November 11, 2014

Link: Deregister and Turn Off iMessage ☍

It’s nice to see Apple has made a self-solve tool for anyone who has already switched to another device and can’t turn off iMessage from their prior iPhone for some reason.

Link: Groupon vs. GNOME ☍

GNOME (via Thord D. Hedengren):

Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon’s product is a tablet based point of sale “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation.” The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed can be found here, here and here). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.

Even if you compete with an open source product, it’s just considered poor form to use established product names and terminology just because some groups can’t defend themselves. In the case of Groupon, it’s not a competitor, but the use case is close enough that it feels like a scumbag move.

Update: Groupon is abandoning its trademark applications for the name “Gnome” and looking for a new name.

November 5, 2014

Link: No, You’re Mac ☍

David Sparks:

It was interesting because this time his inflection implied my situation was hopeless. It was like a Microsoft-approved version of “I am Groot.” One phrase. Infinite inflections. Clearly, he’d had a lot of practice at saying it.

Although support has gotten better overall, there are still plenty who dismiss anything Apple as a less-capable, proprietary machine. While I support all sorts of devices and operating systems with my day job, I try my best to not do the reverse and become Smug Mac Guy™. Then again, it is fun if a Surface or Ultrabook user borrows a Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter.

Link: Pouring One Out for Mac OS X Hints ☍

Rob Griffiths:

While it can be hard to tell exactly when a web site has died, the signs are fairly obvious. It’s been over 45 days since the last new hint appeared on the site. There is no way for new users to sign up for an account. There’s been one new comment posted in the last two days. A sidebar box proudly proclaims Latest Mountain Lion Hints. The site design, logo, and icons were last updated when I worked for Macworld, over four years ago. To paraphrase a Star Trek character, “it’s dead, Jim.”

Mac OS X Hints was a favorite site of mine for years—as I transitioned from the classic Mac OS world to OS X and slowly learned quite a bit of UNIX-y goodness, the various tips went from very handy to fun to know. As Rob said, the site isn’t officially dead, but it certainly has been ignored for awhile, and maybe has run its course.

November 1, 2014

Link: The Value of a Name ☍

Grant Blakeman:

For as long as I’ve been using Instagram people have wanted my short, two-letter username. Like here on Ello, I am @gb on Instagram. Some people have asked politely, some have dug up my email address and offered to buy it, but more than anything, multiple times per week I get password reset emails from Instagram that I didn’t request, and every so often, I would get authorization code texts for the Gmail account that was tied to my Instagram handle. When I saw that text—the one about my password being changed—I knew someone was after my Instagram account.

I don’t get the sense of entitlement with short names on social networking. I understand it’s more convenient, but what happened to simply picking something else? Maybe I’m the crazy one for not thinking that I deserve the user name “Eric” on every social networking service.

October 30, 2014

Link: Tim Cook Speaks Up ☍

Businessweek published an essay written by Tim Cook and it’s a great read:

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

October 27, 2014

“I don’t know that it will, and I don’t care. As long as Visa suffers.”

Link: iOS and Android Users Unite to Fight NFC Ban ☍

Ben Lovejoy for 9to5Mac:

Consumers are responding by threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay, with more than 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic. Android users are joining in, as disabling NFC also blocks alternative mobile payment services offered by higher-end Android handsets…

Somehow I really like the break on platform jabs for the sake of progress. If it’s one thing gadget geeks (yours truly included) can all agree on, is that it’s stupid when functional technology is turned off for arbitrary reasons.