Month: September 2009
Exact Imitation is the Most Sincere Form of Thievery
I turned the other cheek when another app with the name “Cheap Gas” showed up in the app store. That was also a GasBuddy.com client, and differed in name only by some hyphenated bullshit tacked onto the end of “Cheap Gas.”
Fine. It’s a crowded little space (GasBuddy.com, GasBag, iGasUp, Cheap Gas!). Build a better mousetrap, yada yada yada. Fine.
When a THIRD app shows up – named “Cheap Gas Finder” – and uses the “Cheap Gas!” application in iTunes VERBATIM as their app description… well, let’s just say “enough’s enough.”
It’s not like Cheap Gas! is an obscure app. It’s not a world beater, but it’s fairly well known, with well over 400,000 downloads.
How in the hell can anyone simply tack on a word of a popular app, steal their description VERBATIM, and still get approved into the App Store?
Am I pissed? Really, more disappointed than pissed.
I’m used to being kissed before I get screwed.
So, there’s THAT.
Below are the screen shots of my app, and the two copycat apps.
I’m a huge fan of NASA (the idea), but not so much NASA the government agency.
After six more launches, human space flight – at least for the next decade – is a total question mark for NASA.
We frequent the KSC Visitor Complex at least once a month. We go to Shuttle launches. We attend Camp KSC.
And all I can do is wonder – why are we about to mothball a brain trust that we have spent the last 50 years developing?
I’m not a huge proponent of continuing to tread water in low earth orbit. If the U.S. is to continue HSF, it needs to go big – or go home.
As we often do, sometimes we’ll drive the Space Coast and come to KSC north from Florida Highway 3 (which runs right through the Space Center). When you drive north on FL 3, you have to take a left on Space Commerce Way to get to the Visitor Center – about a 5 mile drive.
Space Commerce Way is a fantastic metaphor for the state of NASA today – it is nothing but a hard path with swampland on either side. And absolutely no space commerce of any kind to be found along the way.
All I can do for now is hope for someone with vision – maybe my kids’ generation – to rekindle the dream.
Because for now, it all but appears to be dying.
Some of the best conversations I’ve had with my sons have been at night while tucking them into bed.
Without embarrassing them here, I’ll only say this – when I think that they aren’t listening, or that they aren’t taking to heart what I’m trying to get across to them, they surprise me with the depth of their reflection.
I have to stop and realize that more often.