Monday, April 7, 2014

Death of an app?

The weather was apparently nice this weekend, especially on Saturday—at least based on my weather app. I never actually went or even looked outside, however. It’s too expensive to go outside, and I spend a lot of time sleeping on weekends.

The RATP (the Paris transit authority) has “updated” its app in the App Store for iOS mobile devices (and perhaps for Android devices, I’m not sure) … and the new version is a total catastrophe. This used to be one of the best and most useful apps in the store, ideal for getting around Paris using public transportation. The new version is ugly, poorly translated, and hastily written, and includes lots of advertising and a “maRATP” feature that compels you to join the RATP’s proprietary cloud in order to use certain features—presumably because the RATP wants to sell your personal data to third parties. You’d think that an organization supported mainly by tax dollars wouldn’t be so greedy, but I guess everyone wants to make a fast buck/euro.

I read on a travel site that Mona Lisait (see the pun?), a small chain of discount bookstores, is closing its doors, after being put into the red by the rise of electronic publishing. The French are avid readers, as a general rule, and certainly in comparison to the semi-literate American population, but I guess even they are affected by changing times. I confess that I hardly ever read anything on paper these days, but that’s partly a general decline in reading for me just as much or more than it is a discontinuance of reading things on paper.

The weather continues to be nice, although it is frighteningly warm for this time of year. It got up to nearly 24° C (76° F) yesterday, far above normal levels. And we could use more rain, even though people like dry days.

Lately I’ve been sneezing and I have a slightly sore throat. I think someone has infected me again.

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