Consider the Holy Bible as a product in a marketplace. It has several attractive qualities, foremost among them the tantalizing possibility that it contains the true word of a being who created the universe. But it has several worrisome drawbacks as well. Like most written anthologies it has poor replay value when compared to something like Spelunky; after you read it once you know more or less how it goes. It features a relatively weak Physical Rights Management scheme; for example, you don't need to purchase one for your household if you can simply borrow it from a friend or read it in a local church. Even its branding as a 'perfect document' becomes something of a double-edged sword; the first, purportedly perfect edition might seem very desirable indeed, but who is going to buy Holy Bible: Religious Text Of The Year Edition when the original is supposed to be immaculate? How are you going to make corrections, utilize analytics data or market additional 'content'? Where will your fine sponsors place all their full-page advertisements: After the crucifixion or before?—Form and its Usurpers is a long essay by Brendan Vance [previously] about videogames, Hegel, form, content, what "free" means, how capitalism ruins everything and what to do about it.
Do you like Cleverbot, but maybe wished that it was an androgynous jpop boy you could dress up and make your boyfriend? There's an app for tha-- oh no wait, nevermind. [more inside]
Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road. -- Stewart Brand
Steam to sell productivity software [main link]. Gabe's dislike of the Windows 8 app store [BBC] may be explained. It's particularly interesting given that Steam is about to launch on Linux [Valve] [previously on Mefi]; it's one app store across all three platforms. [more inside]
"Because we don't know how to make a wheel that is still generally useful for legitimate wheel applications but useless to bad guys."
Cory Doctorow's 28C3 talk The Coming War on General Purpose Computation (abstract, transcript) warns that "the coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race." [more inside]
"The PC is dead. Rising numbers of mobile, lightweight, cloud-centric devices [represent] an unprecedented shift of power from end users and software developers on the one hand, to operating system vendors on the other ... This is a little for the better, and much for the worse." - Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law Professor (via battellemedia.com) [more inside]
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]
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".
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.)
User reviews in app stores are notorious for their high percentage of uselessness. Users downrate when none of the windows of an Advent Calendar app open in mid-November and a dog to human translator doesn't actually translate their dog's barking. [more inside]
"Mom! Bethany won't let me play Doodle Jump!" Because there's a story behind every emoji-laden review app review.
Despite lukewarm reviews Ethan Nichols' iPhone game iShoot has earned him enough money to allow him to quit his day job. A recent article makes iPhone software development sound like something anyone can do, and software developers as young as nine-years-old have Apple approved games in Apple's App Store. [more inside]
Is the iPhone the future of comics? Artist P J Holden demonstrates the interface for Murderdrome, which uses the rather slick new Comic Reader from Blue Pilot Software, and discusses the iPhone as comics platform. Also: Manga on the iPhone, How to read .CBR files on your iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch emulator for comic creators.