Apple has a long list of design patents for the iPhone. These specificly only cover cosmetic elements. The US is the only country in the world that uses the word patent for this. In other countries they are called registered designs.
Versions before 4.1 are extra vulnerable because stagefright has more privileges in those versions; I think the difference is that stage fright is sandboxed in 4.1+, but not in previous versions. So, 4.1+ is limited, an understatement, to unfettered access to the camera, microphone and storage barring the use of an additional exploit. 4.0- is totally screwed.
I think iOS updates have to jump through the same carrier hoops as Android. The difference is that Apple only has a small number of devices that need to be tested so it's faster and easier for them to roll out updates.
In my experience most of the terribleness comes from users deeming themselves the keeper of the article and revert every change that isn't made by them even simple typo fixes, mistyped links or formatting errors. It's even possible to automate this using functionality built in to Wikipedia. Higher level users gain access to a feature called Rollback that undos all the changes made by the last editor. I've read that some people set up scripts that automatically rollback every change except those made by them.
There's also the small difference of LTE being hundreds of times faster than EDGE in practice. We've gone from EDGE speeds in the tens of kilobytes per second to LTE speeds in single megabytes or even tens of megabytes per second. The telecom companies in the US overcharge like crazy, but I doubt AT&T can provide unlimited LTE at any cost let alone a reasonable one.
According to the article, DHS overstated the severity of the problem and corrected themselves later. Of course, everyone remembers the false report and never the correction. God knows what EDA was told by DHS at first.
The interesting thing is the word solely. Hypothetically, if this app had covered several modern conflicts around the globe rather than specifically Syria it would not have been banned. I get the feeling Apple is trying curb apps that are overtly or covertly racist and there's always going to be legitimate apps that are afoul. On the other hand, the guidelines did originally suggest writing a book if you had some political viewpoint to express.
Pixel was completely misused in the article. He's working an image scaling algorithm for photos. That isn't saying that it's not noteworthy, interesting or important; it looks like it works great and I'm not aware of anything that produces results that good on photos. There is the Hqx family of filters, but those were designed for emulators and aren't meant to be used with more than 256 colors.
MNG is the "official" animated version. APNG was rejected as an official extension. However, APNG is backwards compatible with PNG, a static image is displayed instead of an animated one in browsers that don't support it, and it also supported by more browsers. Firefox 3+ and Opera 9.5+ support APNG, but only Konqueror currently supports MNG out of the box.