One good thing from the Flappy Birds crapp flap: It's a handy 'tech' media rating system
We'll just presume you have it already
Analysis So, you're a Register reader and despite the fact that Flappy Bird has been withdrawn from app stores, you know how to obtain it for free on your phone in moments*.
So you're probably a bit mystified by the all the headlines surrounding this. So are we – so far we've confined ourselves to noting its withdrawal from app stores, and the appearance of an open source remake. But given the level of media madness now taking place, we thought we might jump in on this subject and offer the episode as a handy little test of whether a news outlet's (or a particular journalist's) tech coverage is worth reading.
The Flappy Bird 'Tech' Media Test
A) Did the journalist or outlet assume that you know you can still very easily get Flappy Bird, and barely regard its withdrawal as news?
That source is reasonably knowledgeable on technology matters and is intended for likewise reasonably knowledgeable readers.
B) Did the journalist or outlet write an instruction piece telling you how to safely get Flappy Bird for free, including links or copies of the software?
That source is reasonably knowledgeable on technology matters but is intended for bonehead consumers - and has a tenuous grip on intellectual-property law.
C) Did the journalist or outlet supply a list of alternative apps for frustrated Flappy Bird fans, but not mention that you can still just get it if you want to?
That source is pretty much ignorant of technology matters but at least it hasn't descended into total idiocy.
D) Did the journalist or outlet write a story about devices with Flappy Birds installed being offered for vast prices on eBay or similar, and completely fail to mention that it can still be had, trivially easily and for nothing, very probably on your normal device?
That source is definitely and completely totally ignorant on technology matters.
We won't name any names here, that's been done for us. ®
*Just in case you aren't a regular reader: Android devices will happily install apps without any app store involvement. Just select the relevant checkbox in your security settings. Then download the Flappy Birds .apk app file - it is hosted in many places, we suggest not using torrents or other sources that might give you malware instead. Now open it, and you're Flappy Birded up (though be warned, in our view it is very much a crapp).
If you don't have an Android device lying about - obviously many Reg readers prefer an iOS mobe and/or slab, but most of those would be able to lay hands on an Android device at short notice - you'll have to jailbreak one of your iOS devices, if one isn't already jailbroken. Or if you have something else, there will be similar hoops to jump through.
Alternatively, Flappy Birds has been turned into a Flash game for use in your desktop browser by lots of opportunistic sites.
We'd note that it's quite reasonable to regard use of Flappy Bird since it was pulled as piracy. However in this case developer Dong Nguyen doesn't seem to want the money he would formerly have gleaned from in-game ads (that money is likely to be going to someone else if you download a copy now), so it's a pretty victimless case of piracy as far as that goes.
Nguyen also doesn't seem to want anyone ever to play it any more regardless of remuneration. If that matters to you, you probably shouldn't.
You probably shouldn't play it anyway, as it is pretty poor.