Archive for the ‘apple’ Category

I have a bit of conjecture here.

ANT+ is a low-power wireless for exchanging data among peripheral devices. Generally this is telemetry or biometric data used in fitness gear but could really be anything (the MPH of your car for example).

I have an ANT+ heart monitor made by Garmin. I like it….. it’s ok. The Garmin FR60 watch is a huge rock that I have to lug along with my iPhone on my bike every morning.

The heart rate data is invaluable as I can use it to test my volume, ETA until capacity, etc.

I can’t and won’t live without it but I want to throw my Garmin FR60 watch out the window.

My iPhone COULD listen to this data and Runkeeper could display my heart rate on screen and use it for calorimetric prediction.

However, Runkeeper has be pretty stubborn about implementing ANT+. There are ANT+ companies building 3rd party add ons for the iPhone but they haven’t implemented it yet.

Here is my prediction.

Apple will implement ANT+ (or their own protocol) in the next iPhone.

This strategy is compatible with Steve Jobs’ playbook.

First. It would be a save, vertically integrated, and cultivated UI… You’d have your whole fitness world (and digital world) integrated around your Apple devices.

Second. It would cut Garmin out of the market. The entire cycle computer industry (Garmin, Polar, etc) would collapse and fall under Apple.

If Apple has signed an NDA with Runkeeper (one of the leaders in fitness apps for the iPhone) this would explain why they are hesitant about implementing something as a better solution is right around the corner.

Apple via Steve Jobs is saying that the terms of integration with Facebook were ‘onerous’ so it was dropped at the last moment.

We’re hearing reports of people who had access to a Facebook Connect feature in Ping earlier, which didn’t work, and has since been removed. So it looks like Apple really did pull Facebook support for Ping very late in the game. It’s still even mentioned on the Ping promo page. (And, via Peter Kafka, here’s a link to the Ping app on Facebook, which doesn’t currently seem to work.)

This is exactly why the social web needs to be fully open. Right now you don’t need to execute a terms of service to index the web, to publish HTML, to link to websites. But you DO need to agree to a terms of service to use Twitter, Facebook, etc.

If you want to use them at SCALE or have a serious application (like Apple) these companies want you to execute custom terms of service to prevent you from getting kicked off their platform at some point in the future.

You’re basically a share cropper. You are making money while working on someone else’s property. If they want to charge you EXCESSIVE rent you’re either forced to pay it or you have to go out of business.

Not fun.

This is why protocols like Salmon, PuSH, OAuth. and are so important.

Hopefully in a few years we look back at this situation and laugh at how silly it was – WAY back in 2010 when the social web was proprietary.

Apple Is Getting Lazy

For a while I was using Forget Me Not to sync up my laptop when I disconnected from my 30″ cinema display.

Users of portable Macs, how many times have you encountered this scenario? You’ve connected your laptop to a nice big monitor, you have your windows arranged for optimal creativity and productivity, then you realize that there’s a meeting in 10 minutes and you need your Mac for a presentation. Suddenly, you break out into a cold sweat, knowing that the window arrangement you spent countless hours on will be lost! (Ok, maybe not hours, but still…)

For the life of me I can’t imagine why Apple hadn’t implemented this in OS X.

A few months back it stopped working. Or at least I *thought* it stopped working as I don’t disconnect from my LCD as much as I once did.

Now I check back and notice this:

UPDATE: A while back I was contacted by an Apple representative who expressed interest in providing an API suitable for FMN. If you want to revive FMN, please file a bug report at (requires a free ADC membership) and say you want to support the enhancement in bug report 6018339. Apple considers duplicate bug reports “votes”, so every report is valuable!

RIP FMN: Unfortunately, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard has killed FMN dead. FMN relied on being able to query the properties of windows during a “screen configuration is about to change” notification. Apple broke that ability in Leopard and doesn’t seem interested in restoring it. (They have closed the bug that I filed as “behaves as intended”.) I’m afraid I’m not realistically going to have the time to work around this problem. So as much as it pains me to say it, I’m going to have to declare FMN dead as of Leopard. Thanks to everybody who wrote telling me how they enjoyed the app — it was fun while it lasted!

Great job guys. People depended on this behavior. You should ship another API or compatible functionality.

To add insult to injury – I also use Spaces in OS X.

What a piece of garbage. Unfortunately, I’m stuck using it as I depend too highly on virtual desktop.

Spaces is an amazingly stupid design. When you switch virtual desktops it actually slides the whole UI across the screen in front of you with a vertigo inducing and CPU hogging animation.

Honestly, this feature alone is going to push me to use Linux/Ubuntu again. I’ll probably end up using OS X for applications that aren’t available on Linux but then switch back to Linux for my development (Emacs, GCC, xterm, etc).

Apple Brick

I bought an Ergotron desktop mount for my laptop the other day and finally had time to install it last night.

Here’s my resulting setup:


So far I’m pretty happy with the results. The hardware was pretty affordable – $150 with shipping.

It allows me to keep my laptop closer, and at eye level, and I actually have my mouse under my laptop which is a bit confusing at times.

The only pet peeve I have is that occasionally the laptop can shake while Im typing. I wish they had a screw tightening system so that I could fix the arm in one position at the hinge to prevent it moving while I type.

I haven’t fully figured out what I want to do with the second display. Sometimes it’s nice to play an old DVD like Star Wars while I hack on code. It would also be nice to have some sort of just in time source code visualization.

I’m also going to have to upgrade to the 30″ LCD soon which should be interesting as well.

It looks like there’s going to be another big update for Leopard coming soon – maybe it’s time to upgrade.

The problem is that I’m a virtual desktop addict. The new spaces functionality in Leopard is looking nice but I seriously can’t live without key bindings.

The problem is that spaces doesn’t have any key binding preference pane for setting and absolute desktop:

One final gripe is the key bindings for Spaces. The only key bindings for switching desktops is Control + arrow keys. I usually work with my fingers in one of two keyboard configurations: both hands on the home row, or left hand on the home row and right hand on the mouse. Control + arrow keys sucks for both of these configurations. Ideally, I’d love to be able to configure “switch desktop up/down/left/right” individually and to any modifiers + key I want. Personally, I’d use Control + Option + e/d/s/f. While it looks contorted, it’s not bad for an old Emacs user like myself. And it works well in both of my keyboard configurations.

This is insane. Why is it that Apple is so damn stubborn to not learn from Unix history. Virtual desktop functionality has been in the *nix world for more than a decade.

I hope someone writes an app for this functionality. I’d totally pay $25 for this feature.

Hint. Hint.

My iphone headphone jack just took a good chunk of skin off my finger.

I had the same thing happen a year ago when I put my hand in my luggage bag and it brushed against a disposable razor.

Ouch. Makes it really hard to type.

Apparently, other people have noticed this problem too:

I always have my iPhone in my Jeans-Pocket. Today I wanted to get my iPhone out of my pocket. When my hand was in my pocket, I touched the headphone jack with my finger and lost a piece of my skin on my finger. I told this to my girlfriend and she showed me her finger. She has happened the same thing a few days ago.

The jack is so sharp-edged that it is really dangerous.


Update: I just took my keys and rubbed it on the edges on the iphone headset jack and this dulled it enough to where it wasn’t sharp.

Skim is a super cool PDF tool for editing and adding annotation in PDFs. You can add notes, highlight text, circle items – basically anything you’d want to do with a dead tree paper you can now do with a PDF.

I used to read one PDF at a time but now (thanks to my ADD) I can read a dozen papers at once and just bookmark and highlight the text.

Here’s a screenshot. I highlighted some text and made a bookmark.

It’s only for OS X but if you’re reading my blog you’re probably running it anyway.


The need for a headphone adapter in the iPhone is beyond stupid. This is such a horrible thing for Apple to have done.

I think this is going to keep me from buying one now.


I was watching this and thinking that a great way to ensure something will fail (or fail to sell) is to have Bush endorse it.

they have small iPhones

(sorry… couldn’t resist that joke)

200706211621 200706211620

200706091717This thing looks truly prehistoric when compared to the iPhone.

Palm is doomed. They deserve it though. They haven’t really innovated in 3-5 years. Good riddance.



Exploding MacBooks

200703122349These stories really scare me. I’m always worried I’ll leave my laptop home and it will explode and burn the house down and kill my cat.

3am last night. I woke up to my housemate screaming (yelling “Matty!”) and the dog barking. She fell asleep on the couch in the back lounge of our house. I jumped out of bed and raced out thinking that maybe somebody had come through the back door or something.

As I was running I saw a fire. At first I thought that the lamp had fallen and set fire to the curtain. As I got closer I realised it was my mac book …. burning! I picked it up and blew on it and swung it around to put the flames out. The book shelf it was sitting on was burnt and there were a couple of magazines that were on fire too. I quickly put those out and calmed down.

Japanese Mac vs PC

I have no idea what they’re saying but it’s probably funny.

Lots of reviews on the iPhone but I think Paul nails it:

# The closed system. Is Apple serious that it won’t let third-party developers build software for the thing? If so, and put simply, the device will fail. A closed-box consumer electronics mentality will work in music players, but the future of mobile devices is as a platform, and that requires developers.
# The Cingular relationship. While every wireless carrier has its haters, Cingular has more than most (both for its service and for its Edge network). Tying up exclusively to Cingular forces some of the loudest among the digerati to wait for an unlocked iPhone before they can begin touting the device for Apple.
# Its vaporware status. The iPhone won’t ship until June, at the earliest. That is going to cause (more) volatility in Apple’s share price, as well as create oodles of market uncertainty. Why did Apple decide it had to announce so far in front of the ship date? My guess: Apple knows that something similar is coming from another vendor very soon.

I think the lack of 3G is due to Cingular’s lack of HSDPA support. Sad. Very sad.

I’ll stay with Sprint and get a decent Blackberry phone with EVDO.

Hopefully this will scare the hell out of Treo and Blackberry and they’ll actually start innovating again.

It’s been driving me mad that there’s NO way to view my podcasts in a “river of news” format.

It’s actually a lot easier than I thought. Go to File | New Smart Playlist …

and then fill out the form as shown below:


Then you’ll have a river of news view of your subscribed podcasts:


Next time you sync your iPod make sure to select this playlist for synchronization.

New Toy – MacBook Pro

I guess I’ve been a good boy this year because Santa bought me a new MacBook Pro.

This machine blows my old Powerbook G4 out of the water.

Some quick thoughts:

Virtue Desktops is pretty slick. It supports stick windows so I can run mplayer on my laptop LCD while hacking on code in my 23″ cinema display.

iTerm seems to be moving forward. The old bookmark UI was much better

Aquamacs is pretty sweet. Works out of the box is a universal binary. Setting up Emacs took about an hour. Migrating from Linux to my first Powerbook took about two days so this is a pretty sigificant improvement.

Tailrank builds are amazingly fast. It’s nice to be on dual core. I can’t decide if it’s better to figure out how to use the second core or just let the CPU take up 100% on one core so that the other core is free to allow me to do other work.


OK guys. I have a coupon here given to me by a friend (who will stay anonymous until I have his permission) at Jangl for $200 off on Apple hardware. The only catch is that you have to use an American Express card (which I don’t have). You also have to spend more than $2k and use the coupon by the end of the month.

Instead of having it go to waste I figured one of my blog readers could use it.

You have to have sufficient karma though. No six figure executive types working for the man.

This just dawned on me…

Apple users will buy software but not vice versa.

Windows users will click on ads but not vice versa.