Rupert in a snit over iPhone glitch

The web may be a wonderland for free information, but there's been one notable holdout. The Wall Street Journal, that bastion of conservative economic thought, has, like its money-minded soul sister The Economist, held out on joining most other publications in granting access to its full content for free online. (A smart move, if you ask me, since it expects to survive.) If you want online access to all of the Journal's hard-core market analysis and hard-earned in-depth reporting, you have to pay at least $103 a year to get a web subscription to read much more than the major headline stories.

But the Wall Street Journal is also a favored publication of trend-seekers and conspicuous consumers everywhere, and those readers are carrying the electronic toy du jour: iPhones. The WSJ simply had to have a little program for the iPhone if it was going to remain relevant. So it recently put one out in the form of an "app," distributed by Apple.

Unfortunately for the editors at the Journal, though, Apple hasn't yet figured out a safe or easy way to charge iPhone users for the things they do within apps sold at its App Store. So anything from the Journal that you can read on an iPhone (or an iPod Touch) is not charged.