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    A Free Syrian Army fighter shoots a mortar against Syrian Army positions in the Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.

    App Store Lands a Mortar on the Web

    © AP Photo / Manu Brabo
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    The App Store has launched a Mortar Ballistic Computer app (MBC) which "provides rapid and accurate firing data for mortars of all calibers."

    There is no shortage of ballistic calculators in the App Store as well as other app websites, but they are designed overwhelmingly for small arms practice, which is no surprise given the obsession with guns in the US and some other countries. However, mortars are something entirely different. They are used in armed conflicts, mostly by rebels, as they are easier to get, hide and transport than heavy artillery or tanks. 

    The App Store rates MBC at 9+, which means that it "may contain mild or infrequent occurrences of cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence, and mild or infrequent mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content which may not be suitable for children under the age of 9."

    However, there is nothing cartoony or fantastic about the photos of fairly grown-up rebels using iPads to aim their mortars in real battle. 

    MBC - Mortar ballistic computer. Projectile trajectory calculator
    App Store
    MBC - Mortar ballistic computer. Projectile trajectory calculator

    The name of the MBC developer hints at a possible area of usage of his app, and the name is Ukrainian. Will his app, costing about 20 dollars to buy, pour more oil onto the fire of the conflict in East Ukraine?

    Sputnik has put this question to the developer…

    The App Store is no stranger to offering controversial apps. In November 2012, Boyfriend Maker, a dating sim game rated age 4+, was criticized for "references to violent sexual acts and pedophilia."

    A revised version called Boyfriend Maker Plus was re-released by Apple six months later. A year ago Apple removed the marijuana social networking app, MassRoots, from its app store because it promoted "excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances."

    The MBC app has also aroused controversy among internet users who were quick to suggest "related" apps that could be peddled together with the mortar aiming tool: "explosives calculator for a suicide bomber's vest", "how to enhance your Kalashnikov in field conditions" and an "audio app for correct pronunciation of 'allahu akbar'".


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