Mac news for Mac people

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Apple Releases Universal Shake: Massive Price Cut

Apple has released Shake 4.1, the first Universial version of the compositing software, and dramatically discounted the product's price: from $2,999 to $499.

EC Regulators Won't Force Interoperable iTunes

Apple Plants Seeds For Pic Downloads

After conquering the digital music biz and aking the lead with TV shows online, Apple is looking to feature films. The computer company is in active negotiations with most major studios to add movies to its iTunes Music Store. The main sticking point is price.

Apple Acknowledges User Frustrations Over Roadmap

Apple yesterday conceded corporate IT workers are "always" complaining about its secretive product roadmap — but warned the only way to get up to speed is to invest thousands of dollars and a full working week attending its annual US-based developer conference.

Apple Says Started Audit On iPod Factory Claims

The audit will look at "employee working and living conditions, interviews of employees and managers, compliance with overtime and wage regulations, and other areas as necessary to insure adherence to Apple's supplier code of conduct," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said.

Retalers Wake Up To Intel Macs' WinXP Capability

Apple's Slow Burn

As digital video downloads grow in popularity, music-downloading pioneer Apple seems to have fallen behind the times.


Mac Attack

These ads don't work on me. They are conceptually brillant, beautifully executed, and highly entertaining. But they don't make me want to buy a Mac.

Will Europe Be Apple's Waterloo

How Not To Fix An iPod Shuffle

Apple made the iPod shuffle in a way for it not to be opened... there is a reason for this.

Why Apple Won't Open Source Its Apps

If the source code to these apps were made available, the best features from new versions of these apps could be ported back to previous versions, lessening the incentive for users to upgrade.

The Bits Will Fall As They May

The argument of DRM is one of those tricky matters of principle and it's unlikely to go away.

A Kernel Of Truth: The Plot Thickens

"It may contain third party source code (for Rosetta support) that they cannot release."


Road Testing A MacBook Pro

Protect Your Mac

18 ways to safeguard your data and your privacy right now.

Multiple Clipboards Done Right


Why Apple Should Not Fear Open-Source, Even After Listening To John Gruber

Should Apple give us the source code to its "free" applications such as iChat, iCal, Safari, and If you like the Aqua-stripes of yesteryears, you can remove the metal-goodness of today's Safari. If you hate the drawer ("so 10.0") interface of iCal, you will be able to change it to a three-pane interface that every applications out there adopts. If you really, really, like OPML, you can make sure every application can export its data in OPML format.

As John Gruber speculated, it's not that Apple cannot do this because the applications contain "trade secrets". The strength, he suggested, "is in [the] UI design, not in the code that implements the designs." Open-soucing these applications do not make it easier for others to port the applications to Windows or Linux. Rather, Apple will not open-source these applications, because Apple is using these applications, or rather, new versions of these applications, as carrots for Apple customers to upgrade their OS.

The logic is thus that, if Apple provides the source code to these applications, Apple will not be able to use new features of the applications as selling points for new OS X releases. This is because third-party developers can take the source code to the upgraded applications, and port them back to older OS X versions, thus negating any need to upgrade.

And I say, nonsense. :-)

If Apple upgraded the applications with new features that can be easily ported back to older versions of OS X, I'll say that these new features are really not worthwhile selling points for the new operating system. Tabbed window in iChat? In the larger scheme of things, no big deal. If the Leopard doesn't offer me compelling reasons to upgrade, tabbed window ain't going to do it.

But there are a lot of features that isn't going to be easily ported back to older versions of OS X. The spotlight feature of cannot be easily ported back to Jaguar or Panther. The video chat portion of iChat AV in Tiger cannot be easily ported to older OS X versions if it depended on new capabilities in QuickTime for example. (Apple of course, did chose to support Panther for QuickTime 7, but that's a different story.)

My point is that Apple should be disciplined in two areas. Firstly, its "free" applications must showcase the latest and greatest OS-level technologies. Secondly — and more importantly — Apple should ensure the latest and greatest features are also easily available to third-party developers, so that a thousand flowers bloom. (We're talking about the "free" applications here; not Final Cut Pro or iTunes.) Better "find" capabilities in Great. But Spotlight integration for all applications, including Entourage? Insanely-great. Tabbed windows in iChat? Great. Tabbed window controls and classes in Cocoa? Insanely great.

Apple shouldn't fear open-sourcing its "free" applications.

Now, on to the next questions on whether open-sourcing will increase sales — well, this question is left as an exercise for the readers. :-)

Happy Today

Today, my iPod+iTunes decided to shuffle the tune "Merrie Melodies Closing Theme" at the very end of my morning random playlist.

I'm so happy now.

Stop Messing My Computer

Thank goodness that Windows doesn't have any APIs that applications can use to programmatically reorder the items on the Start menu.

Too bad the same philosophy wasn't applied when they were designing the system tray.

The photo used in MyAppleMenu's header is by elroySF. Recent photos used can be viewed here.

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