All the books! 50% off!

AsiOS_Games_1stEd part of O’Reilly’s “Back to School” promotion, all their ebooks and training videos are currently 50% off. This includes the books written by myself, Jon Manning, and Tim Nugent!

Grab a great discount on Learning Cocoa with Objective-C 4th Editionand our iOS Game Development Cookbook 1st Edition, as well as all of O’Reilly’s other fantastic books. Use the code B2S4 – it’s valid through to September 8, 2014.Learning_Cocoa_4thEd

It’s a great time to pickup these books – while Apple’s Swift and iOS 8 are around the corner, an understanding of Cocoa and Objective-C are still hugely relevant and necessary for iOS and Mac programmers, and the recipes in the game cookbook useful for everything from games to regular apps. Both these books have almost nothing but 4- and 5-star reviews of Amazon (visit them on Amazon, or just grab the sample code via the links on Secret Lab’s books page!)


/dev/world/2014One of my favourite conferences ever, /dev/world/2014, is running for the 7th time this year. Once again it’s in Melbourne, and once again I’m speaking!

Secret Lab would not exist without the support we received through attending past AUC events, such as /dev/world. I could not recommend it more highly for those in the iOS or Mac development community, or interested in iOS or Mac development.

Check it out at – tickets are available now!

Virgin Australia IFE UX


I do the majority of my flying on Virgin Australia. I tried out the latest iteration of their tablet-based IFE this week – Samsung tablets connected to onboard wireless that serves content.

I was impressed to find that the only way to change the brightness on this otherwise OK IFE experience (well, it’s Android, and it crashes a lot, but it mostly does the job) was to shine my iPhone’s flash at the ambient light sensor on the top of the Samsung tablet. Otherwise, the tablet defaulted to a very dim screen, and since they’d locked out all forms of brightness control, this seemed to be the only way.

A+ user experience, Virgin Australia/Lufthansa (whom I believe this product is licensed from).

How to violate privacy with Telstra

I just had a lovely (it was not lovely) experience talking with Telstra about how they knowingly violate privacy when their computers link accounts together. Here’s how you can enjoy this, too:

  1. Buy a new iPad SIM card (the $30 with 3GB of bonus data works nicely).
  2. Activate it online, providing Telstra with your name and an email address (we’ll call this Email A).
  3. Receive an “Activation in progress” email from Telstra, to Email A.
  4. A little time later, receive an “Activation Complete” email from Telstra, to Email B – Email B is an address that either belongs to someone else entirely, or an old/inactive Telstra account that belongs to you.
  5. Observe how Telstra have matched one (new) account to another (old, or belonging to someone else) account based on nothing more than your name.

I assume you could then use this new association between the accounts to then reset the password on the old/belonging to someone else account.