Tag Archives: ipad

Birth Control? There’s an iPad app for that.

The baby products label, Pampers, put out a free app called “Hello Baby” which lets you input your baby’s info, get a week-by-weeky depiction of what it looks like in the momma, and then probably reminds you on the baby’s birthdate to buy Pampers.

It’s great, actually, to see the real-life size of a four-week old embryo. But bringing the iPad to the bar and showing everyone the real-size of a 20+ weeks-old fetus, that might prevent a lot of unwanted (and wanted) pregnancies from even starting.

Bercovici on 4G-iPhone: Apple could sue Gawker for buying “stolen goods”

DailyFinance’s Jeff Bercovici makes a compelling case that Gizmodo opened itself to criminal and civil penalties by paying someone $5,000 for the “found” iPhone prototype. He argues that California law compelled the finder, and Gizmodo, to make good-faith efforts to find the owner. Gizmodo’s efforts to return the device (before taking it apart and making millions of page hits from it) were at best, lazy and uninterested, and worst, nominal for the sake of covering-their-asses in a legal suit, Bercovici writes:

At heart is the question of whether the person who found the phone made “reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him,” as required by the California penal code. In its account of what happened, Gizmodo says the finder “asked around” the bar where he found it. And after realizing it was an Apple prototype, he called several numbers at the company.

What he never did, however, was notify anyone who worked at the bar, according to its owner, Volcker Staudt. That would have been the simplest way to get the phone back to the Apple employee who lost it, who “called constantly trying to retrieve it” in the days afterward, recalls Volcker. “The guy was pretty hectic about it.”

Nor did the finder report it to the Redwood City Police Department, says Sgt. Dan Mulholland. To be fair, no one from Apple told the police the phone was lost, either. I contacted a company spokeswoman to ask why not but never heard back.

And make no mistake: In this case, it was up to Gawker to establish that the seller legally possessed the property. Paul J. Wallin, a founding partner at the California law firm Wallin & Klaritch, offers an analogy. “If you purchase a Rolex watch at a swap meet for $200, a reasonable person would be put on notice that it might be stolen goods,” he says. The buyer would thus be required to take extra measures to determine that it wasn’t.

When I asked Denton what steps his company took to ensure that the seller had, in fact, made a good-faith effort to return the phone to Apple before shopping it around, he redirected the question. “We weren’t convinced the phone was even a genuine prototype until the weekend [ie. after Gizmodo bought and dismantled it],” he said. “And we didn’t discover the name of the Apple engineer who lost it until Monday. We called him and — after Apple officials got back to us — we returned the device to them.”

After further reflection, Bercovici is even more committed in his stance:

I understand the moral calculus they used. We all feel intuitively that picking up something that someone else left behind is not as bad as seizing it by force, stealth or deception. But in the eyes of the law, it’s still stealing. And buying stolen goods is a crime. In those rare cases where a journalist commits a crime and receives the benefit of prosecutorial discretion, it’s usually because he can demonstrate there was a compelling public interest at stake. There is no such interest here. The only parties who benefited from Gizmodo’s story are Gawker Media and Apple’s competitors.

It’s hard for me to pick a horse in this race. I’m a frequent reader of Gawker, though Gizmodo turned me off for awhile with their remotely-tampering-with-CES-displays stunt, and I most definitely read through their iPhone dissection (I also thought Giz had the best iPad app coverage). I think Bercovici is right, but if Giz is the purveyor of stolen info, then I definitely didn’t take the moral high ground by avoiding it.

On the other hand, I hope that if this disclosure can be shown not to have hurt Apple’s bottom line, I hope they ease up on their infamous, and now-tiringly-overdone commitment to secrecy. Not for the sake of its info-hungry fans, but for the workers employed by police-state-like distributors.

See full article from DailyFinance.

Apple banned Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist’s app because it “ridicules public figures”

Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist Mark Fiore, who won this year’s Pulitzer for his editorial cartoons, says he tried to make an iPhone app but it was just too politically hot for Apple’s guidelines. From Nieman Labs (h/t Poynter):

In December, Apple rejected his iPhone app, NewsToons, because, as Apple put it, his satire “ridicules public figures,” a violation of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, which bars any apps whose content in “Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”

Apple attached screenshots of the offending material, including an image depicting the White House gate crashers interrupting an Obama speech. Two other grabs include images referencing torture, Balloon Boy, and various political issues.

Here’s an “offending image” of Fiore’s.

iPad: First Impressions

iPad at Fat Cat

As if chess at a bar wasn't geeky enough. I think we raised the bar at West Village's Fat Cat.

So I plunked $580 for the 16GB wireless iPad (that includes tax and the Apple case), plus about $60-$80 more on apps. I already have a laptop, a blackberry, and a netbook…but I justified this luxury purchase because I do think that tablet computing (whether or not the iPad leads it) will be the next boom in computer usage, and I’d like to at least be aware of it.

And I like doodling and watching movies in bed.

That said, I didn’t have a strong response for everyone who asked “How is this different than a bigger iPhone?” There’s not much difference, actually, but I think we have yet to see what touch-computing can offer, and it’s a decidedly different experience than a traditional laptop. I’ve owned a MSI Wind for a year now and barely use it, unless I need to pack a laptop when I’m carrying camera equipment around. I’ve already played more games and watched more movies in the past two days on the iPad than I have on my netbook, it just seems better suited for it. I think the lack of a attached keyboard makes for a fundamentally-different experience as least as significant as the iPod Touch (and to some extent, the iPhone) over every other mp3 player before it.

Brushes pic

One of my first attempts on Brushes

I’m not much of an artist, but I’ve always wanted to just sketch for fun without the hassle of buying and maintaining art supplies. A mouse and Illustrator just doesn’t do it for me, nor would a tablet connected to a laptop. Brushes has been one of my favorite apps so far.

I’ve mostly stopped playing video games. I downloaded a few of the marquee titles, including Real Racing, and barely touched them after a few minutes. But the more social, multiplayer games, like Flight Control and the various board games, were really entertaining when the bar we were at, Fat Cat, didn’t have the games we wanted.

As far as productivity…I haven’t used it at all for anything meaningful. When I was sitting around in my living room with both the laptop and iPad, I still, out of habit, switched to my laptop to do even just regular browsing. Typing is a wrist-killer…and touch-navigating the web is still cumbersome.

Didn’t do much reading, but I like that one of the free apps allows you to download classics like Alice in Wonderland for free, with pretty decent, readable text. I still do most of my New York Times reading on my Blackberry as I’m waiting in line or at the subway.

I think I’ll keep the iPad for now…Selling it while people still think it’s cool is still a possibility…but I see a lot of potential in it so far. But I wholeheartedly agree with Kotaku’s Mike Fahey: I feel like an asshole for owning an iPad and don’t feel comfortable using it in public, yet. That kind of reduces the device’s utility…For now, I’m keeping the plastic wrap on it that it came with.

Some other notes:


  • I synced up my iPad just now for the first time with my laptop. I took awhile to figure out how to transfer photos from my laptop to the iPad (using the not-so-visible Photos tab in iTunes, and then having to create a special folder on my computer with duplicate copies of photos). And while it was doing that, it decided to delete all the apps from the iPad. The file management on the iPad, as it has been with the iPod, is fucking stupid, and possibly the worst part of any iProduct. I stopped using Sony products because of their proprietary – and generally inferior – formats (a $200 voice recorder I bought years ago is useless because Sony no longer produces/updates the software to access its files). I hope Apple doesn’t go the same path.
  • Apps were generally buggy. Netflix crashed many times.
  • Still haven’t figured out how to comfortably type.
  • Takes awhile to charge up the battery.
  • It’s hard to find a good Chess or Cards game…either they have hotseat-multiplayer or computer AI, rarely both.
  • Yeah, it is a bit heavy to not be resting on your lap.


  • Touch-interface is as solid as it is on the iPod Touch.
  • Being able to lockdown the screen rotation is great.
  • Lots of decent free apps. My favorite so far are craigsphone (craigslist on the pad), the NYT editor’s choice, Netflix, and Free Books
  • The launch games have been pretty good, including Flight Control, Minigore, Real Racing
  • Netflix streaming on my nightstand is great. Finally, I’ll finish 30 Rock.