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WYSIWYG Editing on iOS 5

Thanks to iOS5's support for contentEditable text areas, rich text editors like TinyMCE and CKEditor (two of my favorites, which I install on many Drupal sites using the WYSIWYG module) now work great for editing content on the web in mobile Safari!

This means that I'll be more likely to do site content work on the road with my iPad 2. I just wish they supported file select fields so I could also add images more easily on the go.

Check out all the details over on Midwestern Mac: WYSIWYG Editing (contentEditable support) in iOS 5.

The Exodus App – Pulled from App Store for being "Gay Cure"

While reading through a relatively decent overview/article on the current controversy, I found a paragraph that I take some issue with, especially with regard to the question of 'faith vs. science/reason':

Ms. Pynchon makes a critical observation: “These religious beliefs (that sexual conduct outside of a one man-one woman marriage is sinful and can be “cured” by Jesus) are held by fewer and fewer Americans. They have also been repudiated by many liberal American Christian churches (including my own. -JM] They fly in the face of American secular legal principles [read as separation of church and state - JM] and contradict our contemporary scientific understanding. They are matters of faith, not science or reason.” What this author is summarizing is what is becoming the national story — that our individual DNA is our essence, and we treat our essence with respect. It’s similar to our other national stories, for example, that you don’t stone a woman to death for adultery.

On Being Overpriced

In the recent hubbub over Motorola Xoom pricing, I started to think a bit more about the current landscape of tablets on the market today—the iPad, and the competition.

Obviously, the iPad has won round 1. And it looks like round 2 is starting with Apple throwing all the punches—even though there's been no word on a second revision from the horse's mouth (yet).

But I was thinking to myself, "Why (and how?!) is Apple the only company selling a worthy $499 tablet." Apple's always been known to most people in the world as a luxury brand—and they are, in some senses—but why is Motorola introducing a tablet that retails for $799 minimum at launch, and will someday have a $599 version?

Motorola, and others in the 'actually working / almost shipping' tablet manufacturing market, probably see that the mid-range iPads are more popular than the cheap ones, and they target this price range/feature set. So, in a sense, what they're doing makes sense: target the large part of the bell curve of tablet sales, and make a great sub-$800 tablet.

However, I think they neglect to see one of Apple's greatest advantages: the upsell.

On Developing for Android... or Not

After having jumped into the pool of mobile app development head first (more on that to come), I finally have a little more perspective when it comes to developing for iOS vs. Android.

One of the first things that I did when I started developing an App for iOS is purchase an iPod Touch. There's no way I wanted to be using my iPhone for all my development work, and I needed a device I could acquire quickly, at a low cost (i.e. without a contract), and not worry about battery life, durability, etc.

Plus, I know tons of people with iPod Touches already—most are people who don't want to spend an outrageous amount of money on a 'smartphone' plan with one of the major US carriers, but want a great mobile computing device/PDA/media player.

So, buy the iPod Touch for ~$200, download Xcode, and you're good to go for iOS development. Plus, the whole App Store process, while it's a bit convoluted at times, is very well structured, and offers developers easy avenues towards getting an app from development to sale to success with little effort required.

Of course, as I'm getting nearer and nearer the App's release, I'm hearing calls from all corners of Geekdom, "When you gonna release for Android?!" And the more frequent the cries of distress, the more frequently I look around for ways that I can/should start developing for Android.

Developer Experience on the Mac App Store

This year, one of my resolutions is to become a more experienced programmer—not only in web development (I can hold my own with PHP, server scripting, and web design languages)—and one of the measurable achievements I'd like to accomplish is having apps on the Mac App Store and iOS App Store.

I submitted a new Mac App, Visibility*, on January 9, and was hoping the app might be reviewed quickly so I could experience a few days on the Mac App store soon after its launch. Well, after more than two weeks of waiting, the App is still 'Waiting for Review.'

Following the advice of some other developers on Apple's Developer Forums, I submitted an expedited app review support ticket... and didn't get a response for over a week!

From the response email:

Thanks for your email and feedback. In order to get as many developers into the Mac App Store as possible we are reviewing apps on a first-come first-served basis. The size of any individual app or its fixes do not have an impact on when the app will enter In Review state.

We will get to your application as quickly as possible.

Mac App Store - Real Reason for It?

Mac App Store Icon - LogoThis might just be too crazy to be true, but I just thought, after reading that some of the bestselling games for the Mac were added to the Mac App Store, if there might be an ulterior motive to the Mac App Store...

Besides adding some revenue to Apple's bottom line, offering a convenient means to Mac users discovering and purchasing new software, and making the Mac more in-line with the iOS device philosophy, what if Steve walked into an Apple retail store one day last year and said:

Switched back to Safari from Chrome... Again

Google Chrome No MoreGoogle lit up the hornet's nest yesterday when they announced that they were dropping built-in support of H.264 for their own 'open' WebM and OGG video formats.

I reconfigured Xmarks on all my computers (to sync all my bookmarks between FireFox, Safari and Chrome), and I'm back to using Safari full-time, with FireFox as my main backup. (FF 4.0 can't come soon enough).

It was good knowing ye, Chrome. I actually had my sights set on using Chrome indefinitely until yesterday.

Ripping Movies from Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and DVD, Getting them onto Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, etc.

DVD to iPhone Apple TV and iPad - Ripping

Note: The guide below still applies, but you can now rip and convert Blu-Ray movies directly in Handbrake if you download MakeMKV (don't even need to run it) then run the following commands in Terminal.app:

cd ~
mkdir -p ~/lib
ln -s /Applications/MakeMKV.app/Contents/lib/libmmbd.dylib ~/lib/libaacs.dylib
ln -s /Applications/MakeMKV.app/Contents/lib/libmmbd.dylib ~/lib/libbdplus.dylib

Also note that iDentify is no longer maintained; I usually use the free MetaZ application to edit metadata before importing into iTunes nowadays.

For many years, I've been in search of the 'digital nirvana,' where all my videos, songs, and photos were accessible on any device, anywhere, at any time, without having to do a complicated digital dance with wires and different sychronization tools.

I am getting ever closer to the realization of that dream... today I will introduce you to a few tools I use to help me get all my videos (be they plain old DVDs or newer high definition Blu-Ray discs [edit: I found I can even rip HD-DVDs on my Mac too!]) converted and stored on my computer so I can play them on my computer, my iPhone, my iPad, my Apple TV, my Xbox 360, a Playstation 3, and do so from anywhere in the world.

There are a few key applications you need before you can do this on your own - I'll describe the programs you need for each step of the process, and how to do everything you need to do to get your videos digitized and readily accessible.

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