Banned iPhone advertisement highlights regulators’ (mis)understanding of the internet

If you haven’t heard, the Advertising Standards Authority, (the UK’s advertising watchdog), has banned this ad in response to 2 viewer complaints:

The judgement states the ad was banned because the statement that “all the parts of the internet are on the iPhone” was deemed misleading because the iPhone does “not support Flash or Java, both integral to many web pages.”

This judgement hightlights the fact that regulators don’t often truly understand the internet, even if they are sometimes required to regulate it.  If we take the ASA‘s ruling at face value then nobody can advertise any computer as being able to access “all the parts of the internet” since most computers ship without Flash or Java plugins installed.   To take that arguement even further, since most computers that are sold run Windows, and windows comes with Internet Explorer, and IE, in it’s current form, is not 100% standards-compliant, so all of the Internet is not available computers either, at least not out of the box.

Granted, the iPhone is much more difficult to add a Flash or Java plugin to, (I believe it is impossible right now), but governments and regulators seem to pass strange, mis-informed judgements sometimes.  On the other hand, we’re really wanting some regulation when it comes to net neutrality.

Hotmail vs. FF3 – Clueless Support!

Since I wrote that Hotmail is not friends with Firefox 3 on Wednesday there have been a lot of people finding that entry searching for things like “hotmail not work firefox 3” and “hotmail tells me to clear cache and cookies.”

Well, one reader, Joel, contacted support, and here’s the excellent E-mail he got back:

…Your message was forwarded to us at Windows Live Hotmail Technical Support. This is Kris and I gather that you are having issue that Windows Live Hotmail will not load in the full version when you are accessing your #######@###### account through Firefox 3 as your browser. I understand the importance of having this addressed immediately.

Joel, I would like to inform you that Windows Live Hotmail does not currently have the feature that will allowed you to use the full version of Windows Live Hotmail when using Firefox 3 as your browser. What I can do for you now is to personally submit this item to the Windows Live Hotmail Product Development Team as a feature request for evaluation, as I see the usefulness of this capability.

We appreciate your continued support as we strive to provide you with the highest quality service available. Thank you for using Windows Live Hotmail.

How cryptic can the response be?  Again:

Windows Live Hotmail does not currently have the feature that will allowed you to use the full version of Windows Live Hotmail when using Firefox 3 as your browser.

What’s going on?

Hotmail is not friends with Firefox 3

Since yesterday’s release of Firefox 3 I have been enjoying snappier speeds browsing  some of my favourite websites.  Not Windows Live Mail though.  When I log in it tells me this:

You are temporarily on the classic version of Windows Live Hotmail due to an error encountered during login. Before trying again, please clear your cache and cookies.

Reminds me of earlier times, when Windows Live Mail didn’t fully support FF.  What gives?

Update: A lot of people are finding this post when searching for things like “firefox 3 hotmail not working,” so it seems that this is a fairly common problem.  If anyone finds a solution, drop me a line at john at johnbeales dot com and let me know how it works, or post it in the comments, (comments are moderated so it may not appear right away).