24 November 2009

Google Notebook for Firefox 3.6

Officially, Google dropped support for the Notebook extension with version 3.0 of Firefox, but you were able to get it working in Firefox 3.5 with this hack.

However, I've been using the Firefox 3.6 Beta for a while now, and the performance is degraded.  The extension seems to still allow you to bookmark a page without going to http://notebook.google.com, but the popup doesn't register any mouseclicks.

I'm currently in the process of creating a Firefox dev environment, just to keep this extension working -- that's one way to cut my teeth on Firefox extension development, I guess. :P

13 November 2009

VMWare Email Subscription Change Request

Received this message after changing my VMWare account preferences to stop accepting their (spam) newsletters, training requests, and special offers. 

Apparently their email subscription manager server is running in a Windows 3.1 VM.

...or else they're still processing them by hand.  Which makes me even happier than I now use Virualbox.

12 November 2009

Facebook iPhone Dev Quits Project Over Apple Tyranny

Facebook iPhone Dev Quits Project Over Apple Tyranny
My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies. I respect their right to manage their platform however they want, however I am philosophically opposed to the existence of their review process. I am very concerned that they are setting a horrible precedent for other software platforms, and soon gatekeepers will start infesting the lives of every software developer.
The web is still unrestricted and free, and so I am returning to my roots as a web developer. In the long term, I would like to be able to say that I helped to make the web the best mobile platform available, rather than being part of the transition to a world where every developer must go through a middleman to get their software in the hands of users.
Wow -- just wow. I know Joe Hewitt -- he's also the guy that made Firebug; the tool that pretty much revolutionized web development as we knows it. I didn't know he was also responsible for the excellent and very, very popular Facebook app for the iPhone. (How about bringing some of that love over to Android, Joe? Our facebook apps leave much to be desired. Even the "official" one.)

Makes sense, though -- Joe Hewitt is also the fellow who made the open IUI JavaScript framework, which enables you to effectively create web applications that run in the iPhone's Mobile Safari browser that mimic a native application. Who needs the app store? :P

Even though I've been creating a bit of mobile web apps here and there, I've never once considered creating a native "app" or dealing with Apple's App Store -- why bother creating a native Apple App, when I can create a great looking web app that looks the same AND works in Blackberry's mobile browser, Android's mobile browser, Windows Mobile, etc...

Oh, but it's still not as good as a native app, you say? Joe Hewitt addresses that very point in a blog post he made about this subject a few months ago:
Oh, but you say that iPhone apps are different, because they run native code and can do scary things that web pages can't? Again, you're wrong, because iPhone apps are sandboxed and have scarcely any more privileges than a web app. About the only scary thing they can do outside the sandbox is access your address book, but Apple can easily fix that by requiring they ask permission first, just like they must do to track your location.
And, to the argument (one that even I've gave Apple from time to time) that Apple restricting apps in its horrible approval process somehow makes the platform "safer":
The fact is this: Apple does not have the means to perform thorough quality assurance on any app. This is up to the developer. We have our own product managers and quality assurance testers, and we are liable to our users and the courts if we do anything evil or stupid. Apple may catch a few shallow bugs in the review process, but let's face it, the real things they are looking for are not bugs, but violations of the terms of service. This is all about lawyers, not quality, and it shows that the model of Apple's justice system is guilty until proven innocent. They don't trust us, and I resent that, because the vast majority of us are trustworthy.

10 November 2009

My Bookmarked Links for Sep-Oct

(If I can't find the time to blog, the least I can do is tell you about some of the interesting stuff I've found on the web. :P )
A great website mockup tool.  Can't wait to use this.
Official Google Blog: Transparency, choice and control — now complete with a Dashboard!
You wanted it -- you got it.  See all the social data Google has on you.
Google Voice AIR App Keeps Voicemail and SMS on Your Desktop - Google Voice - Lifehacker
Haven't tried this yet, I must admit, once I learned it wasn't officially from Google.
RefControl :: Add-ons for Firefox
For those really really paranoid about what a website knows about you.
Dell Streak is a 5-inch Android 2.0 MID, packs 3G and WiFi (video)
This will be interesting when it's finally released.
Motorola Droid (alias Sholes) finally gets a decent headshot
Well, it's about darn time.
Dungeons and Dragons Online: behold the power of free - Ars Technica
An interesting business model -- I've heard it's common in Asia to "sell" MMO's like this.
Jailbroken iPhone gets Expose-like view, you retail users just keep on scrollin' (video)
Something Apple needs to integrate with the normal iPhone OS.
What happens when an office loses proactive synergy.
Underwhelming, but nice that it exists.
SnOil - A Physical Display Based on Ferrofluid | Martin Frey
Amazing.  Impractical, at least with today's technology, but still absolutely stunning.
Jinja Ninja - Tracks - SoundCloud
 Apparently an collaborative music site?
I just like the design of this website.  Weird to see a government website with nice UI.
Cat and Girl » Archive » Escalator to Success
Eerily similiar to real life.

02 November 2009

Dell is trying very hard.

Come on Dell -- now you're just trying too hard. :P