Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 29th May 2012 12:43 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Two weeks ago, Steve Wozniak made a public call for Apple to open its platforms for those who wish to tinker, tweak and innovate with their internals. EFF supports Wozniak's position: while Apple's products have many virtues, they are marred by an ugly set of restrictions on what users and programmers can do with them. This is most especially true of iOS, though other Apple products sometimes suffer in the same way. In this article we will delve into the kinds of restrictions that Apple, phone companies, and Microsoft have been imposing on mobile computers; the excuses these companies make when they impose these restrictions; the dangers this is creating for open innovation; why Apple in particular should lead the way in fixing this mess. We also propose a bill of rights that need to be secured for people who are purchasing smartphones and other pocket computers."
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RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by phoehne on Tue 29th May 2012 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
phoehne
Member since:
2006-08-26

The EFF takes a lot of positions on various issues. I generally support the EFF and have sent them money. I don't agree with every position.

Part of living in a free market economy is that the maker of a good or provider of a service can deliver that good or service as they see fit. Unless there is an actual harm (for example, poisoning people or abusing their market position) the law generally doesn't intervene. Even though the EFF may make a point I agree with, that over time some of these companies may be better off with more open platforms, fundamentally it's the responsibility of their management and board as to whether or not they sink or swim. Sometimes being open is the best thing you can do and sometimes it isn't. Either way, it's that organization's choice.

I think lot of people would like something like the iPad hardware was an open platform for other types of development. A number of tablets have good specs and would be fantastic platforms for Linux (in terms of memory and CPU) but for various reasons are closed. We don't have to buy them. There's one maker of Linux based tablets (although the specs aren't outstanding). If you want to vote in a way that Apple, Samsung or Microsoft will understand, vote with your pocketbook.

If you want to get other people to vote with their pocketbooks you have to provide a compelling alternative. Either it has to be better (which is hard because Apple makes a very polished product) or it has to be cheaper (with Amazon selling theirs at break even, that's tough) or it has to do something that's important to consumers. Given the use of these devices to watch video, and the requirements by content producers to lock up the delivery of content, and the fact that it's impossible to have a pure open source product that protects that content, it makes a compelling use case hard.

Right now the sweet spot for open source platforms is on developer desktops and servers. I'm cool with that.

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