Linked List: April 6, 2010

‘The Mechanical’, Down to the Wire 

The Vanderbilt Republic’s Kickstarter project to raise $5000 to process the film from their documentary trip to Cambodia last year ends tomorrow at noon eastern. They’re close, but not there yet. If this project is unsuccessful, there’s a real danger that this film will stay unprocessed and begin to disappear.

See photographer George Del Barrio’s piece at The Huffington Post for more, including new video footage.

Adam Engst on the iPad as a Blank Slate 

Adam Engst nails it:

The hardware is so understated — it’s just a screen, really — and because you manipulate objects and interface elements so smoothly and directly on the screen, the fact that you’re using an iPad falls away. You’re using the app, whatever it may be, and while you’re doing so, the iPad is that app. Switch to another app and the iPad becomes that app. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

That’s the best description of the iPad experience I’ve seen yet.

iBooks App Makes Use of Private Frameworks 

So much for me saying (just today) that Apple’s App Store apps don’t make use of private APIs.

That said, I’ll bet this is more about the short development cycle of the app and the fact that this is the first release of the iPad. The first release of the iPhone, of course, didn’t have any public APIs at all.

Nintendo Executive Talks Trash on iPhone OS Gaming 

Nintendo’s U.S. president Reggie Fils-Aime:

“Clearly it doesn’t look like their platform is a viable profit platform for game development because so many of the games are free versus paid downloads.”

Dave Winer on the iPad 

The best review from an iPad skeptic I’ve seen. Maybe skeptic isn’t the right word, but clearly he’s unconvinced that it’s the next big thing.

This is a minor point in his piece:

And pragmatically, experience has shown that the winning computer platforms are the ones you can develop for on the computer itself, and the ones that require other, more expensive hardware and software, don’t become platforms. There are exceptions but it’s remarkable how often it works this way.

I think that’s only true historically. I don’t think it’s true any more, especially in the mobile space. And it was never true for consoles, and the iPad in some ways is like a cross between a mobile device and a console. But, all that said, I’d love to be able to develop for the iPad on the iPad. Especially if it were a HyperCard-like thing, where the output looked native to the iPad but was based on WebKit behind the scenes, thus allowing the apps made by the thing to be openly distributed and shared with other iPad users.

Bertrand Serlet on Apple’s API Lifecycle 

Re: the last on Apple and private APIs, here’s video of Bertrand Serlet from WWDC 2009. Apple doesn’t disallow the use of private APIs out of spite; they disallow it because their private APIs are not fully baked.