Maybe with Sir Ives in charge of the interface, good judgement will prevail and we’ll see the return of an elegant system that lets me be creative rather than vying for the spotlight with pointless bells and whistles.

a commment in previous Macworld article

So say we all.

OS X Snow Leopard shows signs of becoming Apple’s XP

Snow Leopard has lost more than half its share of all Macs since Lion’s appearance over a year ago, but so far it has been resistant to Mountain Lion’s call to upgrade. In each of the last two months, for example, Snow Leopard’s losses were less than its 12-month average.

Apple also, perhaps just temporarily, extended security support for Snow Leopard when it issued a patch update for the three-year-old operating system in late September, confounding security professionals who had assumed it would stop serving OS X 10.6 with updates, as it had done with earlier editions once two newer versions had been released.

Snow Leopard is no Windows XP – for one thing it’s less than one-third as old as that 11-year-old OS from Microsoft – but the comparisons, what with both posting slow-but-steady declines and their makers’ extending security support, are intriguing.

It’s unclear why Mac users are holding on to Snow Leopard, but one factor may be that it is the newest Apple OS able to run applications written for the PowerPC processor, the Apple/IBM/Motorola-designed CPU used by Macs before Apple announced a switch to Intel in 2005. The first Intel Macs launched in January 2006.


Another answer is because mainly both Lion and Mountain Lion suck in usability and productivity, by Apples’ stupid chase of the mythical “virgin new user”, wich somehow managed to avoid any contact with computers, even though in 100% of the countries with sufficient GDP / capita to purchase Apple’s hardware products, you have IT training at one or more levels of your mandatory school education.

There is a great quote by Sir Jonathan Ive that pretty much summarizes the mistake that Apple has been doing:

“Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product. That’s not simple.”

Which can be translated to something like, for example, this:

hidding the User’s Library folder, does not make it any more simple, it just removes some possible “clutter” but that’s not any more simpler, in fact it’s even more complicated because now the user has absolutely no idea of what to do or where to go when he wants to or needs to fix some program default settings, install fonts, copy his email folders, etc etc.

It’s essentially like welding your car’s bonnet. (( hood for you americans. My english-as-language education was with a british BBC-english speaking teacher. )) Yes, you avoid the “clutter” of another lock and the nuisance of another lever in your cockpit, but that seriously doesn’t make it’s usage or maintenance any more simpler than it was before.

Windows 8 Rubbish Apps

Amar, on the other hand, has been rather more defensive about the whole thing. He appears to be part of the Microsoft Student Program, and rather than apologise as the others have, his response was “I do knew that am using sample codes. But almost every people are doing the same…” Obviously just following the crowd… except that most people have at least tried to make the games their own.

Regarding submitting multiple times – “by the time I finish my application there wont be any cool names available. So I just did that to reserve cool names.” I look forward to seeing how he uses 8 Balls, Crash Ball, Maze Ball, Hop Ball, Ball Balance and Dragon Balls for these new games he’s working on! Interestingly, he was also the first to ask who I am!

Calling out the rubbish from the Windows 8 store

Surface and Windows 8 RT don’t have that many apps to begin with, but if a significant part of them are cloned basic examples from the MSDK example pool or other useless trash apps then the actual app count is even lower and one has to seriously wonder if buying so soon into the Surface ecosystem is a good option. It was already a dubious option but this kind of problem is just absurd. What are Microsoft reviews doing at their jobs?

If you value your money and don’t require a tablet this very minute, just wait and see how the things go. Don’t go splashing notes at a Surface or any other Windows tablet before the rest of the market picks up. There’s no point or benefit in being a lab rat for Microsoft but there’s significant losses if you end up without 500 ($/€) and a tablet with a lousy or inexistent software selection.

On the other hand there’s always a tablet that works ok and with an excellent software selection, so why should anyone buy a Surface?

The Permanent Militarization of America

Eisenhower understood the trade-offs between guns and butter. “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed,” he warned in 1953, early in his presidency. “The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.”

He also knew that Congress was a big part of the problem. (In earlier drafts, he referred to the “military-industrial-Congressional” complex, but decided against alienating the legislature in his last days in office.) Today, there are just a select few in public life who are willing to question the military or its spending, and those who do — from the libertarian Ron Paul to the leftist Dennis J. Kucinich — are dismissed as unrealistic.

The fact that both President Obama and Mitt Romney are calling for increases to the defense budget (in the latter case, above what the military has asked for) is further proof that the military is the true “third rail” of American politics. In this strange universe where those without military credentials can’t endorse defense cuts, it took a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, to make the obvious point that the nation’s ballooning debt was the biggest threat to national security.

Uncritical support of all things martial is quickly becoming the new normal for our youth. Hardly any of my students at the Naval Academy remember a time when their nation wasn’t at war. Almost all think it ordinary to hear of drone strikes in Yemen or Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. The recent revelation of counterterrorism bases in Africa elicits no surprise in them, nor do the military ceremonies that are now regular features at sporting events. That which is left unexamined eventually becomes invisible, and as a result, few Americans today are giving sufficient consideration to the full range of violent activities the government undertakes in their names.

NY Times

‘Let America become Sweden’s fourth state’: An unlikely third-party run

If you’re finding yourself unhappy about the democratic and republican candidates in today’s U.S. presidential election and want to support an outsider, maybe the Swedish Party is for you.

The totally fictional Swedish Party promises to transform the United States into a larger, warmer version of Sweden. Its presidential candidate, Johan (no last name), wants to give you universal health care, free education, neutral foreign policy, and two additional years to life expectancy. His campaign platform is built on “the individual freedom at the heart of the American dream, put into practice by the Swedish Party via the Swedish model.”

Washington Post

Valve on why they’re favouring Linux over Windows 8

“If you look at the way the world is going, where you see Apple completely in control of their system, and at least part of Windows 8 entirely controlled by the Microsoft App Store, Steam is going to be a little bit harder to do – both in the store aspect and in the content delivery aspect.”

That’s why Valve have turned. They want to make Linux the best little gaming platform it can be.

“We want to continue developing in open platforms and so we’re looking around, and obviously Linux has become a very viable alternate platform. So we are now looking into doing Steam for Linux and supporting as many of our Steam games for Linux as we can.”


Go for it, please! With Apple ridiculously high prices for desktops and Microsoft Windows complete descent into crazyville software, getting a decent gaming machine and putting Linux on it might be the perfect solution for most people that want a desktop machine but at decent prices and with decent software.

If Valve releases a couple of hardware specs and requirements to make sure all their software runs in Linux flawlessly I’m in!

US Muslim placed on no-fly list is unable to see his ailing mother

In April of this year, Saadiq Long, a 43-year-old African-American Muslim who now lives in Qatar, purchased a ticket on KLM Airlines to travel to Oklahoma, the state where he grew up. Long, a 10-year veteran of the US Air Force, had learned that the congestive heart failure from which his mother suffers had worsened, and she was eager to see her son. He had last seen his mother and siblings more than a decade ago, when he returned to the US in 2001, and spent months saving the money to purchase the ticket and arranging to be away from work.

The day before he was to travel, a KLM representative called Long and informed him that the airlines could not allow him to board the flight. That, she explained, was because the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had placed Long on its “no-fly list”, which bars him from flying into his own country.


When he was in Kuwaiti detention, Gulet was able to use a cell phone illicitly obtained by a fellow detainee, and his family arranged for him to call me and the New York Times’ Mark Mazzetti to recount his story. I spent an hour on the phone with him, and still vividly recall the terror and visceral fear of the American teeanger as he tried to understand why his own government first arranged for his detention and beating, and then barred him from returning to the country where he was born and had lived his whole life, even when the Kuwaitis were eager to release him. That is the tyranny of the no-fly list.


Like so many post-9/11 civil liberties abridgments aimed primarily at Muslims, this no-fly-list abuse has worsened considerably during the Obama presidency. In February, Associated Press learned that “the Obama administration has more than doubled, to about 21,000 names, its secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States, including about 500 Americans.”

Glenn Greenwald –

Don’t forget to keep voting for Mr. Obama.