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.

Books read lately

Tender to the Bone is Ruth Reichl’s first memoir dedicated to food and love and family. It’s a very nice read. (A)

Life Sentences is a mixture of memoir (fictional), mystery, and race relations set in present day Baltimore. I listened to this on tape and really enjoyed it. (B+)

I finally read Michael Lewis’s Moneyball to be engaging, entertaining and fun. I also learned a lot about baseball. (A-)

On the other hand, I found Buzz Bissinger’s Three Nights in August to be bombastic and far too full of sports cliches and tired sentences to be worth finishing. (C-)

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.”

Interesting business model

Study: Life, Health Insurers Investing Billions in Tobacco Companies – Health News | Current Health News | Medical News –

“The study highlights U.S. insurance company Prudential Financial Inc., who has $246.3 million dollars invested between three tobacco companies, including Reynolds America and Philip Morris.”

So the insurance invests in tobacco, tobacco invests in advertising, people invest in cigarettes, cigarettes cause cancer, people go to hospital, people need insurance.

OTOH, I would think that the insurance companies would make more money overall by keeping people healthy (since then they get the premiums without having to pay anything out). So… what’s it about.

git – committing in the midst of a conflicted pull

Just a note about an git-experience I had in case it helps someone else…

  • I was doing a git pull and got a conflict (in the ChangeLog of all places).

  • I fixed the conflict and then tried to commit the fix. Git was mad:

    [gwking@beeter foo]$ git commit -m "fix changelog conflict"                                         
    ChangeLog: needs merge                                                                                
    ChangeLog: unmerged (9325d97bb00d84025506d7bb7a78ba5e245b0275)                                        
    ChangeLog: unmerged (63f7f2ba434dbdb4d98a0c9766ef22a40ece0abd)                                        
    ChangeLog: unmerged (4bba972e7d78619d3a5448357ed8773afd1edece)                                        
    error: Error building trees                                                                           

    Hmmm, what does that mean. Some googling revealed nothing useful and Wolfram Alpha wasn’t sure what to do with your input..

    I ended up flailing for a while before I remembered that I needed to git add the change before I committed.

    [gwking@beeter foo]$ git add ChangeLog                                                              
  • After that, git was happy again

    [gwking@beeter foo]$ git commit -m "fix changelog conflict"                                         
    [master]: created 1d6cba4: "fix changelog conflict"                                                   

Problem solved.

missile gap, salt mine gap, education gap…

There’s always a gap. I think that this one, however, is real.

The Future of Manufacturing, GM, and American Workers (Part II) | Robert Reich’s Blog

“But we’re in danger of losing ground because too many of our kids, especially those from lower-middle class and poor families, can’t get the foundational education they need. The consequence is a yawning gap in income and wealth which continues to widen. More and more of our working people finds themselves in the local service economy — in hotels, hospitals, restaurant chains, and big-box retailers — earning low wages with little or no benefits. Unions could help raise their wages by giving them more bargaining leverage. A higher minimum wage and larger Earned Income Tax Credit could help as well. “