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My Dream App For the Mac 249

Posted by Hemos
from the with-celebrity-judges-but-no-simon-cowell dept.
Steve Streza writes "My Dream App, a Mac contest in search of the next killer app, features Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, and Xbox and zune creator J. Allard as guest judges for its final round. Visitors can vote for their 3 favorite app ideas, and receive free licenses to both Overflow 2 and the Apple Design Award winning PhotoPresenter. Voting is open until Tuesday at 8:00 PM EDT, at which point the three winners will be announced. The winners, who will have emerged from an initial pool of more than 2,700 entrants, will see their app idea realized as a Mac shareware application and earn royalties on sales. "
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My Dream App For the Mac

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  • by bobalu (1921) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:41PM (#16548024)
    Sheesh, you call those choices? Give the people what they really want!
  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by darkchubs (814225) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:42PM (#16548032)
    exchange a trillion dollar software idea for a legal copy of those other trillion dollar apps? Do I at least get a bumper sticker?
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by i_should_be_working (720372) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:01PM (#16548310)
      Yes, and it says:

      I made Jobs (more) rich and all I got was a program and this lousy bumper sticker.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by UbuntuDupe (970646)
        Yeah, I don't understand the reward. Is it some kind of joke? The program is released as shareware, and you get the royalties? Royalties on ... zero revenues? That kinda reminds me of the joke, "If you're gonna work me like a slave, you're gonna pay me like a slave, goddamnit!"
        • by sYn pHrEAk (526867) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:33PM (#16548836) Homepage Journal
          I think you're confusing shareware with freeware.

          Shareware means there is a demo version that you're encouraged to share, but there is also a full version that you have to pay for.

          Freeware is just that: free (as in beer).
          • I understand, but the way it's written, it doesn't imply that. It doesn't phrase it, for example, as, "the idea will be realized as an app with a free demo version". It says the idea itself will be realized as a shareware application. That is, the realization will be in shareware. It will not, this implies, be realized in the "payware" version.

            See my (naive) confusion?
            • Shareware is an app with a free demo version.

              A lot of the really cool mac apps out there are shareware, and it's something fairly unique to that market, so someone new to macs or recently a mac user might not know the term. Windows does have a few (Nero?), but the vocabulary is less universal.
            • by Gilmoure (18428)
              Um...I've paid for shareware. If I really like something and it saves my ass or I end up using it at least once a week, it's worth paying for. I also donate to web comics I like. Just my way of trying to nudge the universe in ways that are beneficial to myself.
        • by Firehed (942385)
          Shareware isn't freeware (anymore), despite what the name implies. In general today, what's labeled as shareware really tends to be trialware or limited-functionality-demoware something to that effect. So there could very well be royalties, and a decent amount at that. I'd certainly pay a reasonable amount for the forum app, Hijack, that's on the ballot (and probably the syncing one too... but it's suffering the slashdot effect at the moment so I can't get more info).
          • by elrous0 (869638) *
            In the early-mid 90's, almost all "shareware" consisted of the full version of the program, with a short message that said something like "If you like this, please send $10 to..."

            Now "shareware" has been replaced with "trialware" and "demoware," where you either get a crippled version of the program or a time-limited version (often both). No more free rides (or even a chance to try out the full version before you buy).

            -Eric

    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by s20451 (410424) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:03PM (#16548346) Journal
      I hate to point out the obvious, but if you have a trillion dollar idea, why aren't you working on it right now? And if you're just sitting on such an idea because you're lazy, risk averse, or not a good enough programmer, you may as well give it to Steve Jobs. It's doing no good rattling around in your head.
      • Re:Hmmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

        by darkchubs (814225)
        "I hate to point out the obvious, but if you have a trillion dollar idea, why aren't you working on it right now? And if you're just sitting on such an idea because you're lazy, risk averse, or not a good enough programmer, you may as well give it to Steve Jobs. It's doing no good rattling around in your head." thats what bungee cord is for. That line of thought is beside the point :) don't you think they should have ... you know real incentives rather than some cheasy licenses. maybe .. you know I hear p
      • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

        by CokeBear (16811) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:32PM (#16548832) Journal
        I have to agree here. I have lots of great ideas, but no programming skillz.

        Any young Woz types around here? I'll be the Jobs to your Woz. (but without all the yelling, I promise)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BoberFett (127537)
        Are you kidding? That's what software patents are for. You can be lazy, frightened, and a terrible programmer and still make millions!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044)
      I just looked the killer apps. None of them look like trillion or even million dollar ideas to me.
      At best they are cute widgets or small desktop apps.
      I mean weather on your desktop and the ultimate cookbook?
      The comment is funny but this contest looks like it might be a bit of fun. Let's face it ideas are cheap.
    • by soft_guy (534437)
      exchange a trillion dollar software idea for a legal copy of those other trillion dollar apps?

      The ideas I read on the site seem more like 50 cent ideas. And I don't mean the rapper.
  • by darkchubs (814225) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:45PM (#16548084)
    Im willing to offer up licensed copies of Linux. IF you can provide me with the next killer app.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A shareware nag-screen remover?
  • by x-vere (956928) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:50PM (#16548162) Homepage
    It seems to me that more and more companies are running dry in the innovation department. I think its a combination of a few things. 1) Companies aren't listening to what consumers want. 2) Their creative talent is aging and young blood is harder to keep. 3) They're skimping on R&D money. Much lack of innovation might clear up by solving one of the three problems. I find it pretty pathetic that a company has to say to its customers, "We got nothin'. If you help us we'll give you royalties." However, at the same time. It would be fun to participate and at least there is a real payoff for the participants who win, so it isn't all bad.
    • You're missing the point of competitions of this kind. They are not a way for companies to get rich by getting lot of ideas to choose from. Ideas aren't really valuable, and surely any large company have enough of ideas amongst the employees.

      The point of this kind of competitions is usually to create awareness. Basically they could spend x million dollars on a TV advertising campaign, or they could spend the same money on a competition like this. And it will spread by word of mouth. I'd bet getting front pa
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      "If you help us we'll give you royalties."

      That way, at least you get royalties. It's not unusual for companies to give employees a one-time bonus when they invent something, and that's it.
  • Here's his review of the virtual plant idea from the article-

    -Steve Wozniak (Apple) - Finals:
    -This would only be remotely entertaining if the plant was marijuana or opium and when you did -certain things like actually work, you killed your crop. Maybe you could make virtual cash and -compete online for the best cash crop. In order to grow the weed and heroin you have to browse -certain web sites that would require you be smoking weed to start with; like the Microsoft.com -Vista developer site.

    I know he's ne
    • by monoqlith (610041)
      Are you angry because he's making fun of potheads and junkies or because he's making fun of Vista?

      If it's the latter, then newsflash: Apple engineers dislike Microsoft.

      If it's the former, newsflash: Woz probably knows from experience.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by geoffeg (15786)
      It's a joke, he was joking. Woz has always been a sarcastic joker.

      BTW, he didn't "invent" the Mac.
      • Actually, in iWoz he claims he "invented" the personal computer. You don't even have to read the book, that's in the title, actually. It would probably be more accurate to say he "designed" the Apple series that pre-dated the MAC, but why quibble. (Oh wait, right, this is slashdot.)

        I have a lot of respect for Steve Wozniak. I don't begrudge the guy a joke or two, but when you are writing up a review for publication, heroin-cultivation seems a bit beyond the pale, even if you want to just let the pot iss
        • by Dun Malg (230075)

          I have a lot of respect for Steve Wozniak. I don't begrudge the guy a joke or two, but when you are writing up a review for publication, heroin-cultivation seems a bit beyond the pale, even if you want to just let the pot issue slide on the assumption he's from a different era. Not my intent to rally the pitch-fork wielding villagers to burn him out of his castle, just pointing out something from the article that made me pause.

          Not to hijack the thread into a drug war debate, but I'm not sure why you vilify

        • ... that pre-dated the MAC, but why quibble. (Oh wait, right, this is slashdot.)

          Yup. And you loose a ton of points for writing "MAC".
          • by 808140 (808140)
            I guess you gain some by writing "loose", too. How about virii? Man, I never get tired of that.
    • by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:17PM (#16548560) Homepage
      know he's never been the CEO type, but for the inventor of the MAC and a former teacher, I thought this was a bit crass. I wouldn't want to publish an app with someone who thought this was an appropriate public pronouncement.
      Sorry, I don't see the crassness. Someone suggests a good app might be a "virtual plant" and, while other judges patronizingly say "Mac users would love this", he points out that a virtual plant is just plain stupid on its face. Seriously, it's a damn productivity meter that "rewards" you for being a good little worker bee by looking like a healthy plant! THe idea is that it'd encourage the slothful to work harder, but in reality only the already productive will keep the thing around, and the slothful (like me) will delete it after getting tired of looking at a dying plant reminding us that we're lazy. I think Steve was just being blunt and offering amusing ways in which such a concept might actually be appealing.

      A virtual plant? That's about as pointless as a virtual bicycle.

      (Also, it's "Mac" not "MAC", and Woz didn't create it, he created the original Apple/Apple II systems-- singlehandedly)
      • by krell (896769)
        Thanks for setting the record straight. I had thought he invented the Internet too.
      • by Speare (84249) on Monday October 23, 2006 @03:08PM (#16550078) Homepage Journal

        It's kinda sad, actually.

        Two months before I heard of this, I thought it would be cute to make an iBonsai program. Screensaver-simple, as one of these judges said. A bonsai tree with a variable time scale, from 1x to 20x. Lets you snip twigs or pinch buds to control the overall growth direction, replace the pot when it get large enough, watch it grow under different seasons, and that's about it. There are dozens of tree varieties that work well in bonsai, but it's a bit fussier than practical for those of us who don't have a green thumb or the proper humid environment.

        Killer app, NO WAY. $5 shareware cute product, for some people, yes. Less manic than a Tamagotchi, but the same basic idea.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      One of the great things about being the Woz is that you don't have to give a shit what anyone thinks of you.

      -Eric

  • Killer app? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:54PM (#16548236)
    Maybe if they have a contest for a 'killer app', one of the choices should actually BE a 'killer app'.

    The only ones that come close to useful is file sync and the music maker. And they're far from 'killer app' status. Nobody is going to convert from PC to Mac because it has some sync software or music, especially when other software already exists for that platform and others.

    The others are all in the 'ooh eyecandy' category.
    • Here, here! The guy that made the whistler app also frequents one of the same forums as I [ableton.com], and he went around there trying to drum up support for his idea a few weeks ago. I ended up voting for the flower-desktop thinger instead, but even then, I felt that none of these ideas were certainly worthy of the press and attention that the site has gathered thus far.

      And honestly, how many more glorified recipe book apps does the world need?
    • I'm seriously considering a Mac as my next computer, partially because of GarageBand. There's nothing for Windows that comes close for the same price. It's hardly the only reason I'm interested, but it's certainly one of them. Every little thing pushes me closer to that tipping point where I would finally decide to go for a Mac.
      • by kisrael (134664)
        Get a cheap older ibook on Ebay.
        3G was great, ran very much cooler than the stuff that came later.
    • Of those, I think the cookbook program is the best app for the Apple's target market - people that want a home computer that has everything they need at home, to do things in their free time, but also to do things around the house.

      The Windows cookbook program I use (Living Cookbook) is ok, but it has some problems that would make me jump ship if there was a good alternative:
      1. It abstracts what I enter in a recipe to an item database (which is good for calculating nutrition from ingredients), but then puts
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``Maybe if they have a contest for a 'killer app', one of the choices should actually BE a 'killer app'.''

      You mean like porting Reiser4 to Mac OS X? ;-)

      That might actually get it adpoted quicker than trying to get it into Linux. :-(
  • "will see their app idea realized as a Mac shareware application and earn royalties on sales."

    I didn't even have to RTFA to spot that.

    They're getting more than a free T-Shirt, they're getting published. This is basically just making executive decisions through publicized contests instead of closed-door boardroom sessions.
  • ...then this might be a pretty good idea. For every NicoMac Computing (creators of WinZip) there are a dozen Cott Langs (Renegade BBS), Front Doors, and other shareware creators that never saw real money despite the widespread use of their shareware. Yes, Apple is making money on these people, but these people are making money from an opportunity that they very well might not otherwise have.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mios (715734)
      How exactly is Apple making money on this?

      Except for the fact that these applications are Mac applications, and are therefore run on Apple hardware, as far as I know Apple has absolutely nothing to do with this.

  • ...automatically spits out a post to my vaingloriously entitled blog [slashdot.org] every time I do something Windows-related on my Apple computer. Oh snap! Oh no he dih-int! ;-)
  • by Illserve (56215) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:16PM (#16548540)
    The Finder needs some work; specifically, the inability to refresh and find a file that I *KNOW* makes me want to chuck it out a window.

    There are other problems too, it seems to hang sometimes, and it's very difficult to figure out the key combo that lets me empty the trash of files that are orphan-locked.

    Also, the finder can get into a state where the highlighted shortcut in the left panel doesn't correspond to the directory being displayed in the right panel. This should never happen.

    But gimme a goddamned refresh button before you do anything else.
    • by krell (896769)
      OT: question about Finder. I don't use it, but am curious if you can "pause" searches. In Windows, anyway, the searches can take hours and dog down the system to terrible slowness. If you want to do something else at decent speed, you have to kill the search (often with task manager) and start it over. No pause.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by NMerriam (15122)

        OT: question about Finder. I don't use it, but am curious if you can "pause" searches. In Windows, anyway, the searches can take hours and dog down the system to terrible slowness. If you want to do something else at decent speed, you have to kill the search (often with task manager) and start it over. No pause.

        There are command-line controls for Spotlight indexing, if that's what you're talking about. But once the initial index is done (and that usually doesn't slow down a system noticeably), you'll neve

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by booch (4157)
          To put it in UNIX terms, Mac's Spotlight is like the 'locate' command, whereas Windows Search is like the 'find' command.
      • Finder doesn't need a pause button. The system builds an index of your files and then reads from that index.

        When you start your computer for the first time, it takes a bit of time to build the index. After that it updates it on the fly, but there is essentially no CPU overhead - think about how long it takes to "Save as" a file and how long it takes to read that filename and add it to an index. The longest search I've done took about 5 seconds to complete and included the file I was looking for and the
        • by krell (896769)
          "It indexes emails, calendar entries and other things. It is so much better than Windows search that there is, literally, no comparison"

          It sure sounds like it. The search with Windows 95 (yes, that old) wasn't so bad, but they made it much harder to use for the XP versions. Not only that, it crashes a lot. I've seen it do this on a wide variety of machines. It's pretty slow to start, too: like someone programmed a 20-second pause just so you can be impressed with how that damn orange puppy flaps its ears
    • You mean like this? [cocoatech.com]
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by generic-man (33649)
        Dear God, not like that [cocoatech.com]. I have a 1024x768 display and I don't want to devote all of it to a file browser. The last time I used an environment like that it was called DOSSHELL.EXE.

        I just want to hit CMD+R and see a Finder window refresh. Windows has supported a "refresh" shortcut in Windows Explorer (F5) for many years. I don't expect to install a gigantic piece of $35 shareware to get such a simple feature, but that seems to be the norm on Mac OS X these days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Phroggy (441) *
      The Finder needs some work; specifically, the inability to refresh and find a file that I *KNOW* makes me want to chuck it out a window.

      If a Finder window needs to be refreshed, it's a bug. Actually, come to think of it, that might not be true when working on a network file server, but for local files, the Finder should always be displaying current information. When working on a file server, things can change on the server that the client isn't aware of, so yeah, some sort of refresh option would be good.
  • I think it's cool that big companies are trying to ape the Open Source model, (to a limited degree), as it speaks volumes about the power of the sharing approach.

    Not that making good software is really the intent here. It seems to me that at least half the push in Apple's case is a public relations scheme to form that feeling of community and sharing and hugs which their ad department has determined is the most effective approach to long term profits. This month, anyway. If it were believed that long ter
    • by abigor (540274)
      These applications under consideration have to be the lamest collection I've ever seen. A productivity-measuring plant? A recipe and shopping list planner? Yeah, keep the "dream" alive.
  • Project DreamApp (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CmdrPorno (115048) *
    I can see the voiceover now:

    This is the search for the next killer app...

    16 contestants. The best of them will get to show a collection of apps at MacWorld Expo, and the winner will receive $100,000 to start their own line of software and a new VW Rabbit with iPod connectivity.


    Steve Jobs, Guy Kawasaki, and Steve Wozniak will judge the contestants' performance each week in a series of challenges. Each week, there will be one winner and one loser (who gets to go home), because in the world of software des
  • Currently only a couple of entries' descriptions even come up; the others get MySQL "too many connections" errors. Guess which ones are going to get the most votes?

    If you put up a voting site and want it to be fair, make sure your services can handle the load!

  • man i love my ipod, now if they only made a mac version of itunes, i'd switch to mac. Its really the only thing keeping me. the hardware support on mac is almost as bad as linux.
    • I'm sorry. I just don't get it. I hope that's a joke, because iTunes started out on the Mac. And you can run the Windows version of iTunes via WINE or Crossover on Linux, can't you? Also, Mac support is fine for external peripherals (unless they need legacy ports or something), and most Macs don't have internal upgrade spots anyways.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by salzbrot (314893)
      Yeah, man. And I am stuck on linux because I really need to run Word and there is no WINE for windows yet. Dang it!
  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:49PM (#16549088) Journal
    Atmosphere
    Put the weather on your desktop.A virtual window to the outdoors for your desktop. View a virtual representation of your area's weather when too busy to go outside.

    Too bust to go outside? WTF? Look out the window you lazy sow! NOT a killer app - more of a stupid idea, along the lines of Segway [segwayofusa.com]

    Blossom
    A virtual plant that responds to productivity, not sunlight and water. Had a good session in Excel? Your plant will thrive. Play too much Warcraft? Expect some withering.

    Suck great steaming tourdes out of the boss's ass? Instant rainforest. Write 3000 lines of code? A garden of flowers? But what if all the code is crap? Does Blossom do QA? A REALLY bad idea, and impossible to properly implement. Blossom is fascism with a happy face - "here come the suede denim secret police! ... California! Uber Alles!"

    Whistler
    Music creation has never been this easy or fun. Ever had the urge to create a song until you realized it was harder than it was worth? With Whistler, just whistle, hum, or tap out your creation into music app importable form.

    Now THIS is a cool thing - a REAL application that empowers people to do something they never could before. Albeit, if you're a tone deaf couch potato with no sense of rhythm, you will have a somewhat tougher time. But basically, this idea has actual use value compared to the previous ideas.

    Cookbook
    The ultimate cookbook application, with online grocery shopping, thousands of recipes, Leopard voiceover technology integration, shopping list sharing, and more.

    This is a sort-of-cool idea. I don't think it has quite the scope and brilliant of Whistler, but this is something I could actually almost use... IF I were stupid enough to put a computer in the kitchen... DOH!

    Portal
    File syncing from the future. Sync folders and documents between Macs effortlessly and watch transfer progress through a cool, highly visual wormhole user interface.

    If I needed to sync a bunch of macs together, I guess this would be useful. However, most Mac owners I know have ONE (perhaps 2) macs. Heck - I have two. But I also have three or four PCs floating around chez Spoilsport. If it could co-ordinate them too, then I'd be impressed... as it is, this comes under "A Really Good Idea" but not "Killer App".

    so, I would rank them as follows:

    1. Whistler - good stuff! A - A-
    2. Portal - not bad - useful! B+
    3. Cookbook - Pretty good, as soon as I get the olive oil cleaned out of my powerbook. B-
    4. Atmosphere - stupid idea with marginal use for quadraplegics who wonder what they're missing. C
    5. Blossom - an actively Bad Idea. F

    RS

    • by jfengel (409917)
      I have a hard time thinking of Whistler as a killer app, since it would be better tightly integrated to Garage Band. For me Garage Band is the killer app; it takes something I'd like to do (make music) but don't really have the technical skills for.
    • Atmosphere:
      Agreed. It's quite silly. Although what _would_ be cool is a service that lets you "subscribe" your desktop to a website where nice wallpapers are downloaded automatically and rotated through for you (changing ever so gradually, or while the screensaver is up). You could subscribe to different channels relevant to your interests. (Puppies, Women of the UN Security Council, Starscapes, Unobtrusive floral patterns, etc.) One of them could be: TA DA -- TORNADOS OF THE MIDWEST. Almost the same thing.
    • Mr. Spoilsport says:
      Blossom
      A virtual plant that responds to productivity, not sunlight and water. Had a good session in Excel? Your plant will thrive. Play too much Warcraft? Expect some withering.


      Read, post or moderate on Slashdot? Expect a gallon of virtual Roundup [monsanto.com] to be dumped on your soon-to-be deceased little vegetable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by superflippy (442879)
      You left off the one app of the bunch that I thought was really useful: Hijack.
      Hijack is a full-featured Message Board app. Most people visit myriad message boards spread all over the internet. This will be the a forum user's answer to RSS.

      I am one of those people who regularly participate in several different message boards. It would be awesome to have a better way to keep up with them all, especially for forums that move very fast (I make a post at 5 PM and by 9 AM the next day it's on the 4th page) or sl
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Khomar (529552)

      Cookbook
      The ultimate cookbook application, with online grocery shopping, thousands of recipes, Leopard voiceover technology integration, shopping list sharing, and more.

      This is a sort-of-cool idea. I don't think it has quite the scope and brilliant of Whistler, but this is something I could actually almost use... IF I were stupid enough to put a computer in the kitchen... DOH!

      That was my first thought as well until I saw the following in the writeup:

      Then, to cook with the ingredients, Cookbook's ass

  • I love how it's all guys, except for one girl on the main list.

    and that one girls's idea?

    Virtual Closet. Grats.
  • The winners, who will have emerged from an initial pool of more than 2,700 entrants, will see their app idea realized as a Mac shareware application and earn royalties on sales.


    Which is to say, they'll get royalties on one copy sold, and several million pirated.
  • Most of the boring stuff we do these days is categorising or filing information. We're basically spending much of our time providing information about information, that's where the next killer application is going to be.

    Automatically transforming information from one form to another and categorising it with some sort of tagging file system. It would be handy to have various types of fuzzy classifiers to automate it all.

  • The winners, who will have emerged from an initial pool of more than 2,700 entrants, will see their app idea realized as a Mac shareware application and earn royalties on sales. "

    Why do I suspect that Apple will calculate those royalties using the same generous provisions favored by the music industry giants that are their partners in iTunes?

    Why, the lucky contest winner could wind up owing Apple only a few tens of thousands of dollars!
  • How about MythTV... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by psicat (237781)
    The total MythTV suite (back+front) or a FrontRow with PVR features. Windows MCE is just kicking Mac ass on this one. I wish Apple would hurry up... and please don't talk to me about EyeTV.
  • I seriously wish someone would do something like this for linux.. or offer some "idea bank."

    I know plenty of programmers who are looking for decent ideas who just , through the harshness of their day jobs, don't have much time or desire to go home and repeat the process of spec design /etc.
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``I know plenty of programmers who are looking for decent ideas who just , through the harshness of their day jobs, don't have much time or desire to go home and repeat the process of spec design /etc.''

      And I know plenty of people who come up with really brilliant ideas for what these programmers could do, like implementing a driver for some piece of hardware, writing some really great game for GNU/Linux, or getting some Windows app to run under Wine.

      Seriously, the problem _can't_ be that there's a lack of
  • I've come to the conclusion that the next killer app doesn't really exist. Or that it does but it isn't imaginable with the current level of technology. A killer app by definition has to be of high value to a large number of users and past examples include DTP programs, spreadsheets, and perhaps 3D F.P.S. games. All of those things opened doors to new ways of doing tasks (or playing games) that were seen as being revolutionary - and they were. The last application I knew that felt like a killer app was Soun
  • The losers... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mypalmike (454265) on Monday October 23, 2006 @02:48PM (#16549832) Homepage
    The winners ... will see their app idea realized as a Mac shareware application and earn royalties on sales.

    The losers will see their app idea realized as a Mac shareware application, minus the whole royalty thing.
    • by Shados (741919)
      Considering this is slashdot, I'm amazed you didn't say something like "the losers will see their app idea realized as Windows sharedware applications"
  • Condemn copycats? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rob_Warwick (789939) <warwick@@@applefritter...com> on Monday October 23, 2006 @03:19PM (#16550256) Homepage Journal
    This paragraph out of their FAQ annoys me:

    Okay, maybe you guys aren't going to steal my idea, but what about other people? If I'm a finalist and my idea is online for everyone to see, couldn't anybody potentially steal it?

    Technically, yes. Unscrupulous developers could do just that. But if it comes to our attention that someone is pilfering ideas from our contestants, then we will do everything in our power to publicize and condemn their actions. And if any copycat apps do surface on the open market, we have faith that the Mac community will do the right thing and not subsidize plagiarism.

    Ultimately, we cannot offer any guarantees about the security of your ideas, but it's a chance that we are willing to take. Remember, we have just as much to lose as you do.

    As it's been said, only a couple of the finalists are horribly innovative applications. Do they actually propose to try and publically shame the next guy who comes out with a cookbook app?

    (Yes, for the record, I am playing around with an implementation for someline like one of the apps on the list. It's far from the same application they're proposing, but it's similar enough in overall theme that they might try to 'condemn my actions' and claim copycat. I think I've got a decent app in development, but it puts a damper on it knowing that if it gets popular enough I'm going to have these folks screaming 'he stole the idea'.)

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:50PM (#16551670)
    Let's see now. You need to make a piece of software which will allow people to do what they want to do. So let's list it all. . .

    People want to write. So we have word-processors. Check.
    People want to make pictures, both moving and static. So we have graphics manipulators.
    People want to make sounds and music. We have software to serve in this capacity.
    People want to do complex maths and book-keeping. Done.
    People want to amuse themselves. Games. Done.
    People want to communicate. Again, done. We call it the 'internet'
    People want to spend money. Yup. Done that.
    And people want the construction software to be able to program all of the above. Done, done, done!

    So what's left?

    People also want to eat, sleep, transport themselves and have sex.

    Well, until you can make a food replicator, the eating thing is probably not going to see a revolution any time soon through computers. Sleep is pretty much automatic, (thank-goodness!), I guess there's aviation and transport technologies software already, so that's another done thing, (though GPS was sort of cool). --And I guess you could arguably say that sex has been amply covered by the net already.

    So what's left? What need is this new killer app going to fill?

    I suppose you could do one of the above things better, more integrated, with prettier colors. The iPod was a good example of re-packaging existing technology. Yay for Jobs.

    And realistically, re-packaging existing ideas is all that's left, (until a genius comes along and shows us all wrong, of course.)

    Google was one of those. --They gave us a way to effectively search through all the mountains of stuff generated by all the people scurrying to fill all the nooks and crannies created by the main list of things we wanted computers to do.

    So what haven't we done yet?

    What do we want to do?

    AI is a big one. It's not here yet. (Thank goodness!)
    Mind-reading hardware and software. There could be a future in that, but it's a bit far off, and again, thank-goodness for that!

    Thinking more realistically, Video on Demand in whatever form it eventually takes will probably be big. YouTube offered us a glimpse of that, but it wasn't exactly an app. Maybe Apple or somebody will rig a system where all the currents of money and data flow according to the approval of the power-brokers of the media and hardware universe. That's clearly in the works right now.

    But really. . . What's left? What do you really wish your computer could do that it can't do already?

    Maybe it's like the typewriter. It's done. Anybody can now type. Maybe what it comes down to is people focusing less on the tools themselves and more on their getting down to the hard work of actually using them.

    Just a thought.


    -FL

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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