'X Factor for tech is going to be OUTTA THIS WORLD'
Plus: 'While we're improving Maps, you can try our rivals'
QuoTW This was the week when the unexpected and the completely incredible happened all at once - Apple apologised for its craptastic Maps app in iOS 6.
Yes, following relentless fruit-bashing, with even the most foaming-mouthed fanatic fanbois justifiably ticked off at the rather glaring inaccuracies in the firm's new satnav-like software, Tim Cook and co finally admitted that the hallowed bastion of easy-to-use technology had made a mistake.
The Cupertino supremo said:
At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.
Fanbois and consumer tech market observers suggested Apple had whipped its mapping app out onto the market too soon - and with Google's superior Maps app ousted from the new iOS 6 in iPhones, iPads and recent iPods - Apple loyalists are in something of a quandary. Here's Cook's advice:
While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
So just to be clear, this $620-billion Jesus-mobe maker, which has consistently boasted that its App Store is a key feature in its supposedly superior platform, is now asking folks to turn to rival apps or bookmark web pages. How retro.
As if its get-me-in-the-general-vicinity location service wasn't enough of a downer Apple is also in some extra trouble with European regulators for its product warranties. The good ol' EU requires companies to give punters two-year guarantees for products, but Apple was apparently trying to get away with just one.
Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding spluttered:
Apple prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty but failed to clearly indicate the consumers' automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law.
These are unacceptable marketing practices.
Microsoft was also in trouble this week, but not with regulators. Redmond was getting a whole heap of hate from the advertising sector, which was none too chuffed that the company was going to stick Do-Not-Track tech into the newest Internet Explorer browser by default to protect users' privacy when surfing across the web.
The outraged admen, flocking together in the Association of National Advertisers, said:
If Microsoft moves forward with this default setting, it will undercut the effectiveness of our members’ advertising and, as a result, drastically damage the online experience by reducing the Internet content and offerings that such advertising supports. This result will harm consumers, hurt competition, and undermine American innovation and leadership in the internet economy.
That's right everyone, never forget that not trying to force people to spend money, whether they have it or not, at every turn is downright un-American. Why, where would we be today if everyone spent their money reasonably?
Meanwhile, the Pirate Bay was quick to assert that the Swedish police's raid on its hosting company PRQ had nothing to do with its site going down on Monday.
The Bay claimed:
Dear internet. We have not been raided. We are not shutting down. We like turtles, waffles and you. Sorry for not fulfilling your pirate needs tonight. It's ok if you cheat on us with another site, just once. We know that you still love us, deep down in your cursed pirate heart.
The site appeared to fall over because of a power outage, while the cops were lifting four servers from PRQ that probably had something to do with some of the web host's even more unwholesome clients.
The hosting company, run by two Pirate Bay founders Gottfried Svartholm and Fredrik Neij, hosts any and all content, no matter. Its owner, Mikael Viborg, refused to say what the confiscated servers may have contained:
PRQ is known to host the things that no one else wants to host, and not ask any questions. It can be any of those that are targeted. Until we get more details about the servers, I will not speculate on it.
And finally, rumours abound that Will.i.am - that famous rapper, entrepreneur and "personality" - is about to team up with generic-popstar-talent-seeker Simon Cowell to launch an X Factor for technology.
The Black-Eyed Pea apparently told The Sun:
We’re working on a project called X Factor for Tech — and it’s going to be out of this world.
Singing and performance create a couple of jobs. But this will create lots.
It’s about getting in touch with youth and giving them a platform to express themselves — whether that’s in science or mathematics.