Culture wars in the App Store, part II

At first glance, the original rules written to govern the Apple App Store seem to be simple, logical and easy to enforce.After all, who wants one of the world's most powerful corporations to circulate digital forms of hate? Consider, for example, the guidelines governing "personal attacks" and "objectionable content."The former rejects, "Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way." This does not apply to … [Read more...]

Culture wars in the App Store (and what they mean)

In a career packed with sound bites, the late Steve Jobs offered one of his best when describing his vision for a family-friendly Apple App Store."We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone," he famously responded, in an email to a customer. "Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone."This stance was clear, but hard to apply in the flood of information and images on the World Wide Web. After all, many consumers are very easy to offend, when hot … [Read more...]

Apple, iSacraments and this lonely age

Probing the mysteries of Christmas, Pope Benedict XVI asked his flock gathered in 2006 to ponder what this season might mean to people living in the Internet age."Is a Savior needed," he asked, "by a humanity which has invented interactive communication, which navigates in the virtual ocean of the Internet and, thanks to the most advanced modern communications technologies, has now made the earth, our great common home, a global village?"What the world really needed, quipped Gizmodo … [Read more...]

Occupy Advent 2012 (Let’s ask Siri)

The first question was simple: "Siri, when is Christmas?"After the two-tone "BEED-EEP" chime, the voice of the Apple iPhone responded: "Christmas is on Tuesday, December 25, 2012. I hope I have the day off."Then matters got complicated: "When is Advent?"Siri searched her memory and said: "I didn't find any events about 'Ed Fant.' "Trying again: "When is the Advent season?"Siri cheerfully responded: "I am not aware of any events about 'advent season.' "After several more "BEED-EEP" … [Read more...]

Steve Jobs, saint of the ’60s

It was in 1994 that author Umberto Eco, drawing on his studies in symbols and philosophy, looked at the evolution of personal computers and saw theology, doctrine, spirituality and, yes, icons.The modern world, he argued in the Italian magazine Espresso, was divided between Macintosh believers and those using the Microsoft disk operating system. The DOS world was "Protestant, or even Calvinistic" since it demanded "difficult personal decisions" and forced users to master complicated codes and … [Read more...]

Getting iConfession wrong

For generations, Catholics carried these simple leaflets inside their handbags or wallets, short texts topped with titles such as "A Guide For Confession" or "A Personal Examination of the Conscience."The believer would be reminded: "Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with … [Read more...]


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