Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stupid People Awards

2013 08 08
Vulcano, Aeolian Islands, Italy

Today I tried a new "app" for my android tablet.  "App" is what the mass market now calls a program.  An app is not really a program of course.  It is merely a tiny little insignificant piece of a program.  Yet people pay silly prices to get their "apps".  Today I met a really stupid app.  It cost €4.99.

Here is what it did:

The operator of the computer logs on and selects an area of the planet earth from a google map.  Then with the press of a button the app creates an email message to Saildocs requesting a grib file for the geographic area outlined in the google map.

When saildocs replies to the email with the grib file attached the same program will, if you reload it and if you are in wifi range, display the grib weather data on the same google map.

This program was given "Product of the Year Award" by some mass market sailing magazine.  


Here is the thing:  Saildocs is a really useful system created free by Jim Corenman and some of his fellow sailor/programmers which allows sailors to obtain grib weather files with a minimum of hassle.  It is already automatic.  

In fact Jim Corenman wrote and gives away Sailmail, a program which not only gets and displays grib files but also handles all the protocols for Sailmail and for ham radio operators to send and receive email over short wave radio.  HE DID THIS FOR FREE AND SOME OF THE MONEY PAID BY SAILMAIL USERS GOES TO PAY FOR KEEPING UP THE SAILDOCS SYSTEM.

Now some dough head charges simpletons with boats for what has already been done and what costs nothing.  Having created nothing the doughhead uses Corenman's work to feed his system.  AND SOME IDIOT MAGAZINE GIVES THE DOUGHHEAD AN AWARD.

Oh yes.  One other thing.  You cannot use doughhead's program unless you are in wifi range.  Of course sailors are always in wifi range.

Based on the magazine's "award" several thousand people have paid doughhead for his "app".  What was it Barnum said?  

What gripes me most is that the intelligent and generous Jim Corenman, mentioned before in my blogs, is given no credit.  Greed and stupidity trump accomplishment and good deeds every day.

I suppose if Corenman shut down his free system the doughhead would sue him.

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