Controversy Stories May 5, 2014

Apple donates $500,000 to local anti-poverty charity SF Gives

Apple, alongside a handful of other tech companies, is reaching into its pockets for local San Francisco anti-poverty charity SF Gives. According to a report from Fortune, Apple is one of many companies that has donated $500,000 towards the total goal of $10 million that the organization is attempting to raise for local initiatives.

For the most part, signing up high-profile tech companies hasn’t presented a huge challenge thanks to Benioff and Lurie’s Silicon Valley connections. Still, while SF Gives is close to hitting the $10 million mark by its Wednesday deadline, 10 or so companies have declined to chip in. According to Lurie, their reasons vary. “For some, they feel like they’re doing their own thing: They’re giving back [already], and they’re involved,” he says. Other companies don’t generate revenue and feel it’s inappropriate to give away their investors’ money. “Then, there are others who just fundamentally believe that a company shouldn’t be doing philanthropy and that individuals should do it,” Lurie says.

The donation comes as Google and other big tech companies have been involved in controversies over their impact on the housing market and other aspects of smaller San Francisco neighbourhoods in recent months. There have been several cases of protestors blocking buses that shuttle Google employees to and from its headquarters and some even showing up at the homes of Google employees. Compare Apple’s relatively low donation of $500,000 to SF Gives— a fraction of one executive bonus— to the $6.8 million Google just gave to fund transit for low-income youth in the city following the controversies.

Controversy Stories April 16, 2013

Leaked document apparently shows AppGratis enticed developers with potential high App Store rankings

Business Insider has obtained a leaked document that seems to show that AppGratis enticed developers with potential high iTunes App Store rankings. According to the document, AppGratis said that if a developer invests $100,000 with them, an app will likely reach the top 5 spots on the App Store top charts.

Of course, reaching the top of the App Store rankings is highly lucrative as hundreds of millions of iOS devices are given a prominent view to the top of the App Store charts.

AppGratis was reportedly originally pulled from the App Store for mimicking Apple’s App Store and for sending its users ad-like push notifications. Of course, the aforementioned apparent move by AppGratis to inflate rankings is a serious concern for Apple and it is something that Apple, of course, wants to keep out of its App Store. Interestingly, AppGratis, yesterday, seems to have denied participating in inflating App Store rankings.

Since the App Store algorithm has been based on download velocity only for so long, advertisers know exactly what they are doing.Reaching the the top of any App Store is a simple and logical equation. But we’re not in this business.

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