How not to provide feedback

Justin Williams on how you shouldn’t be a dick just because you’re on the Internet, or how not to provide feedback to just about anyone who has poured in heart and soul into their work:

Here is a tip for all the non-developers out there. When you email your favorite developer with a feature request or bug report never, ever, ever use the word useless to describe their product. Useless is kryptonite to developers and puts us on the defensive instantly…

The Internet makes it really easy to be a jerk to someone because you don’t have to insult their product to their face and can instead shoot it off to an email address in the sky without any idea or care about who is on the other end.

Posting to Twitter is like throwing valuable things into a junk drawer…

Justin Williams on the Twitter’s Great Migration:

Hopefully those new product offerings include giving me full access to the 15,290 tweets I have written since joining the service five years ago. That data silo is one of the major reasons I am so gunshy of posting content I care about to Twitter anymore. At least with this site, I know I can instantly access everything I’ve written.

I’ve always wondered why nobody else is complaining that it’s just so damn difficult to find anything more than a day old in Twitter.

Bragging about stuff that doesn’t matter

Joshua Topolsky for Engadget:

In a post-PC world, the experience of the product is central and significant above all else. It’s not the RAM or CPU speed, screen resolution or number of ports which dictate whether a product is valuable; it becomes purely about the experience of using the device.

Ever notice it’s always the anti-Apple and pro-Samsung/HTC/Android/Nokia friends always bragging about RAM, CPU, etc? Stuff that don’t matter, basically.

Numbers and Opt+Arrow Keys

Numbers hijack the Option+Arrow Keys by default

Numbers hijack the Option+Arrow Keys by default

If there’s a set of keyboard shortcuts you absolutely must know, it is the Command (⌘) + Arrow Keys and the Option (⌥) + Arrow Keys.

They are bread and butter when it comes to writing and editing long documents on the Mac, because they allow you to move your text insertion point (caret) around the document in a flash.

If you’re unfamiliar with them, here’s a description of what they do:

  • ⌘ + ←: moves caret to the start of the sentence
  • ⌘ + →: moves caret to the end of the sentence
  • ⌘ + ↑: moves caret to the start of the document/text box
  • ⌘ + ↓: moves caret to the end of the document/text box
  • ⌥ + ←: moves caret one word before
  • ⌥ + →: moves caret one word after

If you add the Shit Key to them (⇧), you could select say the last three words you were typing in record speed by holding down ⇧+⌥ and hitting ← three times. Select whole sentence from the end? ⇧ + ⌘ + ←

No more aiming your mouse cursor at the correct alphabet, clicking and dragging. Your hands will always be on the keyboard. Sounds good?

Now, most self-respecting Mac apps support this form of editing. Even your iPhone and iPad support all these shortcuts when you hook up your Bluetooth keyboard to it.

The problem comes in Numbers, the Excel equivalent made by Apple. By default, ⌥ + ← and ⌥ + → are mapped to insert new column to the left and right respectively.

As you can imagine, trying to move between words ends up inserting new columns (horrors), and that basically makes editing Numbers document super painful.

Fixing the Add Column on Opt+Arrow Key Problem

Fixing the Add Column on Opt+Arrow Key Problem

Thankfully, you can change all that easily on the Mac by mapping the add-columns shortcuts to another set of keys from within System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Since I don’t really need to add columns as frequently as I need to move around various parts of the spreadsheet quickly, I’ve since mapped them to a more obscure key combination involving Control (^) + Option (⌥) + Command (⌘) + Arrow key.

This restores my sanity when it comes to editing Numbers document, which I’ve been working on a lot when collaborating with my translators for my iPhone reminder app—Due.

The new iMac 27″ display

This is the 27″ iMac display. Check out how little adjustment is needed out of box and the gamut.

The New iMac 27-inch Display

The New iMac 27-inch Display

iPhone/iPad Calendar Bug Report

Always irks me that the Mac OS X, iPhone and now iPad thinks that Singaporeans start their week on Sunday instead of Monday. I was finally motivated enough to submit a bug report last week, and in less than 2 days I received a reply from Apple for a followup on the issue. Pretty impressive for a big company like Apple. The last time I got a direct response from a tech company for a bug report was from Omni Group for their OmniOutliner software.

If you’re keen to read the report, see: Bug Report for Calendar in iPhone & iPad

“Ridiculous” to optimise sites for iPhone

Rob Haggart of the blog A Photo Editor and professional photography portfolio software A Photo Folio, wrote in 2008:

A reader asked me awhile back about optimizing websites for the iPhone which I immediately dismissed as ridiculous and then, what do you know, I was out of the office later that day and tried to access a photographers contact info by going to their website on my palm phone because I didn’t have it in my database and couldn’t do it because of the flash so I thought ok, maybe there’s something to this.

In the larger scheme of things nobody will ever receive or lose a job based on the ability of their portfolio to render on a palm phone or iphone but more and more I find myself using google as a phone book instead of carefully entering photographers contact info into my database like I used to do.

Today, A Photo Folio portfolio sites support not only the iPhone (albeit rudimentary), but is boasting to be the first to deliver iPad sites on their portfolio.

Given the popularity and ubiquity of the iPhone among editors, art directors and clients, it is possible that you will receive or lose jobs based on the ability of your portfolio to render on the iPhone/iPad.

Earlier today, Kottke points out the fact that the websites of the top 10 luxury brands don’t work on the iPad reflect poorly on the industry, and that “If I were Anna Wintour, I would be screaming at these companies to fix these sites”.

I don’t know if Anna Wintour is using an iPhone or an iPad, but I’d bet it’s one of the many smartphones—of which none of them supports Flash.

UOB and Mobile Internet Banking

Just last month, DBS/POSB finally removed Java from its iBanking site, thus allowing iPhone/iPod Touch users to connect directly to their iBanking site from Safari. And this month, it rolled out its own iPhone app for DBS and POSB mobile banking.

I tried out the POSB app, and it’s really good. For those of you on UOB, internet banking remains elusive. You could badger them to improve support on iPhone/iPad and other mobile devices by removing Java and/or making their own app.

Send them an email via “Contact Us” link under Personal Banking:

Select: General / Website Feedback

Here’s the message I sent:


Most major banks like Citibank, StanChart, OCBC and now DBS/POSB support internet banking on popular mobile devices such as the iPhone/iPad. OCBC and DBS/POSB even have their own apps on the iPhone to facilitate internet banking.

However, UOB continues to use Java as part of its login mechanism for internet banking, which locks out the iPhone/iPad and other mobile devices that do not support Java—a legacy and unnecessary technology for internet banking.

When would UOB remove Java as part of its login mechanism so that your customers could easily do internet banking via their mobile devices?

Pulitzer-Winning Photojournalist Slams World Press Photo Awards

Pulitzer-winning photojournalist, and winner of several World Press Photo Awards (19751, 19862) slams the selection of the 2009 World Press Photo winners:

The World Press Photo of the Year is stunning for its lack of content or any other journalistic values. The jury’s selection is yet another setback for a profession that is already in deep trouble. If that was the best of the best, they should have made no selection at all, and I’m hoping next year will bring a more professional group of jurors.

‘The photo shows the beginning of something, the beginning of a huge story,’ jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer said of the photo. Right. Well how about showing pictures of the story itself, and there were plenty of powerful images from the Iranian protests, if that was what they wanted to show.

A fellow photographer said it was like seeing a photo of Paul Revere putting on his shoes before his midnight ride. There are those of us who still want to see the ride, not the’haunting and eerily prescient’ prelude.

Kennerly further elaborated in a later comment:

To further amplify my thoughts on the Photo of the Year… This is nothing personal about the photographer who won, he was there, and I admire him for it, but in my estimation there were other way more worthy photographs. If you just scan the other categories, there were ample opportunities to choose a great photograph from among them.

If the judges wanted to recognize Iran upheaval coverage, they had only to look at AFP photographer Olivier Laban-Mattel’s 2nd place Spot News Story for a winner. He was right there on top of it, wide angle in hand, putting his life on the line, and has fantastic photos to show for his courage. Any of his were better than what was chosen, and oh yes, they told the story, as opposed to being some ambiguous moment taken from afar of people doing who knows what on the top of a darkened roof above Tehran.

And there were many other strong contenders among the other categories’Charles Ommanney’s wonderful Obama photo as he waited, eyes closed, to make entrance for his swearing-in, Julie Jacobson’s dying Marine in Afghanistan, David Guttenfelder’s soldiers under fire, Walter Astrada’s bloodbath in Magagascar, and on and on. The photos were there, honored as winners in the specialized categories, but overlooked by a jury who might as well have been judges from another planet.

About time someone spoke up on the quality of the awards.