A marketing company in America has been rapped by the Federal Trade Commission for publishing reviews of its clients' games on iTunes. The organisation, Reverb Marketing, has issued a statement suggesting it regarded the matter as trivial and didn't want to spend ages fighting this sort of lawsuit. We haven't put a link to its website in this instance because it was down as this story was being written; that could of course be coincidence.

The ruling follows a change to FTC guidelines this year in which it has come out against companies or their agencies posing as ordinary members of the public.

The issue isn't trivial, but it's not something the FTC should need to be involved in. In early 2009 [URL="


Thanks Alex, I did indeed mean precisely that. The sites that are willing to be regulated will already have warning signs all over them; the ones that are inclined to send porn where it's not wanted or going to cause offence won't care that there's a new domain to help the filtering companies.


Today the news has come through - some would say it's a good thing, some will be appalled - that the XXX domain has had approval from ICANN, the authority that sets things up.

Personally I'm delighted, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think a 45 year old man might have.

I'm first delighted because as long as the owners of these domains play ball, and as long as the adult entertainment industry moves itself to the new domain, it's going to be really easy to filter out.

Second, although as a 17 years-married man the female body isn't news to me, unless there are specific laws to block these things I think people ought to have their own legitimate playground. Clearly signposted with warnings for people who don't want to play, of course, but unless the law changes - and that's a debate for elsewhere - it's got to have its place, and the safer a domain makes it for the rest of us who don't want to get involved, the better.

This is where it starts to get a little hazy.

Some people might remember a cartoon a few years ago, called Beavis and Butthead. It was juvenile stuff but that was fine - you didn't like it, you didn't watch it. It was certainly never obscene.

Until someone bought the domain for beavisbutthead.com and loaded it with porn.

That's someone not giving a warning, not complying with usual laws, just deciding to offend people for ...


Apple has apparently shipped 3 million iPads. You'll be aware of that because you read the papers, the blogs, the press releases - and Apple is brilliant at telling everyone when it has a hit (I don't remember getting so much information when it was pushing the Newton).

No doubt it'll be telling us how many iphone 4s it has shipped before too long, too, although there won't be one in my house until it catches up with itself for the quantities it needs to make. But let's stick with the iPad for the moment.

I bought mine on the day of release, mostly because I thought it would be insanity for a tech writer not to have one to play with. I stand by that. And I like it, I really do. But I have to ask myself: what have I actually done with it so far?

I've read a book. And some comics. I've put some music on it and listened to it because I can rather than because I thought it was an essential idea. I've watched bits of a television programme, changed my mind and put them onto the television instead (TV programmes, oddly, look better on TV than on an iPad).

I've done a bit of web surfing and yes it's more comfortable to look at than the iPhone screen. And I've played some games - Angry Birds is highly recommended, for example, as one of the most addictive games in the known universe.

Then ...