Gaydar wants to screw you for going mobile

31 03 2009

Dear Mr Johnson,
(his email quoted below)
Thanks for the notice about an iPhone-friendly adaptation of GaydarMobile.  However, that wasn’t the main thrust of my last communication to Gaydar on the matter.  But it *is* nice to know you’re keeping track of ‘interest’.

Aside from the lack of an actual iPhone *application* for Gaydar, where this latest adaptation to the GaydarMobile website may be an acceptable compromise (I have no intention of finding out), my point is that I still think you’re NUTS for wanting to charge me US$48 for Gaydar + GaydarMobile, vs $28 for just Gaydar (3 months).

So, lemme get this right.  Regardless of which mobile device I use, you want to charge me a 70% subscription premium to access the same service, simply for the ‘privilege’ of doing so from a mobile device?

I can’t comment on what others may or may not be doing specifically in the online gay dating site genre as regards mobile device access, but I *can* comment on the broader explosion of mobile accessibility options, and the business models behind them, and yours is heading, in my humble opinion, in 180 degrees the exact wrong direction, by charging *any* premium, let alone such a steep one, and is thus doomed to failure.

It’s my contention that free – or very low premium – access to said same service via mobile would attract a larger subscription (from the many guys who baulk at sitting down in front of a computer for any length of time – you see this sentiment expressed in profiles all the time), and thus pay your development costs, and *then* reap the reward.  If you need any evidence of this rapidly growing phenomenon, I would draw your attention to iPhone apps such as WhosHere (for a ‘general’ audience but clearly embraced by gay men) & Grindr (specifically for gay men) to name just two.

Yours sincerely,

On 18/03/2009, at 3:02 AM, Simon Johnson wrote:

Hello iPhone Fan,

You recently got in touch with us as you’d like to use GaydarMobile on your Apple iPhone. Great news! We’ve updated GaydarMobile to now work on iPhone.  You’ll find GaydarMobile is easier to use on your iPhone than logging into the online version of Gaydar that uses frames and might be difficult for your phone to understand.

GaydarMobile lets you plan your perfect night in, even when you’re out. Using your mobile phone you can send and receive messages, view profiles and chat to your friends and favourites. Here’s how…

§  Text GAYDAR to 69080 (UK only) or tap in through your mobile phone internet browser.
§  Log in with your existing Gaydar username and password. If you don’t have a Gaydar account, you can join free through GaydarMobile or online at
§  Once you’re logged into GaydarMobile follow the on screen instructions to validate your number.

Once you’ve followed the above steps you’re ready to use GaydarMobile. Congratulations! GaydarMobile is very easy to use, and you’ll find that you have the same features available on your mobile as you do online. So it shouldn’t take too long for you to find your way around.

GaydarMobile isn’t a text service, however it does use data and you should check with your service provider if you have a data package. Most call packages now include data as standard.

Start cruising from the comfort and privacy of your mobile phone handset, no matter where you are. On the train, at your desk, on the beach, in your favourite bar or queuing in the supermarket. Who knows, a hot guy might be behind you!

I hope you find this information useful, if there are any other features of Gaydar you’re unsure about or need help with, hit reply and ask questions. We’re here 7 days a week, from 8am to 11pm (GMT).

At Gaydar we are committed to providing our customers with the best possible service. If you haven’t received the support you’d expect, please let me or any of the Gaydar Support Team know.

Play your way, enjoy Gaydar.

Simon Johnson
Marketing & PR Manager
QSoft Consulting Ltd


Apple Software Updater (for Windows) is still a deceptive turd.

27 03 2009

‘Bout a year ago there was a hullabaloo when Apple decided to force their Safari web-browser onto anyone who had other Apple software (for Windows) installed – like Quicktime & iTunes (which bazillions of Windows users have because they own iPods), by automatically pre-selecting it for installation amongst updates to the already-installed software.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise what they were aiming for – ordinary computer users (especially Windows users) don’t usually pay much attention to the details of such prompts, they’ve been dumbed down (by necessity) to just click yes to software update offers.  Next thing you know, you’re using Safari instead of whatever browser was the default before.  Nice one Apple.  As a sysadmin for several client’s networks, this is a friggen PITA at best – very few ordinary Windows users *ACTUALLY* invited you in.

In response to the justified outcry, they added a facility to exclude any offered item from current & future update offers.  Seems fair, right?  But to use said feature, you first have to UNtick the ones you DO want, TICK the ones you DON’T want, then drill into a menu to say “don’t offer me these updates again”, then then REtick the updates you need.  Are you fucken kidding me, Apple?!?

But wait, it gets worse – there’s yet another major disingenuous aspect to this new ‘feature’:

Apple Software Updater remembers your selections only on a per-user basis, not – as it should be – a system-wide basis.  So if a different user is in control when the scheduled check for updates next runs, all the unwanted software is offered again, ticked on for installation, by default.  Great… :(

I also suspect that when any product moves up a full 1.0 version increment, it’s again offered, despite previous instruction not to.  We’ll see very soon when Safari 4 comes out of beta…

You don’t fool me, Apple.  FUCK OFF with your insidious worming your way into my client’s systems.  It’s hard enough to administer flocks of “dumb users” without their default browser being switched out from under them (which can have major consequences for some sites – particularly intranet sites in business that require specific browser brands/versions), or MobileMe Control Panel or Bonjour being needlessly installed.

The deliberate cunning behind how Apple Software Updater for Windows works in its fine detail is a clear display of Apple’s uglier side.  Shame on you Apple, it’s just plain deceptive & dishonest, and very Microsoftish.  Mozilla worked their butt off to get Firefox to where it is in market share, and they earned every % of it honestly.