I love Netflix and use it constantly, both for physical discs and for streaming over the network to my ps3 and xbox360. Consequently I’ve rated a lot of movies on Netflix, 983 to be exact. Netflix isn’t perfect though, and one thing about them that really annoys me is that they still seem to think the walled garden approach to content on the web is the way to go. The simplest evidence of this is how they keep the ratings you apply to movies locked up inside their site – there’s no mechanism to get them out. I’ve started using tools like Fandango on my iphone, and I wanted those ratings available to me so I could start porting them over. Enter the super useful Firefox extension Greasemonkey, and this script by the user Maarten over on userscripts.org. A few minutes after getting this running I had all my Netflix movie ratings in a text file on my local machine. Great, great stuff and super easy to get running.
Another reason to love my iphone: a remake of the classic old Commodore 64 rpg-lite, Sword of Fargoal, by the original developers. Info on the new iphone version can be had over on toucharcade, there’s a decent write-up on the original here on wikipedia, and I’ve mentioned it at least once before here when a pc version was released. I picked this up when it came out several weeks ago for $5, and it’s on sale now for only $1.99. Definitely worth grabbing if you played the original and have fond memories of it, and also worth a look if you enjoy the genre. The remake adds graphical polish, item and monster enhancements, and user interface changes to make it work well on the phone.
I agree with the sentiments over on osnews.com, where there’s a brief discussion of Apple‘s refusal to allow Opera to appear in the Apple Apps store because it ‘competes’ with one of their products. This is hardly the first example of Apple doing this and using this justification. This is counter to Apple’s interests in my opinion, and seems to demonstrate a refusal to learn the lessons of the past. One of the absolutely fantastic things about the iphone/ipod touch is the breadth of application availability – finally, cell phones are starting to feel like the little handheld computers they are. Don’t presume to decide for me what software I want to run on it, that’s what the cell phone carriers have been doing for over a decade. If I want to run some other browser, LET ME. Compete on the basis of merits, not by exercising your monopoly power on the platform. Google‘s Android platform is out, the source is open, and hopefully they’ll force Apple’s hand on this issue. If not, maybe my next phone will be an Android phone, not an Apple one…or maybe I’ll jailbreak an iphone.
[update] Turns out this story has been widely misreported – note this piece over on daringfireball.net revealing that Apple has not in fact denied Opera. I believe the gist of my post above remains true though – Apple is denying software access to their platform and doing so is not in their interests.