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!

The Un-Internet and War On General Purpose Computers

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the insert-coin-to-continue dept.

Government 266

theodp writes "Apple,' writes Dave Winer in The Un-Internet, 'is providing a bad example for younger, smaller companies like Twitter and Tumblr, who apparently want to control the 'user experience' of their platforms in much the same way as Apple does. They feel they have a better sense of quality than the randomness of a free market. So they've installed similar controls.' Still, Winer's seen this movie before and notes, 'Eventually we overcome their barriers, and another layer comes on. And the upstarts become the installed-base, and they make the same mistakes all over again. It's the Internet vs the Un-Internet. And the Internet, it seems, always prevails.' Thinking along the same lines, Cory Doctorow warns the stakes are only going to get higher, and issues a call-to-arms for The Coming War on General Purpose Computation."

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

Didn't I just read about this? (5, Informative)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557672)

Like 2 days ago? [slashdot.org] Unless you're in Samoa and Tokelau [slashdot.org] , then it was yesterday.

Re:Didn't I just read about this? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557818)

Last year's news.

Re:Didn't I just read about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557892)

Sadly, that was story was killed. Casualty of the War on General Purpose Computing.

Re:Didn't I just read about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558016)

I want to commend you on your acute awareness of timezones, and applying it perfectly. This is a skill I will never have.

Free market? (4, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557678)

In a true free market there would be more closed solutions too and the one most people want will win. I'm not sure why he's upset that most people are actually computer illiterate and want something that can be easily controlled rather than the ultimate swiss army knife of computers. Open computers won't go away and there is no need to get upset because most people don't care for that.

Re:Free market? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557722)

The "free market" isn't a "one person one vote" thing. It's merely a term to describe a fantasy ideal where ownership is well-defined and absolute, i.e. ownership and owner of almost everything is somehow naturally obvious and the owner has sole say over the disposal of his property.

I'm not sure when it was that people began to misunderstand the free market so gravely but I'm sure it happened somewhere around the '80s.

Re:Free market? (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557756)

I'm not sure why he's upset that most people are actually computer illiterate

Its like being upset that most people are "illiterate illiterate" or innumerate. How can we stay on top, without people to look down upon?

Of all the conditions of humanity to champion, I don't think ignorance lacks for help, you can probably stand down.

Re:Free market? (5, Insightful)

n5vb (587569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557906)

Its like being upset that most people are "illiterate illiterate" or innumerate. How can we stay on top, without people to look down upon?

Of all the conditions of humanity to champion, I don't think ignorance lacks for help, you can probably stand down.

I see it less from a personal-self perspective than as a factor in the overall evolution of the society. A significant enough majority of ignorance, illiteracy (tech or otherwise), innumeracy, etc. can by itself dominate mainstream culture in ways that at the very least throw sand in the gears, and the kind of culture that grows out of that always has the potential to at least be suspicious of people who have unsanctioned knowledge, and possibly much worse. I don't see an ignorant society as something I can differentiate myself from as an outlier, I consider it a sleeping monster that might someday wake up and line people like me up against the wall. It's happened before and I don't think for a moment that it can't happen again.

Re:Free market? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558018)

I'm waiting for it.

These damned illiterate (not "computer illiterate" but actually illiterate) baby mammas can do whatever the hell they want. What can I say to contradict them? They're the ones given wombs at birth, and they choose how they use them. They're animals who can speak, and I look forward to do the day they blow the hand that feeds them off by blowing my head off.

I'll laugh at them from beyond the grave as they starve to death because they can't figure out how to feed all their kids they had with 10 deadbeat dads.

Re:Free market? (5, Insightful)

JayWilmont (1035066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558444)

Most of america is also car-illiterate, financially-illiterate, woodworking-illiterate, sewing-illiterate, hunting-illiterate, gardening-illiterate and cooking-illiterate.

I don't think we should ever celebrate ignorance, but there is a big difference between this and acknowledging that people only have so much time/energy/capacity to learn about how the world works and would rather spend their time living their lives.

Basic gardening is also super-easy and is beneficial both financially and health-wise, but most people don't bother with it, the same way most people don't bother spending time understanding their computer.

As we look at how to improve our society, I think concerns about cooking/food-illiteracy and financial-illiteracy are far more pressing than bemoaning that people don't bother to learn how to navigate a directory structure. It is better to discuss making "open" computing simple, easy and relevant rather than berating people for wanting to get on with their lives.

Re:Free market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557778)

In a true free market, there is no "win". There are simply alternatives which people can choose from based on their own personal preferences. In a true free market, market share is a meaningless idea because anyone is free to enter the market at any time and individuals can trivially move between alternatives at any time.

yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (3, Informative)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557856)

because after all most people preferred the simplicity of macintosh.

that is why after about 1986, the x86 and IBM PC died... as did linux.

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (5, Insightful)

unimacs (597299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558126)

If it were strictly a matter of user preference back in the mid to late 80's, the Mac may indeed have been the one to dominate, but at work most people had little choice but to use the computer that was given to them. They typically chose to get the same computers for their home for reasons of compatibility, price, and availability of software.

But lets look a little deeper. How did that end up working out for IBM? How many PCs has IBM sold lately? What new and exciting product have they come out with in the last couple of decades?

Apple is still selling the Mac and still innovating. PCs are basically a commodity. When Apple did license the Mac OS, it nearly wiped them out. They didn't have other lines of business to fall back on like IBM did when the clone manufactures started eating their lunch on price.

Besides, dominating the marketplace isn't the only definition of success. I'd also argue that there's plenty of room for both open and closed systems. I'd prefer to live in a world with both. While the general purpose PC may be fading somewhat in importance, I think that's just simply part of the natural progression of technology.

The Internet may be the new general purpose PC. Lots of cloud based services include APIs that you can leverage. IOS is only one platform. Android is another. So is the Internet. I don't think the latter is threatened by the existence of IOS in any way. In fact, I'd argue that its existence has promoted the Internet as a platform.

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (3, Informative)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558308)

What new and exciting product have they come out with in the last couple of decades?

You might have heard of a collection of toy apps called "WebSphere"? Really nothing, but the transaction processing industry with their crazy ol' uptime and throughput demands seems fond of it. ;)

IBM has indeed moved out of the PC market for the most part, but they remain as strong as ever in the ways of Big Iron.

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (1)

unimacs (597299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558810)

What new and exciting product have they come out with in the last couple of decades? You might have heard of a collection of toy apps called "WebSphere"? Really nothing, but the transaction processing industry with their crazy ol' uptime and throughput demands seems fond of it. ;) IBM has indeed moved out of the PC market for the most part, but they remain as strong as ever in the ways of Big Iron.

So I'll ask again, what new and exciting product has IBM come out with ? ;)

Might be my biases but I played around with Websphere a decade ago and never really thought of it as anything ground breaking. Not saying it isn't a good or valuable product. I'm glad you brought it up though because it does help emphasis another point I wanted to make. "Open" and "Closed" aren't very accurate terms when describing many of these products. Is websphere "Open"? Is Java? OS X? Darwin? Most people would agree IOS isn't but what about webkit? I'd argue that webkit has done a lot to help standardize the web and I'd also argue that it's a critical part of IOS.

And believe it or not I'm a fan of open systems. But there's some closed ones I like too.

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (3, Funny)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558820)

I know, my mom is talking about websphere all the time!

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558482)

But lets look a little deeper. How did that end up working out for IBM? How many PCs has IBM sold lately?

You say that as though it's a bad thing. That's how we want it to work: If you invent something once and thereafter decide you want to rest on your laurels forever, the market is supposed to eat your lunch. We want a market where companies have to continually innovate or they get kicked to the curb. This idea that inventing something once should give you an inalienable right to a permanent revenue stream is a disease.

More than that, it's a disease that kills the host first. Companies want control, obviously. Customers and developers also want control. If a company like Apple decides they want to control everything, they get a larger slice of a smaller pie. That can work out well in the short term in some cases, but eventually someone comes around who provides a product which is of a similar quality but which allows users and other third parties to have more of that control, which causes more people to use it. The market share of the more free product increases faster than that of the less free product, because all else equal who wouldn't want more control for themselves and less for someone else? The walled garden is a false dichotomy because you can have optional curation without mandatory curation, and the first company to get the former right will eat the latter's lunch in exactly the same way and for the same reasons that the open web defeated AOL.

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558698)

It was a bad thing for IBM and while it was good for the PC in the short term, it may have doomed it in the long run.

Basically the PC market has been reduced to who can make them the cheapest. Very little innovation is going on.

I'm not saying that the closed model is the only way to go. I just think it's wrong to say that the PC "won" because it was an open system and the Mac "lost" because it was a closed one. At the moment the Mac still seems to be thriving. Opening it up to cloning almost killed it.

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558226)

x86, PC and Linux died? Can we get a confirmation on that?

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558284)

Yep, Netcraft confirms it.

Oh wait, that's BSD...

*whoosh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558288)

... is the sound of parallel universe version of you briefly passing through this timeline and leaving this post from an iPad 6G.

Re:yeah just like the IBM PC never took off (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558298)

Yep. Confirmed. Look in the datacenter/cloud. All xserves. Total Apple domination.

Re:Free market? (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558498)

In a true free market there would be more closed solutions too and the one most people want will win

In a true free market, Apple would not enjoy so many government enforced barriers to entry in the form of license agreements, patents, and copyright.

Re:Free market? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558826)

You make it out like Apple is the only one with patents, copyrights and licence agreements. If that were the case you might have a point but they all play by the same rules.

Open computers won't go away (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558798)

But they will be damned hard to find, and will be lots of legal hoops to jump thru to get one, legally.

Next killer ap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557688)

... will be security. Securing your boxen from invidious bastards trying to control them "for your own good", and de-securing every damn thing you buy so you can actually use it.

Again? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557710)

I'm tired of these articles. They seem like such trolling. Does and editor have some vendetta against the iWhatever/Android market? Last time I checked, nobody was having their arm twisted to use these devices. The free market is saying "We dont always need a PC." not "We don't need computers." Seriously, guys, take your paranoia back to mom's basement where you can be secluded and make your uninformed projections on other people in peace.

Really? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557712)

Oh for God's sake... Name one thing Apple prevents you from doing on OS X. Not a feature they left out, not a Windows app you like that isn't available, not a hack to customize Windows that isn't also present on Macs, but something that Apple EXPLICITLY PREVENTS YOU OR ANYONE FROM DOING.

Re:Really? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557746)

The author may have meant iOS, not OS X.

Re:Really? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557942)

He probably did BUT

I actually don't mind the approach that Apple took with the iPhone and then the iPad.
No Flash! What a great idea.
So it is a walled garden. Well for some things I want to be sure that what I do is safe.
I had an iPhone 3gs and then a 4. Now I have a HTC Sensation.
Frankly, IMHO when compared to the iPhone 4, the HTC is a POS. If you view some of the forums, there are a number of well known issues with the device. Issues that HTC seemingly have no interest in fixing.

WIth the recent scares about printers being a security risk, it is obvious that there are people determined to exploit any opportunity to exploit the kit we use. I have to wonder how long it will be before some exploit is found in old versions of Android. Versions that the manufacturers will not fix in a year of Sundays. Exactly how is the openness of Android protecting me then? don't say 'You can root it and load some unapproved software'. How many of the phone using public could do that then? They won't. That will leave them using devices that could be part of the biggest botnet the world has seen (to use one possibility). What use is Android being open then? Naf all IMHO.

So in reality, it is not so open and shut as some may think.

Re:Really? (5, Funny)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557786)

Oh for God's sake... but something that Apple EXPLICITLY PREVENTS YOU OR ANYONE FROM DOING.

Selling a tablet with rounded corners?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557992)

+1 teh funnay, truth

Re:Really? (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557958)

use an emulator? on iOS that is

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558080)

C64 = Commodore 64 emulator, and iOS is not OS X. Google pulled most emulators from Android Market last year, no emulators that I know of on Windows Phone.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558272)

Tried a few searches on android market, found emulators for all commonly emulated platforms. Seems like Google didn't try to hard or banned them not for being emulators, but for other reasons.

Also, there's "install from .apk" option for most android devices.

Re:Really? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558638)

The HP48 Emulator running on my iPod suggests otherwise.

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557972)

Name one thing Apple prevents you from doing on OS X [...] something that Apple EXPLICITLY PREVENTS YOU OR ANYONE FROM DOING.

Run a terminal server. [afp548.com]

Re:Really? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558236)

publish a gay travel guide app for Iphone or Ipad

Re:Really? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558530)

publish a gay travel guide app for Iphone or Ipad

What does the Iphone or Ipad have to do with OS X?

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558240)

Name one thing Apple prevents you from doing on OS X [...] something that Apple EXPLICITLY PREVENTS YOU OR ANYONE FROM DOING.

Run a terminal server. [afp548.com]

Install OS X on the computer I'm building.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558360)

You mean make it difficult. Lots of hackintoshes out there. Or do you just suck at software?

Re:Really? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558588)

And games are still shared despite DRM, doesn't mean the intent isn't to actual prevent it. It just means they failed.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557986)

boot on generic x86 hardware

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558306)

Macs are made up of 'generic x86 hardware'...

But this isn't a restriction on what you can do *ON* OS X (as in, within the OS once it is running), it is a restriction on *WHERE* you can use it. Not what I asked.

Re:Really? (3, Interesting)

Reeses (5069) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558002)

One thing?

Hook a debugger/stack trace software up to iTunes to see what's going on.

Re:Really? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558030)

something that Apple EXPLICITLY PREVENTS YOU OR ANYONE FROM DOING

Installing OSX on non-Apple hardware.

Last time I checked, Microsoft doesn't care if you install Windows on a Mac, and Dell doesn't care if you install Linux on one of their PCs.

(Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah technically they can't 'prevent' it but its prohibited...)

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558160)

While that is something that restricts where you can use OS X, it's not a restriction on what you can do with the OS once it's running. They don't really PREVENT you from installing OS X elsewhere, but they don't want to support it so they prohibit it in their licenses. Apple also doesn't care what you install on their hardware (to your point about Dell) - I've run Windows, OS X, and Linux on my Mac.

Windows lets you install wherever you want, but requires activation and costs far more than OS X. I reinstall frequently, and only OS X or Linux let me install as many times as I want.

Deal with it (4, Insightful)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557764)

... by competing. If you feel that closed platforms are wrong, provide open platforms.

Complaining about other people that choose a different business model that you would have is just being a donkey. Put your moolah where your food-hole is and run your business model for real.

Re:Deal with it (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557904)

Try it. Try jumping into any market dominated by a/some big player(s). You'll be immediately sued into oblivion, and consumed by the dominant faction(s). It's a crappy time to be an entrepreneur motivated by wealth; the traditional paths to riches just don't exist any more. The only real path to an open market is to release the "product" for free and count on patronage to support it. So, in this article's context, the ability the make one's own hardware using commonly available materials and machinery. Yes, it's not going to pay as well as traditional methods have. No, there is no certainty you are going to recoup your investment. But, you are not going to be allowed into that market (unless you comply with market niche's Overlords) any way; if you try and play by the traditional market rules, the dominant player(s) will ensure you fail. It seems clear that using the traditional market for personal gain is not the most effective choice for a startup any more.

Re:Deal with it (5, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557940)

Or we could simply regulate openness. Worked pretty well with cell phone number portability, something the "market" would have never allowed on its own.

Re:Deal with it (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558118)

Bullshit. This is just like saying "don't like $randomopensourcesoftware? You have the source, improve it". While i need to learn programming to fix opensource software, i need to have a lot of budget and tech knowhow to create a startup, which has the right starting point to compete with a existing one. And then i still have a marketing problem to compete with the established brand. So i can provide a much better system and no one will use it, because it came too late.

The price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557794)

Digital Millenium Copyright Act
Security Systems Standards and Certification Act
SOPA
The locked bootloader
"Approved" software

All this will end your freedoms, what are you doing to fight it?

I'm not happy with the way I see the industry going

You do realise those great minds in congress, largely funded and heavily lobbied by the MAFIAA attempted to make it legally mandatory, for your computer to not be a computer, they tried to legally mandate approved security and digital restrictions management systems in ALL electronic systems, personal computers and devices designed for your use. This would make your PC closed like an apple iPad where only the DRM compliant software could legally run, locked bootloaders would be everywhere, and it would be a crime (DMCA) to circumvent it

This would have made alot of problems for Linux too, thankfully the GPL v3 has *some* protections against DRM schemes that take away your freedoms

The interests of big business and distributors like the RIAA/MPAA are not very well aligned with the interests of end users, and they are more than happy to ride roughshod over your end user freedoms in order to gain all the control over the market for themselves and the profits that follow

I think we should be doing more to protect our freedoms

lot's of big business have in house apps or old so (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557828)

lot's of big business have in house apps or old software so any kind of super locked down systems will not work or will take a long time to roll out.

Re:lot's of big business have in house apps or old (2)

AJWM (19027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558350)

Sure, and they'd be, well maybe not happy, but willing to jump through the licensing hoops to allow such to run on those locked-down systems, or to purchase unlocked hardware.

Options that might not be available (or be prohibitively expensive, or require an inordinate amount of paperwork) to Joe Public.

IOW, never rely on big business to defend your freedoms for you. It turns out that businesses have freedoms that individuals don't.

but still it will not happen over night (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558446)

and that time line give room for laws to work into the court system and get over turned be for they take full or end up like the DMCA where the law open's the door for some stuff like any app or any network on your phone.

That Doctorow's CCC talk is worth watching (1)

6350' (936630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557810)

I gave it a view a few days ago (don't worry at the seeming length - half of it is Q&A), and found it thought provoking. While it's more a statement of what is and soon will be, with less on action items, the general themes will resonate here on /., I think.

Lot of interesting talks at CCC this year, more broadly: do dig through their list on youtube - lots of neat stuff in there. This [youtube.com] talk on timing attacks on websites was pretty darned neat (starts mild, ramps up to "cool!").

apple app store censorship is close to anti trust (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557814)

apple app store censorship is close to anti trust levels.

Now it's one think to ban apps that are ruining away with cpu use and crash a lot.

But's a other to ban based on content.

anti trust requries a working government (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557880)

with a working regulation system.

we do not have that in the united states. the regulators like the FTC who would ordinarily care about this sort of thing are completely captured (owned, bought, bribed) by corporations and hedge funds and investment banks.

they do some 'anti trust theatre' like the recent AT&T thing... but honestly its ridiculous.

the real reason Apple beat MS to all of the 'integrated platform' thing is because MS was afraid of another anti-trust action by the government. Now that it has realized the government no longer exists, in any meaningful regulatory fashion, as proved by the Apple business model, MS is trying to catch up with Windows 8.

Re:apple app store censorship is close to anti tru (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557928)

apple app store censorship is close to anti trust levels.

What does that sentence even mean?

Re:apple app store censorship is close to anti tru (0)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558278)

That it's about time the government hit Apple with antitrust suit.

Re:apple app store censorship is close to anti tru (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558338)

I must have missed the part where Apple had a smartphone monopoly.

Re:apple app store censorship is close to anti tru (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558704)

what about a digital music store monopoly

Am I being held back somehow? (1)

CyberLife (63954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557844)

I guess I'm not understanding how using a "controlled" platform hinders me.

Re:Am I being held back somehow? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557954)

"It lets me do what I want to do, at this very moment."

People never change. You should be just fine.

Re:Am I being held back somehow? (5, Informative)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558024)

well may I share an apple story? I own a powermac 9600/300, terribly expensive computer for its time (over 7 grand new) one day apple came out with a new operating system called OS9 and its not the worst OS apple has ever released it quickly became surpassed by OS9.2

OS9.0x was about as useful as system 7, if you wanted anything new it was 9.2 or nothing ... Video drivers for your new card, 9.2? New game 9.2, new compression utility 9.2, but my 9600 was unable to run OS9.2 ...

You know what made a 7 grand workstation into a dinosaur? Apple's control, they swapped 2 bytes in the installer so that machines with a older rom would fail the system check

Naturally apple suggested I toss this perfectly good machine in the dumpster and buy a whole new and improved model (which had darn near identical specs), Their control was nothing about the user experience (it still runs a patched version of 9.22 and OSX just fine, and fairly snappy) it was all about selling me a new machine whenever THEY thought I should have one.

Re:Am I being held back somehow? (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558172)

Is that an argument for controlled platforms, or against yourself?

The REAL Reason the internet always wins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557858)

General purpose computing is Cheap. Back when Macintosh was still using Motorola processors, guess how much they were paying per mhz compared to intel? Not just on the processor, what about on the mobo and in memory and in disk and technology developement and and and (list goes on and on). Same with Intel and Rambus.

Why did they switch? Aah....

And now? Now we can install Mac OSX onto a virtual machine or do hackintoshes for the quarter of the price of a mac because why? The hardware is now functionally similar.

Android, Windows Mobile, ChromeOS, they're all functionally similar insofar as they run on the same hardware. The only real difference is in the security protocols built into that hardware which are, well, expensive and in many cases generic and used on several platforms.

Every company wants to make their special little app to control the user experience so they can control the user and they fail to realize this is a trojan horse; yes I will sign up with my name as IWANTBUTTSECHS at 404 GO!!$!# YOURSELF Rd, and even if you validate the address, I can pick a random one with a random name and go masquerading. That's illegal? Pfft, Proove to me you've lost money in court loser.

This is a Coders argument; the argument of someone who ignores the hardware completely.

Apple!!! (0)

etresoft (698962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557868)

Oh! Oh! Oh! Repost! Repost! Repost!

Increase in dupes lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38557876)

Do Slashdot editors not read Slashdot? There seem to be dupes every day now.

Civilization comes to the Internet? (-1, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557956)

This seems to be the process of civilization arriving. Apple imposes just enough rules to keep the criminals and a few other counter-civilizing influences out, making their platform safe and healthy. Alarmists and predators complain about there being any rules at all, while Apple tries to walk the thin line between an unappealing anarchy and an equally unappealing regimentation.

Other vendors will definitely follow Apple's example, because most paying customers prefer civilization.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558040)

Oh here we go.

Freedom to compute is for criminals. Right.

--
BMO

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558170)

Crime is not freedom. Learn to understand the difference.

Apple keeps viruses and malware and phishing apps off their phone platform. Viruses and malware and phishing apps aren't needed for "freedom" on the Internet any more than burglars and rapists are needed for freedom in your neighborhood.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558216)

But that's not all Apple keeps off, and they don't always keep it clean anyway.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558292)

But that's not all Apple keeps off, and they don't always keep it clean anyway.

Hence my use of the phrase "...tries to walk the thin line...".

Your message suggests imperfections may exist in a human-devised system for dealing with human-caused problems.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558336)

They don't try to walk the thin line, or at least not the one you are talking about.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558356)

Really?

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558600)

Yes, they've banned apps for lots of other reasons. As TFA says, the App Store is Disneyfied.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (0)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558640)

Is your point that we'd be better off with viruses and malware? Or is your point that Apple does an imperfect job? Or Apple's banning policy doesn't precisely map to your preferences? Or what?

You should post a perfect policy that no one will ever argue with.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558726)

We'd be better off without what you foolishly call 'civilization.' Now, I would be fine with Apple providing a way to safely and easily offer users high quality, well vetted software, just so long as users can easily install software that Apple doesn't approve of.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558822)

Who is "we"? And, by what practical measure would "we" be better off? What's the specific, tangible value that Apple is depriving you of? And why do you think you're entitled to benefit from Apple's efforts at no cost?

I like the fact that Apple keeps malware off my phone. Their other restrictions are not a problem for me because I don't write, nor do I want to use, hate-apps or porn-apps.

They may make a mistake when banning something sometimes. Human systems are imperfect, but these imperfections are better than viruses and malware in this case.

Please post a perfect policy that no one will ever argue with.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558708)

But that's not all Apple keeps off, and they don't always keep it clean anyway.

Hence my use of the phrase "...tries to walk the thin line...".

Your message suggests imperfections may exist in a human-devised system for dealing with human-caused problems.

Or they are alluding to the fact that Apple also keeps any apps that may compete with any of their own ones off. Or ones that might be 'offensive'.

In short, Apple doesn't come anywhere close to merely keeping off phishing apps, viruses and the like. They keep off anything they feel you shouldn't have regardless of whether or not it is 'safe' or not. It might be easier to defend the walled garden approach if it didn't lead to such actions as surely as the Sun will rise tomorrow.

Re:Civilization comes to the Internet? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558580)

Apple fanbois never cease to amuse me. Willing slaves, not different from religious zealots. They love their chains and their bars, and call them "civilization". Clearly inferior specimens. Dismissed.

What exactly is his problem? (0, Redundant)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38557998)

Your content cannot be displayed by Twitter unless you're one of their partners. How you get to be a partner is left to your imagination. We have no visibility into it.

Sure you have: you have to create a Twitter account, and after that you can post whatever content (although calling tweets content is a bit of a stretch) you damn well please.

Why is everything a "war" on something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558044)

... and every new introduction is the "[---]-killer"?

Based On Google I Don't Blame Them (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558056)

Right now the only way to find sites on the internet is to use Google or one of its competitors. But they are all based on advertising revenue. So it often makes it brutal to find anything in the usually returned storm of bullshit ads that isn't trying to sell you something when you do an online search. The only choice you have to get away from this are a few well known havens where search terms aren't geared on sales, and in fact spam and unwanted advertising get you kicked. Like on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and others. Possibly the same with some Apple related sites as well (not really liking Apple's business practices, I don't use their products).

When I search for something on Wikipedia it might have errors in it, but at least I am getting something that is 99% accurate, and more importantly I don't have to wade through a ton of crap to find the results I am interested in learning about. When people search the hash tags in Twitter they can find stuff they are interested in. There are groups on Facebook where people can easily share passions and ideas. Sure, using a search engine like Google you can find the same information outside of these sites, but by the nature of their need to generate revenue, Google, Yahoo, et al have all too often made this far too painful for the average bear.

How many times do we search for something on Google only to get tons of crap that we're not interested in. Mostly stuff trying to sell you something that based on the fact one of your search terms matches one of numerous key words they have registered to respond to. For example yesterday I wanted to see what information was around on why a product Line6 (guitar effects products) called a UX8 was discontinued; but not from the Line6 site. I wanted to hear the 'buzz on the street' so to speak. Whatever I searched I was still presented with almost entirely links to sites that sold music equipment but telling me they don't sell it any more, it was discontinued. I couldn't find a discussion about this based on numerous queries I made to Google. Granted in the mix might have been something I was interested in, but the results are so swamped with crap I don't care about that a mere mortal human is unable to filter it all.

Controlling the user experience allows sites to provide a kind of coherence lacking in hoards of websites howling for you money. Until Google and the other search services provide a search filter to remove online retailers (and/or other options) without having to figure out our own search terms to do so, these sites will live, thrive, and survive, and will be one of the futures of the internet.

Re:Based On Google I Don't Blame Them (1)

sessamoid (165542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558144)

I find myself going to Wikipedia for my initial searches for general information more and more often, and Google less so as time goes on for specifically the reasons you cited here.

The User Experience is All That Matters (4, Insightful)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558282)

Most end users are concerned with the user experience, and little else.

This doesn't negate the legitimacy of the Free Software Movement. It doesn't mean that it shouldn't be championed and taken as far as it can. What it does mean is that the vast majority of people just want shit that works right out of the box. Free Software has yet to provide an experience many find superior to things like iOS, so iOS continues to gobble-up marketshare while people write articles about how awful it is that it's happening.

What most users want is this: Open box. Turn on computer. Search for the app they want. Hit "Install". Use app. That's it. Get shit done, and do other shit when the desire strikes.

People who don't understand this often adopt a condescending tone and claim iPhone / iPad users are just dumb sheep who buy into PR, etc. And that if users only opened their eyes and realized how they're being controlled...

But that's not going to win any converts. People want to do shit with as few hassles as possible. Years of "Grrr. If you want X, Y or Z, code it yourself!" have reenforced ideology and alienated users, while companies like Apple have been making and releasing products. And that's really the difference in the end. Dogmatic essays and arguing over the minutiae of license revisions vs. shipping products that do things people want in a manner in which they find appealing. The latter always wins.

Most end users don't give a damn about ideology, licenses or figureheads spouting the latest opinions on how things should or should not be.

They want: "Here is a new device. This is what it does. If you like it, buy it. Come back in 12 months and we will have an updated version."

They like that discovering and installing software is now about as easy as you could possibly hope to make it.

They like that they can download an application once, delete it, and reinstall it for free whenever they want, as many times as they want, on all of their devices. Simultaneously.

They like that their devices automatically backup their applications and user data while they're walking down the street.

They like that they can go into a store, buy a new device, enter their email and password, and have all of their applications and settings just appear within moments.

You can bemoan the licenses and lack of tinker-ability in each piece of hardware and software. You can talk about walled gardens and developer fees. Remind us how annoyingly arbitrary the application approval process is.

And I will probably agree with you.

But the fact remains, people want a user experience, not a license. Not an ideology or a movement.

Firefox took Internet Explorer's market share because Internet Explorer sucked, and Firefox was great. And you could point-out why it was great in ways that someone who didn't know what a compiler or license was could say "Wow, this is great!" And most of all, even if you didn't tell them, even if they had never heard of Firefox or the GPL, you could see people start using it and not stop using it. Because it was better. At the end of the day, clicking "Firefox" instead of "Internet Explorer" made things happen faster, with fewer problems. People liked that.

It was a triumph of free software. Lower case. The Free Software movement won a victory, but at the end of the day you have to write your code and release your applications and hardware with the assumption that no one will know, or care what the Big Ideas are behind the project. Anything you want to get across to the user must come out in the time spent interacting with a program. Kinda-sorta functional, pre-Beta / endless Beta software excused with a "But it's free and makes the world a better place because..." won't cut it.

If you want to fight the likes of iOS and win, look at what's appealing about the experience and improve on it. Don't you dare tell people they don't want what they're currently enjoying. Offer them a better alternative. Cut the condescension and smug sense of superiority.

Don't offer a half-assed carbon copy that resembles what works, but doesn't function in a similar way. There's a reason why so many cheaper tablet computers have failed, but the iPad still sells. It's the same reason why putting an OS X theme on your favorite window manager doesn't give you an experience as good as OS X. The individual pieces need to be thought of as part of a whole, working together.

It's not about what you invoke, but how it functions. It's not about how free it is, or who makes it. It's not about ideas and licenses and movements.

The best way to ensure that iOS and other closed platforms remain dominant is to dismiss the reality on the ground and keep believing that anything other than the user experience matters to the average user. Keep telling yourself that the success of companies like Apple is because people are stupid and they just can't see how great software Y is under license Z.

Give them what they want, and they will come to you. Stop making excuses. And no, they're not going to write the apps themselves. Get over it, or step aside.

Re:The User Experience is All That Matters (1)

jonamous++ (1687704) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558622)

One of the rare posts that really hits the nail on the head with all of the points made. Very well done.

Re:The User Experience is All That Matters (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558630)

What most users want is this: Open box. Turn on computer. Search for the app they want. Hit "Install". Use app. That's it. Get shit done, and do other shit when the desire strikes.

Yeah, as long as the app they want exists.

The Next Big Thing -- the next game-changer comparable to, say, HTTP and HTML -- won't come from Apple, or IBM, or Microsoft, or even Google. It will come from a university researcher who invents a tool to solve a specific problem and then realizes the tool has general applicablity, or from a programmer at a startup who can convince his boss to let him take a chance on something genuinely different from anything their competitors are doing, or from a teenager playing around in his parents' basement. And so will the Big Thing After That, and the Big Thing After That --

-- if, that is, they have the tools to do it with. If they're not locked in to a world where general-purpose computers are no longer general-purpose enough to allow such things to happen. If they're not prohibited by law from releasing their work to the public because it doesn't have the Holy Seal Of Big Corporate Intellectual Property.

The "I just want an app that does X" crowd make up the vast majority of computer users and probably always will, and that's fine. But they have to understand where those apps come from.

Re:The User Experience is All That Matters (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558746)

What most users want is this: Open box. Turn on computer. Search for the app they want. Hit "Install". Use app. That's it. Get shit done, and do other shit when the desire strikes.

People who don't understand this often adopt a condescending tone and claim iPhone / iPad users are just dumb sheep who buy into PR, etc. And that if users only opened their eyes and realized how they're being controlled...

Oh, no, we understand that just fine. That's WHY we call them sheep. Because they don't want to think.

Computer as appliance = user as commodity (3, Interesting)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558286)

They have to dumb down both of them to control them both. Good for the vendor, but the society?

Me, I don't think a society which manages to make their citizens an interchangeable commodity with a well-defined but artificially limited set of skills that match a narrow range of "appliances" is going to be "cutting-edge" in anything; rather, as a monoculture they - and their "appliances" - will be sitting ducks for the electronic version of Phytophthora infestans just as Ireland - and the potato - were in 1845.

Re:Computer as appliance = user as commodity (0)

PieceOfShitAndroid (2538056) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558670)

Android is not as open as the ideologues claim it is, it is still controlled by Google and the carriers. Google doesn't actually care about Android, they just care that Android exists. The freedom people associate with Android can be taken away. And the freedom is more perception than reality. Android has a long way to go before it equals the freedom of Linux and general purpose computers.

The UX of iOS may provide fewer options than Android and in that sense it is dumbed down, but from a developer's point of view Android is dumbed down compared to iOS. The fact is, it is easier to solve difficult problems with the iOS SDK versus the Android SDK. iOS is infinitely more powerful than Android in this sense. You will often find that the iOS version of an app will be developed first, then ported to Android, and it will be of lower quality and take longer to develop than the iOS counterpart.

It would be trivial for Apple to change its policies and make iOS more open. To solve Android's design problems you would have rewrite it from scratch, and I doubt Google has the skills necessary to develop something as nice as the iOS SDK.

I prefer Apple's walled garden to Android's inferior SDK where you are pretty much forced to develop in Java, an inferior language. Android exists within its own type of walled garden, despite what the ideologues say.

Android = developer as commodity

In the end, Windows won because people are idiots, they don't know any better, and that's why Android will win, because people are idiots.

That's also why popular music is shit, because people are idiots.

Android = popular music = shit

Re:Computer as appliance = user as commodity (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558748)

Why didn't you just submit a blank comment? I derived everything you wanted to - everything you did - say in this comment from your username.

War on General purpose Web Browsing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558432)

I'm on the iPad and Slashdot is giving me this semi- mobile version. Half of the web these days hates mobile devices and I don't know why can't we always have desktop versions and only have mobile sites on request?

Re:War on General purpose Web Browsing (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558790)

Odd. I find my self changing the user agent TO iPod on my desktop, just to get the comments to flow better.

Dear slashdot,

I want to control how wide my browser window is. Please stop using shitty css rules that you apparently tested in full-screen mode on 3 different monitor sizes. You're breaking the resizable window metaphor, and forcing my browser window to put up text that is WAY too wide for readability.

WTF? Free market internet? Oh lord ... (1)

dankasak (2393356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558458)

The link between the almighty free market and therefore all that is good, and the closed systems pushed by our corporate slave owners is more than a little strenuous. But let's run with it and see. OK so in the free market, corporations do whatever the fuck they want, backed by the legal system and hired thugs, and the rest of us fucking comply. That seems to me to be the very situation this article complains about, not the solution to it. OK so how about a valid alternative to this dictatorship of capital ... what would a collectively owned and planned solution look like in this context ( stay with me, Yanks, I know you're not so hot on context ). Well ... I think it would look like open source software ... which IS a solution to what this article complains about. Hmmmm ... I don't see a problem here, other than people getting all muddled in the afterglow of their pro-free-market wank session.

The natural outcome of advancing technology... (2)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558470)

All of this is the predictable result of growing technology. Technology amplifies human intent. There are two great forces in the world. The first being the human desire to own, control, manipulate and squeeze to benefit me or us (focused self interest.) The other being to human need to create, advance, promote the greater good for all, collaborate and serve to benefit all. These are not intrinsically right or wrong, just different. Its when technology has amplified these ambitions in humanity to world shaking heights that we find ourselves at odds.

We must allow for artists to create new visions of what is possible closed or open. These creations however must sit inside of a world designed to serve all for the benefit of all. The greater good must dominate the worlds infrastructure. It is only in a context that serves all, that the more limited context of single self expression can flourish without destroying the very people for whom the creation should be serving. We need to make this a clear and public conversation, such that new creators can fully understand the repercussions of their choices and the ultimate value of their inventions. By making the total environment clear, and seeing how the many parts work inside the larger system, we can allow new players to choose positions that will server precise who they choose to serve.

Clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38558484)

This is why Linux on the desktop has prevailed.

Doctorow Made a Good Point (5, Interesting)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38558636)

about what's going to happen when 3D printing and bioscale assemblers hit the mainstream. Right now we're having trouble because the [MP/RI]AA, who represent comparatively tiny industries, are pushing to destroy open systems. Imagine what happens when the Monsanto's and Walmarts of the world jump on the bandwagon because consumers stop consuming and start manufacturing on their own.

I imagine that if we win that battle an era of unparalleled advancement, freedom, and opportunity for humanity lies on the other side; however, the powers that be will not go quietly, and there will likely be an unprecedented era of repression that will only be overcome with a great deal of trouble and not a little bloodshed.

The only way I can imagine it breaking our way without said bloodshed is if we plan it such that it all happens at once everywhere from as many places as possible, using darknets, ad-hoc mesh networks, and other ways to ensure freedom of information and clever replication schemes to make sure you, me, and everyone we know gets in on the quantum leap in capability immediately instead of the usual diffusion model that has been constant in human history. That is, we can't afford to wait the 20 years for everyone to get a computer and online to get everyone's hands on 3D printers; and that means we have to build dead-simple interfaces into those technologies from the outset to cut the learning curve to zero.

We can't give the powers that be time to react. We can't give them the chance to divide, deflect, and defeat the change.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?