iTunes app store and 17+ content

With OS 3.0, the iPod/iPhone and Apple’s iTune’s store support content ratings. This is good: I’m all for free expression, adding another layer of maturity (pun intended) to what’s available, etc. However, I don’t want to have to see it and I think Apple should do better. There are two issues:

  1. I have to opt-out of seeing 17+ (or 12+ or whatever) content. This means I need to know that there is such a preference and where to find it and change it.

  2. Even if I opt out, the App store still shows me the objectionable (and often objectifying) apps. iTunes won’t let me buy a restricted app, but I still see them (and since sex sells, the most popular application listings usually contain stuff I’d rather was left out).

In my opinion, Apple should make two changes:

  1. Filter what is shown in iTunes before I get a chance to buy it. The app store makes it easy to download and buy. If I don’t want to see pornography (or if I don’t want my kids to be exposed to pornography), then I don’t want to see that “hot babes whatever” is the number 2 application today.

  2. Make it easier to opt-out of the potentially objectionable content.

    • Unless there is a legal reason for having the out-of-the-box behavior be “show everything”, then Apple should err on the side of caution and hide anything not suitable for general audiences.

    • If free-speech laws mean that everything must be seen by default, then make setting up these controls a required additional step the first time the new iTunes is started. (Yes, this isn’t ideal for a host of usability and don’t piss people off reasons but it would make iTunes a better citizen).

It’s great that Apple is opening up the store to more interesting (er…) applications but there is no reason to flaunt this new content where everyone can see it. Parent’s would rather this stuff was harder to find and people that object to objectification would rather not be reminded of it every time they go to the App store.

Easily Grossed Out?

There are lots of straight lines here but I’m going to avoid them.

Easily Grossed Out? You Might Be A Conservative!

“Participants who rated higher in disgust sensitivity were more likely to oppose gay marriage and abortion, issues that are related to notions of morality or purity. The researchers also found a weak correlation between disgust sensitivity and support for tax cuts, but no link between disgust sensitivity and the other issues.”

typical day – no wonder I sometimes feel overwhelmed

Today was not one of my more productive days. I’m glad that days like this are relatively unusual.

Not including general cleaning, etc. This was my day today:

  • 6:00 – wake up
  • 6:15 – wake up for real this time
  • 6:20 – wake up Brennan
  • 6:30 – shave, get breakfast for myself and Brennan
  • 7:00 – check e-mail; get Brennan out the door
  • 7:15 – walk Abbey
  • 7:45 – learn I neec to take Zachto his doctor’s appointment
  • 8:00 – wake up Zach,
  • 8:30 – leave for doctor’s
  • 9:15 – doctor’s appointment
  • 10:00 – head home
  • 10:45 – drop Zachary off; head to school to get Brennan some ibuprofin for his hurt hand
  • 11:15 – take prescription to CVS; shop; stop at library to look for books on kids and divorce
  • 12:00 – get home, eat lunch
  • 12:30 – phone meeting with Martin
  • 1:50 – head to therapy
  • 3:00 – go pick up Brennan in Amherst
  • 3:15 – walk Abbey with Brennan and Adam
  • 4:20 – drop Brennan off at Adam’s
  • 4:30 – start working (gasp!)
  • 6:15 – take Zachary to his Magic draft
  • 7:00 – make dinner

Still to do: clean kitchen, get Brennan, get Zachary, work, answer e-mail, pay bills, sign up for camp, garden (not today but it needs doing…).

Restoration, time, energy, the never-ending suck

A few months ago I lost my old blog posts. I’ve got the MySQL database that contains them and have been hoping to use that to do the big restore but I’m thinking that that probably isn’t going to happen (unless someone can tell me how to do it in a way that is so easy I can do it while falling down the stairs).

Life is just too crazy busy for me right now to worry about old bits. I’d like the content to return but not at the cost of figuring out how to merge the old entries with the new (or the new with the old) and messing with MySQL and WordPress. Life, as they say, is too short.

Yes Virgina, you can fool some of the people…

Sad, funny, story about quality, quantity and the consumer society:

Interview: iPhone dev gets existential about “crap” apps

“What High said next, however, is perhaps a bit more telling: ‘I think Apple does a good job of featuring apps that are well designed and well though out. I just don’t know if well thought out, beautiful apps are what the majority of iPhone users want.'”

academia is a damn ugly place, especially for women

Basics – In ‘Geek Chic’ and Obama, New Hope for Lifting Women in Science – NYTimes.com

From a purely Darwinian point of view, expecting a young woman to sacrifice her reproductive fitness for the sake of career advancement is simply too much, and yet the structure of academic research, in which one must spend one’s 20s and early 30s as a poorly compensated and minimally empowered graduate student and postdoctoral fellow, and the remainder of one’s 30s and into the low 40s working madly to earn tenure, can demand exactly that.

That’s damn straight. Science is geared towards a particular sort of maleness. This, however, is a good sign:

Dr. Mason and her colleagues found that while two-thirds of the respondents either had or planned to have children, 84 percent of the women and 74 percent of the men expressed worry about the family-unfriendliness of their intended profession, and many had changed their plans accordingly.

I’m heartened that so many males are getting a clue and understanding that family is important.

(On the other hand, as far as I know, all academic positions are some measure of the publish or perish, hunt for tenure, etc. Why is science in a worse position?).