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08.24.10

Apple Increases Censorship Bars and Microsoft AstroTurfer Pushes Android/Linux Towards Censorship

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 12:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Censored Rhodesia Herald

Summary: Apple continues to remove applications that it does not like from its only (centralised) installation route and Microsoft’s AstroTurfer Michael Gartenberg uses the “Nazi” card to daemonise the Android applications store

THERE are many posts in Techrights about Apple’s censorship against particular third-party applications. This is rarely necessary unless a program is clearly malicious (virus, spyware, etc.), but Apple censors applications for competitive reasons too. We gave some examples.

Apple has begun doing more censorship than before based on the criteria of registration requirements, allegedly:

Apple starts rejecting iPhone apps that require registration to work

[...]

As TheNextWeb points out, that sentence is a confusing mess of contradictions. You can’t require registration for your app to function, unless the registration is required for your app to function? I can’t even begin to untangle that Mobius strip of a statement.

The funny thing is that Read It Later doesn’t even need personal information beyond a username and password. What about apps like Facebook, Twitter, and the like? You can’t use those without an account, but I hardly see Apple rejecting them. Read It Later appears to be the first app rejected using this rationale (if you can call it a rationale), and the developers don’t have anything to go on in figuring out what it would take to get it back into the store.

More here:

Version 2.2 Rejected – New Rejection Reason From Apple May Have Major Implications

[...]

An update to Read It Later (version 2.2) was rejected by Apple yesterday. Though the update includes a number of enhancements (full changelog here), in the eyes of the reviewers, it should have been a fairly minor update. The only ‘new’ functionality was replacing RIL’s existing sharing features with my new open source sharing library ShareKit.

Well, that’s Apple. They didn’t have to do this. “ReadItLater was approved today,” wrote ThistleWeb shortly after Apple had received a lot of bad publicity, “a mistake? Or a PR reaction to it hitting the media?”

One story which we didn’t cover earlier this month involved a poisonous character called Michael Gartenberg. We wrote about him many times before (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]) because he pretends to be an independent analyst and he writes articles about Microsoft and its rivals, never revealing his relationship with Microsoft. When this Microsoft booster and former AstroTurfer (on the payroll, as he worked for Microsoft as a TE) previously smeared Android we showed that he was passing Microsoft’s talking points which were simply not factual. A few weeks ago he tried to paint Android as “Nazi” by looking for some trouble and mischaracterising an issue with a theme’s keywords (bait). So having spread a lot of FUD in previous months about Android, this was probably the pinnacle, using the “Nazi” card to associate Google with distaste, just like some people try to associate Wikileaks’ head with bogus sex offences. Anyway, Google’s Tim Bray wrote a good rebuttal to this, titled “Nazis in a Teapot” (maybe like “storm in a teacup”). Google eventually increased censorship in some sense, having been bitten by this Microsoft snake (perhaps Bray does not know who Gartenberg really is).

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