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Apple's Schiller Responds To iPhone Dictionary App Fiasco

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-so-sinister-after-all dept.

Censorship 200

beef curtains writes "Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, responded by e-mail to a blog post discussing Apple's rejection of a dictionary app. If Schiller's e-mail is to be believed, it offers an interesting perspective on this whole issue. He said, 'The issue that the App Store reviewers did find with the Ninjawords application is that it provided access to other more vulgar terms than those found in traditional and common dictionaries, words that many reasonable people might find upsetting or objectionable. ... The Ninjawords developer then decided to filter some offensive terms in the Ninjawords application and resubmit it for approval for distribution in the App Store before parental controls were implemented. Apple did not ask the developer to censor any content in Ninjawords, the developer decided to do that themselves in order to get to market faster. ... You are correct that the Ninjawords application should not have needed to be censored while also receiving a 17+ rating, but that was a result of the developers' actions, not Apple's.' PC World has an article summarizing the drama-to-date, the blog post, and Schiller's response."

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200 comments

surprise (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991893)

Apple Haters. The GOP Wingnuts of the computer world. Do they ever get tired of being wrong?

Re:surprise (5, Insightful)

Bredero (1154131) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991915)

Because a dictionary getting any age rating is a good idea how?

Re:surprise (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992155)

Keeping dictionaries away from children is always a good idea. Nothing good ever came out of letting children use dictionaries.

Re:surprise (1)

mrjohnson (538567) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992387)

Uhm, but it's a dictionary... You have to search for fuck to find the definition of fuck in the first place!

Re:surprise (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991977)

They were partially right though:

From TFA, a quote by the president of the company making the dictionary

17+ ratings were not available when we launched, which means at that time, it was simply not possible for our dictionary to be on the App Store without being censored. Given the options of censoring or sitting on the side lines while our competitors ate our lunch, we chose to launch.â

Re:surprise (0)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992173)

How old is the youngest IPhone user you've seen? For me its 15. No elementary school kid needs to be running around with a $100/mo bill and an expensive phone. By 12, most kids already know these words. Who is this censorship for?

All this is beside the point that this kind of stuff should not be censored in a dictionary anyway. The sheer idiocy of this fiasco amazes me.

Re:surprise (4, Insightful)

dotgain (630123) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992311)

Just FYI, the iPod Touch is pretty much an iPhone minus the Phone, GPS and Compass*, and can run most of the same apps without any monthly cellular cost.

*I've probably left a couple of inconsequential things out, it doesn't matter.

Re:surprise (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992385)

How old is the youngest IPhone user you've seen? For me its 15. No elementary school kid needs to be running around with a $100/mo bill and an expensive phone. By 12, most kids already know these words. Who is this censorship for?

It's for two groups of people: parents groups who might protest this despite it being quite far from a real issue as you pointed out, and Apple's PR department that would rather nip it in the bud than face what is apperantly impossible: trying to sell a product through parents to their kids while telling the parents that they're responsible for being parents rather than the product.

Re:surprise (2, Insightful)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992461)

Your problem is that you probably don't live near enough or don't know the wingnuts that ARE requiring this kind of censorship. Sadly your education and intelligence are sufficient to realize that this kind of censorship is both useless and offensive to the rest of the sane thinking world. But since the bible belt does have a lot of people in it and we want their money too...

To date I fail to see any average good done by any religion in the world. At one time or another they have impeded the development of civilization, technology or social interaction on a less than war like level. But if that's your thing, go right ahead and practice. I'm tired of having other peoples standards and morals shoved down my throat.
Such is the world we live in.

Re:surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992599)

...with a $100/mo bill...

Everyone seems to quote this number but every time I look at my bill it's only $75. Did I con AT&T or what!?

Re:surprise (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992809)

I don't think you people realize just how close we came to having an app on iPhones that contained vulgar words.

Disaster was narrowly averted.

These things start innocently enough. A dictionary, for example, that defines the word "crap" and includes a phonetically-spelled pronunciation. Before you know it, iPhone users will be using those words, and then it's a straight path downward to public displays of affection between members of different races, laughter at fat people in stretch pants, and ultimately universal health care for everyone.

This is how societies are destroyed. I'm sure if you were to read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, you would see that this is how it happened. And where is Rome today? "In Italy" you might say, but I mean the spiritual Rome of civilized behavior, regular bathing (for the upper classes) and great philosophers like Plato and Jesus.

Don't scoff. You look like you're getting ready to scoff, so just...don't. I mean it. I've had enough of you scoffers.

Re:surprise (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992815)

See, you scoffed and upset me and I didn't close my html tag.

This is what happens when vulgar words are potentially displayed on an iPhone.

Re:surprise (-1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992379)

Apple Lovers. The DNC Moonbats of the computer world. Do they ever get tired of being blind?

(P.S. Are you enjoying Obama's plummeting poll numbers?)

Re:surprise (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992411)

You left out George Soros and fluoridation.

All about branding (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991905)

If they'd been called PuppyWords, then I'm sure the approval process would have been much easier.

This post made from Haiku (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992747)

all macfags and winfags can suck my dick and enjoy my hot load in their mouths

captcha: renewing

Nothing new (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991929)

Apple didn't force him to censor the app. The developer "voluntarily" did it. Of course, it was his only option if he wanted to get it published...

Re:Nothing new (4, Insightful)

Kumiorava (95318) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991989)

Published before the parental controls were implemented... it's a big difference. I don't agree with parental controls, but some people do and to keep those people in peace and using the service we all have to tolerate some inconveniences.

Re:Nothing new (5, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992163)

The problem with this is 2 things.

1. He was given an either-or situation. Either self-censor the dictionary, including some helpful "examples" from the app store reviewer, OR wait an unknown period of time for Apple to implement a new rating level. Effectively, he was told he had to censor the app if he wanted it in the app store in any foreseeable timeframe.

2. The specific examples the developer quoted as being objected to by the reviewer included 'standard' swear words, and not just so-called 'urban slang' that Phil mentions in his response. And these exact same words are already in existing dictionary apps in the app store, with MUCH lower rating levels (Dictionary.com is rated 4+, and includes the specific example words the app reviewer listed).

Re:Nothing new (3, Interesting)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992515)

2. The specific examples the developer quoted as being objected to
The specific examples the developer let you see I'm sure there may have been others, we will never know.

Re:Nothing new (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992187)

Parental controls for dictionaries is stupid on its face.

Yes, just what we need, parents denying the use of dictionaries to their children.

Good troll. 10/10 Would Rage Again.

--
BMO

Re:Nothing new (1, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992273)

Go to any elementary school and you'll see student dictionaries, which are essentially the same thing.

Re:Nothing new (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992349)

No, the difference between "student dictionaries" and regular dictionaries is not primarily one of cenorship. The difference is in expected educational level of the user - the definitions are simplified, the technical pronunciations are replaced with easy to follow examples, etc. Sure, most slang terms aren't included, but that's far from the primary difference as it was here with Apple.

Re:Nothing new (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992525)

Yeah, but it's a bit different when the "dictionary" is, for example, Webster's vs. Urban Dictionary. I don't remember seeing the definition of a "Cleveland Steamer" in the former...

Re:Nothing new (3, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992767)

What you're missing is that the Unabridged dictionary in the local library isn't NC17 and has all the "bad words" that led Apple to refuse the app. Anyone can use it as long as they can turn a page or read. No, wait, I take that back. If you cannot do either, any librarian will help you if you are visually or physically disabled regardless of age.

Also, you can browse the Urban Dictionary from any iPhone, as it is on the web.

I find it disheartening that anyone would classify a whole dictionary as "adult only" because it contains the word "screw"

--
BMO

Re:Nothing new (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992829)

To follow up on myself:

In my elementary school, there was a big unabridged dictionary ready for use by anyone,

In my local 3 room public library, the unabridged dictionary was in the Children's/Young Adult room.

In the local library down the road from me, the unabridged dictionary is in the Reference section and does not have a giant "NC17" sign on it.

In Apple's world, there would be armed guards around all three.

Pure bloody-mindedness.

--
BMO

Re:Nothing new (2, Interesting)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992543)

Until King James, bibles were written in Latin and the common man could not see the word of god he had to take the priests word for it. Masses were only performed in Latin. Censorship has been a part of human existence for our centuries. You think this is unusual.

Re:Nothing new (2, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992681)

Until King James, bibles were written in Latin....

Except for the work of people such as John Wycliffe and Martin Luther, for example, both of whom preceded James I of England.

OKAY (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992805)

but can I zing the next person who decries the fact the parents are not being responsible for the activities of their children?

Parents cannot win here; Slashdot or the world in general. Because on one hand we have people who pummel them for every inaction and then turn around and berate them for any infraction their kid does.

Parental Controls do not affect those who do not use them. They however do affect what those of use responsible enough to adhere to a self described sense of morals but live in a world where such control is considered an infringement on some mysterious right thereby imposing such control on us outside of our domain.

In other words, either provide the means necessary for parents or anyone in general to filter the content relevant to themselves or those in the protection else suffer the decisions of others over the content you have available.

Parents would have an easier time if people quit moving the line.

Re:OKAY (2, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992855)

Nice false dichotomy there.

There is a difference between putting parental controls on dictionaries and on places like 4chan.

--
BMO

Re:Nothing new (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992319)

I don't get the point of parental controls. Either the parents use the iPhone and seldom give it to their children (the purpose of a cellphone is to have it always at hand, no?), or the phone is already the child's device. In the former case, the probability of the child finding the app, opening it and discovering naughy words (and if he/she is 7 or above, he/she probably knows them all already anyways) is very small. In the second case, the parents probably don't even know how the iPhone works, let alone how to activate parental controls.

Parental controls only work when the children and the parents use one device often, such as a TV box or a computer.

Re:Nothing new (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992719)

Published before the parental controls were implemented... it's a big difference.

Not if you don't know when those parental controls will be published and have no recourse if they are delayed. Besides in order to look the word up you actually have to know it first so it is hardly exposing them to a rude word that they have not already seen is it?

Re:Nothing new (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992677)

More exactly, the developer says he didn't know when the promised OS upgrade that enabled parental controls would be released (turned out it was about a month) and wanted the dictionary in the App Store ASAP. Which seems a reasonable decision in terms of cash flow, and in this particular case led the developer (under some financial duress, no doubt, if the examination was so protracted) to self-censorship.

Apple needs to get App Store reviewing organized on a professional basis. I'm sure the explosion of developer interest caught them off-guard and the current system just grew.

would someone please tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991981)

what slang words were actually in question?
it sounds like it's not just george carlin's seven words you can't say on TV.
details?

Re:would someone please tell me (5, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992083)

The dictionary was based on Wiktionary [wiktionary.org]. So I would imagine it could quite possibly contain the fabled seven words and many others. Regardless, it's disingenuous to say that you aren't censoring apps and that the developer did it voluntarily, when the actual truth is you were rejecting the app and the developer had the choice of waiting for an undetermined amount of time (till you actually implmented the partenal controls) or 'self-censoring'.

That's like saying, "No, we didn't force a confession out of him, we just kept hitting him till he felt like talking."

Re:would someone please tell me (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992143)

Ok, I got mod points, but damned if I couldn't figure out if I should mod this +1 Insightful or +1 Funny, for it is precisely both.

Re:would someone please tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992339)

I concur and thank you for modding the parent up.

I don't get it... (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#28991993)

A dictionary corrects misspelled words, it doesn't write them.

Re:I don't get it... (2, Informative)

thefringthing (1502177) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992239)

Technically, a dictionary lists the definitions of words. It assumes you already know how to spell them.

Re:I don't get it... (2, Insightful)

edalytical (671270) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992643)

Technically, a dictionary maps the definitions to words. What good would a "list" of definitions be? You need a way to look them up.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992919)

Yep. The good ol' two-column table. 3 if you have the word type!

Back atcha (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28991997)

It provided access to other more vulgar terms than those found in traditional and common dictionaries, words that many reasonable people might find upsetting or objectionable.

words I often find upsetting and objectionable:

censorship
groupthink
DRM
paternalism
authoritarianism
proprietary
patronizing

Thus I have an Android phone. Though it had to be rooted too. But at least when I try to install a program, it asks for my permission rather than the other way around.

Rating (2, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992011)

The program also included a feature that crippled the "suggestion" function in such a way that made it was impossible for someone to look up a vulgar word unless they knew what that word was and typed it out in its entirety. Shouldn't that be enough to merit acceptance? Free speech anyone?

Re:Rating (1)

weilawei (897823) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992363)

True, it couldn't spontaneously appear on your screen. But, to play devil's advocate, you could imagine a situation with a small child (whose parents love jimmy enough to buy him an iPod Touch) typing in a swear he overheard one evening. He might not have known the meaning before but now he does. On the other hand, if the kid is bright enough to want to look stuff up, are we to ban young children from bookstores and libraries?

Re:Rating (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992607)

Free speech? he has the right to say but they have the right to not publish it. How does that apply. I don't think that phrase means what you think it does.

Waiting on Android Handsets to be the norm. (2)

memoriesofgreen (784598) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992031)

All these negative Apple iPhone stories are just fuelling the fire. I've been playing with Android on my recent phone. I bought a HTC Hero two weeks ago and can't find any fault with it. If you've ever held off smart device development then I would encourage you to get in the the Android stack.

I would like to be able to comment on the Apple development process but I can't really.

There is something that feels 'so right' in having access to all parts of the device that I've bought which makes Android so appealing.

Cause and Effect (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992047)

The developers may have 'chosen' to censor their work, but only because it was the only way their work could exist at all. That's still censorship.

Apple claiming that the developers chose to do it is like saying someone chose to jump in front of a bullet that was aimed at their child. Yes, they chose to... But it's hardly their fault.

Re:Cause and Effect (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992345)

OK, let's all read the summary before modding this one up - the developer chose to censor the words so that they could get the app up before Apple could get parental controls implemented. Shiller states that the words were more objectionable than common swear words, and so needed to fall into the 17+ category. The developer could have waited for parental controls to be implemented, or they could choose to filter the most objectionable terms manually - there was a clear way forward in both cases.

Whether or not the dictionary truly contains words worthy of an NC-17 is a separate argument.

Re:Cause and Effect (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992589)

The developer could have waited for parental controls to be implemented, or they could choose to filter the most objectionable terms manually - there was a clear way forward in both cases.

And the way forward was censorship, in both cases.

Seriously -- "objectionable"? Who decides? In this case, it is Apple who decides. Apple is acting as the censor, by denying the application access to distribution unless its developer agrees with Apple's position on morality/language/offensiveness/etc. Never mind that in order to see the definition of a word in the dictionary you have to look it up in the first place -- Apple wants the app developer to agree with Apple's position on principle, and ensure that even people who might want to look up such words would not be able to.

Or, look at it from a business perspective: Apple claimed that the dictionary could not be distributed because it contained words that would not be included in the Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, etc. So essentially, Ninjawords' competitive advantage is the very thing that makes it undistributable. It's better, so it gets denied. Apple is protecting the interests of existing dictionary publishers at the expense of the little guy.

Or is there some other explanation where Apple's actions look justified? Cuz you haven't given it to me so far.

Re:Cause and Effect (3, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992931)

I believe alot of the words are included in their own (OS X) dictionary, not only making them censors, but enormous hypocrites.

Re:Cause and Effect (1, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992399)

The developers may have 'chosen' to censor their work, but only because it was the only way their work could exist at all. That's still censorship.

Did you even read the post? That's not what happened.

Re:Cause and Effect (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992685)

Yes, they chose to... But it's hardly their fault.

To add to the people picking this statement apart: Yes, it is the parent's fault for jumping in front of a bullet to save their child. They made the conscious decision to do that and ignore their own safety, therefore they are at fault.

Whether or not it was a rational decision is a different matter-- it probably was the best decision they could have made.. But your analogy just doesn't work. [/pendantic]

Re:Cause and Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992709)

Correction: pedantic

thx

Re:Cause and Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992733)

pendantic?
[/pedantic]

Not a proper response (4, Interesting)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992061)

'The issue that the App Store reviewers did find with the Ninjawords application is that it provided access to other more vulgar terms than those found in traditional and common dictionaries, words that many reasonable people might find upsetting or objectionable. ...

I'd like to see Schiller respond to the developer's allegation that the reviewers sent screenshots of specific common swear words - fuck, etc. explicitly typed in by Apple employees.

Schiller's denial is so vague as to be a non-denial - note he doesn't actually specifically say which words they were rejected for, just hints that this was really quite a dirty, unsavoury dictionary and had no place on a nice store like ours. His implication does contradict the message sent to the developers, which homed in on quite common words which belong as slang in a normal dictionary.

Much like the Kama Sutra rejection, this brings home how farcical Apple trying to be gatekeeper and arbiter of taste on the app store really is. They should give up now before their reputation sinks under the weight of their hypocrisy - every week I hear of a new stupid and arbitrary decision by their app store reviewers.

The Google Voice one was worse than this though - at least these guys got a reason which made some sort of sense.

Re:Not a proper response (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992165)

Much like the Kama Sutra rejection, this brings home how farcical Apple trying to be gatekeeper and arbiter of taste on the app store really is. They should give up now before their reputation sinks under the weight of their hypocrisy - every week I hear of a new stupid and arbitrary decision by their app store reviewers.

Looking at the parents group response games like beer pong [gamepolitics.com] or "Madworld" [nydailynews.com] got on the wii, I have a little sympathy. Neither game was marketed at kids. Parents groups seemed more upset with Nintendo than the publishers, citing reasons that boiled down to "OMFG, KIDS PLAY THE WII, HOW COULD YOU NOT CENSOR THIS NINTENDO?!?"

Granted, doing stupid things to avoid upsetting stupid people is stupid, but they are a company, not an organization dedicated to freedom of expression. They'd be reasonable to think that if they don't maintain some standards, parents groups would fly off the handle, boycott it, and they'd be losing out on their most profitable market: kids. It's somewhat positive that at least now they would have published it rather than just quashing it forever.

Naturally, the real solution should be parents acting like parents, but naturally pigs will fly before these groups put responsibility on their members.

Re:Not a proper response (2, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992459)

Naturally, the real solution should be parents acting like parents, but naturally pigs will fly before these groups put responsibility on their members.

Are you a parent?

I am, and in many of these cases I think the parents *are* acting like parents when they complain. I know many slashdotters live in some fantasy world where parents are able to monitor their children every waking hour, but it's not reality. Parents have a lot of stuff to do, and even those who don't work still need time to clean the house, buy the groceries, make dinner, change the oil, mow the lawn, etc. Of course, I have no sympathy for parents who buy M-rated games for their kids and are then shocked to discover that it contains content that's inappropriate for their six year-old, but as a parent I really appreciate all the parents who put up a stink and got the rating system put in place.

Likewise, I think it's perfectly reasonable for Apple to limit the sort of content in their app store. I think the rating system is a better way, but in the absence of the rating system, I don't think it's inappropriate to refuse apps that contain profanity.

Re:Not a proper response (2, Informative)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992763)

--
Safety is a tyrant's tool; no one can oppose safety.

Aren't your post and your sig at odds with each other?

Re:Not a proper response (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#28993083)

-- Safety is a tyrant's tool; no one can oppose safety.

Aren't your post and your sig at odds with each other?

Nope. Children are one thing. Responsible adults are quite another. Children need to be protected. As they grow up, as they learn their way around the world, you back off. If you do it right, by the time they're grown up they don't need protecting any more, because they can take care of themselves.

Re:Not a proper response (4, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992871)

Are you a parent?

I am.

in many of these cases I think the parents *are* acting like parents when they complain.

No, they're not, they're acting like children when they complain.

I know many slashdotters live in some fantasy world where parents are able to monitor their children every waking hour, but it's not reality.

OK, so now we know that you're not just a parent, you're a bad parent.

Because if you were a good parent, you wouldn't want to be monitoring your children every waking hour, nor expecting someone else to do it for you.

Being a good parent involves teaching your children your values so that you don't *have* to monitor them.

Re:Not a proper response (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#28993065)

Being a good parent involves teaching your children your values so that you don't *have* to monitor them.

Certainly it does. And by the time they're teenagers, if you've done a good job, that works. With younger kids, it makes a lot more sense to simply keep some stuff away until they're able to understand it.

Re:Not a proper response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28993121)

You think parents should be giving children younger than teenagers iPhones?

Re:Not a proper response (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992969)

I am, and in many of these cases I think the parents *are* acting like parents when they complain. I know many slashdotters live in some fantasy world where parents are able to monitor their children every waking hour, but it's not reality.

I know that, everyone knows that. And I had hoped that everyone would realize the folowing: if something is a concern to you, like your kid reading dirty words in a dictionary, then you should deal with it yourself, not make everyone else deal with it.

I know you have a lot of chores to do, but it takes about 5 minutes to do any one of a number of things to remedy the situation on your end:
-take the Ipod away from him
-trust him not to download it
-don't give him a credit card
-don't give him the password to itunes
-talk to him about dirty words
-realize he already knows them
-wash his mouth out with soap if he uses them

The world doesn't have a responsibility to sanitize itself because you have issues with what your kid sees reguardless of how much free time you have.

Re:Not a proper response (0)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#28993053)

The world doesn't have a responsibility to sanitize itself because you have issues with what your kid sees reguardless of how much free time you have

You say that as though I'm the only one with an issue, but I'm not. In fact, there are a lot more of us than there are of you -- and actually, odds are that when you become a parent, you'll join the gang.

It makes perfect sense for companies to cater to the people with the money, and that, whether you like it or not, is me, not you.

Re:Not a proper response (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992631)

I beleive the words Apple object to are "freedom", "rights" and "value". These are obviously dirty, and unsavory.

What?? (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992095)

Blackadder said it best :

Samuel Johnson [wikipedia.org]: Ah, I see you've underlined a few (takes dictionary, reads): `bloomers'; `bottom'; `burp'; (turns a page) `fart'; `fiddle'; `fornicate'?

George IV: Well...

Samuel Johnson: Sir! I hope you're not using the first English dictionary to look up rude words!

Edmund Blackadder: I wouldn't be too hopeful; that's what all the other ones will be used for.

I Call Bullshit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992125)

Schiller's response is an attempt to evade the issue that Apple censored the application in the first place. Turning around and trying to claim that the developer censored themselves after being censored is an expert spin, but complete bullshit nonetheless.

Upset reasonable people??? (4, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992177)

Obviously the dictionary he's using has a rather different definition of reasonable people than mine does.

Mine says reasonable people aren't upset by words, especially the ones they write themselves. Reasonable people also have no expectation of going through life without encountering something they might find offensive, as they know that that idea itself is offensive to some people.

Why can't we, as a group, start using the names of idiots like that as slang for 'offensive' things? Like ...

Schiller - verb: To use ones tongue to clean a toilet bowl.
Intelligent Design - noun: The act of writing ones name in faeces.

Re:Upset reasonable people??? (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992291)

Mine says reasonable people aren't upset by words, especially the ones they write themselves.

Or in other words: fuck that shit.

Is there an app that lets you read Shakespeare's plays on the iPhone? What's its rating? Amongst other juicy terms, that fine old English word, "cunt", appears in Henry V (in the language lesson scene.)

Do these so-called "reasonable people" object to that?

Attn: Phil Schiller (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992197)

How about responding to that Apple keyboard firmware vulnerability from Black Hat? Does Apple have a patch for it yet?

Why isn't Apple addressing a consistency issue (1)

weilawei (897823) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992289)

The majority of the ongoing debate over the App Store is that the reviewers seem whimsical or even downright malicious and inconsistent in their ratings, rejections, and reasons for rejection. You can't eliminate malice, but you can seriously reduce incompetence by making it a more open process. The developers here will (likely) be familiar with practices such as code reviews and bug tracking. In this instance, if Apple were to have provided clearer information, to replicate all of the issues they felt were present in the dictionary, this might not have been blown up into the situation we have now. While the dictionary would still have been censored in the interest of pushing it to market as soon as possible, it would have been a more precise change (as opposed to blindly self-censoring). Apple probably isn't responsible for reviewing applications in minute detail for each an every swear word--but establishing an issue tracking system opens a communication channel with established ways of resolving conflicts and receiving feedback. Apple appears to be moving toward a more level treatment of applications, but they have a long way to go and plenty of great options. Also, is this NinjaWords app by the same people as the NinjaWords website?

Safari the next app to be rejected? (1, Insightful)

Black Pete (222858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992295)

If the dictionary app was rejected on the basis that it proved access to dirty words, does this mean that Safari is the next to go? After all, it only provides access to the entire Internet, where I'm sure a few dirty words and even porn could be found.

Re:Safari the next app to be rejected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28992407)

omg! what an original post! nobody on slashdot has ever before made the connection between safari being a browser and being able to look up stuff that's not allowed on the appstore. I nominate you for the noble prize!

Re:Safari the next app to be rejected? (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992413)

The app didn't "provide access." It contains its own local copy. People really need to read the fucking article.

Re:Safari the next app to be rejected? (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992611)

And that's different...how? Is the RAM of my iPhone somehow "soiled" because the bad Mr. App Store allowed doo-doo words to get on it? The application would work the same whether it stored a local copy or not.

reasonable people? (2, Insightful)

jjeffries (17675) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992347)

"words that many reasonable people might find upsetting or objectionable"

These are not reasonable people. These are people looking through a dictionary in order to be offended.

Fuck those people. Shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker motherfuckers.

BFD (1)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992395)

Sounds useless anyway.

I downloaded some apps for awhile, but now there's only two that I actually ever use. RSS reader (Byline) and Twitter client (Tweetie).

It's pretty daunting these days to look for things on the App store. It's choked with crap. I am glad they didn't bother posting this thin, useless app

It's pretty tiring reading all these iPhone owners crying about how their device is locked down. Apple is not a monopoly. Their vertical model seems to be turning out fairly usable, innovative products. Please don't fuck this up. My phone has never crashed and I'd like to keep it that way

Apple does some cool stuff for OSS. Check this out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clang [wikipedia.org] . Not to mention making a reasonably UNIX compliant operating system. (Disclaimer: I don't currently have any other Apple products besides the phone.

Re:BFD (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992463)

Not to mention making a reasonably UNIX compliant operating system.

It's not just "reasonably UNIX compliant", it is officially UNIX. (Disclaimer: I hate Apple about as much as anyone could and don't own any of their products, but still give them credit where due ;))

To Recap (4, Insightful)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992445)

I apologise in advance for the bad language but in the interests of having a complete public record on Slashdot, here's a list of the words and phrases that Apple censors from their iPhone dictionaries:
---
Reality Distortion Field
egomaniac
vendor lockin
exploding iPod
making unfreedom hip
iCon
backdated stock options
Lisa
fanboyism
---
There you go. I feel dirty now, and shall wash my keyboard out with soap.

Re:To Recap-Don't Forget... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992605)

here's a list of the words and phrases that Apple censors from their iPhone dictionaries:...

Don't forget: Newton.

I'd Mod you Insightful+1, but now I've gone and posted here instead.

Only If... (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992527)

the Ninjawords application is that it provided access to other more vulgar terms than those found in traditional and common dictionaries, words that many reasonable people might find upsetting or objectionable.

Only if you look them up, fool!

Need a Better Reply than E-Mail (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992561)

So there's a question about the authenticity of this e-mail. Yeah, it's hard to verify by itself. What the Apple guy should have done is respond by a link to a YouTube video of him reading his e-mail aloud. That might authenticate him a bit more firmly. I'm sure he could make one easily from his MacBook since it just works.

Oh, wait, YouTube is a Google site!

So how about the Safari Application? (4, Insightful)

fluch (126140) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992725)

Does Safari need a 17+ age limit to be used? Will it be removed from the iPhone and iPod Touch? From Mac OS X? It can access even darker places outside there in the virtual world! Oh my godness! :-O

In-store censoring (4, Interesting)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992765)

Canadian App store users, try this: search for "redskins" As in the Washington Redskins NFL team.

In each of the resulting 7 or so apps, each of their descriptions has Redskins censored, i.e. "R*****ns."

(Non-Canadians can verify this by downloading either Pandora Box or AppMiner apps, which download app lists for each country separately, and setting them to use Canadian currency)

Native American sensibilities is one thing, but censoring the name of a recognized sports team is pretty damn ridiculous. This raises a question: what was the process for getting it censored, and who demanded it be censored?

Sad state of affairs (1)

BinaryX01 (1609025) | more than 4 years ago | (#28992783)

The world is in a sad state if a grouping of words could be so upsetting...

Also, I do not believe that there is not a human left alive on the face of the planet that has not heard a "swear word" Almost every language has the equivalent of fuck. Anyone over the age of ten has heard the word from someone other than a relative and most of those people have had the inclination to use the word.

Again the rumination article link (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 4 years ago | (#28993027)

Is there anything new in the article not copy-pasted from Daring Fireball? Apart from the adds, I mean.
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