Archive for July, 2012

Vaughn analyses an often-overlooked part of Apple’s packaging, the fibreboard corner in the shipping box:

these fiberboard corners are mostly empty (i dissected one), have tremendous crush resistance (i applied 168lbs to one of them by standing on it), spread external forces over a large internal surface, and contain one material and one binder (good for recycling).

Keyboard-only searching with Safari 6’s unified URL bar

July 28, 2012  |  Tags: , , ,   |  

A couple of months ago, I adapted a user script called knogs (“keyboard navigation on Google Search”) into a Safari extension. knogs restores Google’s search page keyboard navigation shortcuts (background here), so you can navigate between search results with j (down) and k (up), and get to the search field with /.

Unfortunately, Safari 6’s new unified “URL + search” bar behaviour retains focus after a search. As a result, you have to click in the search page to use any keyboard shortcuts, rendering the extension fairly useless unless you like searching for JJ Abrams by mistake.

So I’ve updated the extension to remove focus from the unified search bar. (It’s an ugly hack, though–I did it by prepending an input field on the page, calling focus on it to remove focus from the search bar, and then removing focus with blur. Let me know if you have any better ideas.)

Download the Safari extension here, and the source (userscript version) is available here. If you were using the previous extension, it should have auto-updated, if I set it up right. Test it out by searching in Safari’s URL bar, waiting a few milliseconds, and entering j, k, or / to navigate.

A couple of notes on usage:

  • You have to be searching with google.com for this to work, and not any country-specific domains. This is due to the way Safari handles extension whitelisting–I can’t get it to whitelist google.com.* URLs.
  • Disable Google Instant search in your account settings, otherwise typing j will just append that letter to your search terms. Thanks to Nick Farina for helping me find this issue.

The state of tech blog writing in Singapore

July 26, 2012  |  Tags: , ,   |  

Posting without comment; emphasis mine.

e27, Electronic Arts merges IronMonkey and Firemint to form Australia’s largest gaming studio Firemonkeys , 25 July 2012:

Good news aside, there are certainly expectations from the gaming community for the new Firemonkeys to perform, as they now eagerly awaits their first product.

e27, OS X Mountain Lion upgrade now available in Singapore for S$25.98, 25 July 2012:

Mac OS X can now grab the Mountain Lion upgrade at a price of S$25.98 in Singapore

[…]

The upgrade will come a the cost of S$25.98 and comes with over 200 innovative new features.

[…]

The Message app, which users had access to the beta version, will bring iMessage to the Mac and allows cross device communication across the iOS devices available in the market.

(The app is called “Messages”.)

Tech in Asia, Run a Singaporean Coffee Shop with the Kopi Tiam Game, 26 July 2012:

I downloaded the free Kopi Tiam version to give it a shot, after reading many positive reviews. It’s reminiscent to many time-management games […]

[…]

We’ve also included a the game’s demo video below. Enjoy!

Tech in Asia, TackThis Powers Donation Drive in Singapore’s National Day 2012, 20 June 2012:

As a Singaporean, I confess feel compelled to doing so as well.

That’s it, for now. I might do more of these, if I get annoyed enough.

Oh, here’s one more. In this case, the bad grammar and awkward phrasing aren’t necessarily the writer’s fault. e27, The Demise of QR Codes, February 2012:

QR codes will remain a curious oddity for the technically proficient geeks and bleeding adopters.

Here are the search results for the odd term “bleeding adopters”. Compare this article from October 2011, which also contains that phrase, to the above e27 article.

Update, a day later: e27 and Tech in Asia have acknowledged and corrected the above. Both note that they appreciate error reports sent through their comment sections.

I’m slowly transitioning back to Safari from Chrome, now that it’s got iCloud tabs (and because I’m stupid enough to put beta software on my phone). This is a great plugin I found that’s like Quicksilver/Alfred/Launchbar for browser tabs: type a keyboard shortcut to bring up a window, then type in a name of an open tab to switch to it quickly.

Previously required your school to register; now, any instructor can log in and use iTunes U Course Manager. Looking forward to trying this out.

(Mildly annoying feature: forces you to use Safari.)

Laughing Squid:

If you get a Big Head Squirrel Feeder, you’ll be able to feed and humiliate squirrels at the same time. Hang this vinyl 5-1/2″ x 8″ Big Head Squirrel Feeder in front of a window or near a porch, fill it with something squirrels like to eat and when they stick their head up there, the squirrel looks like he has a hilariously huge head with a goofy smile.

So close to setting that picture as my iPhone wallpaper.

Stephen Hackett links to Pocket‘s VC funding announcement, and declares:

My love of Instapaper aside, I really don’t like relying on VC-backed apps. I’d rather pay money to a developer than trust that a company can keep their backers happy.

Like, umm, Sparrow?

This reminds me of what Anil Dash wrote, a couple of months ago, when all kinds of Instapaper “supporters” were piling on Readability:

That’s not to say that folks like John and Merlin aren’t sincere in their reasons for supporting Instapaper and criticizing Readability — I think the points they use to back up their arguments are their honest beliefs. But their motivations? It’s their wonderful, horrible personal loyalty. It feels good to pick a team and go to war for it. And the thing is, it can be effective, because it does help the eventual winner.

Which is never either of the players that are engaged in the stupid battle.

Because when I would spend my time flinging zingers at Matt Mullenweg about the merits of Movable Type vs. WordPress, you know who was winning? Mark Fucking Zuckerberg. Facebook won the blogging wars. The web became a more closed place than if either Movable Type or WordPress had evolved into the tool that powered social networkin

I switched from Instapaper to Pocket when it rebranded, and I love it. The thumbnails are great, and I’m just as adept at ignoring my reading list there as I was on Instapaper. Anil Dash (and history) may be proven right.

(Also, I’m happy to welcome 512 Pixels to the group of happy inter-linking DFLL plugin-using Apple blogs (which I’ve started to list on the plugin page). Now my RSS feed is congested with people linking to the same things. Sorry for having helped create this monster.)

This is great: a script to help retweet starred tweets on Stellar.io as an account you can follow. Uh, on Twitter. Otherwise none of that sentence made much sense.

The Onion, winning the internet as usual:

Some great lines I had to watch a fourth time to get enough of:

  • “HP will definitely use computers to get in clouds”.
  • “The cloud is the perfect tool for email, Facebooks, texting and CD-ROMs!”

Unboxing videos: generally stupid enough to be funny. Boxes that can’t open during unboxing videos: funnier. 3 minutes of boxes that can’t open: massive LOLs