NetShare Added Then Removed

Nullriver released their NetShare application onto the iTunes App Store last night, only to have it removed only a few hours later.

It’s surprising that this app was approved in the first place, since AT&T typically charge an extra $30 per month to allow tethering use in the US. Upon investigating the terms set out by other telecos, O2 UK say:

You may not use your SIM Card in any other device, or use your SIM Card or iPhone to allow the continuous streaming of any audio / video content, enable Voice over Internet (Voip), P2P or file sharing or use them in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other customers of O2 or The Cloud.

Which seems to restrict the use of streaming audio and video content, something which the built-in YouTube app allows you to do, along with Last.fm radio streaming app. However what it doesn’t explicitly forbid is the use of a tethering application to allow you to access the internet through another device, as long as the SIM card is still in your iPhone, so with O2 UK there is nothing to stop you using NetShare.

If, like me, have your iPhone unlocked and on another network such as T-Mobile UK, they may have even less restrictions. From T-Mobile’s web’n’walk fair use policy:

This plan comes with a fair use policy of 1GB a month. We’ll monitor how much you send and receive each calendar month so that we can protect our network for all our web’n’walk customers. If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won’t charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your plan, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much.

Which seems to allow everything, as long as you keep within the 1GB fair use policy. As Apple has exclusive contracts with one teleco for each country the iPhone is being sold, it is possible for them to restrict NetShare to only countries that allow tethering apps. The chance of the app appearing back on the App Store is small though, which begs the question, why was it approved in the first place?

The Online Life of NIU Killer Stephen Kazmierczak

Waxy.org investigates the online life of Stephen Kazmierczak, the man who’s responsible for the recent NIU killings.

Beijing Police Pop-Up To Warn Users

The Telegraph:

The new rules […] mean that the two cartoon characters will from Saturday roll up from the bottom of the 13 biggest internet sites every 30 minutes. They will expand their presence to all city internet sites by the end of the year.

Safari vs Mozilla

Safari with Gmail is just one frustration after another, so I moved to Camino and I never thought I’d look back. But now I use Mailplane to access my Gmail e-mail, and there’s no compelling reason for me to stay on Camino anymore, so I thought I’d give Safari another try as my main browser.

Speed

Camino is fast, much faster than Firefox, but Safari is still the fastest. In my unscientific and perceived tests, Safari seems to render pages just a fraction of a second faster than Camino, but its the frequency of the lock-ups I get from Camino — especially when I try to open multiple tabs — is my biggest annoyance with it.

Rendering

Text rendering in Safari has historically been superior to Gecko, but the new 3.0.3 seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Originally, when faced with a typeface that didn’t have a natural italic, it substituted with an appropriate alternative, which is much superior to Firefox and Caminos method of faking the italics by slanting the roman text.

With the new 3.0.3 Safari, they have reversed this decision and are now faking the italic font. In my opinion this doesn’t look anywhere near as nice as replacing the font, but more importantly the slanted roman Lucida Sans is not as legible as using Lucida Grande Italic:

Safari 2.0: Safari 2.0 Italic Text Rendering

Safari 3.0.3: Safari 3.0.3 Italic Text Rendering

The next version of Camino is supposed to use the cairo graphics library, which in turn can use the newer Core Image instead of the current Quickdraw. This gives all Gecko based browsers — including the next version of Camino — a much better “italic font faker”. In general cairo renders text very well indeed, and a more in-depth look is needed once more stable browsers are released — the latest trunk build of Camino renders all italic text as roman, so currently I’m unable to test it.

Tabs

After using Firefox with Tab Mix Plus and Safari 3.0.3, Camino tabs feel old and tired. You can’t rearrange them, a huge downer for me as I like to organise my tabs into my own little groups, and there’s no way to configure it to open new tabs to the right of the currently open tab, instead of at the far right.

This isn’t to say Safari tabs are perfect, infact without the add-ons mentioned below it would be almost impossible to use Safari. But with the add-ons I much prefer Safari tabs to Camino or Firefox1 especially with the new feature in 3.0.3 where its possible to drag a tab off into a new window.

Add-Ons

Unfortunately for Safari it has a lot of quirks that can’t be solved without third-party software. Fortunately though, there are a lot of add-ons for Safari that makes it — in my eye — bringing Safari to a useable state for my browsing method.

I prefer to have everything in one window, sometimes if you click a link in Gmail, it opens in a new window, even if you Command-click the link. With Saft, you can force Safari to open new links and windows in the browser. For me, this makes it worth its $12 price alone.

Safari has no built-in ad-blocking capability, beside using a custom stylesheet. However PithHelmet makes it a much easier process to add your own blocking rules, and the set of included rules block 95% of the adverts I come across. Its a bargain at $10.

SafariStand is the exception in this list of Safari add-ons, being the only free one. But for me it offers little for me except for syntax colouring in the view source window. However this doesn’t work in Safari 3.0.3 even with the beta version of SafariStand thats compatible with it.

Safari As Your Main Browser

For web designing, you can’t beat Firefox with Firebug, this combination of free software has saved me countless hours, although Safari has something similar, they’ve yet to implement live CSS and HTML editing, which is invaluable when you’re working with complex layouts.

But Safari is an incredibly refined browser compared to the oafish Firefox and, certain circumstances, ungainly Camino, and that is why I use it as my main browser.


  1. They look ugly and the close button is on the right side of the tab, also known as the wrong side.

See Who’s Editing Wikipedia

Wikipedia Scanner, which offers searches of edits on Wikipedia and cross-references edits with the owner of the IP address, has found some interesting corporate abuse of Wikipedia.

On November 17th, 2005, an anonymous Wikipedia user deleted 15 paragraphs from an article on e-voting machine-vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company’s machines. […] In this case, the changes came from an IP address reserved for the corporate offices of Diebold itself.

Fox News Leaves Their Image Directory Open

And Reddit users exploit that.

AT&T Edge Speeds Increasing

I now understand why AT&T customers in the US are annoyed at their EDGE data speeds, their excitement at seeing 200kbps+ speeds is pretty sad considering we’ve been seeing those speeds in the UK for years now. Just goes to show the sorry state of the US telecoms industry.

Opera Mini 4 Beta

Everyone seems to be jumping on the beta bandwagon nowadays, and Opera Mini 4 is the latest. I’ve installed it on my phone and have a mini review of it: fan-fucking-tastic.

Camino 1.5

The first new Camino build in a while, including many new features was released yesterday.

I’ve been using a specialised build of Firefox for OS X with Aqua widgets for a while now, but even the Intel optimised build is dog slow on my 2.0GHz Core Duo MacBook with 2GB of RAM. After a day of using Camino, it feels infinitely faster than Firefox and the Aqua widgets look more native, although I do wish they added draggable tabs and some of the features in the Tab Mix Plus add—on for Firefox. Hopefully version 2.0 will include support for Firefox add—ons.

FeedLounge shutting down

FeedLounge blog:

FeedLounge the subscription service will be shutting down this weekend. I am still working on a deal with another party to take FeedLounge free, and things are looking up. The new FeedLounge would be on a different backend however, and will also take some time to develop, so the existing service needs to come offline anyway.

LiveJournal suspends accounts, users outraged again

When will they learn? You cannot blindly delete content generated by your own community, especially when a right-winged activist group pressures you into doing so, and expect there not to be outrage. After two high profile censorship cases, I would expect other community leaders to be far more cautious with their approaces, especially Six Apart and LiveJournal, one of the oldest communities around.

If the average LiveJournal user wasn’t an adolescent teen with misguided loyalties then I would expect a mass exodus; after all, this could be years of content that you probably don’t have a copy of, and you could lose it at the drop of a hat. At least with Flickr you probably had a copy yourself.

We now need to keep an eye out, and start backing up all our content we have online that we want to keep. But that’s a topic for another time.

MSDN redesign

Microsoft’s MSDN website has received a makeover, although it still doesn’t use semantic markup and uses tables for it’s layout. Are you sure it’s 2007?

Flickr’s censorship angers it’s own community

After Digg’s recent PR fiasco, you’d think other companies would learn that using the heavy handed approach on your community is a very bad idea. As Matthew Haughey explains:

If the Digg HD-DVD encryption key fiasco taught us anything, it’s that you can’t make rash top-down decisions and expect your community to be okay with it.

But, it seems Flickr (or it’s parent company Yahoo!) has been very heavy handed with Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, a prominent photographer in the community. Rebekka found that a company was stealing her photographs and selling them through their website and eBay. She posted to Flickr about it, and gathered hundreds of comments. However the Flickr Staff have seen fit to delete that photograph, giving the reason Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate others. If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, we will send you a warning or terminate your account..

Never mind that there weren’t any threats made by Rebekka at all, it seems Flickr got a little pressure from some lawyers about the public humiliation of a company and decided to blindly follow it rather than risk legal action. This is a sure fire way to drive a community to the edge, picking a company/lawyers over them when clearly the community is in the right and the company is wrong.

Flickr has since apologised for it’s rash decision to delete the photograph, although unlike Rebekka, I view this as no amends for it’s actions. My opinion of the Flickr Staff and Yahoo! have been reduced substantially, and I will probably not recommend their services as eagerly as I did before. This is not the end of Flickr by any means 1 and I hope it will continue to thrive and improve. But most of all, I hope it learns that you must respect your users and the community, and realises that while it may be relatively easy to get users and build a community, but make one wrong move and it might just come crashing down on you.


  1. I will still be using them, and although a few people have deleted their account in protest, they are in the extreme minority.

Digg users revolt over censorship of HD-DVD decryption key

What happens when you try to take away the power from a community that you originally gave power to? A revolt, over the number 09-F9-11-02-9D-74-E3-5B-D8-41-56-C5-63-56-88-C0, the “secret” decryption key for the AACS protection on HD-DVDs. Digg got a DCMA takedown notice for a number, and complied by deleting all the stories that linked to or had this number in the title or description. The users didn’t like this at all, and now the Digg front page is full of stories about this number.

I didn’t think you could own a number, but alas the MPAA thinks it can.

Update: Kevin Rose has responded to the revolt.

FeedLounge closing

A shame as it had good potential, just not enough man-power to fulfill it. Still, it’s up for sale.

No One Belongs Here More Than You

The most gripping and enjoyable website I’ve read in a long time:

OK, here I go. I’m going to make this whole website right now on this dry erase—board.

Twitterlicious

Twitterlicious is a small Windows app that makes Twitter much easier to use.

Twitterlicious UI

I was impressed by Twitterific, and when working on my MacBook I used it exclusively for reading Twitter updates and writing. But when I’m at work I have to use a Windows machine, and looking around I couldn’t find a Windows Twitter client that worked the way I wanted it to, so I made one myself.

It tries to be as un-obtrusive as possible, hiding itself in the system tray until needed and it’s multi-threaded which allows multiple requests to be sent and received from Twitter at the same time to increase responsiveness.

You can find out more about Twitterlicious and download it for free on it’s project page, and by all means do give me a shout if you have any questions or suggestions.

Former Gizmodo editor attacks Gizmodo on Gizmodo

It’s not every day that you read a post on a website from a former editor that attacks that website, its readers and the writers. But you can on Gizmodo.

You want to know the punchline? The average Joe that makes up the market is smarter than you saps. The market-at-large waits until a clear leader emerges, then takes a modest plunge. You may think you’re making up the “bleeding edge” of “gadget pimpatude” but you’re really just a loose confederation of marks the consumer electronics industry uses as free market research and easy money.

New Dutch accessibility law

The Dutch seem to have their internet accessibility laws well under control, and unlike the W3C, they seem to know what they’re doing:

As of 1 September last year, every website built for a government agency is required by law to use:
  • Use valid HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Strict.
  • Use CSS and semantic HTML and separation of structure and presentation.
  • Use the W3C DOM (instead of the old Microsoft document.all) when scripting.
  • Use meaningful values of class and id.
  • Use meaningful alt attributes on all images.

Department of Trade & Industry, do you hear that?

The first item sold on eBay

The first thing sold on eBay was a broken laser pen for $14. (Via Kottke).

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