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+ - Ask Slashdot: How can App Publishers earn more than Beggars & Buskers? ->

Submitted by seoras
seoras (147590) writes "As an App publisher I'm getting more and more fed up with 1 or 2 star "reviews" from blackmailers offering "5 stars if you make it free".
I could make the App paid only, but that's breaking a perfectly good system for those who aren't so pathetically twisted and mean.
Also an in-app purchase makes it much harder to pirate the app and piracy of Apps isn't getting any better.
This inability to get a pirated copy easily may well be a factor in causing the blackmailer reviews.
This is a minority, not a majority, that seem to think its OK to demand other people's labours for free.
Some use the "contact me" button within my App to send me hate mail demanding I make my App free.
My standard reply has become "If I was busking on the street or begging would you still grudge me $0.99?"
With iTunes you can request that reviews be removed. I use this once or twice a year at most.
Lately though Apple's support people just ignore requests with a blank "your request has been reviewed and denied".
So the middle guy isn't helping either. This will be a problem across all mobile app platforms and not limited to Apple.
Tomorrow I'm raising my in-app prices after reading this blog post which makes an excellent point.
Why have we all dropped our prices to the lowest denominator? It's making no difference to consumer behaviour and we can't make a living.
http://mattgemmell.com/closed-...
"...Shame on you for pricing at $0.99 to chase the kind of customers who, well, think a dollar is anything but a trivial, throwaway amount of money that won’t even remotely get you a reasonable cup of coffee. Get some self-respect. Quit encouraging bad behaviour, and ruining the party for everyone else.
A price-tag of one dollar is passive smoking. You’re killing people around you, for your own short-term benefit. But again, that wasn’t the case here. It wasn’t piracy due to a high price. Instead, this was the endemic casual piracy of convenience...."
What else can be done other than trying to ignore the blackmailing reviewers and make the most out of those who are willing to pay?
Is there some way App Publishers can empower themselves collectively because as individuals we seem to be the most powerless in this 3 way relationship?"

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+ - High School kid builds his own Iron Man costume. "...Google helped a lot"->

Submitted by seoras
seoras (147590) writes "A teenager has told the BBC that his self-built Iron Man suit has led to offers from the US to create more.
Archie Whitehead, 17, told the BBC's Richard Williams that he spent 300 hours building the fibreglass suit for a school project.
However, he said he is now considering turning the one-off into a career in costume design."

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