I know that not everyone has an iPhone, and I know that even fewer people actually develop software for that (or indeed any) platform. But friends, I'm here to tell you, there is a seedy underbelly to app development that you may not know about, and we here at The Crooked Gremlins are ready to shed some light on a motherfucker.

Anyone who knows their radio history remembers the payola scams. Basically, record companies would pay radio stations to play their songs. It's where "pay to play" comes from. The Wired article confirms that there are sites out there doing precisely the same thing, but with iPhone Apps.

Now, are we exaggerating? For our lawyer's sake, let's say yes. But I'm looking at the last 25 reviews by one of these sites, and here's how the scores break down:

  • 1-5/10: None.
  • 6/10: 1
  • 7/10: 4
  • 8-9/10: 22

Maybe these guys just get lucky and only have to review completely awesome apps all the time. Possibly. I couldn't say.

What would this mean for most people? Not much. Just another subsection of the market being exploited by people who are incapable of getting above-board work. But make no mistake; when they came for the iPhone App Developers, you said nothing.

Also, point-of-interest: the map in panel 3 actually is a map of Asian Nail Salons in Downtown LA. A subtle nod to those few crazy months I spent on the West coast, wallowing in beautiful weather and soul-crushing taxation.

In less satirical news, Viacom has apparently been caught uploading its own material to YouTube even while they sue Google for infringing on their copyrights. I don't have a comment here, I just wanted to mention that when it comes to robber-baron-ing, the media conglomerates have those steel-selling jokers beat.