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.
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.
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.
No worries, this is not about putting any sort of Flash-anything on the iPhone.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
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.
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.
That's what they want you to think. Just wait till those bits turn off. Suddenly YOUR files belong to THEM.
Well I guess I could have written --------- but that might not have been as clear.
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.
Licensing isn't really new. It might be "new to consumers," like people who have never encountered the idea that businesses pay more for things like ASCAP and per seat licensing than they do.
Software is a modern product concept. Ownership of somebody's created work (software, music, whatever) requires some concept of licensing beyond simple possession, just as ownership of land requires more than occupancy.
And yes, everyone seeks to frame things in their interests. Obviously companies will do what they can get away with. But the idea that individuals have some unassailable god-given right to modify software because they possess it is a rather foolish and naive idea. I'm not against modding your Wii/iPod/PC or whatever, but I don't pretend that it is protected by law.
Laws are designed to protect the assets of people who control wealth. They are not there to protect people, except those laws that are put in place within 25 years of the last revolution.
No, you are not "you are purchasing a copy of the software with the hardware." You rarely ever buy (obtain full rights) to software for obvious reasons.
Modifying software is nothing like annotating a book. Also, books don't have EULAs. You can scribble on your copy of Word, but you don't have any rights to modify the software, and EULAs are notorious for insisting that this is the case, again, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone with an IQ over 80.
Again, you can refuse to recognize intellectual property, but that's no difference from communists refusing to acknowledge property rights. Might be a fun way to live your early 20s, but it's not legal in any sense, and you're only a simpleton for thinking that whatever you want to be the case is "legal," just because you think its a good idea (and because it doesn't financially impact you).
It doesn't matter if you click or read an EULA. It's there.
Also, news flash: content is protected automatically, You can't buy a CD and play it in your restaurant for your patrons without violating its license, even if you opened the package with your eyes shut while chanting "I don't believe in intellectual property rights."
Ha, marked me "flamebait." Grow the fuck up Slashdot. Start with a basic education in subjects other than "I want to believe this to be the case because the idea pleases me."
Is this site getting increasingly retarded, or am I just growing old enough to find teenage gamers tiresome?
Ever heard of a neighborhood housing covenant? You buy a house, but recognize that you can't paint it Day-Glo orange or park a car on your yard. Why? Because it does impact your neighbors, even if it is your yard.
"Changing bits" on some software you licensed the use of is not usually legal. I can't "change bits" of Linux and resell it as my own work, just as you can't change bits of Windows or iPhone OS or Wii firmware and use it against its licensing agreement.
As I said, to people who don't share the same financial interests, laws might not make any sense. If you're a vagrant, you might think the world is your toilet because you don't respect property.
If you are a freetard, you think the world's code is your playground because you don't respect intellectual property. No difference. It comes down to respecting licensing.
If you want to take a Wii and write unique software for it, Nintendo will try very hard to stop you because they want you to be a consumer of their games. If you want to edit the firmware to allow you to pirate games, Nintendo will try to stop you because they want gaming revenue. If you want to call yourself a homebrew hacker, fine, but 90% of "homebrew" is really just piracy. Nintendo doesn't care about the 10% making their own games, it cares about the majority who hide behind homebrew in order to undermine sales of commercial software: one solution wipes out both.
I'm not personally offended by your desire to want to do those things. I've slept in places I wasn't supposed to, I've used software I've failed to pay for, and I've violated various licenses and trespassed and have occasionally resorted to schwarzfahren when I lacked train tickets... and plenty of other more egregious things.
But there is a gulf between realizing that you're doing something sketchy, and in hypocritically laying out a pretentious defense of illegal behavior on the basis of either "not recognizing the law" or citing some legal foundation for doing something that is simply not legal.
Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. -- George Orwell