Category Archives: Apple

App Store: Apple vs. the English Language

A few months ago, Amazon opened a section of their online store where they sell apps for Android devices. Following the same boring-but-descriptive naming scheme that Microsoft pioneered with such products as a word processor called Microsoft Word, a flight simulator called Microsoft Flight Simulator, and so forth, they call it the Amazon Appstore.

Apple, of course, is suing them for trademark infringement. Amazon’s stance: “App store” is a generic, descriptive term for a store that sells apps. Apple counters: “Is not!”

It’s a bit more eloquent than that, but look at this:

“Apple admits that the current edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘app’ as, in part, ‘[a]n application, esp. an application program,” Apple said in the court filing. “Apple further admits that the current edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary defines ‘store’ as, in part, ‘a retail establishment selling items to the public: a health-food store.'”

And the best part:

“Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words ‘app store’ together denote a store for apps,” the document said. [emphasis added]

Really? Funny, I thought that was how the English language worked.

(In the interest of full disclosure: I own an Apple laptop, and Android phone, and use Amazon’s affiliate program…but not their app store.)

Links: 1.0 Releases, Sci-Fi and Science Fact, The Missile that Wasn’t

  • Matt Mullenweg on Apple, WordPress & tech release strategy. 1.0 Is the Loneliest Number
  • Robert J. Sawyer on the relationship between science fiction and science fact: The job of sci-fi isn’t to predict “THE future,” but “to suggest a smorgasbord of possible futures, so that society may choose the one it wants.”
  • Mystery California missile turns out to be a contrail lit by sunset, seen almost end-on so that it looked vertical. The photo actually reminds me of a contrail I once saw.
  • A fun recreation of George Seurat’s painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jette. The photo was staged back in 2006, but I hadn’t seen it until it popped up on Reddit a few days ago. I find it amusing that people have been posting lyric fragments from Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George in notes on the photo. There’s also a side-by-side comparison of the painting and the recreation.

DC Comics Goes Digital

DC Comics has launched a digital comics program, starting with the iPad/iPhone and the Playstation network.

And by launched, I mean launched. As in, you can download the app and buy comics right now.

I’m really looking forward to the day when they expand this to more platforms (desktop PCs, Android and Windows–based tablets, etc) and start reaching into their back catalog. I’ve griped about the lack of Golden Age Flash reprints before, and the Bronze Age is also virtually invisible in reprints (though at least with comics from the 1970s and 1980s, you can usually find the back-issues at a reasonable price).

I haven’t had time to read all the interviews, but I’ll definitely be reading them tonight:

Jim Lee at Microphone at DC Editorial.With Jim Lee so heavily involved in this project, I can’t help but think of a moment at WonderCon this year. Saturday was the day of the iPad launch, and the Apple Store in San Francisco is just a few blocks from the convention center. Jim Lee was conspicuously missing from the DC Editorial panel. He showed up partway through the panel and stood in the Q&A line, where he planted a few questions…and then pulled out the brand-new iPad that he had stood in line for that morning!

Sadly, judging by ComiXology’s new releases, DC hasn’t brought Flash to the iPad just yet. But I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Update: Comics Alliance has another article I won’t have time to read just yet, on why this is a big deal.

Cross-posted at Speed Force

Mac OS X Finder Deleting Files on a Linux Share (Solved)

Last week I connected to my Linux desktop from my Mac laptop, and Finder wouldn’t let me copy files over to the Linux box. Even stranger, it would delete the original file on the share after stating that it didn’t have permission to access it!

The error message it kept popping up was:

The operation can’t be completed because you don’t have permission to access some of the items.

So it didn’t have permission to access or save the items, but it had permission to delete them? Clearly the error message wasn’t telling the whole story!

Even stranger: if I opened a file with an application like TextWrangler or NeoOffice, they had no problem saving it! It was only Finder that had the problem!

Now, I’ve successfully transferred files back and forth between these computers many times before, but I had changed two things recently:

  • Upgraded the Linux box to Fedora 13.
  • Installed the Mac OS X 10.6.4 update to Snow Leopard.

I didn’t have much luck searching online, maybe because I was looking for the wrong terms. The closest I came up with were discussions like this one, but they all involved a server using netatalk or other AFP file sharing implementations. I’ve been using samba (Windows-Style SMB shares) on the Linux box ever since I had some problems with Netatalk and decided that since the Mac would connect via Samba, I wouldn’t worry about it.

I idly posted the problem on Twitter. My brother replied that he’d run into the same problem (on Ubuntu, IIRC), and suggested turning off Unix extensions in Samba. That meant opening up /etc/samba/smb.conf on the Linux box and adding the following line to the “Filesystem Options” section:

unix extensions = no

I restarted Samba on the Linux box, and that was it. The Mac was able to copy files over without any errors!

I hope this post helps someone else solve the same problem.