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back to article Rap for rap chap in crap rap app flap: Jay-Z blasted by privacy bods

Privacy campaigners have demanded a US watchdog halts the spread of an official app that plays rapper Jay Z's new album. The multimillionaire hip-hop megastar, also known as Mr Beyonce, released Magna Carta Holy Grail, his latest musical effort, on 4 July as a downloadable application for users of Samsung phones. The South …

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Best line ever

"One user said: “I was so shocked and appalled when I downloaded the app and saw the permissions it wanted that I actually stopped for like six seconds before hitting ‘accept’.”"

Har har - you did of course make that user up just so you could use that line. Please tell me you did. It would be worrying to think that the concentration of pure moron had reached such catastrohic proportions.

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Happy

Re: Best line ever

I take it she is also a chrome user........

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Meh

Re: Best line ever

oh the internal battle that must have occurred in said users brain as those 6 seconds ticked by -

I really want the music but the permissions are ridiculous to play the music.

I really want the music but the permissions are ridiculous to play the music.

I really want the music but the permissions are ridiculous to play the music.

I really want the music but the permissions are ridiculous to play the music.

I really want the music but the permissions are ridiculous to play the music.

I really want the music and what the hell [Accept]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Best line ever

I think the word they are looking for is sarcasm. A word clearly not understood by EPIC (and most USofA residents)

.

God help them on Amazon reviews.

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Devil

Re: Best line ever

Actually, just why anyone would "really want the 'music'" is simply beyond me. Ask for crap, get crap.

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*Applauds*

Someone had way too much fun writing that subtitle.

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Re: *Applauds*

Surely you mean headline? the sub-head is dull.

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Linux

Re: *Applauds*

I only came here because of the title

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Bronze badge

Re: *Applauds*

Agreed... sub head could have been improved on ... he's got 100 problems (now the bits are one)

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Re: *Applauds*

Someone, somewhere, got laid for either writing that headline or for reading it. Or both, doesn't matter.

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Tried drinking 10 shots and saying it 10x real fast

Rapper chap rapped in crap rap app flap

Rapper chap crap rap app flap

chap rapped in rap app flap

in crap rap app flap

crap crap crap crap crap

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Re: Tried drinking 10 shots and saying it 10x real fast

That's pretty much how the headline was written, out loud, across the office. (No comment on the amount of alcohol involved.)

C.

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Pint

The headline...

I haven't even read the article, and I don't really care what it says. Full marks!

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Anonymous Coward

So if the FTC turn this request down then will it be an EPIC fail?

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“I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man!”

I think it’s a bit unfair of anyone addressing the blame at him, I really doubt Mr Zed spends time reviewing the access permissions on apps, he probably at the most is shown how it works, changes the colour or font in some text a bit so it can be sold as being designed with him, and then gives his approval, if that. Instead the focus should be on the company actually made this app that just happened to use Jay Z’s new album as its launch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: “I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man!”

That company would be Shamsung

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Anonymous Coward

An album is just that - NOT an app!

"[...] Magna Carta Holy Grail, his latest musical effort, on 4 July as a downloadable application for users of Samsung phones. "

Any "artist" that feels their album is such a special, unique little snowflake that it simply MUST be an app, rather than an MP3 download, should be sat down by their managers, and have the realities of the world explained to them in a calm, simple manner.

Anybody who downloads and installs such an app, rather than insisting upon the album being an MP3 download, is in large part responsible for whatever misfortune befalls them.

(note: FLAC/Ogg Vorbis/etc are permissible and even desirable alternatives to MP3, naturally.)

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Re: An album is just that - NOT an app!

"calm, simple manner."

Won't work. The only thing such that would register for such prima donnas is a baseball bat up the a$$.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An album is just that - NOT an app!

Anon for reasons, but from what I know, the only involvement Jay Z had in this was to 1) make the music and 2) when Samsung came knocking with $5 million and having an album instantly go platinum, he said, 'Okay.' If anything, his managers pitched the app idea to him as they had Samsung on the line.

The making of a Samsung-only app? Samsung's decision. The hype and advertising blitz? The advertising company hired by Samsung's decision. The idea to snarf as much information as possible? Samsung and advertising company's decision. File format, server, technology choices? Advertising company and Samsung's decision. It's likely that the app and launch idea was already formed before Jay-Z ever even considered, much less asked. Jay-Z was just the bait on the customer information fishing line.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An album is just that - NOT an app!

"Any "artist" that feels their album is such a special, unique little snowflake that it simply MUST be an app, rather than an MP3 download, should be sat down by their managers, and have the realities of the world explained to them in a calm, simple manner."

So, Jay. We really need to talk about how you're marketing yourself. What's that? You have a net worth of $500 Million? You have the record for the most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200? You're ranked as the 10th most successful artist of the 2000s by Billboard? Yes, yes, that's all very well and good. But you're missing the point - David D. Hagood from The Register comments says you're doing you're marketing wrong! The Register, that's right - where everyone's an expert on everything.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An album is just that - NOT an app!

People really don't have any taste these days. Supporting people like this is like giving all your money to Microsoft or some other rich person, they don't need it.

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In fairness it's Samsung rather than Jay Z

When I got my S3 last year I went looked around the Samsung store and decided to get a couple of apps. Both needed minimal permissions but asked for everything. I took a look at some more and they all asked for access to everything.

Funnily enough I never installed the apps I wanted and have never been back.

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Mushroom

Re: In fairness it's Samsung rather than Jay Z

I'd also wonder if its not just Samsung here.

HTC's built in widgets and apps all seem to demand all the permissions possible in Android. Things like the clock and share price widgets (which at most need internet access and perhaps the ability to make a noise for an alarm) have EVERYTHING enabled in that even the stocks widget wants to know your location, your call history and the ability to do chargeable things like calls and texts. Unfortunately these things are already installed on the phone at purchase so you don't know until you go digging around in the apps part of the settings and find the widgets.

I don't see this as a fault of Android per se, more the fault of the data leaking manufacturer added bloat. That said the ability to permit/deny individual permissions to an Android app would be nice rather than the current "all or nothing" approach.

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Thumb Up

Re: In fairness it's Samsung rather than Jay Z

I wondered just that, but from an HTC perspective it was rather the same. Most apps I saw on the store wanted far too many permissions than was strictly necessary. Granted this was a couple of years ago now, it may have changed.

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An app to play one album

Can I get it on 8 trak? Because that would be just about as much use.

Just because some one (everyone) involved think they should be able to spy on people playing the music.

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Re: An app to play one album

It would work for me* - I'm set up to both play and record 8 Track.

* If I liked Rap, that is...

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Could be worse

It's Samsung, we're lucky this app didn't come preloaded.

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Alert

The last paragraph

A sexting app that self-destructs the sent pics after being watched. Why is EPIC asking for a review of this app? Hopefully it is to ensure if the pics are truly destroyed. Such an app should be pretty popular given that teens have been charged with child porn charges and put on the Sex Offender Registry for sexting!

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Anonymous Coward

In a word........ Why?

1. Why does Samsung want this info? How does it plan to mine it for profit?

2. Why does anyone think Jay Z has any talent beyond making half a billion dollars? Talk about overrated like P Diddy!. Rap is the most over-hyped empty art-form ever IMHO. Eminem being the exception....

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Paris Hilton

Re: In a word........ Why?

Isn't that "being instrumented by the recording industry to make....."

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Re: In a word........ Why?

While I agree with point 1, I have to disagree with point 2, as a person who likes hip-hop (shock horror) P Diddy is regarded as the guy who hung around with Notorious BIG for years, if anything he is a producer who occasionally raps, and for his dues he produced some half decent music back in the day, for example Mary J Blige’s first album, but he is not ‘overrated’ because he is not rated.

Eminem is not the exception, Eminem is the overrated one of the three, he had two maybe three and a half good albums, with some really good songs on the first two, but when you have Dr Dre behind you they are not going to be terrible, and while he has got skills, if he was black no-one would care, go up to your average Daily Fail reader and ask them if they have heard of Talib Kweli, Raekwon, Mos Def, Common, Rakim or Nas, they will have no idea, at a push they will know 2Pac, but everyone knows Eminem, now ask them to name any songs, “That one with Dido?”

Jay Z on the other hand has made hit album after hit album for the last 20 years, credit where credit is due, Jay Z has never been afraid to do things he finds challenging or different, from doing an album with Linken Park to crying all over Song Cry (the live version with the aforementioned Mary J He continues to influence the music scene , The Black Album is easily in the top 10 best albums of the last 10 years not rap albums, just albums

Even though I am a much bigger fan of Nas I can admit this.

As for ‘Rap’ being over hyped and empty, its possibly because all anyone hears is the pop crap, judging Hip Hop by its pop form is like judging any other type of music by its pop form, so instead of Led Zeppelin and the Beatles you get Busted and One Direction.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In a word........ Why?

Much of the music is stolen anyway, taking the base of someone else's song, beefing up the rhythms and then talking about how angry they are because their new diamond encrusted iPhone has a scratch on it.

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Meh

Re: In a word........ Why?

Yes, and this is why Enimem is at least original in this regard - there's even a skit on one of his albumns joking about it.

I would have to agree though that his early work is much better - not sure I'd bother beyond The Enimem Show.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In a word........ Why?

@Maharg

As OP I have to say Kudos to your reply!

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App Developer Default Settings?

I don't write apps, so this may be a dumb question to most of you, but could this and other instances of "all or nothing permissions" be a default setting when compiling apps? Isn't it possible to fine-tune permissions to only those necessary for the app to function?

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Anonymous Coward

Apps are so overrated.... the need for permissions so underrated....

Yes its possible but it can vary by phone and Mobile OS. Currently the breakdown of permissions is a total mess. But here's the rub.... If you add more breakdowns or grouping of permissions you may completely lose the novice user and that's a large user base!

I loath the current status quo. Default permissions should be set to Maximum Privacy. After an app install, the user should have to figure out how to explicitly enable permissions granting personal-data access etc. There is too much of a brain dead fire and forget mentality to installing apps. Users need to understand the trade-off of risk and reward for app functionality. They should have to read reviews too first. Otherwise, If they don't get it then the app should be installed in a benign state only.

Overall this issue is like ETAGS / Flash Cookies... The industry feels its bad for business to lock-down privacy, so everything is left open.... But that's real BAD FOR US!

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Coat

Re: App Developer Default Settings?

These aren't really uncommon permissions for an app.

Read contacts: Lets you text a mate a link for a song

Internet: Probably to download the songs to make the app smaller

Location: Usual marketting thing to find out how popular it is per city, helps advertising in the real world

Phone information: Probably embeds information into the songs to find out if you put it on PirateBay

Modify phone contents: Download the songs to the phone

Wake from sleep: Stops you using the app with the screen off so you are more likely to click an advert

Invasive depends on how it is used, like the article says, it doesn't mean a permission is used for bad things. I have installed plenty of free apps that have "services that charge you money" so you can send a premium text/call to unlock a feature in a game/app yet have never used it and have never had a premium text/call on my bill.

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Pint

Best El Reg headline EVAR.

It reads like a headline in an old Monty Python news parody or something -- and that's a good thing.

(Sadly, I can only include one icon. Consider the beer-spattered keyboard icon posted here, too.)

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Coat

Re: Best El Reg headline EVAR.

I still remember the subheader for this article.

Crab Shack mock cock cop attack shock. Tee-hee....

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"collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the Magna Carta app"

and

"deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data"

These two points, right here. These are the core of the major problem with Android. Apps that require permissions outside their remit, and that are allowed to force such requirements as a condition of installation. (I wonder if there might be a false advertising charge there - calling them permissions when in fact they're requirements. May as well make the bastards call a spade a spade!)

Both of these points need to be countered, preferably by force of law since Google and their ilk have clearly shown they can't be trusted to self-regulate on this: 1) Apps should be required by law to demonstrate why they need any given permission, and 2) Google should be required by law to adjust Android so that a user can install an app without granting it any permissions (but if point 1 is addressed then users have no right to complain when an app doesn't work as advertised if they refuse, since it's demonstrated a need for the permission to function.) I'm right behind the EFF on this one.

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Bronze badge

Reasonable response

Fair play to Jy Zed for seemingly accepting the criticism.

And top marks to El Reg for both the headline and the sub. Outstanding once again, chaps.

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Coat

Easy

Just download the app by Jay-Z's lesser-known brother, Ctrl-Z, and all will be undone...

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Alternative to Cash Cow business model

So there we were in prev Reg forums wondering what business model could possibly replace the media Cash Cow - so ubiquitous that contravening it (i.e. copying) is "theft".

And here it is:

We give away free music / vids / whatever.

The price? Your details, which we can sell on, or data-mine, or use to try to sell you more stuff.

Not necessarily a problem so long as you know what you're getting into.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, your turn Fansungs.

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