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Rejection of Reality: Apple Denies Endgame:Syria

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the sometimes-reality-is-harsh dept.

Censorship 172

arclightfire writes "Endgame:Syria billed itself as the first game to cover on ongoing war in a mashup of interactivity and journalism. However it seems like Apple is not happy with this idea, as PocketTactics reports; 'Apple's app guidelines have once again tripped up the release of a strategy game rooted in a real-world conflict. Auroch Digital's Endgame Syria has been rejected by Apple's approvals team for violating guidelines section 15.3, "solely target[ing] a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity." If section 15.3 sounds familiar, it's because it was the clause invoked when Cupertino said no to Pacific Fleet back in September – the game ran afoul of the guidelines for including Japanese flags in a WWII naval sim.'"

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172 comments

Politcal Games (4, Insightful)

Jiro (131519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518591)

Something I pointed out the last time this game was covered:

The problem with political games is that... they're still political.

Imagine that instead of making a game about the conflict, the same group had simply put out an editorial saying "Here is what we think about the war in Syria, and exactly what is happening there."

If they did that, and it was promoted as much as a game was, and it was typical media quality, everyone here would jump on it in a minute, pointing out that the editorial oversimplifies the war, and that most editorials are made by people with strong opinions on the subject who may be biased. Or the writer of the editorial may have based it on news reports but been a bit too trusting of them. Perhaps the editorial, while supposedly summarizing the war, leaves out important events. (And that's assuming all the facts in it are literally true.)

But package your editorial as a game, and everyone eats it up, as a "unique gamification approach" which "reports the news in the most entertaining fashion possible". As if a contentious subject suddenly turns into a completely objective analysis just because it was put in something that has cards and a score. Please.

Re:Politcal Games (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518727)

Would Apple have blocked all access to such an editorial?
The sad truth is that games are still treated as pure entertainment, devoid of any artistic or political statements.
The problem with political games is that... they're still games.

Re:Politcal Games (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519209)

This is really a problem in the walled garden model of iOS. Providing access to the web is a 'safe harbour' sort of endeavour (in the DMCA sense)—it's not Apple's fault if there's something bad on it. The App Store, however, is curated in a number of regards, and hence isn't neutral ground. This is the case both legally and in popular opinion. As a result, permitting an unpopular or extreme political view into their little garden could generate a boycott, a swath of ugly PR, or even a lawsuit. The company would rather not take those risks with this particular piece of content, and has probably decided that political stuff in general is too risky to pick through.

Re:Politcal Games (1)

nametaken (610866) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520303)

I imagine what most of us would want to know is if Google Play would do the same.

There is, of course, the outside option with Android devices. I question only the part about curated stores, and if it's at-all specific to Apple.

Don't even need to use the editorial analogy (2)

poity (465672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519721)

Battleground: Election 2012 - Obama vs Romney [apple.com]
This was political in nature and solely targeted a real government. Wasn't banned.

Re:Don't even need to use the editorial analogy (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519911)

From the blurb it doesn't seem to target anyone. You can pick to play either side.

Re:Politcal Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518893)

Uh, who cares? If you can package your dumb-assed opinions in an entertaining game, you get the honour of having me view them. Its a tiny portion of the trade. You have no sane point.

Re:Politcal Games (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518915)

Also, you forgot to mention that games are gay and so are the people who play them.

Re:Politcal Games (1, Insightful)

Onymous Coward (97719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518955)

You reject the quality and/or political message of the app, but miss the issue that Apple alone gets to say what's appropriate. Apple's authoritarian censorship is a "political game".

Re:Politcal Games (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519059)

Its not authoritarian unless you decide you want to play their game. You always have the option of telling them to get bent and develop for another platform.

Im not sure it makes sense to classify "right to develop games for Apple's store with whatever political speech I want" as a censorship issue.

Re:Politcal Games (2, Interesting)

Onymous Coward (97719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519499)

Okay, granted, it depends on context.

Within the realm of Apple systems that run only apps we have "favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom" and "the act or practice of supervising the manners or morality of others".

Part of the problem is that opt-in commercial systems become de facto social requirements. Internet Explorer, Office, Facebook, LinkedIn, smartphones... It's hard to navigate society without opting in. I use none of these things, and having opted out puts pressure on me. People around me think I'm weird (because I am strange, I am unusual and hard to understand) and they feel judged by my refusing to do what they do (this is similar to how just being a vegetarian is threatening to others) and that puts strain on my relations.

So I'm a component of a larger organism, society. What society chooses, whether enforced intentionally, using written rules and men with guns, or enforced incidentally, by the fact of social pressure, is what I am subject to. If society ignorantly opts to relinquish freedom by adopting some corporation's politically- and morally-constrained walled garden, they apply that authoritarianism and censorship to me as well.

I'm still pissed off about Internet Explorer.

Re:Politcal Games (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519859)

I don't do IE. Don't do Office. I look at Facebook about once a week. No LinkedIn. No smartphone. So - where does that leave me? Have I faded away, and become a ghost or something?

Oh, social pressure. Maybe I am a ghost, 'cause that social pressure doesn't affect me very much.

And, you're a vegetarian? What's that got to do with anything? Oh - that social pressure thing. But, wait. Doesn't society pressure you to eat meat? We're all omnivores, and you choose to be different. Maybe that "social pressure" thing is just so much bullshit? You don't really care what people think, any more than I do. You're just flapping your gums in an attempt to feel morally superior or something. Phhhttttt!

Re:Politcal Games (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520147)

Internet Explorer? You mean that browser that statistically/demographically most people don't even use anymore?

Re:Politcal Games (2)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521821)

Nobody said you were entitled to things being easy.

Re:Politcal Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42521771)

Of course it's censorship. That doesn't necessarily mean they shouldn't be allowed to do it, though.

Re:Politcal Games (1)

thoth (7907) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520235)

So? It isn't like they are the government or some regulated utility/monopoly.

I swear, half the time folks on Slashdot argue vociferously that a corporation is beholden only to itself, and then get all pissed off when that actually happens. I'm not saying it is good or bad, all the time and at the extremes, just don't be surprised when a corporation acts in self-interest when... you think it has every right to do that.

Re:Politcal Games (1)

gutnor (872759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520275)

Well, that's the usual "cover your asses or be ready to hire a lawyer" that brought you the stupid safety labels. Apple handle 20 billions download per years now, I guess the risk of losing client over the missing games is much lower than risk of getting sued by an upset association or worse be banned in some market altogether.

You should not rely on private companies to defend your rights, you have the government for that. The government in this case can force certain term to Apple in exchange for the proper safe harbor. Or more realistically since you will not convince anybody in the US to create new regulation, give unconditional safe-harbor (and regret later the golden loophole you just created)

Re:Politcal Games (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521815)

Because that's what they agreed to when they started developing the game, and that's what iOS users agreed to when they bought their device.

This group could have easily made their game for Android, not had to deal with any of this bullshit, and reached a larger audience.

And as it turns out, they have. Their message has still gotten out, and people still have the ability to experience it.

Re:Politcal Games (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518971)

An app like that shouldn't be banned, either. Apple's censorship is going way too far here. They're treating their customers like children, unable to cope with the realities of the world. "Don't worry, little Apple kids! Momma Apple knows best. I'll protect you from learning about the world."

Re:Politcal Games (3, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519307)

I think the broader question is why does the fact that its a game warrant some higher editorial standard. Apple would not block the NYT app if they used it to publish an editorial titled "Assad is a Jerk".

I don't see why a game that happens to portray the same opinion should be looked as different. Also the sort of people who we typically have editorializing about editorials do so because they happen to also be the types that read editorials; if they had any exposure to these games they'd complain about them too. I thought we for the mast part had societal value that considered freedom to express our opinions a virtue? Yes some of them are simplistic, and uniformed. I come back to so what?

I don't think it laudable of Apple to run a market place that actively bars goods and services that happen to express opinions, about real things. Doubly so when its terribly inconsistent about when and on what those rules are actually enforced. Yes they have right to do it; just I chose not to participate.

Re:Politcal Games (0)

Infernal Device (865066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519861)

I think the broader question is why does the fact that its a game warrant some higher editorial standard. Apple would not block the NYT app if they used it to publish an editorial titled "Assad is a Jerk".

I don't see why a game that happens to portray the same opinion should be looked as different. Also the sort of people who we typically have editorializing about editorials do so because they happen to also be the types that read editorials; if they had any exposure to these games they'd complain about them too. I thought we for the mast part had societal value that considered freedom to express our opinions a virtue? Yes some of them are simplistic, and uniformed. I come back to so what?

I don't think it laudable of Apple to run a market place that actively bars goods and services that happen to express opinions, about real things. Doubly so when its terribly inconsistent about when and on what those rules are actually enforced. Yes they have right to do it; just I chose not to participate.

Because blocking the NYT app doesn't put them on one side or the other of a political crisis where people are living or dying.

Re:Politcal Games (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520015)

Because the NYT App is not 'solely target[ing] a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity'. One particular editorial might. But overall one might expect some reasonable balance.

Re:Politcal Games (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519339)

Every World War II game is political and american biased, then. Kindly remove them?

Re:Politcal Games (1)

dsparil (844576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519417)

The interesting thing is the word solely. Hypothetically, if this app had covered several modern conflicts around the globe rather than specifically Syria it would not have been banned. I get the feeling Apple is trying curb apps that are overtly or covertly racist and there's always going to be legitimate apps that are afoul. On the other hand, the guidelines did originally suggest writing a book if you had some political viewpoint to express.

sidetrack (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519931)

The issue is apple. Since when/why would someone rely on and/or trust apple?

Put something out cross platform, everywhere - so that a refusal by Apple means nothing.

I really don't understand how it's this hard for people to recognize that relying on a single platform is an incredibly poor idea. Ever since the inception of "web 2.0" the concept of a platform is broken into a limited functionality/walled garden.

Re:sidetrack (2)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521867)

They did put it out on Android. Meaning that people still have access to their game. Hell, on their site they have a link to Google Play AND a link directly to the APK.

Re:Politcal Games (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519933)

The problem with political games is that... they're still political.

The problem with political free speech is that it's still... political. So freakin' what? Deny it because it's inconvenient, because you don't like it, or, as Apple does, because you can?

Fuck Apple. And fuck you, too.

Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518597)

It's propaganda, because you can't play as Assad.

Why? Why why why? (1, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518601)

Why are people still stupid enough to trust Apple enough to sink money and development time into their silly, arbitrary little prison-platform?

Yeah! You COULD sell a bajillion copies! If they don't hamstring you and waste all your time and money.

You can imagine that you're Elon Musk and that you're revolutionizing private space travel.

The reality is, on Apple's platform, you're really Robert Stroud [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Why? Why why why? (-1, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518661)

It's the liberal cappuccino beatnik whores beating the drum of political correctness.

Re:Why? Why why why? (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518747)

There are lots of people killed in Syria every day. Turning this into a game with the hope of making money is cynical and tasteless. So I don't feel the slightest bit sorry about these guys.

And consider that if the game was sold and successful, some people could be very tempted to put a bullet through their heads. Either someone who lost dear friends or relatives in this struggle, or someone who is in danger of losing their power over the country.

Re:Why? Why why why? (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518843)

Turning this into a game with the hope of making money is cynical and tasteless.

Maybe, but totally protected under the 1st amendment. People and companies churn out tasteless crap all day. Perhaps they should all be censored. Good thing I don't have to buy Apple's crap.

...the game ran afoul of the guidelines for including Japanese flags in a WWII naval sim.

So if Godzilla were to attack New York would Apple deny a sim after the fact because it was unfair to monsters? Its absurd to disallow a game for including historically accurate imagery. The Rising Sun ensign isn't even a current national symbol of any current nation/state.

Re:Why? Why why why? (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519075)

Turning this into a game with the hope of making money is cynical and tasteless.

Maybe, but totally protected under the 1st amendment.

Yup. And Congress has made no law restricting it, just as the 1st Amendment provides for.

No jailbreak exemption for tablets (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519257)

If Congress has made no law restricting the publication of a particular kind of work in a particular medium, then what's the anticircumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? There's a DMCA exemption to jailbreak phones but not to jailbreak tablets like the iPad.

Re:No jailbreak exemption for tablets (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519613)

If Congress has made no law restricting the publication of a particular kind of work in a particular medium, then what's the anticircumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? There's a DMCA exemption to jailbreak phones but not to jailbreak tablets like the iPad.

Totally irrelevant. The "information" can be published somewhere else. Congress is not preventing the dissemination of the information. That is what the 1st Amendment is for. A corporation (aka a "person") can choose not to publish it as they wish. Random House need not publish every novel of fan fiction. It does not violate the 1st Amendment.

Re:No jailbreak exemption for tablets (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519677)

The "information" can be published somewhere else.

In the case of Endgame:Syria, where should this information have been published?

Re:No jailbreak exemption for tablets (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520969)

The "information" can be published somewhere else.

In the case of Endgame:Syria, where should this information have been published?

It's not a matter of "should" but "can." They don't have to make the game an iOS game. They can make it a PC game, an XBox game, or a Wii game. If I publish a novel in the format for the Kindle, should Amazon be forced to sell it? If I print my own books, should B&N be forced to sell it. The answer is no in all cases.

Re:No jailbreak exemption for tablets (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521185)

an XBox game, or a Wii game.

Microsoft and Nintendo have historically been even stricter than Apple.

Re:No jailbreak exemption for tablets (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519835)

Congress is not preventing the dissemination of the information

Really? Then, what happened here, when 2600 magazine was prosecuted for publishing links to deCSS:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_v._Reimerdes [wikipedia.org]

If you are wondering why Fedora will provide information on its website about RPMFusion but not Livna (where libdvdcss packages are), you have your answer: it is illegal to even publish that information in the United States. So much for the first amendment, so much for freedom of speech.

Re:No jailbreak exemption for tablets (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521007)

Congress is not preventing the dissemination of the information

Really? Then, what happened here, when 2600 magazine was prosecuted for publishing links to deCSS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_v._Reimerdes [wikipedia.org] If you are wondering why Fedora will provide information on its website about RPMFusion but not Livna (where libdvdcss packages are), you have your answer: it is illegal to even publish that information in the United States. So much for the first amendment, so much for freedom of speech.

I was referring to the fact that Apple's refusal to publish the app is not a violation of the First Amendment. I didn't say that no First Amendment violations have ever occurred.

Re:No jailbreak exemption for tablets (2)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521933)

That's completely beside the point, and has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. Congress has made no law restricting the publication of a work. However, the people at Apple are NOT Congress, and are therefore not bound by the same restrictions. Just like you're not required to buy an iOS device.

Re:Why? Why why why? (2)

psmears (629712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519293)

Turning this into a game with the hope of making money is cynical and tasteless.

Maybe, but totally protected under the 1st amendment.

True, but this isn't about Congress passing a law to restrict speech - it's about one company deciding not to sell a third party's product...

People and companies churn out tasteless crap all day. Perhaps they should all be censored. Good thing I don't have to buy Apple's crap.

Exactly - those (myself included) who are uncomfortable with either Apple's policies, or the general stranglehold they like to maintain on their ecosystem, are free to buy other stuff :-)

...the game ran afoul of the guidelines for including Japanese flags in a WWII naval sim.

So if Godzilla were to attack New York would Apple deny a sim after the fact because it was unfair to monsters?

The policy in question was about games depicting entities that are real. Despite what Stephen King [goodreads.com] and Dr Who [youtube.com] may have you believe, most adults consider that monsters are not real :-)

Re:Why? Why why why? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520875)

most adults consider that monsters are not real

Totally irrelevant to the point I was making. Stay on point to be an effective, persuasive, writer.

Re:Why? Why why why? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521919)

Maybe, but totally protected under the 1st amendment.

The 1st Amendment says that you can say it. It doesn't say you have to have a platform to do so on.

Besides, they've also put the game out on Android. So it's still available.

Lots of people are killed to make the iPhone (0)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519489)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_minerals [wikipedia.org]

So I guess what really matters is not whether or not people are being killed, but whether or not Apple's customers are being reminded of that killing on a daily basis.

What instead? (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518699)

Why are people still stupid enough to trust Apple enough to sink money and development time into their silly, arbitrary little prison-platform?

For the same reason a business does anything: it has historically had an attractive return on investment. Into what platform should companies sink development time instead?

Re:What instead? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518879)

Into what platform should companies sink development time instead?

Not Apple [stallman.org] .

Re:What instead? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518995)

Not, perhaps, the most compelling of arguments. He starts out fine, but ends up in true Stallman fashion. The GNU/faithful already avoid Apple like a plague carrier.

Re:What instead? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520901)

Not, perhaps, the most compelling of arguments.

Oh? Good enough for me. But yes, I suppose yelling fire in a theater on fire is redundant.

Re:What instead? (1)

MacDork (560499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519255)

Why are people still stupid enough to trust Apple enough to sink money and development time into their silly, arbitrary little prison-platform?

For the same reason a business does anything: it has historically had an attractive return on investment. Into what platform should companies sink development time instead?

Yeah, the Powerball has a great return on investment too. You just pay a dollar and get millions.

There are some Zynga's on the app store making mad cash. And for every hit like "Angry Birds", there are literally thousands of apps that don't sell at all. It's a bit like playing the lottery. You might be the next iFart. Odds are you've wasted lots of time and money for nothing.

Re:What instead? (2)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519661)

Why are people still stupid enough to trust Apple enough to sink money and development time into their silly, arbitrary little prison-platform?

For the same reason a business does anything: it has historically had an attractive return on investment. Into what platform should companies sink development time instead?

Yeah, the Powerball has a great return on investment too. You just pay a dollar and get millions.

There are some Zynga's on the app store making mad cash. And for every hit like "Angry Birds", there are literally thousands of apps that don't sell at all. It's a bit like playing the lottery. You might be the next iFart. Odds are you've wasted lots of time and money for nothing.

But Powerball is based on luck. App success is based on quality and marketing. Huge difference.

Re:What instead? (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519789)

But Powerball is based on luck. App success is based on quality and marketing. Huge difference.

Quality I'll agree with, but as for the rest, can't tell if sarcasm. The analogy between the App Store and a lottery [arstechnica.com] appears to connect the success of marketing with luck, especially given the imperfection in the App Store's own search feature. Are there commonly accepted best practices for marketing an app in the App Store or Google Play Store?

Re:What instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42520819)

Most of the truly popular apps, especially games, I have heard about somewhere else and then went to the Play Store to search for them directly by name. Lately I have scanned the barcode on the page I was reading ("best apps for..." lists or game reviews) and got sent right to the Play Store page for that app.

Based on this limited anecdotal evidence I would say the best practice for marketing an app in the App Store/Play Store is to do it somewhere else, similarly to how in-store displays don't provide adequate advertising in the brick and mortar world.

Correction. (1)

Chas (5144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520249)

App success is PRIMARILY based on NOT getting rejected by Apple first.

After that, it's totally quality and marketing.

Re:Correction. (2)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521053)

App success is PRIMARILY based on NOT getting rejected by Apple first.

After that, it's totally quality and marketing.

App rejection is overplayed, mostly by (1) Those that have been rejected for obvious violations that Apple lets you know about in advance, and (2) Fandroids who celebrate every rejection as a repudiation of Apple. I currently have 5 apps selling, only one of which got an initial rejection, but was cleared with a little email exchange with Apple.

Re:Why? Why why why? (4, Insightful)

Dupple (1016592) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518711)

Why are people still stupid enough to trust Apple enough to sink money and development time into their silly, arbitrary little prison-platform?

Why are people still stupid enough not to read the terms of the market their trying to enter? Beats me.

Re:Why? Why why why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42520183)

Why are people still stupid enough not to read the terms of the market their trying to enter? Beats me.

Free Market? Ain't Apple. That's for sure.

No App Store has *ever* been a free market. Be that Debian's package repository or Google's Play Store. But in these cases the user always has access to Free Market by simply installing 3rd party software. With Apple or now Microsoft's Windows RT, that is not possible. Developing for these platforms is not Free Market - it is like modern laws no longer apply.

Then again, how many don't even know what GPL is? Or even copyright? Or Fair Use?

Re:Why? Why why why? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518789)

$7 billion paid out to developers? maybe that's why?

how much has the Play store paid out in royalties?

Re:Why? Why why why? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519299)

How much of that $7 billion is in the pockets of Rovio?

Can you show... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519619)

Can you show how those developers needed Apple to make that money i.e. that they would not have made that much without Apple's restrictive ecosystem?

"What's the big deal?" (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518815)

A belittled as we may want to think of it ("silly little platform"), it's actually big. You can reach a lot of people through Apple apps.

It's hard for most to understand the harm of having a corporation, a single entity decide what's acceptable.

And it's especially hard for an overwhelming majority to grasp the concept of distributed, incremental contribution to problems and how one's individual actions play in.

100 bandits descend on a village and rob the 100 villagers of their lunches, each bandit taking the 100 bean lunch from a single villager. The villagers lament in hunger. Later, the bandits experience qualms over harming the villagers so. Luckily, a clever bandit devises a solution: take only one bean from each villager. With 100 villagers between whom to spread the theft, each bandit gains a full meal without harming anyone noticeably.

Couple the difficulty of grasping this concept with the difficulty of knowing that there's harm being done in the first place and who can you expect to take the right actions except only the smartest?

Re:"What's the big deal?" (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519155)

Now, I think Apple should have stuck to rejecting technically harmful, misleading and illegal apps, and not concerned themselves with content, but I think worries about censorship are way overblown. There is a powerful platform that runs on every iOS device, and is not censored by Apple in any way: the web.

I suspect you'll find that this is their philosophical stance (I've seen quotes from Jobs that echo this, but I can't find them at the moment): native apps are their curated platform, whereas the web is where you can do whatever you like, and is for the free exchange of ideas. The app store is important, but the web is crucial. The evidence for this is that they do put a decent effort into providing a very good web platform. I think that's how they square this stuff with liberal values.

No WebGL in Mobile Safari (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519297)

There is a powerful platform that runs on every iOS device, and is not censored by Apple in any way: the web.

Of course the web is censored by Apple. Apple has refused to support WebGL in Safari for iOS [slashdot.org] . So how should one make a 3D web game that Apple can't censor?

Re:"What's the big deal?" (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519585)

That's reassuring. I'll have to look at the issue in more depth.

The primacy of apps over web is something to consider. That is, apps are more prominent and more capable.

Re:"What's the big deal?" (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520221)

There is a powerful platform that runs on every iOS device, and is not censored by Apple in any way: the web.

Except that mobile apps are much more likely to reach people than the web. Mobile apps require the user to do fewer things and can better take advantage of the client's hardware. Telling developers to just write web apps is telling them to wait in line while the VIPs get to just walk past.

liberal values

What liberal values? Apple has no liberal values, they are just like any other large corporation: money first, values never.

Re:"What's the big deal?" (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520813)

Except that mobile apps are much more likely to reach people than the web. Mobile apps require the user to do fewer things and can better take advantage of the client's hardware. Telling developers to just write web apps is telling them to wait in line while the VIPs get to just walk past.

Huh? I spend more time in the web browser of computing devices than anything else. I don't think I'm unusual. And as easy as it is to install an app, it's easier to visit a web page. There's virtually no friction.

What liberal values? Apple has no liberal values, they are just like any other large corporation: money first, values never.

I'm tempted to give you a snarky reply, because you just baldly state this like you're certainly right, and I'm a naive fool. However, I will try to explain why I think you're wrong on this and leave out the snark. People (and corporations are just a bunch of people) are rarely, if ever, motivated by a single thing. Most people like to think they are doing good in the world. Most people have an ideology, and seek to justify, defend, and promote it. Steve Jobs did, other people at Apple do, and I think it's very naive to ascribe a single motivation to what they are doing.

The "money is the motivation" explanation is sophomoric, and leaves you blind to the complex reality and explanatory power of other motivations and causes. I think this particularly the case with Apple and other technology companies that have been hugely shaped by one person.

Re:"What's the big deal?" (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521891)

I spend more time in the web browser of computing devices than anything else. I don't think I'm unusual

You are unusual if you are talking about a smartphone. If people have a choice between an app and a website, they choose the app -- at the very least, it involves one less tap. Remember when we used to talk about having fewer clicks, and complained about websites that required two or three more clicks to get to the things we wanted?

corporations are just a bunch of people

A bunch of people whose operations are done using money borrowed from other people who want to see a return on their investment. A corporation cannot let values or anything other than a nation's laws supersede its profit motive without the consent of its investors, and it is naive to think that Apple's investors care about anything other than the return on their investment.

Let's put it this way: Steve Jobs admitted that the tantalum used in iPhones probably could be traced to Congo, where teenage soldiers are being ordered to rape women as a military tactic in a conflict that is fueled by minerals. Did Apple take some grand moral stance and spend money on either ending the conflict or finding alternative materials? No, Apple simply said that tantalum is needed to make iPhones and that they could not do anything about the conflict (despite being a corporation with enough capital that it could buy the entire region).

the complex reality and explanatory power of other motivations and causes

I call BS on that one. The only complication is in how corporations choose and exploit their markets, not in the purpose of their existence or of their ultimate goal. Apple is not creating computers out the goodness of their hearts. Apple did not sue journalists out of some moral obligation. Apple did not go after hackintosh makers for any sort of greater good. When Apple gives to charity, do they do so quietly, or do them make sure lots of cameras are around so that everyone knows about their service to the world (when/if you give to charity, do you then go around telling everyone about it?)?

It is kind of like saying that there is a complex reality to an army at war. Sure, different armies do things differently, and they are fighting for different reasons, but at the end of the day an army has a goal when it fights and that goal takes priority. Corporations are not all that different from a military operation: the people who work for them are trained to think they are doing something important, they are trained to think that they have an ethical obligation to follow orders, and at the top level there are people who direct operations to achieve the goal.

Apple and other technology companies that have been hugely shaped by one person

Apple was led to an overwhelming success by one ruthless person. Steve Jobs was not on some moral or ethical quest; he wanted to lead Apple to a great business success, and was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. He berated employees if they were not perfect. He directed the company to patent everything, so that they could never be sued without having some counter-suit ready. He directed the company to go after anyone who stood in the way of the company's profits. It is as if he read Ender's Game and thought, "I bet Apple would be the most successful company in human history if someone like Ender Wiggin were to run it..."

Which of Apple's or Jobs' actions leads you to think otherwise? Frankly, which of the technology companies that was driven to success by one person suggests a different story? Facebook has yet to work on any sort of interoperability with any other system, and is increasingly aggressive about profiting from its userbase. Google does not stop short of doing business in countries where they are required to be evil. Oracle is as typical of a corporation as possible. Do I even need to mention Microsoft?

Re:"What's the big deal?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42521901)

100 bandits descend on a village and rob the 100 villagers of their lunches, each bandit taking the 100 bean lunch from a single villager. The villagers lament in hunger. Later, the bandits experience qualms over harming the villagers so. Luckily, a clever bandit devises a solution: take only one bean from each villager. With 100 villagers between whom to spread the theft, each bandit gains a full meal without harming anyone noticeably.

Couple the difficulty of grasping this concept with the difficulty of knowing that there's harm being done in the first place and who can you expect to take the right actions except only the smartest?

I've never heard this before but it seems like a standard argument to prove some sort of point...
what about the last bandit who is taking 100% of a villager's beans 100 times? he doesn't noticeably harm each one? or the next to last bandit who is taking 50% of each villager's food supply? 33% is very noticeable, also 25%...20% of the total is a lot of food to go missing...as is 17%...etc.

Re:Why? Why why why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518881)

Because they can make a lot of money. Developers DO NOT give a shit about open platforms. You really need to understand that. You can claim it is a prison system all you want, they don't care, they care about money.

Re:Why? Why why why? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42521899)

Yeah! You COULD sell a bajillion copies! If they don't hamstring you and waste all your time and money.

95% of apps are approved with little or no incident, and in a timely manner. This idea that they're going to hamstring you is quite outdated.

Who cares about Apple anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518643)

Really?

They are burned out in the public mindset, even if they came out with something new and great, I don't see people really getting excited about them anymore.

It's over Apple, Steve Jobs is dead, now dry up and shrivel away.

Thanks for getting Microsoft to improve with Windows 7, bye, bye now.

Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518669)

Put it on Android instead.

Re:Simple Solution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518687)

And make no money

Re:Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519041)

And make no money

Because it's making so much more money on iOS right now, right? Oh wait...

Freedom of no (1)

Korruptionen (2647747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518683)

I'm actually more offended that Apple decides who has a proper topic on their application platform, rather than the topic itself. Yes, it's still political, and we're probably chock full of political bullshit... but I wish there was a bit less censorship here.

Re:Freedom of no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518871)

Poor baby.

Re:Freedom of no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519599)

Make your own platform them. Or use one of the others. If this is a real problem then Android (or something else) will gain because of it, and if if ios is just that good then the others will dwindle away and die and then ios will be a true monopoly and there will be legal ramifications. But right now, this shouldn't even be news.

Re:Freedom of no (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520665)

So you're saying what....? That people don't have the right to complain?

You FaIL it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518697)

and enjoy 4ll the *BSD is dying It is This post up. Resound as fitting Vary for different NetBSD user

Can the mod community do a work-around? (1)

doug141 (863552) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518701)

Can you release a moddable game through apple that has fake flags and names, and rely on modders to alter flags/names to whatever the user wants? Or does Apple have a lockdown on mods, too?

Re:Can the mod community do a work-around? (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518715)

Or does Apple have a lockdown on mods, too?

Given the blanket ban on applications that download and execute code, such as NPC AI scripts associated with a mod, I'd guess so.

Difference from Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518717)

Who refused to remove the prophet video from YouTube even after being asked by the POTUS.

While flawed, they have on many occasions stood up for the free internet, which Apple has never done.

Re:Difference from Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518867)

Except that Google blocked the video in Libya and Egypt [wptv.com] . Google also caved to China's demands to remove links to certain types of websites on their China version.

Google is just another corporation. They are not a Free Speech crusader. They're a Free Internet crusader, but really only because their business would be hurt immensely by a controlled Internet.

Re:Difference from Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519567)

They actually are, in search of profit, crusading for free speech. However, they are compelled by force to comply wit the laws of various countries. There's a whole lot of difference between "You should take that down" and "Take that down or we're sending you to jail." Both are attempts at censorship, but one comes with the force of law. We really don't want companies like Google to be full of people who haev the habit of picking what laws to follow. Notice the damage Wall Street Banks have done to our country.

Still not as bad as Apple (1, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519717)

Apple refused to allow political cartoon apps in the App Store, even in countries where such software is entirely legal. Apple has a history of bricking jailbroken iPhones. Apple sues reporters, sues hackers who figure out how to run Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware, and tries to exert the most extreme control possible over their customers' use of their products.

Meanwhile, Google allows you to use their search engine to find pornography, to find information on how to block Google's own advertisements, to find information on how to hack software released by Google to do things Google never intended, and so forth. Are they perfect? No, but did we really expect them to be? Frankly, Google has gone beyond what I would expect of a modern corporation in terms of user freedom.

"Gaming" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518743)

"Whoa! Dude! You blew her head off just like they showed on the news! Awesome!"

It's Apple's terms and conditions for the AppStore, they are naturally concerned about their corporate image, and in this case I can fully see why--and agree on both an aesthetic and ethical perspective.

While I would see historical real-world inclusions differently (e.g. a Japanese flag for WW2), how would you feel if you the misfortune of being stalked by a gang In Real Life, and having the new hit MMORPG be people getting amusement out of attacking your real-life rendered likeness and name? I'm betting... creepy.

Re:"Gaming" (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519037)

I just would wager it makes more sense not to download and play the game if you find it offensive, not complain and ruin things for people who would enjoy it.

Re:"Gaming" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519693)

Whatever can be done to ruin things for the type of people that would enjoy it, I'm all for.

Re:"Gaming" (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520781)

I guarantee that no one is stupid enough to blame Apple for the the political content of an app that runs on iOS. Do you blame Microsoft for a violent PC game you bought form elsewhere?

No.

apple is finally doomed (2)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518753)

just wait till the next earnings release in a week or two, Tim Cook will finally announce Chapter 11

just because they kicked some app back

Rose colored glasses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42518761)

By another name: Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.

The worst part about this is the fapbois will find justifications. For you see, when you wear the rose colored glasses the world becomes filled with roses!

Doesn't matter (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42518929)

Android will be more than happy to have it. The same thing happened with Tawkon [google.com] Apple didn't want it, but Android is open to anyone - (and even Google Play is much more open than Apple's appstore). Mind you, Tawkon requires true parallel multitasking to work the best (i.e. must run while the call is ongoing) which is not the case with iOS: on iOS Tawkon would only monitor the radiation emission at the very beginning of the call - on Android it does this during the call duration).

Oh Apple... (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42519029)

"Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology – where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!"

Remember when this was the straw-man that Apple was against?

Re:Oh Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519955)

I still remember when showing a nipple in TV was a non-issue... oh, wait. Maybe corporations reflect our silly moral rules? YOU DON'T SAY!

Apple is 100% right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519081)

The war in Syria is very ugly, and the USA has paid to have Sunni fundamentalists enter the fray, who are now killing Christians and Shiite Muslims.
To believe that the dumbed-down stories on CNN and Fox News are complete and valid is sheer stupidity.

very good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42519231)

bad propaganda disguised as entertainment for the iMass...

Black propaganda from the usual suspects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42520339)

The right-wing zionist agenda of Slashdot is becoming ever less subtle. Despite this being a technical news site, no opportunity is ever lost to post stories that either bash Iran or praise Israel. The Internet is full of racist, Muslim denigrating 'political' webpages, so it isn't as if the owners of Slashdot are compensating for a lack of coverage of their POV.

The irony is that the rulers of the great powers in the West (particularly the USA and UK) are destroying the SECULAR regimes in the Middle-East one-by-one, and replacing them with various flavours of radical Islamic theocracies.

Iraq was exterminated, the USA murdering well over TWO MILLION Humans there, in order to end a secular socialist regime and replace it with an Islamic religious one.

Later, Libya, possibly the most socially enlightened regime in Africa, suffered the most depraved slaughter by the USA, UK and France, in order to install a regime of militant, tribal, islamic radicals. The two major towns that had majority 'black' populations were completely wiped out by military atrocities completely backed by American and French forces.

Syria is to be the greatest price. A long standing stable socialist secular society is under attack from veteran radical Islamic butchers from Libya, Iraq and other Western backed conflicts. These terrorists are trained and controlled by special forces from the UK, USA and French military. Their funding is from the USA, laundered through Saudi Arabia (to make the blood money more acceptable) into Qatar, where Britain and America have their main Middle East military control centre. The terrorists are trained and armed in Jordan and Turkey.

The dribbling public in the USA thinks that America hates Islam. This is what the owners of Slashdot bank on when they push such propaganda. People are not supposed to question why secular regimes in the Middle East are being exterminated by military action fronted by the vile theocracies of Israel and Saudi Arabia (and notice how close the American government is to these two obscene regimes).

Syria has always been a Christian power-house. Obama is specifically targeting Syria Christians on behalf of Saudi Arabia Wahhabis (the most extreme lunatic fringe of Islam that is also proud to be a partner of Israel). For every one Obama terrorist the Syrian people and their military kill or capture, Obama sends another three. In the end, it is a numbers game, and Syria's resources are finite.

Obama's puppet masters figure they can't lose. If Syria continues to resist, it will do so by becoming a harsh military dictatorship, as we see in Israel/USA friendly Egypt. America loves military dictatorships- the psychos that tend to rise to the top in these regimes speak America's language.

Anyway, unlike Slashdot, Apple doesn't want to be seen as source of cheap and nasty Black propaganda from the psy-op departments of Obama's intelligence services. Apple is happy to do its 'duty' in more subtle and useful ways.

You know you're from a poor country if (1)

dorpus (636554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42520487)

- When you were little, white people came from the sky and asked you to make a sad face for the camera.
- The government, rebels, and UN peacekeepers all shoot at you.
- You've ever drank water from a mud puddle.
- You had a bean for dinner last night.
- You've never seen your own face in a mirror.
- Escalators terrify you.
- The village witch doctor can let you talk telepathically through the cell phone.
- You got a pack of cigarettes for your 10th birthday.
- White people tell you to have savings accounts and get educated, but banks steal your money and schools just produce unemployed people.

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42520655)

What's going on in Syria is not a game. Only a self-absorbed idiot would try to defend that sort of behavior.

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