Web

Apple removes book from iTunes bookstore due to racy cover?

apple removes book from itunes bookstore due to racy cover appleproofNever particularly regarded as being particularly active in the fight against censorship, Apple has reportedly removed an eBook from the iTunes bookstore not because of the content of the book, but because of the image used on the book’s cover.

The novel in question is Salwa Al Neimi’s The Proof of the Honey, described by its publisher Europa Editions as “far more than an erotic novel, [but instead] a surprising and illuminating voyage into the history of Arabic literature.” Which isn’t to say that it’s not an “erotic novel”; Europa’s own description of the plot goes a little something like this, after all: “Syrian scholar working in Paris is invited to contribute to a conference on the subject of classic erotic literature in Arabic. The invitation provides occasion for her to evoke memories from her own life, to exult in her personal liberty, her lovers, her desires, and to revisit moments of shared intimacy with other women as they discuss life, love, and sexual desire.”

Whether or not that that internal content is the reason for Apple’s removal of the book is unclear. Certainly, when Europa announced on its Facebook page that the title had been removed, it said that the company hadn’t mentioned the content, with Apple instead “citing the inappropriateness of the cover.”

Europa didn’t seem convinced, however. “One would assume, then, they would also consider classical nudes by Ingres, Renoir, and Botticelli, not to mention photography by Man Ray inappropriate,” the Facebook post continued. “What about New York Book Review editions of Dud Avocado, Tyrant Banderas, or our very own The Days of Abandonment? NOPE! All are available in the iTunes bookstore.” In a later comment to the thread, the publisher added “The author is Syrian-born. Is it too much to think that this might have something to do with their decision?”

This isn’t the first time that The Proof of the Honey has faced censorship; the title has been banned in some Arab countries for its sexuality. Al Neimi addressed this response in a 2010 interview: “I was at first surprised by the intensity of the commotion surrounding The Proof of the Honey, as I had assumed that writing about sexuality was no longer considered taboo in our society,” she said. “Perhaps this is because I no longer took Arab censorship seriously in the age of the Internet… Today, more than three years after the publication of my novel, I understand what a shock it must have been for the Arab reader to be able to read about sexual experience in this way. I am constantly reminded of this whenever I follow heated debates about my novel on Internet forums. It is almost as if I had brought to light elementary questions about sexuality that had previously been hidden in Arab society.”

Clearly, that unease extends beyond Arab society, and into Apple society, if not Western society as a whole. After all, the title is still available for Kindle and Nook.

Movies & TV

Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark now has a release date

The Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark will star James Gandolfini's son Michael as teenage Tony Soprano, while Goodfellas star Ray Liotta will return to his mob movie roots in an unspecified role.
Gaming

Dominate in the Dark Zone with our guide to leveling fast in The Division 2

Loot shooters like The Division 2 are all about the endgame for some players. To get the best gear and play the hardest content, you need to hit the level cap. Our Division 2 leveling guide will help you get there as quickly as possible.
Movies & TV

The truth is out there: Here are the 10 best episodes of The X-Files

From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes of The X-Files from all 11 seasons of the award-winning series that made audiences want to believe that the truth - scary as it might be - is out there.
Home Theater

10 apocalyptic TV shows that make the end of civilization binge-worthy

There are plenty of ways civilization can get wiped out, and it can make for some great TV. Each of these series showcases a terrifying event that changes civilization as we know it. These are the best post-apocalyptic shows on TV.
Computing

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Computing

Happy 30th, World Wide Web. Here’s how you changed the world, for good and bad

Thirty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee proposed the basics of the World Wide Web to the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Here's how the web has changed the world, and how the world may soon change the web.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on the ways to watch all the March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Web

Privacy-focused DuckDuckGo added to Chrome as a default search option

DuckDuckGo is now listed as a default search option on Google’s popular Chrome browser. The privacy-focused search engine was added this week as part of the browser's latest update.
Computing

Netgear’s new Nighthawk Pro Gaming router keeps you connected at a nice price

Netgear's latest router expands its Nighthawk range with a $200 entry. It's still fast and helps reduce lag in gaming, but it does it at the lowest price of a Nighthawk Pro Gaming router yet.
Mobile

Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.