20 most recent posts
iTunes: Link to iTunes App info from Application section
Tuesday 3rd February 2009 01:27 : Public
I've noticed some talk of 'App Store addiction' when it comes to the iPhone, and unsurprisingly I seem to be a full-blown sufferer!
Idealism lost, judgement AWOL?
Thursday 10th January 2008 12:50 : Public
There's a controversy brewing over David Watanabe's Inquisitor Safari search plug-in manipulating search results to insert income generating affiliate links.
Jon Gruber follows up by saying that:
I don't want to attack David, but simply observe that there's a dissonance here; the problem is that this search behaviour was not public knowledge, as he contends, and that advertisements are not clearly indicated. Affiliate links are masked, and income-generating links are inserted above legitimate search results, without the user's knowledge.
Unfortunately these comments seem somewhat disingenuous; while the Inquisitor site now includes the statement that:
This note seems to have been recently added, and a quick perusal of the WayBack Machine shows that it wasn't there throughout '07 when v3.0 was available, nor for any of the previous indexed copies, back to Oct 29, 2005.
I'm not out to get him in the least, but the veracity of his statements appears to be in question. Again, quickly checking back over his blog I have not seen any references to this behaviour, but have found plenty about Inquisitor being free, about it retaining your privacy with local search history, and the statement that your search history will influence the results, all positive things, but nothing about income generation for the author, however marginal, incremental or seemingly harmless in the author's eyes.
Finally, since offering Inquisitor 3 David has requested donations. It could be argued that without publicly mentioning affiliate income via result manipulation, and by requesting donations, David did not clearly indicate how he was deriving income from this 'free' application, and users could be forgiven for their surprise that donations where on the sole income stream.
The issue simply comes down to disclosure, and in this regard David has erred in the eyes of the community, however unfortunately rabid some of it's members can be. Ultimately Mac developers are running a business, and in that context disclosure and perception, or public opinion, are legitimate concerns. 2 comments | post a comment
DrawIt picking up the pace
Monday 10th December 2007 15:24 : Public
I've casually followed the progress of Pieter Omvlee's Mac OS X illustration app DrawIt, for some now, and continue to be impressed.
Google demands non-fragmentation pledge for Android
Wednesday 7th November 2007 20:24 : Public
3 comments | post a comment
I think you're s'posed to pay...
Monday 25th June 2007 21:22 : Public
We all work under deadlines, though maybe not quite as hectic as daily news, but um, the New York Times didn't just use an unlicensed iStockphoto preview image did they?
Buying the image would only take a little longer than stamping out the watermark (if you have an account)... in their defence, it could be a mock-up that slipped through to production, but it's sloppy for such an esteemed publication.1 comment | post a comment
NTLM coming to Safari 3
Saturday 23rd June 2007 16:35 : Public
From Macworld: Safari 3.0.2 beta improves Mail, iChat support
Apple notes a variety of improvements planned soon for incorporation into Safari 3, including support for international users, international text input methods, advanced text, localized menus and help, NTLM support and more.
Excellent, maybe Safari will be able to make it through 'corporate' (read 'Microsoft') firewalls, and maybe even work with some parts of the intranet..?
Mozilla's addition of NTLM last year (...or more!) at lest made Camino/Firefox pretty usable in a corporate setting, but only for the basics.
Hopefully increased usage of Gecko and WebKit (iPhone!) will reduce the viability of IE-only intranet development, but I'm not holding my breath!9 comments | post a comment
Small thought on WiMax for regional Australia...
Wednesday 20th June 2007 00:48 : Public
One aspect of the Australian Government's broadband programme that hasn't been discussed much is that WiMax could be a very useful infrastructure in regional areas where transport is a highly important part of rural-regional-metro trade.
Increased competition in back-haul is an important component, estimated (optimistically?) at 30%... and in terms of metro-regional equity, the Victoria-Tasmania optic fibre link will be supplemented, so that's good, but not even the capital qualifies for the later metro FTTN network -- not so good (to put it mildly.)
Some are rightly pointing out that the international submarine cable situation needs some attention in this whole debate, but there is some activity in the area; general capacity in being increased, and a competitive cable may be built, so it's not all doom-and-gloom.
...and I'm obviously being far too optimistic. Oh well, it's... nice, sometimes. ; )1 comment | post a comment
QuickTime + Quartz Composer = alternative iPhone development?
Monday 18th June 2007 01:26 : Public
The iPhone obviously appears to include QuickTime support, and you'd have to assume this includes Safari playback — obviously MP4/AVC files will be supported by the iPod functions, but will a QuickTime Plug-in, or equivalent, allow Safari to handle common QuickTime formats, and higher-level QuickTime functionality?
...and given the fact that QuickTime can offer interactivity via Sprites, HREF Tracks, and SMIL, and of course the ability to play Quartz Compositions, it seems that there may be another path to interactive development for the iPhone.
Of course there are a lot of loose ends in all of this, and a lot of questions remain unanswered, but these are at least some interesting facts for interactive developers to consider.2 comments | post a comment
Did I pick the wrong horse(es!)?
Wednesday 2nd May 2007 20:23 : Public
Well, as interesting/intriguing as Lineform has been, development seems to have slowed to a crawl, and the reality starts to set in that the app is still very new. OTOH Intaglio is mature, but it too seems to develop slowly, and frankly I've never been particularly fond of it's interface.
Subversion on the Mac just got a lot easier
Monday 2nd April 2007 14:26 : Public
MAS is a drop-installable Subversion server to let you set up a version control system easily and with a GUI on a Macintosh.
Is it really that great an 'attack'?
Monday 2nd April 2007 12:46 : Public
In response to The Great Apple Video Encoder Attack of 2007 wherein Cringley claims there's something clandestine, and mysterious about supporting hardware accellerated H.264/AVC:
SVG support via QuickTime/Core Image
Saturday 24th February 2007 21:24 : Public
The use of QuickTime/Core Image as a file translation 'gateway' is a fantastic feature; it's very valuable to have existing apps pickup file format support without any effort, offering consistent, predictable support.
Google Maps + iPod car integration...
Friday 15th December 2006 20:54 : Public
Just a little reckless speculation -- in a similar vein to the Nike+ extension of a previously know market characteristic (i.e. runners using their iPod) the wide adoption of iPod car integration might offer an opportunity for Google to extend their mapping application.
Photoshop CS3 Beta Preview Learning Centre
Friday 15th December 2006 20:42 : Public
The NAPP’s Photoshop CS3 Beta Preview Learning Centre has quite a lot of info, including video tutorials and interviews, for the ever-so-close beta.1 comment | post a comment
Where are all the Spotlight Comments?
Friday 15th December 2006 17:52 : Public
From the unpublished archives... :)
We’ve had file comments for eons, and now they’ve graduated to become Spotlight Comments, yet this valuable user information, that adds context to documents, is basically ignored throughout the interface.
In a classic catch-22 this potentially useful feature goes almost unnoticed by everyday users, and the fault lies with the ‘interface’ -- neither the OS nor third-party applications make anywhere near enough use of this ubiquitous field.
I’ve made the simple request, to numerous developers, to expose the Spotlight Comments field within their application where there has been the need to add context to a file. Doing so would enable those comments to be immediately available to every other application on the System.
It takes little thought to see there are so many areas in which these comments should be available, with some of the most obvious being in Spotlight search results, and in tool-tips for the Spotlight menu. Others include Finder Column View -- if you can show me a rendered thumbnail of the document, show me some text of the document, along with the Spotlight Comments. These comments could (optionally) be shown when hovering over a file in the Finder, in effect by pausing over a particular file the user is gesturing deeper interest in this file.
Open dialogues are another simple, yet potentially empowering use for this data.
As for third-party developers, many types of application could make use of this most basic pieces of data; the Document Manager in NisusWriter Express is really just a basic front-end to the ‘Documents’ sub-folder they use to auto-save your files, and it would be both simple and useful to expose the Spotlight Comments in this window.
Other than managing their own files, applications that interaction with many file-based assets could also clearly make use of this data, Curio being a prime candidate.
While there is an argument for Curio’s own custom notes within the application, at the very least the Spotlight Comments should be visible in the Asset Library. Better yet, Spotlight Comments should be just as available as ‘Curio notes’, renamed as ‘Project Notes’ to better reflect their actual usage. This would allow the user to see and use system-wide Spotlight Comments at the file level, and maintain a higher level context within Curio itself.
There’s long been talk of meta-data improving on Mac OS X (and a lot of arguing that it desperately needs to improve!) Perhaps Leopard will better expose Spotlight Comments, and make their use both more reliable and desirable, to both developers and users alike.
...of course the ever prolific Daniel Wilson had covered Spotlight in his detailed notes on Tiger.4 comments | post a comment
Photoshop CS3 beta for Mac coming... soon
Wednesday 6th December 2006 15:24 : Public
A link to a Photoshop CS3 beta for Mac just appeared on the Adobe site, for a minute or two...
This new version is sounding pretty interesting, quite apart from finally supporting ICBMs. ;)
The link disappeared pretty quickly, and the Adobe Labs page it linked to is not up yet... so a publishing slip tells us that it's even closer than expected, and to be honest, I'm a little surprised they'll be offering a public beta, even in the face of their moves with Lightroom, Flex and the Linux Flash Player.2 comments | post a comment
Side-scrolling via mouse scroll wheels
Sunday 5th February 2006 22:33 : Public
Now that the wheel mouse has become an established input device (coupled with track-pad scrolling) and has been sanctioned by Apple, it makes sense to start making further use of that input method.
Keynote as simple authoring environment
Monday 23rd January 2006 22:08 : Public
I really must expand upon this, but for now…
Bring Services back to the Help Viewer
Saturday 21st January 2006 16:53 : Public
System Services, a feature brought over from the NeXT days, are one of those lesser know qualities of Mac OS X that can really add a lot to the system, and your work flow. Unfortunately Services support can sometimes be a little spotty, with the main issue being that many Carbon apps do not offer, or support other System Services.
Monday 9th January 2006 01:26 : Public
Rich Ziade has a good post over at BASEMENT.ORG on just how little our software really does for us, something I constantly rant about, as my most patient cublicle-mate could attest. : )
When we use a piece of technology - whether a web browser, a portable music player, or a cable box - really anything that deals with content delivery and manipulation - we provide an invaluable amount of raw data about our behaviours, interests and habits. Almost all these devices today simply operate as workers - never doing more than what’s asked of them: play that song, display that article, record that movie. Once the task is completed, these devices (for the most part) completely forget what was asked of them and simply wait for the next task request.Rich, I couldn’t agree with you more. Rich goes on to although as you note with MS Office, it’s vital that this interaction morphing be careful not to undermine other important aspects of the UI, and it’s conventions -- for me, chasing Office menus was always a constant annoyance, and undermined the experience.
Of course there have been basic examples of this sort of ‘software memory’ for a long time, e.g. graphics tools that remember recent object styles, but for a more user evident expression of ‘interaction morphing’, email and web browsers, and news readers in particular, are well positioned to benefit handsomely.
Both the OmniWeb and Camino browsers on Mac OS X track your most visited sites, in addition to your conventional history, and of course email apps generally track previous recipients for address completion (at least Apple Mail.)
A good news reader should be able to actively help me manage not only the mountain of articles, but based on user observation it should be able to help me manage the incoming feed subscriptions, as I discover new people or projects to track, and help me cull out the ones that I’ve stopped actively following.
Daniel Wilson over at Membranophonist’s Ramblings also blogs on these sorts of intelligent interface design enhancements, and is well worth a look, and he’s much more prolific than I! 3 comments | post a comment