6.30.2004 

Dave Hyatt on Dashboard

Dave Hyatt on Dashboard:
I wanted to blog briefly to clear up what the widgets actually are written in. They are Web pages, plain and simple (with extra features thrown in for added measure). Apple's own web site says "build your own widgets using the JavaScript language", but that's sort of misleading. The widgets are HTML+CSS+JS. They are not some JS-only thing.


In other words, each widget is just a web page, and so you have the full power of WebKit behind each one... CSS2, DOM2, JS, HTML, XMLHttpRequest, Flash, Quicktime, Java, etc. I'll have a lot more to say later on, but I thought it important to clear that up right up front, since a lot of people were asking me about it in email and such.
[source]

6.28.2004 

WWDC Keynote: A First Reaction

We shall have all the Tiger Tuesday morning quarterbacking you require on, well, Tuesday. However in the meantime, Jason Snell has posted a comprehensive first reaction to Tiger on the Macworld Editor's weblog. Snell makes some points we fundamentally agree with:
  • Good riddance to ADC
  • Spotlight looks to be our favorite feature in the new OS
  • Multi-user iChat is something we have longed for since the first time we tried iChat
  • We know Tigers are predators, but Dashboard seems positively cannibalistic
We will have much more to come on Tiger in the following days. And we are also anxiously awaiting a definitive Philip Michaels' keynote summary.

But in the meantime, we want to know: what was your reaction to today's keynote?

6.27.2004 

Hooray. No More Big Earl.

We're happy to announce that we're finally @ mac.honan.net. Please update your bookmarks. Do you still use bookmarks? If not, our RSS feed also has a new permanent address. And as for the sidebar links, we went ahead and set up a feed for that. A-ha! And the comments should be working now, as well. So, while the site is much the same, it is radically different, too. All of us* here hope you enjoy it.

And if you did not see the Tiger images at Mac Rumors already, well... "Images removed at request of Apple Legal"

6.25.2004 

Konfabulator 1.7

We really like the "Konspose" feature in Konfabulator1.7. Hit the F8 key and you get an Expose-style screen where only your widgets appear highlighted.

Check it out:

 

Will the Inducing Infringement Act Kill the iPod?

The EFF posted a mock complaint in a lawsuit that could be brought against Apple, accusing the corporation of selling its popular iPod music player to induce people to infringe copyright. The complaint is meant to point out the pernicious effects the Induce Act could have on technology development.

There was a really good panel on this yesterday at Supernova. (It was the only good panel we attended yesterday, in fact.) Attorneys for Verizon and the EFF decried the proposed Inducing Infringement of Copyright Act (Induce Act) as “ridiculous,” and warned that, if passed, it could be used to bring frivolous lawsuits that could eliminate many popular technologies unrelated to file-sharing. They warned that the bill was too broad in what could be considered an inducement and noted that it would have unintended consequences on other technologies such as broadband and the Apple iPod.

The Induce Act, S. 2560, introduced by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy is designed to treat those who induce others to violate copyrights as infringers themselves. The Induce Act would give the RIAA and other copyright holders the ability to seek civil remedies against those who facilitate copyright violations. The bill is viewed by its opponents as an attempt to rectify a 9th court decision that found that the peer-to-peer (P2P) service Grokster was not liable for the actions of its users.

Hatch noted that the bill will help protect children—many of those targeted by RIAA lawsuits have been underage-- from those who would abet them in committing illegal acts.

“It’s really ridiculous and it has nothing to do with children,” said Sarah Deutsh the associate general counsel for Verizon. “They say the purpose of the bill is to go after P2P companies, but it is so broadly written that it is an incredibly blunt instrument.”

“For example, let’s look at the Apple iPod. They might look at the fact that for a couple of hundred dollars you have a device that will hold 10,000 songs. Apple knew that you were not going to spend $10,000 to populate that entire hard drive with legal material. They knew that you were going to do some illegal copying and therefore they’re inducing.”

6.22.2004 

Troubleshooting 10.3.4

MacFixIt has a great troubleshooting guide for Mac OS X 10.3.4

6.21.2004 

G5 Liquid Cooling pictures

Techseekers posted some photos that purport to be the new liquid-cooled G5.

 

iPod Your BMW

Apple launched its iPod Your BMW campaign today. Read more about it here, here, or here.

Quite frankly, the iPod adapter cable in the glovebox looks like a total kluge to us. Was there no way to create an in-dash dock?

 

gCount - Know your Gmail

Nathan Spindell has written a pretty nifty new app called gCount, a menubar item that will display the number of unread messages in your Gmail inbox. His release notes indicate that your login and password are stored in cleartext in your preferences file, though he plans on implementing keychain access later, and that this initial release contains "many flaws and bugs." Grab it here.

Update
Torrez notes: Works like a champ. gCount sits in my menubar and tells me how many new messages I have. Very simple.

6.19.2004 

From the Band That Brought You Paul's Boutique

You've heard that the new Beastie Boys CD installs stealth copy-protection software on your machine. But Furd Log's post also notably warns that that the CD doesn't include an uninstaller for the Mac. Yet some Slashdotters refute the Mac angle entirely , while another claims it's an OS 9 issue. (Anyone got the CD? Care to comment?)

Update:

BeastieBoys.com says that neither US nor UK CDs have copy protection, and that it's now standard for all EMI CDs, not just the Beasties.

6.18.2004 

DRM: Making Outlaws of Us All

Cory Doctorow makes one of the best cases I've heard yet against Digital Rights Management (DRM), using the iTunes DRM as an example of how it hurts consumers:
As it was Apple rewarded my trust, evangelism and out-of-control spending by treating me like a crook and locking me out of my own music.
One of the reasons I'm okay with the DRM in iTunes is because... I can circumvent it. Were it not for programs like Hymn (formerly Playfair) and FairTunes that allow me to listen to the music I've purchased in whatever format I'd like; I would not have purchased a fraction of the songs from iTMS that I have. Yet, obviously, when I use an application like Hymn or FairTunes to convert songs from Apple's proprietary format to AAC, I'm in direct violation of the DMCA.

In other words, the only reason I purchase music legally is because I'm a criminal.

Update:
iTunes 4.6 has disabled the functionality of all of the above programs. Not that you still can't remove the DRM.

 

AirPort Express Base Station

The new AirPort Express Base Station solves a few long-standing problems for me. Several years ago, I made the switch to notebooks, and have never looked back. When we returned from Asia last year, I decided it made no sense to have a portable computer that was always tethered to an Ethernet cable, and dove into Wi-Fi. But I've still felt restrained by printing and playing music.

We have three laptops and one printer. No matter where you are, or what you're doing, if you want to make a printout you have to go into the office, connect the printer via USB, print, and then return to wherever it is you were working. AirPort Express solves this. What's more, it allows me to stash the printer somewhere out of the way since I don't have to fool with connecting the cable anymore.

Likewise, whenever I want to play the music from my computer through my stereo, I have to hook my PowerBook up to an RCA to Minijack connecter that stays plugged into the stereo. Again, AirPort Express solves this, and allows us to play music from any one of the computers in the house over the stereo.

But what's more, it adds value to the iTunes Music Store. I'm completely flummoxed as to why one would buy a CD, unless that was the only format in which it's available. All my purchases these days are either vinyl albums, or electronic downloads from iTMS. But to hear those iTMS songs anywhere other than on my laptop or iPod, I have to burn a CD.

I have entirely too many CDs already. They number in the high hundreds, perhaps even 1000. If you don't own this many already, you soon will too. I have data CDs, audio CDs, installation CDs, picture CDs, backup CDs, and of course dozens of DVDs to boot. Burning yet another Audio CD just to be able to play songs on my stereo, that I already own in another digital format, seems wasteful in terms of both resources and time.

More than the ability to play songs wirelessly, I'm just glad to have an easy way to circumvent the tyranny of the compact disc.

 

Flash-Memory MP3 Players Review

My review of flash-memory mp3 players is up on Macworld. Enjoy.

 

Steve Jobs Needs a Pay Cut

Apple Computer's Steve Jobs was among the most overpaid CEOs in the Bay Area in 2003, and Oracle Corp.'s Larry Ellison was among the most underpaid. Michael Cannon, of Solectron Corp,. ranks as the No. 1 most overpaid CEO in the Bay Area.

Eratta

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