Editorial Archive

A Tale of Three Tech Industry Warriors

Rob Enderle wrote an intriguing editorial for Digital Trends entitled "You can't call 'time out' in Silicon Valley," which examines the current battle between Apple, Google and Microsoft over the future of computing. In it, he draws some interesting parallels from the history of warfare, and notes that Microsoft and Google have made some of the classic blunders that have caused great armies to fail dramatically.

Rebuttal: Against Free

I read David's post worrying about the end of the free internet and I had to respond, as I strongly disagree that free and advertising-supported content is the future. If anything, it is advertising-supported content that is destined to be a niche strategy, because of new internet technology that enables entirely new models and empowers consumers to have exactly what they want. Advertising will not support much content creation, so I suggest what will.

Scandal: Most ‘Recycled’ Computers are Not Recycled

Last month, I described how the computer industry encourages planned obsolescence in order to sell more product. This business model exacerbates the problem of computer disposal because it artificially shortens computer lifespans. This increases production and, ultimately, the numbers requiring disposal. One result is that e-waste -- electronics waste -- is one now one of our most pressing environmental challenges. Updated

Jobs on Flash: Hypocrisy So Thick You Could Cut it with a Knife

Holier-than-thou, an adjective, meaning "marked by an air of superior piety or morality". Everybody has moments in their life where they get into a "holier-than-thou" attitude, and I think Steve Jobs' open letter regarding Adobe, and Flash in particular, really fits the bill. There are three specific points I want to address to illustrate just how holier-than-thou, hypocritical, and misleading this letter really is.

Are Closed Computing Devices Like Modern Cars?

Car analogies are quite popular on internet discussion forums, and ours is no exception. The problem with these analogies, however, is that they are usually quite flimsy, and a recent popular one is no exception. A number of people are now arguing that computer makers' move towards closed platforms (Apple, Sony, and so on) is akin to people no longer being able to service cars on their own. This analogy, which looks sound on a superficial level, breaks down when you spend more than five minutes contemplating it.

Is the Desktop Becoming Legacy?

A few years ago I wrote on OSNews several articles (1,2) about workstations. After three years I had to stop, because there were no workstations left on the market, they became legacy and were not sold any more. Now with the rise of mobile devices with touchscreen and wireless network connectivity virtually everywhere, the question becomes valid, what will happen with the desktop computers, are they still needed, or will they follow the workstations on their way to computer museums?

The Facebook Login Thing: Blown Out of Proportion

Recently, a story about people mistaking a news story for the Facebook login page has received considerable media attention. It's currently being seen by many as justification for the recent trend in locking people out of their computers for their own protection - but anyone with even basic mathematical skills and a calculator should come to the conclusion that this story has been blown way out of proportion.

App Store Model Provides Security, Stability: Evidence, Please?

The fact that the iPhone is a locked-down device, and that you don't really own it so much as rent it from Apple is well-known by now. The supposed reason for this lock-down is to ensure the device's stability and security - in fact, this has already become conventional wisdom. However, where is the proof that supports this statement? Is there any real-world evidence that suggests this model is better?

Storing Your Data on the Internet: Ignorant and Silly

Now that everything is moving to the cloud internet, you might think that data loss is a thing of the past. Sadly, as the past few months have taught us, this actually isn't true; we first had the Microsoft/Danger disaster, and now we have Palm and Sprint facing a class-action lawsuit over data loss for webOS phones. All this raises the question: how safe is it to store your precious data on the internet, and do you really trust the internet?

Five Years of Firefox: A Retrospective

Hands up if you use Firefox. Have used it? Know about it? Heard of it? 'Sites up and down the World Wide Web today will be celebrating five years of Firefox. When I sat down to write this I worried about having to list the history of its features and landmark events and the news of the past five years. Other sites will be comprehensively doing that, there is nothing I can add to that list that Google can't surmise. Instead I will be telling you what Google does not know, my story of Firefox and what Firefox has meant to all of us.

Has Palm Missed the Boat?

Most of us here like gadgets. Things with displays, LEDs, or stuff that otherwise lights up in the dark and makes cool noises. There is this one gadget I had been waiting for to come out in The Netherlands for quite a while now, but at some point a limit was reached, and today I decided to do a complete 180 and buy a competing product.

The Camel’s Back Broke: 1984 Days of Bad PR for Apple

I think I'd like to start an internet movement. Due to Apple's recent actions regarding the Google Voice app, I intend to criticize Apple every day at OSNews for 1984 days, or until they perform a very subtle and simple act of contrition. I'd like to enlist the help of every tech journalist, blogger, twitterer, Facebook denizen, and person who ever talks to another person. I'm that girl in the running shorts with the hammer, people! I'm throwing the hammer at the big creepy guy on the screen! We don't have to be slaves anymore! Read on for the full manifesto.

The iPhone Is Not a Netbook: “I Can”

Last week, Apple again repeated its claim that the iPhone and iPod Touch are capable of filling the netbook niche. They also claimed that netbooks can barely be called personal computers. Both of these statements are complete and utter nonsense, but instead of writing down some high-level definition of what a netbook is, I decided to simply write down all the things I do with my netbook that the iPhone/iPod Touch cannot do to make the difference between the two that much more tangible.

Resorting to FUD Hurts the Alternatives to Microsoft

Does Windows 7 contain more DRM than Windows Vista? Does Windows 7 limit you from running cracked applications, and will it open the firewall specifically for applications that want to check if they're cracked or not? Does it limit the audio recording capabilities? According to a skimp and badly written post on Slashdot, it does. The Slashdot crowd tore the front page item apart - and rightfully so.

Consistency Isn’t Skin Deep

Late last week we ran a story on how the Google Chrome team had decided to use Gtk+ as the graphical toolkit for the Linux version of the Chrome web browser. It was a story that caused some serious debate on a variety of aspects, but in this short editorial, I want to focus on one aspect that came forward: the longing for consistency. Several people in the thread stated they were happy with Google's choice for purely selfish reasons: they use only Gtk+ applications on their GNOME desktops. Several people chimed in to say that Qt integrates nicely in a Gtk+ environment. While that may be true from a graphical point of view, that really isn't my problem with mixing toolkits. The issue goes a lot deeper than that.