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The Bob Chronicles

“Save all the money on the manuals and just give me this duck to always be there and tell me what to do.”

Looking back on the 15-year anniversary of Microsoft Bob, one of Microsoft’s most famous failures.

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“Made, Is Making, or Will Make?”

David Barnard on the sales fluctuations in the App Store, and how hard is it to gauge future success/sales on same.

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Why DRM Doesn’t Work

22 simple steps to borrowing an audio book from a public library.

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There Is A Palm Pre App That Reboots Your Phone At Set Intervals

To combat those RAM-sucking, memory-leaking, background apps everybody wants the iPhone to support so badly.

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Steven Frank on New World Computing, the iPad, and Generational Shift

The newly-Americanized Steve knocks it out of the park. There is a big shift happening under the layers we walk on, and most people won’t see it for a few years yet.

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Popular Mail Scanner Spam Assassin Marks All Mail From 2010 As “Spammy”

When the software was first developed, a rule was hardcoded that marked the years 2010-2099 as “grossly in the future.”

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Epic Games Releases Unreal Development Kit

The hyper-expensive and sometimes-maligned Unreal Engine gets a free / indie version. The Unreal Development Kit is free for non-commercial use, and $2500 per-seat for commercial games.

With Unity making a similar offering last week, the independent games scene is only going to get better.

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“Download failed.: Could not create Temporary file”

I’ve been getting this error in WordPress, so I wasn’t using the auto-update functionality, which is a real time-saver. My problem was that WordPress was trying to write to /tmp/ which is a no-no as my host (Segpub.net) uses Safe Mode. You can solve this issue by adding a couple of directives to your wp-config.php file, namely WP_TEMP_DIR. Adding these lines to wp-config.php fixed the problem for me:

define('WP_TEMP_DIR', ini_get('upload_tmp_dir'));
putenv('TMPDIR=' . ini_get('upload_tmp_dir'));

Thanks to the WordPress forums for my answer.

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la petite url 1.6

My personal URL shortener hits version 1.6. Current users will be able to upgrade by way of WordPress’ automatic update mechanism. The rest of you: Download it from WordPress.org.

Fun fact: House style is to always type “la petite url” in all lowercase.

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Acorn 2.0

Flying Meat Software release a super update to their image editor, Acorn. It sports an all-new UI designed (mostly) by Brandon Walkin. Gus’ blog post sums up many of the changes. It is, interestingly to me, 64-bit and only runs on 10.6.

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Preliminary Notes on Apple’s Recent “It’s Only Rock and Roll” Music Event

In no particular order:

  • App recommendations: Wholly necessary, but we aren’t out of the woods yet regarding App Store curation. I bet there’s a good deal of money to be made just doing that: Curating collections of apps. Boing Boing got huge during the blog boom for curating other blogs, why wouldn’t it work for applications on a still-new platform? Someone’s going to get rich digging down on serious Touch applications.

  • iPod Touch No camera, no mention of 3GS-type speed bump. Kinda got the shaft. I can’t think of a single good reason for not including a camera that doesn’t involve trying to trick people into buying a Nano. Surely they aren’t afraid a (not that great) camera is going to steer fence-sitters from the iPhone to the Touch? Update: It’s now come out that the 8gb ($199) iPod Touch has the older, slightly slower, hardware, and all the others in the Touch line have the upgraded “3GS” innards. You’ll notice on the “Compare iPod Models” page on Apple’s site, the 8gb is sectioned off from his higher-capcity and speedier brothers.

  • iTunes 9 Now with more bloat and cumbersome, non-portable, versions of the extra features that people who illegally download albums already get in more useful formats. Still a 32-bit Carbon app. Gruber was right about WebKit.

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Hex Color Picker 1.5

A nice little update to Waffle Software’s extremely useful tool. It’s 64-bit.

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John Siracusa’s Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Review

If there is only one 10.6 review/recap you read, it should be this one. John is the best at this. It is part history lesson, part analysis, part commentary.

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Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Compatibility List

Probably a good idea to consult this before you take the plunge tomorrow.

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Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad

An absolutely astonishing demonstration of a vector drawing application from 1962.

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Google+Growl 3.0

Waffle Software brings out a major update to it’s Google Notifier plugin. Jesper lays down some specifics in this blog post, and has posted a tech profile here. The new page for G+G is just beautiful.

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Introducing the Google Chrome OS

The big news of the day. There is a lot of talk that Chrome OS may be what powers the CrunchPad, but I am not so sure.

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Gmail, Google Apps out of “beta”

It only took five years.

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CSS Tools Coda Plugin

Super useful Coda plugin, which uses CSSTidy. Can translate back to human-readable code for changes, then re-compress.

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Mole-Man Name Generator

Created by yours truly over the last 24 hours, in honor of John Hodgman’s live recitation of 700 Mole-Man names. I hope you enjoy it. My own Mole-Manic name is “Ernest Silverjaw”.