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The Media Apple

Apple Reverses Rejection of Ulysses Comic 422

gyrogeerloose writes "In yet another of what's become an almost predictable cycle of events, Apple today reversed its rejection of the 'Ulysses Seen' web comic, admitting, 'We made a mistake.' The comic is now available in the App Store — just in time for Bloomsday, June 16. The comic's author, Robert Berry, is pleased, and adds that Apple 'never acted as a censor, never told us what we could or could not say. ... We didn't believe these were good guidelines for art, but respected their rights to sell content that met their guidelines at their own store. Apple is not a museum or a library for new content then, so much as they are a grocer.'"
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Apple Reverses Rejection of Ulysses Comic

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  • Big surprise there (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gearloos ( 816828 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @02:38PM (#32593064)
    Big company stomps some poor guy--then finally after all the bad press turns around and changes their mind. Big Surprise there. like thats never happened before.
  • by wealthychef ( 584778 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @02:42PM (#32593118)
    I wonder if they ever review and reverse rejections that are not widely publicized. If anyone had a story like that, it would be interesting to hear.
  • New form of media? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by webdog314 ( 960286 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @02:46PM (#32593148)

    The problem may be that Apple (or rather developers using Apple) is presenting Apps as a content distribution media (iTunes). People with content that could easily be placed on the (unrestricted) web, are choosing to use Apps as a means of selling their wares. I doubt very much that Apple will restrict what books it sells on the iBooks store based on their content. Or maybe they will.

  • Re:Sony, Microsoft? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @02:54PM (#32593262)

    Actually, the dev kit is free. It's only $100 to get the signing certificate to allow you to deploy to a device, rather than just run on the simulator. However, when you consider that in order to write for an Apple mobile device, you also have to have an Apple computer, you may as well factor in the cost of your macbook or imac or whatever in as part of the cost of the dev kit. Of course, if you already had the Mac anyway, then sure, the dev kit is free. But it's still a higher barrier to entry if you intend to move from another platform specifically with the intent of developing for the phone.

  • Re:Good analogy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @02:58PM (#32593328) Homepage

    I don't mind Apple's policies at all. If they don't want to sell certain kinds of things, that's fine. I would actually prefer they get rid of more of the ultra-juvenile stuff, like the fart apps.

    The biggest problem Apple has is how arbitrary this stuff feels. An app was OK for 3 revisions, but the new bug fix, which doesn't change content, is suddenly bad because of something that's been there for quite a while. There is no good checklist that you can look through and be reasonably certain that your app will be OK. Once your app is approved, that's no proof that it won't suddenly be found to be running afoul of some rule later.

    For some apps, this isn't as much of a problem. If you make a little top-down racing game (like Super Off Road), or a simple utility like a sextant, it's unlikely someone will complain later about some small bit of content. But Apple isn't going to read every app submitted with content the size of a large novel (actually, iBooks should help with that, that's where these should be going now). But if your app isn't clear cut, you never really know if you're OK.

    "The Official 10 Page Checklist With 200 Questions for App Approval" being published would be a big improvement. I don't think there is anything like that internally in Apple, which is how this stuff happens.

    --Happy iPhone user

  • by Silly Man ( 15712 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @02:59PM (#32593342) Homepage Journal

    let me know when you open a store someplace so I can demand you sell my porn...otherwise I'll complain you are censoring my porn.

    It's Apple's product and Apple's store. The idea you can force a company to sell anything doesn't sound very cool to me. If you don't like that, you are free to choose a competing product or build one yourself.

  • Re:-sigh- (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) <sirlewk@gma i l . c om> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:14PM (#32593556)

    I wish my record of decision making was 1/1000 blown calls.

    You really think that is all they fuck up? Really? That is just the number that they fuck up that are big enough to make slashdot.

    I don't care why it is hard for them to do it correctly, I care that they do it at all.

  • Re:Gatekeepers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tetsujin ( 103070 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:18PM (#32593604) Homepage Journal

    Yea, cause the anarchy of the 'open' world works so bloody well, hence the last 10 years of 'The year of the Linux desktop'

    The years of the Windows desktops beg to differ.

    Yeah, the problems with the Linux user experience aren't a result of access to the platform being unrestricted by any controlling organization. They're a result of many other issues - lack of central leadership, lack of sufficient development resources devoted to improving the situation... matters of ideology blocking the use of certain pre-existing code, and so on. The argument isn't about Apple's approach with the iPhone compared software libre or open source - it's about Apple's approach with the iPhone as compared to the normal situation with portable and desktop computers, in which the user is at liberty to do more or less as they please.

    You could even use Mac OS X as a counter-example. Apple doesn't claim the power to decide what applications may be deployed for OS X... Is OS X a disaster as a result? Is the "anarchy" that allows one to download, say, an SNES emulator and run it on a Mac laptop somehow a bad thing?

  • Re:Gatekeepers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @03:23PM (#32593682) Homepage
    I wish you hadn't posted anon, because your statement isn't that far off from the truth. I'd rephrase it as follows:

    Apple's closed ecosystem works for the non-technical masses. Open platform work for those who like to tinker.
  • Re:Gatekeepers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:01PM (#32594174) Homepage

    > Yea, cause the anarchy of the 'open' world works so bloody well, hence the last 10 years of 'The year of the Linux desktop' ...not to mention Windows. ...or the Macintosh.

    The iPad is the only thing that simultaneously pretends to be a general purpose computing platform while also being a restrictive walled garden that would make Sony blush.

    Of course the Apple faithful want us to forget about the Mac and all of those years of "I'm a Mac" commercials. They even discontinued those because they would contradict the new message coming out of Cupertino that the iPad is now the thing that is supposed to rescue you from the quagmire of WinDOS computing.

    In this context, openness means merely being in the customer's control. We're not even talking about being gratis or having access to the source code.

    Apple has managed to find a way to be even more closed and proprietary than any of it's predecessors.

    No wonder RMS never liked them.

    Yes. Apple has reduced us to the point where we aren't even free to install the proprietary apps of our own choosing.

    They need to deny the old Messiah so they can overhype the new one.

  • A mod IS a feature (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:03PM (#32594196)

    a mod isn't the same thing as a feature. Stop treating it like one.

    Lets say you love application X. You love and need it so much, you buy platform Y because it's can run on that.

    Why is that not then considered a feature of the device? To you, as the user, there is no difference - you bought Y and it can do X.

    According to your logic, you could not consider any PC to have a feature that was not included in the original box, since all software updates had to be downloaded. You could never buy a car because it was easily tunable for better performance or handling.

    People buy PC's because it can run Autocad. Autocad itself is not a feature, but the ability to run Autocad IS. You can buy and iPhone and run any Cydia app on it - the ability to run Cydia apps IS A FEATURE BECAUSE YOU CAN DO IT.

    You are confused because you know something is technically distinct. But to REAL users, all they care about is the ability to buy a device to perform a task. So they buy the device that gets them as close as they can, and then if that's not far enough take it the rest of the way. They still consider it a feature that it can do X, even if they had to add it later.

    You are just trying to redefine "Feature" so as to specifically exclude a use case you don't like. As with most attempts to redefine what people do every day and label it uncommon, it simply doesn't work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:03PM (#32595112)

    "So in that sense Apple does tell them what to do , through peer pressure : if you don't buy an Ipad/other Apple thing , you are not cool ."

    Maybe that's were all this hatred comes from. The /. crowd whom thinks their choices are "cool" but the majority of the population does not see them as "cool" so the whiners vent! "...my phone has a bash shell; yours does not or let you have one, you moron!" I've never seen such a bunch of whiners when it comes to things such as phones, tablets and music players as you see here. LOL, news for geeks and things that REALLY don't matter.

  • by Draek ( 916851 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:31PM (#32595558)

    Now you would say, but users can create applications outside of Steam. That is true - but the same is true of the iPhone, via two paths.

    The first is of course Jailbreaking, millions of people do this and Cydia will sell you anything you want to buy. It's not as huge a market but it is plenty viable, and it's most viable for the users that care the most about a truly open system - developers.

    The second path is web apps. Given the abilities of HTML 5, and the hooks into most (if not all) of the device sensors like location, orientation, and touches - you can produce most of the applications people would want to use these days in a web app. That path is also totally open as Apple cannot block (and does not try to block) whatever you visit via the web.

    Yeah. And my TV can do the dishes, as long as I build customized hardware for it, then rewrite the TV's firmware to allow it to control my dish-washing extension, and then add the dish-washing functions to my remote.

    There's possible and then there's practical, and neither Jailbreaking nor Web Apps are the latter, sorry. The former because few users have the technical how-to to even attempt it, the latter because you simply *can't* make a Web App as polished as a native one, nor can you charge for it in the same manner.

    If people across the world truly value an absolutely open market, than Android will flourish.

    If people across the world value a more carefully curated ecosystem, then the Apple App Store will flourish.

    Let the experiment proceed.

    We already did, with the x86 architecture and the myriad propietary ones during the '80s, then Windows and Mac in the '90s. The experiment's outcome is already predetermined, and the staggering growth that Android has had is proof enough of that fact. All the complaining is merely to try and get Apple not to bother us so much as they die, and maybe, hopefully shut the evangelists for a minute or so.

  • Re:-sigh- (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @04:21AM (#32599704)

    That's almost certainly too low. People seem to forget that the iPhone dev kit still comes with an NDA that prevents you talking about rejection. The fact that there's a constant flow of stories despite that indicates that the rejection rate is almost certainly far higher than anyone suspects.

    And no I don't believe Apples 95% figure. Why should I? They have put apps into a "not rejected yet not accepted" state before, so as far as I'm concerned anything they say about the app store has to be treated with a huge pinch of salt.

  • by dugeen ( 1224138 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @05:10AM (#32599898) Journal
    What other contract is available in this situation? These contract arguments assume an imaginary world of wealthy country gentlemen, equally able to afford lawyers, negotiating on equal terms.
  • by English French Man ( 1220122 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @05:14AM (#32599912)

    Suppose I own a device, and I purchase/obtain an application, technically compatible with that device.

    This is my property, only people that have an authority, either legal, social or moral, that I accept can forbid me to install the application on the device.

    So, yeah, a court order can forbid me to use an application, a mentor can too, (though he will probably provide only counsel in this matter), because I would willingly accept his authority and guidance, for youngsters, a parent can play that role. Apple is neither the law nor a trusted moral authority figure (as far as I'm concerned), so it doesn't have a right to prevent me from using their device the way I want to.

    This may not be a constitutional right, but I consider it fundamental enough to defend it and to consider Apple's behaviour as wrong.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson