Joyce’s Ulysses Gets Censored For Cartoon Penis [updated]

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James Joyce's Ulysses is widely considered one of the greatest works of the English language, and one of the most heavily analyzed. Repeating the puritanical acts of the early days of the novel version, a comic book version of the tale has been censored by Apple for nudity. The app is based on a webcomic adaptation of the seminal novel, and apparently the inclusion of non-sexual nudity is something of a problem. Apparently, Apple requested that panels such as those above be edited to remove the offending genitalia. The content was in no way sexual, and while Apple was within their rights to request the change, it smacks of bowdlerization, and is borderline offensive to see great works of art changed this way. Will apps for art … [Read more...]

Steve Jobs at WWDC: The App Store

Talking about the App Store, Jobs opened by pushing the concept of HTML5: “We support two platforms at Apple. Two. The first is HTML5, a fully-open, uncontrolled platform that is forged and defined by standards bodies. We fully support HTML5. Apple’s browsers are in the lead in terms of supporting the full HTML5 standard, and we are behind this 100%. It is fully open.” In other words, anyone can make an HTML 5 app for the iPhone or iPad. The App Store is a "curated platform" The App Store itself is doing magnificently well, with 225,000 applications in it. 15,000 new ones are submitted per week, in 30 languages. Of these, 95% are approved in seven days. What are the biggest reason for the remaining 5%? Doesn't function or do what … [Read more...]

Tales Of The App Store: Apple Censors Gay Indie Comics

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Apple has become infamous for their very strong arm approach to censorship in the app store, culminating in the great adult app purge of earlier this year. Even though none of the applications featured nudity, they were still enough for Apple to consider them innapropriate. It appears Apple has also taken a shine to forcing indie comic creators to censor their content. While no nudity is present, Jesus Hates Zombies by Stephen Lindsay was banned, even though Marvel's ultra-violent comic Kick-Ass was allowed without editing. Apple has also forced creators of gay content to censor their comics, either by re-writing suggestive scripts, or censoring the content with black bars. None of these involved explicit nudity, but rather mildly … [Read more...]

Tales of the App Store: Apple Denies Political Candidates App

Republican Congressional candidate Ari David made attempted to make an iPhone app recently, only to have it turned down because the "content in the app is defamatory of my opponent". I'll let him talk about what points he was trying to make here: HENRY WAXMAN… SUPPORTED Cap & Trade legislation that would have brought us $7 a gallon gas and as President Obama has stated would make electricity rates “necessarily sky rocket.” (This one is well known considering that Waxman sponsored the bill in the House and President Obama is famous for making the statement about the need under his plan for “skyrocketing” electricity rates). VOTED TO CUT Medicare spending by a half a trillion dollars which would severely hurt seniors. Time to go Henry! … [Read more...]

The Problem With App Store Keyword Scammers

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Marco Arment has an excellent dissection of one of the many problems in the app store — people selling "cheat" and "guide" apps to popular applications. The worst offender is InTekOne, LLC , which has some 58 apps, almost all of which are dodgy in the extreme. They offer to help you with other developer's apps, but are often short on content, and exist only to sucker in unsuspecting customers. As Arment points out, they violate the name and icon trademarks of the original developer — and they're hardly the only company to do so. These are a major source of spam, and clutter the search results and the app store when trying to find popular content. They also tend to be given very bad reviews, as people are understandably pissed off at … [Read more...]

Unmasking Bogus App Reviews

The Today in iPhone Podcast has done some pretty serious investigative work into a website that accepts money from developers to highly rate their apps. The website is YourAppReviewed.com, and they charge around $10 per review on the app store. While the site denies that it posts fake reviews, Today in iPhone actually did some digging, and found the same reviewer reviewing apps covering: subliminal messages,  Acne, Weight, keeping new years resolutions, finding a mate, improving his sex life with the mate he was looking for, being successful, being happy, and an app for Marathoners and Triathletes. Rob Walch compiled a list of both the users identified as working for this group, and the apps they've reviewed. The worst offenders … [Read more...]

Apple Blocks Pulitzer Prize Winner From App Store For “Ridiculing Public Figures” [updated]

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Mark Fiore is an editorial cartoonist who won a Pulitzer prize for his animations for SFGate, yet when he tried to expand into the app store, he was blocked. Fiore attempted to expand the market for his cartoons, by allowing people to view them on their iPhones — at least when he submitted in December 2009. This is what he got in return: Dear Mr. Fiore, Thank you for submitting NewsToons to the App Store. We’ve reviewed NewsToons and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains content that ridicules public figures and is in violation of Section 3.3.14 from the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement which states: “Applications may be rejected if they contain content or … [Read more...]

Experts Weigh In On Apple’s Censorship

After the recent puritan cull of 5000 near-adult apps from the app store, people have been scratching their heads over why it happened. One of the best analyses currently around is by John Gruber of Daring Fireball. His view is that it's not about the money, and it's not about censorship—it's about creating a pleasant shopping environment. He argues that the sexy apps flooded the app store, blocking many legit ones, and that Apple cut them to make the store feel less skeevy. That's why Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Victoria's Secrets and—the recently reinstanted—Hooters apps are all allowed. They're respectable brands. It's a view that CrunchGear also endorses. It's also viewed as a worrying precedent, regardless of its intention. Brian … [Read more...]

Apple Responds To Sex App Controversy

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The New York Times managed to get hold of Philip W. Schiller, head of worldwide product marketing at Apple, and get an official line on what's going on with removing the even-vaguely-titillating apps. “It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see,” Mr. Schiller said. When asked why Playboy and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit apps were still allowed, Shiller said, “the difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format.” So, because they have a print wing, that makes it okay? What about the Suicide … [Read more...]

Apple’s Puritanical Cull Continues

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Continuing the sweep we saw the beginnings of last week, Apple has been pulling down apps that have even the tiniest bit of titillation. Not content with just hitting softcore porn and bikini apps, Cupertino have yanked apps that feature characters in booty shorts. It's being reported that over 5,000 apps have been cut, in what can only be called a brutal cull of anything sexual. The creator of the Wobble app talked to Apple to try and get to the bottom (heh) of what they would and wouldn't allow. This is what he found: 1. No images of women in bikinis (Ice skating tights are not OK either) 2. No images of men in bikinis! (I didn’t ask about Ice Skating tights for men) 3. No skin (he seriously said this) (I asked if a Burqa was … [Read more...]