Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Feb 2012 14:46 UTC
Mac OS X Well, this is a surprise. Several websites have a preview up of Apple's next Mac OS X release - it's called Mountain Lion, and continues the trend of bringing over functionality from iOS to Mac OS X. Lots of cool stuff in here we've all seen before on iPhones and iPads, including one very, very controversial feature: Gatekeeper. Starting with Mac OS X 10.8, Apple's desktop operating system will be restricted to Mac App Store and Apple-signed applications by default (with an opt-out switch), following in Windows 8's footsteps.
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howitzer86
Member since:
2008-02-27

It's not about a free desktop environment. It's about being able to do whatever you want with hardware and software you already paid for and own. There's no valid reason I shouldn't be able to install something on a general purpose operating system if I want to.


Then don't buy it. Believe it or not we are large enough in number to support a market. If Macs and Windows PCs turn into locked-in boxes that are illegal to tinker with, we simply won't buy them. No one can force us to buy a specific brand of computer, and our demand will shift to a vendor who will cater to our needs.

if machines are locked down like this, then the barrier to entry for anyone to get to the point where they would be "fine with installing Linux" would be severely increased. This is especially true on Macs because of the non-conforming UEFI implementation that they use.


Again, if it's not the product for you, don't buy it. Buy the right product that will fit your needs. If one doesn't exist, make it! There is a market!

System 76 for instance, appears to be doing just fine even before this scenario has completed. There will be more like it, likely supported by the Linux vendors.

At that point, the activity will probably be a DMCA violation and declared illegal on the grounds that it could 'enable teh dirty pirates' or some other such nonsense.


I'll agree to you on that. Every year the government has to pass an exemption on the DMCA clause that would make jail breaking cell-phones a crime. To bring the DMCA to the computer, all a vendor has to do is declare that the purpose of their lock-down is to prevent piracy. Automatically, the act of breaking the lock allows piracy. The act it self won't be policed, but the information showing a user how to commit it will be. People could go to prison for showing a user how to circumvent a locked down EFI implementation.

It may be more trouble then it's worth to jail break a locked down PC (I assume by this point it may not even be called a PC, but something else, and resemble an Apple TV in form and function).

This will promote the creation of a 'new' market dominated by vendors like System 76, catering to geeks and tinkerers such as ourselves.

The thing is, it might need to get to that point before there's any meaningful resistance. I hope not, but most people don't care and won't care until it's too late. I believe that this is the point the article makes.


Meaningful resistance in this case is the act of 'voting with your feet'. But instead of moving your feet, you'll be moving your money to another vendor that produces the product that you want to have.

Reply Parent Score: 1

CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

Your reasoning is good until you take the factor "workplace" and "market share" into account.

Eventually, the market share of such capped machines will be so high for one particular vendor, that the very software that you makes a living will require one these little monsters to work. And portability will not be a option thanks to a obfuscated API of the high-level tools used to develop these software, or the software is done by the same vendor of the machine.

That's the why today several people here at OSNews has dual-boot machines, even if they hates his secondary OS.

The situation will be thousands time worse in that hypothetical future, because you will need to actually have a second machine, and that sometimes is not a option for low income people.

You will also make your company even more dependent of the good will of a single monopolist supplier for all your IT needs. Your company will need to spend money just to have his custom software signed to work on theses machines. And as market share grows, the price of the signature will just too, and guess what? They could change you by machine, or even by processor cores, for something that you made (a internal software) to be used by your company.

This hypothetical monopolist will also wield the power to smash your way of living if he wants by simple revoking your developer ID for example. You need to be just slight inconvenient to them to face such fate.

Edited 2012-02-16 19:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

howitzer86 Member since:
2008-02-27

Your reasoning is good until you take the factor "workplace" and "market share" into account.

Eventually, the market share of such capped machines will be so high for one particular vendor, that the very software that you makes a living will require one these little monsters to work. And portability will not be a option thanks to a obfuscated API of the high-level tools used to develop these software, or the software is done by the same vendor of the machine.

That's the why today several people here at OSNews has dual-boot machines, even if they hates his secondary OS.

The situation will be thousands time worse in that hypothetical future, because you will need to actually have a second machine, and that sometimes is not a option for low income people.

You will also make your company even more dependent of the good will of a single monopolist supplier for all your IT needs. Your company will need to spend money just to have his custom software signed to work on theses machines. And as market share grows, the price of the signature will just too, and guess what? They could change you by machine, or even by processor cores, for something that you made (a internal software) to be used by your company.

This hypothetical monopolist will also wield the power to smash your way of living if he wants by simple revoking your developer ID for example. You need to be just slight inconvenient to them to face such fate.


Out of all the replies yours makes the most sense. I agree that would suck, but I also believe it wouldn't be the end of the world for geeks. We'll still be able to do what we do. I mention the possibility of higher development costs and lower returns in my first post.

We are talking hypotheticals though - What the government, Apple, and Microsoft *might* do - What the market *might* be like.

Since there's no doubt in you that the free market is not enough to ensure continued free use and development for computers (and I'm borderline on it TBH), all that's left to ask now is:

Do you favor preemptive action on the part of the government do deal with that situation? And just how would they deal with it? Break Microsoft and Apple up? Make vendor lock-in illegal? Institute software development license price controls?

I favor an in-market civilian reaction, which is simply to create a better product. Anything other than that is top-down government intervention, and the government just doesn't understand computer technology... I couldn't trust them to work in our interest even if we had the money to bribe them to do it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

TomF Member since:
2010-01-22

Then don't buy it. Believe it or not we are large enough in number to support a market.


that bit is not really the problem part... if my bank-maffia does not allow anything except the approved ms-apple-whatever product to acces my account... then I CANT access my account... and rest assured, all mafia (excuse me... banks etc) will make sure only approved products/comps will be able to do so (as the product owners are paying maffia... ouch... bank membership)

cynical ? nop...
TomUK

Reply Parent Score: 4