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iPhone Web Claims Draw Governmental Rebuke in UK 517

Posted by timothy
from the zoolander-bit dept.
Wills writes "Apple has been running an iPhone ad saying 'all parts of the internet are on the iPhone', but it had to be withdrawn after Britain's Advertising Standards Authority ruled that it gave 'a misleading impression of the internet capabilities of the iPhone' because the iPhone cannot access Flash or Java – features that are essential to some websites. This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"
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iPhone Web Claims Draw Governmental Rebuke in UK

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  • Confusion (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:31AM (#24766077)

    The ad repeatedly says you can get the whole 'internet', not just the web.

    Apple, I want gopher dammit!

    • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EvilNTUser (573674) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:47AM (#24766367)

      You're modded funny, but this IS another valid reason it's false advertising. If they want to decide what runs on the phone, they really can't claim it supports the whole internet. You can't have it both ways.

      That comment about whether the government should really decide is very trollish. Supply and demand have in fact decided that many sites require flash*. The government is only enforcing truth in advertising. Not everything they do is automatically wrong, ok?

      *no matter how much it may annoy us.

      • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Informative)

        by Candid88 (1292486) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:02AM (#24766613)

        "That comment about whether the government should really decide is very trollish."

        Not only that, but it's also completely irrelevant to the story. The Advertising Standards Authority (who deemed the advert misleading) was setup by the advertising industry's trade body and has absolutely nothing to do with the British government.

        The ASA ruling is non-legally binding although all major broadcasters and publishers generally adhere to it. The appropriate governmental agencies are Ofcom (office of communication) and OFT (office of fair trading) which have the relevant legal powers. Neither of which were involved here.

      • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @12:10PM (#24767653) Homepage

        You're modded funny, but this IS another valid reason it's false advertising.

        Well whether or not it's false, I think the key issue is whether a reasonable person would find it misleading. What I mean is, even if you give Apple the benefit of the doubt and say it's not intentionally deceptive, and even if you think Apple is trying to say something that's true, I can still see how it would lead someone to assume things that are false.

        And therefore it seems fair to me that it would be labeled "misleading". Apple should rework the ad to make it more clear.

      • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @12:22PM (#24767831) Homepage Journal

        Supply and demand have in fact decided that many sites require flash

        I see your point about supply and demand. Nevertheless I don't see how the accessibility of Flash-heavy sites (even though there are a lot of them out there) should be taken as contradicting the phrase "all parts of the Internet." If we approach it that way, any 64-bit Linux distro wouldn't be able to access "all parts of the Internet" because they don't have a compatible Flash plugin either. Heck, the Olympics site is a very prominant site and so is the Democratic Convention site, and both of them (and a smattering of others) require Silverlight, which doesn't have a full implementation on even 32-bit Linux, but I'd hardly call my Ubuntu laptop an Internet loser. And the Wii uses Opera on Linux, which probably gets the shaft from a lot of crappy banking sites that boot non-Windows UserAgents. Should Nintendo be barred from claims of access to the whole Internet?

        Again, I acknowledge your point about Flash's unfortunate popularity, and I'd add to it that Apple's use of the broad term "Internet" as a substitute for the more specific "Web" is silly (on that note, I love people's comments on the fact that the claim is technically inaccurate if the iPhone excludes the gopher protocol). But there are a lot of devices and OSes out there that can't access every single bit of content on the Web. I don't see how this sort of exclusion helps informed consumers.

        • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @01:46PM (#24768949)

          If we approach it that way, any 64-bit Linux distro wouldn't be able to access "all parts of the Internet" because they don't have a compatible Flash plugin either. Heck, the Olympics site is a very prominant site and so is the Democratic Convention site, and both of them (and a smattering of others) require Silverlight, which doesn't have a full implementation on even 32-bit Linux, but I'd hardly call my Ubuntu laptop an Internet loser.

          If you show that any Linux distro can be proven to have advertised in the UK, specifically in the UK, that they could access "all parts of the internet", then yes, they would be subject to the same issue as Apple here.

          And the Wii uses Opera on Linux, which probably gets the shaft from a lot of crappy banking sites that boot non-Windows UserAgents. Should Nintendo be barred from claims of access to the whole Internet?

          Again, do Nintendo actively claim this in any advertising?

      • Re:Confusion (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ilgaz (86384) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @01:43PM (#24768909) Homepage

        Also we Symbian/Opera and J2ME/Opera Mini users have been experiencing the "real internet" for ages. We didn't even get boost from "Opera version" of sites, it is just some clever ones sent the mobile optimised version.

        An Opera on a high end Symbian handset like Nokia N95 or E90 won't be different from the desktop version in any manner. I can't think of any sites which will degrade in functionality. Java is a different thing, the desktop java is still to heavy for mobile devices so they run J2ME but especially for 2 years, J2ME users constantly get amazed at what that thing can do. I got amazed when Youtube released a J2ME version for example and that thing could play smooth videos.

    • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Crispy Critters (226798) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:04AM (#24766635)
      "The ad repeatedly says you can get the whole 'internet', not just the web."

      This is certainly OT, but it annoys me to no end when hotels do the same thing. "Wireless High Speed Internet!" -- when all they allow is web access. Believe it or not, some people care more about port 22 than about port 80. I guess if I were in the UK, I could sue.

      The Apple case has some ambiguity. What is "access"? What constitutes "the internet"? Is it still the internet without Java? Maybe. Is it still the internet if it is restricted to the web? NO.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tony Hoyle (11698)

        I guess if I were in the UK, I could sue.

        Well you could complain to the ITC, which is what was done here. They'd then decide whether the hotels advertising was misleading and direct them to make the necessary changes.

        Suing over something like that is a bit OTT.

  • "the iPhone cannot access Flash or Java - features that are essential to some horribly designed websites."

    Fixed.

    • Re:Who misses flash? (Score:5, Informative)

      by garcia (6573) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:35AM (#24766137)

      Who misses flash?

      Those of us that use sites that are built with it. While I don't need it for most mobile browsing, there are some sites where it is required. If the device can play YouTube flash videos, why can't it load the flash sites too?

      I will be purchasing an iPhone shortly and know of its shortcomings but to blindly support their decision not to include something that is so very popular on the web is a bit ridiculous IMO.

      • Re:Who misses flash? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jmauro (32523) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:46AM (#24766351)

        It does not play "flash" YouTube videos. YouTube on the iPhone is a custom client app that does not use flash at all. It won't even play all the videos YouTube has to offer only the ones that can be accessed in h264 format so the app can use the iPod video decoding software/hardware to play it with their custom interface (flash only videos will not play at all).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        Because it doesn't play YouTube flash videos. The iPhone/iPod touch accesses YouTube's videos files encoded in H.264, without a flash player wrapped around it.

        Websites can (and should) detect Safari and use the HTML5 media tags to play their videos (in MPEG-4/H.264), too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Abreu (173023)

      However, as much as we hate Flash and Java based websites, some people can't live without them for some reason...

      I have to side with the British Authority on this one

    • Re:Who misses flash? (Score:4, Informative)

      by initdeep (1073290) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:36AM (#24766169)

      that may be.

      however, by stating they can access ALL of the internet, they are misleading customers.

      Thus I have no problem with them being forced to pull and reword their advertisement.

      it's no different than forcing companies who use speed as part of their broadband marketing to say "up to x many times faster" instead of point blank stating their maximum speed as if it were the absolute truth and everyone ALWAYS received it.

      Most people won't know the difference, but if you're going to use marketing, at least use it properly.

  • keyword 'all' (Score:5, Insightful)

    by steveargonman (183377) <steveargonman@hotmail.com> on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:33AM (#24766103)

    When I hear the phrase..

    'all parts of the internet are on the iPhone',

    I tend to think I can access just about anything. I think expecting java or flash to work isn't asking much yet that's not available so I do think saying 'all' is a little misleading.

    I think a simple re-wording would get their point across and yet not be invalid.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:33AM (#24766105)
    Knowing nothing about iPhone I have to ask, can it run a newsreader client? p2p client?
  • Huh ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garett_spencley (193892) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:35AM (#24766139) Journal

    From the summary: "Apple has been running an iPhone ad saying 'all parts of the internet are on the iPhone'"

    followed by: "This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

    What the hell does that have to do with anything ? I didn't RTFA but it sounds like the problem is that they said that ALL parts of the Internet are accessible via the iPhone ... not "all but flash and java" ... which has nothing to do with "essential vs. non-essential", what-so-ever. Sounds like a simple case of false advertising to me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That was exactly my response to the summary. It sounds like someone is trying to manufacture a government-versus-internet debate when the issue is actually about false advertising.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mollymoo (202721)
        They absolutely are manufacturing it, by claiming the ASA is a government body. It isn't,; it was set up and is funded by industry. TFA is nothing but a troll.
    • Re:Huh ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mr_mischief (456295) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:19AM (#24766909) Journal

      Flash and Java are not parts of the Internet. They are content served across it. You can download them without the applications in place to use them, even.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What the hell does that have to do with anything ? I didn't RTFA but it sounds like the problem is that they said that ALL parts of the Internet are accessible via the iPhone ... not "all but flash and java" ... which has nothing to do with "essential vs. non-essential", what-so-ever. Sounds like a simple case of false advertising to me.

      Okay, let's extend the idea with an analogy. Can any computer access all of the internet? I mean is there any one computer that can play back every single video and audio and Web app format in existence? If I put up a video archive in a proprietary format that only my computer can read, does that mean no company can claim their system or service can access all of the internet?

      The question with regard to false advertising laws is if Apple is intentionally deceiving end users and if those users are not getti

  • False advertising (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dancindan84 (1056246)
    It's probably false advertising (flash and java are part of the web and they aren't accessible from an iphone). It may or may not be the governments place to step in depending on how they deal with television regulation. Does the FCC handle false advertising at all? How is false advertising handled other than by consumer law suits?
  • what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by bigmaddog (184845) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:37AM (#24766175)
    1. Apple makes a bogus/oversimplified claim in ad.
    2. Gov't says "stop bsing in your ads."
    3. Poster asks "should gov't regulate look & feel of the web?"

    Holy non sequitur batman!

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:37AM (#24766179) Homepage Journal
    Considering how obnoxiously ubiquitous Flash has become on the web - and how many sites you can't view without the sexiest version of Flash - it is no surprise that people are angry that the iPhone doesn't do Flash.

    But on the other hand, there are plenty of other configurations that don't do Flash, either. Really most Linux distros don't do Flash to the satisfaction of plenty of Flash-only sites. And of course Flash doesn't care about people using Lynx or anyone with impairments that makes it difficult to use a mouse.

    However, as much as I'm not an Apple fan myself, I would say really the fault likely belongs more to Adobe. They have chosen to develop Flash in a way that allows third-rate web designers to use it instead of genuine code, while simultaneously giving a big middle finger to those of us who don't meet the compatibility requirements for the newest version.

    Perhaps with some luck, some significant good could come from the iPhone - people will start writing more non-flash sites (or at least non-flash versions for those of us who cannot or will not use flash).
    • by Shados (741919)

      anyone with impairments that makes it difficult to use a mouse

      I'm no Flash developer, but I was under the impression that Flash had gone quite far in accessibility lately. So its up to the developer (like with normal HTML) to make sure its all accessible. Devs just generally don't give a flying duck.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by e4g4 (533831)
      Really - the problem is that Adobe/Macromedia created a piece of crap in the flash client. The fact that my 2GHz C2D can have 60-70% (of one core) in use by a site with 3 or 4 flash ads on it is a testament to how grossly inefficient the software is. Putting flash (in it's desktop incarnation) on the iphone would peg it's little ARM proc and drain the battery in no time flat.

      Frankly - i like the lack of flash on my iphone - it, in fact, acts as an ad-blocker of sorts.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        While my MBP is in for repair, I'm back on my PowerBook. It has a 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 CPU, and yet is not capable of playing the iPlayer flash videos without dropping frames. Downloading the H.264 version and playing them with VLC gives around the same picture quality and uses well under 50% of the CPU.

        I'd have thought that video would be something Flash should do well. Presumably they're just calling native code to handle the decoding, rather than writing the entire CODEC in ActionScript (that said, I'

  • by Trigun (685027) <evil AT evilempire DOT ath DOT cx> on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:37AM (#24766181)

    Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

    Should Apple?

  • by protonbishop (516957) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:38AM (#24766205)
    Plus it doesn't do mouseover/hover/tooltips -- pretty basic javascript. It's a cool device, but I find I have to re-engineer my websites to fit the iPhone's capabilities. Sure, the web may morph so that it will fit onto the iPhone, but for now I agree with the original article.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      If your UI was depending on mouseover, hover, or tooltips, it was broken before the iPhone. These things have never worked on any touchscreen device (certain wacom-type devices handle them by treating a very low-pressure touch as a hover, but it's still quite difficult to use). You also won't work with any browser designed for those without fine motor control (e.g. MS sufferers) which handle all interaction via a (large) keyboard and so, for a commercial site, may be in violation of your local accessibili
  • by KokorHekkus (986906) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:39AM (#24766219)

    The Advertising Standards Authority is the independent body set up by the advertising industry to police the rules laid down in the advertising codes. The strength of the self-regulatory system lies in both the independence of the ASA and the support and commitment of the advertising industry...

    Source:http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/about/ [asa.org.uk]

  • by theurge14 (820596) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:40AM (#24766231)

    The iPhone App store better get cracking on those Archie, Gopher and WAIS clients.

  • by Hektor_Troy (262592) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:41AM (#24766245)

    This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?

    That isn't raised unless you think it's quite alright to claim that a Prius is an "all terrain vehicle" (as long as 'all terrain' doesn't include deep mud, steep unpaved hills and stuff like that).

    This isn't about the government making the decision that "this or that is an essential feature of websites", it's about Manufacturer A claiming that Product B can do Feature C when obviously it cannot do Feature C but only a subset of that feature.

    Lying to sell your products is not allowed in the UK. It may be in the US or elsewhere in the world, but this is about the UK. And in the UK they have this pesky law about not claiming your product can do things that it cannot do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That isn't raised unless you think it's quite alright to claim that a Prius is an "all terrain vehicle" (as long as 'all terrain' doesn't include deep mud, steep unpaved hills and stuff like that).

      As long as you agree that an SUV doesn't qualify as 'all terrain' either because it can't plow through a dense forest or go up Mount Everest.

      This isn't about the government making the decision that "this or that is an essential feature of websites"

      It probably is. 'All terrain vehicle' doesn't mean a vehicle can navigate all possible topography. The ASA objects because the iphone doesn't fit its own definition of all parts of the internet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:41AM (#24766247)

    The Advertising Standards Authority [asa.org.uk] is an independent advertising industry body; it is not government funded, and is not a 'government authority'.

  • The article summary states:

    "This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

    I'd argue that this situation really has NOTHING to do with that! The only "issue" here is really simple and straightforward. Is it ok to advertise that your product is capable of accessing ALL parts of the Internet, when in reality, it isn't?

    All Apple has to do to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mr_mischief (456295)

      The Internet is a communications medium and content delivery system. Flash and Java are content. The iPhone doesn't restrict people to WAP proxies and a limited number of preselected sites like some cell phones. What you can do with the content once you get it has no bearing on whether or not you have access to the site it's on.

  • "All parts of the Internet are on the iPhone" could be construed to mean "The entire Internet is on the iPhone." Not only does this mislead the buyer into assuming that their iPhone has enough storage to hold the entire Internet, but implies that bricking an iPhone would result in the bricking of the entire Internet and destruction of the global economy.

    • Well it would certainly be easier to reach the "End of the Internet". After which we can go about our merry lives never to look back on such frivolous promises of completeness and purpose to one's life by buying a phone.
  • This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites. What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

    Or perhaps we should leave it up to corporations to make the decision according to whatever criteria they see fit, no matter how misleading the result may be. "I have here a coffee mug. It gets all of the internet [for my particular definition of all of the internet]".

    Let's be clear, this isn't a matter of the government dictating what constitutes the internet, this is the judiciary making a ruling as to what the current common perception of the internet is. It is not laying down a definition, but rather ma

  • Here's one instance where I generally don't mind the government being a little heavy-handed. I wish that the US government would go after every company that advertises an 'unlimited' plan that has a cap. If you're going to use words like 'unlimited' and 'all' you should probably mean it. 'Unlimited' is probably easier to sort out than 'all' since there are plenty of fringe technologies in regards to the internet, but I think flash and java is widely used enough to draw the line.

    Ideally I wish that the gover

  • by Candid88 (1292486) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:49AM (#24766393)

    "Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?""

    The Advertising Standards Authority is not a government authority. It was established by the Advertising Association, a trade body representing (from the wiki) "advertisers, agencies, media and support services in the United Kingdom" The ASA's introduction on wikipedia reads:

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the independent self-regulatory organisation (SRO) of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom. The ASA is a non-statutory organisation and so cannot interpret or enforce legislation. However, its code of advertising practice broadly reflects legislation in many instances. The ASA is not funded by the British Government, but by a levy on the advertising industry

    This is how most media watchdogs in the UK are run. Important facts like this should really be checked before making very flawed summaries. For if Apple wanted, they could simply ignore the ASA's ruling. Most carriers would probably refuse to run the adverts, but it's most certainly not a "government decision".

  • Wrong question. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @10:50AM (#24766411) Homepage


    This raises an interesting issue of where do you draw the line between essential and non-essential features of websites.

    Which is exactly the wrong question here. The ad actually stated "Which is why all the parts of the internet are on the iPhone". It doesn't say all "essential" parts of "The Internet" are on the iPhone.

    It's very clear this is a misleading statement, as the iPhone can't possibly support everything on "The Internet". The most obvious retort is that with the "The Internet" doesn't consist of just websites accessible via a browser (or a few apps packaged into the iPhone). The statement is simply patently ridiculous, as "The Internet" isn't really a tangible thing, but rather a means of communication that's changing on a daily basis. It would be impossible for any single device to do that.

  • Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?

    To the extent that the government has the job of enforcing the truth in advertising laws, yes, they should be making that decision.

    The navel-gazing questions about "What is the internet?" and other techno-philosophical issues probably shouldn't be made by the government, at least not as laws or restrictions. But to the extent that "we" (the more-or-less civilized world) are a society of laws, sometimes those questions will have to be answered -

  • What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?

    Britain's government isn't making the decision as to what the web looks like. It is saying that Apple's claims are false advertising.

    I wish my government had such strict rules about advertising. Here in the US a consumer can't complain, only the advertiser's competitor. So if all the car companies are claiming a hundred miles per gallon, none complain, and the customer is screwed.

    Apple should change their ads. Simp

  • "All parts of the Internet" should mean all reachable machines over all reachable ports. Whether it has a web browser or not is immaterial - if I can "telnet xyz port nnn" for any legal xyz and nnn, then it can access all parts of the Internet, technically speaking.

    Actually, it's nice for a government to use human common sense over a hypertechnical reading now and then.

  • Bollocks. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karellen (104380) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:11AM (#24766771) Homepage

    The iPhone can access flash and java content perfectly.

    That it can't render it is a different argument entirely. It's particularly specious for proprietary shite like Flash which subverts the whole paradigm of the web being built around open protocols and formats.

    Jeez, I suppose my Linux/PPC box can't access "all of the web" because fscking Adobe haven't been gracious enough to release Flash for it yet, and Gnash doesn't work perfectly on all flash "content".[0]

    Utter bollocks.

    [0] "content" in used here its loosest possible sense, which includes "effectively content-free content".

  • by Raistlin77 (754120) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:17AM (#24766875)
    From the summary: "What should the web look like? Should government authorities be the ones making that decision?"

    Where the hell in the article does it even HINT at the possibility of government authorities making the decision of what constitutes what the web should look like? Oh, you're right, IT DOESN'T. This article is about a government agency, tasked with the job of policing advertising, doing its job. Nothing more, nothing less. Had timothy or Wills (story submitter) bothered to read the story, both would have seen that the second sentence perfectly sums up the entire issue.

    "The Advertising Standards Authority said that a TV promotion had falsely suggested that iPhone users would have unfettered access to the entire internet over their mobile."
  • by xpurple (1227) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:20AM (#24766931) Homepage Journal

    If it doesn't work in lynx then it stinks.

    I lack java and flash on my main browser yet I can still function just fine on the internet.

  • by superdave80 (1226592) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:39AM (#24767229)
    What do java and Flash have to do with the internet? Now individual programs are considered part of 'the internet'? What if my computer can't run Real Player? Am I no longer on 'the internet'? Sounds like more government bureaucrats that have no idea about the basics of modern technology.
  • Text. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:40AM (#24767247)

    Essential web services?

    ftp?
    gopher?
    ssh?
    IRC?
    NNTP?
    SMTP?

    Here is a better idea, if only there was a law that required any company doing commerce to design their "store/web-site" so that entry, egress, navigation, and information were easy to access by EVERYBODY regardless of physical ability. Or wait there is. ADA (US-Centric I know, but I am making a point so bear with me) states that even web-sites should use correct tags so Blind people can still use them. Text-to-speech an brail readers only work when there isn't crap in the way.

    Heaven forbid an option to view/use the WWW in plain-text would exist. The only purpose all this eye-candy serves is to advertise something.

    Proposal: make every web-design student use a text-only browser (like lynx) for the first 2 years of school.

  • by Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @11:53AM (#24767419)

    Whilst the summary's nothing more than a troll (as everyone else has said, the ASA isn't a government authority) there is at least one area where it mandates something in this area - website presentation. It's in the "Disability Discrimination Act 1995":

    (1) It is unlawful for a provider of services to discriminate against a disabled personâ"

    (a) in refusing to provide, or deliberately not providing, to the disabled person any service which he provides, or is prepared to provide, to members of the public;

    The link to the text of the law is here:
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1995/ukpga_19950050_en_4#pt3-pb1-l1g19 [opsi.gov.uk]

    It's usually interpreted as forcing web sites to be compatible with screen readers (used by the blind) and high contrast / large character screen modes (used by the partially sighted).

    It'd be interesting to see what would happen if someone who relied on a screen reader decided to take a service provider who didn't provide an accessible mode to court. If it meant that more sites had a more easily accessible "just the text, please" mode I'd welcome it.

    It's worth mentioning that Adobe apparently do have a go at making Flash content potentially accessible:
    http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/flashplayer/ [adobe.com]

  • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @12:06PM (#24767601)
    I think that the problem here stems from what Apple thought people would interpret the phrase "whole internet" to mean. They probably thought it implied that you get the regular internet, not the red-headed step child of the internet that most web enabled phones get (Not talking about most smart phones here). That claim is fairly well founded. The group that made the ruling (not the government according to some here) had a different interpretation of that line. The question is which was is more acurate for the most people (us geeks not withstanding).
  • flash? *shudder* (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jpellino (202698) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @12:34PM (#24768019)

    Flash has become the 4-cyl Hummer of the information superhighway. I don't want to sit behind a lumbering behemoth. I want info. I want it at a reasonable speed. I don't want to head over to some site and find out that it takes several minutes to get through what they want you to see and are patting themselves on the back for creating. speedtest.net is a great example of this. And very ironical. A minute of gratuitous painfully slow flash animation to get to run a 10 sec test of my connection speed. Just give me a list and let me click it.

    If Flash went away tomorrow it would be no great loss and speed up the web user experience significantly.

    Java however is a puzzlement for iPhone. My low-end Motorola L2 can run it - Apple should have had this done eons ago.

  • by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Wednesday August 27, 2008 @01:33PM (#24768801)
    Thanks, Apple. I was not under the impression that internet = WWW, but now I know I was wrong. Apple would never mislead me with their marketing claims, would they?

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