Linked List: March 2007

Time Magazine: Why Everyone’s Talking about Twitter 

Best mainstream media article about Twitter I’ve seen; the first that emphasizes that it’s fun and easy, rather than bitching that it’s pointless.

My picture is in the example subscription list. Smallest picture of me that will ever appear in Time, I bet.

JeffCroft on Rip-Offs 

Jeff Croft:

Tangentially, I think one of the points of confusion over all this rip-off-or-not business is that there’s a world of difference between the law and the morals of individual creative people.

Kottke’s 2005 Piece on Nike’s ‘Major Threat’ Ad 

Another question of theft vs. homage involving one of the world’s best corporate brands.

Yet Another ‘New File in a Finder Window’ Automator/AppleScript Solution 

Great example showing how to combine AppleScript with Automator, by Stephan Cleaves.

FaceSpan 5 Is Alive 

A screencast by Matt Neuburg showing off Late Night Software’s upcoming revision to FaceSpan, the AppleScript RAD environment. Totally new IDE, totally new scripting interface.

Mike Davidson’s McCain Prank Featured on The Daily Show 

Too bad they referred to Davidson only as “a hacker”.

CNet Says Apple’s iPhone Will Be Released on June 11 

Same day that WWDC opens. I have my doubts that a date given by a Cingular customer support agent is set in stone, though.

Is Greenpeace Off the Mark on Apple? 

Arik Hesseldahl on Greenpeace’s campaign against Apple, for BusinessWeek:

As of now, neither Apple nor Dell — nor Hewlett-Packard for that matter — is selling a single PVC- or BFR-free computer. So in truth, Greenpeace has graded Apple based on statements, not actions. Both Dell and Apple are in the same boat, but one is saying the right things in public, and getting applause for it. What happens, I wonder, if 2009 comes and goes and Dell finds itself backtracking on its commitment? Nothing good, from a public relations standpoint, I suspect.

Windows Vulnerability in Animated Cursor Handling 

Affects Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista. Hilarious. (Thanks to John Siracusa.)

Apple TV ‘Back Door’ Hysteria 

Thomas Fitzgerald:

Rather than the obvious thought that there are simple automatic repair scripts running on the device, they made the giant leap to come to the conclusion that Apple are mysteriously and secretively hacking into your Apple TV at night to reset your system to its default settings.

Well said.

The Torso Topping Stunt 

Kevin Cornell, illustrator extraordinaire, on the new DF t-shirts.

Contextual Menus With Automator 

Using Automator actions to achieve something similar to the AppleScript for Big Cat Scripts I posted the other day.

They Didn’t Study 

Hilarious answers to test questions. The calculus one with the hangman is awesome. (Via Khoi Vinh.)

Front-Page Article in The San Francisco Chronicle on the Kathy Sierra Death Threats Story 

Good story by Dan Fost covering the whole unseemly saga.

New ‘Complete My Album’ Features on iTunes Store 

Gives you credit for singles you’ve already bought when you buy the rest of the album.

CanSecWest Security Conference Offers MacBook Pros to Anyone Who Can Exploit Them 


We’ve announced that we will be having a contest “PWN to OWN” where two, pimp, loaded up, Apple Macbook Pro’s will be set up on their own AP (with security updates but otherwise default) and attendees will be able to connect to the ethernet or WiFi. The first to exploit it (there are victory conditions, and progressive rules over the three days) gets to go home with it. (Limit one per person, Can’t use the same vuln on both.) If they survive the three days in the “jungle,” they become prizes for best lightning talk and best speaker. Detailed contest rules to follow shortly.

(Thanks to Chris Pepper.)

Jon Udell on Authenticated RSS Feeds 

My only guess about why Google Reader doesn’t support authenticated feeds is that the architecture isn’t designed for non-public content.

John Dvorak: ‘Apple Should Pull the Plug on the iPhone’ 

What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a “reference design” and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures.

It should do that immediately before it’s too late.

Remember Rob Malda’s reaction on Slashdot to the original iPod? “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.”

I think we’ve found the equivalent for the iPhone. We’ll be laughing about this one for a long time.

Windows-Only ‘Tubes’ Claims Mac Compatibility by Running Under Parallels 

This is not something to brag about in a press release.


Tom Insam:

DjangoKit is a framework that will (eventually) allow me to package just about any Django application as a stand-alone MacOS .app. I’ve been noodling with the concept for a while now, but I was finally motivated to do something after I saw Slingshot and started reading about Apollo and related technologies.

I’m getting the sense that hybrid desktop/web apps are the next big thing. I’m unconvinced, but very much intrigued.

X Marks the Spot in ‘The Departed’ 

Rene Rodriguez on Martin Scorsese’s use of X’s throughout The Departed. Spooky. (Via Kottke.)

Boot Camp 1.2 Beta 

Now with support for Windows Vista.

Artist Says iPhone Ad Was a Rip-Off 

A sequence from Christian Marclay’s 1995 film Telephones comprises a montage of actors in famous films answering the phone. Apple’s “Hello” ad, which debuted during the Oscars, has a near-identical feel, though it features different footage. (The similarity was first noted here.)

Marclay, who has not commented on the matter until now, confirms it was no coincidence. “They approached us [about using Telephones] and I said no, and then they just went ahead,” he says. “The way they dealt with the whole thing is pretty sleazy.”

I don’t consider this a rip-off. Apple asked to use (and presumably pay for) the original, then made their own after he refused, using different clips. Using the same basic idea is not the same thing as copying an original piece of work.

But it does bring to mind the brouhaha over Apple’s “The Intel Chip” ad and The Postal Services’s “Such Great Heights” video.

Xbox 360 Elite 


The Xbox 360 Elite will come with a 120GB hard drive, an HDMI port, a HDMI cable, both component and composite cables, an audio adapter for use with HDMI and a black finish for the console, wireless controller and Xbox Live headset. It will not have, despite rumors to the contrary, the smaller 65 nanometer chips, built in IPTV support or a built-in HD-DVD drive.

$480, slated to hit stores at the end of April.

Mike Pinkerton’s Google Tech Talk on Camino 

Video of Camino lead developer Mike Pinkerton’s discussion about Camino and Mozilla.

Why to Not Not Start a Startup 

Paul Graham:

Frightening as it seemed to them, it’s now the default with us to live by our wits. So if it seems risky to you to start a startup, think how risky it once seemed to your ancestors to live as we do now. Oddly enough, the people who know this best are the very ones trying to get you to stick to the old model. How can Larry and Sergey say you should come work as their employee, when they didn’t get jobs themselves?

Eddie Griffin Crashes a Ferrari Enzo 

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry:

Eddie Griffin crashed a $1.5 million Ferrari Enzo (only 400 were ever made) while practicing for a charity race to promote his new movie Redline yesterday.

(Thanks to the wife.)

Apple - Creative Suite 3 

Translation: “Please buy a new Mac Pro.”

Hacking John McCain 

John McCain’s campaign set up a MySpace page using Mike Davidson’s template, including pulling images directly from Davidson’s server. So he changed one of the images.

Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen on CS3 Pricing 

From the AP:

CS3’s prices may seem steep compared to other shrink-wrapped software. But Adobe customers — particularly graphic and video artists with deep-pocketed corporate clients — spend money relatively liberally compared with average software buyers, Chief Executive Bruce Chizen said.

“Our customer is not typically price sensitive,” Chizen said last week. “The cost of the tool isn’t what’s critical — it’s the productivity and what their output can be. They want to pay for value as long as we deliver innovative features that allow them to be more productive and creative.”

Translation: “We think we can charge whatever we want.”

PyOSA 0.1.0 

Your reaction to this announcement is likely either to be “Huh?” or “Holy shit!”

Announcing the first release of PyOSA, a new OSA language > component for Python. PyOSA allows you to write Python scripts in Script Editor and attach them to OSA-enabled applications such as Mail (Mail Rules), iTunes (Scripts menu) and System Events (Folder Actions).

Mine was “Holy shit!”

Best Buy Acquires Speakeasy 

Speakeasy has a good reputation as a high-end ISP and data services provider for nerds. Best Buy doesn’t exactly have a high-end reputation.

Laurie McGuinness: Mac / PC Parodies 

I’ve seen at least a dozen parodies of Apple’s TV commercials, and these are the first that ever made me laugh. I especially like the first one, “Work”.

AOL: PowerPoint Paralysis 

Valleywag has screenshots from an internal PowerPoint presentation from AOL regarding the naming of their new search feature, “FullView”. Includes such insight as “‘Full’ and ‘View’ are very familiar English words.” This is an astoundingly bad presentation.

(Of course, the name itself, “FullView”, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. As Joe Clark points out in the Valleywag comments, L-V is not a common combination in English, and is likely to wind up sounding like “FuwView”.)

LogoMaid Pulls SimpleBits Logo Knock-Off, Apologizes to Dan Cederholm 

Never too late to do the right thing.

Fantastic Gemstones 

Amazing photographs by Bill Atkinson, who, as a member of the original Macintosh team at Apple, created QuickDraw, MacPaint, and HyperCard. (Via Coudal.)

Upstage — Samsung Phone for Sprint 

Interesting, or at least novel, form factor. It’s got a phone with a tiny screen and camera on one side, and a media player with a bigger screen on the other side. My guess is it’s a piece of junk overall, but at least it doesn’t look like every other phone out there. The typeface on the buttons looks like something out of Knight Rider.

Shorpy: The 100-Year-Old Photo Blog is a photo blog about what life a hundred years ago was like: How people looked and what they did for a living, back when not having a job usually meant not eating.

Just terrific.

iTunes 7.1 Accessibility 

Joe Clark:

There is precious little in the way of written documentation about the following, but iTunes 7.1 is now reasonably accessible under VoiceOver on Mac. (There are a couple of sources, but very little in the way of actual user testimonial on the MacVisionaries list [example].)

Leopard Release Date Silliness 

MacNN, quoting “analyst” Shaw Wu of American Technology Research:

“Our sources indicate that Apple’s latest beta build has made noticeable improvements in stability and functionality from previous builds and that Apple is likely one or two upcoming builds away from reaching ‘final candidate’ stage to be released for manufacturing.”

Either Shaw Wu has some bad sources, or he just made this up. Leopard is clearly more than “one or two upcoming builds” away from GM status.

Xtorrent 1.0 and Inquisitor 3.0 

David Watanabe:

I am very pleased to announce today that two of my projects, both having been through long beta phases, are together emerging as full-fledged products.

Apple TV Hacks 

As expected, the Apple TV is more or less a stripped-down Mac Mini running a version of Mac OS X, so the hacks are coming fast and furious.

AppleInsider: Amazon Leaks Adobe CS3 Pricing and Dates 

Is it just me or do the six different “editions” of Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 remind you of the Windows Vista product matrix? And isn’t it weird that none of them — including the Master Collection that’s apparently going to retail for about $2,500 — includes Lightroom?

Godbit Project: Another LogoMaid Knock-Off 

What’s funny is that the LogoMaid artist completely missed what’s clever about the original Godbit logo, that the green part forms a “G” and the whitespace forms a “b”.

Python Web Development and Frameworks in 2007 

Detailed overview of today’s best Python web app frameworks.

You Can’t Have Everything, Where Would You Put It? 

Des Traynor:

Interfaces should be designed like those exclusive city nightclubs, only the most desirable components are allowed in, and even they have to queue.

Waffle: Now in Glorious HTML5 

Jesper on HTML5:

HTML5 has ditched everything terrifyingly deprecated, kept the rest, and introduced new elements that are truly useful and truly usable.

Examples of those items include <section>, <article>, the tag-team tag team <header> and <footer>, <nav> and <dialog>, which utilizes <dt> and <dd> pairs previously seen only in <dl> (definition lists) to finally standardize written dialog.

I started serving some of Daring Fireball’s pages (including the front page and article archives) marked-up in a simple subset of HTML5 last week. All I had to do (mostly) was change the DOCTYPE declaration and remove some needless metadata cruft from the <html> and <meta> tags.

InfoWorld, We Hardly Knew Ye 

Dave Winer on the great history of InfoWorld. It’s hard to express how important the weekly nerd publications like InfoWorld, MacWeek, and PC Week used to be, back in the pre-Web era. There was no other way for nerd news junkies to stay on top of what was going on.

Adobe Apollo: Beyond the Hype 

Niall Kennedy:

In this post I’ll break down the components of Adobe’s Apollo framework, identify opportunities for application development, and compare the promised features against other software offerings.

Compassionate Commercialism 

Interesting op-ed piece by Daniel Gilbert in The Times:

Should we now get used to commercial tricks that play on our humanity? How would we feel about a device planted in trash bins that screams “I’m stuck!” until the lid is opened, at which point it continues, “Stuck in a dead end job, that is — and if you are too, then let us show you how to make millions in real estate with no money down”? Is it O.K. to send a thousand doleful puppies into the streets with tags that say: “Thanks for checking. And speaking of checking, our bank charges no monthly fees”?

Rafe Colburn: Markdown Evangelism 

This made my day.

AnandTech Dissects an Apple TV 

Satisfying their curiosity so you don’t have to.

Excerpts From Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ 

Some good excerpts from one of my very favorite books.

AppleScript to Post Current iTunes Track to Twitter 

More iTunes AppleScript goodness from Doug Adams.

Apple TV Requires Neither High Def Nor Widescreen 

Interesting scoop from Paul Kafasis: contrary to Apple’s stated requirements and many of the initial product reviews, Apple TV in fact works with TVs that are neither widescreen nor high definition, so long as they have component inputs.

Component input uses red, blue, and green cables for video; red and white for audio. Most regular (non-widescreen, non-HD) TVs sold in the past two or three years support this.

Jackass of the Week: Andy Patrizio 

Outstanding job by Mat Lu at TUAW — he’s saved me a lot of typing. The gist of it is that Andy Patrizio wrote a widely-linked-to article for claiming that Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report proclaimed Windows is the most secure OS. Symantec’s report claims no such thing.

Joyent Slingshot 

Soon-to-be-released framework for running Rails web apps locally on Macs and PCs, with data synching to the hosted web app mothership. If it works as advertised, it’s the web equivalent of alchemy.

A Hugh Influence 

SXSWi event director Hugh Forrest responds to Khoi Vinh regarding the conference’s programming.

McDonald’s Wants ‘McJob’ Removed From Dictionaries 

McDonald’s is complaining about the OED’s definition of McJob — “An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector” — on the grounds that it’s unflattering. The problem for McDonald’s, though, is that it’s true. How is that not the definition of a job working at a McDonald’s?

(Thanks to DF reader Nelson Lamoureux.)

News Corp. and NBC Announce Partnership Intended to Rival YouTube 

Lots of press about this deal, but it’s way out in vaporware land. It doesn’t even have a name yet.

Digg Thread on the LogoMaid Rip-Off of SimpleBits 

“bgbs” is the sock puppet defending LogoMaid. Hilarious that he’s still defending this one.

Grand Canyon Skywalk Opens 


Highrise Stats and Changes 

Most interesting tidbit: 9 percent of Highrise users are using OpenID.

David Pogue: ‘Apple TV Has Landed’ 

Pogue reviews the Apple TV, and compares it to the Netgear EVA8000 (great name, Netgear) and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

If You Can Read This, You’re Hired 

Beautifully cryptic job ads for an expert typographer, set in dingbat fonts. (Via Design Observer.)

Nominee for Worst Prediction of the Decade 

Rob Glaser, CEO of Real Networks, to The New York Times in 2003 regarding the “closed” iPod:

“It’s absolutely clear now why five years from now, Apple will have 3 (percent) to 5 percent of the player market. … The history of the world is that hybridization yields better results.”

Not looking good for this prediction.

‘Four Thumbs Up’ 

Fake Steve on Walt Mossberg’s review of the Apple TV.

Calvert DeForest, a.k.a. Larry ‘Bud’ Melman, Dies at 85 

Here’s DeForest in my very favorite segment in Letterman’s career. YouTube, unsurprisingly, has scads of other clips.

Letterhead Fonts Embraces DRM 

I sympathize, because font bootlegging has been rampant since the dawn of desktop publishing. But this isn’t the answer. Does anyone know what they’re doing at a technical level that keeps their fonts from working with font managers?

If it’s really “DRM”, how does the system know how to use them? Mac OS X has no support for any sort of encrypted font format that I’m aware of.

Scott Stevenson on Cross-Platform Apps 

Scott Stevenson:

Maybe the most important thing you will ever need to know about Mac development is this:

Mac users will generally favor an app with a better experience over the one with more features.

And he’s right that Skype is an excellent example of a cross-platform app done right — the Mac version looks, feels, and works in a completely Mac-like way.

YouTube: Hunter S. Thompson Interviews Keith Richards 

Two of the patron saints of Daring Fireball. The ratio of genius-to-mumbling is off the chart. (Thanks to Amy.)

Kottke on Twitter 


Also like blogs, everyone has their own unique definition of what Twitter is (stripped down blogs, public IM, Dodgeball++, etc.), and to some extent, everyone is correct. Maybe that’s when you know how you’ve got a winner: when people use it like mad but can’t fully explain the appeal of it to others. See also: weblogs, Flickr.

The way I see it, Twitter is to IM and SMS what weblogs were to email and Usenet.

Escaping URLs With Unicode Checker 

Sven-S. Porst offers an alternative to my JavaScript bookmarklet builder, using AppleScript and Unicode Checker.

Black Ink 1.0 

Crossworld puzzle game from Daniel Jalkut’s Red Sweater Software. (This is the other app he recently acquired from another developer — it was formerly known as MacXword.)

Chris Ware Animation for ‘This American Life’ 

Wonderful story, cleverly told. “The cameras really changed the way we behaved.”

JavaScript/CSS Font Detector 

Open-source JavaScript routine to test whether any given font is present on the viewer’s web browser:

We try to create a string with a specified font-face. If the font-face is not available, it takes up the font-face of the parent element. We then compare the width of the string with the specified font-face and width of the string with the font-face of the parent element, if they are different, then the font exists, otherwise not.


David Chartier: ‘Clarification on the MacBook Wi-Fi Hack “Conspiracy”’ 

David Chartier at TUAW expounds upon his role covering the MacBook Wi-Fi saga. I just don’t get why George Ou ever was, let alone still remains, so upset about Chartier’s TUAW post or Jim Dalrymple’s Macworld story.

The truth is Maynor and Ellch must have “falsified” something, because at various times, to various people, they both claimed to have an exploit against the MacBook’s built-in AirPort driver and not to have an exploit against the built-in driver. Chartier’s “SecureWorks Admits to Falsifying MacBook Wireless Hack” story wasn’t exactly right, but it was more right than wrong, and this line from that post is as good a summary of the whole sad saga as any:

The problem here is that this experiment was not one of those quests for truth — it was a quest for, in the words of Mr. Colbert: truthiness.

The Macalope on the Latest From George Ou 

Ou is still angry about the whole MacBook Wi-Fi thing, but, as usual, his diatribe makes very little sense. The Macalope makes what sense of it there is.

What I enjoyed most about it is where Ou admits that he got Lynn Fox’s private phone number from a confidential email from Maynor — i.e. one that Maynor had asked Ou to keep confidential — and so what does Ou do? He calls her at that number. Two minutes later she’s on the phone to Maynor angry at him for distributing the message. What a dope.

Under the Hood at 

Naz Hamid lifts the curtain to reveal screenshots from the custom CMS powering the new AIGA web site.

Dan Benjamin Interviews Brent Simmons 

Terrific interview. Their discussion on microformats made me think that microformats today are sort of like RSS was back in 2001 and 2002. People are producing them, but they’re out there waiting for the killer app to come along to make them useful in an obvious way, like NetNewsWire did for RSS.

The funny part is that NetNewsWire might be the app that does it for microformats, too.

James Duncan Davidson: Loading Down Lightroom 

Multi-core processors, hard at work.

From the DF Archives: ‘Seriously, “Repair Permissions” Is Voodoo’ 

Me, about a year ago:

Arguing that you (a) run Repair Permissions all the time and (b) have no permission problems, and then drawing the conclusion that there’s a cause-and-effect relationship there, is like arguing that your diligent avoidance of sidewalk cracks has a causal relationship to the fact that your mother’s back is doing just fine. Troubleshooting computers is science, not magic.

Valleywag on Alexa 

Alexa’s stats are a joke. Given that many people apparently take them seriously, a bad joke.

A Conversation at the Grownup Table, as Imagined at the Kids’ Table 

Simon Rich in The New Yorker:

MOM: Pass the wine, please. I want to become crazy.
GRANDMOTHER: Did you see the politics? It made me angry.
DAD: Me, too. When it was over, I had sex.
UNCLE: I’m having sex right now.
DAD: We all are.

(Via Andy Baio.)

WWDC 2007 Sessions Announced 

At a glance, the major themes seem to be new Leopard technologies (duh), developer tools, and a bunch of sessions on web development.

Nick Bradbury: Indie Tip #1: Build Something You Need 

Nick Bradbury is offering tips to indie software developers:

Have you ever tried an application that looked great at first, but once you started using it, it just didn’t feel right? The UI was slick and the feature list looked perfect, but the workflow just wasn’t there?

I see this all the time, and quite often it’s due to developers not using their own applications. They built something they thought would sell instead of something they needed, so they don’t see their software the way an end user would.

Japanese Trailer for ‘Ratatouille’ 

Japanese subtitles, but the audio is in English. Visually astounding — the atmosphere is tangible, and Pixar is getting really good at animating cartoony humans. (Thanks to Scott Stevenson.)

Beast — Ruby on Rails Forum Software 


A small, light-weight forum in Rails with a scary name and a goal of around 500 lines of code when we’re done.

I hadn’t heard of it before, but 37signals is using it for their Highrise forum.

SpamSieve 2.6 

If you get spam, you should use SpamSieve. It’s that simple.

Letterbox — Widescreen Hack for Apple Mail 

Freeware plugin for Apple Mail that switches the viewer window to a widescreen layout.

Using the Undocumented Highrise API 

Simon Willison:

The Highrise API appears to be at least partially up and running; it just isn’t documented yet. In various places around the site you can add .xml to the end of a URL to get an XML representation of the resource (very RESTful).

Mark Pilgrim Hired by Google 

Now that I think about this, I’m surprised they didn’t hire him long ago. Congratulations.

Highrise: Shared Contact Manager and Task List 

Now available: 37signals’s answer to CRM.

Human Breakout on YouTube 

Someone page Cabel for me. (Thanks to Jeremy Bogan.)

Adobe Apollo Uses WebKit for HTML Rendering on All Platforms 

From the FAQ:

What HTML and JavaScript Engine is used within Apollo?

HTML and JavaScript within Apollo are handled by the WebKit HTML / JavaScript engine.

(Thanks to Jesper.)

Jackass of the Week: George Ou 

What a moron.

Sort Fields in iTunes 7.1 

Paul Mison’s terrific exploration and documentation of the new sorting features in iTunes 7.1. The gist is that iTunes now lets you specify the “sort name” for various metadata fields, so, for example, you can have all tracks by “John Lennon” sort as though they’re by “Lennon, John”.


New family of typefaces from Monotype; I like the heavier weights quite a bit. (Via Jason Santa Maria.)

Primality Regex 

Neil Kandalgaonkar explains Abigail’s famous Perl regex that identifies prime numbers.

Todd Dominey Goes Full-Time With SlideShowPro 

Reminds me of Shaun Inman — a designer who turns himself into a very successful web app developer not as part of a plan, but as an unexpected result of building something very cool.

Oh Yeeaahh! 

Khoi Vinh’s grid-based design of a hypothetical Yahoo-ish web portal, plus the slides from his and Mark Boulton’s “Grids Are Good” presentation at last week’s SXSWi.

Vinh is the world’s preeminent grid-based web designer. I find that it’s always worth studying his use of rules — where he places them, how thick, what color. (E.g. notice how 1-pixel gray lines create the illusion of thinner-than-1px hairlines.)

His article from December 2004 on Subtraction’s own design is a masterpiece of self-exempliflication.

Twittermap FAQ 

“Fancy Web 2.0 Mash-Up created using Twitter’s public feed and the Google Maps API”.

Branches: ‘What This Is About’ 

Nice piece on drawing inspiration and motivation from SXSW.

QuickTime Gains 720P Apple TV High-Definition Export Mode 

Nice scoop from Jeremy Horwitz at iLounge:

In an undisclosed and largely unnoticed update to its QuickTime video playback and conversion software, Apple has quietly added an “Export to Apple TV” feature capable of creating high-definition videos viewable on the Apple TV accessory. Unlike Export to iPod, which currently creates sub-DVD-quality 640 by 480 videos, Export to Apple TV creates not only full DVD-quality 720 by 404 videos, but also 1280 by 720 videos. These videos are viewable in iTunes, but cannot be transferred directly via iTunes to an fifth-generation iPod.

JamVM — A Compact Java Virtual Machine 

GPL’d cross-platform Java VM that conforms to the JVM specification; just 160 KB on PowerPC and 140 KB on x86. The biggest difference from other Java VMs is that it runs as an interpreter.

Shirt Pocket Watch: ‘Floating Ownership Nearly Sinks Us’ 

2005 weblog entry from Dave Nanian at Shirt Pocket Software on how the “User 99/Unknown” floating ownership feature in OS X presented problems for them during the development of SuperDuper.

Fake Steve on Lessig’s Op-Ed Piece Regarding the Viacom-Google Suit 

I’m with Fake Steve: it’s unseemly that Larry Lessig’s op-ed piece in today’s New York Times, in which he argues against the merits of Viacom’s billion-dollar copyright infringement lawsuit against Google, doesn’t disclose that Google has pledged $2 million to support Lessig’s Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University.


$20 Front Row-compatible infrared remote control that fits in a MacBook Pro’s ExpressCard slot. (Via Scott McNulty.)

User 99, Unknown 

Greg Miller:

Mac OS X has an additional interesting account for a user named “unknown”. Unknown has the UID number 99, which is treated specially within the kernel as well as some user-level libraries. The special properties afforded to unknown are needed to make device sharing between computers as painless as possible.

WordPress Plugin Directory 

Centralized hosting and directory for WordPress plugins. (The metadata is gathered from structured readme files with a format based on Markdown.)

Ze Frank Goes Out on Top 

The finale of The Show.

My Software Update Procedure 

Advice from the archive that still stands.

Wall Street Journal Story on Twitter 

I’m not sure I need to read much more than the sub-head:

New Real-Time Messaging Services Overwhelm Some Users With Mundane Updates From Friends

Naz Hamid’s SXSW 2007 Infographic Recap 

Beautiful SXSW recap.

‘Color Me Kubrick’ Trailer 

John Malkovich as Alan Conway, the goofball who passed himself off as Kubrick in London, despite neither looking nor sounding anything at all like the actual man (or even knowing much about his films).

Improve Your Forms Using HTML5 

Anne Van Kesteren shows off some of the features in Web Forms 2, part of WHATWG’s upcoming HTML5 spec.

Rosyna: ‘How Installing Apple’s Updates Can Render Your Mac Unbootable and How You Can Prevent It’ 

Short version: Don’t do anything with your Mac while it’s running through the “Optimizing System Performance” phase of a software update. I always run my software updates after a fresh login, with no apps running other than the Finder.

ScriptExport 0.3 

Freeware plug-in for iPhoto lets you write shell scripts (Perl, Ruby, Python, etc.) to process your photos. (Thanks to Erik Barzeski.)

Actiontastic Goes Open Source 

Jon Crosby announces his intention to release his GTD-style task manager as open source.

Time Magazine Launches Luke Hayman’s Redesign 

Way better than previous design, yet still looks and feels like the Time brand. Blows Newsweek’s design out of the water.

Fake iPhone Commercial 

From Late Night With Conan O’Brien. (Thanks to Aristotle Pagaltzis.)

Tracking Twitter’s Message Growth 

Andy Baio measures Twitter’s growth in terms of messages posted — cleverly deriving them from the post numbers of Evan Williams’s own history:

I decided to find out by using Twitter’s founder Evan Williams himself, albeit indirectly. Since Ev’s Twitter history goes from message #28 in March 2006 to #8,281,991 about three hours ago, it’s a convenient snapshot of Twitter’s growth since it began.

My only quibble with Andy’s charts is that they make it look like Twitter didn’t take off at all until November. March–October 2006 are nearly flat in these graphs, but that’s only in comparison to the huge numbers that have come since November. Here’s a graph I whipped up showing only the growth from March through October 2006.

The lesson here is that even with a good idea and an experienced team, overnight success doesn’t happen overnight.

Mat Balez Foolishly Predicts the Demise of Twitter 

Mat Balez:

I make no bones about my disdain for Twitter. I’ve commented far and wide about the inanity and potential danger of the tool, and even discussed some of the associated social repercussions on this blog. But I’d like to now go one step further, and predict its imminent supernova-like implosion.

I’ll take that bet. I say Twitter traffic (measured in posts) will be notably higher one year from now. Perhaps staggeringly so.

Regarding The New French Law on Recording Violence 

Apparently it is not an outright ban on citizen journalists recording violent acts:

The law aims at fighting “happy slapping” only (filming orchestrated violence and sharing the images on the web, the intention being to harm the victim) […]

(Thanks to Paul Mison for the link.) Redesign 

Too plain, too disorganized.

‘Yahoo Betrayed My Husband’ 

Wired profile of Yu Ling:

Yu’s husband is now in Beijing Prison No. 2, serving a 10-year sentence for inciting subversion with his pro-democracy internet writings. According to the written court verdict, the Chinese government convicted Wang, in part, on evidence provided by Yahoo.

(Couldn’t they have taken a better picture of her, though?)

The Right to Criticize Programming Languages 

Tomasz Węgrzanowski:

There are words that I’ve heard many years ago, which really affected my thinking about discussions and criticism. I cannot recall them exactly, but they went something along the lines of:

You have no right to criticize a programming language, unless you are able to point three things in which it excels compared to your favourite language.

Great little essay overall, but my favorite part was watching him struggle to say something nice about C++.

(Via Wolf Rentzsch.)

The Amazing Hivelogic T-Shirt 

Swell design and good timing — I need some more t-shirts. (Do not mention this to my wife.)

Regarding HP’s Mac Drivers 

Dave Nanian:

So, imagine my surprise when — after a recent Mac purchase at the Apple Store — I decided to get a “free” HP C6180 all-in-one printer and… hey! It’s been de-suckified!

The thing is well designed, has good drivers, built-in networking, even scans and faxes over the network — pushing or pulling to multiple “associated” Macs, it’s not perfect but what the hell? It’s like someone is writing these drivers who actually uses a Mac!


New weblog about interactive design and research.

Mac OS X 10.4.9 Includes an Updated Version of ‘sudo’ 

They’ve updated the warning before the password prompt. Here’s the previous warning for comparison. (Thanks to DF reader Joachim Bengtsson.)

Web Typography Sucks 

Slides and notes from Richard Rutter and Mark Boulton’s presentation at SXSW 2007.

Using TextWrangler to Browse and Modify Aperture Libraries 

Same tips apply to BBEdit, of course.

Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait 

Chris Jordan:

This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on.

(Via Design Observer.)

Flickr Collections 

Sets for photo sets.

Keyword Assistant 1.9.4 

Ken Ferry’s helpful add-on hack for iPhoto gets updated for compatibility with iPhoto 6.0.6.

The Programmer Hierarchy 

Org chart showing which languages make programmers feel superior to other programmers. (Via David Weiss.)

South by South-BEST! 

Todd Levin’s gonzo SXSW coverage for The Morning News.

Spanning Sync 1.0 

Bi-directional synching between iCal and Google Calendar; $25/year or $65 for a one-time purchase.

VoodooPad 3.1.4 

How can I not link to version 3.1.4 when it’s released on Pi Day?

Eric Gill Got It Wrong; A Re-Evaluation of Gill Sans by Ben Archer 

I disagree strongly, but it’s still worth a read. Stephen Coles has a follow-up at Typographica with links to a bunch of alternatives to Gill Sans.

Security Update 2007-003: Mac OS X 10.3.9 Client 

Just for 10.3.9 client, but there’s a corresponding update for 10.3.9 Server.

(Thanks to Nat Irons.)

France Bans Citizen Journalists From Reporting Violence 

This law is merde.

The ‘Helvetica’ Premiere 

Alissa Walker:

Okay, okay, everybody has been making their little jokes about “the movie about a font.” But guess what — this is not really a movie about a typeface. Helvetica is just a character in this wonderfully-made film, which just might be the best history of graphic design we’ve ever seen.

Missing that premiere is the one and only regret I have about leaving Austin yesterday instead of today.

Mac OS X 10.4.9 

I wonder if this is going to be the last non-security update to 10.4.

SXSW 2007 Photoset on Flickr 

Some of my photos from this year’s SXSW conference in Austin.

Adobe Edits the Development Cycle 

The Register’s Mary Brancombe talks to Adobe Photoshop co-architect Russell Williams about the changes his team made for the development of Photoshop CS3:

Probably the most effective thing we did was institute per-engineer bug limits: if any engineer’s bug count passes 20, they have to stop working on features and fix bugs instead. The basic idea is that we keep the bug count low as we go so that we can send out usable versions to alpha testers earlier in the cycle and we don’t have the bugalanch at the end.

The goal is to always have the product in a state where we could say “pencils down. You have x weeks to fix the remaining bugs and ship it”.

MarsEdit 1.1.4 

Lots of bug fixes and tweaks to Daniel Jalkut’s weblog editor.

Journeys to the Distant Fields of Prime 

From The New York Times’s profile of Terence Tao, mathematician and expert in the field of prime numbers:

His words were polite, unassuming and tinged with the accent of Australia, his homeland. Even though prime numbers have been studied for 2,000 years, “There’s still a lot that needs to be done,” Dr. Tao said. “And it’s still a very exciting field.”

My Panel at SXSW: Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. 

If you’re down here messing with Texas, don’t forget that the best panel of the week is Tuesday at 11:30: “The Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer”, with me, Shaun Inman, Nick Bradbury, and moderator Michael Lopp.

Apple DTS Support Policy on Application Enhancer 

From the Carbon-Dev mailing list:

Our (Apple’s) official policy is that we don’t support APE’d systems. Period. The data miner that parses all the crash logs that are sent to us automatically ignores any report that has APE api’s in the backtraces or dylb lists.

Update: And here’s the message that started the thread.

Tantek Çelik: ‘Three Hypotheses of Human Interface Design’ 

Excellent analysis by Tantek Çelik regarding what makes software feel easier and more fun to use. This is a must-read.

Adam Engst on Nike+iPod 

Adam Engst:

… in short, although the Nike+iPod Sport Kit can be a fun addition for anyone who runs with an iPod or wants a bit more encouragement to run, competitive runners shouldn’t bother with it. It simply isn’t worthwhile as a training aid for anyone who values distance and pace accuracy. …

What I’m trying to convey is how, as a competitive runner, my opinions are akin to those of a professional graphic designer faced with a program that claims to bring illustration to everyone.

NYT Feature on Google’s Bus System 

The New York Times profiles Google’s employee transit system — which covers more miles than BART and is perhaps the company’s most popular perk:

Google will not discuss the cost of the program, which it operates through Bauer’s Limousine, a private transportation company in San Francisco. But the shuttles appear to be having the desired effect on recruiting. Michael Gaiman, a 23-year-old Web applications engineer who lives in San Francisco and was recently hired, said he turned down an offer from Apple before accepting the job at Google. “It definitely was a factor,” Mr. Gaiman said of the shuttle.

Unofficial SXSW Other Side Guide 

Unofficial guide and schedule to the SXSW Film and Interactive panels and events; the daily schedules seem more useful to me than those on (I leave for Austin tomorrow.)

Payment Processing With PayPal and Ruby 

$8.50 PDF e-book by Joe Fair, published by the Pragmatic Programmers. Might be useful even if you don’t program in Ruby, just to get a clear, concise guide to PayPal’s APIs and payment services.

MacFUSE News 

Scott Knaster on the latest MacFUSE news, including an Objective-C library for all you square-bracket junkies and this article on MacDevCenter by Knaster.

Worst. Flight. Ever. 

WCCO, Minneapolis:

An off-duty Northwest Airlines employee was arrested after a woman on a flight from Seattle complained that the man had ejaculated on her.

Google Calculator Service 

Christopher Biagini created a system-wide Services menu item wrapping Google’s calculator feature. Select some text containing some math to solve, invoke, and the text is replaced by the result. Sounds a little silly to go out over the web to compute math, when you’ve got a nice fast processor right there on your Mac, but the magic is in Google natural language parsing. And it doesn’t just do math, it does unit conversion, too — pass in “2kg + 2lbs” and you’ll get “2.90718474 kilograms”.

Oddica: Flip a Bird, by Anders K. Iden 

If you don’t like this shirt, there’s something wrong with you.

Palm Responds to the iPhone 

John Markoff reporting in The New York Times:

Palm Inc., the maker of hand-held computers, has hired a top Silicon Valley software designer as it seeks to respond to the challenge posed by Apple’s new iPhone.

The designer, Paul Mercer, a former Apple computer engineer, began work three weeks ago at Palm on a line of new products, a company spokeswoman said, but she declined to comment further on the project.

I say: PDA guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in. Joking aside, why would Palm wait until now to start a project like this? Shouldn’t they have done this three or four years ago?

The Merlin Show: The Quicksilver Comma Trick 

Merlin Mann with a screencast of yet another bit of Quicksilver cleverness.

The New New Yorker Web Site 

Cosmetically and typographically, it is noticeably improved from the old design. But that’s not saying much — the previous New Yorker web site was a cheap-looking embarrassment. There is far too much going on in their sidebars, and the Digg, Delicious, and Reddit links attached to each article are awkward. That goes for the link to the “Print” version of each article, too. (Print media CSS stylesheets, Google it.) The paper edition of The New Yorker features a splendid, timeless, uncluttered design; this web design is far too cluttered, and for that reason alone still feels un-New-Yorker-y. The New Yorker aspires to thoughtfulness; visual clutter works against that.

Kottke has a bunch of observations, the most alarming of which is that most of his links to are now 404s. I’m hoping this is just a launch bug — letting links go stale after a redesign is no longer acceptable (if it ever was).

‘Brian Krebs Watch’ on Whether Apple Lied About Maynor and Ellch 

Based on the handful of emails David Maynor released last week, this is a fair analysis of whether and how they refute Lynn Fox’s statements regarding what information Maynor and Ellch had supplied to Apple. In short: what Apple said was either true or still inconclusive. (Maynor only released emails sent from his personal account; he is apparently not permitted to release any email sent from his account with then-employer SecureWorks.)

If there’s a problem, I think it’s that Fox’s statements carried the implication that Maynor had sent Apple no technical information at all regarding his research; that’s not the case. He did send Apple information, including scripts. One problem seems to be that no one at Apple was able to use his information to reproduce any of the exploits.

The other curious thing is that Maynor also discovered a Bluetooth exploit, sent Apple packet captures regarding it, and but that problem apparently remains unfixed today, six months later, in Mac OS X 10.4.8.

IconShoppe — Royalty-Free Stock Icons for the Web 

Dan Cederholm’s stock iconography moves to its own domain. Great web design, as usual.

Fortune: ‘Why Apple Is the Best Retailer in America’ 

Jerry Useem in Fortune:

“One of the best pieces of advice Mickey ever gave us was to go rent a warehouse and build a prototype of a store, and not, you know, just design it, go build 20 of them, then discover it didn’t work,” says Jobs. In other words, design it as you would a product.

This is a terrific article, with a lot of insight into just how much thought went into these store designs. According to Jobs, they abandoned their first store mockup because it was organized by product, and they realized it would be better to organize it by activity. The Genius Bars are patterned after hotel concierge desks; they got the idea after asking 18 people what their best ever customer experience was, and 16 of them said it was in a hotel.

Deck Expansion 

Four new sites in The Deck: Khoi Vinh’s Subtraction, Greg Storey’s Airbag Industries, Tina Roth Eisenberg’s Swiss Miss, and Zeldman.

It’s like Deck honcho Jim Coudal is just filching sites from the top of my RSS subscription list.



The term CRM114 is first applied to the radio discriminator aboard a B-52 in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

After Dr. Strangelove, the Kubrick rubric CRM114 appears in three subsequent movies. The spacecraft Discovery’s registration/serial number in 2001: A Space Odyssey is CRM 114, and in Eyes Wide Shut, the mortuary is located on Level/Wing C, Room 114. Kubrick cleverly uses the homonym “Serum 114,” a drug injected into Alex to help his reformation, in A Clockwork Orange.

I’ll have “Kubrick rubric” in my head for the remainder of the day.

(Via Buzz Andersen.)

Paid Software Reviews at The Apple Blog 

I’m not sure what’s dumber: that The Apple Blog is now charging developers $200 to get a review published, or the idea that any developer would pay for this.

Josh Pigford writes:

We get literally hundreds of software and hardware review requests each month. We love trying out new products, so this usually works out pretty well.

The problem is that we just can’t review everything (obviously).

So, for the remainder of this week we’ll be offering a discounted price to review your Mac/Apple related software or hardware.

The idea is that you review the best and most interesting products. Not the ones that pay you. It’s totally cool to let developers pay you to get their app mentioned on your web site, but there’s a word for that: advertisement.

I predict they’ll scrap this plan within 24 hours.

Update: I should have said “12 hours”.

W3C Restarts HTML Effort 

The analogy that springs to mind is that the WHATWG is to the W3C as Firefox is to Microsoft Internet Explorer. You snooze, you lose. Go WHATWG.

Jackasses of the Week: ‘My iPhone’ 

How to start a new weblog about the iPhone, the jackass way:

  1. Copy James Duncan Davidson’s wonderful photograph of spectators reverently surrounding an iPhone demo unit at Macworld Expo.
  2. Crop out the watermark and publish the photo on your web site without giving any credit to Davidson whatsoever, both of which actions violate the very generous terms of the CC license Davidson released the photo under.

Update: Problem solved.

Aura of Inevitability (Or: When a Technology’s Time Has Come) 

Nice essay by Christopher Fahey on why it sometimes takes a long time for “obvious” products to appear.

Apple TV to Double as Casual Gaming Device? 

A bunch of strings in iTunes 7.1 deal with game synching to Apple TV, plus some iPod game developer blabbed to Wired last month that his company was working on games for Apple TV.

The Onion: Apple Unveils New Product-Unveiling Product 

The Onion:

Shortly after Jobs’ address, Microsoft announced that they are working on a similar product, the Launch-O, due to debut in 2009.

(Thanks to Dave Smith.)

Eric Schmidt on Google-Apple Collaboration 

Schmidt said Google and Apple are “doing more and more things together. We have similar goals, similar competitors.”

Similar competitors, eh? Cough, cough, Microsoft.

Market Share vs. Profit Share 

Some interesting math from Daniel Eran Dilger comparing Apple to HP and Dell:

In other words, Apple earned nearly half as much net income with its 5% share of the market as HP and Dell together, with their combined 55% share of the US PC market: $1 billion for Apple vs $2.2 billion for HP and Dell together!

These numbers aren’t precise, because all three companies make money from businesses other than selling computers. But it reinforces my point about Apple’s share of the PC market: what matters most is Apple’s share of the market’s profits, not unit sales.

Paul Thurrott Hits One Out of the Park 

So the latest interesting email released as evidence in Microsoft’s anti-trust case in Iowa is a 1997 exchange between Bill Gates (briefly) and the MacBU’s Ben Waldman (at great length) on the state of what became Office 98 for Mac. The initial coverage is focusing on the fact that Waldie’s message acknowledges that killing Mac Office was on the table. It is interesting to see that threat laid bare, but, let’s face it, of course that option was and remains on the table. All products can be cancelled.

Paul Thurrott nails it:

More important, we have that email record that everyone is so excited about. What it shows to me is a company dedicated to making great products and, yes, supporting then-struggling Apple with the best version of Office Microsoft had yet created. Don’t believe me? You can read it yourself. My guess is you’ll come away with a less dramatic version of history than the Mac pariahs are pushing.

Well said.

Richard Pollock: ‘That Stupid “Lozenge” Button’ 

Richard Pollock:

So basically, I would like rid of that horribly inconsistent lozenge button, but would love to see more uses of NSToolbar around Mac OS X.

The Finder’s use of the tic-tac button as a toggle between Aqua and brushed metal window styles is the single weirdest UI design in all of Mac OS X. Probably not the worst, but the weirdest.

The Page Paradigm 

Mark Hurst’s “Page Paradigm”, describing the usage pattern of web site users:

On any given Web page, users will either…

  • click something that appears to take them closer to the fulfillment of their goal,

  • or click the Back button on their Web browser.

Simple, true, and useful advice.

Why Your New York Times Magazine Always Falls Apart 

Gawker compares the binding staples of The New Yorker to the The New York Times Magazine, in an attempt to figure out why The Times magazine falls apart so easily:

Do the math! Each of the three staples in The New Yorker is responsible for a svelte 57.3 square inches of bounded paper, while in The Times mag, each of the two staples is responsible for an unconscionable 109.25 square inches!


Moving short film by Hillman Curtis. (Via Coudal.)

Microsoft Attacks Google on Copyright 

The Microsoft Corporation, the software giant, has prepared a blistering attack on rival Google, arguing that the Web search leader takes a cavalier approach to copyright protection.

In remarks prepared for delivery on Tuesday to the Association of American Publishers, the associate general counsel of Microsoft, Thomas Rubin, argues that Google’s move into new media markets has come at the expense of publishers of books, videos and software.

Don’t forget music, you jackasses.

Used to be that Microsoft would try to beat their opponents, no matter how popular, by getting users to switch. (Examples: WordPerfect, Netscape.) Now they’re just trying to sidle up to the entertainment industry — an industry that holds its own customers in contempt.

Worldmapper: The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before 

The original source for the aforelinked world map infographics. (Thanks to DF reader Andrew Hughey.)

Fatal Farm — Television Themes 

Humorous revisions of classic TV opening sequences. The Happy Days one killed me.

(Via Steven Frank.)

iTunes 7.1 

iTunes update adds full-screen Cover Flow and support for Apple TV.

QuickTime 7.1.5 

Bunch of security and bug fixes.

LMX 1.0 — Reverse XML Parser 

Clever idea from Peter Hosey:

LMX is a reverse XML parser. Whereas most XML parsers (AFAIK, all of them except LMX) parse the XML data from the start to the end, LMX parses it from the end to the start. Thus, while characters are kept in their original order (“foo” will still be “foo”; it will not become “oof”), everything else is reported in the reverse order: elements close before they are opened, and appear from last to first. All this is by design, so that Adium can retrieve the last n message elements without having to parse all the message elements before them.

How the World Really Shapes Up 

Fascinating maps with national borders redrawn not to indicate land mass, but factors such as alcohol consumption, military spending (the U.S. is huge), war deaths (the U.S. nearly disappears) and more. (Via Andy Baio.)

Adobe Confirms CS3 Launch Date 

March 27, with a special event in New York. Update: March 27 is only the announcement date — the software isn’t actually shipping until “later in spring 2007”.

Jesper on Dashcode 


Dashcode is nothing short of a revolution here. To an extent that even Xcode can’t match, you really do everything in the same app; there’s even a little optional workflow list with different tasks and handy shortcuts depending on template. You design your widget, you style the individual elements, you add controls or other “parts” (as Apple terms them), you edit your HTML, you have the initial widget front generated, you specify the Info.plist attributes, you try out the widget, you debug the widget and you deploy the widget. You, snigger, make the whole widget. In other apps, ‘workflow’ is a catchphrase for the marketing materials; in Dashcode, it’s intrinsic.

FSJ on Patent Litigation 

Fake Steve:

Here’s the thing. There are only two kinds of companies: ones that are growing and ones that are dying. Alcatel-Lucent used to be dying companies. Then they died and now they are a zombie company. Already dead but still somehow walking the earth, and trying to feed on the blood of the living.

The Month of PHP Bugs 

Month-long list of bugs and security vulnerabilities in the PHP core. I’d wager there are a lot of sites out there vulnerable to this one.

‘Black Sheep’ Trailer 

“The violence of the lambs.” Could be hilarious. (Thanks to Rich Siegel.)

WordPress 2.1.1 Dangerous, Upgrade to 2.1.2 

Matt Mullenweg:

Long story short: If you downloaded WordPress 2.1.1 within the past 3-4 days, your files may include a security exploit that was added by a cracker, and you should upgrade all of your files to 2.1.2 immediately.

The Apple Keychain Is Cool, but Also Strange and Problematic 

Chris Pepper on the Mac OS X keychain and the security and certtool command-line utilities.

He Runs That Mickey Mouse Outfit 

Laura M. Holson profiles John Lasseter, Disney’s chief creative officer of animation, for The New York Times:

Enter Mr. Lasseter who, along with a close team of handpicked animators had made Pixar this generation’s premier storyteller with an unbroken string of hits including “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles.” The first filmmaker to run Disney’s animation operations since Walt Disney died in 1966, he said he wants to reclaim the studio’s golden era.

Photoshop Umbrella Branding Continues 

James Duncan Davidson:

A while ago, I wrote about why I thought that taking on the Photoshop brand onto Lightroom was a bad idea. I still think it’s a bad idea. Lightroom isn’t Photoshop and all Adobe is doing is succeeding to either confuse their potential customers or making their existing ones shake their head.

And they’re at it again with the new and semi-announced Photoshop Online Edition. Of course, whatever this turns into, it won’t be Photoshop.

Bill Bumgarner’s Explanation of the Apple Mail sqlite3 Vacuuming Trick 

Great explanation.

Not Getting Things Done 

Nick Douglas’s codified procrastination system.

Hex Color Picker 1.3 

Adds a “Copy to Clipboard” button with a ⌘C shortcut, to work around the fact that Photoshop disables the Edit menu when it shows the color picker.

VMware Fusion Beta 2 with Experimental 3D Graphics 

Parallels has the cool “Coherence” mode, but it looks like VMware is way ahead on 3D graphics — i.e. playing games under virtualization, rather than rebooting via Boot Camp.

Jackass of the Week: Mary Bono 

Jens’s wish is my command. She’s a jackass.

(And I second the notion that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t press the gas pedal a little harder when Led Zeppelin comes on.)

DreamHost’s Super Lame — No I Mean Really, Super Lame — Apology 

This sort of attitude would drive me nuts. I can’t imagine ever hosting with DreamHost.

ADC Profile of Lineform Developer Will Thimbleby 

Wherein Adobe Illustrator is repeatedly referred to as “the market leader”, and never by name. Thimbleby’s next app is a collaborative text editor.

How Not To 

Search queries that lead to Dive Into Mark. Hilarious. I love that someone had to Google for “how to get laid in vegas”.

SQLite Hack to Speed Up Apple Mail 

Everyone’s raving about this tip on Hawk Wings to speed up Apple Mail; you use the sqlite3 command-line tool to rebuild Mail’s “Envelope Index” database.

Expandable Widget Tutorial 

Todd Ditchendorf’s nice tutorial on creating an expandable Dashboard widget.

Aperture Downloads 

Apple’s index to various plug-ins for Aperture. (Via Bagelturf.)

Apple Gazette Presents: Create Your Own Rumor 

Let’s see, how about: “An operative deep inside Apple has confirmed earlier reports that we will see an ultra portable MacBook and widescreen iPod no later than WWDC 2007.”

(Thanks to John Siracusa.)

Swiss Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein 

From the Associated Press, not The Onion. (Via CP.)

The Boring Store (Definitely Not a Secret Agent Supply Store) 

Someone please give me a reason to take a trip to Chicago.

(Via Kottke.)

A Review of a Book That Should Be Read Much More Widely Than It Will Be 

The Third Bit:

The book Why Aren’t More Women in Science?, is a collection of 15 articles by leading researchers in the field. It was put together in the wake of Lawrence Summers’ controversial musings in 2005 about why there are so many fewer women in high-profile positions in science than in law, medicine, and other professions. It is emphatically not a one-sided rant, any more than Summers’ original speech was. Instead, it gives experts on all sides of the debate an opportunity to present their evidence and make their case. In doing so, it provides fascinating insight into how difficult the “slippery sciences” are, and how easy it is to let your beliefs shape your understanding of facts.

Hidden Details From the iPhone Keynote 

Clever detective work, parsing extra info about the iPhone from the details of the Macworld Keynote address. (Via Khoi Vinh.)

Living for Those Screams 

Mike Davidson on swfIR:

I can hear screams coming from the ivory towers where the validatorians and standardistas live. I like those screams. I live for those screams. I will sleep well tonight with thoughts of prettier imagery on the web.

Coding Horror: ‘Choosing Anti-Anti-Virus Software’ 

Jeff Atwood on the performance effects of running Windows anti-virus software (in most cases, they’re quite significant). Interesting that he recommends turning off four of the built-in security features of Vista; I can’t think of anything similar that I’d recommend turning off in a default Mac OS X installation.

Happy Cog Redesigns AIGA 


If you develop green technologies, you dream of selling your idea to Al Gore. If you run a design agency, you fantasize about winning AIGA as a client. Originally founded as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA sets the agenda for design as a profession, an art, and a political and cultural phenomenon. In the world of design, at least in the U.S., there is nothing higher.

More from Jason Santa Maria and Dan Cederholm.


Adam Engst:

For an impressive example of what can be done in a Web application these days, check out Picnik, an online photo site that provides - almost exactly - the same set of editing features as Apple’s iPhoto, and some of iPhoto’s sharing capabilities.

Update to Robert Mohns’s AirPort Extreme 802.11n Review at MacInTouch 

Updated info on the lower-than-expected performance Mohns saw in his testing. The bottleneck is NAT:

In our testing, AirPort Extreme provides outstanding 802.11n performance through its LAN ports. However, when using Internet Sharing (also known as NAT, or Network Address Translation, mode), throughput via the WAN uplink port drops considerably. We observed a maximum speed of 34 Mbit/sec. in this configuration. While this is faster than a typical cable modem or DSL line, it’s considerably slower than a switched 100 Mbit Fast Ethernet connection.

Arthur Schlesinger, Historian of Power, Dies at 89 

The New York Times obituary for Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who died yesterday after a heart attack in Manhattan.

Audio Webcast of Tim Cook’s Presentation at Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium 

Hear Apple COO Tim Cook talk about the iPhone (and its price) and more.

O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures 

New venture fund from Tim O’Reilly. Am I the only one who thinks it sounds like a nickname for Stephen Colbert’s Alpha Squad 7: The New Tek Jansen Adventure?

Multitouch Everywhere! 

Steven Berlin Johnson speculates that perhaps one of the secret features in Leopard touted by Steve Jobs back at WWDC is iPhone-style Multitouch support.

Possible, I suppose. It makes sense that Apple would have kept this secret at last year’s WWDC — without shipping display hardware that supports it, it wouldn’t have done developers much good to know about it in advance.

But I think a touch-based UI only makes sense for a tablet-like computer (like the iPhone). I’m not sure it would be generally useful with traditional displays or MacBooks. The angles seem wrong to me.


Delightful entry by Jeff Nusz in the Casual Gameplay Competition. Clever puzzles and nice artwork. (Via Andy Baio.)