Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Lowdown on Lou Reed’s Vanished App

Yes, it feels just a little weird to be writing about Lou Reed’s iPhone app right now. But since not all of you are consumed with geography and weather, here you go: Did you know Lou Reed has an iPhone app?

Or more accurately: Did you know Lou Reed used to have an iPhone app, but doesn’t anymore? But that he probably will again?

The beginnings of this one come to us via Eliot Van Buskirk and his excellent blog, which pointed out today that Reed’s web site promotes an app called “Lou Zoom.”

This one tweaks the address book on Apple’s handsets, apparently, and it looks sort of interesting. I don’t really need the font magnifier, yet. But I do find the search function on the iPhone’s stock address book pretty limited. So that could be cool. Alas, as Buskirk notes, the app isn’t actually in the app store right now.

But, it turns out, it has been: Reed and his team introduced the $1.99 app back in the fall of 2009. And it would still be in the store now except someone has let some kind of registration lapse, says Ben Syverson, the developer who built the app.

Syverson says Reed’s management is trying to sort out whatever’s keeping the app out of the store, and assumes it will be back there shortly. He also says he think he’ll end up building an Android version, too.

My hunch is that Lou Zoom was not a huge money maker for Reed and company, or else they’d be paying much more attention to their app store status. Still, they did find time to make this promotional video, featuring the man himself, and some very exotic glasses. And a sword?

And now I gotta run, so I can stock up on essentials. Talk soon!

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik