Archive for December 3, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Reinventing AEPrintDesc

Daniel Jalkut:

But when one is head-down, debugging a serious AppleEvent issue, it’s not uncommon to need to print AEDescs left, right, up, down, and diagonally. This needs to be fast-and-furious, not daunting, slow, and error-prone. I decided to use this problem to dig into lldb’s user commands functionality.


Chris Parrish on Twitter informs me that the debugger function is still present, but it’s named differently than I remember. It’s GDBPrintAEDesc.

The QA Mindset

Michael Lopp:

My favorite internal application at Apple is a product called Radar. It’s a Cocoa application that served as our bug tracking system, and if you wanted to know what was going on regarding a specific application at Apple, you went to Radar.


For the teams that unfailingly followed these rules, Radar became a powerful tool because it became a credible source of truth regarding the product. The answer to the question, “How is the product doing?” wasn’t an annoyingly vague, “I’m feeling good about it.” The answer was, “We’re fixing critical issues at a rate of 1 issue per engineer per day. We’ve got 14 engineers, we’ve got 308 issues, which means if no issues arrive, we’ve got 22 days of work. Except our arrival rate is 7 a day and it’s increasing.

Professional App Pricing

Rob Rhyne:

Then today, Allen Pike discussed his company’s plans for a future product — MicDrop, a podcasting production studio for professionals — which he was abandoning due to a “…market [that] is just too small to sustain a great app.” Allen is preaching the same message I was in my talk: pay attention to the size of your market and only build what this market will support financially.

In his post, he mentions several alternative pricing schemes but only discusses, in detail, selling the app for $200. Now, Allen is a smart cookie and an even nicer person, so I wanted to present him with a few alternatives that I see for his market and politely make the case there exists a sustainable market for his app. He just needs to be willing to think beyond the mainstream. After all, I know a thing or two about selling an app for $200.

Eddy Cue on Apple’s E-book Price Fixing Appeal

Roger Parloff:

Still, the issues are perplexing, and Apple has a fighting shot. Did prices go up because of price-fixing? Or did they go up, rather, because once Apple entered the market, the publishers finally had an alternative to selling through Amazon on whatever terms it demanded?


In this case, though, given the Picholine dinners and the “double delete” email, Judge Cote inferred that the publishers had “synchronized their windowing strategies.” But she went further: She found that Cue—who at this point had still never spoken to a single publisher— somehow knew they were colluding. “Before Apple even met with the first publisher-defendant in mid-December,” she wrote, “it knew that [they] were already acting collectively to place pressure on Amazon to abandon its pricing strategy.” She cited only the fact that newspapers had reported each windowing announcement. (Cue says he never heard of the Picholine dinners until after the government sued in April 2012.)


So when Cue sent out the actual draft contracts, he replaced that term with a “most favored nation” clause, or MFN. It gave Apple the right to match the price at which any new-release ebook was being sold by another retailer. (Cote acknowledged that MFNs are ordinarily legal.)


Though the original, ill-conceived clause was replaced by the MFN, Judge Cote wouldn’t let Apple off the hook. Rather, she found that it was “never rescinded,” and lived on as an unwritten, wink-wink term in the conspiracy.

The government also argued—and Cote agreed—that under the unique circumstances of this case, the MFN was also illegal, because it “sharpened the publishers’ incentives” to switch to agency.

John Gruber:

The key question is who needs antitrust protection here. The DOJ chose to “protect” e-book buying consumers from higher retail prices. Apple’s argument is that it’s the publishers who needed protection from Amazon. Parloff makes clear that the publishers had no negotiating leverage with Amazon until after the iBooks Store was announced.

Crescentgate Problem With iPhone 6 Front Camera

James Cook:

The front-facing camera seems to be liable to moving within its housing, which results in a gray crescent shape appearing on the right side of the camera.


A Reddit thread titled “Is your iPhone 6 front-facing camera misaligned?” has more than 150 comments. The replies are almost all variations on “Mine has the exact same issue” and “Same.” Currently, almost none of the users complaining about it say it actually affects the photos being taken. In other words, if the thing still works, there is no need to replace it — it’s just cosmetic.

There’s also a Mac Rumors thread that discusses the problem.

It sounds like Apple is replacing the affected phones.