Archive for July, 2009

The App Store and Apple’s Recent Behavior

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Alright.  I’ve been holding my tongue about Apple’s iPhone App Store and their general iPhone shenanigans for awhile now, but I’ve had it.  Apple, you’re being stupid and you need to shape up.

Keeping in mind all of this crap that’s been floating around the internet for the past few days (in no particular order):

  1. Official Google Voice App Blocked From App Store
  2. Apple’s Chickenshit Approval Process Has Gone Too Far
  3. There’s No App for That: VoiceCentral Removed From App Store
  4. What Steve said about the App Store and why we need to suck it up
  5. IPhone SMS Attack to Be Unleashed at Black Hat
  6. iPhone Jailbreaking Could Crash Cellphone Towers, Apple Claims
  7. Is the iPhone causing Apple to lose the plot?

Apple, I’ve stood by you for a long time now, but you’re just being stupid.  Your App Store rules of rejection and acceptance need to be TRANSPARENT.  And when you reject an app like Google Voice, man up and give a freaking reason for it.  The Beckettian back and forth in #3 above is something I would expect from Dell.  And quite frankly, you deserved the unofficial response you got from Google’s Marissa Mayer (passive though it was).

As for #4, I completely agree.  If developers keep putting up with this, they’ll need to suck it up.  But after #3, why on earth would any sensible company want to spend months developing for iPhone, wait a month or more to be accepted then rejected with no explanation and no suggestions for how to get the app back into the store?  As a developer it makes my blood boil.  Makes me want to start coding mobile apps for basically any other platform — Android, WebOs… even Windows Mobile.

And as for the crap you’re trying to pull against the EFF and their campaign to make Jailbreaking a legal option, can you smell what you’re shoveling?  How can you say Jailbreaking would crash a cell tower?  Sure it’s a possibility.  But do you really think a serious terrorist would use an iPhone to do that?  You can do that with just about anything that can connect to the cellular network (an eval board, an old cell phone… basically anything but a tin can).  PLUS, unless you fix that SMS bug in #5 above right quick, a hacker wouldn’t even NEED to jailbreak his phone.  He could just send a text message and not only overwhelm the cell towers but crash all of the system’s iPhones in the process.  I only hope the courts can see right through that one (see #7 for more analysis on this one).

I’d been a pretty satisfied iPhone customer since the 3.0 (iPhone mind you.  not AT&T.  AT&T can suck it. I only hope Apple doesn’t renew their exclusive contract with them and I can ditch them for another provider when my contract is up.  And if they don’t I hope there are better iPhone alternatives by then.)  Most of the apps that I installed via Jailbreak were accounted for or rendered unnecessary with copy/paste, better integration with Google Calendar, etc.

But now, just out of principle, I’m going to jailbreak my phone again.  I advise you all to do the same.  This walled garden that Apple’s is creating is really stagnating for developer innovation (when there’s 15 variations of ‘Pull My Finger’, how many of those ‘approved’ applications do you really think are useful?).  And frankly, their guardianship seems to be done by a gang of ADD monkeys (I need to be 17 to use Wikipanion? Really?  And AroundMe?  It’s like you understand only the letter of the law, but not the spirit.  And frankly I’d rather not have a guardian of my phone than have an overprotective, uncommunicative one).

I guess in my mind, for any healthy industry to thrive, there needs to be some competition.  Where’s the competition?  Android, step up your game!  Palm, your marketing sucks.  Do better.

Until then, the best we can do is rebel in mild ways.  Like Jailbreaking.  Thanks Dev Team, for giving us that option.

UPDATE: A bold move from Michael Arrington of TechCrunch: I Quit the iPhone.
UPDATE 2: Developer Steven Frank is ditching the iPhone too.

The Saga Continues: Why The FCC Wants To Smash Open The iPhone
EVEN MORE: Apple Rejects Dictionary App for Containing Swear Words

It’s not enough that they have a warning on Wikipanion that some of the content in THE OPEN SOURCE ENCYCLOPEDIA might have content that’s inappropriate for children under 17?  They now ban dictionaries for swear words?

It’s like they have the Three Stooges manning their application approval process.  I really hope the FCC beats Apple to a pulp on this one.  They deserve it.


Escape Tools

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Great photography and fascinating exhibit from Marc Steinmetz Photography.  Paging through his site, his photography is really captivating.  Below is the collection I saw first — Prison Escape Tools.  Check it out:


Thanks VSL

Comic Genius

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

William Shatner interpreting Sarah Palin’s incomprehensible farewell address as a beat poem on The Tonight Show:

Twitter Explained… to your Grandparents

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

So Kevin Spacey was on Letterman last night, and during part of his interview tried to explain Twitter to Dave. No luck:

The same thing happens when my parents try to explain the Internet or Cell Phones to my grandparents.  Smiles and nods, but no real comprehension.

Oh Dave.  You’re so cute when you’re old and grumpy.

The Art of the Trailer

Friday, July 17th, 2009

IFC has collected what they call the 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time.  If nothing else, it’s a great way to waste some time on a Friday.  I didn’t even know some of these trailers existed.

I don’t know that I agree with them, certainly (Pulp Fiction should be way higher on that list, and it’s surprising to see that none of  Danny Boyle’s films are on there.  Nor is Forest Gump).  But is that what all Top ## lists are for?  To start a conversation?

This is one of my favorite movies. And yes, they cut an excellent trailer for it:

What’s clear in looking at the list and watching a few of the trailers is that there is a real art to making a good trailer.  If you know what you’re doing, in just two minutes you can really tease your audience into wanting to see your entire two hour film.

On a related matter, if you haven’t seen them yet there are some excellent (and hilarious) re-cuttings of trailers floating around on the internet that make the film look like it belongs in a completely different genre.  My favorites are The Shining cut to look like a romantic comedy, Garden State as a suspense thriller and Brokeback to the Future.

Thanks VSL

More Beck!!

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Wow.  Beck is seriously becoming the hardest working man in show business.

In addition to his Record Club and Planned Obsolescence (more here), he’s posted a great conversation with Tom Waits about growing up in LA in his Irrelevant Topics section.  That, in and of itself, is amazing — hearing two very strange characters wax nostalgic about what Los Angeles used to be (as well as generally philosophizing about the nature of existence.  as one might expect them to).

Not to be outdone by himself, Beck has also started recording an all-acoustic version of his sonically rich 2008 release, Modern Guilt (mastered by the mind-blowing Danger Mouse — about whom I should have posted something by now).  I think the deal is that he’s recording songs in order — track by track.  Be sure to check back often to catch the full album.  For now, here’s Orphans:

Modern Guilt Acoustic “Orphans” from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Happy Thursday

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009


enjoy the holiday weekend :)

via FFFFound