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It was a very good year...
March 4, 2011 11:54 AM   Subscribe

When I was 17... it was a very good year. Opera is now available in the Mac App store but you must be 17 years old to download it. Those under 17 can get it outside the app store.
posted by juiceCake (92 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I loved the snark from an Opera VP:
“I’m very concerned,” says Standal. “Seventeen is very young, and I am not sure if, at that age, people are ready to use such an application. It’s very fast, you know, and it has a lot of features. I think the download requirement should be at least 18.”
posted by kmz at 11:55 AM on March 4, 2011 [19 favorites]


When I was 17
I drank some very good beer.
I drank some very good beer
I purchased with a fake ID
My name was Brian McGee
I stayed up listening to Queen
When I was 17.

- Homer Simpson
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:57 AM on March 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


If you install it, will links open in Opera rather than Safari?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:03 PM on March 4, 2011


FWIW, this isn't anything new. Any iOS app that has a web view object embedded somewhere in it automatically adds an adult rating to the app store listing. No one really minds it there, and it sounds like it was decided to have the same policy for the OS X app store.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:05 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the Mac App Store, not the iOS App Store... you can set any default browser you want for opening links.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:05 PM on March 4, 2011


I read that FPP in Homer's voice, too.
posted by unwordy at 12:05 PM on March 4, 2011


The Mac App Store: Come with your kids.... leave with your kids!
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:06 PM on March 4, 2011


Still, the company wanted to make Opera look worse than Safari, and this is apparently the company's solution.

Give me a fucking break. It's been iOS App Store policy for ages now to rate as 17+ apps that can access arbitrary data online (Wikipedia apps, Instapaper, even Dropbox, I think), and it ties in with the Parental Controls system, which is frequently used to limit unsupervised access to the web.

It's a weird policy that saddles a lot of apps with unfair connotations (is there porn in this PDF reader???), and there really should be a separate flag and filter for "may potentially access inappropriate content," but that's a far cry from a specific and malicious anti-competitive attack on Opera, and to frame it as such says a lot more about Techspot's biases than Apple's motivations.
posted by Zozo at 12:11 PM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wait...I'm confused by the age restriction, actually. Can someone explain? Is it like...easier to find porn on Opera?!
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:11 PM on March 4, 2011


On the Mac, Apple couldn't simply block third-party browsers from the platform because they've been available for years. Still, the company wanted to make Opera look worse than Safari, and this is apparently the company's solution.

This is so wrong, it's laughable. Going back to iOS, if a UIWebView is embedded in an app and can open up an arbitrary URL, then Apple automatically gives the app a 17+ rating.

This is why Opera's Mac App Store listing is getting a 17+ rating, not because Apple's CEO has a personal beef with Opera's CEO.

In fact, if you look at Opera Mini's iOS App Store listing, there is the very same listing:

You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.

Where are the bloggers up in arms about Opera Mini's listing?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:16 PM on March 4, 2011


it ties in with the Parental Controls system

Is this accurate? Someone on Slashdot mentioned today that it is rated 17+ specifically because it does not tie in with the parental controls. Trying to figure out if that is FUD.
posted by fusinski at 12:19 PM on March 4, 2011


This is dumb. Yes, Apple puts the 17+ restriction on the apps that could get to adult content. No big deal there. But it isn't like a 10 year old couldn't download it anyway from the App Store anyway provide they had an Apple ID. When you download the app, it says it is rated17+ and asks you to click OK. You don't need to hold up an ID to the camera to prove your age. But if a parent/kid downloads it at least they get a warning the app could access the dirty filth of the unwashed interweb.
posted by birdherder at 12:19 PM on March 4, 2011


Is it like...easier to find porn on Opera?!

SOMEBODY ANSWER THIS QUESTION.
posted by LordSludge at 12:21 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Do you have to be 17 years old to buy an iPad that can access all the stuff Opera can using Safari (or whatever the iPad's native browser is, I assume it's Safar I'm out of the loop).
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 12:23 PM on March 4, 2011


Whenever you press the 'x' three times in Opera, it immediately opens up 10 tabs full of porn.

No lie.

OK, maybe lie.
posted by kmz at 12:23 PM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I trust the porn-finding abilities of today's youth.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:23 PM on March 4, 2011


Is porn only for adults now?
posted by found missing at 12:24 PM on March 4, 2011


This is dumb. Yes, Apple puts the 17+ restriction on the apps that could get to adult content. No big deal there. But it isn't like a 10 year old couldn't download it anyway from the App Store anyway provide they had an Apple ID.

So what is dumber - Apple's pointless idiotic policy, or pointing out Apple's pointless idiotic policy ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2011


Is it like...easier to find porn on Opera?! / Do you have to be 17 years old to buy an iPad that can access all the stuff Opera can using Safari

No, but if your kid is dropping six hundred bucks on an iPad without your knowledge, you probably have bigger problems than porn.

App Store submissions have always been checked for inappropriate content and rated or rejected accordingly. Opera's "content" potentially includes the entire World Wide Web, which means it potentially contains "17+" material—hence the rating.

Okay, sure, but Safari comes standard on every Mac, and they're not exactly putting black bars on their own browser. But because Safari is bundled with OS X, so can it be specifically managed by OS X's Parental Controls feature. AFAIK, apps from the App Store can only be managed by rating, so here we are.

It's news to precisely no one that Apple is fanatical about managing its brand. It's a matter of record that Steve Jobs considers "family friendliness" a key component of Apple's brand. In the hierarchy of People Apple Gives a Shit About, parents who want to use technological means to moderate their children's media intake are a lot higher than cranky nerds on Slashdot.

"it ties in with the Parental Controls system" — Is this accurate?

This is a screenshot from the Settings app on my iPhone. I assume, but cannot confirm at the moment, that there is something similar in OS X's Parental Controls preference pane.
posted by Zozo at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


We seem more comfortable about companies imposing their morality on their customers than we used to be. I don't like the phrase "inappropriate content", either.
posted by doublehappy at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think on the Apple you hold down the apple key and type 'bite' instead of xxx for that feature.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2011


This is a fairly weak attempt at appleoutragefilter. FIAMO.
posted by spitefulcrow at 12:26 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is just Apple's way of telling you kids to get off our fucking lawn.
posted by crunchland at 12:27 PM on March 4, 2011


This is a fairly weak attempt at appleoutragefilter. FIAMO.

Seriously.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:28 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'd be interested in how Apple parental controls behave with respect to filtering homosexual advocacy sites.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:28 PM on March 4, 2011


I always assumed this policy was strictly a CYA move on Apple's part ("My precious snowflake downloaded BOOBIES using your non-rated app!"), as opposed to having any rational real-world justification.
posted by Aquaman at 12:29 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a fairly weak attempt at appleoutragefilter. FIAMO.

Wait, you're expressing your displeasure at the post, and you're saying FIAMO??

I think my irony meter just exploded.
posted by kmz at 12:29 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"But because Safari is bundled with OS X, so can it be specifically managed by OS X's Parental Controls feature. AFAIK, apps from the App Store can only be managed by rating, so here we are."

Fair enough!
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 12:29 PM on March 4, 2011


So mefites: let's form a company and create a browser optimized for porn!
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:33 PM on March 4, 2011


Any iOS app that has a web view object embedded somewhere in it automatically adds an adult rating to the app store listing. No one really minds it there

I think you mean that we all deal with it because we have no viable way to change the policy. It may be true that most folks have no real issue with it but I can assure you that there's at least one person who minds.
posted by phearlez at 12:34 PM on March 4, 2011


I wouldn't call Opera's response appleoutrage, but rather poking fun at the labeling (and as mentioned upthread, this is pretty standard for non-Apple apps) and attempting to spin some publicity out of it. Don't forget, this is the same company that said their browser was faster than a potato- in response to this.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:35 PM on March 4, 2011


non-Apple apps

Make that apps that can access arbitrary data online- as Zozo pointed out.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:37 PM on March 4, 2011


But because Safari is bundled with OS X, so can it be specifically managed by OS X's Parental Controls feature.

Nope. Parental controls take effect further down in the network stack, they work regardless of which browser you use.
posted by mullingitover at 12:37 PM on March 4, 2011


Out of curiosity, how does Parental Control work in iOS/OS X? Is it blacklist + bad keywords, something like that?
posted by kmz at 12:39 PM on March 4, 2011


In OS X, for the web there are three options: unlimited access, filters with whitelist/blacklist (more about this here), and straight whitelist.
posted by mullingitover at 12:42 PM on March 4, 2011


Nope. Parental controls take effect further down in the network stack, they work regardless of which browser you use.

I rescind my fair enough!
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 12:42 PM on March 4, 2011


So mefites: let's form a company and create a browser optimized for porn!

I already use Safari. That's the one for finding stuff, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2011


We seem more comfortable about companies imposing their morality on their customers than we used to be.

Oh, come on. Apple isn't imposing any morality on anyone. It's providing a means, however clumsy, for parents to manage their children's usage of Apple products, as it's done in OS X for nearly a decade.

Developers could make—and have made—a case that rating, say, an innocuous Wikipedia app as "17+: Contains graphic sexual/violent/drug content" negatively impacts their sales, but see my post above re: Apple's Hierarchy of Giving a Shit; developers aren't exactly at the top of that list. Parenting pundits could say that the problem of kids looking at age-inappropriate materials requires more than a set-it-and-forget-it technological solution, but I guess they just won't use that feature. Porn-hungry adolescents may face frustrating delays, some whole minutes long, before they can circumvent the restrictions and get to the boobies. But as an adult user, this doesn't affect you in the slightest, so cut the fake outrage already.

Parental controls take effect further down in the network stack, they work regardless of which browser you use.

Huh! I did not know that. Makes Apple look even more ham-handed—but no more malicious.
posted by Zozo at 12:45 PM on March 4, 2011


In my mind there's really no excuse for this one. The parental controls argument simply does not pass the giggle test when you understand how they work in OS X, and no one knows this better than Apple.
posted by mullingitover at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2011


This is so wrong, it's laughable. Going back to iOS, if a UIWebView is embedded in an app and can open up an arbitrary URL, then Apple automatically gives the app a 17+ rating.

Twitter and Facebook are both rated 4+, "no objectionable material".
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Twitter and Facebook are both rated 4+, "no objectionable material".

They don't access arbitrary data — you can't use them to browse for anything on the web, essentially. They open data from Twitter and Facebook servers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:50 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was kind of surprised that the VEVO app is only 12+, considering it shows uncensored videos.
posted by smackfu at 12:51 PM on March 4, 2011


Opera's "content" potentially includes the entire World Wide Web, which means it potentially contains "17+" material—hence the rating.

Why is Kindle different? (that link may launch iTunes if you have it installed ...)

It's rated 4+. Doesn't it include a Web browser? Can't you download a Playboy mobi?

You can certainly access Wikipedia with it. Why is Wikipedia rated 17+ and not Kindle?

It's been iOS App Store policy for ages now to rate as 17+ apps that can access arbitrary data online (Wikipedia apps, Instapaper, even Dropbox, I think)

Oh wait. Wikipedia Mobile (iTunes Store) is rated 4+ as well. What's going on here?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:53 PM on March 4, 2011


Funny, on the iPhone, Safari isn't blocked if you put the App restriction at 4+. You need to block it separately.
posted by smackfu at 12:55 PM on March 4, 2011


They don't access arbitrary data — you can't use them to browse for anything on the web, essentially. They open data from Twitter and Facebook servers.

I wonder if you can just post your desired URL to your own Twitter, and then follow the link?
posted by smackfu at 12:56 PM on March 4, 2011


Wikipedia Mobile (iTunes Store) is rated 4+ as well.

Looks like I'm wrong all over the place: Instapaper and Dropbox have both been bumped down to 4+, too.

And yet Wikipanion and Articles are both rated 9+ for "Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes."

Sigh. Sometimes I wonder if App Store policies are produced by throwing darts at a wall. While blindfolded. And drunk.
posted by Zozo at 12:59 PM on March 4, 2011


Maybe with hands literally wrapped in ham.
posted by Zozo at 1:00 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


We seem more comfortable about companies imposing their morality on their customers than we used to be.

Only when it's Apple.
posted by rodgerd at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


They don't access arbitrary data — you can't use them to browse for anything on the web, essentially.

Sure you can.

Here are the instructions for Facebook:

1. Post an arbitrary URL to your Facebook wall.
2. Click on an arbitrary URL in your Facebook wall.

Here are the instructions for Twitter:

1. Post an arbitrary URL to your Twitter feed.
2. Click on an arbitrary URL in your Twitter feed.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not entirely clear what this post has to do with small town girls and soft summer nights.
posted by crunchland at 1:02 PM on March 4, 2011


Can you even browse other people's Dropboxes? I mean, isn't that mainly a way for you to put your own content online for various reasons? I was under the impression that if you wanted access to someone else's Dropbox, you had to have a specific download link, and couldn't browse the directory as a whole.
posted by hippybear at 1:02 PM on March 4, 2011


Sure you can.

Here are the instructions for Facebook:

1. Post an arbitrary URL to your Facebook wall.
2. Click on an arbitrary URL in your Facebook wall.

Here are the instructions for Twitter:

1. Post an arbitrary URL to your Twitter feed.
2. Click on an arbitrary URL in your Twitter feed.


I've never used Facebook or Twitter, but I'm pretty sure that under iOS, you'd find that the Twitter App or the Facebook App would then launch a web browser to view the link you've clicked, and the parental controls would kick in at that point.
posted by hippybear at 1:03 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tried it, but I can't stand how the screen flickers when you scroll. Or maybe that's just my old tired (17+) eyes.
posted by monospace at 1:05 PM on March 4, 2011


Sure you can.

Aside from this being a really painful way to browse the web, those URLs come from somewhere else, presumably a web browser that accesses arbitrary URLs.

It just seems reasonable to assume that this isn't how most people use those specific apps, which probably goes a long way to explain an app's listing.

Anyway, policy aside, since Opera's VP isn't complaining about the Opera Mini listing we can safely assume that this particular issue isn't about Apple sticking it to Opera.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:11 PM on March 4, 2011


Am I the only one who did not know that Opera referred to software, and initially read this FPP as "iTunes requires users to be 17 to purchase opera (opera as in the Three Tenors) .mp3's"?
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 1:13 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree the article is rather awful, but why on earth does Apple have to warn me every time I try to install or update an app that accesses the web? Certainly, if I've enabled parental controls, warn/restrict away, but I've never turned on parental controls or otherwise told Apple I'm a prude. Normal people don't know why this warning is there, they just view it as a sign that the app is somehow dangerous or inappropriate. If there aren't any parental controls enabled, just install the bloody app like I asked you to do.
posted by zachlipton at 1:14 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Certainly, if I've enabled parental controls, warn/restrict away, but I've never turned on parental controls or otherwise told Apple I'm a prude.

If you've enabled OS X parental controls they will work in Opera just fine without any action on your part. So even then the warning is ridiculous.
posted by mullingitover at 1:18 PM on March 4, 2011


Sometimes I wonder if App Store policies are produced by throwing darts at a wall. While blindfolded. And drunk.

My guess is that your provide a rating when you submit it, and the reviewer may tell you to use a higher one, but never a lower one. So people who pick too high have a weird rating.
posted by smackfu at 1:20 PM on March 4, 2011


I wonder if there's anybody out there Twittering text porn? (Does Twitter have any policies against something like that?)
posted by kmz at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


So mefites: let's form a company and create a browser optimized for porn!

I'm already an optimized browser of porn.

As a matter of fact, it's one of the few things going well in my life right now.
posted by Skygazer at 1:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is just about liability.
posted by bobloblaw at 1:28 PM on March 4, 2011


They don't access arbitrary data — you can't use them to browse for anything on the web, essentially. They open data from Twitter and Facebook servers...

... which are filled with arbitrary data posted by users from anywhere on the web, essentially.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:29 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if there's anybody out there Twittering text porn? (Does Twitter have any policies against something like that?)


Twitter does not have a content filter or policy at the moment (the only restriction in the TOS is pornographic images can't be used in your badge or background pic). I suppose if it continues to be around, they will allow users to set a rating for their tweets and twitter apps/account settings to keep people from viewing shit they don't like or in which I may be shocked, aroused, or offended.

I do know the twitpic and similar services do have policies restricting the photos attached to PG13. If too racy a photo is posted, it gets taken down and the account suspended.
posted by birdherder at 1:31 PM on March 4, 2011


Is it like...easier to find porn on Opera?!

Belatedly, the last thing I need is for it to be easier to find porn. Good God. There's only so many hours in the day, and I'm already at risk of a repetitive stress disorder.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:37 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


... which are filled with arbitrary data posted by users from anywhere on the web, essentially.

Not so arbitrary.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:37 PM on March 4, 2011


Not so arbitrary.

Oh good grief. Open the official Twitter iPhone app, tap on the Search tab, type
#
p
o
r
n
then tap on Search, and tap on a link, any link. Presto, porn in a web view in the app.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 1:46 PM on March 4, 2011


Not so arbitrary.

ar·bi·trar·y Adjective /ˈärbiˌtrerē/
1) Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

Are you going to try and tell me that the postings on facebook aren't based on random choice or personal whim? It's the very definition of arbitrary!
posted by SweetJesus at 1:49 PM on March 4, 2011


Are you going to try and tell me that the postings on facebook aren't based on random choice or personal whim? It's the very definition of arbitrary!

What he's saying is that any pornography on Facebook violates the site's terms.

The type of content allowed on Facebook is definitely not arbitrary. Have you downloaded an MP3 or AVI from Facebook lately?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:54 PM on March 4, 2011


What he's saying is that any pornography on Facebook violates the site's terms.

I know what he's saying - That Facebook and Twitter are essentially walled gardens and that their TOS prevents 'questionable' content from showing up to impressionable eyes, which is why they should be rated 4+ (never mind that according to Facebook's iron-clad TOS, you have to be over 13 to use it) and since Opera accesses 'arbitrary data' (ie, the Internet) it should be rated 17+. I'm here to say that's bullshit. A EULA or TOS does not prevent a lot of potentially questionable 'arbitrary' content from being displayed via your friend's streams, and neither Facebook or Twitter have the ability or the will to enforce their TOS to the degree that it can be said that no arbitrary offensive or questionable content exists within their garden.

I'm not really up in arms about the whole issue, but I think that's a particularly disingenuous argument.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:06 PM on March 4, 2011


Say, now that this Opera thing is settled, does anyone know if it's worth waiting until the next Mac Mini release (or any solid rumors about that), or if now is a good time? Talk me off the ledge here...Best Buy is just around the corner and I have a gift card to kick towards the retail price...
posted by Burhanistan at 2:06 PM on March 4, 2011


So the OS comes bundled with one browser, and attempts to install alternate browsers run afoul of anticompetitive warnings and EULA issues.

I can't imagine why anyone would have a basis to think that wasn't an awesome move, no matter what decade you're in.
posted by kafziel at 2:14 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


neither Facebook or Twitter have the ability or the will to enforce their TOS to the degree that it can be said that no arbitrary offensive or questionable content exists within their garden.

I don't think anyone is saying that. I certainly haven't. But when Facebook wants to, they do remove content and accounts that violate their terms.

Realistically, Facebook doesn't seem to be a place people go to for porn, and, realistically, their apps just aren't used for browsing the web, the way that you punch in an URL into Safari or Opera Mini.

So given the generally inoffensive content on Facebook, and given Facebook's terms of service, and given Facebook's general enforcement of said terms, and given the UI design of Facebook's app, there's probably no need (from Apple's perspective) to put a 17+ rating on said app.

I'm not really up in arms about the whole issue, but I think that's a particularly disingenuous argument.

I think it's disingenuous for you to claim that people use Facebook's app to browse the web, like people use Safari or any other dedicated web browser. This is clearly not true.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:15 PM on March 4, 2011


Say, now that this Opera thing is settled, does anyone know if it's worth waiting until the next Mac Mini release (or any solid rumors about that), or if now is a good time? Talk me off the ledge here...Best Buy is just around the corner and I have a gift card to kick towards the retail price...

Get it from Amazon and don't pay sales tax, unless the gift card will make up more than the difference. However, Buyer's Guide says: Don't Buy, Updates Soon.
posted by mullingitover at 2:24 PM on March 4, 2011


I think it's disingenuous for you to claim that people use Facebook's app to browse the web, like people use Safari or any other dedicated web browser. This is clearly not true.

I never claimed that. I said that Facebook and Twitter applications are perfectly capable of accessing arbitrary data, ie postings made by the user's friends. The postings could be completely offensive or completely inoffensive, you don't know until you access them. Facebook and Twitter don't actively curate this information and instead make efforts to remove questionable information after it's been posted via a variety of algorithm-driven heuristics and human-in-the-loop decisions. Doesn't mean that questionable content can't make it's way in, and there are no guarantees that Facebook will remove the content you find questionable. That's what I'm claiming.

I think it's disingenuous for you to claim there isn't any potentially offensive content on Facebook or Twitter just because they have a TOS.

Realistically, Facebook doesn't seem to be a place people go to for porn, and, realistically, their apps just aren't used for browsing the web, the way that you punch in an URL into Safari or Opera Mini.

We're not talking about porn, we're talking about arbitrary questionable content.

So given the generally inoffensive content on Facebook, and given Facebook's terms of service, and given Facebook's general enforcement of said terms, and given the UI design of Facebook's app, there's probably no need (from Apple's perspective) to put a 17+ rating on said app.

Or maybe it's because Facebook is a killer application for mobile computing and sells iPhones and therefore Apple doesn't want to place too many barriers (like bullshit age restrictions) in between their users and the Facebook app. Or maybe it's because Opera is a competitor to Safari, and Apple has a financial incentive to make it more difficult to download.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:36 PM on March 4, 2011


Sigh. Sometimes I wonder if App Store policies are produced by throwing darts at a wall. While blindfolded. And drunk.

I think the policies are exceptionally finely produced (though I disagree with many (but not enough to stop using iOS)) but the issues that crop up are more reflective of a company function having trouble keeping up with its growth rate.

For a while it was reflected in incredibly long approval times. Now it seems more to reflect inconsistency associated with having a staff that's too new or too poorly supplied with tools/procedures to allow consistent results.
posted by phearlez at 2:41 PM on March 4, 2011


The nerd reaction to this is "I can think of a clever way to get around an app's normal use to potentially get porn, therefore Apple blocking a web browser is wrong." The regular person reply is "I don't want Johnny to see porn easily if I can avoid it, it makes sense that a web browser would be an easy path, but if he has to get around it by pulling a clever workaround, I'm probably boned."

Apple is following common sense, not putting up hack- or tinker-proof barriers here.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:57 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The nerd reaction to this is "I can think of a clever way to get around an app's normal use to potentially get porn, therefore Apple blocking a web browser is wrong." The regular person reply is "I don't want Johnny to see porn easily if I can avoid it, it makes sense that a web browser would be an easy path, but if he has to get around it by pulling a clever workaround, I'm probably boned."

Apple is following common sense, not putting up hack- or tinker-proof barriers here.


This would make sense if Safari - software that by their standards is 17+ - didn't come pre-installed on both iOS and OS X.
posted by kafziel at 3:08 PM on March 4, 2011


I think it's disingenuous for you to claim there isn't any potentially offensive content on Facebook or Twitter just because they have a TOS.

Never said any such thing. I think your style of discourse is a bit much for me. I'll bow out of this conversation with you, thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:15 PM on March 4, 2011


There's nothing automatic about the 17+ rating, developers set their own ratings. Apple forces ratings, including rejecting Eucalyptus until it went 17+, but it's still ostensibly under the dev's control.
posted by bonaldi at 3:31 PM on March 4, 2011


Space Coyote: "The regular person reply is "I don't want Johnny to see porn easily if I can avoid it, it makes sense that a web browser would be an easy path, but if he has to get around it by pulling a clever workaround, I'm probably boned."

Except, again, the parental controls work on third-party browsers without any user intervention. Say it with me: Downloading Opera is not a way around the OS X parental controls. They are in a deeper layer of the network stack.

I have yet to see any sane explanation of why this warning would be comprehensible. What, Opera labeled their browser as 17+ on their own?
posted by mullingitover at 4:12 PM on March 4, 2011


Nice app.. seems to be (up to) twice as fast as Safari!!
posted by Bwithh at 5:25 PM on March 4, 2011


So mefites: let's form a company and create a browser optimized for porn!

There was an article ages ago about the best Firefox extensions for porn browsing.
I just downloaded Opera on my iPhone. I needed to click 'ok' to prove I was over 17. Easy.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:33 PM on March 4, 2011




Sweet, thanks mendel!

Is this somehow relevant to this thread or just a random present? Either way, it's cool.
posted by mullingitover at 6:47 PM on March 4, 2011


If a UIWebView is embedded in an app and can open up an arbitrary URL, then Apple automatically gives the app a 17+ rating.

It would be pretty hilarious of Opera was just a wrapper around an embedded UIWebView.
posted by ryanrs at 8:28 PM on March 4, 2011


I don't know if it loads twice as fast as safari, but the lack of UI smoothness makes my iPhone 4 feel like an Android G1. Not impressed.
posted by hanoixan at 9:42 PM on March 4, 2011


That's Opera Mini. We're talking about Opera on the Mac App Store. (I'm always missing the distinction too. I saw "App Store" and went "ooh, right, Opera on phone, big news!")
posted by bonaldi at 6:55 AM on March 5, 2011


Opera Mini is the best and fastest browser, by far, for Android IMHO. Also doesn't hurt that you can sync the mini with the Opera browser on your computer.
posted by Skygazer at 1:34 AM on March 6, 2011


Sweet, thanks mendel!

Is this somehow relevant to this thread or just a random present? Either way, it's cool.


Haha, I somehow misread attributions, I meant to direct the link to pornzilla to Lovecraft in Brooklyn but uh HERE MULLINGITOVER HAVE SOME PORNTOOLS
posted by mendel at 5:41 PM on March 6, 2011


It's a weird policy that saddles a lot of apps with unfair connotations (is there porn in this PDF reader???), and there really should be a separate flag and filter for "may potentially access inappropriate content," but that's a far cry from a specific and malicious anti-competitive attack on Opera, and to frame it as such says a lot more about Techspot's biases than Apple's motivations.

Agreed. It looks like a simple and amusing (to some) bureaucratic cock up that we see from time to time. As a fan of absurdist comedy I find it hilarious.

Where are the bloggers up in arms about Opera Mini's listing?

No idea. Where are they up in arms about this? Where is Charlie Sheen right now? What time did JFK get shot?

This is a fairly weak attempt at appleoutragefilter. FIAMO.

Absolute bullshit. Not the motivation whatsoever but thanks for the insult. Also just amusing!
posted by juiceCake at 12:20 PM on March 8, 2011


"Apple's iOS mobile operating system runs web applications at significantly slower speeds when they're launched from the iPhone or iPad home screen in "full-screen mode" as opposed to in the Apple Safari browser, and at the same time, the operating system hampers the performance of these apps in other ways, according to tests from multiple developers and The Register."
posted by mrgrimm at 1:42 PM on March 17, 2011


Well of course they do. Apple doesn't get a cut of web apps.
posted by kafziel at 1:47 PM on March 17, 2011


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