AMITIAE - Monday 10 March 2014

Cassandra: Formula One Timing App and other Poor Executions

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By Graham K. Rogers


Usually about this time of year I begin to get excited as the motor racing season starts: Formula One and MotoGP. To help me follow the races in full detail, I download the timing apps that have been available.

Initially, these were both put out by Soft Pauer, but last year Dorna - the company that owns the commercial rights to the motorcycle racing - took over and distributed the app themselves. They also put out a fairly expensive live video feed service as well, but with the standard of coverage of the local TV companies, along with the lost signals when it rains, that investment looks more attractive as the season goes on.

Earlier today, I put out a review of the Manchester United iOS app and on the Facebook entry I wrote, a local user commented on the non-availability of the Formula One app: he was expecting to download it from the US Store.

That did not sound good, so I looked at the F1 site, with its large Flash panel. Just down the page is a news item dated 8 March: Now available - the new Official F1 App for iOS. I clicked on the link, which opened in a browser.

F1 app

However, when I tried to follow that through to the iTunes store for Thailand, was given a red card:

Red Card

I declined, but there was more bad news. On the F1 site there is free access to Live Timing. As I had registered last year, I gave this a try, but when I opened a timing page, was given the information that I did not have the plugin. Java was required. With all the security problems that that Pandora's Box might open, I declined again.

I wrote a suitably caustic email to Formula One Administration: Soft Pauer had always managed to distribute this world-wide.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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