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Aug 07 2013

The Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome

If you’re one of those privileged people who has an iPad, and if you’re also one of those quality people who appreciates the brilliant Robin Ince, take a look at the The Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

Now you might be wondering what it is. I’ve got it, and I still am. It’s one of those thingumabobs that fits words like “eclectic” and “ooooh” and “oh, what a colossal time sink”. It’s a…well, it’s a…OK, it’s a miscellany of enthusiastic science presentations.

It’s also kind of like a good science programming channel (you know how those have vanished from cable) with Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humour. If that helps. Download it yourself and try it and explain it to me.

They keep stuffing things in there, and you open it up and tap on something and there’s Brian Cox telling you how wonderful the universe is, or Steve Jones talking about Alfred Russel Wallace, or…ooh, an appreciation of Jacob Bronowski. I didn’t see that last time I browsed it. Excuse me, I have to vanish for a little while.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Sounds interesting. What is it about “OS/platform-agnostic” that content creators don’t get?

  2. 2
    jste

    What is it about “OS/platform-agnostic” that content creators don’t get?

    Just off the top of my head:
    * This brilliant idea might be a bust, lets try one platform and test the waters
    * Android? There’s thousands of different screens and devices! We can’t test them all! (It’s a stupid argument, I know, but developers make it anyway)

    Or, from the app’s FAQ:

    Is there an Android or iPhone version?
    Not currently, sorry. We hope to release the App on as many platforms as possible in the future however as TIMOTCG is a self financed project please appreciate this will take a little time.</blockquote

  3. 3
    Rip Steakface

    * This brilliant idea might be a bust, lets try one platform and test the waters

    Then it would be far smarter to release it on Android, since it has an almost 80% market share on smartphone operating systems. That argument, then, is bust. Obviously the second one you thought of is a stupid argument.

    Is there an Android or iPhone version?
    Not currently, sorry. We hope to release the App on as many platforms as possible in the future however as TIMOTCG is a self financed project please appreciate this will take a little time.

    Okay, that’s fine – I suppose it makes sense if the developer is most familiar with developing for iPad as opposed to iPhone or Android. But they’re severely limiting their potential audience by only releasing on a single platform that not nearly as many people have as even iPhone.

  4. 4
    Rip Steakface

    @4

    …wut?

  5. 5
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    What is it about “OS/platform-agnostic” that content creators don’t get?

    Depending on the project and language, it entails addressing all the targeted platforms’ idiosyncrasies to either “make them all run the app identically” or “make the app behave inconsistently, to look native on each platform”.
     
    If you code for one platform, especially the one you happen to be on personally as you write/debug, it will behave in the wild just as it did in development. Because the environment is relatively consistent.
    Of course even then, there are also alternate versions and architectures of the same OS to deal with.
     
    The same applies to libraries. With more platforms involved, the pool of viable libraries shrinks to those that managed not be incompatible with them all. Sometimes it’s hardware constraints, sometimes it’s differences between API dialects, sometimes it’s flavors of unicode (or none), sometimes a platform only has access to an old/incomplete version of a given dependency, etc.

  6. 6
    =8)-DX

    If you’re one of those privileged people who has an iPad

    *grumble* Old, white, cis, hetero, male, able-bodied, iPrivilege.. *grumble*

  7. 7
    Maureen Brian

    Rip Steakface @ 3,

    Are you taking into account the differential demographics for the people who own iPads and the android owners? Or are you just using crude numbers?

  8. 8
    jste

    Okay, that’s fine – I suppose it makes sense if the developer is most familiar with developing for iPad as opposed to iPhone or Android. But they’re severely limiting their potential audience by only releasing on a single platform that not nearly as many people have as even iPhone.

    There’s more to it than just market share. You have a particular experience you want to deliver, and have a budget, time frame and specific skillset with which to do it in. Do you sacrifice the quality of that experience for market share? Or do you set out to deliver your vision?

  9. 9
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Aw, I can’t wait for an android version! Hope they do one :)

    Also, PZ, I am becoming increasingly bored of spamming douchewads like annabright ^. Can nothing be done about these people? It’s always the same two messages, so I assume all the accounts putting the messages out are sockpuppets. Can’t you just ban their IP address?

  10. 10
    PZ Myers

    Multiple IPs. Notice that they also vary the url they suggest you visit; I’m blocking those as they come up, but it’s a new one every day.

    I’m up by 6am every morning, and the first thing I do is spend an hour cleaning up the spam. I assure you, I do everything I can to preemptively and automatically block them.

  11. 11
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Ah, the clever bastards. :-/ Thanks for your efforts PZ, that sounds incredibly tiring.

  12. 12
    James

    This sounds a bit like snippets from “The Infinite Monkey Cage” with pictures… ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/timc )
    which you can download for your Android phone (since it’s available as a podcast).

  13. 13
    apedant

    This sounds a bit like snippets from “The Infinite Monkey Cage” with pictures… ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/timc )

    And released from the editorial constraints of a 1/2 hour show in the late afternoon on the BBC – not just language, but time must be a huge one – one gets the feeling that some of the broadcasts have to be edited down from hours-long chats.

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