expected. This means you can just dash out of the store with a sealed box on Friday without waiting for a store employee to activate the phone and walk you through the contract — and, of course, that Apple will be able to sell them online.

iPhone Service Plans Announced 

Three plans, differentiated only by voice minutes. All come with unlimited data:

  • $60: 450 minutes, 5000 night and weekend minutes
  • $80: 900 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends
  • $100: 1350 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends

Only 200 SMS message, but you can upgrade to 1500 for $10.

Beastie Boys’ Flickr Account 

Cool. (Via Scott Beale.)

David S. Platt, Microsoft ‘Software Legend’ 

This is great. David S. Platt is the Harvard comp sci professor quoted yesterday by Reuters reporter Franklin Paul predicting doom for the iPhone. Paul identifies Platt only as a Harvard professor and as the author of a book titled Why Software Sucks…And What You Can Do About It. Ends up most of Platt’s books are about programming for Microsoft’s .Net, he teaches a .Net course at Harvard (they teach .Net at Harvard?), and has been “selected by Microsoft as one of their Software Legends”.

I’m not arguing that a Microsoft background precludes you from criticizing Apple products (or vice versa). But it is the sort of information that ought to be disclosed by the reporter.

(Thanks to Elliott Hughes.)

We’ll Show You Hyperdrive 

MacJournals quotes the AP accusing Apple of “pull[ing] out all the stops to propel iPhone hysteria into the stratosphere,” then goes on to count 16 separate iPhone-related articles from the AP in the last 14 days alone — 17 if you count the “hype machine” story itself.

Reuters: ‘With Hype High, iPhone May Have to Fight a Flop’ 

Yes, it does seem like a flop in the making, what with all the people wondering just how early they need to get in line to buy one on the first day they’re available.

[Harvard computer science professor David] Platt […] says the iPhone will likely miss the mark despite its cool look in TV commercials, because it was designed more to please engineers than a regular consumer.

Yes, it does, what with all of Apple’s talk about engineering apps like “YouTube” and “Safari” and “SMS”.

“You can imagine iPhone will be the miracle box that solves all problems … but when you actually have your hands on it and realize it takes five or six button presses to get something, then you start to get annoyed,” he said.

Uh-huh. My jackass stamp is nearly out of ink again, and it’s only Monday.

$40 Adjustable Notebook Docking Stand 

That’s more like it. (Thanks to Justin D’Onofrio.)

MiniMail 1.0 

Remember Derek Powazek’s idea a few weeks ago for a “Mail Mini Player” analogous to iTunes’s mini player mode?

Well, OliveToast Software turned it into a real product.


I could totally use this, but there’s no way in hell I’m paying $300 for it.

Rolling Stone: ‘The Record Industry’s Decline’ 

Brian Hiatt and Evan Serpick:

Record sales are tanking, and there’s no hope in sight: How it all went wrong.

Opera Mini vs. iPhone 

Bizarre, unfunny, very awkward spoof of Apple’s “Get a Mac” ad campaign from Opera, wherein they seek to establish Opera Mini as the mobile browser for people who can’t afford an iPhone.

Verizon CEO: No Need for iPhone Killer 

Marguerite Reardon, reporting for CNet:

“The way we come at this is to let the iPhone hit the market,” [Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said. “I don’t think it changes the game plan for how we approach the market. But we need to see the impact. The burden is on (AT&T and Apple) to prove the market will change.”

Translation: “Our plan is to hope that iPhone is a disappointment, because if it’s actually as good as it looks, we don’t have an answer.

Seidenberg also added that he thinks the iPhone will actually help drive business for Verizon’s high-end smart phones and advanced data services.

Yeah, that’s the ticket: people who want an iPhone will go to Verizon and buy something else instead.

“The iPhone will add excitement and stimulation to the market,” he said. “If we have done our job, then we will be a beneficiary. I hope it does reasonably well.”

Translation: “I hope it gets 15 minutes of battery life, crashes frequently, and bursts into flames.

David Chartier: ‘Eight Apps I Want on the iPhone’ 

Pretty good list. NetNewsWire, Yojimbo, and iChat top my list. (You realize that iPhone Safari apparently doesn’t do RSS, right?) I hadn’t thought about an iPhone equivalent of TextExpander, but Chartier’s right that it’d be a great idea for iPhone (or any device with a “peck at it” keyboard).

Quick Look and Excel Files 

One thing that stuck out to me regarding Leopard’s upcoming Quick Look feature is the built-in support for displaying Excel files. It also displays things like PDF and Word files, but Mac OS X’s built-in support for those formats is old news. But the Excel file format support is new. (iPhone’s Mail app can also display them.)

Makes me wonder whether this is finally the year Apple adds a spreadsheet to iWork, and whether this Excel file reading will be available to third-party apps just like for Word files. For my own personal needs, I’d be happy with the spreadsheet equivalent of TextEdit.

On Corporate Security and the iPhone 

Rui Carmo:

I find it interesting that IT managers in the US have stated they won’t support the iPhone because it would entail (in their eyes) opening their IMAP servers to the Internet.

I had to read that twice to make sure they meant that, and I couldn’t believe IT (if you’ll pardon the pun).

Haven’t these people heard of operator managed services? There’s no need to open your servers to the Internet!

WebKit’s New Element Inspector 

Daniel Jalkut on the new-and-much-improved WebKit Element Inspector, which is itself implemented in HTML and CSS, and so which can be used to inspect its own UI.

Dialogs in TextMate 

Very clever use of Cocoa bindings: TextMate allows scripts to display user interfaces designed in Interface Builder, using nothing more than nib files and shell scripting — no actual Cocoa programming required.

Oddica Limited Edition Robot Trilogy Collector’s Tin 


The Oddica Robot Trilogy is a Limited-edition Robot Extravaganza that comes in a collectible stainless steel can; only 55 cans will be produced, each with a numbered card.

Each set contains 3 shirts, 3 buttons, and 2 limited-edition stickers in a screenprinted tin.

Global Nerdy: ‘The World Needs More Dialog Boxes Like This’ 

Aegisub, a Windows app for adding subtitles to video, has a dialog box specifically advising against the use of Comic Sans. (Thanks to Nick Matsakis.)

Mark Pilgrim: ‘Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Federated Media Publishing Vice President Neil Chase’s Response to the “People-Ready” Ad Campaign’ 

Neil Chase:

Welcome to the birth of conversational marketing.

Mark Pilgrim:

We’ve reinvented payola and given it five more syllables.

Follow Your Twitter ‘@’ Replies via a Feedreader 

This doesn’t seem to be widely known, but it’s a great Twitter feature. If you use Twitter, you probably know that you can go to to see a list of “@yourusername” replies to your tweets — including those from people who follow you but whom you don’t follow. A better way to follow these replies is via an XML feed: for RSS format, for Atom format. Both feeds are protected by HTTP authentication; use your Twitter username and password to read them. (This “switch the .rss extension to .atom” trick works for all other Twitter feeds, too.)

Macworld: Aperture vs. Lightroom 

Detailed overview of the strengths and weaknesses of both apps, by Rick LePage. This sort of expansive comparison is exactly the sort of thing Macworld does best. In the old days, Macworld published similar comparisons for rivalries like FreeHand/Illustrator and QuarkXPress/PageMaker whenever there were major updates. Just like in those cases, the truth is that Aperture and Lightroom are both good apps.

Fake Paul Thurrott 

Fake Paul:

This long-winded T-shirt salesman needs to go back to work. Get a real job, hippie.

People-Ready Elephant 

Tim Bray:

I think that there’s an elephant in this room: namely, that the Microsoft People-Ready marketing campaign is paralyzingly stupid and lame. Thus, a bunch of allegedly-intelligent allegedly-leading voices of the blogosphere suddenly singing in the chorus totally fails to pass the sniff test; in fact, it stinks to high heaven.

Here’s what I wrote the first time I saw an ad for Microsoft’s “People Ready” campaign:

What the hell does any of this even mean?

E.g., if “people make it happen” in a people-ready business, who or what makes it happen in non-people-ready businesses? Or is it not possible for “it” to happen in a non-people-ready business? I dare you to try to make this copy more devoid of actual meaning than it already is. If there’s any logic at all, it’s circular: that the people in a people-ready business are ready to build a people-ready business.

Pixar Regime Restoring Some Dignity to Disney 

They sacked Sharon Morrill, who was responsible for the Disney animation division that spat out horrible direct-to-home-video “sequels”.

iTunes Now 3rd Largest Music Retailer in U.S. 


iTunes now holds a 9.8% share of music purchases, ahead of fourth place at 6.7% and fifth place Target at 6.6%. Walmart remains the nation’s largest music retailer with a 15.8% share of the market, with Best Buy holding 13.8% for second place.

Potion Store 

Andy Kim:

Potion Store is an open source Ruby on Rails application that powers the Potion Factory Store. The goal is to help new Mac OS X developers get up and running fast without having to sign up with services such as Kagi or Esellerate. The only thing you need to bring is your own license key generator and a PayPal or Google Checkout merchant account.

The Onion: Apple’s New iPhone 

From The Onion’s list of most-anticipated iPhone features:

Comes with an iPhone hat, so people know you own an iPhone during the brief periods you’re not using it.

‘Dark Side of the Moon’ as Indicator of Audio Format Adoption 

Bill Bumgarner:

So, I watched with quite a bit of amusement to see Dark Side of the Moon quickly take and hold the #1 (now #2) position in iTunes Plus. A 350% increase in sales was reached in the week after the launch of iTunes Plus. Thus, iTunes is following the same pattern as other audio oriented media; DSotM dominates sales as soon as a high quality recording is available in that format.

Roger Ebert on the AFI Top 100 American Films List 

Roger Ebert:

New films become old films so fast. “Raging Bull” came out 27 years ago. It’s older than “Casablanca” (No. 3) was when I became a film critic. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, more than 50 percent of moviegoers are under 27. They are going to find movies on this list that were made before their grandparents were born — and, if judging by the kids I saw Buster Keaton’s “The General” (No. 18) with, they might love them.

New York Times Magazine Piece on Coudal Partners Swap Meat 

Good publicity for a very cool project. Includes a mention of Kevin Cornell’s excellent sketchbook.


OK, yes, when I called it “boring” I was overstating the case to make a point. Casablanca is a fine film and deserving of its classic stature. But the point stands: It’s clearly not even close to the third-best American movie ever made. Somewhere in the top 100? Maybe. Top 10? No way. It’s not even the third-best film of the 1940’s — speaking of which, Notorious doesn’t even make the list at all?

Matt Mullenweg on WordPress Security 

Matt Mullenweg responds to Wincent Colaiuta regarding the security-related bugs in recent WordPress releases:

The SQL problem in 2.2 requires both registration to be enabled (off by default) and the blog to be upgraded to 2.2. It is a serious problem but I’ve heard of fewer than 5 exploits from the flaw. Even if you assume there are 100 blogs for every one we heard about, that’s still an incredibly small percentage of the millions of WordPresses out there, especially considering, as Wincent points out, the problem has been in the public for a while now.

Safari 3.0.2 Public Beta  

Available for both Mac OS X and Windows. Security and bug fixes for Mac, and better integration with other WebKit-using apps like Mail, iChat, and BBEdit.

iPhone: A Guided Tour 

20-minute QuickTime tour of the iPhone. Includes the first public look (I know of) for the Settings app. Interesting, for example, that you set the prefs for the Mail app in Settings, not in a preferences screen within the Mail app itself.

The Mail section also shows built-in PDF and Word document viewing (and the host mentions, but doesn’t show, Excel files). And it shows gesture-based shortcuts, like swiping rightward across an item in the Mail message list to delete it.

Snapz Pro X 2.1 

Ambrosia’s excellent screenshot and screencast recording utility finally goes Universal, and adds support for the WWDC seed of Leopard. Free update for existing Snapz Pro X 2 users.

Alacatia Labs: Safari for Windows Not Written in Cocoa 

Alacatia Labs:

You’ll notice that all of these APIs are C++ or C. Yes, even the WebKit, which exposes a COM interface almost identical to the OS X Objective-C API. I’ll be blogging about this later.

So, does YellowBox live on? Sadly, no. You’ll notice no signs of Cocoa or Objective-C (strings or functions).

(Thanks to Chris Ryland.)


This is a good idea — a desktop app that tries to simulate the iPhone’s version of Safari. But the implementation is so severely lacking that I question whether there’s any benefit to it at all over just testing against 320 × 480 and 480 × 320 Safari windows. iPhone Safari’s most notable feature is page zooming, something iPhoney doesn’t even attempt to simulate.

Eric Schmidt Shows Off iPhone 

Andrew Donoghue, ZDNet:

“What you are really asking is to see my iPhone,” he quipped before producing a handset from his pocket. “iPhone is a powerful new device and is going to be particularly good for the apps that Google is building. You should expect other announcements from the two companies over time,” he said.

Not to pick nits, but judging by the bundled apps, what the iPhone seems particularly good for is custom clients for the services Google is building.

New Indiana Jones Movie Starts Production 

I remember thinking it was too long between Temple of Doom and Last Crusade.

Pretty Good Summary of My Soho Apple Store Talk Yesterday 

Sumana Harihareswara does a good job capturing most of the key points I was hoping to make.

My thanks to everyone at AIGA New York and the Soho Apple Store — it was a lot of fun.

New iPhone Commercial Showing Off YouTube App 

Here’s what I’m thinking: If you can download YouTube content directly to your iPhone, why not iTunes Store content? I predict that direct-from-the-iPhone iTunes Store integration will be announced (at a special event?) next week.

AFI Updates Top 100 American Films List; Still Sucks 

Just as bad as the original list. The only good thing about the update is Raging Bull’s move from #24 up to #4. But GoodFellas all the way down at #92? Star Wars at #13 and Empire Strikes Back doesn’t even make the list? What sense does it make that The Godfather Part II is 30 spots lower than The Godfather? Casablanca at #3? Let me tell you something about Casablanca — it’s boring.

The AFI’s nostalgic bias for old movies is preposterous. The only films from the last 25 years in the top 50 are Schindler’s List (#8), E.T. (#25), and The Fellowship of the Ring (#50).

New WebKit Inspector 

Works on both Mac and Windows, and in any WebKit view, not just Safari.

Steve Jobs for President T-Shirts 

Not bad, but the design is far too much like every typical “__ for President” shirt this decade. If Jobs really ran, his logo would be way better. (Via Khoi Vinh.)

Clean Your Keyboard in a Dishwasher 

Clever idea for redeeming a grimy keyboard, but it’s the film itself that’s worth linking to. So nicely shot and edited — and they even invented new cinematographic technology to capture inside-the-dishwater footage.

Keynote Kung-Fu 

Rands with some good Keynote tips. I don’t use Keynote often, but when I do, I’m always blown away by how good it is.

WordPress Security Flaw 

Strong words from Wincent Colaiuta:

This is not the first security disgrace for WordPress and it’s exactly this kind of flaw which makes it impossible to recommend WordPress as a public-facing web application. In fact, it’s not just that I can’t recommend installing it; it’s that it would be irresponsible to do anything but recommend that people uninstall it.

(Via Michael Tsai.)

We Need a Scripting User Interface Evangelist 

Mark Alldritt:

I had an epiphany at this year’s WWDC while listening to John Geleynse’s User Interface design talk. We need someone to evangelize Scripting Interface Design with the same passion and clarity that John Geleynse brings to Graphical User Interface design on the Macintosh.

Mocking Microsoft Surface 

Hilarious fake commercial for Microsoft’s $10,000 table computer. I watched it three times. (Via Andy Baio.)

A Friendly Reminder From Your IT Department 

This guy perfectly captures the sort of guy I was talking about when I asked yesterday whether anti-iPhone IT managers view their role as serving or ruling. (Via Damon Clinkscales.)

AT&T Says iPhone Rate Plans Will Be Announced Before June 29 

My money is on a Steve Jobs-hosted “special event” sometime early next week.

Mac OS X 10.4.10 

Our long national nightmare of goofballs claiming that version numbers can only go to .9 is over.

Pre-Order Mac OS X Leopard at Amazon (and Help Support DF) 

Seems a bit early for something that isn’t slated to ship until October, but Amazon is already taking pre-orders for Leopard. The current price is $129, but they have a price guarantee: pre-order now, and you pay the lowest price it’s available for before it ships. Place your order using this link and a portion of the proceeds gets kicked back to me.

John Nack: ‘Safari Brings Color-Managed Browsing to Windows’ 

This is a big deal for online photography. More info from Rob Galbraith.

Mark Alldritt on WWDC 2007 

Good summary and good advice, echoing much of what I heard from other developers. E.g. that the labs were much more useful than the sessions (because most of the sessions were rehashes of information from WWDC 2006).

And he’s right about planning to eat out for lunch.

GracefulFlavor: ‘The iPhone Must Integrate With Exchange to Make a Real Run at Corporate Users’ 

Jeff Ventura’s thoughtful contrary analysis to my take yesterday.

But the title alone shows where he’s wrong: Apple doesn’t need to take a run at “corporate users”. They’re taking a run at just plain people, some of whom, during weekday daylight hours, work in corporate environments. If their beloved iPhones don’t integrate with their office servers, they’re not going to blame Apple, they’re going to blame their IT departments.

Question for anti-iPhone IT managers like those quoted in the Wall Street Journal story yesterday: Do you see your role as serving the employees of your company, or ruling over them?

Apple Announces YouTube App for iPhone 

No Flash means no YouTube, right? Wrong. iPhone gets YouTube the same way Apple TV does — not encoded as crummy Flash video, but as much higher quality H.264.

I love that the example is a skateboarding dog.

I’m Speaking Wednesday Night at the Soho Apple Store 

As part of AIGA New York’s Design Remixed series, I’ll be giving an updated version my talk from C4[0], focusing, ostensibly, on the differences between consistency, uniformity, and convention in user interface design, but really more of a roundabout way of suggesting a fundamental theory of UI design. But don’t tell anyone that, because it sounds far too ambitious for an hour-long talk.

Outlook Web Access 

According to several DF readers, the webmail interface to Exchange works just fine in Mac OS X Safari, and so quite probably works in iPhone Safari, as well.

Update: Now I’m getting emails (and tweets) from readers saying that while OWA works, any browser other than Win IE gets a crummy second-tier experience. (Win IE uses an Active X-only “premier” web interface.)

Sony Connect to Close Music/Video Services 

Another one bites the dust.


I’m not the only one who thinks there’s something fishy about the spike in anti-iPhone FUD in the press.

Forbes: ‘Is The iPhone Insecure?’ 

Andy Greenberg, writing for Forbes:

“It seems Apple is releasing a device with no thought to enterprise security,” says Andrew Storms, director of operations of the computer security firm nCircle. “It’s going to be entering enterprise networks whether we like it or not, and it’s a nightmare for security teams.”

Storms, like most everyone else anticipating the iPhone launch, admits that his worries are largely limited to speculation […]

“Largely” speculation? How are these concerns not wholly limited to speculation? Then he goes on to link to this David Maynor weblog entry about exploits against Safari for Windows and describes it as “a bug in the new version of Safari browser that will be used on the iPhone.” Jiminy.

Robert Scoble Is Not (Always) an Idiot 

Speaking of The Macalope, he spotted a pretty good piece by Scoble regarding iPhone development. I’ve been of a similar mindset all along — some sort of “software on the iPhone” development kit is inevitable, but Apple’s in no rush.

My gut feeling is that we’re never going to see Flash on iPhone, though.

Jackass of the Week: Robert Vamosi 

Playing up “security” concerns regarding the iPhone for CNet, Robert Vamosi writes:

For the moment, iPhone will be running a version of the current Mac OS 10.4; in the fall, Apple will presumably upgrade its phones to the newer Mac OS 10.5.

Really? How does he know this? He could be right, but as far as I can tell, there are very few people who know anything specific about the iPhone’s version of OS X, and I highly doubt Vamosi is one of them. And I met a bunch of smart speculators at WWDC last week who think the iPhone takes advantage of Core Animation, which isn’t coming to the Mac until 10.5.

When flaws [in OS X] are patched, Apple does not acknowledge the researchers who actually brought the vulnerability to its attention.

It’s hard to see this as anything other than willful ignorance. It took me 30 seconds to find Apple’s security updates page, open the release notes for the most recent update, and find a credit for outside researchers who reported an issue. In fact, it’s hard to find a security update from Apple that doesn’t give at least one credit to an outside researcher.

Al Ries, iPhone Doubter 

Al Ries in Advertising Age: “Why the iPhone Will Fail”. His argument is based on the mushy idea that the iPhone is a “convergent” device, and that only “divergent” concepts are successful.

$20 says Al Ries owns an iPhone by the end of summer.

Rob Waugh, iPhone Doubter 

Amazing. If you didn’t know any better reading this, you’d think the iPhone was already out and that his complaints stemmed from actually using one.

Don Herbert, TV’s ‘Mr. Wizard,’ Dies at 89 

He died a week ago, but I missed the news while I was at WWDC. His mission was to show how much fun science can be, and he succeeded wonderfully. I loved his show growing up.

Non-Transparent Menu Bar 

Simple freeware app from Peter Maurer; puts a plain white rectangular window underneath the Leopard menu bar to eliminate the goofy translucent effect.

Update: New version today with a minor tweak to the layering (so that the window appears above icons on the desktop, but still under the menu bar).

The Macalope Sells Out 

Re-adjust your RSS subscription; he’s now blogging for CNet. Congratulations.

Secret Pref for Pie-Chart Progress Indicator in Safari 3 Beta 

I complained about it when Safari first appeared, but I was wrong: I adore Safari’s regular inside-the-location-field progress meter. Interesting that this pie-chart option is there, but it doesn’t appeal to me.

Enabling the Debug Menu on Safari for Windows 

Command-line option, or just hack the preferences plist file manually.

Gallup: Majority of Republicans Doubt Theory of Evolution 

Gallup poll indicates more Americans believe in creationism than evolution. This explains why I get so much nasty email whenever I link to things like this. (Via Kottke.)

Yahoo Search Option Only in Safari on Windows 

On Windows, the Safari 3 beta’s web search field lets you choose between Yahoo and Google; on Mac OS X Tiger, it’s like previous versions of Safari and your only choice is Google. My guess is that Apple has an exclusive contract with Google covering Mac OS X 10.4, and that Yahoo will appear as an option in Safari under 10.5.

EFF Update on the ‘Innards’ of iTunes Plus Files 

Peter Eckersley, on the EFF weblog:

Firstly, the most interesting hypotheses turn out to be false. There aren’t any watermarks in the compressed data; in fact, the compressed segments are identical across multiple copies of the same track.

Where by “interesting” he means “hysterical”.

Real People and Their On-Screen Avatars 

Interesting contrast between those whose avatars resemble themselves and those whose avatars, well, don’t.


This is the company whose Cider libraries are being used to port EA games to the Mac. The way I see it, this is far better than having to buy a license for Windows and running Boot Camp just to play games.

Apple Announces Better Battery Life for iPhone 

Apple PR:

Apple today announced that iPhone will deliver significantly longer battery life when it ships on June 29 than was originally estimated when iPhone was unveiled in January. iPhone will feature up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback. In addition, iPhone will feature up to 250 hours—more than 10 days—of standby time. Apple also announced that the entire top surface of iPhone, including its stunning 3.5-inch display, has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass to achieve a superior level of scratch resistance and optical clarity.

Interesting that they’d announce this today, rather than at the special media event I’ve heard Apple plans to hold for iPhone.

Terry Semel Out as Yahoo CEO 

Co-founder Jerry Yang takes over as CEO, CFO Sue Decker as president. I hope Yang keeps the reins permanently, but speculation is that he’s just keeping the seat warm.

Considering how badly Yahoo has been beaten by Google, the only thing that’s surprising is that Semel wasn’t forced out sooner.

bgcolor Follies 

Jeffrey Zeldman:

A reminder for people who make websites: if you forget to set your site’s background color, your visitors may set it for you.

Updated WWDC 2007 Flickr Photoset 

Including some shots from Thursday night’s Beer Bash (great band, good food, lousy beer).

64-Bit Carbon Summary From CarbonDev Wiki 

Overview of the news from WWDC regarding 64-bit Carbon support in Leopard.

iPhone New York 

Pretty good unofficial 60-second spec for iPhone. (Thanks to Chris Pepper.)

LG Prada Advertised With OS X Screenshot 

Swedish electronics retailer Elgiganten advertises the LG Prada touchscreen phone with fake screenshot showing it running the iPhone’s OS X. (Thanks to Jesper.)

Cider — WINE-Like Library for Porting Windows Games to Mac OS X 

This is what EA is using for the games they announced during the WWDC keynote last week.

Pixar’s New Teaser for ‘WALL-E’ 

Next year’s Pixar movie.

‘Draft’ Is the New Beta 

Proof that “beta” has been turned into a pejorative.

Animated Horizontal Subnavs at the New 

It’s clever the way you can drag to scroll, or just click on a specific section name to jump there.

Font Smoothing, Anti-Aliasing, and Sub-Pixel Rendering 

Joel Spolsky has a nice piece comparing the sub-pixel text anti-aliasing from Mac OS X and Windows. Personal taste regarding this is highly subjective, but I think Spolsky is right that Safari might face an uphill battle on Windows not because Mac OS X’s font rendering is worse, but simply because it’s noticably different than all other text rendering on Windows. (Including that of iTunes, which uses Windows’s standard text rendering.) Even Mac users who don’t particularly care for Mac OS X’s sub-pixel anti-aliasing simply get used to it after a while, because all text on Mac OS X is rendered that way.

I also think that long-term, Apple’s algorithm is going to work better on higher-resolution displays (including the iPhone’s 160 pixels-per-inch screen). With higher resolutions, forcing strokes onto even pixel boundaries matters less.

Safari Beta 3.0.1 for Windows 

Three security fixes. That was quick.

A Very Sweet Solution 

This whole “web apps are the iPhone SDK” thing is clearly polarizing. There are many people, particularly web developers, who don’t seem to understand why Mac developers aren’t satisfied.

I should just redirect everyone to Michael Tsai’s weblog this week. He sums up the situation perfectly simply by using Steve Jobs’s own words about why the iPhone Maps app is a real app, and not just a WebKit view pointing at

Apple Design Awards 2007 

Panic wins Best User Experience for Coda; Karelia wins runner-up for Sandvox. Other winners include CSSEdit for Best Developer Tool and Delicious Library 2.0 for Best App That Doesn’t Yet Exist.

More on ZFS Support 


Seeking to clarify a statement made on Monday by Brian Croll, senior director of Mac OS X Product Marketing, to two InformationWeek reporters that Apple’s new “Leopard” operating system would not include the ZFS file system, an Apple spokesperson indicated that ZFS would be available as a limited option, but not as the default file system.

ZFS “is only available a read-only option from the command line,” according to an Apple spokesperson.

Fake Steve on Microsoft 

Insightful analogy from Fake Steve:

Remember Detroit in the 1970s, when customers started saying they wanted smaller, cheaper, leaner, simpler cars? Toyota and Honda listened, while the Big Three kept cranking out monstrously huge cars and then putting all sorts of effort (advertising, discounts on the lot, dealer incentives, blackballing dealers who tried to open Toyota or Honda stores, spouting empty patriotic rhetoric about buying American, blah blah) thinking that by doing this they could get customers to buy the cars that they’d already told Detroit they didn’t want. […] Now at Microsoft we’re seeing a repeat of this phenomenon.

Gizmodo: Andre the Giant Selected as New Hand Model for iPhone 

Interesting comparison of old and new iPhone promotional photos; the new one makes the iPhone look smaller by using a model with much larger hands.

Santa Rosa Comes to the Mac: A Review of the New MacBook Pro 

Eric Bangeman reviews the new 1920 × 1200 high resolution 17-inch MacBook Pro.

Thor Larholm on Exploiting Safari for Windows 

His exploit takes advantage of Safari’s lax input validation in URL protocol handlers.

64-Bit Carbon Canned 

When Apple announced at WWDC 2006 that full 64-bit support was coming in Leopard, the message was that it would be supported in both Carbon and Cocoa. Now it’s Cocoa-only. As Michael Tsai mentions, this matters even for developers writing Cocoa apps:

All of my applications are Cocoa, but they use bits of Carbon to do things that aren’t possible with pure Cocoa.

Security Researchers: Safari for Windows Not So Secure 

Lots of crashers and several remote code execution exploits.

It’s a beta — and I presume Apple will be releasing updated betas between now and October (or whenever it’s going to be when Safari 3 officially ships) — but if they’re hoping to attract Firefox users, it isn’t going to work if Safari for Windows gets pegged as insecure.

Michael Tsai on the WWDC 2007 Keynote 

Interesting commentary and a great list of links to other analysis.

InformationWeek: Apple Says No ZFS in Leopard 


An Apple official on Monday said Sun Microsystems’ open-source file system would not be in the next version of the Mac operating system, contradicting statements made last week by Sun’s chief executive.

There’s more to it than that, however.

WWDC 2007 Flickr Photoset 

I’ll be adding pictures to this group throughout the week. First batch includes a few from Moscone and Buzz Andersen’s shindig last night.

New York Times Story on iPhone Commercials 

Andrew Adam Newman, in The New York Times:

Pacific Catch, a restaurant in San Francisco whose phone number appeared momentarily in one of the iPhone ads, averaged 100 extra calls a day the next week, the general manager, Rob Schechtman, said. Apple’s ad agency got the restaurant’s permission beforehand.

Calls came from as far away as Africa and included a collect call from a county jail; the restaurant did not accept the charges.

MacBreak Weekly WWDC Analysis 

Includes a quick segment with yours truly, calling in live from WWDC yesterday. (I show up around the 1:04 mark.)

Apple Removes Fast Switching From Leopard Boot Camp Page 

Hmm. Yesterday I linked to Apple’s web page for Boot Camp on Leopard, which contained a paragraph describing a new “fast switching” feature. That paragraph is no longer on the web page.

Jon Hicks on Safari 3 

Browser connoisseur Jon Hicks looks at Safari 3.

(He’s wrong that it doesn’t offer session saving, it’s just that it isn’t automatic — you have to invoke History → Reopen All Windows From Last Session.)

Safari on Windows Uses Mac OS X Style Font Anti-Aliasing 

Does iTunes for Windows render on-screen type like this, too? (I’m guessing no.)

Safari for Windows also uses Mac OS X-style push buttons, pop-up menus, etc., and it uses Lucida Grande as the app’s UI font. Other than the top of the window, it’s hard to tell it apart from the Mac version.

Leopard Automator Is Recordable 


In Leopard, Automator has a new recording function, so you can easily automate just about any application. Simply click the Record button in Automator and demonstrate the task you wish to automate. You can play back the task as many times as you need, and even edit what was recorded to refine your automation.

Everything Old Is New Again 

Paul Mison points out (by way of Dan Hon) that Leopard Mail’s automatic recognition of things like dates and places in the text of a message sounds a lot like the old Apple Data Detectors.

Michael Tsai on Leopard’s Menu Bar 

I had the same thought when I saw the transparent menu bar.

New in Leopard: Fast Boot Camp Switching 

This is new, and went unmentioned in the keynote:

Leopard brings a quicker way to switch between Mac OS X and Windows: Just choose the new Apple menu item “Restart in Windows.” Your Mac goes into “safe sleep” so that when you return, you’ll be right where you were. It’s much faster than restarting the computer each time. Likewise, a “Restart in Mac OS X” menu item in the Boot Camp System Tray in Windows makes for a faster return to Mac OS X. With Windows hibernation enabled, you can pick up where you left off.

New Apple Web Site 

Long overdue redesign. Looks great. Those 10.1-style tabs were apparently taken down the basement and shot, too.

Safari 3 Public Beta 

Final version will ship with Leopard in October, public beta available today for 10.4 and, in the only significant surprise of the day, Windows XP and Vista. Good old ice water.

More Ice Water for People in Hell 

Very thirsty down there. Very thirsty.

Mac Rumors: iPhone Details From AT&T’s Sales Training Workbook 

Most definitive iPhone scoop yet. I told you it wasn’t going to have GPS.

Demos Well 

Steven Frank:

A thought occurred to me the other day that for as desirable as the iPhone seems to be, very few people have actually used one. It does demo amazingly well, but then so does Spotlight.

John Siracusa’s WWDC 2007 Keynote Bingo 

Don’t be fooled by imitators. Accept no other Keynote Bingo than the original. Best chances I see for a win: bottom-left to top-right diagonal, and the second row from the bottom.

Craig Eisler, New General Manager of Microsoft’s Mac BU 

The best part: no more keynote appearances from Roz Ho.

From the Archive: iLife ’06 From the Perspective of an Anthropomorphized Brushed Metal Interface 

January 2006:

Brushed Metal: I’ll be honest with you. I’m counting on you, Safari.

Safari: It’s out of my hands. You’ve got to talk to my reps about this stuff.

Brushed Metal: I can count on you, right?

Safari: How did you get my address?

From the Archive: The iTunes 5 Announcement From the Perspective of an Anthropomorphized Brushed Metal User Interface Theme 

October 2005:

Brushed Metal: Who did they go with for iTunes? Not that Unified Title and Toolbar cocksucker…

Mike: No, they got someone new.

Brushed Metal: New?

BusinessWeek: 3 Million iPhones on June 29 

Peter Burrows in BusinessWeek:

In units built and shipped, the iPhone launch will dwarf anything Apple has attempted. It plans to have 3 million iPhones ready for sale on June 29, two sources say.

If true, maybe we won’t have to camp out overnight June 28. And — again, if true — maybe such are the advantages of pre-announcing six months in advance.

How to Hire the Best People You’ve Ever Worked With 

Good hiring advice from Marc Andreessen:

Pick a topic you know intimately and ask the candidate increasingly esoteric questions until they don’t know the answer.

They’ll either say they don’t know, or they’ll try to bullshit you.

Guess what. If they bullshit you during the hiring process, they’ll bullshit you once they’re onboard.

(Via Kottke.)

Five Questions With Brent Simmons, Creator of NetNewsWire 

Brent Simmons, in an interview with Scott McNulty for TUAW:

It goes against my best interest to say this, but I’ll say it anyway: unsubscribe! Not from the good feeds, but from the feeds that aren’t updating anymore or that you don’t really like that much.

I’m down to 87 feeds, myself. It’s the first time in more than five years that I’ve had less than 100 feeds. I’m trying to unsubscribe from one a day.

James Duncan Davidson: WWDC Tidbits 

James Duncan Davidson:

But, having been part of big software projects in the past and having watched how Mac OS X APIs have been rolled out over the last 6 years, I think it’s safe to say that I’d just about pass out if an SDK is available on Monday. Instead of being gleeful, I’d actually be a bit wary. There’s just no way you put that much software together using a new user interface paradigm and finish an API that you’re willing to support.

Qualcomm Loses Patent Ruling, Many Phones Now Banned in U.S. 

Yikes. Qualcomm lost a patent infringement ruling, and as a result, “tens of millions” of cell phones are now banned from being imported to the U.S. As Glenn Fleishman reports for TidBITS, Apple’s iPhone doesn’t use any chips from Qualcomm and thus isn’t affected.

Fake Steve: iSupply Gets It Wrong Again 


Email Is Not a Platform for Design 

Jeffrey Zeldman on HTML email:

“Designed” e-mail is just a slightly more polished version of those messages your uncle sends you. Your uncle thinks 18pt bright red Comic Sans looks great, so he sends e-mail messages formatted that way. You cluck your tongue, or sigh, or run de-formatting scripts on every message you receive from him. When your uncle is the “designer,” you “get” why styled mail sucks. It sucks just as much when you design it, even if it looks better than your uncle’s work in the two e-mail programs that support it correctly.

Couldn’t agree more.

C4[1] — Second Annual C4 Mac Developers Conference 

A few spots are still open for Wolf Rentzsch’s C4[1] conference, in Chicago August 10-12. Last year’s was outstanding, and this year’s speaker lineup includes Cabel Sasser, Daniel “Red Sweater” Jalkut, Adam Engst, and the never-boring Wil Shipley.

Hit-and-Run: Launching AppleScripts With Keyboard Shortcuts 

Jochen Wolters explains, in detail, several ways to assign keyboard shortcuts to AppleScripts. I use the same two methods he recommends: FastScripts and Quicksilver.

VMware Fusion for Mac Beta 4 

New beta of the other leading virtualization app for Mac OS X, introduces the aforelinked “Unity” window layering mode.

Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 

Latest version of Parallels, now out of beta.

Coda 1.0.3 

Drag-reorderable tabs (but not draggable between windows), new language syntax modes, and various text editing improvements.

Nudge Your Elements 

Khoi Vinh, on using small insets for grid alignment on the web:

This practice probably exhibits an unhealthy focus on minutiae, I’m sure.

Yes, it does, and that’s why I love it.

Good Analogy 

Kellan Elliott-McCrea makes an apt comparison: the name and email address in iTunes Plus tracks is analogous to the “This book was produced for Your Name Here” marks stamped in PDF e-books from publishers like The Pragmatic Programmers and 37signals.

Boot Camp 1.3 Beta 

Changes include support for keyboard backlighting with MacBook Pros and updated graphics drivers.

Twitterrific 2.1 

Better keychain and AppleScript support, among other new features.

Hixie’s Natural Log: ‘The CSS Working Group Is Irrelevant’ 

Ian Hickson:

Someone really needs to do to CSS what the WHATWG has been doing to HTML, defining everything in detail, explicitly, with strict and clear normative conformance criteria, taking implementations into account, defining things like quirks mode.

MacUser: Mysterious Twelfth Application Vanishes in iPhone Ads 

Remember the handful of shots in the iPhone commercials that had four apps in the third row of icons? Fixed now.

VMWare ‘Unity’ Mode 

The VMWare-Parallels rivalry rages on: Unity mode is VMWare’s answer to Parallels’s Coherence. Both let you run Windows apps in their own windows, intermingled with the windows of your Mac apps. (Just like, you know, Classic.)

Making Wii-Friendly Web Pages 

Opera developer resource with information on the limitations and capabilities of the Nintendo Wii browser. (Via Shaun Inman.)

Twelve Years of 

Jeffrey Zeldman marks the 12 year anniversary of and his Daily Report with a retrospective of entries, presented as they originally appeared. I’ve been reading Zeldman as long as I remember the web; these old layouts bring back crisp memories.

What’s weird about looking at the older ones today is that I strongly associate these layouts with the sharp non-anti-aliased on-screen type rendering of the old Mac OS. They feel different — warmer — rendered today on Mac OS X. They look better, I suppose, but they feel slightly wrong.

Marc Hamilton No Longer Unequivocal 

Marc Hamilton, in a comment following up on his weblog entry about ZFS being announced as the new default for Mac OS X:

I don’t know Apple’s product plans for Leopard so it certainly wouldn’t be appropriate for me to confirm anything. […] There certainly have been plenty of published reports from various sources that ZFS is in Leopard, I guess we will all have to wait until it is released to see if ZFS made it as the default, or if they simply announce that it will become the default in a future release.

Update: Hamilton has now revised the entry itself, removing the word “default”. It now reads:

Jonathan noted that Apple is planning to use the ZFS file system from OpenSolaris in future versions of their OS.

New iPhone Commercial: ‘Not the “Kinda Sorta Looks Like the Internet” Internet’ 

It’s not yet on, but someone posted a new iPhone commercial to YouTube. It shows iPhone Safari loading the front page of, zooming in and out, rotating between landscape and portrait. The narrator says, “This is not a watered-down version of the Internet. Or the ‘mobile’ version of the Internet. Or the ‘kinda sorta looks like the Internet’ Internet. It’s just… the Internet.”

Update: Now on Unlike the first three spots, this one doesn’t have any small print on the AT&T screen about requiring a two-year contract. Just saying. Update 2: The first three ads no longer contain the “2 year contract” small print, either. They used to.

DreamHost Status Blog Entry on Security Breach 


The security flaw allowed the attackers to log into our customer web control panel with the access privileges of another user. From our web panel they were able to access individual user password information. The attackers also attempted to gain access to our central database and billing information but were ultimately thwarted in that attempt. No credit card information or customer personal information was obtained.

Gizmodo on Microsoft’s Plans for Zunes in Europe 

Gizmodo has a better translation of Steve Ballmer’s remarks to a German news site regarding Microsoft’s plans for selling Zunes in Europe. Bizarrely, though, Gizmodo interprets it as Microsoft not ignoring Europe.

Ballmer is saying they’re losing money now and don’t want to lose even more money by expanding to new markets. “It will only pay off after we have reached some of the goals outlined.” In other words, they’re not expanding to Europe until after the Zune turns a profit in the U.S. I wouldn’t hold my breath for that.

I do agree with Gizmodo that this is good news for Europeans, though.

Marc Hamilton: ZFS is ‘New Default File System’ for Mac OS X 

Marc Hamilton, Sun’s VP for Solaris Marketing:

Jonathan noted that Apple will announce this week that the ZFS file system from OpenSolaris will become Apple’s new default file system. So how does that help Sun? It is pretty simple, now every Apple developer will know ZFS and how to use it on products like our SunFire x4500 storage server and other Sun products.

That’s pretty much unequivocal.

OpenSolaris Feature Request for ZFS Case-Insensitive Support 

Marked as “closed approved fast-track” a month ago. Proves nothing, and the report says nothing about Apple or Mac OS X, but any file system intended for use by regular Mac users pretty much has to be case insensitive. (Thanks to John Siracusa.)

Flash Video of Jonathan Schwartz Speaking About ZFS in Mac OS X 

CNet has Flash-based video of Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s comments on ZFS in Mac OS X 10.5. He says:

In fact this week you’ll see that Apple is announcing at their Worldwide Developer Conference that ZFS has become the file system in Mac OS X.

“The” does imply default, but I wouldn’t bet on it yet. And if ZFS is going to be the new default in Leopard, blabbing about it now isn’t exactly a good way to get on the Jobs family Christmas card list.

BBC News: Epilepsy Fears Over 2012 Olympic Logo Video Footage 

BBC News:

Christopher Filmer rang BBC London 94.9FM to say he suffered a seizure while watching the footage on television and his girlfriend also suffered a fit and needed hospital treatment.

“The logo came up on TV and I was thinking about the 2012 Games and then I was out,” he said.

Prediction: Also causes nausea.

DreamHost Undercounting Compromised Customers? 

Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber:

DreamHost have apparently sent out a letter to affected customers, but we were affected and haven’t heard a word, and as yet there’s nothing on their website, either.

Judging by Healy’s previous description, clearly they were compromised by the same security violation that other DreamHost customers were. But if they didn’t get the warning notice from DreamHost, it makes me wonder if DreamHost has undercounted the number of affected customers.

Love Those Think Secret ‘Sources’ 

Ryan Katz, reporting for Think Secret on May 30:

Apple customers hoping to enjoy native high-definition video editing with Apple’s forthcoming 17-inch MacBook Pro upgrade will have to wait: sources report the laptop will offer the same 1680 × 1050 resolution as current models, with no option to upgrade the display to a 1920 × 1200 resolution.

Apple, yesterday:

The new MacBook Pro is available in 15-inch models with a new mercury-free, power-efficient LED-backlit display and a 17-inch model with an optional high-resolution display.

(Thanks to Ben Schwan.)

Mac Rumors on ZFS and Leopard 

Mac Rumors:

Perhaps overcome with excitement (and forgetting that Apple doesn’t like such pre-emptive disclosures), Sun’s Jonathan Schwartz announced today at Sun event in Washington D.C. that Apple would be making ZFS “the file system” in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard (video link, requires RealPlayer).

I don’t have RealPlayer installed, so I haven’t seen the video. Here’s Mac Rumors’ transcript of what Schwartz said:

In fact, this week you’ll see that Apple is announcing at their Worldwide Developer Conference that ZFS has become the file system in Mac OS 10.

I think Mac Rumors is reading a lot into just one word, “the” vs. “a”. We already knew that ZFS is going to be a supported file system in 10.5; that may well be all that Schwartz is referring to. Schwartz doesn’t use the word “default”.

The Frontier 

John Siracusa on iPhone development:

But the second thing that attracts developers to the iPhone is more profound, and it explains a lot of the anxiety surrounding iPhone development. The iPhone is not just a new platform, it’s an entirely new set of rules for interface design. That is what struck me the most once the actual iPhone demos started. There are no windows, no close/minimize/zoom widgets, no checkboxes, no radio buttons, no scroll bars, no nothing.

London Broil 

Bryan Bedell from Coudal Partners, on the London 2012 Olympic logo:

Just like you, our first reaction was shock. But we talked about it all morning. By 3 p.m., we decided we love it. And here are ten reasons why you should, too.

I offer one reason to hate it:

It’s fucking ugly. Not just kind of ugly, but hideously ugly.

DreamHost Hacked 

DreamHost, in a letter to over 3,500 shared hosting customers:

We’re still working to determine how this occurred, but it appears that a 3rd party found a way to obtain the password information associated with approximately 3,500 separate FTP accounts and has used that information to append data to the index files of customer sites using automated scripts (primarily for search engine optimization purposes).

Sites that were hacked got a bunch of spammy links inserted into their index.php and index.html pages, in an HTML block that started with <u style display: none>. Dave Shea got hacked, as did a bunch of the readers who contributed to his comments. Shea wrote to DreamHost and their tech support blamed him. Crooked Timber got hacked four days ago.

This is just awful, especially since they still have no explanation regarding exactly how they were compromised.

(Daring Fireball is hosted on a Joyent Accelerator; I’ve also been a happy customer at Pair for many years.)

Gus Mueller: ‘Adobe Reader 8.1 Is Out!’ 

Dear Adobe Reader team: We’re laughing at you, not with you.

New York Times on Bertrand Serlet and His Microsoft Counterpart, Steven Sinofsky 

Interesting profile by John Markoff in today’s Times, comparing Apple’s Bertrand Serlet (senior VP for software engineering) with Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky, who’s leading their Windows development:

One software developer who has worked at both companies — and asked not to be identified because he still consults for Microsoft — compared the two men’s approaches to the difference between martial marching band music and jazz.

Mr. Sinofsky’s approach, he said, is meticulously planned out from the beginning, with a tight focus on meeting deadlines — a crucial objective after the delay-plagued Vista project — but with little room for flexibility. In contrast, the atmosphere inside Apple’s software engineering ranks has been much more improvisational.

Objective-C Guide for C++ Programmers (PDF) 

From C++ to Objective-C is a free PDF e-book by Pierre Chatelier. Looks like a great introduction to Objective-C. (Via Scott Stevenson.)

MarsEdit 1.2 

Growl, Picasa, and Vox support added to Red Sweater’s weblog editor.

NetNewsWire 3.0 

Huge new update to the Mac’s leading feed reader. New features include a revamped user interface (including iTunes-style “feed cover art” — effectively, a thumbnail of the home page for the feed), significant performance improvements, and a new combined view that intermingles headlines with feed content.

Camino 1.5 

Major new version of Camino, the Mozilla-based web browser designed just for Mac OS X. New features include session saving (quit Camino, relaunch, and the windows and tabs you left open are restored), feed detection, and support for the OS X spelling checker. Another cool new feature: Camino can share keychain entries with Safari.

Movable Type 4 Beta 

First major new version of Movable Type since 3.0 back in 2004. The biggest news is that Six Apart plans to release the source code to MT 4 under the GPL later this year. (Markdown is now part of the default MT 4 installation — nice.)

Apple Updates MacBook Pros 

2.2 and 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processors, faster AirPort cards, better graphics cards, and support for up to 4 GB of RAM (up from 3 GB in the previous models). The 15-inch displays are now LED-based, and the 17-inch displays are available with 1920 × 1200 resolution (compared to the standard 1680 × 1050); glossy screens are still optional on all models.

Let the tea-leaf-reading begin: Why would Apple announce these today rather than wait until next week’s WWDC keynote? Answer: They must have plenty of other announcements for WWDC.

Speak Up: ‘London, How do I Hate Thee? Let me Count the Ways, 1, 2… 2012’ 

London’s new logo for the 2012 Olympics is one of the worst marks I’ve ever seen. It’s just plain ugly.

Palm to Add Former Apple CFO, iPod Head to Board 

Palm has added Fred Anderson and Jon Rubinstein to its board of directors. Sprinkle a little retired Apple dust on the company — that’ll fix Palm’s ills, for sure. (Via Fake Steve.)

VoodooPad 3.2 

Minor feature update for Flying Meat’s wiki-ish notes app.

iPhone Commercial Hints at Mystery App 

Macenstein notes that while there are 11 standard apps in the iPhone launcher, in some of the close-ups there are 12. But because they’re close-ups, you can’t see what the extra app is. (My completely uninformed guess is iChat. Update: Where by “iChat”, I just mean “instant messaging”, not audio or video chat.)

Pacific Catch 

Restaurant featured in the third of yesterday’s new iPhone commercials. Wonder what business is like today?

Losing Money, Microsoft Still Has No Date for the Zune in Europe 

Steve Ballmer tells German news site that because they’re losing money on the Zune, Microsoft has no plans to sell them in Europe. The article is in German; here’s a translation to English via Google. (Thanks to reader Markus Hänchen.)

‘Cocks’ Banned, ‘Tits’ Allowed 

The New Zealand Herald:

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has banned the word for male birds from its website, drawing accusations of political correctness gone mad.

I thought this sort of goofy censorship only happened here in the U.S.

iPhone Doubter: Lance Davis 

Noted for future gloating: Lance Davis is an iPhone doubter.

Where Apple has gone wrong is in setting expectations. The phone will be late. All first smartphones are.

Judging by the new commercials, this is already wrong.

Remember, the mobile industry is one where some of the biggest companies in the world have tried and failed: Siemens, Philips, Fujitsu. None of them have creditable market shares. Even IBM put a toe in the water in the late nineties and then stayed away.

And everyone knows how great IBM is at creating mass-market consumer electronics.

SWTSG 0.9.9 

Updated version of Darel Rex Finley’s freeware utility for generating Star Wars-style scrolling credits. New features include support for additional characters and glyphs.

New York Times” ‘Fever Builds for iPhone (Anxiety Too)’ 

John Markoff, reporting in The New York Times:

A person briefed on Apple’s plans said that at its software developer conference this month, Apple intends to announce that it will make it possible for developers of small programs written for the Macintosh to easily convert them to run on the iPhone.

Translation: Dashboard widgets, Cocoa, or both.

iPhone TV Ads 

Three iPhone commercials from Apple, which began airing on TV tonight. Release date: June 29. These are great ads — music, photos, video, flick-to-scroll, Google Maps integration, and, of course, answering and initiating phone calls. It all looks simple, obvious, and very fun. No other cell phone is advertised by showing off the user interface.

These ads are low on hype and high on showing how the iPhone actually works, and they clearly focus on reasons why you might want one. They make me think the iPhone is going to be the next Wii — they’re going to sell them as fast as they can make them for months to come.

Small print on the “Only on the new AT&T” screen reads: “Use requires minimum new 2 year activation plan.”

The Social Norm of Leaving the Toilet Seat Down 

Game theory economic analysis by Hammad Siddiqi:

We find that the social norm of leaving the toilet seat down is inefficient. However, to our dismay, we also find that the social norm of always leaving the toilet seat down after use is not only a Nash equilibrium in pure strategies but is also trembling-hand perfect. So, we can complain all we like, but this norm is not likely to go away.

(Thanks to reader David Magda.)

Donate Software for the Pan-Mass Challenge 

Seth Dillingham is looking for software developers willing to contribute software licenses to be auctioned off for charity:

All proceeds will be donated to the Pan-Mass Challenge, and in turn to the Jimmy Fund, for the research and treatment of cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Pan-Mass Challenge is one of the most efficient charities in the world (over 99% of all rider-raised funds are passed through directly to the Jimmy Fund).

Daring Fireball T-Shirt Spotted on CBS Sunday Morning 

During CBS Sunday Morning’s segment on Maker Faire, they showed a woman in the audience wearing a DF t-shirt.

One Year With Linux 

Mark Pilgrim, one year after switching from the Mac to Linux:

In fact, none of the usual complaints about Linux (hardware drivers, X configuration, package dependencies) have affected me in any significant way.

Mark Boulton: ‘Five Simple Steps to Better Typography’ 

Mark Boulton:

Typography, I find, is still a bit of mystery to a lot of designers. The kind of typography I’m talking about is not your typical “What font should I use” typography but rather your “knowing your hanging punctuation from your em-dash” typography. Call me a little bit purist but this bothers me.

Daniel Jalkut on Service Scrubber 

Nice write-up on a terrific utility. Services are such a great idea — one of the most clever things Mac OS X inherited from NeXTStep. But something like Service Scrubber — that lets you manage them and deal with keyboard shortcut conflicts — is sorely missing from the system itself.

Let’s Not Misuse It — Wherefore 

Another nice explanation about “wherefore” and Romeo and Juliet, this one from Sterling Ambivalence.

‘Wherefore’ Means Why 

Does not mean “where are you”. My lesson of the day. Thanks to a bunch of readers for pointing this out.

eNotes’s explanation of the famous line from Romeo and Juliet.

More on the iTunes 7.2 Buy-Burn-Rip Bug 

More from Christopher Breen, confirming that it’s a bug:

Yesterday, I noted that iTunes 7.2 had trouble syncing certain MP3 files to an iPod. It appears that this is a bug. […]

The bug appears to take the form of some problem with the iTunes music library, causing these specific tracks to be deemed incompatible with the iPod. You can put things right by recreating your iTunes library.

Playlist: iTunes 7.2 Disallows Buy-Burn-Rip DRM Loophole 

Christopher Breen:

If you burn a playlist of iTunes’ protected music to a CD in iTunes 7.2 and then rip that CD in the MP3 format (a trick people often use to remove the tracks’ copy protection), those MP3 tracks won’t copy to an iPod. Try, and you’ll be told that the tracks are incompatible with the iPod.

This is not an issue with earlier versions of iTunes.

Boy, is that shitty. The workaround is to burn the CD to MP3 using software other than iTunes. I wonder how iTunes is identifying these CD tracks? Maybe this is just a bug?

Update: Apparently the problem only occurs when you try to rip to MP3 format, specifically — if you rip from CD back to plain (non-DRM) AAC, it still works just fine. This really sounds like a bug, not a deliberate limitation.