Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yahoo to Buy Jumpcut

MacWorld mentions that Yahoo is buying a YouTube competitor.

iTunes 7 Supports Multiple Libraries

An article mentions that iTunes 7 supports choosing libraries by holding down the option key while launching it.

Universal Binary MSN Messenger 6.0 for Mac

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Mythical Game-Hour

Wired has a fun article about the time it takes to get through interactive fiction. I have to say I've sometimes wondered about the 40-hour game notion.

Does one need to have the cheat sheet in order to manage that sort of time? I think it took me about 2 years overall, and about 3 months in particular of pretty intense evenings and nights to get through Zork I. Of course, I didn't cheat at all, which is one reason I loved Zork (it was really hard to crack it and read the data files as plain text). I was probably literally stuck for many months just guessing my way to saying "Echo" in the Echo Room, or, in Zork II, using the right syntax to say "well" (quotes required). Even Lucas Arts, who pride themselves in creating games that don't get you stuck had some quirks that required me to ask a friend and cheat, such as in the puzzle about the cannibals who wanted a brochure about "getting ahead in business."

Allen Brain Atlas

Wired has an article about the Allen Brain Atlas.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Microsoft Does Photo Presentation and Sharing

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Apple's Next Device?

iLounge has an article about a patent from Apple that could indicate what Apple has in mind for the rumored full-touch-screen iPod, which would be a natural candidate for watching videos and playing games. Perhaps Apple will also make it a cell phone.

One of the main problems with PDA-like phones, and phone-like PDAs, is that general-purpose computers and phones are actually quite different beasts. Today's computers are very flexible in what they're used for, and have all sorts of quirks, such as crashing, freezing, or just sitting there for a minute while memory is being moved between disks and RAM, while a phone should ideally be a device you pick up, dial 911 on, and the authorities show up to help you as fast as they can get there, with no allowances for glitches.

When you add phone functionality to a PDA or vice-versa, you easily get a system that feels the need to reboot, restore backups from flash memory and just generally sulk, while you're trying to place that all-important phone call (it's happened to me twice, once with a PocketPC device, and once with a Palm Treo, and luckily it was only a question of minor emergencies—nothing major).

A "sane" convergent device would need to be able to keep very strong dividers between the device world and the general-purpose computer worlds. I hope future Apple products will address this, although based on this patent, they are only thinking of a device that can change personality, not of one that uses a hardware switch to ensure instantaneous and 100% reliable personality change.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Joel Spolsky just started a "niche" jobs site. Looks like a great idea:

Better Passwords

A friend of mine create a little utility based on hashapass for Firefox that creates good passwords based on a master password and a simple one, to make it easier to manage passwords on the web.