On Tech’s Pandering to Porn

N96 Kickstand
Nokia N96 Kickstand

Today I give you three technological trends that signal the rising pervasiveness of pornography:

1. “Private Browsing” on desktop computers.

Apple’s Safari was the first desktop browser with this feature, enabling you to surf prurient sites with wild abandon and not worry about anything being stored in your browser history. The perils of not clearing your browser history are effectively (and hilariously) illustrated in this cartoon.

So now Internet Exploder and even Firefox are following suit with porn-friendly modes of their own. Are people becoming so lazy that we need our web browsers to cover our tracks for us, or are the very notions of cache, cookies and history becoming too much for the average computer user to understand?

2. Kickstands on media devices, like Nokia’s N96 (shown above).

This one is especially creepy. If I’m going to watch something on a 3-inch screen I’ll be holding it with two hands pretty close to my face. And if my eyesight was better I’d still have the screen no further than my lap. And why would I possibly need to put my media device on my night table and have my hands free? Only one reason I can think of…

3. In-flight porno?!1!

Flight attendants on American Airlines are concerned that passengers will be stretching the limits of “in-flight entertainment” when WiFi access becomes available on their aircraft, so their union is fighting for the right to filter content on the service.

I personally would have no problem with this, though it does raise some legitimate questions about the possibility of blocking other sites — like competing airlines, for example. But what blows my mind is that a passenger would even consider looking at such stuff in the company of other people. And the bathroom lineups are already bad enough, thank-you very much…

Air Canada Mobile Bar Code Madness Redux

Paperless Mobile Check-in (Almost)

Okay, so the last time I tried using Air Canada’s paperless mobile check-in I got a message that my Nokia S60 handset, the world’s most popular mobile OS running on the world’s bestselling handset, wasn’t supported.

This time I actually got an SMS from AC, actually two — one with a helpful reminder of my flight number and departure time and the other with a link to the 2D barcode you see above.

You should have seen the look of abject terror on the counter agent’s face when I giddily showed her this at the airport. She made a feeble attempt to scan it with a reader she had then promptly asked me for my passport and printed up the usual paper boarding document.

Maybe I’ll have a better experience in Tokyo in a couple of weeks

Nokia to the Rescue on AC 943

Phone Kids

Now that I’m officially a Nokia Ambassador I’m happy to report that my trusty E61i more than proved it’s worth on my three-hour return trip home to Toronto from Bermuda yesterday.

Seated beside me on that flight was a kid on his first flight ever — and he was travelling alone! I felt bad for the brave little guy for the fact that we were on an older aircraft that didn’t have an individual entertainment centre for every single seat, so I offered up my Nokia to help him pass the time.

He spent about half an hour on S-tris alone, and after he told me that he had a modded Xbox in his knapsack as carry-on I figured he could handle the Nintendo games on my emulators from Vampent. I guessed correctly.

Towards the end of the flight I even powered up Nokia Maps for a quick geography lesson (the difference between New York City and New York State).

Will this newly-crowned international jet-setter choose an S60 device for his first mobile when the day comes? Here’s hoping…

Air Canada Mobile Bar Code Madness

Air Canada Mobile Check-In (not)

In preparation for my annual trip to Bermuda and its Film Festival I thought I’d go paperless with Air Canada’s new Mobile Check-in service. And predictably, instead of ending up with a 2D barcode I got the message seen in the screen grab above.

Just so I’m clear on this… I have a phone running the number one smartphone OS in the world, made by the world’s number one handset manufacturer, and yet it’s not recognized by Air Canada.

My bad, clearly…