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iPhone Web Claims Draw Governmental Rebuke in UK

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the zoolander-bit dept.

Cellphones 517

Wills writes "Apple has been running an iPhone ad saying 'all parts of the internet are on the iPhone', but it had to be withdrawn after Britain's Advertising Standards Authority ruled that it gave 'a misleading impression of the internet capabilities of the iPhone' because the iPhone cannot access Flash or Java – features that are essential to some websites. This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

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iphone sucks (1, Flamebait)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766069)

but not in the pleasant way one would think.
why do supposedly intelligent fellow overhype a clumsy device?

Re:iphone sucks (1, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766119)

Because it is markedly less clumsy than all other phones out there?

You know, improving state of the art?

Re:iphone sucks (1, Informative)

anomalous cohort (704239) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766443)

Here is an iPhone user who hates the design [thewhole9.com] . Not the design of the phone itself but of the service plan. It turns out that the iPhone sucks if you don't live in the U.S.

Re:iphone sucks (4, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766597)

It turns out that it's not much different from the iPhone in the US, then.

Re:iphone sucks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766699)

Roaming charges in Europe are a problem in general, not just the iPhone.

Confusion (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766077)

The ad repeatedly says you can get the whole 'internet', not just the web.

Apple, I want gopher dammit!

Re:Confusion (5, Insightful)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766367)

You're modded funny, but this IS another valid reason it's false advertising. If they want to decide what runs on the phone, they really can't claim it supports the whole internet. You can't have it both ways.

That comment about whether the government should really decide is very trollish. Supply and demand have in fact decided that many sites require flash*. The government is only enforcing truth in advertising. Not everything they do is automatically wrong, ok?

*no matter how much it may annoy us.

Re:Confusion (5, Informative)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766613)

"That comment about whether the government should really decide is very trollish."

Not only that, but it's also completely irrelevant to the story. The Advertising Standards Authority (who deemed the advert misleading) was setup by the advertising industry's trade body and has absolutely nothing to do with the British government.

The ASA ruling is non-legally binding although all major broadcasters and publishers generally adhere to it. The appropriate governmental agencies are Ofcom (office of communication) and OFT (office of fair trading) which have the relevant legal powers. Neither of which were involved here.

Re:Confusion (4, Interesting)

Crispy Critters (226798) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766635)

"The ad repeatedly says you can get the whole 'internet', not just the web."

This is certainly OT, but it annoys me to no end when hotels do the same thing. "Wireless High Speed Internet!" -- when all they allow is web access. Believe it or not, some people care more about port 22 than about port 80. I guess if I were in the UK, I could sue.

The Apple case has some ambiguity. What is "access"? What constitutes "the internet"? Is it still the internet without Java? Maybe. Is it still the internet if it is restricted to the web? NO.

Who misses flash? (2, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766095)

"the iPhone cannot access Flash or Java - features that are essential to some horribly designed websites."

Fixed.

Re:Who misses flash? (4, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766137)

Who misses flash?

Those of us that use sites that are built with it. While I don't need it for most mobile browsing, there are some sites where it is required. If the device can play YouTube flash videos, why can't it load the flash sites too?

I will be purchasing an iPhone shortly and know of its shortcomings but to blindly support their decision not to include something that is so very popular on the web is a bit ridiculous IMO.

Re:Who misses flash? (4, Informative)

jmauro (32523) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766351)

It does not play "flash" YouTube videos. YouTube on the iPhone is a custom client app that does not use flash at all. It won't even play all the videos YouTube has to offer only the ones that can be accessed in h264 format so the app can use the iPod video decoding software/hardware to play it with their custom interface (flash only videos will not play at all).

Re:Who misses flash? (0)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766559)

Thanks, I appreciate the correction. I will go and crawl in my corner now :)

Re:Who misses flash? (2, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766391)

Because it doesn't play YouTube flash videos. The iPhone/iPod touch accesses YouTube's videos files encoded in H.264, without a flash player wrapped around it.

Websites can (and should) detect Safari and use the HTML5 media tags to play their videos (in MPEG-4/H.264), too.

Re:Who misses flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766399)

It doesn't play Flash videos from YouTube-- the movies are reencoded as H.264 on YouTube's side, with separate encodings for WiFi and 3G/EDGE.

Re:Who misses flash? (2, Interesting)

Abreu (173023) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766141)

However, as much as we hate Flash and Java based websites, some people can't live without them for some reason...

I have to side with the British Authority on this one

Re:Who misses flash? (-1, Redundant)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766363)

But then you are siding with BIG GOVERNMENT telling you what the Internet is! Do you want those IDIOTIC BUREAUCRATS and CORRUPT POLITICIANS telling you what the Internet is? They think it's a bunch of tubes! What we need here is a FREE MARKET solution! Whoever has the most money gets to decide what the Internet is. If Apple says the Internet is non-flash, non-java, web only, well, that is their right as a big corporation with lots of money, and government shouldn't get in the way.

Look, it is every corporation's right to mislead people. That's called free speech. It's social Darwinism at work, taking money from the stupid and gullible and giving it to people who deserve it and have the brains to use it. If Apple wants to call the iPhone a magical device that eats pollution and shits gold, well, that is their right. /sarcasm

Re:Who misses flash? (1)

danw5k1 (1174993) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766713)

Or we could rely on some people who make it thier JOB to define this sort of stuff. IETF, W3C, uninportant people like that. The groups that designed most of the internet to date.
If IETF and W3C said java and flash websites should be considered a requirement to represent the 'internet' then fine, it's required. Althogh personaly I think a website that can't work without either of those is not a website. It's a downloadable program.

Re:Who misses flash? (3, Informative)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766169)

that may be.

however, by stating they can access ALL of the internet, they are misleading customers.

Thus I have no problem with them being forced to pull and reword their advertisement.

it's no different than forcing companies who use speed as part of their broadband marketing to say "up to x many times faster" instead of point blank stating their maximum speed as if it were the absolute truth and everyone ALWAYS received it.

Most people won't know the difference, but if you're going to use marketing, at least use it properly.

Somewhere, a bridge is missing its troll... (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766589)

Let me know when the non-Flash version of Homestar Runner is up.

Re:Who misses flash? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766645)

Flash and Java have been horribly abused but there are some useful sites that use them.
You can do things with Java that are currently impossible with other tools like ajax. Java really had the potental to bring some applications to the web. All too often it was used for buttons and other crap.
Same for flash.

I think that Flash navigation should be a criminal offense. Flash applications and video can be a good thing.

And Java can also be a good thing. The applet vnc Viewer is way cool.

keyword 'all' (5, Insightful)

steveargonman (183377) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766103)

When I hear the phrase..

'all parts of the internet are on the iPhone',

I tend to think I can access just about anything. I think expecting java or flash to work isn't asking much yet that's not available so I do think saying 'all' is a little misleading.

I think a simple re-wording would get their point across and yet not be invalid.

Re:keyword 'all' (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766545)

So now we can be sure that Microsoft doesn't state this or Linux or Unix or whatever. As there isn't anything out there that can access anything on the internet. Just as long as crazy people create odd controls. Every non Microsoft product will not/refuses to use Active X (for good reasons) Microsoft refuses to fully use open standards, because it cannot natively access XWindows (an Internet Protocol).

Re:keyword 'all' (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766565)

expecting java or flash to work isn't asking much

Why should you expect them to work out of the box? They don't work out of the box on XP or Vista? Both OS's require plug-ins for most browsers such as Firefox and IE and are definite add-ons, not part of the base standard. It drives me crazy when websites *require* flash and java (or other less well-trusted plugins) -- half the time it's for the annoying video ads on the site that blare audio and video when you're surfing. I want your front page at least and most of your site to work well without them - or at least to degrade gracefully.

Re:keyword 'all' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766569)

As Keshav defined it, the Internet is anywhere that IP can flow. So if an iPhone can send an IP packet, and if it can receive an IP packet from some other node on the Internet, then it's connected to all other parts of the Internet.

What I have issue with are the words 'are on'. If 'are on' means it is viewable or playable on the iPhone, then there's a problem because all parts of the content of the Internet are not viewable or playable per the submission.

Re:keyword 'all' (1)

rishistar (662278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766591)

I also miss the flash ads.

Re:keyword 'all' (1)

Gorgeous Si (594753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766709)

Essentially it's true, it can access any webpage - it doesn't make any promises about being able to display it properly! :-p

Re:keyword 'all' (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766729)

Java and Flash are not parts of the Internet. They are specific application languages that appear on some sites, which are generally served by HTTP. HTTP is a part of the Internet. Flash and Java are parts of the sites on the Internet.

Still, though, I do want my Gopher, WAIS, Archie, telnet, NNTP, SIP, OSPF, BGP, IRC, GRE, and L2TP to just work if I'm told the whole Internet is available on the stock version of a system.

What about NNTP? P2P? (5, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766105)

Knowing nothing about iPhone I have to ask, can it run a newsreader client? p2p client?

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (1)

Crazyswedishguy (1020008) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766273)

I'm not sure what you mean by a "newsreader" client, but there are many apps for reading news, including one by the NYTimes, one by the AP, and there are also several RSS aggregators (Newsgator, etc.). You can also access a very pretty iPhone version of the Google Reader website.

Again, I might have misunderstood your meaning of "newsreader".

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766355)

Can't speak for others, but when I say newsreader I mean something like this. [download.com]

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (1)

Crazyswedishguy (1020008) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766697)

My bad, didn't read the subject line. I don't know if such an app exists on the store and I haven't bothered to look for one. A simple Google search indicates that if you jailbreak your iPhone you can get a usenet newsreader: iNewsGroup [pure-mac.com] .

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766359)

Based on the subject, he's talking about something that can read NNTP, like for Usenet.

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766375)

Again, I might have misunderstood your meaning of "newsreader".

Yes, you have. He's talking about a usenet client running over NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol).

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (2, Informative)

Qwerpafw (315600) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766425)

newsreader refers to usenet through the NNTP protocol. It has nothing to do with RSS or the New York Times.

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (1)

jsantos (113796) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766291)

Let us not miss the real question here:

Does it run Gopher?

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (1)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766553)

Let us not miss the real question here:

Does it run Gopher?

That was my first question as well. Sadly, Safari does not support Gopher [wikipedia.org] . However, I wonder if someone could sneak a Gopher client into the App store, seeing as it is not explicitly denied like browsers are in the SDK license.

Re:What about NNTP? P2P? (1)

PhuCknuT (1703) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766529)

They said the web, not the internet.

Not "essential", but *all* (0)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766129)

It doesn't really raise that issue as the ad didn't say it gives access to "essential" parts of the internet. It said it gives access to *all* parts of the internet.

Huh ? (4, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766139)

From the summary: "Apple has been running an iPhone ad saying 'all parts of the internet are on the iPhone'"

followed by: "This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

What the hell does that have to do with anything ? I didn't RTFA but it sounds like the problem is that they said that ALL parts of the Internet are accessible via the iPhone ... not "all but flash and java" ... which has nothing to do with "essential vs. non-essential", what-so-ever. Sounds like a simple case of false advertising to me.

Re:Huh ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766361)

That was exactly my response to the summary. It sounds like someone is trying to manufacture a government-versus-internet debate when the issue is actually about false advertising.

Re:Huh ? (2, Insightful)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766717)

They absolutely are manufacturing it, by claiming the ASA is a government body. It isn't,; it was set up and is funded by industry. TFA is nothing but a troll.

False advertising (1, Informative)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766163)

It's probably false advertising (flash and java are part of the web and they aren't accessible from an iphone). It may or may not be the governments place to step in depending on how they deal with television regulation. Does the FCC handle false advertising at all? How is false advertising handled other than by consumer law suits?

Re:False advertising (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766223)

Apparently false advertising in the US is handled by the FTC [wikipedia.org] . Does the UK have something similar?

Re:False advertising (2, Informative)

risinganger (586395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766349)

It's right there in the summary. We have the Advertising Standards Authority [asa.org.uk] .

Re:False advertising (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766371)

Der... yes it is. In that case, yes the government agency was just doing its job stepping in.

Re:False advertising (1)

risinganger (586395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766623)

Just to be accurate they're not a governmental agency. From their about page [asa.org.uk] linked to in my previous post:

...independent body set up by the advertising industry to police the rules laid down in the advertising codes.

Media owners agree not to show adverts deemed misleeding, offensive etc by this body which is how they enforce their decisions. You'll find this distinction metioned elsewhere amongst the comments but /. noise will make it harder to find soon enough.

Re:False advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766357)

Perhaps the Advertising Standards Authority referred to in the post?

Re:False advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766435)

> flash and java are part of the web

Then so is my unreleased proprietry browser plugin and content I published for it. The web is a series of interlinked documents, not a collection of virtual machines to run executable content. Fail for stupidity!

Can you and the UK's ASA please get of my interwebs?

Re:False advertising (1)

edalytical (671270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766695)

flash and java are part of the web

Slowdown there cowboy. The Web is a collection of documents interconnected by hyperlinks. If a browser cannot display a linked resource does that really mean that the web isn't readily available to it? IE can't display SVG. Does that mean the web isn't available to it?

You can stretch this as far as you want, technically I could download an iPhone app with Firefox on Ubuntu I can't do anything with it, but I downloaded it from the web. What does that imply? Well nothing really a web browser needs to only be able to display documents with hyperlinks and I'm ok with that.

It's not up to the browser to display every type of resource that is available over the web. If your goal is to make information and resources available to everyone then trying to mold a particular device to a flawed model of what the web should be is not the solution. If you really cared about universal availability you'd make everything available in the de facto web formats HTML, PDF, JPG, PNG, etc. Only then can you get closer to universal availability.

Misleading writeup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766167)

It's not "the government" deciding what the Internet is.

For a start the ASA are an independant organisation, their remit is to ensure advertisers don't tell porkies in their ads. They usually work after complaints from the public.

In this case Apple has mislead the public. Many consumers use Flash and Java sites and deem these to be "the Internet".

the web != the Internet (1)

goodtrick (1201109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766173)

the web != the Internet

Re:the web != the Internet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766485)

the web != the Internet

Remind me again which one was for porn?

Re:the web != the Internet (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766659)

The Universe is for porn. -God

Re:the web != the Internet (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766621)

the web != the web - flash sites

what? (4, Funny)

bigmaddog (184845) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766175)

  1. Apple makes a bogus/oversimplified claim in ad.
  2. Gov't says "stop bsing in your ads."
  3. Poster asks "should gov't regulate look & feel of the web?"

Holy non sequitur batman!

Re:what? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766405)

You forget one:
4. /. posts story without editing or adding commentary pointing out this serious logic flaw.

Re:what? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766473)

5. No profit here... just sadness.

Is it the fault of Apple or Adobe? (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766179)

Considering how obnoxiously ubiquitous Flash has become on the web - and how many sites you can't view without the sexiest version of Flash - it is no surprise that people are angry that the iPhone doesn't do Flash.

But on the other hand, there are plenty of other configurations that don't do Flash, either. Really most Linux distros don't do Flash to the satisfaction of plenty of Flash-only sites. And of course Flash doesn't care about people using Lynx or anyone with impairments that makes it difficult to use a mouse.

However, as much as I'm not an Apple fan myself, I would say really the fault likely belongs more to Adobe. They have chosen to develop Flash in a way that allows third-rate web designers to use it instead of genuine code, while simultaneously giving a big middle finger to those of us who don't meet the compatibility requirements for the newest version.

Perhaps with some luck, some significant good could come from the iPhone - people will start writing more non-flash sites (or at least non-flash versions for those of us who cannot or will not use flash).

Re:Is it the fault of Apple or Adobe? (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766465)

anyone with impairments that makes it difficult to use a mouse

I'm no Flash developer, but I was under the impression that Flash had gone quite far in accessibility lately. So its up to the developer (like with normal HTML) to make sure its all accessible. Devs just generally don't give a flying duck.

Re:Is it the fault of Apple or Adobe? (2, Informative)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766643)

Really - the problem is that Adobe/Macromedia created a piece of crap in the flash client. The fact that my 2GHz C2D can have 60-70% (of one core) in use by a site with 3 or 4 flash ads on it is a testament to how grossly inefficient the software is. Putting flash (in it's desktop incarnation) on the iphone would peg it's little ARM proc and drain the battery in no time flat.

Frankly - i like the lack of flash on my iphone - it, in fact, acts as an ad-blocker of sorts.

Re:Is it the fault of Apple or Adobe? (0, Offtopic)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766677)

s/it's/its/g

Should government authorities ... (5, Insightful)

Trigun (685027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766181)

Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

Should Apple?

Ubuntu doesn't support the Internet either (1, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766193)

After all, it can't run Silverlight or look at the Democratic convention videos.

Re:Ubuntu doesn't support the Internet either (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766303)

Well, then you can file a complaint to the BASA as soon as there are Ubuntu ads on TV claiming that all parts of the internet are available under Ubuntu.

Ubuntu doesn't advertise its Internet support (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766331)

Please point us to Ubuntu's internet advertising campaign.

You do realise what this story is about don't you?

Re:Ubuntu doesn't support the Internet either (4, Insightful)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766501)

Has Ubuntu created an advertising campaign where it implies that it's the only operating system that works properly on the internet, despite the fact that many others have more solid support apart from the user interface?

Re:Ubuntu doesn't support the Internet either (1)

rishistar (662278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766571)

We're not paying a thousand pounds or so for Ubuntu, unlike an iPhone contract. In fact, the bigger complaint for people I've recommended Ubuntu to has been the lack of mp3 support out of the box.

Re:Ubuntu doesn't support the Internet either (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766631)

In fact, the bigger complaint for people I've recommended Ubuntu to has been the lack of mp3 support out of the box.

Really? I was going to try Ubantu, but I think I'll stick with Mandriva and XMMS.

parts... but not the whole internet (3, Interesting)

protonbishop (516957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766205)

Plus it doesn't do mouseover/hover/tooltips -- pretty basic javascript. It's a cool device, but I find I have to re-engineer my websites to fit the iPhone's capabilities. Sure, the web may morph so that it will fit onto the iPhone, but for now I agree with the original article.

flash meh (1)

Joker1980 (891225) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766213)

I couldent care less about flash and java, more media support would have been nice.

(I have an iphone, what it does well it does very well, what it does badly it does very badly. Typical Apple and typical mobile in my opinion).

Oh and the ads ARE misleading.

Governement? Not so much... (5, Informative)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766219)

The Advertising Standards Authority is the independent body set up by the advertising industry to police the rules laid down in the advertising codes. The strength of the self-regulatory system lies in both the independence of the ASA and the support and commitment of the advertising industry...

Source:http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/about/ [asa.org.uk]

Archie, gopher, WAIS (4, Funny)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766231)

The iPhone App store better get cracking on those Archie, Gopher and WAIS clients.

Re:Archie, gopher, WAIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766507)

Silly slashdotter. The rest of the world knows that the Internet is the same as the Web. Sheesh.

The government should control ALL web layouts (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766243)

And they should require that all websites be submitted in frontpage format to government authorities.

P.S. Slashdot sucks.

It doesn't raise those issues (5, Informative)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766245)

This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?

That isn't raised unless you think it's quite alright to claim that a Prius is an "all terrain vehicle" (as long as 'all terrain' doesn't include deep mud, steep unpaved hills and stuff like that).

This isn't about the government making the decision that "this or that is an essential feature of websites", it's about Manufacturer A claiming that Product B can do Feature C when obviously it cannot do Feature C but only a subset of that feature.

Lying to sell your products is not allowed in the UK. It may be in the US or elsewhere in the world, but this is about the UK. And in the UK they have this pesky law about not claiming your product can do things that it cannot do.

It's not 'governmental rebuke' (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766247)

The Advertising Standards Authority [asa.org.uk] is an independent advertising industry body; it is not government funded, and is not a 'government authority'.

This raises an interesting question?? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766249)

The article summary states:

"This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

I'd argue that this situation really has NOTHING to do with that! The only "issue" here is really simple and straightforward. Is it ok to advertise that your product is capable of accessing ALL parts of the Internet, when in reality, it isn't?

All Apple has to do to correct this commercial and "clear" it for viewing is to qualify their statement in some fashion, or maybe re-phrase it. What's so bad about saying "The iPhone is capable of accessing MOST parts of the Internet.", or flashing some small text at the bottom of the screen with as asterisk in front, saying "Some 3rd. party Internet technologies such as Adobe Flash and Java not included."?

Matter Of Perspective (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766261)

"All parts of the Internet are on the iPhone" could be construed to mean "The entire Internet is on the iPhone." Not only does this mislead the buyer into assuming that their iPhone has enough storage to hold the entire Internet, but implies that bricking an iPhone would result in the bricking of the entire Internet and destruction of the global economy.

Re:Matter Of Perspective (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766379)

Well it would certainly be easier to reach the "End of the Internet". After which we can go about our merry lives never to look back on such frivolous promises of completeness and purpose to one's life by buying a phone.

Re:Matter Of Perspective (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766667)

"All parts of the Internet are on the iPhone" could be construed to mean "The entire Internet is on the iPhone."

I mentioned to a friend recently that if I ever won the lottery, one of the first things I'd do is to buy usenet. He then asked me where I would keep it. I told him I didn't know, but an external USB drive might work, just in case I wanted to carry it around with me like on a trip or something.

I don't know how big usenet is, but I know it's a lot smaller than the internet, and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't fit on an iPhone.

Apple Advertising (1)

rawyin (870144) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766285)

I don't see this as government interference as much as a continued suspicious advertising approach by Apple. I questioned their strategy after they ran those commercials that suggested their computers were free of security issues. Am I the only one who's been concerned about Apple's misleading advertising before now?

Funny... (1, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766309)

I didn't hear or see the word "all" the internet anywhere in the ads. "...Just the internet...on your phone". Am I seeing the same ad as all of you are?

Re:Funny... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766513)

Random US ads collected on youtube aren't the same as one particular ad screened in the UK.

Shocking!

Re:Funny... (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766567)

This is not a watered down version of the internet. Or a mobile version of the internet. ... It's just the internet, on your phone.

The internet without flash and Java is a watered down version of the internet for anyone who uses these features.

Should we leave it up to the government? (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766345)

This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

Or perhaps we should leave it up to corporations to make the decision according to whatever criteria they see fit, no matter how misleading the result may be. "I have here a coffee mug. It gets all of the internet [for my particular definition of all of the internet]".

Let's be clear, this isn't a matter of the government dictating what constitutes the internet, this is the judiciary making a ruling as to what the current common perception of the internet is. It is not laying down a definition, but rather making a judgement (as judges are expected to do) as to whether Apple's particular idiosyncratic definition of "all of the internet" differs sufficiently from the current average public definition so as to be misleading. We're not even talking about "essential internet" here; the Apple ad said "all".

In short, this isn't the government dictating what the web should look like, but rather the people. If the judge believed that most average UK citizen could reasonably interpret "all of the internet" to mean the same as what Apple apparently does, there would be no conflict.

Re:Should we leave it up to the government? (3, Funny)

LMacG (118321) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766409)

> "I have here a coffee mug. It gets all of the internet [for my particular definition of all of the internet]".

I'll bet your coffee mug runs Java, though, something the iPhone can't do.

A good example of a heavy handed government (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766377)

Here's one instance where I generally don't mind the government being a little heavy-handed. I wish that the US government would go after every company that advertises an 'unlimited' plan that has a cap. If you're going to use words like 'unlimited' and 'all' you should probably mean it. 'Unlimited' is probably easier to sort out than 'all' since there are plenty of fringe technologies in regards to the internet, but I think flash and java is widely used enough to draw the line.

Ideally I wish that the government wouldn't have to do this since it does spend taxpayer dollars and everyone would be a good consumer and do some research or avoid companies that have a tendency to flavor their advertising to make it seem as though you're getting something that you're really not. Of course, most of the world is horrible at taking the initiative to check into what they'll be buying. It's probably not quite so bad when it happens with an iPhone, but if people are advertising a $300 cure for cancer, there are enough stupid people who'd fall for it without even thinking to check the treatment out at all.

I suppose we could all write letters to the company and anyone who's a shareholder could express their distaste towards dishonest advertising, but the next Slashdot article will probably be posted soon and it might be interesting; and I might be able to get first post! I guess I'd better not bother with that letter, writing my government representatives, leave my comments on a consumer information website, or anything else that might help to make an actual difference.

Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766381)

What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?

"What the web should look like" is irrelevant to the question of the iPhone's capabilities. The fact is that a non-trivial chunk of the web *does* use Flash and Java, so the question of whether ignoring that constitutes misrepresenting the iPhone's capabilities is indeed a question the Advertising Standards Authority should answer.

ASA is not a "government authority" (5, Informative)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766393)

"Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?""

The Advertising Standards Authority is not a government authority. It was established by the Advertising Association, a trade body representing (from the wiki) "advertisers, agencies, media and support services in the United Kingdom" The ASA's introduction on wikipedia reads:

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the independent self-regulatory organisation (SRO) of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom. The ASA is a non-statutory organisation and so cannot interpret or enforce legislation. However, its code of advertising practice broadly reflects legislation in many instances. The ASA is not funded by the British Government, but by a levy on the advertising industry

This is how most media watchdogs in the UK are run. Important facts like this should really be checked before making very flawed summaries. For if Apple wanted, they could simply ignore the ASA's ruling. Most carriers would probably refuse to run the adverts, but it's most certainly not a "government decision".

Wrong question. (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766411)


This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites.

Which is exactly the wrong question here. The ad actually stated "Which is why all the parts of the internet are on the iPhone". It doesn't say all "essential" parts of "The Internet" are on the iPhone.

It's very clear this is a misleading statement, as the iPhone can't possibly support everything on "The Internet". The most obvious retort is that with the "The Internet" doesn't consist of just websites accessible via a browser (or a few apps packaged into the iPhone). The statement is simply patently ridiculous, as "The Internet" isn't really a tangible thing, but rather a means of communication that's changing on a daily basis. It would be impossible for any single device to do that.

What about Target's Web Site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766427)

When you have web sites like target that are exclusively on flash, flash becomes an essential part of the web.
 
Like it or not, there are plenty of web sites that have no content without flash installed.

The gummint's job (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766437)

Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?

To the extent that the government has the job of enforcing the truth in advertising laws, yes, they should be making that decision.

The navel-gazing questions about "What is the internet?" and other techno-philosophical issues probably shouldn't be made by the government, at least not as laws or restrictions. But to the extent that "we" (the more-or-less civilized world) are a society of laws, sometimes those questions will have to be answered -- even if unsatisfactorily -- in order for the legal/governance system to work.

I'll admit to being biased myself -- I think advertising is generally too misleading and given too wide of a berth to make claims that sound like factual claims but in reality are too murky to have their truthfulness tested.

TFS is a little disingenuous (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766459)

What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?

Britain's government isn't making the decision as to what the web looks like. It is saying that Apple's claims are false advertising.

I wish my government had such strict rules about advertising. Here in the US a consumer can't complain, only the advertiser's competitor. So if all the car companies are claiming a hundred miles per gallon, none complain, and the customer is screwed.

Apple should change their ads. Simple enough, "all HTML web sites". It has the aded benefit of not having customers complain that their favorite flash sites won't work.

Actually, the ad was technically correct (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766475)

"All parts of the Internet" should mean all reachable machines over all reachable ports. Whether it has a web browser or not is immaterial - if I can "telnet xyz port nnn" for any legal xyz and nnn, then it can access all parts of the Internet, technically speaking.

Actually, it's nice for a government to use human common sense over a hypertechnical reading now and then.

Simply put... (1)

azav (469988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766487)

That's not honest. Don't know the truth in advertising laws in the UK but, there is a lot of the entire internet that you can't get on the iPhone. No Shockwave, WMV, Flash, etc, etc. It simply can not display all of what is on the internet, in fact, I doubt there is a computer that can.

Editor! Do your fucking job! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766585)

"This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

How the fuck did you come up with that? what does that have anything do with the iPhone ad (either it's misleading or not)?

Apple lie in an advertisment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766627)

Think different

How the web should look like? (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24766633)

Personally, I think it should look like a bunch of HTML 1.0 pages with colorless background and a few heading styles used sparsely. A few images here and there and post tags for ordering stuff are okay, too. Anything above that is just needless crap.

Yes, it's a good idea to enforce this style. The NATO should have the power to do that.

The web is not the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24766721)

Sometimes people get confused and think that Internet is the web and that the web is the Internet.

The web sits on top of the Internet and is a part of the Internet.
But the Internet is much bigger than just the web.
The web is just a part of the internet.

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