Mobile carriers decency guidelines are indecently strict


An article in today’s
Wall Street Journal (registration req’d) outlines the rules major wireless carriers are implementing to manage mobile content.

It’s ridiculous.

Verizon not only regulates how much bare skin it considers inoffensive in video, it bans "any derogatory references to Verizon Wireless itself." Honestly. Does Verizon not have confidence in its own business? Is it so concerned that someone bad-talking the company would have a detrimental effect on the business? I’m more concerned with the insecurity of not being able to take criticism than with the criticism itself.

If the article is correct, I’ve already violated the guidelines several times with my text and video messages. Whoopsiedoodle. Good thing those are for personal use only.

Cingular bans violent and sexual content and words like "condom" and "lesbian."

Sprint has yet to develop/publish its content guidelines for commercial providers. In the past, I’ve read that Sprint has said "hey we just provide a platform, we don’t want to get involved in content," while Verizon creates its own content as well as meddles in third-party content.

Will Sprint become known as the carrier to use if you want to read content that might include scary words? Or if you want to watch MTV videos on your cell phone? Or will it decide that becoming the porn fan’s carrier of choice is not a direction it wants to grow?

I suppose I shouldn’t condemn. I pay for a service and if I don’t like its rules I can always change services (for a contract-breaking fee, sigh). I also can’t imagine a circumstance in which I would pay for video on my phone, so perhaps I’m missing something when I recoil at the guidelines.

(And just how much bare skin is allowed for Verizon content providers? Do they express it in absolute pixels, or in a percentage of the body, or a percentage of the screen?)

But I feel strongly that the carriers would do better to create a carrier-approved "kids" service, and maybe a "limited" content service for adults who don’t want to spend time or effort filtering their own media. And then continue to provide a platform for a wide-open "might be explicit" service, and let us buy the content we want.

 
~PS, VerizonSUCKS big time… WORST COMPANY EVER! After MCI that is, but since they are gone, Verizon now wins!!!! Don’t ever do anything with them. EVER… I will not even go into the hell i’ve gone thru with Verizon. When i was running my last companies IT department, the only true regret i ever had was the inability to switch to another local provider. I mean, everytime something went wrong, it took me having to track down there corporate officers in oder to have anything fixed. And it sure did get broken often.
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What happened to summer??? It’s so cold out tonight?
 
Any who, one my my friends sent me this link: http://www.zefrank.com/theshow – this dude has a really funny (and really truthful – factual) daily video blog. Check it out if you get a chance. Totally worth it…
 
If you check out Dlisted.com (http://dlisted.blogspot.com) – you will have noticed that the "The CAPTION THIS Contest!" picture submission was actually submitted by your truly "ME", hehe… so funny. But here is the direct link any ways: http://dlisted.blogspot.com/2006/04/caption-this-contest.html
 
And YES, my real name is Lohan, but that is my first name, not last.
 
Good night.

Nintendo Revolution Named ‘Wii’

Nintendo has given an official name to its upcoming next-generation game console formerly known by the code-name Revolution: Wii. Pronounced "we," the name was chosen because it emphasized the console is for everybody, Nintendo said in the announcement Thursday.

 ~oh god!!! Tell me it ain’t so!

Top 5 Creative Uses for Your iPod

You just spent $400 on an iPod, and all you’re using it for is music? Come on, you might as well get a little more out of that big purchase of yours. Why not use it to help you navigate the urban jungle, improve your vocabulary, or even find true love? There are plenty of people out there figuring out how to get the full potential out of that little gadget of yours, and we can all reap the benefits of their creativity and hard work. After the jump, check out five of the best uses of the iPod that you aren’t going to find in any of Apple’s official manuals. Then you can get back to your precious music.

 

1. Subway Maps

If you live in a big city, you probably rely on public transportation to get around and you know how much of a pain it can be to try to find a subway station in an unfamiliar area. And if you’re just visiting and totally unfamiliar with the train system? Forget it. But as long as you’ve got your iPod, you’ll always know where to catch the train. Just go to ipodsubwaymaps.com and download maps for any number of cities — from Boston, Massachusetts to Bilbao, Spain. Featuring detailed maps cut up for easy viewing on a photo or video iPod for 23 cities around the world, they give you a portable reference without having to pull out a folded map that makes you look like some naïve tourist.

 

2. Dictionary

Dictionaries, while handy, are difficult to fit in your pocket. But what if you need a definition, and you need it right now? Well, why don’t you just look it up on your iPod? For less than $10 you can get Merriam-Webster’s pocket dictionary on your iPod, formatted for easy browsing using the click wheel. Imagine how many arguments you can win with the power of a dictionary in your pocket. Also available for no charge on the site are 10 famous historical documents for your iPod, just in case you were on the go and had a sudden urge to read the Social Security Act of 1935. Dude, they’re just giving it away! What are you waiting for?

 

3. Find Dates

You’ve tried the bar scene, you’ve tried speed dating, you’ve tried JDate (well, some have), but you just can’t seem to find that special someone. Perhaps the girl/guy of your dreams is waiting to be discovered in your pocket right now. With PodDater, eager singles upload short videos along with their profiles that you can downloaded to your video iPod via iTunes. So go ahead, check out Deathscythe, Nastique24, or Kenny, and see if they’re right for you. Especially Kenny — he looks like he could really use a hug. Now that you have the ability to judge and dismiss potential mates from anywhere, the future really is here.

 

4. Personal Trainer

Lots of people take their iPods with them when they go for a jog, hike, or bike ride, but most just use their players to listen to music, not plan their routes. That’s too bad, because TrailRunner is a clever piece of software that helps you prepare your intended route then puts it on your iPod with maps, distances, and time goals. The program is designed to be an assistant trainer, giving you loads of tools to help plan and execute your exercise goals. It’s expandable enough to be used by a pretty hardcore outdoor enthusiast, and it may just be geeky enough to get you excited about exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Play Doom

Okay, you’ll need to be a bit brave and — let’s be honest — a pretty serious geek to implement this one, but this is the best way to transform your iPod into the versatile little computer you know it has the potential to become. By installing Linux on your iPod you can do fun things like play Tetris, Pong, Asteroids, Mario Brothers — even Doom! Of course, playing a game like Doom using only the click wheel and center button isn’t exactly user-friendly, but you’ll be the only person on the block with Doom on your iPod, guaranteed. Games aren’t the only thing you can do with a Linux iPod; you can also do things like install Wikipedia or the periodic table, but games are way more fun. Of course, installing Linux involves really knowing what you’re doing as well as voiding your warranty, so do so at your own risk.

— Adam Frucci

 

Snoop Dogg in custody after London airport fracas

Snoop Dogg is one of rap’s biggest stars.

LONDON, England (Reuters) — American rapper Snoop Dogg was in police custody on Thursday after being arrested with five other men following a disturbance at London’s Heathrow airport, a police source said.

The 34-year-old star, a former member of the notorious Los Angeles Crips gang, was held after a fight broke out when police were escorting him and his entourage out of the airport on Wednesday evening.

Scotland Yard said seven police suffered minor injuries, including a fractured hand, after they were called to the airport at around 6 p.m. (1700 GMT) to deal with a disturbance involving some 30 people in a British Airways business lounge.

[full story]