Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th May 2012 18:28 UTC
Apple "I think that Apple could be just as strong and good and be open, but how can you challenge it when a company is making that much money?", Wozniak told a crowd in Sydney, according to ITNews. They'd score so many brownie points the internet would explode.
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tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

1. Reverse the ban on GPL software in the App Store and Mac App Store. The GPL only requires making the source available at no cost to people who have the binary, which could be as simple as putting a working link to the source repository in the application's "about this app" message.

2. Set each iOS device to jailbroken by default. Most users are, quite frankly, morons that wouldn't know how to take advantage of the added functionality if you mailed them a thousand page printed manual going over every possible action in explicit detail.

3. Remove any remaining DRM from the app stores, iTunes, and iBooks. Seriously,they're not popular because of lock-in, they're popular because of convenience and selection.

4. Open source the rest of the operating system and all the Apple software. Again, this doesn't mean you have to put download links on apple.com to download bootable Darwin images, but it'd help. Darwin for ARM would be especially cool, as it would give GNU/Linux some competition in the embedded world.

5. After #4, there's no penalty to using GPLv3 software, so for the love of Jobs, update bash, gcc, and any other software you've let stagnate.

6. Remove the gray area and make Hackintoshing explicitly legal. A limited hardware lineup like Apple's is never going to meet everybody's needs - why not sell an operating system to the rest? $30 for a pure open source OS with superb vendor support and tons of commercial applications is entirely reasonable.

If all of this happened, I'd get an iPad tomorrow. Seriously.

Reply Score: 7

lmprods Member since:
2012-05-14

If all of this happened, I'd get an iPad tomorrow. Seriously.


Instead of responding point-by-point, I'll just respond to your final statement. So your point is that Apple should reverse every policy that has contributed to its success over the last 10 years, and then you'll spend $500?

Reply Parent Score: 6

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

You know, I can think of a lot of ethical, moral, technological wrong ways to be extremely successful in business. Crippling your product, blocking interoperability, taking a huge cut on any transaction done on your platform, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 4

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

blocking interoperability


Apple is a master of blocking interoperability and lock-in. If something they should gain some decency to use more open standards (USB, free codecs, no DRM and so on).

Edited 2012-05-14 19:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 12

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

#4 is never going to happen, and frankly I'm fine with that.

IMO though, the best thing Apple could possibly do for its business model would be to sell a version of OSX for PCs, and try to make their way into the mainstream PC market. OSX has an enormous usability advantage over Linux, and plus brandname appeal, and it's just pretty. I'm telling you, if they did this, they could crush Microsoft overnight.

P.S. You forgot #0: "Use some of those immense cash reserves to give a decent paycheck to the workers you've been gratuitously exploiting." Seriously.

Reply Parent Score: 11

sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

1. OSX does not have "an enormous usability advantage over Linux". That's just your opinion. Lots of other people think otherwise.

2. PCs (iMACs, Macbooks, etc.) provide Apple just a 15% of its income (and declining). Why would they even care to "crush" Microsoft in such a small market for them? MS is already "crushed" in the market that counts: mobility. They're no one there.

Apple is fine as it is. They get the biggest profit while not having the biggest market share. They're just doing fine as company. Nobody is forced to use their products (I don't). Just leave them alone and move on.

Reply Parent Score: 5

gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

...the best thing Apple could possibly do for its business model would be to sell a version of OSX for PCs, and try to make their way into the mainstream PC market. OSX has an enormous usability advantage over Linux, and plus brandname appeal

I agree with you on the brandname appeal. Hipsters will always be hipsters. But I disagree on the "crushing MS/Windows" thing. Strange as it may sound to you, I've noticed more and more people install Win7 on their Macbooks over the past year. Of course, they keep OSX installed, but many seem to use Win7 more often on it. Whether that's to do with their workflow needs or just a factor of familiarity, I cannot say.


... and it's just pretty

One man's hero is another's terrorist. I frankly can't stand widgety bubbly shiny stuff. Nor can I tolerate fuzzy unsharp fonts.

Probably explains why I've run either Xmonad or ScrotWM/SpectrWM on top of OSX on my workplace's Mac Pro and use them as much as I can. Even rolled back to Snow Leopard just because Lion refused to play nice with those two window managers.


P.S. You forgot #0: "Use some of those immense cash reserves to give a decent paycheck to the workers you've been gratuitously exploiting." Seriously.

All mega-corporations should be doing this, not just Apple.

Edited 2012-05-15 01:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I'll only respond to the first one which is easy...they can't use GPL V3, sorry. To be compliant with GPL V3 thanks to the TiVo clause they would have to open ALL DRM so that one could compile and use the app on any apple device which would destroy the market. After all one could argue its their control that has kept the Apple appstore a hell of a lot cleaner and malware free than the Android appstore which has been hit by one bug after another.

So i'm sorry friend but if you think Apple, which like it or not has a history of tight grained control of their devices, is gonna give up ALL DRM just to allow GPLed apps? sorry, not gonna happen. Personally I would not be surprised if the opposite becomes true in that all appstores will simply ban GPL so you will either have to have the ability to offer it under another license or not at all as in the case of VLC.

I have noticed that more new projects are refusing contributions if you don't sign rights away which tells me the days of "everyone can contribute" will probably end up dead. After all if you can't get your app into the Apple or MSFT appstores what good is it? Between those two companies you are looking at probably 90%+ of the devices on the planet!

So as much as i like old woz i just don't see an "Open Apple" ever coming about. they make too much money with the current model and are in fact last i checked the biggest corp on the planet. does anyone really think they are gonna risk such a successful model to please such a small group? after all their customers don't seem to have a problem with the way things are judging by the lines around the block when a new iDevice is released. if it ain't broke?

Reply Parent Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

That's stupid and wrong. DRM is not the same thing as control over the market. You can and should be picky about what goes in to your operating system's main repository - note the lack of viruses in Debian. DRM is just restricting what people can do with software and data they already have.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

I'll only respond to the first one which is easy...they can't use GPL V3, sorry. To be compliant with GPL V3 thanks to the TiVo clause they would have to open ALL DRM so that one could compile and use the app on any apple device which would destroy the market.

Ehh no, and were not talking about Apple using GPLv3 here. Microsoft showed how easy it is to allow GPLvX licenced software in their marketplace by simply saying that when it comes to OSI approved licences like GPLvX then their conditions will override that of those in the market place.

And for the record the whole 'open all DRM' is pure FUD, just like hundreds of thousand sites all across the web can distribute GPLv3 licenced software without opening their web site source code so can Apple when distributing through their AppStore.

The whole thing hinges on Apple enforcing their own restrictions on the software distributed through the AppStore, which in this case is the number of copies you are allowed to make of said software. GPL explicitly allows you to make and distribute as many copies of GPL licenced software as you want, Apple says you can only make X copies and this is where the terms collide.

However as we've seen from Microsoft, it's easy to fix this problem by making OSI approved licenced excempt from this restriction. Apple doesn't want to.

Reply Parent Score: 5

jebb Member since:
2006-07-06

The GPL only requires making the source available at no cost to people who have the binary, which could be as simple as putting a working link to the source repository in the application's "about this app" message.

Not even at no cost, mind you, at "no more than your reasonable cost".

However it does require YOU (you being the distributor, not the original programmer who maintains the cvs/subversion/git), to provide the source for, I think, a minimum of three years. Meaning Apple would have to maintain a source repository for GPL programs they offer. A link to somebody else's repository is not good enough, as far as I understand.

Reply Parent Score: 1

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

The GPLv3 allows the distributor to provide a simple link to the upstream source repository if they haven't changed the code. It's only the GPLv2 that requires Apple to run a source repository.

Reply Parent Score: 2

daveak Member since:
2008-12-29

1. Reverse the ban on GPL software in the App Store and Mac App Store. The GPL only requires making the source available at no cost to people who have the binary, which could be as simple as putting a working link to the source repository in the application's "about this app" message.


There isn't a ban (at least not one that is mentioned in the developer license contract), there is simply no legal way for GPL software to be in the App Store due to the GPL itself. The source is not just what you seem to think it is.

From version 2: (emphasis mine, not sure what version 3 says about such things)

"The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source
code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
control compilation and installation of the executable.
"

You can't install the executable on a device without a developer license and so therefore cannot fulfil the above, so without also allowing one of your other points of jailbreak by default they cannot allow GPL software.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You can't install the executable on a device without a developer license


So my binary-only Linux servers and desktops are in violation of the GPL then? Of course not.
Apple would just have to offer source packages for download via the App store or some other means.

Reply Parent Score: 3

clasqm Member since:
2010-09-23

2. Set each iOS device to jailbroken by default. Most users are, quite frankly, morons that wouldn't know how to take advantage of the added functionality if you mailed them a thousand page printed manual going over every possible action in explicit detail.


"Apple Support, how can I help you?"

"I installed this great system tweak from a repository my buddy gave me, but I can't remember what it was, and now my iPod Touch won't boot."

6. Remove the gray area and make Hackintoshing explicitly legal. A limited hardware lineup like Apple's is never going to meet everybody's needs - why not sell an operating system to the rest? $30 for a pure open source OS with superb vendor support and tons of commercial applications is entirely reasonable.


"Apple Support, how can I help you?"

"I paid $30 for this POS software and it won't install on my 15-year old Pentium 2! I want a refund!"

Once you allow your OS onto machinery you don't control, and you charge money for the privilege, you take on the duty of supporting a vast number of unknown configurations. That means more testing, more support lines, more drivers to be written. All of which will have to be paid for. Forget $30. Make that $130 or $230. Yes, what you pay for Windows.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"I installed this great system tweak from a repository my buddy gave me, but I can't remember what it was, and now my iPod Touch won't boot."


"Sorry, your warranty is no longer valid."


"I paid $30 for this POS software and it won't install on my 15-year old Pentium 2! I want a refund!"


"Sorry, that is not a supported system."

Why do people think this is rocket science? Apple don't have to support these systems. Besides, making your own hackintosh from your own retail DVD is perfectly legal. It's just that it's not legal for someone else to make and sell hackintoshes.

Reply Parent Score: 3

FellowConspirator Member since:
2007-12-13

While there are some good points, I wouldn't have them distribute iOS devices jail-broken since jail-breaking does explicitly and intentionally disable security features of the device (in exchange for the flexibility of doing whatever you like). The current default is correct. They simply shouldn't get their panties in a wad when someone does jailbreak the device, nor should they actively thwart it.

Apple open sources a lot, but I'm not sure that many of the things that they don't open source are of much value to the community unless they want to fork OS X, which Apple has no rational interest in supporting.

Also, there's really no grey area for hackintoshes. In most jurisdictions, they represent copyright infringement. Apple could decouple it's OS from it's hardware, but they aren't organized or sufficiently supported by the existing industry for it to be anything more than a hassle for them right now. It would be nice, yes, but from a business standpoint it doesn't make sense for them (now).

Reply Parent Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Also, there's really no grey area for hackintoshes. In most jurisdictions, they represent copyright infringement


How so? I was under the impression that a hackintosh is just an standard PC with a retail OSX installed. If I have a retail DVD set I can install it on any device I want and it will not be a copyright infringement. I am using the product for it's intended purpose. I am not making copies of the DVD's and am am not redistributing anything.
The fact that I don't use it exactly the way Apple wants is of no relevance. Apple can not tell me what I can and can not do in private with the things that I own.

Reply Parent Score: 3