Saturday, October 27, 2007

FileMaker announces date for Mac OS X Leopard compatibility update

FileMaker Pro 9 and FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced generally run on Leopard although there are two known issues. We are targeting a downloadable update to be available on November 19, 2007.... We have not tested earlier (pre-FileMaker 9) versions of FileMaker software on Mac OS X Leopard and do not intend to release updates for earlier versions.
So FMP 9 doesn't run well yet on Leopard and prior versions don't run at all. If you want to run FileMaker on OS X 10.5, you have to be running the latest version and you have to wait until mid-November. Not very friendly.

(Well, only if the two issues affect you. They list Instant Web Publishing and non-US English versions. However, there was a prior issue with the new version of WebKit that caused FMP to crash when accessing some web viewer content that's not mentioned at all in this notice. Has it been fixed in the GM version of Leopard or is it still an issue?)


Friday, October 26, 2007

Mac OS X 10.5: Time Machine doesn't back up to AirPort Disks [Updated]

You've got to be kidding me. This feature would be awesome. Good thing I haven't ordered the external HD yet. Time to re-think the strategy. Surely they'll get this worked out with a future update. Per Gruber, this was a previously touted feature, so it's not like the idea hasn't occurred to them.

Would be a great feature if it did, especially for notebook users. And it’s disappointing, because backing up to an AirPort disk was promoted as a feature of Time Machine in the WWDC 2007 keynote.
UPDATE: More details (and some hope that this feature will return in a future update): Apple yanks wireless backup from Leopard last minute
A work-around hack that restores the feature (if you trust it): TM working with airport disk in GM


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Motorola: Apple won’t open the iPhone

A suit at Motorola whines suggests that Apple won't open the iPhone platform to competing services. It's a toothless complaint, but it prompted this interesting analysis of the market.

If we are to assume that the upcoming SDK next February won’t open up the iPhone completely, does that mean that Apple’s customers will be hurt? The iPhone is completely closed right now and its customers are far away the most satisfied in the industry, nearly three times more satisfied than Motorola’s. It’s hard to imagine when the iPhone gets third-party apps next year, customers will be less satisfied.


Site-specific browsers and GreaseKit

The idea is simple: take a browser, cut out the tabs, the URL bar and all the rest of the window chrome and instead load one website at a time. Hence the colloquial name: “site specific browser”.
Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of this concept. Are we headed to a world of a bazillion little "site-specific browsers" that are only incrementally better than the "full browser" version or a world of robust "desktop web apps" that rival the functionality of programs like iTunes (also based on WebKit). I guess the jury will be out on that for some time, but I'm excited by the possibilities afforded by quick development, easy customization, and standalone web instances.

(via Jaxn)


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Leopard Will Improve Your Security

With the release last week of the feature list for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the security world is buzzing about some extremely important updates that should, if they work as expected, significantly improve Mac security and will make me less nervous about connecting to wireless networks in Internet cafes.
Tell me more... (via Daring Fireball)


Gmail gets IMAP

Looks like the Google is finally rolling out IMAP access for Gmail. It's about time. With this feature in place, there is absolutely no reason to use any other free email service.

Why is IMAP integration a good thing for Gmail? POP was a stepping stone, but IMAP pushes Gmails benefits over the top. With IMAP, users can now access their email via a desktop application like Outlook or Thunderbird, read emails, make changes, delete, and have the changes made across platforms. So if you now log into your Gmail account, the message which you read in Thunderbird, will now be marked accordingly. No more wasting time trying to sift through emails that had already been answered.
Official Gmail Blog: Sync your inbox across devices with free IMAP


Monday, October 22, 2007

Free My Phone

[The current] mobile phone system... severely limits consumer choice, stifles innovation, crushes entrepreneurship, and has made the U.S. the laughingstock of the mobile-technology world, just as the cellphone is morphing into a powerful hand-held computer.
Right on the money. Literally. (via Fake Steve)


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Strange Bedfellows: Why an Apple/Google collaboration has been so difficult to make happen.

You can see how easy it is, then, to gin up a strategy whereby each company plays to its strength. Google handles the back end and Apple the front end.... [However,] Apple isn't going to be satisfied making clever little interfaces to a world of information provided -- and owned -- by Google. Schmidt (and Carr) see that Apple doesn't have the supercomputer, but Jobs just as firmly believes that Google doesn't know how to run the supercomputer it has, and besides, he can rent a supercomputer anytime he wants one, so there.
Hmm, didn't I say something to this effect back in September? Well, at least the first part (Carr's thesis) and, to some extent, the second (Cringley's). Cringely's analysis is spot-on (and much more colorful). (via Daring Fireball)


What the Fuck: Why We Curse

Great fucking essay by Steven Pinker in The New Republic.
Fucking brilliant. (via Daring Fireball)


Thursday, October 18, 2007

AT&T To Drop Early Termination Fees

This is a huge step in the right direction. Should be only a matter of time before the other carriers follow suit. (Note, last time I checked, Sprint already did not require a contract extension if you upgrade your existing plan; downgrades on the other hand, or switching to a different plan -- gotcha!)

Starting next month, customers who change a wireless calling plan will no longer be required to extend their current contact with AT&T or sign a new contract.

Customers who terminate a contact early will no longer have to pay a flat early termination fee. The fee will be lowered during the term of the contact. The early termination policy, however, will go into effect early next year and will apple to new and renewing customers who sign a one or a two-year contract.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Time Machine

Time Machine is one of the most visually prominent new features demonstrated in Mac OS X Leopard, even if the core idea of backups is as old -- or perhaps older -- than the concept of having any data worthy of being restored. Here's a look at what's new and different about Apple's approach with Time Machine, why backups are a problem to be solved, and how well Leopard's new Time Machine actually works in practice.
I didn't have a lot if respect for Time Machine as a useful or innovative feature until I read this explanation. Now I'm pretty psyched about it. Time to find a new large capacity external hard drive to plug into my Airport Extreme.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Fun hobby of the day: Twitter-tracking dirty words

Because ingenious ideas like this can't go unshared, here's what you do:

Step 1: Sign up for Twitter and link it to one of your instant messaging accounts.
Step 2: Read this.
Step 3: Set Twitter to track a dozen of the dirtiest, nastiest words you can think of.
Step 4: Soak in the glorious river of humanity.
Absolutely hilarious. And a great peek into human social discourse. This should win some kind of "Best Use of Twitter" award. (originally (?) from Marc Andreesen via Kurzy)


Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Vista nerd rage feedback loop

The last time I heard somebody say, "I'm thinking about installing Vista, but I hear it's awful," the response was, "No, it's really not that bad." And the last person I know who upgraded said verbatim, "Vista isn't as terrible as I'd suspected."
[via Daring Fireball] Wow. That's a scathing endorsement. Is Vista really as bad as the press it's getting or as good as "not terrible"?


Silicon Alley Insider: Supply and Demand Applies to Concert Tickets, But Not to iPhones

I love to see hypocrisy in action, as called out by Gruber:

Peter Kafka, at Silicon Alley Insider, claims the “obvious solution” to Hannah Montana ticket scalping — wherein $67 tickets are being re-sold for upwards of $250 — is to raise the initial selling prices of the tickets, so that the money die-hard fans are willing to pay goes to the artist and concert promoter, rather than to the scalper, and then to reduce the prices after the initial high-priced demand passes.

Good advice, I say. And, of course, it’s exactly what Apple did with the iPhone. Except Silicon Alley Insider didn’t see it that way with the iPhone, writing “To us, this move suggests the phone is not selling as well as Apple had hoped,” and “[The real issue] is Apple’s obvious misjudgment of the market for a flagship product.
To which I would add Kafka's own sarcastic coverage of the iPhone pricing, "Apple's $11 Billion iPhone Blunder Explained: It's Intentional!"