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Cellphones Businesses Handhelds Apple Hardware

Apple May Loosen Restrictions With iPhone 3.0 178

Posted by kdawson
from the minimallly-invasive dept.
mr100percent writes "Apple rejected the iPhone aggregator app Newspapers because of a topless photo in one of the app's subscribed-to papers. In the rejection message, Apple noted that Parental Controls have been announced for iPhone OS 3.0, adding that it 'would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available.' Rumor sites are speculating that Apple will relax their content restrictions once the 3.0 update puts parental controls in place. This may mean that apps like NIN will be allowed in the future."
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Apple May Loosen Restrictions With iPhone 3.0

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  • by jordan314 (1052648) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:48AM (#27842255)
    I wonder if this will mean apps like Newspapers will be labeled as "Mature Content" similar to CDs? It still seems absurd and hyper conservative that a newspaper application would have that label, but I guess it's better than the overt censorship that's going on now.
  • by Aurisor (932566) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:00AM (#27842323) Homepage

    Instructing a device I own not to display content that I find offensive is not censorship, by any stretch of the imagination. ...and considering that I am a long-haired, Bush-hating, free software-loving, paranoid Slashdot denizen, my definition of censorship is probably on the permissive side.

  • by linhares (1241614) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:29AM (#27842473)

    Apparently according to TFA one of the UK tabloids posted topless photos, which in America would be "Mature content" and hidden in newsstands next to porn.

    Oh, America, land of the free puritans and perverts [economist.com].

  • by testman123 (1111753) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:16AM (#27842713)

    I mean, here you got hardware with Java native support (processor chosen by Apple got the Jazelle option), with a license that prevent JVM to be installed on it !!!

    All right, we all know that "Java is too slow" was touted by Steve simply because he need exclusive application to ensure the success of his pay-per-download platform.

    Allowing Java would have simply killed the exclusivity, because Java is né multiplatform and some order of magnitude easier to develop with. Having let people the choice would have make Java the default choice. Thus allowing for instance application to run easilly on Android or other mobile OS with strong Java implementation level (think nokia for instance).

    Apple with a great product and well-thinked limitation/contracts have manage to build again a milking-cow : cash on each mobile fee, cash on each application downloaded, cash on very battery renewed ...

    This looks pretty cool as a business model ;-)

    But how long will it last ? It would be interresting if anybody fill a class action again Apple for not allowing Java :P

    Where is the RMS/FSF here fighting for Libre ? Because, this might be a Unix band band, but this looks a prety proprietary one ;-)

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@s l a s h dot.org> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:23AM (#27842761)

    I realize it does reflect poorly on Apple to have apps that are in very poor taste

    No, it doesn't. It reflects poorly on those that created the app.

    Some people are just retarded, and would call the street builder criminal because someone got killed on their streets.
    Which reflects poorly on those people.

  • by quangdog (1002624) <quangdog.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:24AM (#27842767)
    My only real complaint with the iPhone comes as the result of having developed a few applications that are currently for sale on the iTunes app store, and it goes like this:

    I'm not allowed to interact with my customers.

    I frequently get feedback (both positive and negative) on the applications I've written. I'd love an opportunity to comment on this feedback, either to address concerns or to graciously accept the accolades. However, Apple keeps a stranglehold on all feedback from customers, and does not permit you to know much of anything about how to contact the customer directly.

    I wish this was different, and is one of the reasons I've taken a break from iPhone development for a while.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @05:38AM (#27843285)

    A better one is Judges 1:19:

    âoeSo the Lord was with Judah. And they drove out the mountaineers, but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron.â

    That one is always a riot when you suggest that gods power is easily thwarted by getting into your car. (Especially if it's a lincoln)

  • by heavygravity (160241) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @07:49AM (#27843741) Homepage
    An obligatory link: "How Many Has God Killed" (Complete List and estimated Total) [blogspot.com]

    If you've not seen this, it's worth a look.
  • by llevity (776014) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @10:39AM (#27845575)
    Wouldn't being able to revoke reviews entirely defeat the whole purpose of user submitted review?
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:16AM (#27846217)

    I think a lot of it is that a decent portion of Slashdot's population is teenagers. Not all (maybe not even most), but you have a lot of 13-17 year old teenage males who are going to complain about legitimate filters. When they're overly broad they (along with everyone else, and fairly I might add) will complain about the situation as restricting what consenting adults can look at. But even when the filter gets properly narrowed down to the appropriate groups those teenagers are still going to complain because they ARE the appropriate groups (as least as society defines them).

    As a legal adult myself, I can say that I really just don't care what I'm looking at is labeled, as long as nobody tries to restrict my rights to view it. And as an adult, optional filters don't restrict it. I'm fine with this type of stuff.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:29AM (#27846405) Homepage Journal

    I frequently get feedback (both positive and negative) on the applications I've written. I'd love an opportunity to comment on this feedback, either to address concerns or to graciously accept the accolades.

    The reviews suck for customers, too. There's a budget app from iBearSoft called "Money". It got great reviews, but after buying and installing the app, I discovered that it was just awful. I mean, really horrid. You have to put end dates on all recurring income and expenses for some reason, and when I put an end date of January 1, 2039 on my paycheck, it literally took over 5 minutes to recalculate my budget. Also, it doesn't matter that my wife gets paid a monthly salary: it insisted on dividing that amount by the number of days in the current month and using that as her daily pay in all other months. Apparently it wasn't keen on the idea that "$X per month" doesn't depend on the length of a month.

    The point of that is that the app had some pretty major flaws that would affect common users. I gave it a 3-star review, basically saying "it shows promise but needs some work." Almost immediately, there were several new 5-star reviews saying that it was the best such program ever and fast and accurate. I later downloaded a newer version and found the same flaws, then lowered my rating to 1-star to counteract the blatantly obvious shills. It was immediately drowned out by the same people updating their reviews so that they were displayed before mine.

    Does anyone know of a reliable rating system outside of iTMS? The current one seems to be broken for authors and customers.

  • by quangdog (1002624) <quangdog.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:32AM (#27846441)
    I've written 2 apps so far: Points [App Store Link [apple.com]], and Velocity [App Store Link [apple.com]]. For Points, we have set up some forums on our regular corporate site where users can interact directly with us, which works relatively well for dealing with customers who are happy the application, but we rarely hear from the folks with problems.

    But for Velocity, (which was done in my spare time rather than for my day job) I've not bothered. Why? Well, really because Velocity is such a stupid-simple app that there is little reason to bother with the overhead of setting up some forums etc. I wrote it mostly to scratch my own itch: I own an iPod, not an iPhone, so I have no GPS on the device. I wanted to calibrate my speedometer, but all the existing speedometer applications required a GPS. So, I wrote Points, which relies upon the user to tap the screen as they pass a marker. I added a bunch of what I thought were neat conversions so you could measure things like furlongs per year, rather than just miles per hour. It's basically been a flop. Nearly all the feedback I receive indicates that the user either did not read any of the very straightforward documentation clearly visible on the download page in iTunes, or that they are just not capable of understanding what the app is for and what it does in the first place.

    I think my biggest mistake with Velocity is that I wrote an application that requires a modicum of physics knowledge - which, apparently, very few people possess. *sigh*
  • by quangdog (1002624) <quangdog.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:37AM (#27846499)
    This raises the question: How do you shill lots of reviews in the first place? I've tried to leave feedback, but found I had to own the app first. So, I waited about a month after I released the app and had no reviews before I bought a copy myself and added a review.

    But I could only add one.

    Do these unscrupulous developers just create a bunch of iTunes accounts and buy their own apps so they can post lots of favorable reviews?

    That's just stupid.
  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @11:58AM (#27846771) Homepage

    I know! Why does everyone have a problem with 'parental controls'.

    Children have a fundamental human right to free speech and free expression and to be exposed to free ideas every bit as much as adults. It's MORE important for children to have access to ideas so that they cannot be brainwashed by propaganda that sees itself as so flimsy that the only way it can prevail in the wild is by suppressing facts and arguments that would destroy it, long enough for the brainwashing to take hold.

    Beyond that, if parents can filter children's content, then national censors can filter citizen's content, very easily, using the same tools.

    The only moral content filter is one that a person self-selects. Doing so for anyone else without their approval and consent is evil.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:15PM (#27847037) Homepage Journal

    I think there needs to be some kind of a tagging mechanism so that all users - authors and customers alike - can bring problem reviews to Apple's attention for consideration.

    There's an app to stream local National Public Radio stations. Last time I checked, it was filled with reviews like "needs more alt rock: 1 star" or "only had people talking boring!: 1 star". I wish I could tag those "nonsensical".

    I've seen plenty of reviews like "this works exactly as described - I love it!: 1 star" because the reviewer mis-selected the rating before posting their review. Maybe we could tag those "inconsistent"?

    I saw a review this morning that said they'd been using it for over a month, but the app was first published three days ago. That deserves a "shill" tag.

    If I were implementing the system, you'd only be able to see your own tags so that you couldn't unduly influence others with poor moderation. They'd be strictly for Apple's use in identifying bad reviews.

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