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‘Appy

Has it really been 8 days?  Amazing!  We should celebrate this arbitrary offset in time!

Just over a week ago I posted about a Cold Case-themed app on the Google Play store.  It was an extremely poor quality looking word puzzle game.  The given description was barely in English and a linked to video was not even related to the TV show beloved of our readers.

My intention in posting was to warn about the dangers of installing such applications on our mobilephones, which contain increasing amounts of personal information.  When allowed to apps can access that data, post messages (which could incur charges) or be used in online attacks.  How careful are we about that?  As I said last week, there is a trick the less scrupulous use of releasing a harmless free app and then later an update which is far less benign.  If you’re happy with v1 then why would you question ‘bug fix’ v1.01 update?

I tried to do all that without ridiculing those that, without any critical assessment, sought to encourage installing the app.  Others had a different view on it.

Now the only thing notable about the app is its absence from the Google Play store.  It ain’t there no more.  I can’t remember the name of the developer but I’ve been unable to find any of the other apps they had listed so presumably they have all gone.  Did they jump or were they pushed?  We have no information to explain why the app was removed.  Perhaps it was full of bugs that caused users problems.  Maybe an attempted update included malicious code.  Or it just violated the T&Cs.  We’ll probably never know but someone’s done the right thing.

‘opefully no ‘arm was done.  Copy that!

Sunday Schooling

Sigh.  Looks like I have to defend myself and this site against someone that doesn’t understand what they are complaining about again.

Last night I posted about an piece of crapp on the Google Play store.  I didn’t credit where I had found this information and this seems to have upset someone that posted about it before me on their Facebook page.  Apparently being second equates to plagiarism.  If so we need to have words about other things on that page, and meaning of plagiarism.

The person in question is called Lisa.  I’ve posted before about her and her Facebook page.  You may remember it as the one only for “good Kathryn fans”.  The rest of us (presumably bad fans) have to put up with sites like this one.  You know, ones with original content, facts, and opinions.  Lara (Lisa’s sister?) pointed out my timing via Twitter.  She/they completely missed the point.

So, did I find out about this app from Lisa’s FB page?  Yes.  Did I credit her in any way?  No.

Why?  Because, if I had explicitly named Lisa, and not used the more vague “it has come to my attention”, then I would have had to make it clear that I was actually posting about the very poor job I thought she did.  How was that going to go down with Lisa and her sister?  Linking to content like that and encouraging readers to “Download the app on your Android cellphone immediatelly!!” is very bad advice.  Where was the review?  Where was the warning of the possible dangers?  My post was about those dangers.  That’s why my Tweet about the post included the phrase “public information message”.  A point lost on some.  I even used teh “Editorial” category (look below, next to the date).  Another missed fact.  It wasn’t news.

I followed Lisa’s link to the app store page.  The first thing I did was look for details on the developer (AgungMedia) and what else they’ve done (more of the same).  I looked for evidence that it is an officially endorsed app (it’s not, as they make clear).  I read the description which states:

Cold Case Game, This game is a game that is in between the two images and words. guessing and analyzing images. Do not miss this game, just download this game and free.play fun. It is an addictive game. games played this game for the fans Cold Case Game

Utter nonsense.  This is a puzzle game based around English words and that text is the written by the developers!  And don’t get me started about the promo video.  Too late.  It’s not even about Cold Case.  It’s a trailer for Cold Case Files on the A+E channel!  Does that give you cause to question the quality of the app?  Was it written with input from an actual fan?

Would you buy a house from an estate agent/realtor that described the property like the following?

A house that is a house you can live in.  Dont miss this house, just by it and live it. live fun. it is a grate hosue for people that like houses.

What if they then showed you a video that was a trailer for the TV show House?  What would you think of a person that sent a link to the seller’s website telling you to buy the house?

I’m certainly not letting that app near my phone.  As I said before, there is a reason it is not in the Apple App Store: it wouldn’t even pass their initial tests.  It took all of 10 seconds checking by me to come to those conclusions.

The least someone in a position like myself or Lisa can do is some basic research into what they are posting.  It’s journalism 1-0-1.  I’m not claiming to get it right all the time.  I’m sure I don’t.  But if I don’t know something then I either don’t post it or make it clear where I stand.

Lisa, if what you wanted was credit, there you go.  I’m always happy to give credit where credit is due.

Not ‘Appy

It has come to my attention that a Cold Case-related app has recently been added to the Google Play store for Android phones and tablets.

I won’t further the embarrassment by naming names.  And I’m certainly not going to post a link to the page in the app store.  That’ll just encourage them.

Suffice to say the app is a simple word puzzle game with some pictures of the cast, all of which you’ve seen on this site and dozens of others.  It’s an app with a silent “cr”.  The maker has churned out a load of them on different themes. It is NOT official in any way.

There’s a bunch of reasons that the app is not on Apple’s App Store, the main one being that the Fruity one curates the content on there to stop such dross.  Keep in mind that just because version 1 of an app has simple permissions (network access for instance) doesn’t mean that v1.1 won’t try and sneak far more dangerous ones past you such as sending text messages or accessing you contacts.  Let’s be careful out there.

The saving grace is that the app is free.  Charging for it would be a crime.  Much like the English in the accompanying description.

eBayers Beware

ebay_120x120During one of my recent regular web searches I found a lot of Kathryn-related photos on sale on the online auction site eBay.

I know such things are nothing new but this time some of the items really caught my eye and I wanted to publicise practises used by some sellers of such merchandise.

The first thing that struck me was the number of still photographs from Cold Case that were available.  I was not aware there were that many around.  Also, the fact that they were all described as ‘rare’ is a little rich.  If you are selling printed images online then the rarity is only a trait based on how many you can sell.  The word ‘sexy’ is also bandied about with gay abandon.  Obviously with Kathryn being the chief subject of the images the ‘sexy’ is baked right in there, but there is still a time and a place to use it and this was not it.  Is a shot of Lilly interviewing a suspect in interrogation ‘sexy’?  It is not as though she was untying her hair, loosening a couple of shirt buttons, sitting on a chair the wrong way around, and asking in a husky tone where the perp was at the time of the murder.

Further inspection made me even more suspicious about some these items.  That image of the interrogation room looked very familiar.  A recent-KM-UK-Summer-Of-HD-post level of familiar.  I could actually see the new items going up for sale a few days behind them appearing on this site.  A comparison between some recently added screencaps and the ‘glossy photos’ shows my hunch was right.  Many of these images being sold as high quality photos are just prints of screencaps, created by me for this site, albeit cropped to remove any station idents.  If the scene matches a screencap exactly then the photo has to be taken from that individual video frame.  There is no way a genuine photo taken during the filming can be the same.  It is just not possible.

At this point I should make clear that I am not in any way claiming ownership of these images, that would be wrong.  I am not trying to make money from this site, on the contrary there are costs involved in the hosting etc.

What I am stating is the sellers passing off printed screencaps as ‘rare… glossy photos’ are attempting to dupe buyers.  The quality of the print may be fantastic but if the source is at best a 1920×1080 (that’s 2Mpixel) still taken from a broadcast video then it cannot be described as such.

I attempted to contact several of the eBay sellers about this and, to his/her credit, one of them responded.  The individual thanked me for telling them about this and said they would discuss it with their supplier.  I’ve not heard any more from them.  Some of the auctions were closed and the numbers do seem to have dropped of since then but many remain and more have been added since.  There are also a lot of actual on set stills and publicity photographs on sale.

My reason for this post?  I wanted to alert everyone to this practise in case you were considering purchasing such photos.  Of all the ones I’ve seen I don’t think any couldn’t be found on this site, or elsewhere on the Internet, and printed for yourself.  If you really wanted a high quality, photo-style print you could probably do just as good a job by using your own printer and the right paper or finding someone with a good photo printer to do it for you.  Many high street and online services can also produce glossy prints from any source you have, and all for a lot less money they the sellers on eBay are asking.

‘Carpe Diem’ as they say.  Or should that be ‘crappy, dayum’?  Or just ‘crappy deal’.

KM UK Xmas Message 2013

on_set_20120927_010Happy Xmas!

Happy Xmas everybody.

The last few years I’ve done this Xmas Message as a look back on the Kathryn-related news and events that we’ve brought you in the previous 12 months.  When I first thought about writing this one I wondered what I could do.  It felt like little had happened.  Fortuntely further investigation proved me very wrong or this would be a very short piece.

promo_010The year started with much anticipation of the release of the Hallmark movie The Sweeter Side Of Life.  After news of the film broke in May of 2012 we brought you comprehensive coverage, including promo photos and the first trailer.  This continued in the first weeks of January with almost daily updates.  The 19th of the month saw the première broadcast on the Hallmark channel in the US.  We followed up with exclusive screenshots and my own review.

silver_lake_juice_bar_001February brought us a little insight into the world of Kathryn with the discovery of her endorsement of a local juice bar.  The short film The Coin, which was filmed in July of 2012, made the first of many appearances on KM UK during this year with some great on set photos.  Almost exactly a year ago we’d seen the first trailer.  This year would see a lot of news about the very intriguing short.

on_set_001March, however, saw the news that so many of us had been waiting for since Cold Case ended in 2010:  Kathryn was starring in the pilot for a new show called The Surgeon General.  The show was to be a “procedural” based around the work of the “nation’s doctor” rooting out major health issues and featured British actor “Hello to” Jason Isaacs (Case Histories).  After the high regard that his previous US TV series Awake was held in, Jason had his choice of new shows.  The fact that he went for The Surgeon General made it a good candidate for being picked up to series.  It was up against some strong opposition though.  Even the safe bet of an NCIS spin-off didn’t make it, and neither did The Surgeon General.  That news came in mid-May.  We were very fortunate to get some photos taking during the production process at the time from her co-stars Alex Dawson and Kristen Shaw, and her stand-in Melissa Rutland (see photo on the left).  Thank you ladies.  Both Kristen and Melissa are based in Atlanta, where the Rod Lurie directed pilot was filmed.

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