Our DNA is written in Objective-C

Podcast #45 – “Barcodes”

Oliver Drobnik talks about selling Linguan and why. Then why barcode scanning in iOS 7 is enough of a game changer to warrant writing a book and creating a web-based service.


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Aviation Authorities Allow PEDs On Plane

The safety of airplanes travelling is generally overseen by two major agencies: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The country where airplanes are registered – the so-called “tail number” –  decides which of these administrations’ rules you need to follow. There are many more, almost each state has their own, but these are the ones that everybody is copying the rules from.

The FAA being the oldest such agency announced on October 31, 2013 that they are going to relax the rules on the use of personal electronic devices. So it came as no surprise that the EASA essentially copied the recommendation and published their own press release on November 13, 2013.

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A Logo for Product Layer

Two of my friends and me have been working on an idea for a startup in our spare time. The idea for this came to me when I started to experiment with applications using barcode scanning and when I found that there is really no good API on the web that would allow me to get some basic product details for a scanned bar code.

Granted there are several data silos around and the 500 pound Amazonian gorilla, but the general problem remains. Generally those services only want you to use their product infos for helping to sell more products. My idea was that there should be a neutral service that lets you get product names and images for any kind of product and you should be free to do whatever you like with this data.

I was using the name PAPI (Product API) internally until Jonathan Libov suggested to me to paraphrase Mr. Foursquare himself, “the product layer for the internet”. This name immediately caught on with all people I told about it, it stuck. So I went with it and also reserved the name on Twitter as well as .com and .net domains.

The next step was to have some sort of cool logo. A project name is step one to make it “more real”, step 2 must be to have a logo that inspires us. This is the story of how I got a logo designed on 99 Designs.

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Linguan Acquisition Update

Earlier this year we announced that we are now looking for somebody to acquire our Mac app Linguan.

We had half a dozen interested parties inquire, but in general our initial price target of 10000 Euro was too steep for all. So my partners at BytePoets and I discussed this matter and we are now dropping the price.

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DTRichTextEditor 1.6.5

The update for DTRichTextEditor adds support for building for arm64 and fixes two bugs.

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Can you Smell the iBeacon?

iBeacons are one of the hot new topics introduced with iOS 7, though I have not seen any actual real life use case for it.

Last week I received my Developer Preview Kit from Estimote and also I have begun to research iBeacons for inclusion in the book I am currently working on. Here are my findings.

There are two words that you should know to understand the difference between the two modes of operation:

  • Monitoring – this refers to a low-power region-monitoring, you get didEnterRegion: and didExitRegion: delegate messages
  • Ranging – this means a higher-power activity where you get the signal strength from individual iBeacons and can estimate distance to them from this

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DTCoreText 1.6.9

This new version improves DTCoreText on many fronts. I wanted to get this out because quite a few improvements had amassed since 1.6.8.

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Radar: Accessibility-based Tools crash app running in iOS 7 Simulator

This bug in iOS Simulator is interesting because it is the first bug we found where a crash in a simulated iOS app can be triggered by having a Mac app using Accessibility running outside of the simulator. I filed it and am reporting on this here because I’ve gotten this as issue on my project now two times.

Submitted as rdar://15478255 and to OpenRadar.

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DTDownload 1.0.3

This is a maintenance update for DTDownload.

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Updating CocoaPods

CocoaPods is being under constant development, and as the zero as major version number suggests, it is still in unstable status. So you should only be mildly surprised if calling the pod command outputs that a newer version is available. Here are some tricks for updating.

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