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Why Apple Should Stop Censoring Apps 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the dept-line-redacted dept.
An anonymous reader writes "ReadWriteWeb makes the case that Apple should stop censoring submissions to the App Store. The company made headlines last week for banning an app showing the locations of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The article says Apple should restrict its bans to apps that have terrible functionality or a poor UI, and 'get out of the business of censorship.' Quoting: 'Last year in Syria, antigovernment activists began using an iPhone app to disseminate news, maps, photos and videos about the conflict in a country that doesn't exactly rank highly for its press freedom. Mobile tech in the hands of Syrian dissidents proved enough of a nuisance that the government banned the iPhone in late 2011, presumably to quash content that the regime found, um, objectionable. This example raises a few questions. First, why are pins on a map more objectionable than photos and video clips from a war zone? Why does content that effectively agitates for one government to be overthrown make the cut, while content that may make another government look bad (depending on one's own perspective) doesn't? Is Apple taking sides in international conflicts? Perhaps more disturbing is the notion that, were Apple to apply these standards consistently, apps like the one used by Syrian dissidents — and perhaps some news apps — would be barred from the App Store as well.'"
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Why Apple Should Stop Censoring Apps

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  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @05:55PM (#41240091)

    Is Apple taking sides in international conflicts?

    Um, no. Apple is taking sides based on the PR it might get. They banned the 'shake the baby' app for exactly the same reason. They're not going to stop doing it, either, because 'image' is a big part of their marketing strategy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Image is 100% of their marketing strategy.

      What Apple should be afraid of is the day they become an unhip cliche.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        and image is the exact reason that Linux has failed on the Desk Top. Not everyone wants a Neck Beard.

        It's easy to make up BS as an AC

        • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:54PM (#41240833)

          Not just image, but even an easy distro like Ubuntu requires command-line tweaking to get it to work properly.

          The problem is, and XKCD nailed this, was that the OS doesn't matter. Everyone's using the Interwebs for Facebook, LOLCats, YouTube, and porn. So you want the computer that'll deliver the goods with the least amount of fucking around.

          The cheap solution is Windows. That's the default OS on most computers sold. Reboots are acceptable for 99% of users.

          The heavily-marketed "just works" solution is Apple's walled garden. Most people don't care about the open or closed nature, "wait, I can get the stuff on the list and it won't break if I've installed an new program? Yeah, I can afford the Mac Tax, gimmie." I know, it only works on their special parts, and nothing else. Their users don't care about DRM, or the shift of computers from creative to consumptive devices.

          Any flavour of Linux requires a lot of tinkering. That's great if the tinkering is part of your hobby, or if you want to actually own your machine. (I've had the touchpad break when installing SMPlayer, FFS.) Linux is a pain in the ass to use, end of story. Once it's working, it's great, but to get it to that point requires a massive amount of patience.

          • Re:No. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:59PM (#41240899)
            Agreed wholeheartedly! I run nothing but vanilla Debian (testing on my workstations, stable on my servers) but am the exact opposite of a Linux evangelical. Tweaking the OS is part of my hobby and I get a happy glowing feeling when my computers act like well-oiled machines. I also acknowledge that I represent about .1% of actual users and that most people just want it to work. Would a gear head ever buy a brand new car with an automatic transmission and the hood welded shut?
            • Gear/petrol heads are as diverse as computer enthusiasts are. I might buy a sealed up automatic, depending on the car. I'd have to really trust the car and feel more confidence in the brand's technicians than in myself. I would buy an automatic Ferrari Californian easily, or a Lamborghini Aventador. Many of gear heads aren't tinkerers. I myself am a driver, and I like exotic super cars. My father is into old American muscle and hot rods. He likes the idea of building a car, and I just want to a really great

          • Their users don't care about DRM

            Until it bites them, then they start to care. That said, DRM isn't very malign yet, and has bitten just a tiny minority.

          • by jmcvetta (153563)

            but even an easy distro like Ubuntu requires command-line tweaking to get it to work properly.

            Huh? Have you used Ubuntu in the past, say, 4+ years? If you're having to do command line tweaking with any remotely recent version, you must be running it on some pretty funky hardware.

      • No, it's not. They could not maintain their success for so many generations of products if they didn't have a strong platform to build on. Face it, if image were really all there was to it, then many Android phones would be 'fashionable' just because s'not Apple. We stopped living in that world years ago when Android became a viable alternative to iOS.

        • by sumdumass (711423)

          In my younger years, I used to be a trend setter- well me and some of the people I hung around. I would start wearing things like jewelry or brand name shirts and shoes, and all the other people my age in my school would copy it. We would do things like flick our lighters in the air to greet each other and they would too (yes, I'm old enough they let us smoke at school and even carry pocket knives).

          The reason I'm bringing this up is because I would see things that were fading from popularity and there would

      • I believe image is 100% of most companies' marketing strategy.
    • Re:No. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:07PM (#41240235) Homepage

      Exactly.

      Apple isn't trying to fight for any particular ideals of freedom. They're fighting to fill a walled garden that people will pay money to use. Things that offend the American right-wing militants will get banned. Things that offend the American left-wing socialists will get banned. Things that piss off people with "complex standards" will get banned. Things that piss off people with "common sense" will get banned.

      All that is left is apps that appeal to the middle-of-the-road masses, because that's where Apple's money comes from.

      • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tooyoung (853621) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @08:34PM (#41241913)
        How is this different from other stores? My local grocery chain doesn't stock Playboy in the magazine section. McDonalds doesn't offer Pepsi products. Target doesn't sell Walmart generics. Barnes and Noble doesn't carry my novel. It seems pretty common for stores to limit products that they sell based on all sorts of criteria. I assume you have the same disdain for their censorship and mourn the spiral to mediocrity they create.
        • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by grcumb (781340) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @09:25PM (#41242311) Homepage Journal

          How is this different from other stores? My local grocery chain doesn't stock Playboy in the magazine section. McDonalds doesn't offer Pepsi products. Target doesn't sell Walmart generics. Barnes and Noble doesn't carry my novel. It seems pretty common for stores to limit products that they sell based on all sorts of criteria. I assume you have the same disdain for their censorship and mourn the spiral to mediocrity they create.

          The fact that other businesses exercise arbitrary logic does nothing to change the validity (or lack thereof) of the writer's contention that Apple is censoring based on a particular ideological stance. You've just indulged in an appeal to popularity (i.e. 'everybody does X, so it's not wrong' - which doesn't sound so great when you apply different values to X, like slavery, rape or drunk driving).

          Now, to look at each of the examples: Exclusivity doesn't seem to be driving Apple's thinking here, so McDonalds doesn't apply. Space is not an issue, so (brick and mortar) Barnes and Noble isn't pertinent. Sales numbers are not the criterion in question here, so B&N online doesn't apply either.

          That leaves us with the Playboy example. But the problem is that Soldier of Fortune would be a closer analogy, and to abuse it a little further, the problem is that Apple does stock Soldier of Fortune, but does not stock the Human Rights Watch publication that publishes nothing but the places where violence occurs.

          The disdain for Apple's behaviour therefore, isn't just that it's censorious (though it is), nor that it's inconsistent (though it is). The complaint seems to arise from the perception that Apple's behaviour is being driven by a particular ideology that simply refuses to acknowledge anything that might reflect poorly on the US government and its foreign policy.

          Draw what conclusions you like about that, but don't do so based entirely on false equivalency.

          • by milkmage (795746)

            "the problem is that Apple does stock Soldier of Fortune, but does not stock the Human Rights Watch publication that publishes nothing but the places where violence occurs."

            just a second now.. it's not like apple hand picks from a large pool of apps and decides which to sell. DId HRW submit one too and get denied?

            woah. hey. nope. they didn't

            http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/human-rights-watch-for-ipad/id414155415?mt=8 [apple.com] /i get your point, but I'm a stickler for detail ;)
            (and there is no SoF app)

            • by grcumb (781340)

              i get your point, but I'm a stickler for detail ;)

              Talk about putting the anal back into analogy.

              I get your point too, but I couldn't resist.... 8^)

        • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @10:29PM (#41242793) Journal

          My local grocery chain doesn't stock Playboy in the magazine section. McDonalds doesn't offer Pepsi products. Target doesn't sell Walmart generics. Barnes and Noble doesn't carry my novel.

          There's a few differences.

          First, in the physical world, shelf-space is limited. A store can't carry everything because there isn't room. Thus, Barnes and Noble doesn't carry your novel because they'd rather stock their shelves with something they believe will sell. Needless to say, this isn't a factor in the digital world.

          Second, companies will often make "exclusive" deals. McDonalds doesn't offer Pepsi products because Coke offered them a better deal in return for not carrying Pepsi products. Other political factors also are involved--remember back when Pepsi owned Burger King and Pizza Hut? All the Burger King and Pizza Hut restaurants carried only Pepsi products because that's what the owners wanted. This isn't the case with Apple's Store, either. There are no exclusives.

          Third, "Store Brands" are usually repackaged versions of other known products. "Charles Shaw" wine (infamously known as "Two-Buck Chuck") can be pretty good wine--it's the same wine that sells for $20 a bottle. But does a famous wine-maker want their wine to sell for that cheap? Nope. Bad for the image. So rather than "discounting" their wine, they sell it to Trader Joe's who relabel it as "Charles Shaw." They make money on the bulk purchase and they keep their fancy name. Needless to say, this certainly doesn't apply to Apple's Store, either.

          Finally, the issue I have with Apple's Store is that it's the only one. While your grocery store doesn't stock Playboy because they want to "Think of the Children," I can buy Playboy at the local liquor store or magazine stand or various other places.

          That's where the store analogy starts to break down. Apple runs the store. They're also the mayor of the town. They've decided that anybody who wants to run a store in their town has to pay them a 30% tax. The mayor will decide what kind of stores will be in his town. And if you don't like it, you can move out of town.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by tlhIngan (30335)

            First, in the physical world, shelf-space is limited. A store can't carry everything because there isn't room. Thus, Barnes and Noble doesn't carry your novel because they'd rather stock their shelves with something they believe will sell. Needless to say, this isn't a factor in the digital world.

            Well, I'm pretty sure if I wrote a game, Valve won't sell it on Steam, which is a perfectly virtual marketplace - adding my game would consume little on Valve's servers.

            Hell, I know they're also being picky because

          • Finally, the issue I have with Apple's Store is that it's the only one. While your grocery store doesn't stock Playboy because they want to "Think of the Children," I can buy Playboy at the local liquor store

            You could either look on the Cydia store (which features a number of apps Apple will not allow), or any user can use the web to get Playboy.

            Apple store is not the only way to get content or apps for the device.

        • The obvious difference is that Apple's App Store is the only place where you can get apps for your iOS device. So if they don't "stock" it, there's nowhere else to go.

      • That's only one problem. Once you get into that route, you must weight it very well how many people you are willing to annoy, and how many people you'll nanny. If you banish too many oppinions, there won't be much people left, and if you banish too little oppinions, there will be too many people offended. Nobody seems to be able to weight it right for a long time. For a while it always looks like a simple task, but it gains complexity with time.

        That's in fact a great receipt for a ninche player. But I bet A

      • by nilbog (732352)

        This is exactly why the responsibility for what you can install on a device you own should rest with you and not a company. Do you want a PR department, compliance department, marketing, lawyers, licensing issues, etc. to dictate what you can install on your device?

        If Apple would relax and allow you to install apps outside of the app store they would lose almost no mojo for the actual app store, and they would silence all the haters like me.

    • by Namarrgon (105036)

      Apple is taking sides based on the American PR it might get. The rest of the world (arguably the larger portion of the market) is probably a lot more interested in a list of US drone strikes.

      Intentionally or not, their image-centred policies may be causing them more harm than good.

      • by jbolden (176878)

        And if the app were go abroad and ever passed on information to foreigners which was under government quarantine that would be espionage. They would need to be insane to provide that app outside the United States under almost any circumstance.

        • by cob666 (656740)

          And if the app were go abroad and ever passed on information to foreigners which was under government quarantine that would be espionage. They would need to be insane to provide that app outside the United States under almost any circumstance.

          Seriously? The application that was banned was relaying information from the U.K.'s Bureau of Investigative Journalism. [thebureaui...igates.com] The source data is ALREADY coming from outside the United States.

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            And in the joyous world of American criminal law, that doesn't matter. You take information that the government thinks is harmful, and you make it accessible to people the government thinks is harmful, in a way that the government thinks is harmful, and you're in for a lot of trouble. Sure, you might come out of it just fine in a decade or two, but in the mean time you're branded a traitor by the media, blackballed from your industry, and will almost certainly be placed on every watch list in the country. T

          • by jbolden (176878)

            Section 3 of the espionage act makes it a crime to convey false reports for the purpose of disruption. So for example if the U.K.'s Bureau of Investigative Journalism got something wrong and had anti-American motivations (which they might of)....

            This is not something you do casually. You want to publish this stuff you don't write an app, you have your legal team examine each word and think carefully about it. In most cases you ask for a military review.

            • Section 3 of the espionage act makes it a crime to convey false reports for the purpose of disruption.

              I would expect this to only apply if done on purpose. Otherwise, well, you could swipe people by the thousands today, right into all those FEMA detainment camps (see what I did there?).

              So for example if the U.K.'s Bureau of Investigative Journalism got something wrong and had anti-American motivations (which they might of)....

              ... then US government is free to sue UK's Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

              Seriously. You're defying basic common sense. By your logic, if a web browser is used to read the corresponding news items on the Bureau's website, that could potentially constitute a crime under the Espionage Act on behalf of the browser maker. Tha

              • by jbolden (176878)

                ... then US government is free to sue UK's Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

                Espionage isn't a tort it is a crime. You don't get sued, you get jailed.

                Seriously. You're defying basic common sense. By your logic, if a web browser is used to read the corresponding news items on the Bureau's website, that could potentially constitute a crime under the Espionage Act on behalf of the browser maker. That's obviously false.

                No there is a big difference. A browser renders all content without concern about the

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Is Apple taking sides in international conflicts?

      Um, no.

      Selective censorship IS taking sides, independent of the reasons behind the decision.

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        And, there is not anything necessarily wrong with taking sides. One would hope they would, in fact.

        However, censorship is a stupid and ineffective way to do it.
    • I'd agree with parent:

      Um, no. Apple is taking sides based on the PR it might get. They banned the 'shake the baby' app for exactly the same reason. They're not going to stop doing it, either, because 'image' is a big part of their marketing strategy.

      But TFA says Apple SHOULD change. Why? Because someone with a semi-public voice thinks so? In order to change, they're going to need a reason that benefits Apple, not just some guys opinion who got himself some clicks.

  • Make it a web app (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the computer guy nex (916959) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:00PM (#41240141)
    No reason to need a native app for pins on a map.

    The only reason to make it a native app is to get the exposure from the App Store, which is the exact reason apps like this get denied.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      There is also the security model of the app store: the app is digitally signed by Apple, which helps provide some confidence that it was not tampered with by a third party. For someone living under a repressive government (or even in some American high schools), having your TLS connection be tampered with is common -- so how could such a person know that they are seeing the real locations of those strikes, and not the picture that their government wanted them to see?

      Of course, this whole situation coul
    • No reason to need a native app for pins on a map. The only reason to make it a native app is to get the exposure from the App Store, which is the exact reason apps like this get denied.

      Actually, having the app denied is probably the best thing that ever happened to the project, because that way they get a thousand times the public exposure they'd get from just the app on the App Store. We certainly wouldn't be talking about it now, just like Slashdot has never mentioned them before.

      Come to think of it - where is the proof that the app wasn't denied to give it that exposure?

  • it's APPLE (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kenorland (2691677)

    There are lots of things Apple should do. But it's APPLE. They will do whatever it takes to maximize their profits and profit margins, and if that takes censorship or lying they will do it, just like they have no qualms about misusing the patent and trademark systems.

    • Actually, if you bothered to RTFA, Apple is lowering their profits and profit margins by censoring.

      Please tell me how not selling apps maximizes profits? Tell me how spending the man hours to censor increases margins?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Maybe because Apple has deemed the profit they make from an "objectionable" app is less than the cost of dealing with the complaints they'd receive if they did approve it.

        $0.30 per sale vs the profit of selling a new iPhone to someone who might've boycotted you platform due to objectionable content.

      • by Namarrgon (105036)

        It's promotion, pure and simple. They sell more iPhones as a result.

        Apple customers want to feel they're being looked after; protected from malware, objectionable content, and any other potentially poor experiences. They're willing to pay extra for that.

      • Actually, if you bothered to RTFA, Apple is lowering their profits and profit margins by censoring.
          Please tell me how not selling apps maximizes profits? Tell me how spending the man hours to censor increases margins?

        You really can't see how maintaining a positive image would result in potentially higher sales? Seriously?

      • by LodCrappo (705968)

        christ your comment is stupid.

        Apple is clearly raising their profits by refusing to allow content that might make their little walled garden less appealing.

        They could care less about profits of one or two censored apps, they are protecting the money train that *all the other* apps bring them.

        How can anyone believe Apple would do anything for any reason besides profit? Do you think they because the most *profitable* company around by accident? Or because their crap is really that good? Wake up.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Actually, if you bothered to RTFA, Apple is lowering their profits and profit margins by censoring.

        Please tell me how not selling apps maximizes profits? Tell me how spending the man hours to censor increases margins?

        Well, when it avoids having to have users deal with trojans and other stuff in the marketplace (see Google Play malware that Google has had to forcibly remove from people's devices).

        Right now, despite Android having a 2:1 advantage over iOS (500,000 new activations a day, according to Google, o

    • by Karlt1 (231423)

      "There are lots of things Apple should do. But it's APPLE. They will do whatever it takes to maximize their profits and profit margins, and if that takes censorship or lying they will do it, just like they have no qualms about misusing the patent and trademark systems."

      And how is this different from every single publicly traded company in existence?

  • The article says Apple should restrict its bans to apps that have terrible functionality or a poor UI, and 'get out of the business of censorship.'

    TFA explains the difference between quality control and censorship, but isn't it kindof the same thing? I understand that yes, there are differences, but why ban an app with a bad UI? Who decides whether it's good or bad?

    It seems that if they're against censorship, they'd be against apple banning a third-party app (with no affiliation to apple other than being sold on an Apple market) just because it's not "quality".

    Personally, I think apple should let the consumers decide what's good or bad, but it's t

    • The article says Apple should restrict its bans to apps that have terrible functionality or a poor UI, and 'get out of the business of censorship.'

      TFA explains the difference between quality control and censorship, but isn't it kindof the same thing?

      No; barring an app because it doesn't work, or has a visually jarring UI that makes you want to claw your eyes out is quality control. Barring an app because it contains the word "Nigger" or exposes the bad behavior of certain Apple-friendly governments is censorship.

      Now, as to whether or not Apple should be doing quality control for apps they did not create, on devices their customers paid for (notice I did not say "owned").

      I understand that yes, there are differences, but why ban an app with a bad UI? Who decides whether it's good or bad?

      THAT, my friend, is a fair question. To me, as the consumer who paid for and thu

  • Users can decide which apps "have terrible functionality or a poor UI".

    Getting Apple out of the business of censorship entirely - they should ban apps that are malware or those that they are forced to remove anyway because they break the law (e.g. hate laws).

    The question of which countries' laws should be heeded (if we move beyond just heeding U.S. laws) is complicated, but I think it would have to be the app publisher's country.

    • The question of which countries' laws should be heeded (if we move beyond just heeding U.S. laws) is complicated, but I think it would have to be the app publisher's country.

      actually, it has to be the lowest common denominator of the laws in all countries where the app is available. they aren't going to allow an app with full XXX action for all countries just because it's legal in the publisher's home.

  • Content Neutrality (Score:2, Insightful)

    by accessbob (962147)
    Given the ever-shrinking range of platforms on offer, it's time we had content neutrality rules. Verizon shouldn't get to interfere with how I use my bandwidth, and nor should Apple (or Google, or RIM, or Nokia).
    • by Karlt1 (231423)

      "Verizon shouldn't get to interfere with how I use my bandwidth, and nor should Apple (or Google, or RIM, or Nokia)."

      You're free to use the included web browser to view in content you desire. So if someone can force Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Netflix to sell any content, then does that mean they should be forced to sell porn?

      • by accessbob (962147)

        You're free to use the included web browser to view in content you desire. So if someone can force Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Netflix to sell any content, then does that mean they should be forced to sell porn?

        Only if the business acts as a controlled gateway to a very restricted market, which is the case with the current mobile platforms (and only if the content is legal). It is not for Apple to play at being the arbiter of morality and taste any more than it is for Verizon or AT&T.

        Btw ther

        • by Karlt1 (231423)

          "Only if the business acts as a controlled gateway to a very restricted market, which is the case with the current mobile platforms (and only if the content is legal)."

          Let's take this to a logical conclusion. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo strictly control what is on their gaming platform. So if someone made a game where you get points for how many people you rape, should the platform vendor be forced to make the game available? Even though the act is illegal, the game isn't.

        • by Americano (920576)

          Only if the business acts as a controlled gateway to a very restricted market, which is the case with the current mobile platforms (and only if the content is legal). It is not for Apple to play at being the arbiter of morality and taste any more than it is for Verizon or AT&T.

          But they're not restricting you from accessing and viewing porn on their devices - fire up any of the numerous porn-oriented tube sites online in the safari browser, and you will have a plethora of porn available, right there on y

      • You are not so free if you live in a place where your TLS connections are being tampered with -- which is, unfortunately, quite a lot of places. The App Store gives you a digitally signed program, so you have at least some assurance that it was not tampered with (there are no CAs involved; Apple's key is built in). That is the benefit of the App Store; the problem is that the key holder (Apple) has absurd, far-right policies banning applications that might offend anyone or which criticize politicians (and
        • by Americano (920576) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @08:09PM (#41241629)

          You are not so free if you live in a place where your TLS connections are being tampered with -- which is, unfortunately, quite a lot of places. The App Store gives you a digitally signed program, so you have at least some assurance that it was not tampered with (there are no CAs involved; Apple's key is built in). That is the benefit of the App Store; the problem is that the key holder (Apple) has absurd, far-right policies banning applications that might offend anyone or which criticize politicians (and don't think for a moment that this is anything less than an enforcement of conservative values; yes, Democrats are conservative).

          How absurd. Apple's policies are no more "far right" than they are "far left." Their policies are "adhere to the blandly inoffensive at all times."

          You will no more find "Whack the Christ-Loving White Trash" app for the iPhone than you will find "Whack a San Francisco Queer." Both would be wildly offensive to differing segments of the population, and Apple would ban both, because they don't want any potential customers to be offended into buying a competitor's product. You'll probably find "Whack a Mole" and other inoffensive variants of that same game, though; and apps like Evernote, Netflix, and Facebook are pretty much entirely inoffensive in their functionality, and so may be safely sold. (Best Buy will sell you a DVD player... but they won't sell you porn, will they? Why do you imagine that is?)

          This leaves you - the self-styled free-thinker demographic that just likes to get offended and cries "censorship" because somebody tries to keep their store bland and inoffensive, even though all the "offensive" content you want is a single click away in a web browser on ANY device. Fortunately for Apple, you're a fairly small market, and you would've bought a competitor's device anyway, so you're both irrelevant to and happily negligible in their business decisions.

  • Well, you don't have to buy from Apple. You can Jailbreak your iOS device or just use other hardware. It isn't like this is 1984 with Big Apple telling you that you must buy an iPhone. Heck, you don't have to buy a cell phone either. Stick with a land line. Or not.

    Me things some people have too much time to complain about too little.

    • It isn't like this is 1984 with Big Apple telling you that you must buy an iPhone

      No, this is more like Brave New World, where you are a social outcast if you do not choose to participate in the attacks on your freedom. I do not have Facebook, I do not have a smart phone and I do not even carry my dumb phone around, and I have to keep reminding people to email me if they want to invite me to something. Now, I am in a position where not being invited to parties is OK (grad school can really take up one's life) and I have little time for gossip, but I can understand that to be part of

      • by pubwvj (1045960)

        I'm sorry you feel like a social outcast because you don't have something. Get over it. Buck up.

  • I remember there being a story about youtube sensors having the worst job in the world (in some peoples opinion), if Apple opened the floodgate they would have the same issue.

    I think they should release Gatekeeper with iOS 6 (or as an update)!!
  • Why do you think that Apple has a 100 billion cashflow and is the highest ranked business on the stock exchange?
    There are many defense companies of which you would say, why are they rated lower than a consumer grade shiny mirror company?
    Could it be that the consumer grade shiny mirror company is worth more to the 1% and the authorities than all the other defense companies?

    Why would you think that is? You connect the dots.
    If you found the answer then you would also have found the answer to why Apple is banni

    • by LodCrappo (705968)

      While I applaud your suggestion of grand conspiracy, I think in this case it's likely Apple is simply rated so highly because they manage to sell stuff for a massive amount more than it costs them to make it. Apple is better at converting their customer's money into their own money than maybe any other corporation in the world.

  • And your iPhone sets itself on fire. There's an app for that.

  • The article is insane. Apple processes credit cards in exchange for applications it sells on its stores. It acts as reviewer, agent, payment processor and takes a percentage of proceeds. They are not common carriers of applications. There is not a court in the United States and I suspect in most other places in the world that wouldn't consider them liable for what is sold in the online Apple Store. They simply cannot adopt a policy of non-censorship.

    I would like to see a more open process but total fr

  • 3rd party apps stores are need and they should part of the base software or are open to be installed without needing to do any hacking.

    • by gagol (583737)
      Gravy: Add flags to tag content as Mature, Violent, etc and have parental lock and preferences... Also please add "Im not a retard, show me more options" setting.
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:55PM (#41240843) Homepage
    The app is basically a web page. It doesn't belong in the app store and should be used via safari.

    Apple runs their store like many shops and decides what they want to sell. You can do whatever you want in the browser. Which is fine by me. We need to start pushing HTML 5 harder. It's pretty good to go on real browsers.
    • Let me just call Apple and have them turn on the html file upload tag [goo.gl]

      I'm sure they won't mind.

    • I agree with your point.

      The problem is that developers can't make a profit with real browsers. At least not as much and easy as by selling apps. And Apple gets a cut from those profits.

    • You can do whatever you want in the browser.

      No, you cannot do whatever you want in the browser - in a sense that you can't write a web app that does all the things that a native iOS app can do.

  • Brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart and Sears obviously vet their products and wares very carefully.

    An online retailer like Amazon does the same. Same with iTunes music and movie selection.

    Even EBay, of all companies, has standards for the products that get sold in its marketplace.

    So where does an "App Store" paradigm fall? Is Apple no longer a "retailer", but just a generic go-between like Craigslist?

  • What happens when a developer releases an app that is better than a stock app? Siri for example (most unbelievably over-hyped and useless thing I have ever tried to use). If not all IPhones have complete stock functionality (like phones didn't have siri), then obviously Apple should not allow any Apps that emulate Apple App functionality. I mean, if they didn't, why would anyone have bought the IPhone 4s? It just makes sense. As customers, Apple is right to decide what we can and can't do on their phones. H
    • Here's a letter I sent to Apple last year about this:

      Dear Mr. Jobs and Mr. Cook,

      You've probably received a lot of positive and negative feedback lately about Apple's ban of the Manhattan Declaration app.

      As a person who experiences same-sex attraction, I'd like to say that I am not intimidated or alarmed by this document. What does intimidate and alarm me, however, is Apple's refusal to allow an application expressing a particular religious/political view to be presented in the App Store.

      It is difficult to

      • Thank you very much for your principles.
        We need more people like this: people who respect the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment.

    • I may be misunderstanding what you're saying, but in what sense the Manhattan Declaration is specific to Orthodox Christianity? My understanding is that it is a joint project between various denominations, which includes Orthodox alongside Catholics and various Protestant denominations.

      • I may be misunderstanding what you're saying, but in what sense the Manhattan Declaration is specific to Orthodox Christianity?

        I am using "orthodox" in the sense of "right teaching"; I was not referring to the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

        Today's PC Police only accepts "Christianity" in its "Liberal Protestant" form; all faithful Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Evangelical Protestants are considered "fundamentalists".

        And in fact, the "Liberal Protestants" cannot even be reasonably considered Christians. Once y

        • Last I checked, most non-evangelical Protestants believe in Jesus, too.

          Today's "PC police" has a problem with more conservative denominations, because the social policies of those denominations often directly conflict with the modern tolerant society. If you engage in e.g. gay bashing, why be all offended when someone calls you a bigot?

          • Last I checked, most non-evangelical Protestants believe in Jesus, too.

            Many "Liberal Protestants" believe in a radical division between the "historical Jesus" and the "Jesus of Faith"

            Today's "PC police" has a problem with more conservative denominations, because the social policies of those denominations often directly conflict with the modern tolerant society. If you engage in e.g. gay bashing, why be all offended when someone calls you a bigot?

            Today's cultural elite is far more concerned with sexual diver

            • Today's cultural elite is far more concerned with sexual diversity than with intellectual diversity. Any person with common sense would see that these priorities are upside-down.

              This is an obvious fallacy of claiming that these two things are somehow related. They aren't. You don't have to prioritize one to de-prioritize another.

              Also, it's about sexual freedom, not sexual diversity. The latter naturally follows from the former, but it's not a goal.

              And the homosexualism "debate" is depressing. The cultural elite unilaterally declared traditional morality to be "bigotry", and refuses to even debate the issue.

              That's because there is nothing to debate. Your freedom ends where my nose (and my dick) begins, and this applies to sexual orientation as well. Traditional morality (traditional to whom?) does not recognize this basic statement of indivi

              • Today's cultural elite is far more concerned with sexual diversity than with intellectual diversity. Any person with common sense would see that these priorities are upside-down.

                This is an obvious fallacy of claiming that these two things are somehow related. They aren't. You don't have to prioritize one to de-prioritize another.

                It is not a fallacy. See the "hate speech" legislation proposed around the world, which makes it a crime to say "homosexual acts are sinful". In Brazil, this legislation has already

                • It is not a fallacy. See the "hate speech" legislation proposed around the world, which makes it a crime to say "homosexual acts are sinful". In Brazil, this legislation has already been approved by the lower house. If it is approved by the upper house, then politically incorrect people will face 5 years of prison. The US is relatively safe from a legal standpoint because of the First Amendment. But in many places in the USA, there is a culture of hatred against orthodox Christians. If you want to speak at a university about traditional marriage, you better bring bodyguards.

                  It's a fallacy because hate speech laws are not a requirement nor related to "sexual diversity". It's just people legislating into law their desire to not be offended. It's pretty much the same thing as blasphemy laws, only the other way around. Both are stupid and harmful.

                  The homosexual activists are very clearly saying "celebrate diversity". And there are even people who say homosexualism is a good thing to "control overpopulation".

                  I'm pretty sure there are some mentally confused people saying all kinds of things, but I certainly haven't heard of either of those from mainstream LGBT rights activists.

                  Today's "liberals" are pushing "anti-discrimination" legislation that would force adoption agencies to hand children to same-sex pairs

                  Well, it is anti-discrimination, no scare quotes needed - unless y

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