Covering Your Click

Now that version 3.0 of the iPod / iPhone Operating System has been released, developers are upgrading their applications for compatibility.  Upgrading applications to stay on top of the latest releases is always sound advice.  You should get better compatibility, bug fixes, more functionality, etc. by doing so.

So, dutifully, as the App Store or iTunes informs me that there is an upgrade to one of my applications, I download it immediately.  There have been some really nice surprises in some of the updated software.  Many developers are working hard at adding new features.  I’m constantly amazed at how much power and functionality that they pack into this little device.  Even for applications that aren’t adding additional features, you just feel comfortable that there are underlying improvements or optimizations that are going to make things better.

Last night, I’m just killing some time before going to bed checking out the latest on Twitter using my Twittelator application.  I throw out a few comments and head back to the Main Menu and decide to take a quick peek and see if there are any updates – and there were.


Image by slowburn♪ via Flickr

Give them to me, please.

One of the applications that has an update is Wikipanion. This is a really slick application giving access to Wikipedia through the iPod, formatted nicely with additional features that certainly make it worth the download.  What happened next was a surprise.

It came with a warning.  Instinctively, I looked left and right and over my shoulder for any one of my teacher-librarian friends.  I expected the warning to be:

“Doug – you know better than to use the Wikipedia.  It’s a collection of unverified resources that can’t be trusted and changes daily and is not recognized as a resource for information and real researchers use Britannica or Grolier or any of the legitimate encyclopedias that are available.  Shame on you.”

Instead, it was a warning that is was “Rated 17+ for the following:  Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes”.  Hmmm.  We don’t need Wikipanion for that.  We have the internet for those sorts of things!  So, I downloaded the update anyway.

I’ve commented on this before.  Virtually all applications that you download and install on your computer come with warnings and caveats.  Do you ever read the terms and conditions before installing a piece of software or using a web service?

Here are some interesting ones to read for educators:

I understand that developers have lawyers who are protecting their clients.  It just seems to me that we’ve become so insensitive to legal wording and there are so many applications and resources that we want to use that we don’t pay attention anymore.  Just click through or ignore so that you get to the application.

In the case of Wikipanion, I just didn’t understand the 17+ part, so I tapped out a message on Twitter and then went to bed.  This morning, I received my answer from @gagarin.  Details appear here.  Now I know.  It seems like a reach to me, but I’m not a lawyer.

The kicker?  Given my recent trip to Goderich and the trip through the Huron Historic Gaol, I decided to look up Stephen Truscott to see the Wikipedia entry.  After all this thoughtful work – the application crashed.

Sigh.

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