Google wants to control new 'dotless' search domain

The most interesting plan here is to use .search to operate a redirect service on the “on the ‘dotless’ .search domain (http://search/) that, combined with a simple technical standard, will allow a consistent query interface across firms that provide search functionality, and will enable users to easily conduct searches with firms that provide the search functionality that they designate as their preference.”

So the biggest search engine would control the new 'search' domain, other search engines would have to beg them for access, and they would be privvy to every search performed through that top level domain.

Sounds great.

Apple didn't ban comic but got the blame anyway

We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.

Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.

After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.

But Apple is evil.

Open season

Matt Drance:

Google knew what it was doing when it made and marketed Android as an “open” system. It surely anticipated forks by handset makers as a manageable risk as long as Google kept advancing the system. But I wonder if it expected something like Facebook Home: an inside-out heist, made by a company after the same exact user data and advertisers Google is after. How it chooses to respond in the near future should give us an answer.

Filming of farm cruelty is becoming the crime

The New York Times:

One of the group’s model bills, “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.” Violators would be placed on a “terrorist registry.”

In the land of the free, you can't record interactions with the police, you can't publish leaked information if it embaresses the government, and you're branded a terrorist if you try to expose animal cruelty.

Apple changes VPN on Demand behaviour due to lawsuit

Devices using iOS 6.1 and later with VPN On Demand configured to "Always" will behave as if they were configured with the "Establish if needed" option. The device will establish a VPN On Demand connection only if it is unable to resolve the DNS name of the host it is trying to reach. This change will be distributed in an update later this month.

This will only affect iOS devices that are configured with an enterprise configuration profile that mandates traffic to certain servers always be through a VPN.

Essentially it seems VirnetX got a patent for a white list.

NSClippy for iOS

What's the one thing iOS lacks? No it's not real multitasking, inter-app communication, or reliable data syncing. It's never had an animated assistant based on office stationary.

Well you're in luck:


How to get Clippy in your app

Download or clone the NSClippy repository on GitHub. Include all the files in /NSClippy (excluding the Example directory) in your project, or use CocoaPods:

pod 'NSClippy'

Adding Clippy to your view:

NSClippy *clippy = [[NSClippy alloc] initWithAgent:@"clippy"];
[self.view addSubview:clippy];
[clippy show];

And to show an animation:

[clippy showAnimation:@"GetArtsy"];

For now you'll have to move him and make his speech bubble yourself. If you do give him the power of speech, please be kind and submit a pull request.


NSClippy is an Objective-C port of smore's excellent ClippyJS. I've used all the assets from their project, including the sprites, animations, and sound.

About the maker

Any questions? Ask me on Twitter: @weiran

I also make an open source Hacker News reader app for iPhone called Hackers.

More Apple Talk

Yesterday, Tim Cook did something Steve Jobs hardly ever did, he apologised.

Steve Jobs was a master at dealing with the press, he knew exactly what to do to keep them on their toes, that was to keep them guessing. Since the unveiling of the iPod and iMac, the mood in the mainstream press has been relatively positive for Apple, leaving little reason to change this tactic that has worked for many years.

But since Apple's success with the iPhone and iPad, the mainstream press has become increasingly hostile to Apple. They've discovered that while any article about Apple gets a comparatively high number of hits, an article with a negative slant has a much higher chance of becoming viral.

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that this is the result of being on top, and it's becoming increasingly difficult for Apple to maintain their public image while being silent. The press will always speculate on the glass half empty point of view even if the facts point to a different conclusion. Without the other side to the discussion, Apple is exposed to knee-jerk opinions, such as people who saw or read about Mike Daisey's play, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, even though it was mostly fabricated.

As an aside, the retraction by This American Life of their Mike Daisey episode is possibly one of the greatest This Amercian Life episodes I've heard.

Apple now has to fight for it's own position, and part of that is responding publicly to criticism no matter if it warrants a response. The public perception of Apple is becoming increasingly hostile, while their competitors now get the praise that Apple used to get. Tim Cook has to stem the turning tide before this starts to affect their bottom line, and I think we'll be hearing a lot more from him in the coming months.

If you've read this far, you should probably follow me on Twitter: @weiran.

What's wrong with Yahoo's purchase of Summly

Just when you though Yahoo might be getting back on their game by appointing Marissa Meyer as their CEO and rejuvenating Flickr, they spend a rumoured £20 million on a startup with very little in the way of innovative technology or traction.

But why? Because of the founder Nick D'Aloisio. Since the aquisition, Big Media has focused so much on his age that I've yet to read an article about anything else. He is featured on newspapers and TV channels across the world as a 21st century success story, with Yahoo in the background as the protective parent. Getting Yahoo back into mainstream news in such a big way must be worth the investment alone. In other words, it's an acqhire not in the traditional sense for talent, but for publicity.

Don Norman: Design thinking

In June, 2010, I posted an essay on Core77 entitled "Design Thinking: A Useful Myth." Since my essay was posted, I keep encountering people who jump to solutions and who fail to question assumptions—engineers, business people, and yes, designers (and design students). These encounters made me reconsider. I observed design students who were acting mindlessly, simply doing their assignments as presented. No creativity, no imagination, no questioning. That's not what design thinking is about. As a result, I have changed my mind: Design Thinking really is special.

When Don Norman talks about design, you listen.

Vulnerabilities continue to weigh down Samsung Android phones

All of the vulnerabilities can be exploited without privilege and according to Paleari, stem from “Samsung-specific software and customizations.” Paleari said two of the vulnerabilities can be used to silently install highly privileged applications without user interaction while another allows attackers to send SMS messages without permission


Paleari said he informed Samsung in mid-January shortly after he found the bugs and still hasn’t heard from the South Korean company about a fix. Instead, Paleari writes that Samsung did contact him on Feb. 20 and requested he delay public disclosure, insisting that “any patches [Samsung] develops must first be approved by the network carriers.”

This system is completely broken.

Hackers 1.1.1

Last night, Apple approved the latest Hackers update. While the version number may have just increased by a paltry 0.0.1, you'll find lots of new stuff:

  • Feature: web views now support landscape
  • Feature: swipe back gesture from comments
  • Feature: page 2 support for top news
  • Added: support for job posts
  • Added: error messages when loading fails
  • Bug: links in comments not working
  • Bug: stops accepting tap input in certain circumstances
  • Bug: post cell stays highlighted
  • Bug: fixed comments page header being scrollable before loaded
  • Bug: fixed email and phone number detection in web views

Find Hackers in the App Store.