More Ratings Stupidity

Barnes & Noble’s eReader contains no content and doesn’t access internet content directly. All content comes from books downloaded from your B&N account. It has to display all of these warnings, yet it gets a 12+ rating. In this case, the parental control restrictions should be set in the B&N account rather than restricting the application.

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

PS – KRAPPS picked up the story of ICHC’s latest rejection.

More tales of rejection

Apple really needs to learn the difference between content in the application and content available on the internet when they review app store submissions.

In their latest fumble, Apple rejected Eucalyptus, an e-book reader which contains absolutely no embedded content. It lets you read freely available books from Project Gutenberg, which it fetches from the internet. Their reason for rejection: “offensive content”. The book in question (the Kama Sutra) can already be read on the iPhone with Stanza or any other e-book reader or even Mobile Safari.

If Apple is going to reject an application based on their ability to obtain offensive content through the internet, they should also ban Mobile Safari, or even Maps (thanks @chockenberry).

The fact is there’s offensive content on the internet. No matter what Apple does, almost any application that accesses the internet will be able to find it if you try hard enough.

Do the Republicans see the irony here?

For a good laugh (or cry), read the Oklahoma Republican platform (or download the PDF).

I fail to understand how they can reconcile their belief in “The sanctity of human life, from the moment of conception to its natural end” with this statement:

We support the death penalty and swift execution of criminals who have exhausted the appeals process.

Elsewhere, they state:

While the objective study of philosophy and religion can be beneficial, public schools should not be endorsing any specific religion or philosophy. We believe that students and teachers should enjoy the right of free exercise of religion.

Yet the very next paragraph says:

We support posting the Ten Commandments and our Nation’s motto, “In God We Trust,” in all public schools in recognition of our religious heritage.

The Republican party isn’t only the Party Of No; they’re also the Party Of Contradictions.

Apple – Steve Jobs = Apple

Apple is a lot more than Steve Jobs, and you can be sure that Apple has plans to go on without him. Don’t forget he’s still very much alive. It’s much too early to start writing his obituary.

The media craziness has reached epic proportions with people like Michael Wolff writing drek such as:

Indeed, the logical answer to what happens at Apple without Jobs is that it dies. What you have, demonstrably, is a company without any managerial wherewithal beyond Jobs; these are Stockholm syndrome people. The big guy is dying and his crew is ready to go with him (taking the shareholders’ money along).

Apple is in very capable hands with Tim Cook, who already had experience running Apple while Steve Jobs was out for his surgery. Apple still has other great people like Jonathan Ives, who is responsible for the design of most of their products. Enough of Steve Jobs’ vision has permeated every level of Apple that almost any Apple employee can ask themselves “What Would Steve Jobs Do” and know what to do.

Microsoft seems to be doing just fine without Bill Gates and I never saw any predictions that it would die when he retired. I can see a similar path for Apple and I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Steve Jobs will still be alive at the end of this year. I predict that Jobs will live long enough to go into a retirement similar to Bill Gates, probably in the not too distant future. In the upcoming months Apple’s leadership plans will be made clear.

Banning all citizens of 'terrorist states'

This item by Matthew Yglesias illustrates the stupidity of our “zero tolerance” policies.

Shooting guard Bol Kong has drawn interest from a number of universities and recently received a scholarship offer from Gonzaga. It is the defense he has met off the court that has slowed him — and could prevent him from ever playing for the Bulldogs or anyone else in the United States. Kong, 20, is originally from Sudan, which is listed by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism. Although he has lived in Canada since age 7, he does not hold citizenship there. He has been denied a visa to study in the United States three times, and it is unclear if he will ever satisfy the requirements for entry.

In other words, our wonderful government, in its infinite wisdom, assumes that every citizen of a country listed as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ is considered a terrorist regardless of his background or circumstances.

Does this woman look like a terrorist?

Shame on Dunkin’ Donuts for pulling their ad featuring Rachel Ray because right-wing douchebag Michell Malkin says her frilly black & white scarf looks like Yasser Arafat’s kaffiyeh.


Never mind that a kaffiyeh is merely a piece of wardrobe worn by most people in the Arab world, which has nothing to do with political beliefs. It takes a big stretch of imagination to even suggest that Rachel Ray’s frilly scarf vaguely resembles a kaffiyeh.

I plan to join the boycott against Dunkin’ Donuts. No more Sunday morning coffee & bagels from them.

111 Years Ago, Indiana Almost Legislated Pi

Via Slashdot: On February 5, 1897, 111 years ago today, the Indiana legislature very nearly passed a bill ‘introducing a new mathematical truth,’ that would have erroneously established pi as the ratio ‘five-fourths to four’ or 3.2. The story explaining the rationale behind the bill and how they were prevented from legislating it when a real mathematician intervened is quite interesting, because the man who discovered the ‘new mathematical truth’ wanted to charge royalties, which could have made pi the first form of irrational property.

How NOT to sell DRM-free music

Sony BMG can’t possibly be serious about wanting to sell DRM-free albums. The only explanation for their hare-brained scheme is that they want to be able to say that they’re dropping DRM without actually doing it.

To download one of their DRM-free albums (no individual tracks are avaialble), you need to go to a store, buy a card for a specific album, and then go home and enter the PIN from that card to actually download the album. Not all of their music will be available that way, only a select group of 37 albums.

Of course you could just buy a CD as long as you’re going to the store and rip it when you get home, although the RIAA considers that illegal.

Student Given Detention For Using Firefox

Slashdot reports that a student has been given detention for using Firefox to do his classwork. The student was in class, working on an assignment that necessitated using a browser. The teacher instructed him to stop using Firefox and to do his classwork, to which the student responded that he was doing his classwork using a ‘better’ browser (it is unclear whether the computer was the student’s own computer or not). The clueless teacher (who called the rogue program ‘Firefox.exe’) ordered him to detention.

Update: It’s a hoax.