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Apple reaffirms its promise to protect us from Porn


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#1 of 56 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 15 2010 - 07:27 AM

Regarding Porn on the iPad, just sub in 'Disney' for 'Apple' every time you wonder why they would try to lock it out.  http://bit.ly/bUednv


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#2 of 56 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted May 16 2010 - 02:11 AM

There's a difference between being a content provider and a content access tool.



#3 of 56 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted May 16 2010 - 03:10 AM

I'm about fed up with all the hypocrisy over porn and other topics.  As the saying goes, if you don't like it - don't watch it.   These puritan zealots are always trying to force their own set of standards (which they themselves often fail to live up to) on everyone else.  The 'what about the children' line is always their last resort, because most people are either too gullible or too timid on that topic to respond.  Well sorry, but I don't think my kids heads will explode if they come across a pair of bare boobies while surfing.  Frankly - I think it does more harm than good to reinforce that bare boobies are so 'bad' to begin with.  Also, pretending like people are magically asexual until their 18th birthday is lame.  Sorry, but there was no internet in the 80s but it didn't stop most of us from seeing boobies in the pages of JUGGY magazine well before out 18th birthday, and hear we are now, non-exploded heads still intact. That argument is just a smokescreen for what they really are after: censorship.  It is time to tell these people to STFU and let us make our own decisions, we don't need them imposing their 'guidance' thank-you-very-much.   The same people that supposedly oppose 'big government' don't seem to mind 'big government' so much when imposing their puritanical standards on everyone else.   /rant



#4 of 56 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 16 2010 - 12:18 PM

(Sam - you're so hardcore about java scripts and security and purity of the web, I'm surprised you use the bite.me URL shorteners. I despite them :) so here's a proper link:

http://gawker.com/55...kyline=true&s=i

)


(copied from 4G thread)

I was having a conversation about this last week with a coworker about the increasing challenges of parenting and dealing with mobile 'net access.


Namely: there are no parental controls for web access on the mobile web browsers. Sure, Apple prohibits pornographic apps, but the web is still wide open. And while your home network may be guarded using the OS-level parental controls and the third-party software and even using OpenDNS. But as soon as your kids takes their iPod Touch outside the house to Starbucks, there's no more control.


Assuming Jobs has a legitimate issues with porn, and he's not using it as a cynical rationalization for Apple's current policies, when will we see Parental Controls built into the iPhone OS?



#5 of 56 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 16 2010 - 12:19 PM

Gruber commented on this a few months ago.

http://daringfirebal...2/tits_and_apps


In essence: the appStore is Apple's brand and, just like an Apple (brick and mortar) store will not carry porn, the appStore will not carry porn.



#6 of 56 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 16 2010 - 02:17 PM

That link was from Twitter, and I agree that you need to be very careful on follows.  =)


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#7 of 56 OFFLINE   Keith Plucker

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Posted May 16 2010 - 03:42 PM


Gruber makes some interesting points. The problem, from a user's perspective, of the App Store = Apple Retail store type of comparison is that if an Apple retail store doesn't carry something, you can always find another store that does and buy the product there. However, in the case of the App Store, users don't have that luxury.


Sure, companies can create optimized web sites for mobile Safari, but it really isn't the same as having a native app. And of course, Steve's "freedom from porn" comment is absolutely false because mobile Safari gives a user access to plenty of porn.


Apple could bypass all of this by allowing users to install apps into the iPhone outside the iTunes App Store ecosystem. Maybe some sort of elaborate opt-in type of system where the user would have to download and install a slightly different version of the phone's OS. Personally, I would love to see this happen although I don't think it ever will.


Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

C.S. Lewis


I am going to email that quote to Steve. :)


-Keith


As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. - Hunter S. Thompson, 1958, from cover letter he wrote for a newspaper job.


#8 of 56 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted May 16 2010 - 10:59 PM


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Plucker 

And of course, Steve's "freedom from porn" comment is absolutely false because mobile Safari gives a user access to plenty of porn.


Apple could bypass all of this by allowing users to install apps into the iPhone outside the iTunes App Store ecosystem. Maybe some sort of elaborate opt-in type of system


I haven't read Steve's comment in context because I refuse to give Gawker pageviews, but since/if the App Store has no porn, then people are in fact "free from porn" there -- they can't accidentally stumble upon it. And just because Apple does zero to prevent porn through Safari, doesn't make them hypocrites. You do what is feasible, and for things where "the cure is worse than the disease", you do nothing at all.


Which is why any "elaborate" system for people that desperately want "choice" is also a non-starter.



#9 of 56 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 16 2010 - 11:40 PM


Originally Posted by Ken Chan ../../..


I haven't read Steve's comment in context because I refuse to give Gawker pageviews, but since/if the App Store has no porn, then people are in fact "free from porn" there -- they can't accidentally stumble upon it. And just because Apple does zero to prevent porn through Safari, doesn't make them hypocrites. You do what is feasible, and for things where "the cure is worse than the disease", you do nothing at all.

The comments from Jobs aren't that people are free from porn "in the appstore" but 'with an iPhone'. And that's obviously half-true. Which is why, presuming sincere motives, we'll see some sort of parental controls made available in some not-too-distant iPhone OS update.

Originally Posted by Eric_L 

Well sorry, but I don't think my kids heads will explode if they come across a pair of bare boobies while surfing.  Frankly - I think it does more harm than good to reinforce that bare boobies are so 'bad' to begin with.

You're underplaying it. "Boobies" are not "porn" where the internet is available. This is not the soft-lit, playboy centerfold of our youths. Hardcore sex videos are a click or two away. Maybe it's OK for kids to watch that -- not for me to say. But I can understand why parents would want controls over what their children access online.



#10 of 56 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 17 2010 - 01:55 AM

I think adding parental controls at the Browser Level is going to be both hugely problematic and ineffective.


I've given this some thought recently, and I've been trying to figure out how I could organize a huge flash mob of people who would gather in some large, public space to display somewhat tame images over safari (stuff that would still be verboten by Apple.) and in mock outrage get the press all riled up about why Apple isn't protecting "the children" from this stuff =)


Sam


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#11 of 56 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 17 2010 - 02:18 AM

This guy gets nearly everything right, I think:

http://bordersac.com/tech-journal/


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#12 of 56 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted May 17 2010 - 02:41 AM

Didn't read past the antitrust section since it's based on the false premise that all antitrust law is about illegal abuse of monopolies.


I do agree with you that implementing filtering at the browser level is darn near impossible, regardless of platform. The best solution for that is good old fashioned parenting. But it seems the world is a little light on that these days.



I guess on the computer spectrum where Apple is far right, Microsoft is in the middle and Open Source is to the left (since it mirrors the political spectrum in many ways), I fall somewhere between MS and OSS. I hate being told what I want.



#13 of 56 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 17 2010 - 02:47 AM

Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

I think adding parental controls at the Browser Level is going to be both hugely problematic and ineffective.


Such tools are available from within the OS for OS X and Windows. There are also 3rd-party tools to give some measure of control. I don't know if these are also problematic and ineffective, but some parents want them.


If Apple is solely profit-minded in these concerns, then it depends on how many parents choose not to buy iPhone OS devices (iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone) for their kids because they can't moderate internet access. I don't know the size of the union between [parents who would buy young kids mobile OS device] and [parents who moderate kids 'net access].


This is all theoretical for me, but I think it's interesting and is relevant to the social impact of these devices (well, maybe my wife wishes she could moderate my time spent on HTF /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif)



#14 of 56 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted May 17 2010 - 02:51 AM

The only way to make browser controls effective is to lock out access entirely or to do a lockout of everything except a whitelist. But there's just no way to have an all-encompassing filter whether whitelist or blacklist, because it just can't keep up with what pops up out there.



#15 of 56 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 17 2010 - 03:21 AM

From Sam's link

Apple's Share of the PC Market - 7.4% (IDC)
Apple's Share of the Smartphone Market - 16.1% (IDC)
Apple's Share of the Music Market - 25% (NPD)

It would be very hard to make a case that Apple has a monopoly over the market…any market.


I've boggled over the calls for anti-monopoly action against Apple. They may have a near monopoly in "mindshare" but nothing like it in any actual market.




Originally Posted by nolesrule ../../..

The only way to make browser controls effective is to lock out access entirely or to do a lockout of everything except a whitelist. But there's just no way to have an all-encompassing filter whether whitelist or blacklist, because it just can't keep up with what pops up out there.

So that's an option: network access only works on approved networks. Which would still leave open appStore usage, music, phone, GPS.



#16 of 56 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted May 17 2010 - 03:33 AM



Originally Posted by DaveF 
So that's an option: network access only works on approved networks. Which would still leave open appStore usage, music, phone, GPS.


Not sure I'm following you on the network access thing.


If you mean block the browser from accessing certain networks, such as 3G or WiFi, then that would involve adjusting the underlying architecture of the system in terms of network access. The way I understand it works on these phones or even computers is that the browser, apps, appstore, etc. all hook into a layered TCP service which independently communicates with the network access protocol. The applications themselves don't really see what method is being used to access the tubes.



#17 of 56 OFFLINE   Sumnernor

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Posted May 17 2010 - 03:39 AM

Not quite like "porn" but Germany is concerned about TV for ages 12/16/18. In my case, I have just gotten TV via the telephone line (with DSL) and there is an option for "Jungendschutz" (youth protection) and I have indicated something like all ages (I have no children and my apartment just barely contains me. And I have have just discovered that during the day and early evening, the systems puts in age 16 (and so 18) which I cannot turn off! /img/vbsmilies/htf/furious.gif



Also a few years ago, while visiting someone where the PC had a porm filter, I could not get CNNSI (probably because of the Swimsuit calender). The youngest "child" was 17 and when asked if she wanted the filter, she said "Yes"!/img/vbsmilies/htf/confused.gif



#18 of 56 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 17 2010 - 05:05 AM

Sorry Sumnernor, but any discussion about filtering in the real world needs to put Germany (and increasingly Australia) down in the ranks close to the lockdowns imposed by the N Korea and China.  This is what rational people in America are trying to avoid, I hope.  We are losing.


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#19 of 56 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted May 17 2010 - 05:21 AM



Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

We are losing.


Sad but true.


And did you catch today's Supreme Court decision that allows the government to keep sex offenders imprisoned beyond the end of their sentence if they are deemed too dangerous to be released? I'd put this one up there above that eminent domain decision.


Slippery slope.



#20 of 56 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 17 2010 - 05:26 AM



Originally Posted by nolesrule 


Not sure I'm following you on the network access thing.


Parental controls would enable the the OS to shut off internet / web access to all applications if a non-whitelisted network is being used. A home's LAN can be "parentally controlled" via router-level tools (readily available), which means any i-device on WiFi can be managed via LAN-wide settings. A brute-force control tool would be to enable or disable network access according to what network is being accessed.


Admittedly, I don't know if this is easy or hard. Simply that I can imagine family-centric network management tools coming to the touch OS and this is one, crude, method to it.