Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Fox News, Tops in Entertainment:

I would never dream of getting my news from the Fox News TV channel, so it never occurred to me to watch them on election night (2012). I wish I had at least recorded them for later playback, because apparently, as an Obama supporter, I missed some treats. If you are in the same category, all is not lost, because:

(1) You can read about it:

DavidFolenflik's chronicles at NPR.

Andrew O'Hehir tells all at Salon.

(2) You can even watch:

Karl Rove and the Fox Diagnosticians (excerpted, I believe).

SarahPalin's haircut, parody of Tina Fey.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Screw You, CNN iPad App!

I wouldn't mind watching video from CNN live on my iPad tonight, while the election returns come in. I installed the CNN election app. I was prepared for it to be a bit bumpy. After all, it's not easy to debug an election-night application in advance, when there is no election. Still I'm pissed by how this app behaved.

The puff-wording for this app merely implied that anyone could watch CNN live. And when I opened the app, a popup box said I should simply tap “CNN live” to see the video. Just one problem: the words “CNN Live” were nowhere on the screen.

It turns out that in order to see those words, I had to make the main screen slide to the right, exposing a column of options including those fateful words. And how did I make the main screen slide to the right? By fortuitiously sliding my finger DOWN the screen.

When I tapped “CNN live”, I got the “which is your video provider?” screen. Okay, so CNN's promise was a little less universal than they suggested. Fortunately, I have an approved provider: Verizon. Next, the CNN app asked me to log in to Verizon by providing my ID and password. Fine; other apps have done this to me before.

CNN provided an impossibly tiny pair of lines that I had to select, in order to type my data. By mistake I tapped “cancel” when I tried to tap “password”, and the app returned to the main screen.

I started over, eventually exposing the same ID/password screen. I had realized what I had done wrong; I had not used the universal iPad gesture to expand this screen so that I could reliably tap on it. I put two fingers on the screen and spread them.

The CNN screen acted like a tight rubber band. It refused to stay expanded so that I could tap it. But finally I entered my ID and tapped password. The app then crashed.

I started over, but now the app said that it could not reach its server. I deleted the app from memory and started the whole business again. But the app crashed, again, when I tried to see the ID/password screen.

CNN, the heck with you. I have downloaded the New York Times app.

I will never play Monopoly again:

The man credited with inventing the Monopoly game might have taken (and modified) it from its original creators, who used the game as part of their socialist land-reformer movement. Cory Doctorow (at BoingBoing) points to the details, showing a beautiful picture of a different version of the game, here. This other board has familiar squares for Luxury, Jail, Railroads, etc. Its place names seem very NYC to me, quite different from the Atlantic City flavor of the commercial version.