Another iPhone application slashed from App Store

By Dan Moren, Macworld |  Mobile & Wireless, App Store, iPhone applications

There's a serial killer on the loose, and he's picking off iPhone applications one by one. The Machiavellian criminal has already done away with NetShare, Box Office, and I Am Rich--now he's set his sights on an application near and dear to his own heart: Slasher. The application in question has vanished; its last known whereabouts place it squarely in the vicinity of the App Store, the same place the other three missing applications were last seen.

Perhaps the killer in question--whose name, reliable police informants tell us rhymes with Snapple--merely intends to throw us off the scent with this latest Dexter-inspired move. For Slasher was nothing other than a free application that would display an image of a knife and play a "horror" sound when the user made a stabbing motion with the phone.

Developer Josef W. Wankerl lamented his app's disappearance, fearing the worst. While authorities initially gave him no indication of why Slasher might have been targeted by the killer, they later told him that the application's content could be considered "objectionable", citing a little known regulation that reads:

Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.

Of course, this raises more questions than it answers. For example, if Slasher's content was so objectionable, what was it doing in the App Store in the first place? And with such a broad motive, how can the killer be tracked down? Especially when his methods could be deemed almost arbitrary.

For his part, Wankerl is out for justice. He's appealed to the authorities to explain precisely what part of Slasher is "objectionable." Could that blow this case wide open? Might we at last discover where NetShare, BoxOffice, and I Am Rich are buried? Or will we only be left with more questions about this mysterious killer's motives?

[Hat tip: John Gruber via Twitter]

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