Posts tagged with ‘Apple’
Apple Pulls 500px’s Mobile Apps From The App Store, Claiming It’s Too Easy To Search For Nude Photos →
Toronto photo-sharing startup 500px is reporting today that both of its applications, 500px for iOS and its recent acquisition ISO500, have been pulled from the Apple App Store due to concerns about nude photos. Combined, the apps have over 1 million downloads, 500px COO Evgeny Tchebotarev tells us…
The apps were pulled from the App Store this morning around 1 AM Eastern, and had completely disappeared by noon today. The move came shortly after last night’s discussions with Apple related to an updated version of 500px for iOS, which was in the hands of an App Store reviewer.
The Apple reviewer told the company that the update couldn’t be approved because it allowed users to search for nude photos in the app. This is correct to some extent, but 500px had actually made it tough to do so, explains Tchebotarev. New users couldn’t just launch the app and locate the nude images, he says, the way you can today on other social photo sharing services like Instagram or Tumblr, for instance. Instead, the app defaulted to a “safe search” mode where these type of photos were hidden. To shut off safe search, 500px actually required its users to visit their desktop website and make an explicit change.
Tchebotarev said the company did this because they don’t want kids or others to come across these nude photos unwittingly. “Some people are mature enough to see these photos,” he says, “but by default it’s safe.”
FJP: A few things to note:
Noted, Part One: as one commenter on the story writes, “Do they plan on removing Safari from iOS as well? And every other mobile web browser?”
Noted, Part Deux: God forbid they take a close look at what you can find with the Tumblr app.
Noted, the third: Here’s where you come across the very serious issue of a gatekeeping ecosystem where app developers and publishers are essentially at the whims of Apple. For example, last summer Apple refused to carry an app that mapped publicly reported drone strikes.
It seemed like a simple enough idea for an iPhone app: Send users a pop-up notice whenever a flying robots kills someone in one of America’s many undeclared wars. But Apple keeps blocking the Drones+ program from its App Store — and therefore, from iPhones everywhere. The Cupertino company says the content is “objectionable and crude,” according to Apple’s latest rejection letter.
It’s the third time in a month that Apple has turned Drones+ away, says Josh Begley, the program’s New York-based developer. The company’s reasons for keeping the program out of the App Store keep shifting. First, Apple called the bare-bones application that aggregates news of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia “not useful.” Then there was an issue with hiding a corporate logo. And now, there’s this crude content problem.
Begley is confused. Drones+ doesn’t present grisly images of corpses left in the aftermath of the strikes. It just tells users when a strike has occurred, going off a publicly available database of strikes compiled by the U.K.’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which compiles media accounts of the strikes.
FJP: A short demonstration of how the app works (both text alerts and a map-based visualization) can be seen on Vimeo.
In a recent article at the Columbia Journalism Review, Dan Gillmor reminds us how news organizations’ reliance on technology companies is increasingly problematic. For example, and sticking with Apple:
Governments and businesses are creating choke points inside that emerging ecosystem—points of control where interests unfriendly to journalism can create not just speed bumps on the fabled information highway, but outright barricades…
…Consider Apple. The news industry’s longstanding love affair with what has become the most valuable company on Earth expanded with the death of Steve Jobs. But Apple has a long history of controlling behavior. If you create a journalism app to be sold in the iPhone or iPad marketplace, you explicitly give Apple the right to decide whether your journalism content is acceptable under the company’s vague guidelines. Apple has used this to block material it considers improper, including (until the company came under fire for this) refusing for a time to allow Mark Fiore, who has won a Pulitzer Prize for his cartoons, to sell his own app. Given the dominance Apple now enjoys in the tablet market, journalists should have a Plan B. Apple’s paranoia (not too strong a word) and secretive ways have led it to attack journalism itself. In 2004 the company tried to force several websites to disclose their sources in their Apple coverage; the case was a direct challenge to fundamental business-journalism practices. (Note: I played a small role in that case, filing declarations on behalf of the websites that they were engaged in protected journalism.)
Read through to Gillmor’s article for more about how telecommunications providers, government, and entertainment and technology companies threaten journalism and innovation.
The antitrust lawsuit accuses Apple and five separate publishers of colluding to fix the price of e-books in violation of federal antitrust law. Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster have settled with the Justice Department, but the remaining three defendants—Apple, Penguin, and Macmillan have not.
Apparently, the price-fixing scheme began a few months prior to the release of the first iPad, and the publishers reportedly took steps to conceal secret communications with each other.
via Talking Points Memo:
The publishers and Apple ended up entering into an agreement. Jobs’ own email to a publisher proves to be quite damning with Jobs stating that the publishers could work with Apple or pursue one of two other choices: “Keep going with Amazon at $9.99” or “hold back your books from Amazon.”
In April 2010, publishers began charging $12.99, $14.99 or $16.99 for e-book versions of new hardcover titles.
Previously, the DOJ points out, e-book pricing occurred in a “wholesale model,” wherein publishers sold their books to retailers at varying prices, then retailers were free to charge whatever they wanted for them.
The “agency model” that Apple and the five publishers implemented involved agreeing to fixed prices prior to selling the books through Apple’s iBookstore, according to the DOJ.
If approved by the court, a settlement will grant retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble the freedom to reduce the price of their e-books. They would also be required to “terminate their anticompetitive most-favored-nation agreements with Apple and other e-books retailers.”
In the United States 34% of teenagers have an iPhone and another 40% hope to buy one sometime in the next six months.
If you’re in the market, don’t do it this way:
Five people in southern China have been charged with intentional injury in the case of a Chinese teenager who sold a kidney so he could buy an iPhone and an iPad, the government-run Xinhua News Agency said on Friday.
The five included a surgeon who removed a kidney from a 17-year-old boy in April last year. The boy, identified only by his surname Wang, now suffers from renal deficiency, Xinhua quoted prosecutors in Chenzhou city, Hunan province as saying.
According to the Xinhua account, one of the defendants received about 220,000 yuan (about $35,000) to arrange the transplant. He paid Wang 22,000 yuan [about $3,500] and split the rest with the surgeon, the three other defendants and other medical staff.