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Apple Bans RSS Reader Due To Bad Word In Feed Link

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the rabbit-holes-have-rabbit-holes dept.

Software 254

btempleton writes "It all started when I prepared yet another Downfall subtitle parody. In this one, Hitler is the studio head, upset at all the Downfall parodies, and he wants to do DMCA takedowns on them all. (If you're a DMCA/DRM fighting Slashdotter, you'll like it.) The EFF, which I chair, blogged it on Deeplinks, and hilarity ensued. That weekend, Exact Magic, an iPhone developer, had submitted a special RSS reader app to display EFF news on the iPhone. Apple's iPhone app store evaluators looked at the RSS reader, read the feed it pointed to, and then played the linked-to video. They saw the F-word flash in the subtitles of the video, and then rejected the RSS-reading tool from the App Store. We're up to several levels of meta here — Apple has banned an app over a parody about banning, and is now parodying itself. Bonus: TFA also has the story of just how hard it is to be fully legal in obtaining the famous clip for parody."

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Enough already, Apple (5, Insightful)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192315)

I'm an Apple fanboy and even I'm sick of this.

If they're not careful, pretty soon the PSP Go App Store is going to be the one making all the money. Hey Sony, PSPhone in the works?

Re:Enough already, Apple (0, Redundant)

aetherworld (970863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192373)

Apple has their hands pretty full with checking every app and rating it for the (coming) Parental Control System. They have to find a good balance between time it takes for apps to be in the App Store and false positives (like this one). It's a tightrope walk I wouldn't want to do. Still, this is pretty ridiculous.

Re:Enough already, Apple (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192399)

Yeah.. it's pretty easy, you default to "Adults Only" mode, but you provide a "Clean Feed" mode which people can opt-in to. All your effort goes into bringing the "Clean Feed" up to date and, as such, even the kids won't want to use it, so one day you take a look at the numbers and say "why are we putting so much effort into this 1% of the market?" and get rid of it.

Re:Enough already, Apple (5, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192431)

How the fuck difficult is it to realize what an RSS reader does and to realize the app doesn't 'do' that content, it just gets it from the feed?

Does Apple have 5th graders reviewing this content?

Description: "This app downloads and displays pictures." It would be reasonable to assume that those pictures could be pornography. However that's not what the program does. Holy hell.

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

aetherworld (970863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192477)

I'm not disagreeing with you. The guy who reviewed that app must have been pretty stupid. Or ignorant. Or both.

Re:Enough already, Apple (4, Insightful)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192487)

Hell, by those standards they should block Safari, since it's much more likely and easier to access inappropriate content with. This is getting pretty ridiculous.

Re:Enough already, Apple (4, Informative)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192937)

But you can block Safari, if you're a parent and you want control over what your child does with their iPhone. It's under Settings > General > Restrictions.

What you can't do, however, is allow/block each and every application that your child might download from the App Store. You can block the installation of applications altogether, but it's rather obvious that Apple doesn't want you to do that - it cuts off a potential revenue stream for them.

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192979)

They should probably set up parental controls/ratings then, if they're going to have an evaluation process anyway. My point though is that this isn't you deciding what you want on your phone, but rather Apple deciding for you.

Re:Enough already, Apple (4, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193161)

It's made by Apple. Of course Apple would rather decide for you what you want on your phone. It's all about the *experience* remember?

Re:Enough already, Apple (2, Informative)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193195)

Parental controls/ratings are in iPhone OS 3.0

Re:Enough already, Apple (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192517)

How the fuck difficult is it to realize what an RSS reader does and to realize the app doesn't 'do' that content, it just gets it from the feed?

In fact, what's up with all that parental content bullshit? Is it going to scar children for life if they see a bad word? It's not like they don't hear enough in the television, their browser, their teacher ferchrissake.

Not to mention every other kid they come in contact with. Should we ban those too? Just lock them in a box or something.

Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that'll infect your soul,
curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war.
"Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits"

Re:Enough already, Apple (-1, Offtopic)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192953)

Why should anything be 'up' with the parental control system? Should parents not have the choice as to whether to allow their kids to be exposed to bad language, or are you advocating removing that responsibility from the parents?

Part of the reason for restricting kids exposure to swear words is so that they learn their context - if other kids use it, but its not used in any other context, then the kid should correct ascern that the word is 'acceptable' in some contexts but not others.

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193021)

Since when should kids be allowed to buy whatever they like in a store. I'm a paying adult, and I don't want the store default filtered why should my rights be impinged?

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193109)

What rights are those? You are using a privately owned store...

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193157)

You make a good point. I am startled to notice that I was claiming rights as a buyer/consumer that weren't necessarily guaranteed. It seems like in the world market, money talks. Most legal, technically feasible, things are available, and many illegal things are available if you're willing to pay the cost. But because the Apple App store is it's own contained market, there is literally nowhere that I can legally purchase apps that contain the censored characteristics. A market where you can't get something; --no matter what the price-- even though the item in question is technically feasible and available in other markets; seems wrong and broken. Freakishly unnatural even. Hopefully an unstable temporary equilibrium.

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193345)

Such apps are available, at least in theory, to a jailbroken iPhone or iPod Touch. It's not illegal, but it's certainly similar to your example in that you have to go outside normal channels to get them.

Re:Enough already, Apple (3, Informative)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193073)

Should parents not have the choice as to whether to allow their kids to be exposed to bad language, or are you advocating removing that responsibility from the parents?

Parents may believe they have that choice, and in certain domains (e.g. the dinner table) they do. However children are great at finding stuff they aren't allowed to access, and the internet is full of things they shouldn't see, but they will, whether you want them to or not.

As with their exposure to the rest of the outside world, the best thing you can do is to guide them, and indicate what is acceptable, and what is not. Personally I wouldn't let my kids just go and purchase apps on the store themselves till they were old enough to be responsible about it, but that's just me. By the time you allow them to purchase apps with your credit card I think you really have to let go of controlling their decisions.

Quite apart from the futility of parental controls, Apple don't even have parental controls in place for apps - if they did, this sort of thing would not be an issue, as they'd allow some parents to attempt to control what their children can see, and everyone else would ignore them. As it is, they're trying to ban apps for allowing access to the internet or literature. This isn't hard-core porn or something, it's simply swear-words.

By those standards, this page would be adult-only, most sites which young people frequent would be adult-only, in fact most of the internet would be adult-only.

The approvals process is a joke, which in turn makes Apple look like a joke. Really this sort of nonsense should at least wait till they have some 'Adult' rating systems in place, and then they can mark most of the internet as indecent, or adult, or evil, or whatever they want to call them, and any app that access the internet as the same.

Re:Enough already, Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28193153)

they why give your kids an iphone?

Re:Enough already, Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192565)

How the fuck difficult is it to realize what an RSS reader does and to realize the app doesn't 'do' that content, it just gets it from the feed?

Does Apple have 5th graders reviewing this content?

Sorry to bust your bubble sport, but 5th graders aren't this fucking stupid. Someone had to go to college to get so completely fucking ignorant as this requires. Probably took them more than four years too.

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192967)

Apple has their hands pretty full with checking every app and rating it for the (coming) Parental Control System.

Look, they just need to start hiring Highschool Graduates. The GED programs aren't working.

Seriously, how can an app reviewer be so astoundingly dumb that they can not distinguish web content from the tool they are reviewing.

Their own Safari browser would have failed the prude test on some days. I swear they go looking for porn.

Re:Enough already, Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192377)

apple is acting like a bunch of jungle bunnies

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192417)

You should have struck with string jokes, Brad. Look at the trouble you've caused. ...gryphon!richard

Re:Enough already, Apple (5, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192581)

Censorship is more indecent than any use of profanity ever can be.

Someone has to make a reality check.

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

omz13 (882548) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192905)

Unfortunately it seems like the inmates are running the asylum that Apple's iPhone approval department appears to have turned into. Hopefully when Steve returns one of the things he'll do is have a nice work with them about applying a bit of effing common sense.

Re:Enough already, Apple (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192901)

If they're not careful, pretty soon the PSP Go App Store is going to be the one making all the money.

I don't see this happening any time soon. Like any corporation in a position of power they can treat customers with impunity. They have control over the distribution channels for the vast majority of iPhones and can thus abuse that position by enforcing draconian/imbecilic acceptance criteria. They makes the rules and if you don't want to play don't buy Apple products, this is the only way to erode their power - impact their bottom line.

Re:Enough already, Apple (1, Redundant)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192955)

Nokia N900 looks good enough for me to consider neither Apple, nor Sony. Thank you.

Re:Enough already, Apple (0, Troll)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193177)

I'm an Apple fanboy and even I'm sick of this.

So, as a self-confessed fanboy can you please tell me what exactly would make you give up a company that's behaving so badly? How far do they have to go? I mean would Steve Jobs coming up to you in his turtleneck and whacking you on the head with a rubber mallet be enough? Do they have to try to assassinate a family member? Try to cut off your willie? What exactly? where is the line?

Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192319)

... I can think of two possibilities here.

1. Someone high up in the App Store hierarchy is completely batshit insane. They're a fundie wacko, or they're deathly afraid of the Think Of The Chiiildren wackos, or something like that. I really just can't believe that the orders to ban anything that can get dirty words from anywhere on the internet came down from upper management; they can't be that ignorant. So it's someone on a personal crusade who has just enough pull to make it work.

2. Apple basically wants to own every internet-enabled app on the iPhone, and they're using these dumb excuses to get rid of any competition. Sooner or later, they think, everything you do on the iPhone that isn't strictly local will go through an app bearing the Apple logo.

Either way, it's a dumb move. I'm one of those irritating smug Mac users everyone loves to whine about. The last five computers I've bought have been Macs, and the next five probably will be as well. Whenever anyone asks me about what to do with their malware-ridden PCs, I say, "get a Mac." And I was seriously considering getting an iPhone to go with my iPod and iEverythingElse ... but I'm not going to even think about it until Apple fixes whatever the hell is going on with the App Store. I really doubt I'm the only one.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (5, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192421)

Speaking as an Apple critic, I think there's a possibility you missed:

3. Apple's system of approving apps has no objective guidelines, no oversight, and no accountability; the result is total fucking chaos. Individual testers are allowed to make decisions based on "offensiveness" criteria they make up themselves, and this particular app happened to be tested by an uptight moron who went to great lengths to find some reason to ban it.

Based on the stories I've heard about rejected apps being approved simply by resubmitting them, this might even be true. If so, Apple needs to fire a bunch of people, and then write a real set of guidelines so everyone inside and outside the company is on the same page.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (2, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192483)

This is happening often enough, and in a similar enough way each time, that it seems likely to me that someone's doing it as a matter of policy. If it's just individual actions on the part of low-level employees, I'd expect those people to be discovered and fired fairly quickly.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (5, Interesting)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192521)

4. They have an automated script that launches the app, greps the text on screen for naughty words, checks it doesn't crash/access things it shouldn't/leak memory etc. and rejects apps before a human even looks at them.

I wonder if this is the right answer?

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192567)

I'd believe the first half, but Apple obviously doesn't make sure the apps don't crahs, leak memory or access things they shouldn't. Several apps break the API and use hidden API calls (Google's apps) and I haven't yet met an iPhone app that won't crash if you look at it funny.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (4, Insightful)

emlyncorrin (818871) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193221)

But in this case, the "naughty words" are embedded into a video. So it's not just scanning the text, it would have to do OCR on each frame of the video too.

Hypocritical Apple? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192423)

Doesn't iTunes sell songs that have cuss words in them?

Seems a little hypocritical. Apple will sell songs with cuss words for money, but won't let free apps with cuss words be put on their app store? (I am assuming the RSS feed app was free)

note: I am not an iPhone user, I don't know how all that works, just guessing here

Re:Hypocritical Apple? (3, Informative)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193231)

iTunes music store has explicit warnings for naughty words and parents can block access to those.

The App store doesn't yet have them for anything but games (age ratings are coming for all apps in 3.0) so they are assuming all ages have access to all content. A number of apps have been rejected with the advisory that they are resubmitted when 3.0 is live as they can then be flagged as R rated or similar.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192453)

I'd say that in terms of (1), the reason is more along the line of being scared that some parent will buy their kid an iPhone and then sue when the kid looks up porn. Honestly, though, I think you're onto something with (2). It really annoys me, because (even as a diehard PC user who converted to Linux two years ago, Mac evangelists annoy me nearly as much as evangelical Christian fundies) the iPhone is a damn sexy piece of hardware. Problem is, I don't want to buy one if I'm not going to be able to run whatever I want on it without hacking it.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192511)

Well, yeah, that was what I meant when I said "deathly afraid of the Think Of The Chiiildren wackos." I still think the "fundie on a crusade" possibility is a little more likely, though, because anyone who is capable of using a web browser knows how much potentially offensive material is easily available; someone who's that afraid of getting sued would be well advised not to work for a company that distributes any internet-enabled applications of any kind, which of course Apple does.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192939)

I don't know, to me it smells a little more like "corner the market" BS. After all, if Apple Inc comes right out and says "You can have any app you want on the app store, except for any market we want to own" then the iPhone developers will get pissy and quit developing for them. This way they can say "Doesn't meet the standards" and then a couple of months later come up with their OWN app that "does meet the standards" which of course isn't hard when you are the ones who decides what those standards are and whether you meet them or not.

Never forget, and this will probably get me labeled troll for even daring to say, but there really ain't that much difference between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Both are seriously ruthless and just love lock in, Steve Jobs has just always had much better taste in design than old Bill has. Of course we MSFT users are stuck with Ballmer, so we are getting to see what it was like to be an Apple user when y'all was stuck with that Pepsi guy running the company into the ground. Go ahead and laugh it up you smug bastards, but it shore ain't very funny from this end. Of course we laughed at you during the Pepsi guy bit so it is only fair.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193287)

I think you're right, but still that seems pretty damn stupid considering that the same parent can buy their kid an iMac which doesn't have any of these restrictions on what can be installed. What makes the iPhone so different from the iMac? I can't say I see it.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193303)

Ah - what makes it different is that stupid parents think that an iPhone is a gameboy with a landline magically attached to it. It's the same problem we saw when kids realised that their PSP or Nintendo DS could be used to wirelessly download porn from the privacy of their own rooms.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (0, Troll)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192561)

I don't mind if you buy Macs, hey that's your problem if you want to spend 1.5x what the machine is worth for a badge, and I run Linux so the malware isn't a problem. No, the reason I whine about mac fanbois is that you're always coming on to me.

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (-1, Flamebait)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192663)

I doubt you're anywhere near as cute as my fiancee. Sorry, you're going to have to work out your repressed impulses somewhere else. May I suggest airport restrooms?

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28193247)

stop acting so gay then

Re:Speaking as an Apple fanboi ... (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192911)

You see, the App Store is the whole problem. Indeed, the App Store would be a violation of anti-trust law if Apple had any market share.

This is why (2, Insightful)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192321)

.. I am actually happy that Microsoft dominates the market over Apple. Microsoft is bad enough, but Apple is a control-freak of a company :/

Of course, when the year of linux-on-the-desktop-comes, it will all be better. Right?

Re:This is why (2, Interesting)

Kaitnieks (823909) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192463)

I think they're both control-freaks. The difference is that stuff released by Microsoft is pretty open at first. Later they realize - oops, we should have implemented some kind of control mechanism. They try to add DRMs, genuine validations and loads of other shit with poor resluts. It's different with Apple because the first thing they write is the control, be it hardware or software, and only then they build a product around it.

Re:This is why (2, Funny)

Snarf You (1285360) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192801)

poor resluts

There's a joke in here somewhere... but I'm far too sober to find it.

Re:This is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192819)

They try to add DRMs, genuine validations and loads of other shit with poor resluts.

OH NOES DRM!!! ZZzzz... Don't you anti-ms trolls have anything new? Go do the penguin dance..

Allowing users to play blueray discs that they buy or rent. What a horrible thought ! Down with DRM. Fuck the users !

Re:This is why (0, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193053)

Hey there Anon Coward, as someone who has built and serviced MSFT machines since Win3.xx I got a question for you: What the hell was wrong with the way it was before, where the DRM player came on the damned disc and I didn't have to have it if I didn't want it, huh? 50Gb of space wasn't big enough to drop a 40Mb player on?

Perhaps you might want to read about Protected Path [wikipedia.org] before you spout off? Here let me highlight something for you: "In order to prevent users from copying DRM content, Windows Vista provides process isolation and continually monitors what kernel-mode software is loaded."

You see, that is MY resources they are sucking down like a ziggy piggy for content that I do not now, haven't in the past, nor will I ever have in the future. I have no desire whatsoever to jump on the Sony DRM train so my resources are being blown for nothing. That is of course if I would have kept that bloated train wreck that was Vista. After SP1 left it sucking just as bad as it did before I tossed that garbage and went XP X64 and have never been happier. BTW if you think it has anything to do with allowing BD and poor MSFT got backed into a corner by the evil Sony I suggest you read Comes VS MSFT [gotthefacts.org] and look specifically at any emails coming from Ballmer. There he makes it VERY clear that his plan to best Apple in the media markets is to make a DRM so nasty that he'll get all the media companies to go MSFT thanks to their nastier DRM than Apple. Kinda forgot that the iPod pretty much rules the market though.

So as you can read for yourself nasty crap like protected path had NOTHING to do with "Allowing users to play blueray discs that they buy or rent" and everything to do with Ballmer going "Must ^%$^&%%$ KILL APPLE!!!!!" which I think is just funny as hell, as ever since the Ballmer monkey took over all they have tried to do is rip off and show up Apple, which owns 10% of the market, while they screw over their business customers which is where the big bucks are. Brilliant plan there Steve.

Re:This is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192545)

.. I am actually happy that Microsoft dominates the market over Apple. Microsoft is bad enough, but Apple is a control-freak of a company :/

How about a marketplace where noone dominates & everyone works to interoperability standards?

Of course, when the year of linux-on-the-desktop-comes, it will all be better. Right?

How about standards-on-the-desktop. That'll be better? Right?

Re:This is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192745)

FYI - Agnosticism is the lack of presumptuousness.

Re:This is why (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193237)

FYI - Agnosticism is the lack of presumptuousness.

Same thing, really :P

Not on the iMac (1)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192765)

I have an iMac and they don't control what you do on OS X at all. I wouldn't buy an iPhone, etc. seeing all the problems they are causing there though.

Re:This is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192823)

I just noticed the similarity of this when-we-will-have-commercial-fusion-and-everything-is-all-right and linux-on-the-desktop-comes-and-everything-is-all-right. Both have constant value of time when it will arrive (around 50 and couple of years respectively). Could here be a some hidden natural constant?

\end{bad joke}

Re:This is why (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192833)

Of course, when the year of linux-on-the-desktop-comes, it will all be better. Right?

Apparently it has [theage.com.au] , but according to The Age it isn't Linux.

Re:This is why (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193285)

.. I am actually happy that Microsoft dominates the market over Apple. Microsoft is bad enough, but Apple is a control-freak of a company :/

Of course, when the year of linux-on-the-desktop-comes, it will all be better. Right?

I'd be happy if neither dominated the market. Let everyone have to worry about screw-ups like this leading to real damage to the bottom line. Companies who dominate markets tend to get a buffer from these kinds of mistakes / actions.

That's what makes Linux interesting. It's not about Linux domination so much as Linux being ubiquitous. Market domination with Linux won't come along AS "Linux." It'll be something like RedHat, Ubuntu, or Android. It will be a company name and a company's product line. But if all the products are based on the same underlying technology, moving away from the bone-headed policies of one company to another's offerings won't be as painful. It is part of the power of commodity hardware platforms and is the next logical step (if you're a consumer - commodities are tough business).

Modus operandi (5, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192325)

Apple tries to suppress something it doesn't like, in a way sure to show everyone what a bunch of pricks they are, and yet no one will do a thing about it. News at 11.

Apple == Nazis (2, Funny)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192339)

Fuck apple!

Re:Apple == Nazis (3, Funny)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192353)

I tried on red delicious, but all I accomplished was hurting my penis. Should I try drilling a hole in it first ?

Re:Apple == Nazis (5, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192413)

Cook the apple first, preferably in a delicious pastry crust. Isn't that the American way? :P

Re:Apple == Nazis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192441)

Bake them into a pie... don't you ever get out to movies?

Mmmmm... warm apple pie.

Re:Apple == Nazis (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192419)

Go-Go Godwin!

Subtle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192347)

"It all started when I prepared yet another Downfall subtitle parody. In this one, Hitler is the studio head, upset at all the Downfall parodies, and he wants to do DMCA takedowns on them all. (If you're a DMCA/DRM fighting Slashdotter, you'll like it.)"

That's some mighty subtle advertising right there.

Re:Subtle (2, Funny)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192465)

No, it's subtitle advertising.

Bad words? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192371)

Isn't it about time to stop the stupidity with "bad words"?

Who cares if someone says/hears a swear word, really? It surely doesn't hurt anyone, unless they've been trained to be offended by them.

It's time to realize that swearing is only "bad" due to religious baggage, nothing else. Don't let the religions dictate what words we can and cannot use.

Re:Bad words? (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192391)

Or in this case, sees the swear word if they watch the Hitler video.
Though, another possible explanation is that whoever review the app hates either the EFF or the Downfall subtitle meme.

Re:Bad words? (3, Informative)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192535)

Who cares if someone says/hears a swear word, really? It surely doesn't hurt anyone, unless they've been trained to be offended by them.

Well, a lot of people HAVE been trained to be offended by them.

It's time to realize that swearing is only "bad" due to religious baggage, nothing else.

True, although I'd say it's cultural baggage that was influenced by religion. The crucial point is that swearing is also only "good" due to that baggage. If nobody cared about a particular swear word, it would soon fall out of favor for something that would be more offensive.

In other words, if there was no taboo against saying 'fuck', there would be no reason for Hitler to be saying 'fuck' in the first place. (Except maybe to his dear wife.)

Re:Bad words? (4, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192741)

In other words, if there was no taboo against saying 'fuck', there would be no reason for Hitler to be saying 'fuck' in the first place. (Except maybe to his dear wife.)

Would a pissed-off Hitler saying
"My dear Himmler, I am thoroughly bothered by those irksome developments on the eastern front"
sound better to you than
"Fuck those damn Russians" ?

Re:Bad words? (2, Insightful)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192743)

You say, "it would soon fall out of favor for something that would be more offensive." That's technically true, but I think that looking at the way it would happen is revealing. The new word, Belgium, for example, wouldn't be intrinsically offensive. Some words were created offensive because somebody wanted a word that was "filthy." Consider fornication versus fucking or feces versus shit.

Some other words are offensive because of religious objections, but in fairness, the ideas behind the words wouldn't exist if it weren't for religion. Consider, for example, "God damn it." You hear it often enough that you don't think about it, but it's a curse. The speaker is asking God to condemn the object of his wrath. It's become rather commonplace and nobody really thinks about that meaning anymore, but consider how offended you'd be if somebody said it and actually meant it. That's some pretty bitter hatred!

Re:Bad words? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193371)

The new word, Belgium, for example, wouldn't be intrinsically offensive.

hehe.. ya know, in France, Belgium is a perfectly good swear word. No patriotic french man wants to think about Belgium so you yell it at him is an affront.

It's feeling like a trap (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192445)

I managed to avoid the whole Apple experience; never bought an iPod, never bought a song from iTunes, never had any desire to get an iPhone. I'm feeling a bit relieved. The whole thing feels like a trap. If I had a thousand bucks tied up in all this interconnected web of apps, platforms, and media, with it's seemingly ever-constricting chains, I'd be pretty irritated.

Lesson I've learned? Always buy IP-violating, unregulated, cheap Chinese knockoffs.

Re:It's feeling like a trap (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192643)

Don't discount iTunes because of the iTunes Store nonsense. It's a great music manager, especially because it exports an XML file with all songs that can be read by other applications.

Nice music management app. I have 28GB of music in my iTunes collection, not one of them bought from the iTunes music store.

Re:It's feeling like a trap (2, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192811)

You know what else makes a good media manager?

A filesystem.

You know, a system that manages files? Like media files?

Why? (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193227)

Why do people seem to be willing to accept abusive behaviour from technology companies that they would not accept from any other provider of goods or services?

I got tired of being ignored, and even antagonized, by Apple when it came to the iPod. So I sold mine on Ebay and bought something that works with Linux without having to wait for somebody to crack the asinine encryption the controls freaks at Apple insist in throwing at us,

Honestly, there are many music managers out there, why give Apple the satisfaction of counting one more download?

Re:It's feeling like a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192645)

Lesson I've learned? Always buy IP-violating, unregulated, cheap Chinese knockoffs.

ditto

Re:It's feeling like a trap (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192779)

Yes, I much prefer my Zune!

Re:It's feeling like a trap (1)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193235)

Yeah, it is a trap. Thank gawd for Rockbox.

Downfall parodies... (1)

Ripit (1001534) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192449)

How did I not know about these?

Thank you a thousand times over.

Communists (1)

Jerrry (43027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192525)

"We might as well all become communists... Like Stallman!"

ROFLMAO!

The problem isn't necessarily with Apple itself... (1)

ToasterOven (698529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192529)

... but with the employees who are doing the reviews. It really seems that some of these reviewers are your "average Joe" user, and may not actually be the most computer-literate users out there.

Time after time, we have seen apps rejected for content that the app simply links to or obtains from the Internet, and it appears that the reviewers do not understand this... they seem to believe that the "inappropriate content" that they are obtaining is actually an inherent part of the application, and therefore reject it.

As has been stated before, I also think that Apple simply puts forth base guidelines for the reviewers to follow, and leaves it up to their discretionary tastes beyond that. At some point, someone higher up at Apple needs to take accountability for this and ensure that the process is redefined, across the board. And it would be in Apple's best interest for that to happen sooner than later, or they will soon find that other solutions will be much more attractive to developers because everyone else has their act together.

Re:The problem isn't necessarily with Apple itself (1)

beuges (613130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193045)

If Apple didn't feel the need to control absolutely everything that goes on on the iPhone with its iron fist, then there wouldnt be a problem. As long as you try to block apps based on subjective criteria like 'obscenity', you will have reviewers that will mis-classify them, whether they're average joes, or experienced, technically-minded people who just happen to be prudes.

The solution is to stop trying to babysit your customers, and let them make up their own minds about what to run on their iPhones. If you're a parent worried about your kids being exposed to "bad stuff", then take a more active interest in what they're looking at and who they're talking to, instead of leaving the parenting up to some random company that you can shout at later if your kids turn into hooligans.

Except if Apple stopped reviewing apps, someone could write a better app than theirs and sell it cheaper, or, someone could write an app that unlocks some retarded network-restricted feature that the network paid Apple a huge chunk of money to block. So at the end of the day, Apple is crippling the products they sell to their customers, in order to make more money from them.

Sure it's capitalism, but it's definitely entirely Apple's fault, not the dumb reviewer that mistakenly blocked the app. I own an ipod, I may buy a macbook at some point in my life, but I'll never buy an iphone while Apple dictates what I can and cannot do with it. If Apple wants to keep all the apps on the istore "clean" then that's fine, but they should then allow rejected apps to be installed anyways from the vendors site or whatever. But by controlling every aspect of the iphone, they deserve every last bit of criticism they get for it.

Re:The problem isn't necessarily with Apple itself (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193321)

... but with the employees who are doing the reviews. It really seems that some of these reviewers are your "average Joe" user, and may not actually be the most computer-literate users out there.

Certainly, but their actions can and do effect Apple's reputation. For this reason it is important for their employees to to be trained to do the job right. If their are any doubts about the system, then they should be having two separate people verifying the same application and if differences in opinion come up, then a flag should be raised.

The problem here is we have one vendor being the gateway yo everything on the platform. We are seeing this big time with Apple, but we also forget that this is not a new business model, especially when you consider how games consoles have the same process in place. It does not make it right, but it isn't new. There is a catch in being the only vendor, since you might want to sell just about anything, but when the wares that are sold through you can impact your reputation you have to pay attention.

The only way to avoid this issue is to either chooses a smart phone which doesn't suffer from this or jail break you iPhone. There are other possibilities, but these are the ones I want to mention.

Re:The problem isn't necessarily with Apple itself (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193369)

This was only an example RSS feed shipped with the app for checking, and I presume that the actual app would have been empty of pre-installed feeds. The reviewer had no way of knowing that though.

A feed reader isn't exactly a kid-friendly app, so this is a "whoopsie" along the same kind of lines as, say, an adult-targeted podcast about fishing or video games saying "f*ck" and then forgetting to set the "explicit" flat. A technical slipup, nowhere near as bad as accidentally putting porn links on an XO.

I don't blame apple for the reaction though. It was a little dumb not to take 2 seconds to submit the app with a known-inoffensive feed like disney.com (or for brownie points, apple's own news feed :) )

Easy fix (1)

modemboy (233342) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192539)

I suppose this could all be fixed by having more than one app reviewer look at each app before approval/denial. That could raise costs a little but at the same time apple faces a bigger risk should any single employee approve something truly objectionable. I can't imagine 2 random apple app reviewers would both find these silly reasons to reject apps, so it seems to me the easiest solution to have multiple internal reviewers, I can't believe they don't do this already...

Let's be clear here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192541)

and Gordon Ramsay would agree, Food is not a 'bad word'.

Re:Let's be clear here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192981)

... Gordon Ramsay would agree, Food is not a 'bad word'.

Neither is fuck according to Gordon.

Food fully fucked-up from fumble-fingered fuck-wit! Fuck! Fuck! Fuckity fuck fuck! -- Gordon Ramsey

Time to wrap it up iPhoneailures (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192555)

Just get a Blackberry.

Am I the only one... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192579)

... whose eyes sort of glossed over on reading the summary? It reads like something you'd expect some valley girl to be gossiping about over the phone on a teen drama programme.

I have an idea to avoid this kind of fiasco (4, Funny)

Planar (126167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192789)

Publish all your contents under a license that says "you are not allowed to read/view/listen to this for purposes of reviewing or censorship", then sue their ass off when they do censor it. That would put the DMCA to good use, for once.

Re:I have an idea to avoid this kind of fiasco (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192849)

Your understanding of copyright law could benefit from a good RTFA.

Re:I have an idea to avoid this kind of fiasco (1)

WillyDavidK (977353) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192873)

Except that when you joined the Apple Developer Program in the first place you agreed to the blatant censorship and approval process in full. Do you honestly think a behemoth company like Apple could really be tricked that easily?? Even people with real legitimate reasons to sue have no chance!

And here we go again. (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28192889)

loop_point:
Apple rejects an app for stupid reasons.
This will spread across the web.
Apple will looks bad.
Apple will "reconsider" and accept the app.
Lots of people will completely miss the point and think it's all okay.
Apple will then reject another app for stupid reasons.
goto loop_point;

Apple Hummmmm yet you wil fade to grey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28192893)

One of these days that bunch of over self important irritants will just fade to grey and then black then obscurity the final demise and the sooner it happens the better for everyone

In other news, Apple i-sunglasses (4, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193067)

Apple introduces special i-sunglasses that go completely opaque when near a beach, in case there are any topless women around (not sold in Europe).

Don't ridicule the Führer ... (2, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193101)

Or Steve Jobs will lose his temper ... turtle necks are the new uniforms. Apples the new swastikas ... want proof: http://www.apfelfront.de/propaganda.html [apfelfront.de]

Fucking Morons (2, Funny)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193225)

And every one of those fucking idiots uses the word fuck on a fucking hourly basis and the hypocritical fucks can't stand to see the word fuck in a fucking RSS feed?

FUCK 'EM IF THEY CAN'T TAKE A FUCKING JOKE!

What a terrible business model (2)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28193265)

Apple is pushing this as a way for companies to invest in some software effort and gain some practical results, but how can you expect a company to commit resources to developing an iPhone app if it can be denied for such petty and silly reasons? The best-laid plans of an entire corporation can be wrecked by the petty actions of someone outside of their control? Really not a sound business strategy. Why not just develop for the Google phone where you don't need permission or clearance from anyone?

Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28193367)

There is a very simple solution to this.

First of all all accepted apps should've been doubly-reviewed.

And second of all all rejected apps should've been triply-reviewed.

Thank you Apple.

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