* Posts by durbster

26 posts • joined 15 Dec 2011

Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?


What I don't understand is why they don't force developers to explain WHY they need access to each feature. Sometimes it might want access to something for entirely innocent but slightly obscure reasons, so you're never quite sure whether to be suspicious or not.

Rather than saying this app requires access to:

Your camera

Your contacts


It should say this app requires access to:

Your camera: To see if you have a moustache

Your contacts: To allow you to send your high score to your contacts

SMS: To text your mum and tell her your phone is secure

Australian Police say don't use Apple's iOS 6 Maps


Re: Who would leave a perfectly serviceable highway?

"Pretty sure that if you need to engage diff lock then you have taken a wrong turn somewhere."

Depends how adventurous you are. ;)

Fair point though, didn't realise Mildura was that big.


Re: Who would leave a perfectly serviceable highway?

There are lots of unsealed roads out there so it's not unusual to take one to reach a tourist spot, 4WD or not.

Adobe's revenge on Steve Jobs: HTML5


Re: Erm, am I missing something?

Erm... if you're comparing a Mac only desktop application with a website then I think you may have missed the point.


Re: Adobe's mixed blessing

So badly programmed Flash will be replaced by badly programmed HTML5 and Javascript. Nothing will change there :)

Flash was too accessible for non-programmers in the early days though, which helped make it successful but also allowed numpties to misuse it with ease. AS3 resolved this to an extent because it was far stricter, but it never shook that reputation.


Re: Erm, am I missing something?

Have a look at Audio Tool and Pixlr to name two. You can build incredibly powerful apps in the browser using Flash (I did so for several years).

With the release of AS3 Flash became a serious development platform with a huge amount of capability and potential. The biggest problem was that a lot of developers couldn't get over its reputation as a lightweight tool for making advertising banners so didn't even consider it.

I know a few .Net programmers who were very surprised when they saw AS3 code, with a class structure, object typing etc.


A couple of years on, there is STILL nothing to replace Flash for sophisticated things in the browser, which shows how far off the mark Jobs was.

The saddest thing about all this is that people were happy to believe Jobs' nonsense about Flash, so clients started asking for everything to be done in HTML5 when that wasn't, and still isn't possible.

During the Olympics there were several comments on the BBC iPlayer website whinging that it was done in Flash and not HTML5, demonstrating that people simply don't understand that wasn't possible.

Apple ships 'completely redesigned' iTunes 11


Re: Get over it

It's free but if you own an iDevice then every attempt is made to encourage you to use it. Therefore, it being shit is not really acceptable, especially from the most valuable company in the world.



Hmm. Looks like they've just removed half the interface. Does this mean you can no longer drag and drop because I trust iTunes to manage my media as much as I'd trust a cabbage to manage my finances.

iTunes has traditionally taken all the lessons and experience built up over the past twenty years about how to build an intuitive user interface, then implemented the exact opposite. It gets so many basics of interface design wrong I can't help thinking it must be done intentionally, just for a laugh.

Screen resolutions are very high these days - let's hide features, scatter them inexplicably around the screen and make people roll over to find them. Everybody LOVES blindly scanning round an interface to find what they're after!

Speaking of which, where shall we put the Add Playlist button - in the playlist section?

Of course not, just stick it on the bottom of the interface with the most vague icon we can think of.

Should we use our graphic interface for all our navigation?

Nah, let's put some buttons into the pseudo digital information screen for the hell of it. Because everyone will expect navigation to appear in the information screen won't they?

Shall we exclusively use dialogue boxes to announce critical features such as, "iTunes is about to delete everything off your iPod"?

Great idea! Everybody reads those. It's not like people just click the button they think is most likely to get rid of them.

Flash Player to vanish from Android store on Wednesday


Re: Hmm

I'm pretty sure Adobe said the plan was to release the mobile version of the Flash player into the open source world actually, so it may not be gone forever...


Re: And all this is a textbook reason why...

"Flash is a closed, proprietary plugin—and a poorly written one at that. (It is still infamous for lousy performance on Macs, and always has been. Even on Windows, it's not the most efficient chunk of code.)"

Your comment was valid in 2008 maybe but not today. Flash performs perfectly well these days and will usually outperform Javascript for equivalent tasks.

And today you can easily develop for Flash without giving Adobe a penny. Flex & FlashDevelop serve me perfectly well and they're both free.

But I agree that plugins have no place on mobile browsers; that's what apps are for.


The bigger picture

I can accept that Flash never worked well on mobile devices but the problem we now have is that when people ask for sophisticated web content which NEEDS to be done in Flash they'll also expect it to work on mobile devices.

Steve Jobs' successfully spread the myth that Flash is no longer necessary at all (on desktops and mobile) when the truth is that the alternative technologies are years behind and therefore need more time and cost to develop.

Whether it's written in Flash or Javascript, complex content in a browser just does not work on a mobile device and is far better served as an app. I'd always choose the YouTube app than the YouTube website on my phone, for example.

And to all those expecting a world without Flash to be one with no animation or advertising, you're utterly deluded. You'll still get crappy animations and adverts, they'll just be done in Javascript instead (and therefore will be harder to remove). Blaming Flash for bad content is like blaming your TV for bad programmes.

The misconceptions about Flash (e.g. that it hogs resources - not the case for several years now) may accelerate its demise but that would leave a void that HTML5 and Javascript are not in a position to fill yet.

The BBC online Olympic coverge has just demonstrated why Flash is still by far the best tool for the job on desktops. They simply couldn't have done it any other way.

BBC gives itself a gold in 700Gbit-a-second Olympic vid sprint


I had no intention of watching the Olymics but found myself sucked in. At several points we were catching up with something on the laptop and on TV at the same time.

Another thing it highlighted was how necessary the Flash Player still is. Their online coverage couldn't have been done without it and the alternatives are still a long way off that sort of capability and reach.

Microsoft: Gmail rival Outlook.com will 'look good on your iPad' 


I'm already looking forward to explaining to clients how to setup their email addresses:

"Do you use Outlook? Yes... do you mean the application or the website. An application is... do you get to it in your start menu or your web browser?...

...no, Google is a search engine, not a browser."


More reports that Apple plans iPhone 5 September surprise


Re: Steve Jobs..

Depends which product he happened to be flogging at the time. If he was answering a question about the iPad then of course you can't have iOS running on a smaller screen, it'd be too fiddly. If he was answering a question about the iPhone then of course you can't have iOS running on a bigger screen, it wouldn't fit in people's pockets and they wouldn't be able to use it one handed.

Microsoft unveils fondle-ready keyboards, mice


I'm typing this on a Mac with a Microsoft mouse plugged in because every Apple mouse I've used is atrocious and entirely inappropriate for work. The new 'magic' mouse with gestures built in is utterly hopeless.

In my experience people often replace a Microsoft mouse with another Microsoft mouse which is the surest sign of a product done right. A mouse is a fork or a screwdriver; it doesn't have to look nice or be packed with features, it just needs to sit in my hand and obey.

I sincerely hope this remains a sideline and that they will stick to their existing range because if this is what Microsoft aspire to then it's bad news for those of us who just want to get a job done.

Apple's new Safari snubs older Macs, drops Windows version


Opera invented pretty much ALL the good features modern browsers have, several years before. I've never figured out why it's market share remained so tiny. It deserved so much more.


Re: Fact: Chrome killed off Safari for Windows

I'd say Safari killed off Safari. It was never outstanding at anything. Opera always had innovation, Chrome had speed, Firefox had versatility and IE had compatibility.

Safari was always behind one or more of the other browsrs in ALL the above, so it never made a strong case for itself.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review


Re: "Far more useful is the new off-line voice typing facility"

Trying to recreate a physical keyboard on a touchscreen will never work properly so all touchscreen keyboards of that type are a bit rubbish. I've recently switched over to using Swype which is a far better way to type on a touchscreen and surprisingly accurate. If you haven't tried it then it's well worth a go.

Hated Visual Studio 11 beta in HIGH-ENERGY colour blast


Colour is good. It's one of the most powerful tools an interface designer has at their disposal.

However, I'm only posting to praise the author of the subtitle:

"I can C clearly now the grey has gone"


Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11


Re: Colour Vampires

I don't think this is rejection of change. Colour is enormously important in useability - picking out icons in OS/X is largely due to their colour (how many people have clicked on the wrong icon beause it has the same colour).

Icons themselves are almost meangingless - at that size people can quickly recognise position, shape and colour but not pictures.

If you don't believe that, try and describe the picture that's on the 'paste' button in Word without looking at it first. It's been the same since Word came out but I doubt many would recognise it out of context.

Security biz scoffs at Apple's anti-Trojan Gatekeeper


Re: Love the "expert" commentary here

Obviously it's good for granny.

The worry is for business users if it does indeed lead to an iOS level of control freakery.

Apple tops estimates with earnings leap of 118 per cent


Between the lines...

It's amusing that Apple fanbois are rejoicing at this news when it's effectively an official confirmation that they have paid a HUGE amount more for their stuff than it costs Apple to make. :)

Their profits are massive because people believe they're getting more for their money, so are happy to hand it over.

Love them or hate them, Apple have given the world a marketing masterclass over the past ten years.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android Tablet


They aren't designed to compete with laptops though.

Like many people I couldn't see much point in a tablet when I have a laptop and desktop at home but I bought a TF101 primarily for developing apps. It's now in constant use and they're an incredibly useful device to have in the home. They're far closer to what many home users need than a laptop.

Ours is a recipe book, email checker, web browser, TV guide and occasional timewasting games machine.

Surprisingly useful, is probably the best way of summing them up.

They are not, however, development machines!

Newfangled graphics engine for browsers fosters data theft


"It's not frigging rocket science."

Getting a graphics system that works across multiple versions of multiple browsers running on multiple versions of multipe operating systems on countless device types? I'd suggest it's not far off rocket science.

That the Flash player only had a few incremental updates is astonishing given how widespread its user base.


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