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Comment Re:Always litigate instead of boycott (Score 1) 364

Again.

This requirement doesnt exclude a central authority or repository from vetting software, it just cant be absolute.

Im not against walling users off in principle, im against lack of choice and control as a design philosophy. A knowledgeable user, and regular user alike have very limited choice and control on an iphone unless they jail break it, which violates the eula, warranty, and requires you to run out of date software.

Its pretty clear you just dont get it. Im welcome to make a web app? Gee, thanks. Plenty of languages? What exactly? Im seriously asking, because im not familiar with any intermediate runtimes, like java, working on ios. The only cross platform languages ios can boast are third party ones like unity that do the work for them building into their proprietary stack. Android competition to apple is also not in the slightest what im talking about. I might just end this conversation here as Im clearly not getting through. Im talking about fundamental design principles that favor open standards, user control, user flexibility, etc. None of this excludes usability, security, ease of use, user friendliness, or any other excuse you can dream up. And what we have now certainly isnt good enough.

Comment Re:Always litigate instead of boycott (Score 1) 364

Again, I have to say youre kind of missing the point. Let me reiterate the sumation of my argument.

The argument is simply that open decentralized standards are paramount to a healthy personal computing environment.

This requirement doesnt exclude a central authority or repository from vetting software, it just cant be absolute. In fact, the gnu/linux folks do this with package repositories. The difference between, say, rhel and ios is that rhel gives you administrative control to make choices, if you so desire. I have a centos7 machine at home. I can allow my wife and kids to run software updates, and install software from the official repos without giving them super user, allowing them to directly install outside packages, etc. But meanwhile, as an administrator, I can change software repositories, install non-approved packages, and ultimately have complete control over the hardware I own. A live-in sysadmin isnt required to maintain this. Once the system is set up they operate autonomously. The important aspect is that control, customization, and competition is integral to the design of the software.

Android was a good example of a platform that used to do thing quite well. Originally they were bad at keeping malware off their store, but thats more of an administrative problem. The design of the software is what im talking about. It allows for side-loading apks, third party stores, and running applications compiled for android on any system that incorporates a dalvik runtime. This is why blackberry can run android apps today. Google has tried to shift from this approach by bundling a lot of new functionality into their proprietary play services, which is only available with full Google Android branding. A sad shift in philosophy no doubt inspired by peoples apathy towards open standards.

iOS, of course, is an example of the absolute worst offender. Apps are developed using strict apple only languages and technologies, sold and installable through their store only with no exception, and heavily scrutinized with many more considerations than just filtering malware.

Ecosystem is actually a great word for computing platforms, because they work like cities. They have rules and guidlelines which form communities around them. Technical people are like the economists of cities. If theres anything economists have learned about communities its that competition and liberty are absolute requirements for a healthy one. The way Apple designs their software completely destroys the competition incentive at the platform level. It is a poisonous, ultimately doomed philosophy for software design that shouldnt be supported by those that are supposed to know better. These decisions have real measurable consequences for future generations.

Comment Re:Always litigate instead of boycott (Score 1) 364

This is a complete false dilemma. You either have open, decentralized systems, or systems that are "idiot proof" and easy to use? Why cant you have both? You miss the point of the argument. The argument is simply that open decentralized standards are paramount to a healthy personal computing environment. This does not exclude user-friendliness. Its not up to my grandma to ensure this, its up to the people who make a living in the industry - like you and I. So when the IT community ralies behind these walled gardens it forms a market in a way that preserves them as the appropriate way to do business - and everyone else falls in line. You have to have noticed this trend in the industry. Look at the difference between Windows XP and 10. Android 2.0 and Android 7.0. Theres a disturbing trend favoring closed ecosystems that is no way required for usability. Its required for maximum profits. The only other requirement is that the consumer swallows the hook, which they are doing willingly.

Comment Re:Always litigate instead of boycott (Score 1) 364

I described what the sad thing was in the rest of the sentence:

The sad part is, very few people agree with me and Apple has become so successful they now lead the way for all other tech companies to adopt the same behavior.

Apple has been so successful with their we-know-whats-best-for-you philosophy to personal computing that it has become the norm. My sons will grow up in a world that is hostile to tinkering with their personal devices, hacking them, and customizing software. My sons will grow up with a choice between iPhones and Galaxy phones, MacBooks and Surfaces, and the App Store and the Play Store - all tightly controlled, tightly integrated with the respective manufacturers "cloud" ecosystem, and entirely closed. You may not find moral issue with this, but I would argue you're just not thinking broadly. There is a heavy price to pay for the way the industry has moved into closed controlled ecosystems. This is very sad and unfortunate for future generations.

Comment Re:Always litigate instead of boycott (Score 1) 364

A clue that the status quo is always correct? You have my permission to take me out to pasture if I ever become this dull and complacent. Now, if only your parents, and that of your ilk, would have given society the same mercy, we wouldnt be in this mess. This sentiment can be applied to much more than just personal computing.

Comment Re:Always litigate instead of boycott (Score 1) 364

I came in to say this but you beat me to it.

One would ask what is preventing a user from getting their device repaired by unofficial service person? In addition to the security implication, you also run a risk of getting your device bricked by Apple. To recall, the iPhone maker was found bricking the handsets that had been repaired by third-party vendors earlier this year..

So the answer is to pass some law forcing Apple to be the company you want them to be? The way this generation handles things is so sad. The only Apple product I've ever owned in my life was an ipod nano in in early 2000s given to me as a gift. That was all I needed to understand what type of company they are, and I've stayed away from their products since (both in the office where I make office-wide purchasing decisions, and at home). The sad part is, very few people agree with me and Apple has become so successful they now lead the way for all other tech companies to adopt the same behavior. Increasingly the choice is coming down to throwing caution to the wind, or becoming a luddite. Im leaning towards the latter.

Comment The Apple Methodology (Score 1) 231

It's been interesting to watch the fall of Google. First they drop their "do no evil" motto, then all developers are told to use macbooks, and it's been a steady decline into doin things like Apple since. They've dropped open standards in favor of proprietary closed ones, they've abandoned the ideals of open source, and heavily adopted the walled garden philosophy. How quickly the Apple methodology has seeped into all American tech companies is really astonishing. I guess that's what happens when millions of mindless hipsters throw billions of dollars to the wind.

Comment Re:There is no "government only" backdoor (Score 1) 123

Thanks for the link. I'll admit there is one part of the bill that I must have initially glossed over that is quite troubling:

Certain communication service providers that distribute licenses for a covered entity’s products and services also must ensure that these products and services are capable of providing information or data in an intelligible format.

This is much more troubling as it would suggest telecoms can't sell devices that use strong encryption. While this is still far from mandating a government only backdoor, if the intent of the bill is to effectively outlaw strong encryption I would vehemently oppose it. This would be a blatent violation of the right to free speech and the 4th amendment.

I will submit that you are right, this bill, in its current form, sucks, and should never be passed.

Comment Re:There is no "government only" backdoor (Score 1) 123

OK, so the government cant tell you how to design your products. You don't deny that. Now I design a phone that is secured with 256 bit encryption, strong ciphers, and forces strong password (alpha numeric 8 digit). I can't break this, you can't break this, no one can. It's math. How is the government going to take me to court and sue me over "shall" when they explicitly state they can't define how I design my software? My software is unbreakable. They can certainly pay me to try to brute force it (the bill also mandates reasonable compensation) but it will take decades, or longer.

Now let's look at a system like Apples on the iPhone. They employ pretty much the same strategy as me except they allow very weak passwords: 4 digit numeric. To secure these weak passwords they use software restrictions that artifically delay the decryption interval based on the number of failed passwords entered. They use a secure bootloader so only their software can be loaded, but they can still override their artificial restrictions at their leisure. This is, in effect, and backdoor Apple has built into their system by lulling users into using weak passwords in the name of convenience. It's a vulnerability they can exploit at their leisure. Should law enforcement be able to use willingly imposed vulnerabilities by manufacturers with with valid warrant? That is the argument and I'm happy to have that debate.

This should also give you some idea of the root of misinformation campaign (hint: the company that markets themselves as the good guys, never actually is).

Comment Re:Wow. What a summary. (Score 1) 123

I have read it. Did you even ready my comment? Your concern over the implications of "shall" a surely addressed later in the bill.

Nothing in this Act may be construed to authorize any government officer to require or prohibit any specific design or operating system to be adopted by any covered entity.

Nothing in this act is surely clearer language than "shall". If your argument is an entity could be sued for not adhering to the "shall", this clause specifically forbidding a "specific design or operating system be adopted" would surely take precedence over any subtle implications you think "shall" would have. This clause is actually explicit, whereas the term "shall" certainly is not. The backdoor rhetoric is clearly propaganda. If you want to have the opinion the government is bad, you can't be just a bad / worse than them to push it

Comment Re:There is no "government only" backdoor (Score 1) 123

I'm not sure what version of the bill you're angry about. The only one I've seen mentions nothing about backdoors, or encryption. In fact, it explicitly states:

Nothing in this Act may be construed to authorize any government officer to require or prohibit any specific design or operating system to be adopted by any covered entity.

You've swallowed the hyperbole, like so many. There is a very disturbing misinformation campaign surrounding this whole Apple business. You'd be wise to make no assumptions and verify everything. And please, pass it along. The "good guys" usually aren't who they appear to be, and it's always the punch you don't see coming that gets you.

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