Am I An Outlier, Or Are Apple Products No Longer Easy To Use? | John Battelle’s Search BlogJohn Battelle’s Search Blog

A genius “rant” about Apple usability – I’m glad someone has actually said it. It’s been the elephant in the room for a couple of years. He’s certainly not an outlier! I have the same issues with iPhoto (really what’s the point?), iTunes (another UI, really?) and iOS (I am not fat fingered).

Quick excerpts below but you really need to go read the full article by  John Battelle here.

… the fact that Apple doesn’t respond in its forums about this (or any) issue? Ridonkulous.


“… just the fact that there’s a market for something like Rinse kind of makes my point.

Without going into detail, my little rant about Calendar, iPhoto, Address Book, et al goes for iTunes as well. I even bought a piece of software to try to fix iTunes myriad issues (Rinse). I can’t figure out whether or not Rinse has fixed anything, to be honest, and so far, all it’s managed to do is marry the wrong album art to about 100 or so songs which previously didn’t have any imagery. Which is kind of funny, but a tad annoying. And just the fact that there’s a market for something like Rinse kind of makes my point.


“Seriously, how can an adult finger ever touch that little search icon without either hitting the “A” or the “+”????

Have you ever done a search in your iPhone contacts? You need the fingers of a poorly fed six-year-old to activate that search function. No, really, I must waste four or five minutes a day trying to make that damn thing work.


via Am I An Outlier, Or Are Apple Products No Longer Easy To Use? | John Battelle’s Search BlogJohn Battelle’s Search Blog.

Messages chatroom window won’t go away: Apple Support Communities

I’ve had an annoying chatroom that opened every time I started messages despite not using it in months. I unchecked the autojoin option in the chat window and closed it, checked the autojoin and closed it but it always came back. It turns out that the autojoin checkbox in the chat window doesn’t seem to b econnected to anything and you have to do it via an obscure menu.

File > Go to Chat Room > Deselect “auto join” in the chat room list window.

via chatroom window won’t go away: Apple Support Communities.

ESTA The downside of a new passport

The downside of a new passport 🙁

What should I do if the information on my passport has changed?If you obtain a new passport or there is a change to your passport information, you must apply for a new travel authorization and pay the associated fees. See What information can I update? for a full listing of information that can be changed after submission of your application.

via ESTA Screen Level Online Help.

Publicity Stunt of the Week: ten bizarre phone insurance claims • Reg Hardware

Here you go:

Inserted into a cow’s vagina

Dropped in the bog during defecation – a perennial favourite, this; or should that be ‘perianal’? ‘arf, ‘arf

Broken after being used as a sex toy

Stolen by an aggressive seafront seagull

Stolen by an aggressive safari park monkey

Blown aloft by fireworks

Broken when hurled at an inconstant boyfriend

Dropped out of a tree while being used to illegally film a pop concert

Baked in a birthday cake

Dropped over the side of a cruise ship

via Publicity Stunt of the Week: ten bizarre phone insurance claims • Reg Hardware.

So it looks like Milo hasn’t checked his facts again

A few months ago I was so enraged about a poorly researched barely disguised homophobic article written Milo Yiannopoulos from the Telegraph I felt the need to write quite a lengthy rant.

Today it would appear he still is in the habit of not fully checking facts. In his article about the law keeping up with technology (and don’t even start me on the spurious nature of the article, seriously 2 tweets and we need new laws apparently), Milo describes the extremely genourous offer from Stephen Fry to pay any fine received by Paul Chambers as “perhaps somewhat opportunistic”.

Milo your article is perhaps somewhat opportunistic – some may say timely of course, but I’ll stick with opportunistic, Stephen Fry made his offer well before the trial or the associated media attention so no this isn’t opportunistic it’s exceedingly generous.

The Telegraph: Promoting homophobia?

I thought I’d go for a tabloid style headline today in the style of Milo Yiannopoulos from the Telegraph.

On August 5th Milo feels that social networking is all good. “Social networking? A lot of fun.” he says.

This all changes once Milo encounters Grindr an iPhone application aimed at Gay and Bi-sexual men and by August 25th social networking had become creepy and dangerous. Well that’s not entirely true. Gay social networking had become creepy and dangerous, presumably in Milo’s world facebook is still a lot of fun. The homophobic undertones of this are shocking. Thankfully Milo hadn’t bothered to check to see if there were other iPhone applications targeting the same audience or he would have encountered Scruff, Bandana, Maleforce, Recon and Gaydar to name a few. If he’d chosen not to focus on a group because of their sexuality he might even have looked at applications like skout, aloha or WhosHere.

“Gay social networks remain controversial, with many – even, and perhaps especially, gay people” states Milo in the article. Sadly there is no data to back up this comment. I’m not sure who thinks gay social networking is controversial but no-one I have spoken to has ever though of it as anything other than a natural evolution of such networks to target increasingly niche markets. If you have social networks targeting pet owners surely networks targeting sexual preferences isn’t such a leap? Plus lets not forget that social networks don’t replace real life. They are an extension to it helping people make new friends, stay in touch with existing friends and manage long distance relationships.

It’s also quite disturbing how much personal comment is presented in what is meant to be a technology article on The Telegraph. I could understand to some extent if this piece was comment. It’s not though is it? It’s presented as a technology article so I was expecting some information on number of users or some graphs about increase of usage. Maybe from the smart phone angle and how they are changing social networks by including location information? Nope none of that though, it’s purely a piece written in the style of some of the worst tabloids. Maybe Milo has missed his calling? The News of the World are always looking for sensationalist ‘journalists’. That other tabloid journalistic mainstay of an undisclosed source, a friend/pal, a person close to the subject is rolled out with “According to one iPhone owner, who preferred to remain anonymous”.

I have to say though that we are lucky to live in a world now where it’s not often you read an article which includes the phrase “lonely and single middle-aged homosexuals” – of course it would have been better to have included other cliches such as sad and self-loathing.

Oh and one other point Milo. If you have to trawl back to 2000 and go to a US federal agency to find anyone else to back up your stance on how awful a UK based website is you are probably not up to date. Oh wait you didn’t do that though probably you went to Wikipedia I’ll guess and even they have asked for citation of this as the CDC website doesn’t have any mention of this research.

Also it’s worth pointing out that hese days many charities use social networks to reach the gay and bi-sexual audience and promote awareness of everything from HIV and AIDS to homophobia and cyber bullying.

The reason eBay is no good for buyers

Well actually eBay the worlds largest tat bazzar is actually no good for sellers either but for buyers the saying buyer beware has never been more accurate.

Take for example the regular scams that appear. Okay some of them are not exactly scams but they are dubious. It would be easy for eBay to stamp them out but they get fees from the sale so they don’t really care if it’s good for the purchaser or if they get ripped off.

Take for example the idea of selling the URL for a website – crazy you think right? Well no. TV Catch Up is a website that allows you to watch UK freeview on the web or indeed a specially formatted version for the iPhone. Now I’ve been using it for ages and it’s really rather cool.

Now some wag has decided to take screen grabs of this running on their iPhone and sell this idea on eBay.

So for 99p or more you can pay to be sent the URL to a freely accessible website. More importantly you can sell the URL for a website you don’t own or work for or have any affiliation with. Money for old rope? I think so!

Feel free to search on eBay and pay to watch freeview on your iPhone but it will be cheaper and easier to do a search online or simply type in to your browser.

On another related note eBay should also ban people from posting in the wrong category. If I narrow my search by phone I don’t want to see adverts for ‘software’ or accessories, I want to see phones…

People do the silliest things…

Recently a lot of people have been talking about passwords and how they are too simple. What the researchers failed to mention is that it doesn’t matter how secure your password is it will not help.

There was a bit of a buzz on Twitter yesterday about an application called Twifficiency. It allegedly calculates “your twitter efficiency based upon your twitter activity. This includes how many people you follow, how many people follow you, how often you tweet and how many tweets you read.”

I saw the messages in my stream and thought they looked a bit spammy. Then I realised they were just automatically generated when someone took ‘the test’. Most memes and especially ones that stroke the ego. I must confess having worked in digital media for longer than I care to state I rarely go in for these online quizzes or automatic tests and popularity contests anymore. Still a few of my friends did. @greedoe @andyhewittlock @ianjamesdavies I’m looking at you…

Anyway back to the point about passwords. So you can plan a great secure password but people still authorise any old application on social networks without reading the small print. Although it states on the front page of the app that it will auto publish the result after allowing the app to link to your Twitter account most users didn’t read the caveat or didn’t know what it meant and selected ‘OK’. Now Twitter is ablaze with automatically generated scores. It’s almost like the ‘news’ that there is no official facebook dislike button. Is this really news worthy of the BBC and other media outlets?