Archive Page 2

Seriously Apple, WTF?

Apple finally released the miraculous 2.0 iPhone software update on Friday. And it’s great. I always wanted iTunes remote control, but the available web based solutions like RemoteBuddy just didn’t cut it. Twitterific is nice and Supper Monkey Ball is quite fun. Lots of applications are cheap or free and nevertheless perform a simple task quite well, like ShoppingList, Sudoku or VoiceRecorder.

But seriously Apple, WTF is this with the software quality of the update itself? Apps work for a while and then start crashing at launch, a reboot mysteriously fixes that. The problem is so widespread that some developers list it as their only FAQ item. And no, it has nothing to do with one specific app, everyone is affected, even Apple’s very own Remote, which completely crashed the phone once here. Some other random glitches are Maps’ LocateMe function not working until reboot and mysterious reordering of icons. The process of installing an app on the iPhone directly is tedious at best. You can continue working, but it is completely unclear what is happening then. Is the installation paused or not? In addition to that, other applications are dead slow during installation of another app.

To top it all, the synchronisation of software using iTunes is dubious at best. I have two iTunes Libraries on two different Macs. One gets used only for syncing info to it, the other one is a source for music and video, but also syncs info. I initially bought some apps on the first one, updated and synced them to the phone. Bought two apps on the phone itself, synced with the other Mac to get my media. It synced apps by default, if I would have deactivated it, it wanted to delete them all (WTF?). It was unclear if it would also delete my purchased apps or not. So I synced the apps. When syncing to the other Mac again, it removed all apps coming from the second one, including those initially bought on the iPhone itself. When syncing on the other side the next time, the apps additionally bought on the first Mac were erased, but the apps deleted by that one couldn’t be synced, because of a license error. I finally deactivated syncing apps on the second Mac, which resulted in it deleting all apps, as expected. And it also deleted all fucking settings. Very nice and no warning in that regard was issued. At one point an app downloaded on the phone (TapTap) was removed for no apparent reason during syncing. This sucks. It is unknown to me when and why apps downloaded on the phone are deleted by syncing.

The whole 2.0 software situation sucks big time, let’s see when the updates and fixes roll in. I guess it had to be done on this Friday, even when Apple lacked the proper resources to pull it off.

Cartoon of the Month (in German)

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Source: Fliers Welt

7digital

I was looking for a store which sells all those DRM-free MP3s to us Amazon-Store-less Germans and discovered 7digital.de. I haven’t bought the latest Green Day album yet over iTunes, so I tried this instead. The good thing: it was available and DRM-free. The MP3s are encoded in 256 kbps and are obviously tagged correctly and have an embedded cover image. The album costs 9,99€, just like on iTunes.

So far for the good stuff. The website design and navigation is pretty bad, there are no recommendations or you-might-like-this-toos, one still has to use iTunes to actually find new Music. The previews are pretty short and need Flash. Not everything that is offered is actually a DRM-free MP3, there are some DRMed WMA files for sale, too, and if you are not careful, you might end up buying an album you cannot listen to.

The worst part of the experience is the downloading, though. You end up with a list of individual tracks you bought and a notice that there is some tool which makes downloading easier. After clicking on that, a page appears which talks about how the tool is spyware-free (duh, I just bought shit from you and you do *not* spy on me, amazing!) and compatible with Mac and PC. Windows on your Mac it seems, as there is only an EXE file up for download. Thankfully, that’s not that bad, because the tool actually sucks ass 🙂 So now you end up with a list of links to MP3 files, which you all need to click one by one. 16 times for an album. 32 times for two. This will get old soon, I suppose. The good part: when you sign into your account, you can re-download all purchased files, but it is not entirely clear to me if that works forever or just for a certain period of time.

In the end, a service with nice content and reasonable prices, but an amazingly bad user-experience. /me will be happy when everything is iTunes-Plus instead of this…

GTA 4

Finished the story of GTA 4 today. As everyone already knows that it is a great game, I will just mention some random annoyances I experienced while playing it:

* Doors. It’s nice that one does not have to push a button to open them, but why won’t they stay open? It’s kinda silly when the most dangerous obstacle in indoor shootings is a door.

* Scripted events. Rockstar, isn’t this supposed to be an open-world game? WTF can’t I shoot down Dimitri’s helicopter in the last mission then? Why are there invincible cars and motorcycles? Why can I only break the shop window with a brick, not with anything else or a car? It gets really disappointing when you try to find a clever way of solving a situation, but can’t because your solution does not fit the script corset the developers gave you.

* Difficulty level of the shooting passages. They are incredibly easy to do when using auto-aiming and near the end almost impossible when not using it. It would have been nice to have a middle-ground for experienced, but not amazing players.

In the end, I spent some happy 45 hours with it and will probably continue to work on some side-missions and multiplayer (I want those goddamn achievements!). The game is a masterpiece, but there’s still room for improvements in ‘GTA: Vice City Worries’.

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Motherfucker, it’s the .fi^Wblog!

Maybe I’ll manage to keep this thing semi up-to-date this time.