Written by Nick Heer.

Archive for November 28th, 2011

It’s Been Said Before, and I’ll Say It Again

Jamie Zawinski:

Michael Arrington posted this article, “Startups Are Hard. So Work More, Cry Less, and Quit All The Whining” which quotes extensively from my 1994 diary.

He’s trying to make the point that the only path to success in the software industry is to work insane hours, sleep under your desk, and give up your one and only youth, and if you don’t do that, you’re a pussy. He’s using my words to try and back up that thesis.

I hate this, because it’s not true, and it’s disingenuous.

Michael Arrington is a dick.

“A Billion Dollar Deal”

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Sharp and Apple might have struck a billion dollar deal for the former to supply displays to the latter.

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that these displays are destined for the iPad 3 and might already be in current iPhones.

Today, the Tokyo Times reported that Sharp is also supplying the displays for use in Apple’s long-rumoured television. This doesn’t seem like a reliable report, but if it’s true, that is one enormous business deal.

Windows Phone 7 Isn’t Lacking in Apps Because It Has Websites

Of the 22 apps Geof Harries lists for an iOS vs. Windows Phone 7 app availability comparison, five of the WP7 versions are websites that he pins to his start screen. This is what evidence he’s using to support the thesis that “Windows Phone has plenty of apps, many of the same as on other platforms, if you only search the marketplace.”

I like Windows Phone 7 a lot, but its relative lack of applications is a problem. A number of the most popular iOS applications do not have comparable options for WP7, or those options aren’t as readily-updated as their iOS or Android counterparts. Foursquare and Gowalla haven’t been updated for months on WP7, but are frequently updated on iOS and Android. There isn’t a Starbucks app available, nor one for Air Canada. A community like that of Instagram is nowhere to be found. There isn’t even an official Dropbox client.

To be fair, this is primarily the developers’ fault. But it’s clear that developers aren’t invested in the platform as heavily as they are in its competitors.

Jailbreakers Want to Get Ahead of Apple in Finding Exploits

Chronic Dev explains that Apple uses their iTunes-based crash reporting system in order to find these jailbreak exploits before they are released into the wild.

Replace the word “jailbreak” in the above sentence with “security”. Both parties want to find the same security vulnerabilities that can be used to run unsigned code. Apple wants to fix these problems; the Chronic Dev team wants to exploit them.

In order to avoid losing exploits in the future, the Chronic Dev team has announced a bold move: they want to sidestep Apple, install software onto your computer, and re-route crash reports to the jailbreak development team.

It’s up to you to decide if this is something you regard as noble and useful, or as potentially dangerous.

The Choice of Privacy

Now, however, the EC is planning to ban such activity unless users themselves specifically agree to it. The EU’s data protection working group is currently investigating how Facebook tracks users, stores data and uses that information to serve targeted ads. The ban may take effect as soon as next year.

It’s worth noting that people typically don’t tick boxes to make a decision. Most will leave the box in its default state, and if the EU decision takes effect, Facebook stands to lose their entire business model in those countries because most people won’t tick that box.