Can I get an amen? I tried to think of more to say in a first-day review, but it really comes down to this: Tweetie for Mac isn’t just a Twitter client with a focus on posting. If anything, it’s a Twitter browser, giving primacy to following the threads of interest and conversation that make Twitter compelling. So far the best surprises have been a built-in search on any given hashtag, and natural conversation threading.
It’s Sunday! Sure, you’ve got the weekend thing down, you know how to turn off the computer and relax a bit. If you’re local to Vancouver, you’re taking in the sweet sunshine we haven’t seen in these parts for quite some time.
But what happens this week when you’re back to work and longing for some way to wiggle out of productivity? Here are two finds that should help you exercise your procrastination skills just a little bit longer.
Om Your Dashboard
By way of Tara Hunt’s Twitter posts, I found an online Buddha Machine simulator that can be turned into a widget for users of Mac OS-X’s Dashboard. A Buddha Machine, like the web clippings process that turns it into a Dashboard widget, is better demonstrated than explained, so I put the following screencast together to do just that.
See The Moment
Have you heard about this Obama fellow? There’s quite a lot of buzz around him this week in the US. The moment the President-Elect becomes President will be emotional for millions of people, and Microsoft is working with CNN and those who will be there to document that moment through their astoundingly cool Photosynth project.
The instructions to participate in The Moment are simple for anyone with a bit of digital savvy:
1. Take one photo of the moment when Obama takes the oath. If you have a digital camera with a zoom lens, take three photos (wide-angle, mid-zoom, full-zoom)
2. E-mail each photo as soon as possible to moc.nncnull@tnemomeht (one photo per message, 10MB size limit). Don’t forget to include your name in the message if you’d like to appear in the list of the contributors. Please only send in photos you took yourself.
3. Go to cnn.com/themoment to see all of the photos.
This project shows how the web can dramatically lower barriers to participation. In olden tymes, what might we have seen? A contest for the ‘best’ non-professional photo of the moment of inauguration? Photosynth makes everyone’s contribution count without separating participants into zero-sum winner and loser roles. The project truly makes the inauguration a moment for, by and of the people involved. In the world of social software, it’s platinum-grade cool.
I know: Microsoft, cool? I’m scared, too, but it’s the real deal, and there’s even an iPhone/iPod Touch app to go with it (iTunes link).
With your ears soothed by meditative tones and your eyes enchanted with what could be one of the most human photographic moments of the year, you should be well-defended against outbursts of productivity.
Geeky Mac folks like yours truly have been following the story of how a Mac OS hack was successfully demonstrated at the CanSecWest security conference. The event, while it won’t impact most Mac users, it does bring back into circulation the usual suspect memes about Macs and security.
My favourite is the statement oft-repeated by security experts and Microsoft apologists, and most recently repeated in this MacWorld story:
Most Mac users see their operating system as being much more secure than Windows. Thatâ€™s true to a certain extent. But much of the Macâ€™s immunity from malicious attacks can be attributed to hackers going for the more widely used operating system to grab the most attention.
â€œIf a hacker turned their attention to the Mac, it would suffer just as much as Windows,â€ Wagner said. â€œAttacking the 95 percent of the market gets them more attention.â€
Aside from the fact that comparing Mac and Windows vulnerabilities is like comparing a donut with a block of swiss cheese (where you fine one hole in the Mac you’ll find 50 or so in Windows), the idea that market penetration is needed for hackers to pay attention is bunk.
Dino Dai Zovi, who took the $10,000 prize for his exploit at CanSecWest, has received a lot of attention from pundits, his peers, potential employers and legions of surprised Mac users. The reason is easy to understand: the more scarce an achievement, the greater its value becomes. Are we really to believe that hackers starved for attention don’t want to be the one known to get the first nasty OS-X virus into the wild?
Somehow, it’s assumed that hackers gain prestige by doing what everyone else is doing. If it were true that the greater market penetration leads to greater attention for successful exploits, why would anyone put a $10K bounty on subverting the platform that apparently nobody is too under-used for anyone to care?
Windows hacks are a dime a dozen and their value will continue to drop. Mac hacks are going for $10,000 just to see it happen. You don’t need to be a ‘security expert’ to know where the attention is.