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Is anyone awake over at the Apple app store?

By Matthew Shaer / April 23, 2009

Anyone awake in there?

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Apple's application store is beloved by developers, who pay a small fee to get their masterpieces uploaded to the iTunes marketplace. (Some of those developers even get massively, crazily, rapidly rich.) But the same laxity that helps facilitate the creation of a wide swath of great iPhone/iPod games is now being blamed for the proliferation of some very iffy content. (Among the recent smash hits was a digital update of the Whoopie Cushion. Of what possible edifying value the "Air-O-Matic" possessed, we will not venture to guess.)

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Wait, seriously?

The latest offender is Baby Shaker, a game created by a company called Sikalosoft. The idea is pretty simple: quiet down an on-screen baby by shaking your iPhone. The harder you shake, the quicker the baby quiets down; eventually, a pair of red X's appears over the baby's eyes. According to PC World, the description of the game was as follows:

On a plane, on the bus, in a theater. Babies are everywhere you don't want them to be! They're always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying. Before Baby Shaker there was nothing you could do about it.

Gone, baby, gone

Today, after a swirling dust storm was raised by parents' and child welfare groups, Apple agreed to yank the controversial game. But more than a few questions remain. Chief among them: Who, exactly, approved this thing in the first place? And what will Apple do to guarantee we don't get a repeat performance from their vetting team?

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