Awesomeness : A layperson's guide

More on Swift

OK, I’ve been doing a lot more with Swift since my last post on the subject.

Integration with existing Obj-C code is damn near miraculous, I’m not sure how they did it this well, it generally behaves like native Swift code, the method calls are mapped very cleverly to the Swift-y way of doing it.

The syntax is clean, cleaner than Obj-C, it’s still a bit funny, the use of ! and ? can be a bit obtuse, ? make sense, but ! I’ve not quite got used to.

It’s like a scripting language, in a good way, but with the richness of Cocoa, it’s a good combo.

The whole build process is a lot nicer, linking with Frameworks just seems to happen.

Xcode 6 is still a little flaky, especially the syntax highlighting, but I’m sure this will get better.

On a slightly different, but related note, I’ve been using the Xcode ‘Assistant’ to make Outlets and Actions recently, once you get past it’s overbearing nature, it’s actually, really, really good, suits Swift much better too, as you don’t have a header file with that.

In my programming escapades, I’ve taken another look at the new constraint system in Cocoa, bloody hell, what a confusing mess, the old system, sure it might have been a little inflexible, but at least you could do what you need to do it in a few seconds, the constraints system is insane, doing it in code is ridiculous, wordy, and just impossible to get right without 100 tries at it first, with complex layouts, I don’t think I’d ever get it right.


I’ve been messing around with Cortana on Windows Phone, you know, it’s actually OK.

You can say stuff like ‘remind me about my pimpin’ and cruzin’ at 10am tomorrow’ and it’ll understand you, and make a record of it.

It has suggestions, some cheeky,  like ‘Should I get a Mac?’, I asked it that, and it said that it didn’t know what I was talking about, and would I like the weather instead, which is a bit like a standup comedian setting up joke, and slipping up on dog shit when about to say the punchline. Aww bless, it’s trying to be all sassy like Siri, but flops..

It’s a bit crappy, like I asked it for directions to a place, and it just does a web search, rather than use the built in Maps, which is a bit weird really.

You can create a text, just by saying ‘send text’ and the speech recognition is very, very good. You can’t say ‘Send Email’, that just does a web search.

Cortana can do a few things well, and every thing else is just a Bing search, it’s not ‘deep’ like Siri is.

I’ll never use it of course, as I don’t want to be that bellend talking at his phone. 

SumOfUs bullshit

"In a breathtakingly creepy invasion of privacy, Facebook is forcing all smartphone users to install a new messaging app."

It’s disgraceful, Mark Zuckerberg holding a gun to the users head and literally FORCING them to install an app. But hold on, that’s not happening at all, nobody is being forced to install anything, if you don’t like it, stop fucking using it, facebook isn’t an essential service, it’s not water, sewage, or the police, it’s fucking Facebook.

You didn’t need Facebook 10 years ago, and you don’t need it now, you don’t have a right to it, if Facebook wants to charge you by the second for using it, then they can, if they want to shovel adverts down your throat, they can, you don’t have to watch them, take yourself off Facebook and start living the rest of your life.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has also admitted that his long-term plan could be to ‘monetize’ the app,”

No shit Sherlock, Facebook isn’t a charity, Apps don’t write themselves, salaries need to come from somewhere, if you thought Facebook was ‘free’, then you need to think about that.

Crappy journalism (Headlines)

The article is fair, but the headline is just shit…

"Tony Abbott blasted for ‘ludicrous’ intervention in Scottish referendum"

Now, I hate Tony Abbott as much as the next guy, but was he ‘blasted’? Whatever that means… More than that, he didn’t ‘intervene’, he merely expressed an opinion, President Obama did the same thing, but it was kind of OK when he did it.

In fact Tony Abbott actually said this too…

“What the Scots do is a matter for the Scots and not for a moment do I presume to tell Scottish voters which way they should vote. “

Which is pretty reasonable, and certainly not trying to intervene.

There is enough real stuff to criticise Abbott for, we don’t need to make stuff up.

Daring Fireball: New Microsoft Surface Ads Take on MacBooks (and iPads) Directly 

A decent short article by John Gruber. Microsoft is directly attacking Apple, by doing this, they are tacitly admitting that they might actually be losing this one.

About the ads themselves, they are pretty shit, it’s basically saying, hey look! The keyboard of my laptop comes off! 

As a Surface user, this is exactly what they are, laptops without keyboards, they feel like Windows PCs, but without the crufty bits (well, some crufty bits). Is Surface any good? Not really.

You are doing exactly what they want.

I’m talking about stuff like this…

Basically, in a successful bid to get advertising without paying for it, American Apparel does a few adverts which are a bit near the knuckle, nothing overtly paedo, but close enough to garner some attention.

If you don’t like American Apparel doing this sort of thing, first, stop buying their stuff, second, stop facebooking, tweeting, blogging etc… This is their plan, to get the ‘twittersphere’ all up in arms about some barely dressed teenager, and for you to do the jobs that would normally be given to an paid advertising firm. If you like doing free work for a company you hate, then continue, if not, STOP.

The same goes for that Richard Dawkins, he’s probably got a new book coming out, so don’t go getting all uppity about a lazily written, infantile, boring tweet. YOU ARE DOING EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.

The Worlds End

A pretty good film, much what you’d expect, if you like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, you’ll like this.

However… If you don’t know anything about this film, do not watch the trailer, like all modern trailers it just summarises the entire story and spoils any surprise.

Mac moving to ARM?

I doubt it. I’ll tell you why….

You see, back in the day of PPC Vs Intel, PPC took an early lead, and was then throughly beaten by Intel in performance, the G5 wasn’t suitable for laptops, so they were stuck with the even slower G4.

Things are different now, if Intel is having delays, it affects the PC manfacturers too, not just Apple, by switching to Intel, Apple has made the constant bickering over performance irrelevant, as everyone is in the same boat, there isn’t much to argue about.

It’s not a matter of relative performance anymore, the speed of CPU is not a marketing issue anymore, as I write this on my Macbook, I don’t know, nor care, what CPU is in it. I have an MS Surface, I don’t know what that is either, in fact, as I look around my office, I couldn’t tell you the CPU of ANY of the machines in there, I. Just. Don’t. Care. And neither should you. And neither does Apple.

Playing with Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1, on a laptop, not the Surface.

The Metro UI *kindof* works on a tablet, but on a desktop (i.e. productivity) machine, it makes no sense, imagine using Full Screen mode on all your Mac apps, it’s not optional. I’m not joking.

I’ve found nothing positive to say so far, but I’ll keep you all posted.

People have a right to eat bad stuff

This article talks about the dangers of high salt levels in cheese, and that cheese makers should strive to reduce it. 

I think cheese makers should make the best product they can, and if shortens my life a little, so be it, it’s worth it for cheese. It’s also worth it for whisky, good wine, beer, crisps. For some people it’s tobacco, smoking is expensive and it kills you, I don’t smoke, but I support the right of people who do smoke, as long as you aren’t harming others, then go for it.

You could say smokers, and cheese eaters create burden on the health systems of the state, and you’d be right, but so do car drivers, cyclists, people who have the tenacity to catch diseases, or born with health conditions, EVERYONE is a burden on the health system, that’s the fucking point of a universal health system, that’s why we pay into it, it helps us when we inevitably get sick, or injured.

We will all die in the end, and I want to go out eating cheese.

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