What touchscreens lack is something called affordance. It’s a lofty term for an object’s built-in ability to tell you how it works. A doorknob affords turning. The button on a car stereo affords pushing. A touchscreen affords nothing. It relies on software for any affordance, which in turn relies on total immersion for the user.... The days of analog affordance are gone. What we want, apparently, is to surround ourselves with touchscreens of varying size—tiny ones in our pockets, medium-size models for our laps and dashboards, and massive versions for our walls. We want tomorrow’s vintage shops to be lined with identical, blank, anonymous slabs. We want things to be vessels for software, and nothing more. - A Slate piece asks if touchscreens are becoming too ubiquitous
The New York Times have published the eulogy Mona Simpson delivered for her brother Steve Jobs at his funeral, which includes his last words. Now it you'll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye...
Walter Isaacson, author of a just-released authorized biography of Steve Jobs, talks to Steve Croft of 60 Minutes [single-page view] about his brilliant, mercurial, often difficult subject.
The iPod turns 10 Today marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the iPod. Touted in a low-key presentation as a player that would let you carry 1000 (!) songs in a player the size of a pack of cards (!), the 1st gen model didn't really impress techies (or mefi), though consumers quickly fell for the stylish white and stainless player. In the ensuing years, Apple kept plugging away at new models, and today, few even remember that Apple was late to this game. (previously)
Why are computer voices mostly female? Apple's 1987 vision of a computerized personal assistant was originally male. Siri's voice is female in the US and Australia, but male in the UK and France. [more inside]
The Great Tech War of 2012: Apple v. Google v. Amazon v. Facebook
"What kind of a**hole enters his game in the IGF before it’s done and then decides to delay release for 2 years?" The creator of Monaco discusses the philosophy of one or two buttons in gaming. His answer: None. (NSF People who don't like Penny Arcade.)
Another mind numbing tumblr blog- shit siri says. Apparently Apple Purposely Gave Siri Some Attitude. Here is a cnet demo of siri on youtube.
Did Dropping Acid Make Steve Jobs More Creative? Awkwardly omitted from his many obituaries, Steve Jobs said that "doing LSD was one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life." Was his experience (portrayed in this reenactment) the source of his creativity?
In 1987 Apple predicted a complex language voice assistant built into something called the Apple Knowledge Navigator, a tablet computer. With today's announcement of the refined (and integrated) version of Siri, it appears they were less than a month off.
In a New York Times op-ed called "You Love Your iPhone. Literally." branding consultant Martin Lindstrom says that his fMRI experiments show that iPhone users' brains "responded to the sound of their phones as they would respond to the presence or proximity of a girlfriend, boyfriend or family member ... they loved their iPhones." The piece has drawn intense criticism from neuroscientists, who have called it "complete crap", "terrible, terrible", and "truly hideous".
Mike Daisey, monologuist, author and gadfly, will be streaming the live performance of his 24 hour monologue, All Hours of the Day, from 6 PM PST today until 6 PM PST tomorrow. He remains cagey about what precisely the show is about, but early reports indicate that bacon will be involved. [more inside]
Microsoft announced today that Internet Explorer 10, part of Windows 8 and a massive UI and structural redesign, will come in two flavors: a desktop app that will continue "to fully support all plug-ins and extensions, " and the flagship version intended for touchscreen devices called Metro, which will be as "HTML5-only as possible, and plug-in free". Specifically, Metro won't support Adobe Flash. [more inside]
The Shrine of Apple--a (sill in progress) archive of photos and specs for Apple's complete product history.
Suck on it Applesoft. "Everyone was baffled when Google made those crazy bids for the Nortel patents last month. Remember? They bid things like the distance from the earth to the sun, the number pi, and some other wacky numbers from mathematics." [more inside]
When Brandon left for camp, his last words were, "stay out of my room!" Unfortunately for Brandon, he has the
meanest most awesome family in the entire world. [more inside]
How a Security Researcher Discovered the Apple Battery ‘Hack’ - How to destroy Hardware with Software.
Blogger BirdAboard discovers not one, but three fake Apple stores in Kunming, China.
Although Apple's OS X operating system is making inroads with power users, providing Apple style and usability over a FreeBSD-derived UNIX-certified architecture, many find the built-in terminal emulator sadly lacking both UNIX feel and Apple polish. Fortunately, MeFi's own jewzilla has picked up the ball on the most popular third-party Terminal replacement, iTerm, and rolled out something altogether new and wonderful: iTerm2. [via mefi projects]
The US Secret Service has raided the home of an artist who collected images from webcams in a New York Apple store. The tumblr is still up, as is a explanation of the project by the artist at F.A.T.
Video of Steve Jobs discussing iCloud and other current Apple products, at the 1997 WWDC. Yes, 1997. Via Daring Fireball.
Final Cut Pro backlash. Two months ago, Apple previewed the new 64-bit version of its popular professional video editing application, completely re-written and re-designed with loads of new, revolutionary features, an iMovie-like interface, and a deep price cut. Excitement and anticipation abounded. On Tuesday, it was released, and the excitement has been completely reversed. Unfortunately, as Apple typically does with all-new products, they left out a lot of features that users particularly needed (including backwards compatibility), and simultaneously killed the previous version, causing an unprecedented amount of confusion and anger in a matter of hours. Many people felt left in the lurch, others felt that Apple had abandoned the pro market without telling anyone, and still others prescribed patience.
Who owns the term "app store"? Apple wants to, but Amazon and Microsoft, among others, think it is generic. Will Steve Jobs's own words come to haunt him? In any case, the first casualty of the fight between giants seems to be Amahi, a small open-source media server. [more inside]
Is Apple bypassing the Web? Maybe so, and the inventor of the Web's fears are one step closer to being realized.
It used to be called "Sherlocking". British student Greg Hughes' Wi-fi Sync application was rejected by the Apple App Store for security reasons. Undeterred, he sold it on the Cydia store for jailbroken iPhone apps. At WWDC on Monday, IOS 5 was unveiled, with the latest iteration of the iPhone operating system offering Twitter integration, a built-in to do list, an adless longform reader... and Wi-fi sync. [more inside]
Apple says app developers are covered under license, Lodsys' patent infringement claims are invalid Macworld has more.
Looks like FOX News called it -- UK neuroscientists now suggest that the brains of Apple devotees are stimulated by Apple imagery in the same way that the brains of religious people are stimulated by religious imagery.
Here's to the crazy ones - a decade of Mac OS X reviews.
Apple's revenues and net earnings for the first calendar quarter of 2011 both beat the reported sales and profits of its rival Microsoft for the first time in recent history. It's been an epic rivalry between these two computer tech giants. Apple had an early lead, was overtaken by Microsoft in a rather spectacular fashion. And then, slowly, like a guerilla campaign from distant provinces, Apple came back. At least by one measure - earnings - a measure that seemed destined to always be in Microsoft's favor, Apple has now taken the lead. [more inside]
iPhones Found to Track Your Movements, Keep Record Security researchers have discovered that without any input from the user, iPhones permanently record the movements of their owners. Download an open-source app (Mac) here to reveal your own geo history.
Head Tracking for iPad: Glasses-Free 3D Display - Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay of the Grenoble Informatics Laboratory track the user's head using an iPad's front facing camera, using the positional data to create the impression of depth without the use of specialized glasses [more inside]
Atari Brings 100 Retro Titles to iOS in "Atari's Greatest Hits". Designed for the iCade. Toucharcade review. ArsTecnica review. Does it break the iTunes App rules?.
Awesome mini Apple Store tugs at your wallet. PLAYMOBILTM introduces your children to the magic of Apple; includes store, figures, and 60+ accessories. Use your own real iPhone 4 as the screen behind Steve Jobs in the Keynote Theater. [more inside]
Boxer - the DOS game emulator that’s fit for your Mac, making it beautifully, trivially easy to run DOS games [via]
Exodus International, the so-called "ex-gay" organization, has just released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is "designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders." The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains "no objectionable content." Many are not pleased. [more inside]
Mozilla's HTML 5 Circus rolls into town. The emergence of HTML 5 is marked by, among others, emerging browsers (or browser versions). The soon to be released Firefox 4, often delayed, mirrors the slow march to an HTML 5 Flash reduced web. Like others, Mozilla feels the need to sell HTML 5. We also have Chrome Experiments, Canvas Demos, IE HTML 5 demos and Never Mind the Bullets, and Apple's (warning: sniffer protected) HTML 5 showcase. [more inside]
When I was 17... it was a very good year. Opera is now available in the Mac App store but you must be 17 years old to download it. Those under 17 can get it outside the app store.
Apple has launched App Store subscriptions for digital content, something that should please magazine publishers looking for a non-print business model. However there is a sting in the tail - publishers must go through Apple, paying the 30% "Apple tax".
This is a short history and background of the Macintosh research project on the eve of its becoming a product.
First there was the 'Splosion Man ripoff MaXplosion (and Capcom's non-response). Then there was a The Blocks Cometh clone (eventually taken down after the uproar). Now comes Lugaru, a wholesale copy of code, data, and name. (Android developers, you're not safe either.)