Sex Offenders returns to iTunes
Vigilante-friendly app back after short break
Days after being pulled for undisclosed reasons, the Offender Locator is back on iTunes, bringing relief to paranoid parents across the USA, except in California.
Offender Locator appeared in the iTunes store last week priced at 59 pence, and was swiftly pulled a few days later, possibly on the grounds that charging for information about the homes of private individuals is illegal in California at least. But now it's back, and joined by competition in the form of Sex Offenders Search, priced at £1.19 for those prepared to pay a little more for the safety of their children.
The applications show useful pinpricks showing the home location of sex offenders - using publicly-available information of dubious accuracy - and are selling well despite all the arguments about abuse generally coming from people the children know. The predatory paedophile lurking behind every tree is a much easier reality for concerned parents to understand, and to deal with.
But the limp-wristed liberals in California keep insisting that companies can't make money selling such information, thus prompting the warnings that accompany both products:
"[Sex Offenders Search] is currently not displaying data regarding California registered sex offenders until we are certain that doing so is allowed by law", though all is not necessarily lost as "users who have already purchased a copy of SOS on or prior to Aug. 7, 2009 should still be able to view the complete set of data."
For the absurdly paranoid parent in California there are alternatives, as explained by ThinAir Wireless, publishers of Offender Locator:
"California Sex Offender is unavailable at this time in the paid version of our application. You must use Offender Locator Lite version to access this data."
Or you could point your web browser, iPhone or otherwise, at the database hosted by LogSat Software, publishers of Sex Offenders Search, or perhaps just calm down, have a cup of tea and find something more sensible to worry about. ®
Oh, and one other thing...
...when I saw "Sex Offenders returns to iTunes" I immediately assumed it referred to some band that was kicked out of the online store for having an inappropriate name. Which raises the question: Is there a band named "The Sex Offenders", and if not, why not?
Why this is a Bad Idea
Once upon a time, I went to an electrical retailer in my home city to buy a new washing machine. This was a highly-urgent life-or-death mission, as my then-partner needed a washing machine for her daughter's nappies ..... and my old one had just self-destructed spectacularly in mid-cycle.
I dashed to the store on auto-pilot, unable to dare to contemplate failure: a washing machine was needed, and needed now. But all seemed to be going well once I got there; having exactly one thing to think about is good that way. I soon found the machine I liked: a reliable brand, mechanical timer, adjustable thermostat to save powder by washing as hot as possible, 1000 rpm spin speed that struck the right balance between getting enough water out of the clothes and shaking itself to bits.
Then the time came to arrange payment. In those days, a washing machine represented more than a month's wages for me, and I had not had time to scrimp and save. I was refused finance because some previous occupant of my address had failed to keep up their repayments. In front of a store full of people, I was forced to telephone my mother, who came to the rescue with her credit card. It was embarrassing, but hardly the end of the world.
And you don't usually get angry mobs going after suspected credit defaulters with pitchforks and blazing torches.
I'd like a modification to this.
So I can run something on mu Nokia, that tells me where iPhone owners are, so I can avoid them.