➟ Apple isn’t going to get jerked around

Good piece from Kontra (counternotions.com) summarizing the empire Apple has managed to build over the last decade, and what developers angry at the App Store model will lose by walking away. And to where?

In order to become a better garden for developers, it’s not enough for other vendors to offer something that iPhone or iPad doesn’t. They have to match and better Apple’s current iPhone OS driven devices across all fronts. webOS had multitasking but no content. Nokia has market share but no direction or excitement. RIM caters to enterprise but not much else. Motorola still thinks it’s enough to manufacture handsets and leave everything else to ‘partners’ that turn around and stab you in the back.

➟ Uniqlo’s 88 Colors

Yet another beautiful Flash presentation from Uniqlo, this time in celebration of a new store in Shanghai. What is it? A grid of synchronized video thumbnails of girls wearing Uniqlo products, doing dance moves with their hands. Patterns emerge in waves and ripples. Music probably by Fantastic Plastic Machine once again. It works.


➟ Carcassonne coming to iPhone in May

This is great news for board game lovers. I enjoy Carcassonne far more than Settlers of Catan, which got a lackluster, multiplayer-less iPhone version last year. Both games are available for the Nintendo DS, where Carcassonne has a barebones, unattractive presentation, but Catan is quite alright. In fact, the iPhone port of Catan looked even better.
The screenshots released so far suggest that Carcassonne on the iPhone is also going to be an improvement, and one sold at a much lower price at that. Which really makes Nintendo’s tough talk sound like famous last words.


➟ The sad state of typography on the iPad

An article by Stephen Coles on fontfeed.com about Apple’s increasingly bizarre typographical choices, especially in the iPhone/iPad OS. Helvetica as a system font, Marker Felt for Notes, Verdana in iBooks (without Georgia), and that ebook reader’s plain awful justification scheme. I wasn’t aware of these flaws, and they’re seriously putting me in the wait-and-see category of someday iPad buyers.


➟ iPad magazines encounter resistance to newsstand pricing

Pop Sci users called the app “amazing,” but one self-professed “techie” wished it was “a little less flashy and a little more intuitive.” Some commented on [the] Men’s Health app that they saw potential in the format, but complained about the iPad version’s low resolution and scarcity of interactive ads.

Apart from that amazing nugget of information (people actually want ads that take up more space on their device?), this article shows PopSci and Time willing to take two different stands on pricing. PopSci would rather find ways to convince readers of their app’s $5 value, while Time stands by their price for now, and says lower subscription pricing may be coming.


Nantsuttei Ramen – PARCO Marina Bay, Singapore

We waited in line for about 20 minutes while the other restaurants were almost completely empty, ironic because Nantsuttei has probably the worst interior design of all the restaurants – its mix of corrugated iron panelling and red faux leather seats looks like an American trailer car diner gone wrong. At least you get the menu while you wait, and it’s full of funny illustrations and instructions on how you should go about slurping your Nantsuttei noodles (spoiler: pretty much the same as anywhere, apart from letting the pork soak for a spell. My advice: how about giving us some fattier meat?). I’ll just let the pictures tell you themselves.

The basic ramen I had for $12 was worth coming back for, even if it only had one slice of lean roast pork. The soup and signature layer of black “ma-yu” oil topped with spring onions work together well; it never crosses your mind to worry about garlic breath. Noodle density is comfortably in the middle of the scale, with the firm end represented by Ippudo’s wiry, crunchy strands, and the spongy end by the 2-minute instant variety I eat every other night. You get a fair amount of them too. $17 gets you all the trimmings: extra negi, pork, and vegetables, to which you might want to add another dollar for a runny “hot spring” egg.