Microsoft Surface (No, not that one)

Earlier today, Microsoft [announced their new tablet PC]( called the [Surface]( (not to be confused with the original [Microsoft Surface]( Andy Ihnatko has already posted a [solid writeup]( of the event:

>Still, I’m optimistic. I saw nothing in Monday’s event that made me suspicious or skeptical (he said, checking to make sure he’s already noted all of the details that Microsoft left out of the presentation).

>This reaction comes mostly from the fact that Microsoft seems to have built a tablet that works the way that I use my iPad. I most certainly do not use it as a content consumption device: I use it as an ultraportable PC. I walk around with a big external keyboard and I keep looking for apps that deliver the power of a desktop app.

It’s for a similar reason that bet I am going to see a lot of “technology savy” lawyers starting to sing the praises of this new tablet as **the** tablet to get instead of the iPad, especially if it allows for Microsoft Office document manipulation on the go.


Tumblr Launching a New iOS App Next Week

[Elyssa is pumped up about this](

Internet Technology

Readability ends its Payment System

Readability [announced today]( that it is doing away with its publisher payment collection system.

> “Reading behavior on the web is incredibly fragmented,” [Readability’s CEO] says, revealing that only 2,000 domains were enrolled in the program compared to “millions” that came through Readability’s servers. That led to $150,000 in unclaimed funds, money which the company is hoping it can give to intended recipients. Writers and other content providers who haven’t yet registered with Readability yet can do so anytime before July 15th if they’d like to collect reader fees their domain has earned, with all payments scheduled to be doled out by July 31st.

I liked the concept of Readability, but think its execution was flawed. Unfortunately, it seems the best way to support independent creators is to setup individual subscriptions that give them a few bucks a month.

*UPDATE: Marco Arment [breaks down]( why Readability failed.*


WWDC 2012

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off today with a keynote presentation that featured a number of major announcements. I was particularly interested in:

* **New Macbook Pro:** For years I have thought that my next computer would be a new desktop to replace my aging iMac. The release of this new Macbook Pro, however, has changed that. I am pretty sure that my next computer will be one of these paired with a Cinema Display. I think the combination of SSD drives and Thunderbolt will be able to handle any RAW files I throw at it.

* **Mountain Lion:** $20 to upgrade. As a friend of mine said “pretty soon they’ll be paying us to upgrade.” I’ll start with the one negative of Mountain Lion from my perspective: it won’t run on my black Macbook. I bought my Macbook a few months before the Macbook’s went to the unibody design. It looks like Apple decided it was time to end support for Intel’s fairly pathetic integrated graphics. I’ve managed to get an extra year or two of life out of my laptop because of a SSD replacement, so I really cannot complain. With that caveat out of the way, I am excited for Mountain Lion. The two main things I’m looking forward to are iCloud integration and dictation. I’ve been using iCloud, particularly with iA Writer on [Mac](*bqlTuiXSo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826& and [iPad](*bqlTuiXSo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&, and it seems to work even better than Dropbox for real time syncing of simple documents. I’m hoping that new iCloud features allow for a similar workflow with Pages documents. I’ve been wanting to try dictation for some time, but I haven’t wanted to pay the upfront cost for a Dragon product if I was not sure I would stick with it. I had been debating whether or not to pick up [Dragon Express](*bqlTuiXSo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826& as an alternative. I am now glad I waited, since next month I’ll have dictation built right into my operating system.

* **iOS 6:** iOS got some major updates. My fiancé was particularly excited that her new iPad will be getting Siri in the Fall. It’s not the same Siri that is currently on the 4S, either. It’s a new, improved Siri that includes improvements in areas likes sports stats and restaurant reservations. iOS 6 will also include a new Passbook application that is a storage place for all the frequent buyer cards, gift cards, travel tickets, etc…that we carry around. It has an API, so hopefully it develops a high level of ubiquity. Of course, the major feature upgrade in iOS 6 is the new Maps. iPhone will now include turn-by-turn navigation in their Maps application. Though [Motion X](*bqlTuiXSo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826& has treated me well the past year, I fully anticipate that the new Apps will mean I do not renew my subscription to Motion X’s turn-by-turn service next year.

Summaries of the event are available from: [David Pogue](, [Andy Ihnatko](, [TechHive](, and [Macworld](

Law Technology

APIs are not Copyrightable

The recent *Google v. Oracle* trial was watched closely by both software developers and copyright lawyers. Since I have have spent time in both of those worlds, I took a particularly keen interest on the proceedings. The first major decision made by the jury in the case was whether or not Google had infringed Oracle’s copyrights on the Java APIs, assuming that Oracle could in fact copyright such APIs. Though the jury found infringement by Google, the more important decision came from Judge Alsup a few days ago: APIs themselves are not copyrightable. A few weeks ago, the [Electronic Frontier Foundation]( put up an [excellent rundown of why APIs should not be copyrightable]( and Judge Alsup’s opinion agrees. Summaries of the ruling are available from both the [EFF]( and
[Tyler Ochoa, writing on Eric Goldman’s blog]( Mr. Ochoa’s summary on the merger doctrine is particularly strong:

> Second, if there is only one way to implement a particular idea, procedure, process, system, or method of operation, then the merger doctrine says that the expression necessary to implement that idea is also not copyrightable. Judge Alsup relied on this proposition to hold that the declarations (programming syntax) for a particular method MUST be identical in order to function in the same way. The only thing that can differ is the name; everything else is specified by the requirements of the Java programming language, which all parties agreed is not copyrightable.

The full text of the decision is [available via the EFF](


Instapaper for Android

As reported on [The Verge](, Marco Arment has [launched Instapaper for Android]( Of course, the highlight of the article is in the comments. My favorites:

> Marco says please take your complaints about price and SHOVE ‘EM because you weren’t buying the app anyway.

> whatever happened to copying everything and placing it in your notes?? ppl are lazy.

> These “iOS only” developers need to stop pretending that their products are the holy grail with their “if you dont like it, dont buy it” attitude. There are some of us who really want them to succeed (former Instapaper user on iOS), but have been really turned off by their trolling.

> This is gonna bust. Pocket works fine and is free. This isn’t even properly designed.


Permanently Unhide Your Library Folder on Mac OS X

A [great tip]( from Daniel Jalkut over at [Red Sweater Software]( I’ve done it on all of my computers.


The First Release from Bungie Aerospace

It was on June 30th of this year, that [Bungie announced its new Aerospace imprint]( Bungie Aerospace is a partnership effort between Bungie and mobile / social developers designed to allow independent mobile developers to utilize Bungie’s resource sources. Now, about 2 months after that announcement, [Bungie announced the first came from the imprint]( [Crimson: Steam Pirates]( The game runs on the iPad and promises:

>turn-based gameplay coupled with a “mystery” that, as mysteries are wont to do, needs uncovering, Crimson: Steam Pirates certainly has presentation in the bag.

Best of all? The game download is free and comes with the first 8 chapters of gameplay. The second group of eight chapters will cost $1.99.