The MAC OSX and Freedom of Choice

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I read an article this past weekend which refers to Steve Jobs as some kind of dictator. The author out of all things is trying to or actually intends to switch to Ubuntu/Linux. The author of this article is basing his decision on not having freedom of choice. I believe that if you run a business and you use your computer(s) to keep that business running then you should always have the freedom and choice to move to a different platform. However in this case I believe that the author of the article may not be doing it for the right reasons.

He claims that Apple is putting restrictions on his operating system and that Steve Jobs most likely will not continue to develop the MAC OSX any further or that at some point it will become stagnant. He also credits Microsoft for having a great OS in Windows 7 but also says that this OS is also too restrictive; And that all of Apple’s development will most likely go into the iPad/iPhone.

I feel that most users don’t care about freedom when it comes to a computer or software; to them they see it as a dishwasher or a refrigerator. If your not a geeky techie type then you really would not care about this and actually pay as much as you can for a piece of hardware/software regardless of what freedoms it may or may not offer you. Well if you are a business owner you should really pay more attention to this kind of freedom and stop looking at your computer as some piece of appliance equipment because it actually holds valuable information and it is an extension of you, yes an extension. Most PC user keep tons of personal information in it such as pictures, music, movies, documents etc… So what happens if and when you do decide to switch to a different operating system such as Windows or Ubuntu/Linux? Well on the MAC I think is fairly easy to move as it does not seem to have too many restrictions like on a Windows platform. Although anything like movies you’ve downloaded or anything that you have not created yourself maybe a bit hard to transfer over due to DRM (Digital Rights Management – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management / http://www.defectivebydesign.org/what_is_drm) restrictions.

The MAC OSX is actually a great operating system. The only issue is that is extremely expensive although some might argue that you are actually paying for quality which I tend to agree to a point. As far as freedom goes you have the freedom to do what you like with your own personal stuff that resides in that computer but like Microsoft you don’t really own the OS, you are merely renting it since you can’t make any modifications or anything like that and that is fine because most users don’t care(although they should).

So I wonder why is this particular author complaining about the MAC OSX since he knew from the start that the OS had its terms of agreement and he agreed to it when he purchased his MAC book pro.

Steve Jobs will not make the OS stagnant specially since the MAC is gaining so much market share and most Windows users seem to be switching over. I will also point out that they are not just moving to the MAC OS but also towards Linux(mainly Ubuntu). If you have no issues with renting an OS and not being able to tweak it as much as you like then the MAC OSX gives you freedom enough to the point were you can move your personal stuff in and out of it as long as you play within Apple’s rules and the same goes for Windows (DRM anyone).

The one thing the author was 100% correct was that at some point you will eventually be totally locked in on either platform(MAC OSX or Windows) and also claims this is the reason why he is moving to Linux, I will closely follow his progress and see how it goes.

But again if you don’t care about your OS freedom the MAC OSX is a damn good system.

Article: http://www.salon.com/technology/dan_gillmor/2010/06/20/from_mac_to_linux/index.html

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The book of Jobs (post two of the thumb drive chronicles)

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Moses came down from the mountain with tablets in hand to give to the masses the commandments of the Lord.  As these commandments where chiseled in stone so too is the faith chiseled in the minds of those who believe in their lord and savior.  But if your faith is more on a technological level, than a spiritual one and you are looking for that savior that is going to alleviate your woes of system crashes and deadly viruses and you are also looking to trade in your travel bible for a digital do it all.  To thee I say don’t panic because there is an APP for that.

In an auditorium full of anxious Faithfull’s and gleaming lights resembling Sunday mass at an Evangelical temple; Steve Jobs appear onto the crow with tablet in hand to give unto the world the IPAD.  And Jobs spoke selling the iPad as the messiah of technological innovation.  But like every other messiah before it, it has fallen short on deliverance and heavy on gimmicks.  Like every other new religion that springs up out of nowhere, with its ideas and underlining structures rooted on century old believes and sprinkle with a modern twist of propaganda so is the iPad rooted on four years old technology simply implemented in a bigger shinier package.

And Jobs said on to thee…

I am Steve Jobs, who brought you out of the land of Microsoft and free you from windows.

You shall surf the web anywhere.

You shall read eBooks.

You shall play games.

You shall watch videos and movies but you shall not purchase them anywhere else but iTunes.

For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but on the seventh day you shall enter the apple store and spend all of your money.

I shall take 30 to 40% of everything sold in the house of Apple.

Shall you make fun of me your app will be rejected from the app store.

You shall not use flash or even think about future support.

The lack of flash support in a device being sold as the ultimate web experience is like a born again Christian without the Holy Ghost.  75% of online videos are made in flash, 70% of games online are made in flash including those on face-book.  The IPad lacks support for Java, adobe Air, and lacks any USB connections.  Closing the devices to an apple mandated doctrine will only hurt the device in the long hull.  Forcing developers to use apple tools to produce their applications; only stagnates advancement and hurts the consumers in the long run. The lack of a camera has certainly crushed the hopes that many had for Skype conversations or for face to face meetings on the go.

But in the end no other company can compete with Apple in terms of product desirability or mass appeal.  Therefore I don’t see the Church of Steve Jobs fading anytime soon even under the worst recession we have seen in the last 60 years.  But less not forget that when it comes to aesthetics there is no other religion like the Catholic Church, where the Catholic Church fails is in being open minded and progressive and Steve Jobs seems to be pulling his doctrine out of the same page.

The DOJ knocking on Apple’s iron closed doors

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Recent news that Apple has surpassed Microsoft for the King of Technology title (http://tinyurl.com/38oxxjz) has stirred up some additional controversies with regards to the DOJ(Department of Justice) wanting to start an antitrust investigation into Apple’s iTunes music monopoly and everything else.

It seems that Apple has been making shady deals with the music labels (http://tinyurl.com/354mssu) to only release their new titles on iTunes before any other major on-line competitors such as Amazon or Walmart. Amazon and Walmart only account for 12% of on-line music sales while Apple’s iTunes accounts for 70%. Well this 70% is whats got the DOJ knocking on Apple’s iron closed doors.

Now lets add to this that Apple has recently announced that they will be launching an advertising platform (http://tinyurl.com/ybfdwrk) which will compete against Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and wait for it Adobe’s ad platform (http://www.gigya.com/public/Content/Widget.aspx). This explains their recent rejection of flash no matter what Steve Jobs tells the press or how many letters he writes about Adobe Flash being too resource intensive and not performing up to part on the iPhone or iPad. Steve Jobs claims do have some merit but is not an excuse to dump Flash period.

The DOJ is also looking in to the fact that Apple only wants to have developers use their very own development tools to develop applications for the iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch and the iPad. This means that you must buy a Mac and sign-up for a developers account through Apple’s website. Developers can’t just say well “I’m going to use Eclipse (http://www.eclipse.org/) to develop my applications” no you must have a Mac. The one thing that’s got me puzzled is why would Apple do this when they provide an SDK for these devices. Developers should have a choice in writing their applications in whatever IDE they see fit.

Take the Android OS for instance; It lets developers use whatever tool they want and across a variety of platforms/operating systems. This could be due to the fact that Android is open source and has no specific platform which is trying to push. This could also explain the recently high numbers Android’s got in sales (http://tinyurl.com/2b2yrvu).

This leads me to the conclusion that Apple is worst than Microsoft when it comes to vendor-lock in schemes. Not only do they make you buy a Mac so you can create software for their devices but also lock down these devices so that they only function with a Mac/iTunes.

So yes I say let the DOJ have their way with Apple and I hope that they bring that iron closed door down. Because if this happens it will benefit us consumers a great deal.

On a side note there were some rumors that Steve Ballmer would address developers at WWDC

on how they can write/develop applications for Apple devices through Visual Studio 2010. Is Visual Studio 2010 not a third party tool; If this is true why can they do this but not any other small tech firm who sells third party development tools?