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

Typing on my iPad

While the last thing the world needs is another blog entry about a recently purchased iPad, I wanted to practice typing. My initial reaction to the keyboard was that I would never use my iPad for typing, but that has certainly changed. Now I am able to type reasonably fast without even looking at the keyboard. In fact it it is faster if I just trust my fingers and the autocorrect than it is to either hunt and peck or to look at the keyboard. Don’t get me wrong, I still look at the screen (and as a result i see that although autocorrect and auto caps are enabled, it does not capitalize the letter I when it should).

I have enjoyed having the WSJ to read on the commute into work, the scrabble game (iPhone version) to play, as well as various other games. Surprisingly, I have even been creating on my iPad, using dropbox and iAnnotate to put PDF files on my iPad so that i can annotate them and have them with me wherever I have my iPad with me, which means i need to get a better case to carry it around with me.

I am also using it to read books while commuting. However, I do not get as much book reading in as I did when I was using my Kindle. This is due to the fact that i do not have a good case for it and am not comfortable whipping out my iPad either on the subway platform or while standing in the train. That will probably not change, but one never knows.

I will be shocked if the iPad is not a staple electronic item for students. Having text books in pdf format, and being able to carry around all of one’s books on a small tablet will save the backs of many a poor student. Unfortunately, as with all technology, it is not affordable for everybody and it will separate the haves from the have nots even more. Some kids will have their books and the internet wherever they go, and others will not. Assuming the iPad kids use their devices for good and do not get distracted with the games, text messaging, etc., they will no doubt be learning more than their iPadless brethren.

I also can see the iPad generation being babysat by the device, with parents giving their children an electronic book like Toy Story, which can read aloud and turn pages automatically. It is better than the television for sure, but no doubt it is better to read in person than have a professional narrator do it for you.

May 23, 2010 Posted by | iPad, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Touch Typing on the iPad

I touch type over 100 words per minute when I really get going, but typically type at 80 words per minute.  I was therefore assuming that I could never really type adequately on my iPad, and was frustrated enough at trying, that I nearly decided that I would resort to hunt and peck typing.

When typing on the iPad in landscape mode, I found myself struggling due to the fact that the “home” keys are not standard.  On a standard keyboard, your right pinky rests on the semicolon, whereas on the iPad screen, your pinky would rest on the “return” key, as they moved the semicolon off of the main screen.

What this means to the touch typists among us is that you have to make sure that when you are hovering over the keyboard, the “GH” keys are visible between your index fingers, and not to place your pinky over the “L” as that key is typed with the ring finger. I knew something was wrong because I could only see the letter F whenever I tried to place my hands in the “home” position.

Once I figured this out, and made sure that the “GH” keys were visible (i.e., you don’t rest your index finger on those keys on a regular keyboard so you should not have them hovering over the virtual keys either), “touch typing” became a possibility.  I still can’t really “touch type” without looking at the keypad, but I can type a lot faster than I could before, and faster than the hunt and peck method.  Much faster.

When your fingers start to stray just make sure you position them so that the GH are clearly visible between your index fingers and start belting away!

May 21, 2010 Posted by | iPad, Life | Leave a comment