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  1.    #1  
    I'm a huge fan of trivia. I work from home, and usually have the Discovery Channel, History Channel, or Science Channel on all day. I'm a veritable wellspring of useless information, and I love soaking up as many exotic bits of data as I possibly can.

    So needless to say, I was excited to see an app called FunFactsw appear in the Homebrew gallery today. But then I looked at the example "fact" that was displayed in the sample screenshot, and the feeling quickly dissipated.

    Take a look. See if you know what's wrong with this picture:



    If you didn't already know, or couldn't guess, the answer is the "fact" presented in the image is completely untrue. While it's a popular myth that elephants cannot jump, the truth of the matter is highly debatable. There has never been a scientifically accepted answer on the subject, one way or the other. Biologists, physicists, zoologists, etc., go back and forth on it all the time, and likely always will (unless someone figures out how to get an elephant to jump on command, which no one ever has).

    But regardless what the case may be for elephants in particular, the fact (the REAL fact) is there are dozens of other animals that do share the inability to jump. So even if elephants couldn't jump, they would hardly be the only ones.

    In case anyone is curious, below is a quick (very incomplete) list of known animals that actually cannot jump:

    • Corals
    • Most Mollusks
    • Most crustaceans
    • Anemones
    • Sponges
    • Jellyfish
    • Earthworms
    • Tube worms
    • Rockhopper Penguins (don't let the name fool you)
    • Slugs
    • Snails
    • Manatees
    • Dugongs
    • Many species of snake
    • Some ants
    • Some spiders
    • Most bats (although flying beats the heck out of jumping, so who cares)
    • Sea squirts


    Now, I'm not sure how much fun that was, but at least it was factual.

    As for the app in question, if we remove the F from the beginning, and simply call it "unfacts", then maybe we'd have something. Otherwise, unless that "w" tacked on at the end stands for "wrong", this app fails to deliver. The example image says pretty much all I think we need to know in determining whether or not this app is worthwhile.


    EDIT: The author of the app has since changed the image this review referenced, and has acknowledged that the "facts" are simply for entertainment purposes, and should not be counted on for accuracy. /EDIT
    Last edited by ABBlockhead; 08/16/2009 at 07:36 PM.
  2. haydur's Avatar
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    #2  
    Thanks for this fascinating review.

    I think you missed an animal that can't jump either: a troll.

  3. precntrl's Avatar
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    #3  
    hahaa
  4. SoloTwo's Avatar
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    #4  
    It is free, who cares.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by SoloTwo View Post
    It is free, who cares.
    It's also a free review. So who cares if who cares?
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by ABBlockhead View Post
    EDIT: The author of the app has since changed the image this review referenced, and has acknowledged that the "facts" are simply for entertainment purposes, and should not be counted on for accuracy. /EDIT
    Wow, you've proven your intellectual superiority on the topic of jumping elephants, haven't you?

    Now that you've met that amazing accomplishment, maybe you could study up on this topic.
    Last edited by Bujin; 08/12/2009 at 09:37 PM.
    Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

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  7. SoloTwo's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by ABBlockhead View Post
    It's also a free review. So who cares if who cares?
    So its settled, no one cares about nuthin!
  8. Rhody's Avatar
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    #8  
    Don't be so sensitive. The review was fair. It was an unfortunate coincidence that the author of the app used an unfactual fact in the example screenshot, but it pointed out the problem with the app. The disclaimer that the "facts" are for entertainment purposes only is necessary.

    This reminds me of those emails you get with an actual picture of a person about to be eaten by a shark or something like that. Most "fun fact" emails going around can be debunked using snopes. Sure, they're fun, but people should be aware that they're not facts.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhody View Post
    Don't be so sensitive. The review was fair. It was an unfortunate coincidence that the author of the app used an unfactual fact in the example screenshot, but it pointed out the problem with the app. The disclaimer that the "facts" are for entertainment purposes only is necessary.

    This reminds me of those emails you get with an actual picture of a person about to be eaten by a shark or something like that. Most "fun fact" emails going around can be debunked using snopes. Sure, they're fun, but people should be aware that they're not facts.
    A review doesn't need to state "this app fails", when it pulls from a public database. At worst, the database is inaccurate - so the review was both inaccurate and a bit tacky.

    Manners and socially appropriate behavior is a good thing, even on the Interwebs.
    Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

    Treo600 --> Treo650-->PPC6700-->Treo700P-->Treo755P-->Treo800W --> Touch Pro-->Palm Pre --> EVO 4G
  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    A review doesn't need to state "this app fails", when it pulls from a public database.
    Is it your belief that "fail" is an insult? I can assure, even though it has four letters in it, it is not a dirty word.

    The definition of "fail" is to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved. In this case, what was expected was that an app called "Fun Facts" would display true information (facts) that happens to be entertaining or humorous (fun). Since it turns out that some of the information is not actually true, the app, by definition, fails. There's nothing impolite in pointing that out.

    Also, not that it really matters, but at the time I posted the review, the author had not stated that the information was pulled from a public database. All the app's description said was "a PHP database that is updated regularly". There was no way to know whether the database had been created by the author or not, or whether it was public or private. All that was known was the app purported to display facts, and it did not do so reliably. As I said, failure, by definition. I know of no other way to describe it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    At worst, the database is inaccurate - so the review was both inaccurate and a bit tacky.
    The review is 100% accurate. Whether or not it's tacky is obviously a matter of opinion. I don't see anything wrong with pointing out when a product doesn't do what it claims to do. I'm sorry that you do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    Manners and socially appropriate behavior is a good thing, even on the Interwebs.
    Agreed. Please don't confuse a negative review for rudeness. Again, there's nothing impolite about saying something doesn't work.

    I realize there tends to be a culture of backslapping in creative communities, and this one is certainly no exception. While that's a very admirable thing, and it's wonderful to be a part of, it doesn't mean we shouldn't be allowed to criticize. As I said once before on this topic, criticism is at least as valuable as praise. To shun either one is unrealistic, and is ultimately detrimental to growth.

    The author indicated he appreciated the criticism here, and he responded to it in the most positive, constructive, and professional manner anyone possibly could. I would invite you to do likewise. If you can't do that, then we'll have to agree to disagree.
    Last edited by ABBlockhead; 08/13/2009 at 08:30 PM.
  11. #11  
    i had it and it was fun and liked it very much, then i had to apply webos doctor and when i download it again and install it, when i run it i get the following msg.

    "The requested URL/pre/funfact.php was not found on this server
    Additionally, a 404 Not found was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Apache/1.3.33 Server at louisevilleunknown.com Port 80 "
    Does this mean the app is no longer valid and have to download it from App Catalogue ??

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