One Diver’s Perspective.

Scuba, Photography and Scandal

Safe Internet Porn, brought to you by the iPad

Last night I had the brilliant idea of capturing the domain names, iPorn and iPadPorn, in the hopes that some sleazy publisher would have to beg me to buy my clever domain name for an outrageous sum of money (thinking of the website auction).

This morning, I found that both names were taken. And I also was surprised to see just how clearly and beautiful the video rendered. I was equally surprised to see that pinching and zooming actually works on the video, making it like one is directing the film.

Apple has come down hard on Flash, associating it with Porn, and Mr. Jobs has said his device was porn free.  The truth is, Apple has created a locked down device that ensures that visiting poronographic sites will be safe.  No threat of viruses, no downloaded malware.  Just pure, unadulterated porn.  The iPad is, in essence, the ideal tool for viewing pornography.

Parents, beware. The device is a tool, and not simply the tool of angels and fairies. It can be used to view anything and everything, for better or for worse.


June 23, 2010 Posted by | Apple, iPad | 4 Comments

Wall Street Journal, iPad Edition

I was surprised to learn that the iPad edition of the Wall Street Journal, a paid subscription based product, is missing at least two critical items.  One feature, and one section. Both missing items are quite ironic given the nature of the product.

The missing feature is a “search” function.  One should be able to search the entire paper for a word or phrase.  In the paper version, you have a “Names in the News” and “Companies in the News” section so you can find where items of interest appear in the paper. However, on the electronic version, you are required to read through the entire paper to find if your company or person is in the paper.  Why on earth would an electronic paper not include an option to search?

Perhaps they want to make sure you hit the advertisements. But if that were the case, then they should link the advertising pop-up to the search feature. It would be annoying, but at least I could search and they can ensure the ads are viewed.

The other missing item is the Technology Section of the paper. One would think that for the iPad, the paper would include the technology section.  Perhaps a decision was made to force techno-inclined readers to buy the paper version if they wanted to read about technology.  Frankly, I think both decisions were very poorly thought out.

I have received two telemarketing calls since I have subscribed to the iPad edition of the WSJ – and both callers sought to sell me the paper version of the WSJ. Neither would take no for an answer, and neither seemed to think I should be satisfied with the electronic version.  One went so far as to say I could donate my paper.  I had to hang up on the second telemarketer because I simply did not wan to repeat the bizarre conversation.

I did not see a search feature in the Financial Times either. Nor the USA Today, nor the New York Times.  Am I missing it, or is it something that no newspaper wants to provide? It cannot be that it is overly difficult to provide this expected and very basic functionality…. can it?

June 21, 2010 Posted by | Apple, iPad | 1 Comment

iPad, Apple, AT&T and a New Twist on the Bait and Switch

The classic “bait and switch” occurs when one company advertises a product at one price, and when the consumer goes to the store to purchase it, the store claims that they are out of the advertised product, but are selling a “similar” product which is either inferior in quality, or more expensive than the advertised product.  In either case, you are offered something you did not want, and that was not advertised.

Apple advertised the iPad 3g with a “groundbreaking” data plan option, which allowed owners to choose between a 200 megabyte plan and an unlimited plan, without a contract, which allowed users to switch from month to month depending upon whether they were going to have a data intensive month.  Everybody knows that “options” have value, and the option NOT to pay $30 a month for unlimited data use was one of the things that made the iPad attractive. Hence, it was advertised with that option and people paid an extra $130 for their device just to have the option. (The $130 also bought the option of connecting over the 3g network, not just the option to switch between data plans. And, of course, some people would not have bought the device at all if it did not offer unlimited 3g access).

In a new twist on an old fraud, the bait and switch occurred AFTER the purchase, and by a different company.  Apple baited its customers with the AT&T plan it supposedly negotiated, consumers bought the product, and then AT&T pulled the switch. To soften the impact of the bait and switch, AT&T has offered current iPad 3g owners the option of keeping the unlimited plan for so long as users auto-renew the unlimited plan. In other words, what was once an option has now become a lifelong commitment if one wants unlimited data.

AT&T and Apple will eventually fix this, whether because of a class action law suit, or because Attorneys General throughout the country bring consumer fraud actions. Hopefully, this gets fixed sooner rather than later.

What really gets me, however, is that AT&T is crying about “data hogs” but is willing to force people to subscribe to the unlimited plan with the auto-renew requirement and thereby encourage data hogging, instead of leaving us with the option of forgoing the all you can eat buffet until such time as we may feel the need to use it.  In other words, it seems there is a bit of disingenuousness about AT&T’s behavior. If they were really concerned about the usage, they would allow the grandfathered folks the option of going on and off the all you can eat buffet. This seems to confirm that they were more interested in locking people into the higher payment plan, in other words, removing the option which was so valuable to us.

As for who to blame, my money goes on Apple.  Steve Jobs should never have said he struck a ground breaking deal. He should have said that AT&T is “currently offering” unlimited 3g access, but we have no idea if that will last.  Of course, if he had some kind of commitment from AT&T then it could be enforced. We’ll have to see whether Apple had such a commitment, or whether, as it seems from its silence, Apple simply oversold its product with misleading and deceptive statements.

This Is One Diver’s Perspective.

June 5, 2010 Posted by | Apple, AT&T, iPad | 1 Comment