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Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 1) 483

"Drilling new mounting holes" seems pretty analogous to "jailbreaking" to me. If you attach a supercharger to your car (unless it is, for instance, a GMPP supercharger installed by a dealer), you are pretty likely to void your warranty because you have used the device in an unauthorized way which is likely to raise warranty costs for GM. Likewise if you run authorized software on your iPhone. There is literally nothing stopping you from plugging your iPhone into a computer and installing whatever you want on it, even though Apple makes it a pain.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 1) 483

You're missing my point. You are referring to safety requirements which are regulated under state and federal law. I am referring to performance modifications which do void the warranty (as to affected components). To wit: If your friend had installed a supercharger, gone drag racing for a weekend, and broken his driveline, I can guarantee you that no force on heaven or earth would compel the dealer to replace that part, even if in the interceding time he had removed the supercharger.

Safety features are a special case because their function and presence is regulated by state and federal law.

Maintenance and performance features are regulated by common law, and in particular the common law warranties of merchantibility and fitness for a particular purpose. At this risk of oversimplifying slightly since I'm not interested in teaching you a full first year Contracts course, these common law warranties are present in essentially every U.S. jurisdiction in essentially the same form. A car merchant DOES warrant that his car is fit for the purposes for which it is advertised to a reasonable extent, and additionally may choose by contract to warrant separately certain performance features and some amount of longevity. These are the "3 year/30,000 mile warranties" which are governed by contract law, as opposed to safety features which are required and enforced by state and federal statutes. The contract language which provides for the warranties governing such components as your crankshaft, engine housing, driveline, axle, and the innumerable other components you are likely to break with third-party superchargers, turbochargers, nitrous injectors, et al, specifically provides for its own termination if the consumer has altered the equipment in a way detrimental to those parts. This is blanketly true across US jurisdictions; it is a matter of parties' freedom to contract, since these parts are (generally speaking) not regulated to the extent of safety features.

Barring an unconscionable contract or clause, my initial point stands, which is that installing performance-enhancing parts in a car voids the car's warranty (where that warranty is not otherwise protected by statute for the purposes of public safety, as in the case of safety features) to the extent that the car's warranty is not designed to protect against those modifications. This is exactly the same thing Apple has chosen to do with its ecosystem. Don't like it? Break the rules, run your device your own way, and enjoy the fact that the only consequence is that Apple will no longer extend you the benefits of the mutual contract relationship which offered you those warranties in the first place.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 1) 483

False. False, false, false. You are allowed to replace parts with aftermarket parts and non-dealer labor on the condition that they are equivalent parts subject to the same tests and conditions.

If, however, you add a supercharger to your engine, even if you pull it off for your next service, I guarantee you your drivetrain warrantee will be broken as soon as the dealership finds out. It is common for dealers to invalidate warrantees even for something as seemingly trivial as flashing the ECM to adjust how the traction control or various tuning systems work.

Cars are a special case with parts since there are simple, interchangeable mechanical pieces which are fungible and user-serviceable, on a machine which is widely regarded as a public necessity and heavily regulated as such. The comparison to make here is not aftermarket door panel : manufacturer door panel :: free app development : app store. It's that adding a supercharger : Dealer supplied engine/approved accessories :: jailbreaking/unauthorized apps : app store. In that sense you'll find pretty quickly that the app store is an old execution of an old idea, and the only reason people care is because geeks are hippies and usually have little to no formal legal education.

Comment Re:What do you expect? (Score 1) 483

How is this any different from a Windows 7 Phone? Or a Palm phone? Or even an Android phone? Sure, Android and Palm have looser restrictions on what you can sideload, but a huge chunk of Android apps require you to root your phone to achieve their functionality. This is the same as jailbreaking.

In order to guarantee a certain quality standard and, yes, to make money, manufacturers put restrictive licenses in place. In order to achieve a superset of features, power users circumvent those licenses and do whatever the hell they want, perhaps at the expense of their warranty. This is true with phones, cars, game consoles, and probably the overwhelming majority of nontrivial consumer goods. It's just a market economy trying to self-regulate, and there's nothing "unjust" about a seller offering a product on their own terms.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 4, Insightful) 483

No, it's *exactly* like "if you develop aftermarket parts for our cars, we will not certify any aftermarket parts which attempt to circumvent safety features or maintenance controls." Which is true. For instance, if you tweak your car's computer, exhaust, etc. to get better performance, or add a supercharger, or bore out the cylinders, you WILL void your warranty. Hell, if you DRIVE IT TOO HARD you will void your warranty.

I'm actually pretty happy you are bringing up car metaphors. It's a good parallel. You're welcome to use third-party services on your car, but if you do so in a way that actively circumvents the manufacturer's design, you will void your warranty and your rights to expect certain functionality or service.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 1, Flamebait) 483

You're wrong. The phone is sold. The software, service, and SDK are licensed.

I'm sorry if it makes me a fanboi to point that out, but you should probably note that the same is true about your Windows or Linux computer (yes, the GPL is a revocable license as well), any cell phone you may be using (I guarantee the software is licensed, not sold), and probably even the firmware for your car stereo.

This is the world of capitalist consumer electronics. The hardware is sold, but the seller will exert whatever control over the end product they can - and the best way to do so is by controlling the software and services attached to the hardware. Which is why Microsoft will try to remote-nuke your PC if you play nasty with it, and why Apple pushes out anti-Hackintosh tweaks with every update, and why jailbroken app developers find their iTunes accounts revoked.

It is not some "apple fanboi" disease which makes Apple customers think they own their phones. They DO own their phones, just like you own theirs. And their use of the attached software and service is licensed, just like yours.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 4, Insightful) 483

False. The hardware belongs to you. You can do whatever you want with it (so long as it doesn't violate other laws), but don't expect Apple to honor warranties or continue to provide service if you do.

If I want to buy an iPhone and melt it down to slag or install Windows 7 Phone Series on it, no black helicopters will show up.

Comment Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (Score 1) 541

But it's a much easier demographic to target. Mac users overwhelmingly tend to run up-to-date versions of OSX (the uptake rates for Snow Leopard and Leopard are impressive), similar hardware (since it tends to be non-upgradeable and Apple pushes highly differentiated refreshes), and are all using compatible audio and video frameworks. It's frankly an easier platform to target than Windows from an objective standpoint, at least as far as configuration diversity.

Linux is a configuration hellhole, with no reliable codecs, configurations, drivers, etc. Yes, the community is more willing to work for it, but probably not enough would buy into it to make the time worthwhile. Valve is gambling (and I think rightly so) that the legions of University-aged Mac users and home Mac users will pick up Steam as a convenient one-stop-shop for casual gaming on their platform.

Remember, this demographic already buys most of their software online (via bundles like MacHeist and official channels like the App Store). I'd be surprised if this wasn't a rainmaker move from Valve, especially once stuff like Peggle gets ported (essentially zero work) to a community that will just love little bite-sized Cocoa-friendly games.

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