Back in January I was amused that Business Week wanted to pretend that stopping publishing the magazine outside the US was somehow a good thing. They refunded the balance of all subscriptions, and offered two ways to continue reading the magazine - one was to have it sent from the US by steamship, and the other was to read it electronically using Zinio.
I made the mistake of signing up for the cheaper, quicker (and, as it turned out, worst) option, thinking that I could print out the sections I wanted to read.
Sounds like a good plan? Er, not really.
Yes, the Zino applicaton looks quite attractive, but it is big and resource-hungry - someone should have told the designers to drop the "clever" animation that shows a page turning when you move through the magazine, and just make it small and fast.
In fact, the magazine metaphor is pretty dumb. Do I really want to read something that looks exactly like a printed magazine (adverts and all)? Why can't I have one window open with the contents and then another for articles I want to read? Why can't I zoom in or out as much as I want? Or search?
Printing is equally hopeless. I should be able to click on article and have it print in the background (instead you have to select the pages and then select print and then wait while it prints - and it's very slow). I should be able to select to print on A4 rather than having to answer messages on the printer about loading 'Letter' paper (Acrobat can do this, of course). Hopeless (and a Google search turns up the news that someone from The Guardian seems to agree that Zinio is rubbish).
Given that printing is so painful, how about letting me read it on my PDA? I can read Acrobat's PDF documents this way, but Zinio doesn't offer this function. It's a PC or nothing.
It also gives me an irritating message when I start up the PC telling me that it has found a new issue of Business Week but I have already downloaded it. Why bother telling me this?
Oh, and one more thing. The email address I gave to Zinio (and no-one else) is now being used by spammers. Who did that, Mr Zinio?