Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Book Reviews: From political histories to bad comics, to bad comics of political histories. And the occasional rant about fiction and writing.

42 Astoundingly Useful Scripts and Automations for the Macintosh

Work faster and more reliably. Use Perl, Python, AppleScript, Swift, and Automator to automate the drudgery of computer use. Add actions to the services menu and the menu bar, and create drag-and-drop apps.

Use simple scripts and make your Macintosh play music, roll dice, and talk to you. Create ASCII art from your photos. There’s a script for all of that in my new book, 42 Astoundingly Useful Scripts and Automations for the Macintosh.

Apple censors Kama Sutra

Jerry Stratton, May 23, 2009

I have never seen an e-reader in real life I’d like to own. The Kindle looks clunky and the instructions for getting books onto it are even worse. For that matter, I just don’t see the point of adding yet another thing to my list of things to carry. The only e-book readers that look to be worth using have been in fiction. Until I saw the video of Eucalyptus in action.

I cannot buy Eucalyptus yet, however. I can’t buy it because someone at Apple searched the Gutenberg archives for Victorian-era sex, found the Kama Sutra, and rejected the e-reader because someone might choose to download and read the Kama Sutra.

Even after having it explained to them that the Kama Sutra is not part of the application (ignoring for the moment that it’s a classic work from the 1800s) and that anyone can already search for it and download it using Safari or any other app that searches the web, Eucalyptus was rejected again.

Are Apple’s app store reviewers really this dense? Or are they actively blocking an e-reader for some reason only they know? Reading some of the iTunes App Store rejections, it sometimes seems as if there are subversive elements within Apple trying to prove that all of our fears about the App Store are right. It’s never good to have only one legal place to buy.

May 24, 2009: Eucalyptus now available

It took a personal call from an Apple representative, but the “problem” with Eucalyptus being rejected has been solved; whether this will make any difference in the future, though, we’ll see.

For the moment, I’m very happy. The app looks as useful on my iPod Touch as it did in the video, and I have now queued up My Man Jeeves, Frankenstein, Erewhon Revisited, and Chrome Yellow for reading.

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