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Apple Rattled By Shaken Baby App


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Let's go down the list:

Application declaring how rich you are: Bad.

Program that gives you movie theater info in your area: Rejected.

A photo of a baby that wails until it's shaken to death: Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!

Putting a spotlight on its mercurial approval process, Apple (AAPL) initially signed off on an app that allows users to simulate infanticide. Selling for $0.99, "Baby Shaker" -- developed by Sikalosoft -- went live this past Monday.

Various sketches of infants appear on the iPhone screen, accompanied by incessant screaming and a timer. Once the device is shaken, the timer stops, and 2 red Xs appear over the baby's eyes.

The description for this delightful game: "See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!"

As might have been expected by anyone with any foresight at all, folks didn't care for it much.

The complaints were spearheaded by Jennipher Dickens, the founder of a nonprofit organization that focuses on the prevention of precisely this kind of child abuse. Dickens's son, Christopher, was severely injured after being shaken by his father.

In an email to CNET News, Dickens writes:

"As a mother of a child who was violently shaken at 7 weeks old, causing a severe brain injury, and the founder of a national organization for Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention (as well as the communications director for a national organization helping children with brain injuries), I don't have to tell you how much this horrifies me."

Around Wednesday at 1 p.m., Apple removed the app from the iTunes Store. The company declined to comment on the situation.

Which led some sources to believe it's too busy approving an app that simulates necrophilia.
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