Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Towards a Permission-Based Web

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the walls-come-a-tumblin'-down dept.

The Internet 230

On his blog over at RedMonk, analyst James Governor looks at the walled garden we seem to be moving into, and possible cracks in the wall. "As we rush to purchase Apple products and services on Cupertino’s monochrome treadmill of shiny shiny, I can’t help thinking the open web community is losing something vital — a commitment to net neutrality and platform openness. If a single company can decide what plays on the network and what does not, in arbitrary fashion, how can that be net neutrality? ... Is the AppStore a neutral network? Should it be? Is Comcast, the company net neutrality proponents love to hate, really the only company we should be wary of? Pipe level neutrality is surely only one layer of a stack. The wider market always chooses proprietary wrappers — every technology wave is co-opted by a master packager. Success in the IT industry has always been about packaging — doing the best job of packaging technologies as they emerge. Twas ever thus." Governor ends his essay with an optimistic look at Android, which he says "potentially fragments The Permission Based Web, and associated data ownership-based business models."

cancel ×

230 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

we care (2, Funny)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925069)

We on slashdot are pretty much the only ones who care about net neutrality. My dad(*) doesn't have a clue why it's important.

The App Store is the most flagrant example of non-neutral app built on top of the Internet. But if you were to push the argument further, I have restrictions on how many pictures I can upload on Flickr. Is that neutral?

(*) I'm using my dad as a stereotype instead of my mother because I recently learned that using mothers as examples of clueless users is sexist. So I'm applying some affirmative action

--
help build the web community where fans get involved with the bands they love [fairsoftware.net]

Re:we care (5, Insightful)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925341)

The App Store is a store, not a bazaar. They approve/deny products just as any store would. You don't see people complaining that they can't just open up a booth to sell their own CDs in the local record store. I'm a supporter of net neutrality, but why does everything that uses the internet have to be neutral? I take net neutrality to mean everyone has equal access to the internet, not that developers can sell apps on the App Store without going through the current process of getting approved.

Re:we care (0)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925455)

The App Store is not like a record store in a mall... in case you haven't noticed in real life you have choices.

The app store is like the state-run department store in some communist country, where everything is approved by the loving hand of the state lest you be exposed to anything counter-revolutionary. But don't worry, we have everything you need comrade! Ignore the capitalist scum, demanding freedom.

Re:we care (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925473)

Exactly, because you were required to buy an iphone/ipod touch. There wasn't a million other choices you could have picked. Nope, it's Apple or nothing.

Re:we care (1, Interesting)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925527)

Wrong. If you buy a car, you expect to be able to take it to your own mechanic. If you buy a phone, you expect to be able to put your own apps on it. This vendor lock-in BS is not acceptable. Did I buy the device or didn't I? Then how dare you tell me how I can use it.

I wish more people would choose to not buy those things. Fuck Apple.

Re:we care (-1, Flamebait)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925557)

You are fucking piece of shit. And that's being nice.

I own an iPod Touch. I put my own apps on it. I put apps other people wrote on it. Apple doesn't stop me.

You really need to gain some perspective. It might help you smell like something other than shit.

Re:we care (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925645)

You are fucking piece of shit. And that's being nice.

I own an iPod Touch. I put my own apps on it. I put apps other people wrote on it. Apple doesn't stop me.

You really need to gain some perspective. It might help you smell like something other than shit.

I don't know about a permission-based web. But I wish your mom had a permission-based vagina. Then every trucker in town couldn't leave a big juicy deposit of sticky semen inside her and you probably would not have been born. That's cuz the trucker would need permission. When yo mama just opens her legs and says "CUM AND GET IT!" the way she does, there's no concept of permission. It's cum one, cum all. Now we get little snot-nosed bastards like you who love artificially locked-down systems AND call anyone who doesn't like it a fucking piece of shit, as if to say "How DARE you dislike something I like! Do you not know who I AM?!"

It's all because of your mother's lecherous indiscretions.

Re:we care (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925565)

Mother, may I make a call?

Re:we care (3, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925757)

If you buy a phone, you expect to be able to put your own apps on it.

Your analogy breaks down right there. When I moved from my Treo 600 to an iPhone, I didn't expect to be able to move my apps/games with me. Neither if I moved to a blackberry. Sure there will be some great devs who do cross-platform stuff (PopCap: Bookworm), but that's because they take the time and effort to write it in different platforms

The iPhone is NOT a car. You can't die by using a phone, and the phone industry is not nearly as regulated as the auto industry.

In short, I have NO expectation that I should be able to move my apps from one platform to another, willy-nilly. Maybe if everything was copyleft'd and we were all using ports-capable OS's, sure. But I have no expectation of that any time soon.

Re:we care (3, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925849)

I wish more people would choose to not buy those things.

Precisely. You don't like the lockdown and you wish people chose not to buy it. That's your right.

But.. people DO choose to buy these things, knowing that Apple can be real assholes about controlling what you've bought from them. Not only do they choose them, they get in long lines and pay outrageous amounts of money for it.

But, in the end, they are choosing. Which means there's a free market out there - you can buy an Android, or a Blackberry, or a -- god, there are hundreds of smartphones out there, just pick one.

And most of the other vendors are pretty good about apps. Blackberry has their own (thinly-veiled clone of the Apple) app store, but I can also install software directly from the authors and/or download it and install it from my desktop. I'm not tied to it. And I have yet to download anything on my Blackberry that AT&T has told me I cannot use.

Re:we care (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925859)

That's one reason why I really like my Android phone (HTC Hero). There's an App Store, but I also have control over whether to allow apps from other sources. (And I think that the App Store itself is much less controlled.)

Plus, apps can fundamentally change how the device works. You can customize the heck out of this phone. But it's still very slick and has a beautiful UI.

I think Android is going to gain a ton of traction with users soon. It should, anyway. It rocks.

Re:we care (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925943)

I find the car analogy disingenuous at best.

If I buy a Ford, I can't start throwing SAAB suspension parts and Volkswagon exchaust with a Honda engine in it. Doesn't work like that.

You chose to buy the product, and thus you chose to limit yourself to a particular mechanic. You locked yourself in, not Apple. And as long as Apple isn't telling ISPs to stop users from connecting to the Zune store, or eMusic, or Napster, or any other download service.

As far as apps? Tell me I can put T-Mobile software onto a Verizon phone. iPhone is no different than any other provider who sells apps for their devices. They've just done it better than, say, Motorola.

(posted in the wrong nesting, initially)

Re:we care (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926119)

"If I buy a Ford, I can't start throwing SAAB suspension parts and Volkswagon exchaust with a Honda engine in it. Doesn't work like that."

Don't be a retard. That's a technical limitation. What we are discussing is Apple's business policy decision to impose limits. Do they have right to impose limits on their customers in order to protect their own business? Yes. Is it retarded? Also yes.

Re:we care (1)

cabjf (710106) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926393)

Do customers have the freedom to go elsewhere if those business limitations bother them? Yes. Will nerds on the internet continue to complain that company xyz isn't free and open enough for their taste and therefore an inferior choice for everyone? Also yes.

If Apple starts losing enough customers of the openness of their platform, then it's their decision to make changes or not. That's pretty much how an open market with competition works.

Re:we care (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926433)

A technical limitation that was purposefully imposed in order to protect the business of each car manufacturer. Sure they could decide to standardize all the parts, and allow people to purchase from any vendor... But then they'd risk losing their customers to the competition.

I don't see the disconnect here. Apple is within its rights to lock down its own devices in order to provide a uniform, quality experience. Same as MS has the ability and right to do.

Preventing people from using other devices is an issue, but once you purchase a device, you purchase it with the understandings of its limitations, arbitrarily imposed or otherwise. It's a consumer decision, not some evil corporation locking of the rest of the world to you.

Re:we care (2, Insightful)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926051)

If you buy a phone, you expect to be able to put your own apps on it.

I really, really doubt this is predominantly true even on Slashdot. At least 99% of the general population doesn't have their own apps in any way, shape, or form. Most phones don't have any way to host any sort of app that isn't burned into the ROM.

Besides, if you feel that way about your iPhone, jailbreak it. You can put your own apps on it, you just can't do it the Apple-approved way.

Re:we care (1)

FritoP (1667239) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926099)

Wow, you really are a dumbass. Sorry, but our society has developed laws and contracts which can extend beyond the fact that you have a piece of plastic in your hand. This is why you can't write your name on the front of a book you bought at Barnes and Noble and sell it as your own, even though you bought the book.

Re:we care (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926229)

Did I buy the device or didn't I? Then how dare you tell me how I can use it.

Is that their fault, or yours for not learning what you were getting before you got it? Me, I'd just go with "don't buy it in the first place" -- there's nothing I need in the app store. Some things I might want, but certainly not enough to lay down that much cash for a restricted device. If I did cave in and buy it, I sure as hell wouldn't blame anyone for the consequences of my decision except me.

For your *cough* great car example, it's more like buying a car and signing an agreement up front that only manufacturer-approved parts may be used in your car, or else you void the warranty.

Re:we care (1)

ragefan (267937) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926255)

Your car analogy is wrong, because while you can choose what mechanic you have work on it, you are still limited to which replacement parts fit on your car. You can not just walk into an auto parts store and say "Hand me the closest alternator on the shelf, that's the one *I* want use", and expect that it will work.

Re:we care (2, Insightful)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926451)

Wrong again, but thanks for playing.

If you buy a car, you surely expect such liberty. Nobody is under such delusions when purchasing an iPhone--they know it comes with a few apps, and they know they can go to the AppStore and purchase what's there.

It's funny, really: there was a time (barely a few years ago) when most of the tech press laughed out loud at the iPhone for being nothing more than a mere toy. There was a void in the market and Apple filled it--apparently successfully enough that people enjoy purchasing and using the product in spite of the limitations once derided by the press.

Now the same people are complaining Apple is locking them into it's own proprietary formats and product selections, when it did so from the very beginning--you know, way before they decided that the toy was actually quite nifty, and bought one.

        -dZ.

Re:we care (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926487)

What? you expect your phone to be completely open??? Shit, had an LG from Verizon the ON THE FUCKING BOX (Verizon's own box with their own logos) indicated the hpone offered a connection kit, bluetooth sync and more. Those were LG's specs for the device, but Verizon DISABLED all those features. If I took a picture with the integrated camera, i could not get it to my PC in any way other that paying verizon a charge per image for the transfer. Sprint was WORSE with a moto i had from them.

Apple has an open development system. There are just simple rules. 85,000 apps, about 10,000 good ones, all in one place, most $5 or less. Just simple: don't violate trademarks, don't duplicate generic device functionality, play in your own snadbox, don't cause security issues. And you know what? most of the rules are not APPLE'S rules, but AT&T and the other providers, since the iPhone was the first device capable of half this shit.

Oh, and you forget, web apps are wide open.

Oh, and that car you bought, while it's under warranty, you can only take it to AUTHORIZED repair centers. Once the warrty is out, you're on your own. Apple is the same way; either pay to unlock it, wait your 2 years, or simply jailbreak... Do whatever you want, but no warranty if you do.

Vendor lock in? I tell you what, I'd rather have a "restrictive" app market on a stable device I like holding in my hand for which under heavy use I get a full day's battery, and continual free software upgrades, vs an Android where the apps are limited, buggy, expensive, and suck the phone dry in 4-6 hours.

Re:we care (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925511)

Welcome in Apple world.

Re:we care (2, Insightful)

Garridan (597129) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925795)

....but... I've never bought an Apple product in my life. Well, my wife has an iPod nano, but she uses MP3s she's ripped from CDs, and she doesn't use the iStore. I've never sought Apple's permission to do anything online. I'm failing to see the problem here.

Re:we care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925575)

Is it the case that you can't install any software except through the store? That does sound like a problem if that's the case.

But there ought to be some kind of repository that's been vetted in some way for security, compatibility, and possibly even general quality. My time is valuable to me, and I definitely don't have the time to try all the millions of clones of bejewled or whatever. If I want a game to play, I want to have only a few selections from each type. If I need a text editor, narrowing the field down to a small number of capable programs with clear differences is a service that has value to me.

I'm not saying that third parties shouldn't be able to sell their own software, only that offloading the product research onto someone else is useful.

Re:we care (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925797)

I dunno, I buy all of my music from Amazon via MP3 or used CDs. I don't use iTunes, and since I can't even search their store to see what they have without installing the software, I don't mess with it. From what I've heard Amazon seems to usually have better prices anyway - my wife was looking at a song on iTunes for $1.29, whereas I could get it for $.99. We don't have choice?

Re:we care (2, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925801)

Precisely. In real life, I have choices. Which is why I'm using a Blackberry. Apple offered the velvet handcuffs, and I declined. It was real life, and I had choices.

Apple has a monopoly on iPhones like Toyota has a monopoly on the Camry. Apple does not have any more of a monopoly over the SMARTPhone market than Toyota has a monopoly on the 4-door sedan market.

The iPhone comes with a free exclusive lockdown to the App Store, unless you jailbreak it. It's part of the deal. iPhone buyers know this going in, and if they don't they need to educate themselves on what they are buying before they sign for a 2-year contract and plunk down the bucks.

It would be nice if the App Store was a neutral network, but it's not. It's a business, designed specifically to cater to a willing customer base who knew how Cupertino feels about their product - that no one can sully/enhance it with features they didn't intend to be there in the first place.

Re:we care (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925821)

And like any state run enterprise they'll implode under their own weight. Case in point: Apple touts 100,000 apps. When my local fox affiliate feels the need to publish an app to access their site or Nationwide Insurance publishes an app to post a claim for your latest wreck, why have an "app for that" at all? I thought that's what the internet was for. Why wall it off?
To me it's just silly...

Re:we care (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926233)

The App Store is not like a record store in a mall... in case you haven't noticed in real life you have choices.

The app store is like the state-run department store in some communist country, where everything is approved by the loving hand of the state lest you be exposed to anything counter-revolutionary. But don't worry, we have everything you need comrade! Ignore the capitalist scum, demanding freedom.

You talk about a typical capitalist monopoly and get confused by saying that it is somehow like a communist regime. The computer industry is capitalism at its best, with its pros and its cons.
A totalitarian regime would either not let you access the store, or give you everything preloaded, and pushed by the central administration.
The communist (not sovietic, Marx-style communist), version of the apple store would be more like a only GPLv3 wiki-store where you have to pay apps with code or testing.

Re:we care (3, Insightful)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926325)

Wrong, the App Store is like a big box mall with a giant Wal-Mart and name-brand stores, surrounded by teeny mom-and-pop shops. Sure, everyone can buy at the mom-and-pop shop if they like, but is it really Wal-Mart's fault (or the mall's owners) that people like to shop at Wal-Mart or, say, Abercrombie & Fitch?

Moreover, should Abercrombie & Fitch be forced to sell, say, clown shoes just because some clowns can't find a suitable novelty shoe store in the mall and are too lazy or incompetent to look for one elsewhere?

The point is that nobody is forced to use an iPhone--it is far from the only alternative that is out there. So, some people like it enough to purchase and use it, but wish the vendor operated in a different way? Easy, complain to them with your dollars.

What that's? Nobody in the real world (i.e. outside the tech circles) cares enough to complain and just keeps on using the devices? Well, boo-hoo.

        -dZ.

Re:we care (5, Informative)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925581)

While it is true Apple should be able to choose what to sell and what not to sell on their own store..

The actual complaint with the iTunes store is that Apple tries to prevent you from shopping at any other store to get software for the hardware you own (iPod touch/iPhone specific there really)

That is the neutrality issue in that specific case.

The music side of the store is fine. You can get MP3s anywhere. You can put your MP3s from anywhere on your Apple devices, No issue.

Without jailbreaking (Something Apple hasn't stated is OK to do, and has at least implied it is NOT OK to do) you can't load software of your choosing on your own hardware, only software Apple deems worthy to sell on their store.

That is the issue.

Re:we care (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926005)

But your argument breaks down here: Had you not bought the iPhone, you wouldn't have to buy from the iTMS. Everybody is bashing apple for the whole app store thing, but let me see if I can explain something.

Apple has contracts with ATT and the fellow app makers. Remember the Google Voice app rejection? Ever consider that apple had a contract with ATT that prevented them from allowing alternate voice apps to run on the iPhone? Jailbreaking assists in piracy (I'm not saying that if you jailbreak, you pirate) Out of respect for their app developers, they should try to fight piracy.

This isn't a black and white issue

Re:we care (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926091)

Apple has contracts with ATT and the fellow app makers. Remember the Google Voice app rejection? Ever consider that apple had a contract with ATT that prevented them from allowing alternate voice apps to run on the iPhone? Jailbreaking assists in piracy (I'm not saying that if you jailbreak, you pirate) Out of respect for their app developers, they should try to fight piracy.

What gives Apple the right to enter into contracts which restrict my behavior? And whatever it is, do we really have to live in a society that tolerates that?

Re:we care (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926301)

"What gives Apple the right to enter into contracts which restrict my behavior?"

The fact that this is how contracts fundamentally work, perhaps?

No one made you buy Apple products. The argument ends right there.

"do we really have to live in a society that tolerates that?"

Yes, we do. You are not entitled to an iPhone nor obligated to purchase one. Apple is not obligated to make them available to you on your terms. Welcome to the free market -- it's a fun place once you learn how it actually works.

Re:we care (3, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926439)

Apple has contracts with ATT and the fellow app makers.

What gives Apple the right to enter into contracts which restrict my behavior? And whatever it is, do we really have to live in a society that tolerates that?

If you bought an iPhone, you did.

The concern with respect to Net Neutrality is that you can't just go use a different Internet. If all of the major backbone providers collude to set pricing for access to their market of users then the consumer has no recourse as building a new backbone is insanely expensive, and arguably couldn't be done again from scratch without the backing of a major government.

On the other hand, you can go buy an Android phone any time you want.

You can choose the restrictive provider or the permissive one. If you choose the restrictive provider and then complain about their being restrictive, then you're either not paying attention or just looking for an argument (that's down the hall on the right).

Re:we care (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926195)

The actual complaint with the iTunes store is that Apple tries to prevent you from shopping at any other store to get software for the hardware you own (iPod touch/iPhone specific there really)

That is the neutrality issue in that specific case.

The restrictions of the App Store are not hidden, and are part of the decision about trade offs that is needed to be made about an iPhone / iPod touch.

Car analogy: If a car manufacturer says you're only allowed to go to them for maintenance, you should think about purchasing it if it's going to be a big deal for you. If you purchase the car and want to get maintenance elsewhere you shouldn't bitch about it since you were told ahead of time. If you do get your oil changed elsewhere (i.e., like jail breaking) don't complain when it voids your warranty.

It is your hardware, and you can do whatever you want with it--including jail breaking it to get "unofficial" software on it. But once you break the seal don't moan about not being supported.

You knew the risks going it. If you want 'free as in speech' get a Linux-based device with an open SDK. Apple closed solutions so it's should be a surprise when things are... closed.

Re:we care (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926069)

The App Store is a store, not a bazaar.

No, no,no,no,no. The App Store is itself just a single part of a greater, more restrictive whole. A central part, but only a component in a greater scheme.

With the iPod and now the iPhone, Apple have achieved a level of control over their hardware and their users that hitherto has been enjoyed only by video game console manufacturers (an important case study in walled gardens). Apple, Microsoft and Sony sell not only locked down consoles with the ability to run only certified binaries, they also sell (by now essential) access to a wide yet corralled network without which their devices are severely limited. Access to this network is at the sole pleasure of the company. On it, you operate by their rules. You go only where they want, do only what they want you to do and if you displease them in any way, if off you go and your device is as good as bricked.

In fact, these companies retain the ability to brick any device they like at will, and rescind any rights, or remove any programs that their users currently enjoy. Remember the Baby Shake app? That was taken off the App Store. But, if the media furore had become heated enough, Apple in theory has the ability to remove the application from every iPhone on their network, or at least force the program to be patched.

The worst part of this is just how eagerly people have accepted these walled gardens and all they entail. In return for some flashy applications and a shiny white case, people have literally gone from owning devices to merely paying for services. Normal PC users are not immune. Application and network packages like Steam take control away from users and hold them compliant under threat of expulsion from the garden. Blizzard went so far as to mandate that users install monitoring software on their own PCs to play World of Warcraft, effectively declairing that Blizzard had a right to do as it pleased on a computer it didn't even own.

What companies want is simple. Control. Control over their IP, control over user and their behavior, control over how and where their services and products can be used. Given this control, they will abuse it. The trouble is, people seem more than happy to give it to them.

Re:we care (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926173)

Dead on right. It;s not about wether or not apple chooses what they carry, its about wether Time Warner throttles downloads from apple while supporting higher bandwidth from their own competing marketplace, and those of partners who pay them for the same privilidge. ...or for Verizon restricting feeds from Hulu that compete with their Fios offerings, or make Vonaage VoIP choppy while there own is crystal clear...

it's not who is on the internet that needs to be nutral, its the 3rd party folks in the middle shaping traffic that need to be watched by multiple cameras in multiple spectrums 24x7x365.25.

Re:we care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926243)

Ultimately the issue here is not that they pick and choose what to sell, it's that you can't just provide applications for people willy-nilly, they have to be approved. Sure, if you go into a computer store they're probably not going to sell lots of brands of software, on the grounds that it's puerile, offensive and so on. Does that stop you from installing it or using it on your system? No of course it doesn't, you'd just buy it from somewhere else.

Filtering content is not the inherent problem here, it's that you don't even get to make up your own mind. Companies have a right to filter what they sell, but if you buy a device that can run applications coded by 3rd parties then short of blatantly illegal applications, they shouldn't be able to stop you (even if it meant voiding a warranty if you bricked your phone).

Re:we care (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925365)

And yet you have no problem being ageist? Hypocrite :P

Re:we care (3, Interesting)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925375)

Software service providers have all the rights to lock down their applications and pre. My only beef is when they start pressuring ISPs to do the things at their end in order to save themselves time and effort.

Re:we care (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926087)

Another problem arises when ISPs offer content as well as connectivity. Once ISPs start to offer cloud computing services locally will they offer equal traffic priority to their own services as to more distant services? Why would they bother? It's cheaper for them if you send a GB of data that stops in their server room rather than getting transmitted over a backbone to a remote server. If it costs less per GB to download music from your ISP will they charge the same rate as for a GB of music from iTunes. Or will they locally cache iTunes databases and prioritize traffic to them over traffic to other music stores that don't have contracts with the ISPs?

I feel that as long as content and distribution remain distinct, there will some self-regulation with a few exceptions. Once cloud computing and cloud storage become prevalent, I suspect that ISPs will start offering local services or at least local caches; at that point we might be in trouble. Of course, then cloud services will become another distinction between ISPs and may provide another opportunity for independents (assuming the independents live that long).

Re:we care (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925405)

My dad(*) doesn't have a clue why it's important.

What, so just because he's a man, he must be clueless? That's pretty sexist.

Re:we care (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925477)

No, no, it's obviously because he is old.

Re:we care (2, Insightful)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925411)

We on slashdot are pretty much the only ones who care about net neutrality. My dad(*) doesn't have a clue why it's important.

The App Store is the most flagrant example of non-neutral app built on top of the Internet. But if you were to push the argument further, I have restrictions on how many pictures I can upload on Flickr. Is that neutral?

Sure. There's lots of other sites where you can upload as many photos as you'd like. You're not restricted to using Flickr and Flickr alone like you are with the App Store. The App Store is the only "certified" place to download apple applications for iPod Touches/iPhones, while Flickr is one of many different sites that do the same thing.

Flickr's just trying to earn some money; is that wrong? I happen to like Flickr as it is and I'd gladly pay for more space if I needed it; or I could just use Imageshack or Photobucket or any of the other dozens of image hosts out there. With the App Store, you're "locked-in". See the difference?

Re:we care (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925493)

false. itunes is the only certified way to put music on the device (and even this is restrictive) but the music could come from any place.

Re:we care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925879)

false. itunes is the only certified way to put music on the device (and even this is restrictive) but the music could come from any place.

Whoever taught you how to read needs to be slapped. Hard. Multiple times. In the face.

The GP was clearly talking about apps. Didn't you think it strange that he didn't mention music anyplace? That's because he isn't talking about music. I know, I know, it takes amazing skill to recognize that on your own doesn't it?

I wish you were logged in, just so we'd know who to make fun of.

Posted with a proxy because 10 minutes is a more than reasonable time to have to wait between posts. "You must wait a little while before using this resource" actually no I don't need to. I think 10 min is a good wait time, if Slashdot disagrees I'll work around Slashdot. Simple.

Re:we care (1, Troll)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925639)

Walking into a room and locking the door isn't being "locked in". Apple has not pulled a bait-and-switch. Everyone is free to know exactly what they are buying before they do so. There's absolutely nothing morally wrong about what Apple has done.

You are all full of hate.

Re:we care (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926133)

Apple has not pulled a bait-and-switch.

True.

Everyone is free to know exactly what they are buying before they do so.

True, but only due to your verbosity. Modify that to 'Everyone knows' and it suddenly becomes false. It isn't as if it is necessarily easy to know. There isn't some kind of disclaimer that Apple provides letting everyone know the door won't open from the inside. They simply say 'we have an app for that' and invite everyone inside. The factually correct statement would probably be 'we might have an app for that'.

There's absolutely nothing morally wrong about what Apple has done.

This is probably false, particularly because you used the word 'absolutely'. Do you know, for certain, that Apple is not restricting user freedom purely out of a desire to increase their own profits? Because if there is any conceivable way for Apple to both profit AND allow freedom, then we're in a territory that is at LEAST morally gray.

Re:we care (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926477)

You are all full of hate.

Actually, that "iHate" and there's an app for that. However, since "iHate" is only available through the AppStore, the user experience is paradoxical...

Re:we care (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926493)

You are all full of hate.

What. The. Fuck.

The people who killed Matthew Shepard were full of hate. The KKK is full of hate. Supersloshy just doesn't like that the iPhone allows apps from the Apple app store and nowhere else.

You make it sound like if you don't like the iPhone you're some kind of bigot dreaming of Apple Auschwitz.

Re:we care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925831)

I find the car analogy disingenuous at best.

If I buy a Ford, I can't start throwing SAAB suspension parts and Volkswagon exchaust with a Honda engine in it. Doesn't work like that.

You chose to buy the product, and thus you chose to limit yourself to a particular mechanic. You locked yourself in, not Apple. And as long as Apple isn't telling ISPs to stop users from connecting to the Zune store, or eMusic, or Napster, or any other download service.

As far as apps? Tell me I can put T-Mobile software onto a Verizon phone. iPhone is no different than any other provider who sells apps for their devices. They've just done it better than, say, Motorola.

Re:we care (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926295)

With the App Store, you're "locked-in". See the difference?

No. Because there are many other devices out there that aren't the iPhone. In the same way that there are many other photo services. You have a choice that you make when you purchase your phone. If you choose iPhone, then you also choose and accept these restrictions. It's perfectly within the company's rights to impose them, if you sign the dotted line to accept them.

Re:we care (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925525)

AOL prodigy,compuserve, those are walled gardens. And they failed.

The app store is no different than barnes and noble online. You select items picked outby others and have them shipped.

You must learn to seperate the applications and services from thenetwork itself.

Re:we care (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925687)

But then they wouldn't be able to demonstrate their senseless hatred.

Re:we care (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925715)

Yup there's nothing wrong with the appstore - it's the iPhone that's crippled.

Re:we care (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925735)

What if I'd like to buy my apps from Borders?

Re:we care (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925653)

(*) I'm using my dad as a stereotype instead of my mother because I recently learned that using mothers as examples of clueless users is sexist. So I'm

Being ageist [wikipedia.org] instead? Not much of an improvement, if you ask me... but if you ask a broad, she'll say otherwise ;-)

NO YOU (2, Informative)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925765)

*You* have restrictions on how many pictures *you* can upload on Flickr. *I* dont, because I pay for the service.

Re:we care (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925985)

We on slashdot are pretty much the only ones who care about net neutrality. My dad(*) doesn't have a clue why it's important.

It's pretty easy to explain with analogies. "Imagine if Amazon bought UPS and gave itself free shipping, while jacking up the rates for its competitors. We have a choice in shipping providers of course, but we can't use a different internet. So imagine that UPS was our only choice for shipping. Amazon would have an unfair advantage right? Could a free market operate under such conditions?"

The App Store is the most flagrant example of non-neutral app built on top of the Internet

It is nonsensical to talk about network neutrality for a service that is not a network.

Total Puff Piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925149)

Must be a slow news day...

He says nothing, and Slashdot quotes it.

Re:Total Puff Piece (3, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925441)

Agreed. His juxtaposition of the mobile and desktop perspectives of net neutrality makes no pragmatic sense. We can still slap anything we want on our desktops and surf anywhere with relatively minimal (if any) meddling from our ISPs.

As a final WTF, he shamelessly shouts out to Android and open source as the answer to society's ills. Guess what people? The average user can't do shit with their phones, Android or otherwise, as long as the telco's are in charge of what goes on them!

Saying that Android is free is like telling people that a chained servant is free*

. *free in his mind, that is.

Re:Total Puff Piece (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925747)

As an aside, I actually think Android will not ever be a serious competitor for the iPhone.

  1. It's been touched by Java (and don't tell me that it is different this time, I've seen the demos, and Android is just as sluggish as my Blackberry)
  2. It's not a uniform hardware platform, so it will not be as popular as the iPhone for game developers
  3. It is designed to empower end-users, when the real customers are... the telcos.

This is head-to-head with Windows Mobile, and maybe the Blackberry, but not the iPhone.

ok, here's what you do (0, Offtopic)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925165)

As much of a fan of google as i am, i'm starting to think they are eventually going to be the next giant evil corporation. but for now, imma get a droid!

Right to censor my own S#!* (1)

zerosomething (1353609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925193)

So lets apply the logic all the way out. In this case Mr Governor can't censor blog postings on his own site and Boing Boing would have to repost all of Violet Blue's postings. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/webscout/2008/06/violet-blue-scr.html [latimes.com] OK fine it's not exactly the same but now you need to have government regulate the internet and we don't want that. Boing Boing does have a right to censor and so does everyone else.

In The U.S. (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925199)

Consumers aren't oriented to preserving their media freedom.

Voters aren't oriented to media freedom either. They still swallow 'end of capitalism' and rugged individualism B.S. whole when the notion of regulations is mentioned.

So? You get what you want. Shiny, expensive, handcuffs.

On the mobile phone front, Symbian doesn't get any love on ./ but it's more open than it ever has been with excellent media freedom. Tons of applications and years ahead of newbies Apple and Google.

In Gulag U.S.A. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925259)

Web permits YOU !

Yours In Novosibirsk,
K. Trout

Apple fanboi's who cares mod me to hell and back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925227)

Apple products? - we dont need no stinking apple products !
Over priced cult for fashionista's.

Re:Apple fanboi's who cares mod me to hell and bac (1)

knappe duivel (914316) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925663)

Bummer - fanboi's don't even care enough for your stupid rant to mod you down.

Re:Apple fanboi's who cares mod me to hell and bac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925865)

you forgot to replace 'apple' with 'abble'

Why is Apple singled out? (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925271)

My gmail account isn't really portable. Sure, I can back it up, but the email is really the least of it. If google decided to lock me out of it tomorrow, I'd be fubared.

Websites provided specialized services is nothing new. The app store isn't a new concept, consoles had it longer.

Re:Why is Apple singled out? (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926021)

i recently had a bit of panic on this subject. i changed my password to something i couldn't quite remember. For about a day i was thinking about who FUXXORED i would be if i couldn't get in. i managed to reset my password the next day. This made me think about what i can do with my GMail accounts to reduce my fuckedness should something like that happen again.

i'm going to shift from GMail to GMail via Apps for Your Domain. i'll use nicknames and UserName+Website@MyDomain.tld to separate who is sharing my address and for spam filtering. i'll forward all/most mail to another account, maybe another GMail account or another webmail entirely. i suppose offline GMail on my computer might be another way to back up. If i'm locked out of my primary, i can log into the alternate and everything would be there.

As for files and all that other stuff, which i think is your main concern, that would be more complex. i try to think of my online storage as a place to share, rather than store.

WWW? (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925273)

What you think this is the WildWildWest?
There can't be a lack of packaged platform. And as much as I want it to happen the majority of the masses who joined facebook last year will never, ever, ever, ever, EVER fill out an OpenSocial profile much less manage one or grasp the concept. They want to go to the mall man.
Now GET BACK IN LINE!

p.s.
-- why is everything a dig at Apple. For fracks sake, prior to the most evil hideous oppressive App Store there was nothing like it... you try to manage growth like that.

p.s.s
-- i thought this would be a fun thread to mod but couldn't resist a movie quote.

Re:WWW? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925409)

prior to the most evil hideous oppressive App Store there was nothing like it...

What about Steam? And all those lame ringtone download systems for phones that wouldn't let you make/use your own? :/

Re:WWW? (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925641)

prior to the most evil hideous oppressive App Store there was nothing like it...

What about Steam? And all those lame ringtone download systems for phones that wouldn't let you make/use your own? :/

Well none of those that existed before were made by Apple. And this is slashdot, so you won't see anyone admitting they existed let alone are as bad as the app store, for a decade+ before the app store existed...

The troll mods to come will show how against popular opinion those facts are, even if true.

Miss the Point (4, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925295)

Is the AppStore a neutral network? Should it be?

No, and no.

It's perfectly fine for the Internet to have walled-off sections like this, provided you can opt to go somewhere else if you want. If you don't like the way Apple's App Store has been going (and I don't much like it myself), don't buy an iPhone. There are alternatives both existing now and coming down the pipe soon.

The problem comes with ISPs want to create their own walled-off sections that their customers can't get out of. Since ISPs are often regional monopolies or duopolies, they have too much power to dictate terms to their users, which is why Net Neutrality activists focus on them.

OMG THEY MAKE US BUY THEIR PRODUCTS (1)

moohoo (1486027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925323)

Yeah they totally make you buy apple products. You don't get to vote on any of that!!!!

Re:OMG THEY MAKE US BUY THEIR PRODUCTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925853)

They force us all to pull out our cash or plastic and hand it over to them for a product we dont want. Just like how the Beer companies force us to get drunk and plastered.

*sarcasm off*

Love how people complain of being repressed. If you dont want products/services from an certain company, go to their rival. Simple as that. Sure there are downsides, but thats life son.

nonsensical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925325)

Uhhh, this guys rant is totally nonsensical. At its core, he's arguing that I should be able to use an FTP client to download torrent files. Leveling the differences between various client-server systems and different protocols is NOT what net neutrality is about.

walled gardens (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925333)

I know it's a different type of walled garden, but I have to wonder out loud. So right now you have things like Boingo and such, pay-for wifi access at airports, hotels, coffee shops.. these services need DNS access to be open regardless of payment status.

So on a trip last month, I was a dbag and tried something out. I set up a little relay at home that accepted TCP embedded in DNS, and tunneled everything over it. And it was fast. Fast enough for ssh and web browsing, but not video web browsing. (And I didn't want to be a dbag^2, so hence I skipped the youtube).

Anyways, with tools like tcp->dns relays, and tools like me walking around, I wonder how long this dirty little secret will work out. Honestly the threat of being identified in a busy airport with a laptop or coffee shop as a wifi stealer was leaving me in my comfort zone the whole time. Especially with my spoofed mac address identifying my Mac as a Dell.

Access control is the entire necessary sublayer to everything interesting. How's facebook not a walled garden? I can't even email my buddies in there, since I refuse to reopen my old account.

Re:walled gardens (2, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925377)

This sounds a bit to me like the people who argue that if Marijuana were legalized and taxed, everyone would just grow their own and not have to pay taxes on it. In both cases, the effort is often too time consuming and difficult for the average person.

Re:walled gardens (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925727)

They'll grow one plant, then it'll be like...

...you mean I have to water this thing, and turn on the light? That's like... work or something, man. Let's just go to the smokeshop and buy some.

Re:walled gardens (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925731)

Right. When was the last time you met someone growing tobacco in order to avoid taxes?

Re:Avoid Taxes (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926047)

Wrong Analogy.

"How soon will we see people brewing their own now that Mass State both increased the sales tax and removed the alcohol exemption?"

+1 History.
Prohibition failed because brewing is fast and modular. Smash a (nasty) batch of something together in 5 days and spend an hour cleaning it up.

And IP *isn't* a walled garden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925417)

As long as people write and develop applications and protocols which do not function through NAT, then I cannot take their complaints about people building walled gardens seriously because of the hypocrisy. Without NAT, then everyone exists in a *single* walled garden, a single address space -- you conform, or you don't get in. NAT puts doorways in the walls so that people can move from one garden to another.

How things SHOULD be (0)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925421)

Basically there should be an infrastructure company and ISPs. The infrastructure company maintains the wires, is 100% neutral, and rents it out to ISPs, all for the same price.

ISPs on the other hand, would be free to do whatever they want. At first this sounds bad, but it wouldn't be because there would be so many ISPs that if one of them did something you didn't like, you could switch. When everyone was on dialup, there were tons of ISPs to choose from. So if one ISP decides to filter things like porn (and lets face it, there are some people who would want that), that's ok, you can switch to another one.

Then everyone can be happy. Orrin Hatch can be happy because there will be competition between ISPs, which is what he professes to want. The rest of us will be happy because there will be more choices than just Comcast, and the competition will result in better service and prices (I've always gotten better service from small ISP companies than large ones. Without exception). The only ones who would suffer would be the current monopolistic providers, but that's ok.

As for Apple, they aren't violating network neutrality because they are governing what can be run on the device, not what can flow over the network. While this is bad, it is more a violation of the four freedoms of software [gnu.org] . But while we're complaining about Apple we should complain about the app developers too, because they aren't releasing their source code, either.

If you can't see why this is just as bad, you probably don't understand the four freedoms.

Re:How things SHOULD be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925555)

This will work only in ideal world - in real one 2 or 3 big boys will buy up whole bandwidth available on wires/fiber so nobody else can get through - you will be forced to buy only from them.

Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925535)

Net Neutrality has EXACTLY ONE definition: an ISP is "net neutral" if it prioritizes packets based solely on the content of those packets and the customer which sent/is receiving them, NOT on the third party which is receiving/sending them. It is very important that ISPs remain neutral, and giving it other definitions (or posting random, incoherent bloviations on slashdot that misuse the phrase) does nothing but muddy the waters, and allow ISPs to spread FUD with the authorities: "No, Mr. FCC, we CAN'T have net neutrality! We'd have to give free internet to everyone! Just look what they're saying on slashdot!"

SO STOP IT.

Proprietary wrappers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29925621)

Apple has had a good track record as of late in supporting open formats. Snow Leopard server is essentially a nice front end to a whole host of open technologies. If that starts to change, then we should worry. Until that day comes I'll enjoy the candy coating on my open source chocolate thankyouverymuch.

Analysis only works if you understand the concept (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925741)

This is the second time this week I've heard someone who's theoretically part of the tech media discuss "network neutrality" in a way that demonstrates they have no idea what the concept actually means. Earlier this week I was listening to a guy say he was against network neutrality because people who use a higher amount of bandwidth should have to pay more for their internet access than people like him who require less bandwidth.

What's going on here? Why are these people being given any recognition at all? This is Slashdot, ostensibly "News for Nerds" - shouldn't some modicum of filtering be happening? And no, I am not new here...

Why stop with your example... (0)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925759)

Why stop with your example, let's apply it to other things.

1. Why can't I buy MS-Windows from Apple's App Store? OMG its not net-neutral!
2. Why Can't I buy non-software items, such a Nike Shoes from the App Store? OMG its not net-neutral!
3. Why do I have to pay for my PS3 games, it's connected to the internet. OMG its not net-neutral!
4. Why do I have to make house payments, I have an internet connection? OMG its not net-neutral!

I could keep going with these analogies, but they are just about as stupid as the examples given in the article.

Wrong assumption (3, Informative)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925769)

Well, I was so foolish to RTFA and I am kinda infuriated now. The article tries to make a valid point about the importance of net neutrality and open source, but in my opinion fails horribly to do so because it mixes it up in a hodgepodge of buzzwords and misunderstood and wrongy applied concepts.

I cannot even start to describe what I feel is wrong with this article, but the last paragraph contains two especially big stinkers:

-First, the ill-fated assumption that the performance and the responsiveness of the iPhone is just an "implementation detail" and that Android phones would have an advantage because they have better specs. As if there never have been cases in IT history where the competitors with the better specs lost out (*cough* iPod killers *cough* Console wars *cough*)

-And even more wrong the assumption that just because Android is an open-source implementation, the web itself would become more open. WTF? Why should it make a difference whether the platform with which I access the web is open, when the web application itself isnt (regardless of the fact that both Android and the iPhone use the same browser engine)? And why should for example Amazon (which is named in the article) be more inclined to open up its data when we use an Android device opposed to an iPhone?

I know that the argument that he tries to make is that openness is very important and that we should strive to not get proprietary insulas in the web as we had in traditional applications. But I think that openness he strives for is not necessarily tied to open source and net neutrality, you need better data portability and better access to the data stored inside those web entities, which is a whole different can of worms right there.

So the big mistake of this article is not promoting open source and net neutrality, which are important. The big mistake is assuming those two will be sufficient in achieving the kind of openness that he wants. They wont, but he fails to see that.

Does free-market competition not matter? (3, Insightful)

Pengo (28814) | more than 4 years ago | (#29925827)

The reality is, we are free to chose with our Dollars which phone we want to buy. Nobody had a gun to my head when i signed a contract on my iPhone.

The reality of it is if i want an open platform, I'll go buy a open phone. At some point developer mindshare might shift towards the Android App Store, but there is no force at work with the app store other than free market control. As it makes financial sense for apple to open up their 'walled garden', they will do so. Until then to legislate what they can or can't sell, or how to control the nature of the content they accept or reject seems like a slippery slope, arguably just as evil as something as broad as the DMCA.

An infringement on a corporations freedom to operate their business is going to be an infringement on my personal freedoms.

We have anti-competitive laws, anti-price fixing laws, all sorts of regulations to promote fair competition and I don't see how this is even an issue.

Google knows that they can't play in Apples sandbox fairly, so what did they do? They are doing exactly what they should be doing and creating a competitive sandbox. They are going to leverage all their corporate offerings to entice the user to play in their sandbox instead. If you think that Google is creating the Android phone to be an open platform to liberate the people from a closed platform like iPhones and the sort, think again. There is a calculation that the mindshare of having people on android will yield more add revenue, and possibly corporate services (hosted apps, etc) than not.

If Android didn't mean $$ for Google, it would be canned faster than a middle-management position at Sun.

The fact that google has an incredible cloud-stack to put behind the Android phones and make it stupid-simple to make it all work together should make Apple VERY VERY nervous.

I expect to see some serious cloud offerings from apple in the near future to counter this juggernaut google, who has the iPhone square in their cross-hairs.

The stakes are -huge- for smart phone market share. Google understands that this is the next stage of their growth to maintain global search and adword marketshare they currently enjoy.

The king is dead, long live the king. Competition.

iapps (1)

flahwho (1243110) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926043)

The apple app store is definately NOT net neutral and, one: why would it have to be, and two: how does it really affect the rest of the web and the net neutrality disputes out there? I'm just sayin'.

Apple neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926267)

Currently, the apple app store may pass the neutrality test for many people. But the current state of neutrality is determined by one company - Apple. If being neutral is no longer good business, it is just a corporate decision away from being taken away. You may argue that, by then, users can switch to Android or other open platforms. However, the article is about the trend of giving up market share and thus power/profit towards potential net-neutrality hazards.

There's nothing wrong for Apple or Microsoft to build their proprietary lock-in products. It is just the consumer behavior that causes equally or reasonably good open-source options to not win it's deserving share of the market.

"Network Neutrality" sucks (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926293)

The concept is great. It should be mandated on anybody who's got any sort of monopoly or choke point over other people's communications.

The phrase sucks. Almost everybody gets it wrong.

"Common Carrier" would be a better phrase. People claim that network neutrality means that high bandwidth users couldn't be charged more, but nobody claims I should be able to ship fifty boxes of clothes for the same price as one. People claim that network neutrality means that ISPs couldn't do quality of service, but I can make contracts for priority delivery of goods, or have them shipped refrigerated, or whatever, and am under restrictions when shipping certain items.

A common carrier is one that will carry everybody's stuff, for the standard rates. An ISP practicing net neutrality will carry everybody's packets, for the standard rates.

In this case, somebody's complaining that the App Store is restricted, and comparing that to Comcast restricting things. (Much like the idea that, since I should be able to drive wherever I like on public roads, I should have access to private clubs that I can drive to.) When dealing with common carriers, I don't have to ship anything to you, or receive anything from you, but if we decide we want to we can ship things freely.

Apple != carrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29926349)

Net neutrality is about carriers discriminating against certain types of traffic. Apple is not a carrier. End of story.

Another "industry analyst" who doesn't know the industry. Indeed, the link he provides to cio.com doesn't mention

Lock-In, Not the Network (4, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926369)

The App Store is not a network, except for the intranet at Apple that it runs on. Intranets are not subject to network neutrality, and the App Store's is totally irrelevant to this. Neither is AT&T's network required to be neutral for traffic that is totally confined to it.

The public Internet, like any "common carrier" network (whether data, or TV, or railroads as originally legislated), must be neutral to prevent unfair competition.

The App Store is fundamentally faulty because iPhones are locked into it. That is also true of all US phones locked into their wireless carrier's network, but that problem in common is the lock-in, not "Network Neutrality".

The App Store faces competition from Android primarily because the Android doesn't lock in to a single, vendor controlled app store. Google's work in recent years to break the phone/network lockin also indicates Android phones will probably get out of that bundling, too, well before iPhones do. The App Store's "vertical monopoly" should be broken by competition, from Android and others.

Indeed, Mac desktop software used to be locked in by Apple, too. Every app needed a 32 bit code ("Creator" code) controlled by Apple to identify it to the desktop, associate it with files, etc, or the app wouldn't work under the OS. Apple required every app to be submitted for registration before releasing the code. Apple was known to block some apps from reaching desktops by withholding the code, for reasons at the sole discretion of Apple. After a while, that ended, because the load of evaluating all the apps was too heavy for Apple to keep paying for, because enough people complained, and because the constrained app market looked worse than the totally unrestrained availability of every kind of app under Windows.

The sooner the iPhone and app store go that way, especially to compete with Google's Android Market, the better. But abusing the definition of "network" to get there, which will dilute efforts to get actual public networks to be properly neutral to content and endpoints (already with the cards stacked against it), will be only counterproductive.

No-one forces you to go Apple (2, Insightful)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#29926383)

Net neutrality matters most at the basic transport level.
Because then, if I want to choose Apple's protective
yet limited "walled garden of eden" I can, or I can
choose the wild west, as long as I brought my six gun
and know how to make my own campfire from belly button
lint and a couple of stones.
I think it is good to have both levels of choice and freedom.
I personally give up freedom for the iPhone's superior
usability and app quality control (less cruft to sort through.)

I may find a fart app, but it will be an easy to use fart app.
On cellphones, speed of understanding of and operation of
the app is paramount. I'm happy so far with Apple's design
guidelines, and mostly, with their editorial choices. I have
the freedom to move on if I don't like it.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>