I’ve just subscribed to a video podcast of TED Talks and have started downloading 37 of the videos. Looks like I won’t be bored anytime soon (as if there were any risk of that). It would be nice if I had time to read a book in increments of more than 15 minutes at a time.

Many people are predicting that Apple will announce a tablet-style computer this January. Most of those same people have been predicting a mac tablet for years, but this time I’ll join them.Most tablet PCs have been too bulky, trying to do too much in hardware. With the flip-around screens and built-in keyboards they tried to do everything a laptop could do because the windows OS required a real keyboard and mouse. If you’ve used an iPhone you know that you can do just about everything with a couple of fingers. If you need more of an interface there’s no reason a keyboard and mouse couldn’t be connected via bluetooth or a simple dock.Here’s what makes me think that Apple is going to announce their tablet soon:CoverFlow: Apple’s method of graphically “flipping” through a collection of albums covers (or folders and icons in the just released Leopard) would be the perfect interface for a touch-based computer. The iPhone and iPod Touch both sport it and with coverflow built into the Mac OS X Finder a general purpose computer can be navigated with a finger (or two).iPhone and iPod Touch: These are already basically mini-tablets. Just increase the screen size, CPU and RAM and you’ve got a great email/web/music/movies/drawing/video-chat/skype device that would be right at home in the kitchen, living room, or briefcase.

Related to my previous post defending Apple and their handling of Java on Mac OS X, Apple has just released tech note 2196 which includes all sorts of goodies for Java developers on the Mac. This document includes settings that let java programs look and feel more like native Mac applications. Because these settings are implemented as client properties, applications that use them can remain completely cross platform while gaining certain behaviors or visual effects on Mac OS that had previously been impossible for java applications.Here’s a screenshot that shows a java app (moneydance) with the unified toolbar, file proxy in the window title. The window below can also be dragged by clicking on the gray background, just like a native app.

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Between the new Java UI properties and XCode 3 I couldn’t be happier about using the Mac as a development platform.

There was recently an article on javalobby.org complaining about Apple’s support of Java on the mac. This article was uninformed, angry and just plain wrong on most counts. The article and most of the responses really make java programmers look like a bunch of jerks. So much so that it made me seriously consider (again) switching from Java to a purely Objective-C environment whenever I have a choice.I had started writing a long and detailed post about my thoughts on the matter but came across Adrian Sutton’s and realized that he expressed the exact same sentiment, only more succinctly. My favorite part:

stop whining and start coding