Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
GNU is Not Unix

FSF Asks Apple To Comply With the GPL For Clone of GNU Go 482

Posted by timothy
from the y'know-fellas-the-license dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Free Software Foundation has discovered that an application currently distributed in Apple's App Store is a port of GNU Go. This makes it a GPL violation, because Apple controls distribution of all such programs through the iTunes Store Terms of Service, which is incompatible with section 6 of the GPLv2. It's an unusual enforcement action, though, because they don't want Apple to just make the app disappear, they want Apple to grant its users the full freedoms offered by the GPL. Accordingly, they haven't sued or sent any legal threats and are instead in talks with Apple about how they can offer their users the GPLed software legally, which is difficult because it's not possible to grant users all the freedoms they're entitled to and still comply with Apple's restrictive licensing terms."

Comment: Re:FindMyPhone Not Working? (Score 4, Informative) 492

by DECS (#31899730) Attached to: This Is Apple's Next iPhone

Because Apple apparently wanted to wipe it to prevent the software from being usable/visible. Once you wipe it, the configuration for FindMyPhone is wiped too (the device has to be linked to an account in order to be found).

It's better to lose hardware that can only be looked at than lose the hardware and the software, which would reveal a lot more about features. Gizmodo couldn't even say what the screen resolution was, because all it does it ask to be re-imaged with software Gizmodo doesn't have access to install.

Apple never leaks prototypes into the wild for promotional purposes. If anything, the phone was stolen. Apple likes buzz, but is not going to benefit from two months of "don't buy an iPhone until this new one comes out."

Adobe slips mobile Flash Player 10.1 to second half of 2010

Comment: Re:Eat my balls! (Score 1) 521

by DECS (#31234752) Attached to: Why Flash Is Fundamentally Flawed On Touchscreen Devices

Thanks for clarifying that you think Flash is not a problem on a multitouch device like the iPad because it works just fine on your non-multitouch Pocket PC device, as long as you have a joystick type controller to move around the mouse cursor.

The point is that existing Flash content assumes a mouse pointer because it's all designed to work on a Windows PC. That makes it a poor choice as a mobile platform.

Even as a lowest common denominator platform, Flash isn't capable of being deployed on the iPhone, the iPod touch, and the iPad, nor RIM's Blackberry. The Flash experience on Macs and PS3 and Wii and various other platforms that Adobe supposedly supports Flash playback on are similarly poor.

So unless you want to just drag a proprietary binary from the desktop to a mobile device and then kluge up the hardware to work like a mini-puter running Windows without any consideration of what makes a mobile device useful, Flash isn't any better than Windows Mobile.

Inside the iPad: Adobe Flash

+ - Palm Pre users suffer cloud computing data loss->

Submitted by DECS
DECS (891519) writes "Palm Pre users have been hit by a new cloud sync failure resulting in lost contacts, calendar items, notes and tasks, which now means that virtually every major smartphone vendor has suffered significant cloud problems: Apple's MobileMe last year, Nokia's Ovi and Microsoft's Danger/Sidekick this year, and additional rolling outages suffered by BlackBerry and Google users. Will vendors dial back cloud-only sync, or at least begin providing more robust local sync and restore features along the lines of the iPhone's iTunes sync? Windows Mobile and Android are still pursuing designs that, like the Pre, expected users to fully rely on central cloud servers rather than defaulting to a local backup option."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Perhaps (Score -1, Troll) 305

by DECS (#29752009) Attached to: Road To Riches Doesn't Run Through the App Store

The story here is that Newsweek found a dozen people who can provide anecdotal accounts of individuals not being successful while selling software in the App Store. Because while Apple turned the mobile software market from a failure to an astounding success, it's important to keep in mind that not everyone who makes a half-assed attempt to get rich quick via the iPhone will be snorting coke off hooker's asses in Cancun within a few weeks (just the approval process takes longer than that! Plus you have to save up for years to buy a Mac, and then scrounge up $99 for a certificate. That's all simply well out of the reach of most developers who want to get rich quick in mobile software.)

This is all newsworthy because Apple has sold a couple billion apps in its first year, and explaining away the success of the App Store is critically important for Apple critics. Casting a cloud over Apple's software store also helps provide some relief to the struggling stores run by competitors, and distracts away from the problems affecting Android, Symbian, and Windows Mobile.

That's also why the problem of Apple's successful trajectory with the iPhone is a core issue for Gartner, plenty of one-man consultant groups who shill for competing platforms and carriers, and of course, all of this is newsworthy to Slashdot because it offers some opportunity for negative discussion about Apple.

Comment: Re:LP? (Score 4, Insightful) 306

by DECS (#29736965) Attached to: Why Won't Apple Sell Your iTunes LPs?

The idea is that "iTunes LP" would serve as the non-song content you used to get when you bought an album: the beautiful LP cover, lyrics, and other stuff. But upgraded to the digital era.

The problem with this non-story is that Apple isn't selling iTunes LP extras, it's giving it away when you buy the regular album associated with it.

It was a defensive move to prevent the labels from inventing their own proprietary format instead. iTunes LPs are just self-contained websites built using web standards: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Apple created a JavaScript framework called TuneKit to allow these "self contained websites" to interact with iTunes, playing content etc.

The same format is used to deliver iTunes Extras, the same bonus format for movies. Essentially, both are designed to make extremely easy to author bonus content that labels and studios (including indies) can use to add value to their existing work.

Obviously, Apple doesn't want to launch the new format with a bunch of crap, and taint it with mocking commentary that equates garbage or wierdo music with the format. So it launched the new format with iTunes 9 using a dozen big music acts and a similar number of recent movies. There has been the typical hysterical fit from poorly sourced, half-right "tech news" pieces that claimed Apple hates indies and will charge $10,000 (!) to develop the titles.

This is clearly all uninformed bullshit because there's no way Apple would develop content for third parties for just $10,000 a pop. Not even a professional authoring artist would do these for that kind of budget. Compare the free involved with authoring a DVD or BluRay disc, or creating all the artwork for a band's website or a multimedia CD-ROM.

Slashdot picked up the story and keeps trying to bump it up into the air because it sounds bad for Apple. The reality is that this is the best possible album format design anyone in the FOSS community could have hoped for. It's open, you can built it yourself, and kids can even apply some remedial HTML skills to remix their own content downloads. It's the web with a minimal business model.

New iTunes LP and Extras built using TuneKit Framework, aimed at Apple TV
Why Apple is betting on HTML 5: a web history
Apple plans to open iTunes LP for independent labels

Comment: Re:Yaaay. (Score 1) 154

by DECS (#29665753) Attached to: Flash CS5 Will Export iPhone Apps

No worries, this is not about putting any sort of Flash-anything on the iPhone.

It's only about using the next Flash developer tool release to convert Flash apps into iPhone apps. They're using LLVM to compile ActionScript (Adobe's proprietary version of JavaScript) into ARM code, resulting in a standard iPhone app. There's no Flash runtime involved (nor could there be). So there's no problem with shoveling this into the App Store, apart from meeting basic quality requirements.

So this will turn shitty Flash game-lets into shitty iPhone apps. Not really news, apart from the fact that Adobe is scrambling to line up every phone vendor but can't get its Flash runtime on the phone that's soaking up half of the world's mobile Internet traffic.

HTML5 assault on Adobe Flash heats up with ClickToFlash

Comment: Re:Confirmed (Score 1) 371

by DECS (#29621629) Attached to: Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones

You're referencing the app store or what? That's not the issue here, but if you are, you should consider that the app store is functional, for developers and for users, in a way that "other phones" are not.

If you prefer ideology over functionality/availability/commercial viability, then knock yourself out. But spare us the "ought" conversation and hypothetical moralizing propped up against a failed world view.

If being "open" solved all problems, we'd be all using Linux PCs and using OpenMoko handsets. We might also be living in a communist paradise. Unfortunately, none of those things work well enough for most people to actually use.

Comment: Re:Confirmed (Score 1) 371

by DECS (#29621475) Attached to: Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones

It wasn't an analogy. Provisioning is a basic concept that underlies the marketing features of both Parental Controls and Managed Preferences. It relates to access permissions.

You can think of everything in terms of "what you want" as a customer, but the reality is that mobile providers want to give you a specific packages of options. If they only sell one size to fit all, then people who don't need it all would still have to pay for it all.

You wouldn't want to pay for a site license to Photoshop just to edit pictures at home. You might even want to get by with Elements. Those are options.

Same applies to mobile providers. Maybe you don't want to pay for everything. Maybe you're a company and don't want or can't support everything. That's the problem provisioning solves.

 

Comment: Re:Confirmed (Score 1) 371

by DECS (#29621437) Attached to: Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones

"Apple is empowering AT&T to be more controlling of how it's customers use the network they are paying to access. "

Actually you got that backwards. Apple dramatically changed the mobile landscape in the US, forcing the carriers' market to open up to a new device. Verizon rejected the iPhone, but Cingular/AT&T was in desperate need of subscribers, so it capitulated to Apple by offering unlimited data access by a handset that could actually use data (unlike any other US phone previously), while also supplying wide open WiFi access (something else US carriers hated).

That's why AT&T's network is being so hammered by critics - they don't realize that Apple opened the floodgates for unrestricted mobile data, knocking down AT&T's network in a way that Verizon would never have allowed (and still doesn't). Apple took away carrier control and gave it to users, at a cost similar to what carriers were already charging for worthless/unusable mobile data service.

As far as contrasting the open/closed PC market, "IBM clones" weren't open, they just had no QA standards. That's why Microsoft had to struggle to get PC makers to converge on basic "Multimedia PC" standards in the early 90s just to allow users to play basic audio, at a time when Apple's computers were capable of real audio/video and hyperlinked media.

Once Microsoft killed off any remaining competition in PC OSs in the mid-90s, trying to argue that PCs were more "open" just makes you look silly. There is nothing open about Windows PCs. Mobile devices have even less need to be "open." Cars and game consoles and refrigerators aren't "open," and the public isn't asking for "openness," they want fun shit that works and is reasonably priced.

Open mobile phone platforms won't deliver any of those things. They can only offer a Linux PC experience: DIY shit that doesn't work, isn't finished, and is free only if you invest your life into making it work. Which is really expensive if you don't have a lot of free time and interests that circle around troubleshooting bullshit.

Provisioning is actually what the article is about, which is why I was addressing that.

 

Comment: Re:Confirmed (Score -1, Flamebait) 371

by DECS (#29620849) Attached to: Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones

The summary what written by an idiot grinding an ignorant axe against Apple.

First off, its a PATENT FILING, not a policy paper. Second, the /. summary is, predictably, a wildly sensationalized bit of bullshit. Third, provisioning has several applications.

If you knew anything about mobiles, you'd already know you don't have true device root on any phone, including FOSS projects like OpenMoko and Android. You may have mostly open access to the PC-OS side of the device, but carriers control their own network and the FCC mandates a closed baseband. There is nothing approaching an "unlimited, unfettered device," for obvious reasons.

To say that Apple is treading on your rights in designing a provisioning system used to enforce carrier feature options set BEFORE you buy the device is simply juvenile ranting.

This is not about locking down features after you buy and agree to a given level of service. It's about creating a product with features set by the provider that you have an OPTION to buy.

If you stand back, you'll realize that the smartphones that "aren't crippled" (in your view) are actually the most lame. Like OpenMoko, an open phone that can't dial. Or Android, a platform that announced its SDK and store before the iPhone, but can mange to keep up with Apple nor attract similar interest from developers or users.

When Apple is the only option, you can begin your complaints. Right now, there's no chance Apple will ever become your only option in smartphones, so stop sniveling about your ideological purity that doesn't work in the real world.

Comment: Re:Confirmed (Score 1) 371

by DECS (#29620193) Attached to: Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones

Parental Controls and MCX are examples of provisioning features. They're not to benefit children and employees, they're there to serve parents and employers.

If you don't like the deal being offered by your ISP, you choose a less restrictive ISP. Complaining that Apple is reaching out to the Chinese Communists and Verizon Capitalists shouldn't affect you unless you choose to live under the reign of either.

Sounds like you prefer to complain about subjects irrelevant to you.

Provisioning is also used to enable specific features in specific ways on different carriers, such as MMS and tethering, or to allow companies or groups to deploy signed iPhone app to a specific set of phones.

Slashdot is starting to sound like a republican town hall. Lots of angry shouting, not much thinking.

Comment: Re:Confirmed (Score 1, Flamebait) 371

by DECS (#29618409) Attached to: Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones

Is everyone on Slashdot really so ignorant as to never have bumped into the concept of provisioning?

That's what corporations do when they assign employees mobile devices. They may disable the camera or require encryption features. Or if you are China or Verizon Wireless, you turn off WiFi.

Holy Jesus, is Apple also "evil" for offering Parental Controls and MCX Managed Preferences? How about file permissions? Yeah that's right, I'm afraid Unix has been denying people their "rights" for some time now with those pesky rwxrwxrwx and execute bits.

Sounds like a fantasy libertarian circle jerk has bukakaed Slashdot. The ignorance of this site is getting embarrassing.

An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a pessimist fears this is true.

Working...