Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Feb 2010 23:25 UTC, submitted by Chicken Blood
Apple The beauty of the internet is such that every opinion has become worthless; this goes doubly so for those with publish buttons on (relatively, we're humble) major websites. For every opinion, there's a matching counter-opinion, and that's great. Yesterday, we linked to an article by Mark Pilgrim about tinkerers and the iPad, and of course, someone was bound to disagree with that one.
Thread beginning with comment 407503
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Now that's Sniveling!
by lemur2 on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 02:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now that's Sniveling! "
Member since:

And you seem to have a hard time with the reality that we are NOT talking about now, but about the future. A lot of people - me included - fear where this is going to, not where it is now.

Spot on, Thom. As you say, the enlightening quote is the one you pointed out regards DVD Jon.

From your introduction:
The quote in Pilgrim's article about DVD Jon really says it all. Which computer did he break into? His own.

My own computer is actually an "upgrade kit". It consisted originally of a motherboard, a CPU, some RAM sticks, a video card, a blank hard disk drive, a CD/DVD burner, and a case and power supply (some of these pieces were purchased seperately). I assembled these components, I turned it on, I set the BIOS to load an OS from a CD as first preference, and I put an Arch Linux install CD in the CD drive. All of the software and data that is now on that system I have added from there, this system has never seen any commercial EULA-restricted software installed on it at any time.

How on earth would I be deemed to have "broken into" my own system that I bought and then tinkered myself?

Yet doubtless this would be the attitude of the Apple's of this world. Control freaks extraordinaire. Anti-freedom in every sense.

The latest push from the control-freak set seems to be to try and subvert HTML5 so that the video codec is h264, not Theora.
have the potential for universal acceptance, creating a "baseline format" that everyone is both able and permitted to use without restrictions
Nokia's objection seems to be that the open Theora codecs that everyone is indeed "both able and permitted to use without restrictions" is not a proprietary codec! Really!
Among them, Nokia's paper states that "a W3C-led standardization of a 'free' codec, or the active endorsement of proprietary technology such as Ogg … by W3C, is, in our opinion, not helpful." Ogg's codecs are licensed under the BSD open source license, and are therefore not proprietary in any accepted sense of the word.

Well der.

Apple's objection was pure FUD:
Apple Computer have also opposed the inclusion of Ogg formats in the HTML standard on the grounds that H.264 performs better
... FUD obviously motivated by Apple's self-interest, since Apple are members of MPEG-LA.

The comment from Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group makes no sense at all, because it applies the least to Theora of all possible candidate codecs:
WHATWG has cited concerns over the Ogg formats still being within patent lifetime and thus vulnerable to unknown patents
(Ogg Theora is royalty-free covered by its own patents, and these are the oldest patents of any codec that was proposed).

Apple in particular is almost blatantly "advertising" for anyone to come forward who may have such a currently-mythical unkown patent, in an ill-disguised attempt to stop Theora adoption. Fortunately, no-one seems to actually have anything even resembling such a patent, thereby effectively disproving the WHATWG objection.

This is relevant because the iPad, delivered as it is with no Flash, has no support at all for web video other than HTML5/h264.

So the control freaks are out in force, and applying spin, spin and evermore spin trying to assert their control over what YOU may or may not do on YOUR OWN COMPUTER.

That is unbelieveable chutzpah.

Edited 2010-02-03 02:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Gone fishing Member since:

Oh wait that's right I bought the xbox 360 to play games so I could care less.

Completely open consumer devices only lead to piracy. Most users in fact support locking down consumer devices since most of them are against pirates and freeloaders. Most game developers support them as well.


You've just stated the ideological frame work for locking everything down and preventing users from doing anything on there box that the manufactures and IP holders didn't intend.

now all we need is to complete the legal frame work, something like modifying the hardware or software environment in any way that is not intended by the manufacturer or IP holders is a civil and or criminal offense. Oh and all pervasive patents and IP right to the rich and powerful to complete the picture.

Perhaps you would like to see stickers on all boxes - Opening this device by anyone other than an authorized dealer will invalidate the warranty and may result in criminal prosecution and on the front installing or loading any unauthorized optical disc into this device may invalidate the warranty and result in criminal prosecution.

I yes you just want to play games - so just go and play GTA an be a real dude in a fantasy world after all the real world doesn't matter.

Reply Parent Score: 5

boldingd Member since:

Completely open consumer devices only lead to piracy. Most users in fact support locking down consumer devices since most of them are against pirates and freeloaders. Most game developers support them as well.

Have you lost all connection with reality? "Most users support locking down consumer devices?" So, if I asked Random Joe Computer User if he'd like to control his own computer, he'd say, "Oh, God, no! If I controlled my computer, I'd just pirate things! Please, take away my ability to load software on it, or change any of its settings."

Most people I know very much want to control their own devices, at least in the abstract. The problem is, they also don't want to worry about administering their devices, which they view as a onerous cost to using the device, which should be minimized; they don't realize that, in opting for a clean, simplified, configuration-free environment, with minimal or no control nobs and administration levers, they've also sacrificed their control of their hardware. They don't realize they're making a trade-off there.

Hell, Classic Mac OS, and I think OS X, had a "simple interface mode", which basically aggressively dumbed down the user interface even more, on the theory that non-power-users would probably prefer a simpler interface. The Mac Classic one, if I recall, completely did away with the Desktop or access to the file system, and just displayed multiple tabs, one listing all the applications in some PATH, and another tab all the documents in some other PATH, each displayed as a big-ass button. My father doesn't understand the concept of drag-and-drop: I said, logically enough, "let's try simple mode, maybe you can use that." He hated it. The reason? Because he was obviously trading off his ability to control the computer -- or even just use the computer's facilities to their fullest -- for ease-of-use. (Well, OK, it might have been insulting to him to be using an interface that was both so hideous and so obviously cabbagized, that was probably also a factor.) Ditto for OS X: I think Simple Interface Mode lasted a few minutes, because it hid controls on the menu bar, and he wanted access to all the controls on his computer, which he definitely felt he should own and control completely, given that he'd paid the rather exorbitant price for the thing (it was a Mac Cube).

When the offer to trade off ownership for convenience is made up-front, almost nobody will go for it. People most certainly actively wish to avoid losing control of their machines, and they definitely don't value locking down an environment for its own sake. The problem comes when the trade-off is hidden: if it's pitched first as making the environment much easier to use, and people don't see or realize how much control they're really giving up, they'll accept the same deal much more eagerly.

Edited 2010-02-03 17:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:

"Completely open consumer devices only lead to piracy" - bullshit.

.. About as valid as "the colour green causes cancer". To be truly accurate, it's copyright infringement not piracy. And open systems still don't cause it any more than closed systems have managed to stop it. (it's on the rise except in music where the removal of DRM has actually reduced piracy and improved profits)

"Most users in fact support locking down consumer devices since most of them are against pirates"

Most people believe what marketing tells them. There believing that open systems inherently lead to copyright infringement doesn't make it so though RIAA has put a lot of money into repeating that falsehood.

And, what exactly does gaming on Linux based systems have to do with how much access one has to there own purchased items?

"consumer entertainment devices not toy unix boxes" - like Tivo and the bazillion other consumer devices and gadgets that happen to use a Linux platform.

Reply Parent Score: 4

shotsman Member since:

I think the market is diverging with the advent of appliances like the iPhone, iPad and their imitators.

I make the car analogy.
The iPad, iPhone etc are your bog standard car that apart from filling the windscreen washer bottle many owner never open the bonnet/hood.

However that are still the people who like to tinker with their cars. Be it fitting a zillion watt sound system, bigger exhause, different camshafts & fuel injectors etc etc, they are the tinkerers.

As any market matures the proportion of the market of the 'non tinkerers' grows whilst (again proportionally) the % market share of the tinkerers shrinks.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Now that's Sniveling!
by jabjoe on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 19:00 in reply to "RE[4]: Now that's Sniveling! "
jabjoe Member since:

To make it like cars, like many have already said, it's not just you can't fix it, it's no one but the dealer can. This is actually happening with some car manufactures and it pushes the price for repairs way up. (Can't put my hand on the study/report I saw a while ago). This is a very very bad thing. Just think about your wallet for starters! No competition! People just stupidly expecting this as a ok trade off are sleep walking us all in dark waters indeed. In both the case of computers and cars. It does effect tinkerers and engineers, we would be stuck with either old kit we can play with, or new we can't, we aren't a big enough market in ourselves to get tailed to. This effects everyone because it means less people know how anything works as it's all hidden from anyone view. Things should be out in the open for all to learn from if we so choose. If you don't care how stuff works that's fine, but to make it so you couldn't find out even if you wanted to is just stupid. I actually think in both the case of computers and cars, it is government's job to play the long game and step in and regulate to protect the consumer by preventing locking out of competition.

Reply Parent Score: 2