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The Artist Behind a Million Ill-Advised Henna Apple Tattoos

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I got my first henna Apple tattoo last night. As you can see, it looks every bit as ill-advised as you might hope. More tragically, it happened at an office party, not even like a MacWorld event.

But I learned some stuff. The job was done by Renda Dabit of Henna Garden, who has done many, many Apple tattoos in her time. It sounds, in fact, like she’s the henna artist of the Bay Area Mac Community. I brought an iPod for her to use as reference, but she didn’t need it. Masterful work, but could you expect less from a henna artist regularly hired to work Bay Area Apple enthusiast events? I thought not.

On a less hopeful note, please see the picture below, taken hours after the original. Such a shame. I also had my fortune told, and I just have to assume that the shattered Apple bodes ill for next week’s iPhone launch…
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App iPhoney Directly Simulates iPhone Safari Experience

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Though Apple still hasn’t released a real iPhone SDK, developers continue to create fun and interesting ways to develop for the breakthrough device. The newest tool in the set is iPhoney, a WebKit-based application that looks just like an iPhone on a given screen and renders websites just as they would appear. Sure, it’s a great way to test a site you’re customizing for the iPhone, but it’s also a great way to pretend that you already own one. In fact, it’s the next generation — fully virtual. I’m not broke, I’m ahead of the curve.

Check it out and give the folks behind it feedback. They tell me it will go open-source soon, and I’m dying to see what people can do with it.

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iPhone Applications Spreading Like Wildfire

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New Apple hardware platforms are the new favorite home of interesting software development. When the AppleTV launched, the box was immediately hacked to do a lot of things it was never designed for. Now, the iPhone is rapidly filling with Web 2.0 applications, even 10 days before it actually rolls out the door.

You can see ample evidence of this over at iPhone Application List, which is trying to keep track of every new development for the device. While some apps look great — the shopping list one I linked the other day, news reader iActu — others are not quite up to Apple interface standards, to put it mildly.
It’s interesting proof that good apps can be built solely on Web technology. On the other hand, the applications all behave in pretty much the same way. And we’ve also very rapidly reached the ugly phase of iPhone development. One problem with Apple’s deliberately vague non-SDK approach is that iPhone apps look a lot like the Internet. And at this point, it’s safe to say: The Internet ain’t always pretty.

What are you still waiting to see in iPhone app form? Anything you don’t think is possible (other than anything requiring Flash, obviously)?

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Fake Steve Nails New York “iGod” Profile to the Wall

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I just finished reading John Heileman’s rather critical profile of Steve Jobs, and I have to say I didn’t think it was too bad. It’s definitely written for an audience that has barely even heard of Steve Jobs, so the rehashing of young Steve’s mean temper and early folly seem a bit over-done to the average Apple observer.

Still, I think a lot of the skepticism in the article is fair, even if I do think Heileman misunderstands what drives Steve to continually enter new businesses. Steve loves to make things that he wants to use — it just so happens that Steve’s tastes are often quite compatible with our tastes. And I guarantee that years ago, he started complaining that there wasn’t a single cell phone he could stand to use. Now we have the iPhone. This isn’t really about legacy — Steve has done everything he ever wanted to and more. Now it’s just the continual drive to make cool stuff that he wants.

But a lot of other people have a problem with the piece, particularly Fake Steve, who publishes the funniest critique I have ever read:

Sorry, John Heilemann, but when you set us up with a big cover calling me iGod and making me look like shit, and when you get half the magazine for your story, we expect you to deliver something new, something interesting, something jarring, something smart. In short, something we didn’t know before. We’d also expect you to maybe find out something bad, or to at least have the balls to say you think the iPhone is going to flop, instead of saying “maybe it will, maybe it won’t.” For that matter you might do your readers the courtesy of admitting that you hate me for arousing such feelings of man-lust in your tiny heart, and that your obsession with El Jobso is a way of masking (and, paradoxically, indulging) the hard-on you have for me. You might also just admit that New York magazine is just trying to cash in on the hype around the iPhone and looking for any excuse to put my face on your cover so you can sell more copies; but you think you can look cool if you dress it up as some kind of cynical, pseudo-psychological deep-think business piece.

Instead, John, you just come off looking like some guy who wishes he still worked at the New Yorker.

Right. As if. Friend, you’re getting an Azzie award.

Ow. I mean, OW.

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Sometimes, the Apple Genius Bar is Actually Genius

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The vision of the Apple retail store model is a beautiful thing: Gorgeous fixtures, interactive demos, a theater and even a tech-support Genius Bar that make technology friendly. The reality is often a bit different, particularly in major cities. The Genius Bar is over-run with customers, and even making an appointment doesn’t ensure prompt service.

It’s a victim of its own success. The good news, though, is that the system can work. Take, for example, the case of my fiancee’s 12″ Powerbook.

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Brilliant (and fake) iPhone Ad About New York

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Kudos to Alec Sutherland, who has put together the best fake ad for a real product I have ever seen in the form of “iPhone New York,” a brilliant, professional spot that shows people of every language and culture raving about the iPhone. I almost teared up, and I’m all West Coast and stuff. Bonus points for use of “Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John, too.

I think Apple’s very demo-oriented “Here’s what it can actually do” campaign is perfect for the iPhone launch, but a treatment like this one could kill for a second phase. They should call Sutherland when the time comes.

Via Digg.

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Mozilla COO Calls Jobs on Predatory Safari Plans

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No matter what one thinks of Safari for Windows (which has already been patched three days after launch and still can’t render A LOT of sites), it’s nice to see Apple attacking Microsoft’s browser hegemony on its own turf.

Right?

Unfortunately, not really. As John Lilly, COO of Mozilla, points out, when Steve showed off a pie chart depicting his vision of Apple’s Windows browser marketshare, he didn’t depict MS losing any share at all. Instead, the image just eats up all the alternatives, including the still-rising Firefox. And while I have my problems with Firefox (it strikes me as a program only a software engineer could love), I only want to see Apple bite into Internet Explorer’s customers, not the folks who have already sought out an alternative.

The computer world is not the American political scene, and there is room for way more than two players. And so it should be. The more browsers we have, the fewer “browser-specific” features develop and the more readily standards get adopted across platforms. We all stand to benefit from a diverse, competitive markets. A shame that Apple reveals they have no interest in the same.
John’s Blog » Blog Archive » A Picture’s Worth 100M Users???

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Joy of Tech: How Steve Lost His Mojo

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The general consensus is that Steve Jobs’ most recent keynote speech did not measure up to his typical standard. I’m not anywhere near so down on it (maybe because I didn’t go and only watched the online feed during stolen moments at work). This Joy of Tech trip sums up the sentiment pretty well. But you’ll have to click through to see the source of Steve’s sudden suck. Clever, gentlemen. Clever.

Via Digg.

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Delicious Library 2 Wins Apple Design Award

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Delicious Library 2, which has a snazzy new UI based on Core Animation, wins an Apple’s 2007 Design Award for Best Leopard Application. Still no screenshots of it though.

For discussion of Core Animation and how it might change interfaces, see here: Kiss Boring Interfaces Goodbye With Apple’s New Animated OS.

The other winners are:

Best Mac OS X User Experience: Coda. Panic.

Best Mac OS X Developer Tool: CSSEdit 2.5. MacRabbit.

Best Mac OS X Game: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 2.0. Blizzard Entertainment .

Best Mac OS X Scientific Computing Solution: Papers 1.0. Alexander Griekspoor and Tom Groothuis.

Best Mac OS X Dashboard Widget: BART Widget 1.0. Bret Victor.

Best Mac OS X Student Product: Picturesque 1.0. Zac Cohen.