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iPad Is a "Huge Step Backward"

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the who-needs-rights-anyway dept.

Apple 1634

An anonymous reader writes "FSF's John Sullivan launches the Defective by Design campaign and petition to rain on Steve's parade, barely minutes out of the starting gate. 'This is a huge step backward in the history of computing,' said FSF's Holmes Wilson, 'If the first personal computers required permission from the manufacturer for each new program or new feature, the history of computing would be as dismally totalitarian as the milieu in Apple's famous Super Bowl ad.' The iPad has DRM writ large: you can only install what Apple says you may, and 'computing' goes consumer mainstream — no more twiddling, just sit back, spend your money, and watch the show — while we allow you to." What is clear is that the rise of the App Store removes control of the computer from the user. It makes me wonder what the next generation of OS X will look like.

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Dear FSF (0, Flamebait)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933520)

Would you like some cheese with your whine?

It's not defective, RMS et al: it's a CHOICE. You purport to like choice, but no one believes you anymore. Many consumers don't care, and even LIKE, the idea of being locked in to the App Store, because it introduces a significant amount of safety.

Also, it's not a "huge step backward" even if we agree with everything else you say, because it's what's on the iPhone. It's not backward, it's the same.

And there's no chance whatsoever that this will ever happen to Mac OS X, so don't lose sleep over it.

Re:Dear FSF (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933596)

And most importantly, it allows them to think differently, EXACTLY like every other Apple Zombie (Applebie?) out there...

Re:Dear FSF (5, Insightful)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933606)

Frankly, it doesn't matter if it happens to OS X. What matters is that it could become the standard going forward, and if we've learned anything from the iPhone and iPod it's that Apple has tremendous influence in driving the standards of consumer electronics. The reason for the app store has nothing to do with security and everything about Apple wringing every last penny out of developers by taking an arbitrary cut of their sales and providing only limited QC and indexing that could easily be provided by any other site or service. If people want a choice, they should GET a choice - use the app store, or don't. Instead, Apple's making the choice for you. And that's no choice at all.

Re:Dear FSF (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933674)

If people want a choice, they should GET a choice - use the app store, or don't. Instead, Apple's making the choice for you.

But that's exactly the choice any iPhone or iPod Touch user has right now! They both perform their primary functions perfectly well without the owner ever using the App Store.

For that matter, owning either device is also a choice. Don't like the fact that you can only (officially) purchase and install apps that have been approved by Apple? Use a different phone/media player.

Re:Dear FSF (5, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933758)

If people want a choice, they should GET a choice - use the app store, or don't. Instead, Apple's making the choice for you.

Are you serious? Is Steve Jobs now running the government??? You do not need to buy an Apple product. I hear Google has some stuff going on in this area....

Re:Dear FSF (4, Funny)

StingRay02 (640085) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933764)

You're absolutely right. It's such a shame that no one has yet determined a way to break the locks that bind the iPhone and the iPod Touch to the App Store. You could even say these devices are imprisoned, jailed. If only some intrepid group of hackers could find a way to break these devices out of jail, allowing those that wish it a way to modify their devices or install "unauthorized" applications onto them. If only there were some way to get the word out, and allow those that wish to make use of this mythical hack to find it. Perhaps some day such technology will exist.

Re:Dear FSF (1, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933930)

You're absolutely right. It's such a shame that no one has yet determined a way to break the locks that bind the iPhone and the iPod Touch to the App Store. You could even say these devices are imprisoned, jailed. If only some intrepid group of hackers could find a way to break these devices out of jail, allowing those that wish it a way to modify their devices or install "unauthorized" applications onto them. If only there were some way to get the word out, and allow those that wish to make use of this mythical hack to find it. Perhaps some day such technology will exist.

Phhhht! It will rain black before that ever happens!

Re:Dear FSF (-1, Redundant)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933976)

they have, jailbreak your phone install what apps you want from wher you want.

Re:Dear FSF (4, Insightful)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933794)

That's why I prefer Android's approach- they have an app store, anyone can get into it, OR, you can just install packages directly from websites... they give the choice of the nice, clean easy way, OR the DIY for those that want. The Android interface might not be quite as clean as the iPhone, but it gives a world more chioce.

Not unlike Ubuntu- you have the option of the super clean Apps installer, but there's nothing stopping the power user from doing more.

Re:Dear FSF (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933960)

Microsoft would KILL to do this. Honestly, they would literally go out and kill puppies, kittens and baby seals all day long if it would allow them to control everything you install.

If apple get's away with it, you know they will follow in their footsteps.

Re:Dear FSF (5, Insightful)

kieran (20691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933650)

The FSF isn't saying the iPad should be banned, it's just raising awareness about the need for freedom in software.

Frankly with the amount of bullshit publicity this (somewhat underwhelming) device has had so far, I'm happy for a worthwhile organisation like the FSF to hijack a little for it's cause.

Re:Dear FSF (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933858)

Frankly with the amount of bullshit publicity this (somewhat underwhelming) device has had so far, I'm happy for a worthwhile organisation like the FSF to hijack a little for it's cause.

But this 'worthwhile organisation (sic)' comes across as a bunch of wingnuts. The principles behind the FSF are well and good, but no one (except perhaps RMS) would consider them applicable to every computing device under the sun. The iPad is a consumer device, designed around the needs and (lack of) abilities of the general public. It's really a toy. It is a reflection of what's loopy in this country that it received so much publicity, but what the hell. In a world of 'reality' shows, American Idol, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin and a host of other barometers of popular culture, it's just one more weird little thing.

The iPad has little to do with the computing world at large, despite the hype and the rhetoric and not really a target for Free and Open Software. Yeah, the FSF saw some potential free publicity but I rather don't think anyone was listening.

Re:Dear FSF (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933920)

"[The iPad is] really a toy"

A toy being hailed by the press as the future of computing. Sorry, dude, but the FSF hit the nail on the head here. If this toy is the future of computing, then computing is in for a bleak future.

Re:Dear FSF (4, Insightful)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933900)

The "just don't buy it retort" doesn't hold any water in my eyes. It's not even only misinformed consumers' benefit that's at stake. 10 years from now, do you want your Free OS being an island of its own that no one tries to be compatible with, because closed platforms represent 99% of the market?

The other side has their advertising, and we have the FSF. Now all we need is proper awareness of real alternatives.

Re:Dear FSF (4, Interesting)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933652)

And there's no chance whatsoever that this will ever happen to Mac OS X, so don't lose sleep over it.

Really? I can totally see Apple releasing a new mac mini with this OS because *it just works*. Then putting a premium on future machines with the OSX variant. I think the saddest part is that for a large portion of the population, that's probably best. Would we have such large bot nets if every Joe could only get their stuff from one place? Doesn't even Ubuntu try to mimic this in some respects with its downloader?

Re:Dear FSF (5, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933824)

Doesn't even Ubuntu try to mimic this in some respects with its downloader?

Do you honestly believe that having a repository where people can easily get most of the stuff they want is the same thing as having a single app store that is the only place your computer will let you get stuff from? I don't think anybody would be complaining if Apple had a nice, tidy app store, but still let people run arbitrary code on their stuff.

Re:Dear FSF (1)

jours (663228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933914)

I can totally see Apple releasing a new mac mini with this OS because *it just works*. Then putting a premium on future machines with the OSX variant.

Almost right. They'll release a mac mini with this OS at a *discount* to the current mini. A desktop version of the iPad...a "home browsing appliance" or some such thing.

Re:Dear FSF (5, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933672)

I'm not sure how Apple's DRMs are more of a choice than any DRMs are.
If users like the idea of being locked into the store, fine. RMS, the EFF, Slashdot, "whine" by showing people the bars they are getting into. I must say that I never heard Apple bragging that they locked in users or that it was hard to get the kind of apps you like for their devices. For that I thank those "whiners".

Re:Dear FSF (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933676)

I think he's saying it's a step backwards because they are taking, what is essentially a tablet computer, and 100% locking it down to only do what Apple explicitly allows.

This thing isn't a phone and it's not an mp3 player, it is a tablet computer that is directly trying to compete with netbooks and even laptops. But again, they are entirely locking down the platform and the software to such a degree that any freedom is entirely lost. You can fully understand a phone being locked down to phone applications delivered by the manufacturer and the same with mp3 players. The software is written for the device and that's all there really is to say about it.

The iPad on the other hand, again, is a computer meant to be used like a laptop with its own internet connection. Locking it down so harshly is a step backwards in the usability of the device.

That's my impression, anyways.

Re:Dear FSF (4, Insightful)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933936)

It partly depends on what the iPad is. I don't really think that it's a general purpose computer--though I understand why some people might think that. It's more of a Web/Entertainment appliance--like a Tivo with a browser. You don't expect to run arbitrary code on your DVR (or at least most people don't) and I don't think most people expect to do that with their phone (again, at least most people). As long as people are expecting to get an "appliance" rather than a PC, this could be successful.

Re:Dear FSF (2, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933688)

Furthermore, none of this is required of any consumer. The government is not handing these out to schoolchildren. They don't come free in the mail. You won't be required to own one in order to buy groceries or flush the toilet. It's a fricking LUXURY ITEM, folks. You buy all its locked-in glory BY CHOICE.

Also, as someone who owned a number of various personal computers in the 70s and 80s, I'd say there was tacit lock-in simply because of incompatibility between all the nascent hardware and OSes. But worse, some home computers (example [wikipedia.org]) actually had hardware that locked out unlicensed cartridges from running.

If the sky is falling right now, then it has been raining sky for a long time. I mean, if you're going to complain about lock-in, how about the current state of American health insurance?

Re:Dear FSF (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933714)

Also, it's not a "huge step backward" even if we agree with everything else you say, because it's what's on the iPhone. It's not backward, it's the same.

I thought this was a tablet computer. The Iphone is a phone combined with an Ipod, plus a few additional features, it is not a computer. I take it that you believe that the Ipad is just a large Ipod with additional functionality?

Re:Dear FSF (1, Insightful)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933880)

I take it that you believe that the Ipad is just a large Ipod with additional functionality?

It certainly seems to be.

Re:Dear FSF (2, Insightful)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933718)

I can accept that many consumers don't care, or even like, being locked into the Apple store. I'm somewhat more sceptical that many consumers like that that "lock" is enforced by criminal law and that they'll be jailed if they ever try to leave the Apple store. I think John Sullivan brings up a valid concern. Also, you shouldn't conflate the issue with choice: the FSF and RMS, to my knowledge, have never advocated choice. Having the freedom to use your device the way you want is a separate concern from choosing which device to use.

Re:Dear FSF (3, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933752)

It is the computer illiterates that get fucked by these thing not the informed. Apple doesn't come with a 'this is a trap' label on it. So many unsuspecting users buy an apple product and then shortly after start getting pulled into the costly trap. One apple product supports another sometimes they require another (not a real requirement but an enforcement), other times they outright install more apple products on their own. Eventually if you decide that you don't want everything you own to be apple products it becomes a COSTLY extraction process as you have to replace most of the electronics you own.

BTW Jobs originally didn't want any apps for the iphone, the app store was a middle ground, allowing 3rd parties to have an effect on the product whilst retaining total control.

Re:Dear FSF (0)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933756)

hey if you want to pay * more* for less rights/freedoms/decisions, don't let me stop you. In the meantime, when it breaks, or you can't do what you want because of apple's lock in, don't look for sympathy for your whine either. That's about once a month.

Apple itself represents a step backward. The tablet and/or apple's continued existence is just a continuation of it.

How is the app store any safer than say, buying from a known/respected company, or downloading from an open source repository? Do you think apple apps are just airtight as far as vulnerabilities or something?

The real reason people buy apple is because it's not microsoft, and for the non techie folks, that's all they need to know. That's fine, it's not a bad thing. People are free to make their choices. The rest is just psychology: where people refuse to let go of bad decisions. I forgot the name of the concept, but I'm sure someone else can assist with that.

Re:Dear FSF (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933760)

In terms of a general purpose device, the iPad comes nowhere close. However, like the Sharp Netwalker, it purports to be a general purpose device or at least a PC companion device. This means that some modicum of compatibility and interoperability. This usually means that users will be able to load software of their own choosing, even so far as loading software of their own making.

However if this device is a closed system and requires purchase from an "app store" to enable desired functionality, then we are talking about something far removed from a general computing device. To this end, it is important to realize that Smartbooks have been around for a couple years in various forms (ARM/x86, Win/Lin) and that these existing devices are actually open for development.

Software Freedom isn't only about free software. It is also about being able to use and extend computing devices as a primary freedom.

You may carp on how the FSF demands software freedom at the expense of choice, but if freedom can only be preserved by removing choice, then that is how it must be achieved. Just as health insurance can only be enjoyed by those covered by it, it makes sense to require everyone to have it under penalty of law. Only in that way can we extend the benefits of universal coverage, though it may in some way require the forfeiture of some freedoms (the freedom to pay out of pocket).

Re:Dear FSF (2)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933810)

If the first personal computers required permission from the manufacturer for each new program or new feature

...then, for sure, Linux would not have existed.

Hell, if this continues, I wonder if there's a future for open-source projects.

I say big shame on Apple for abusing an open-source operating system (BSD) in this way.

Re:Dear FSF (1)

PincushionMan (1312913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933878)

And there's no chance whatsoever that this will ever happen to Mac OS X, so don't lose sleep over it.

Uh what? Do you really think they put those TPM chips in there for show? I believe the want the ability to lock it down, and they're just floating the idea on the iPad. If it takes off, they'll apply it to their desktops as soon as reasonable possible. If it is unpopular, they can always remove disable it in the next rev. Apple faithful all know to buy rev2 of any product they put out.

Re:Dear FSF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933922)

Eat a dick you cock gargling dumb fuck.

Re:Dear FSF (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933934)

Also, it's not a "huge step backward" even if we agree with everything else you say, because [...]

It's not a huge step backwards for computing because the iPad, like the iPhone, is an expensive and fashionable toy based around general-purpose computing hardware. Its impact on computing in general is likely to be about the same as RPN calculators: a small but devoted market segment will love them, and years later, there will be a couple dozen emulator projects on Freshmeat for it, and life will go on. The sale of appliances just doesn't have much impact on the field of computing as a whole.

That's not intended as a criticism, by the way. Toys are cool. Mine are mostly cameras, and it doesn't bother me any that I can't run arbitrary software on my newest digital camera any more than it bothers me that I can't run any software on my mid-70's manual Pentax Spotmatic. That's not why I have them. For that, I have several general purpose computers.

Would it be nice if the iPad was a general-purpose computer? Sure, I guess. But last time I checked, there was a superabundance of general purpose computers, so who cares?

And there's no chance whatsoever that this will ever happen to Mac OS X, so don't lose sleep over it.

I wouldn't say no chance. If Jobs thought it would increase revenues, it would happen. And if it did, you'd probably be back here telling us how people really like being safely locked in the App Store. And it still wouldn't be cause for alarm, because there are plenty of alternatives.

Re:Dear FSF (2, Insightful)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933948)

Exactly. The fact that this tablet is intended to be used as an end-user consumer device that does not allow or require tinkering, or using it as if it were a PC, isn't necessarily a bad thin. Who cares if you're locked down to the apps in the app store, if the app store has exactly the apps you need, and if said apps are a whole lot better than some random you can download from the internet and install yourself.

Two things I don't get about all the whining about the iPad (I understand much of the other whining but not these two things)

1 - Why is it so hard to see that the iPad is NOT a computer in tablet format? Not everything with a CPU, RAM, some storage and a screen should have to be like a 'real' computer that uses a 'real' os that you can slap 'real' apps on, in fact, people don't even WANT a PC in tablet format, since it sucks using a PC in tablet format. There's a reason all the PC-like tablets failed: no-one wants to have one.
2 - Why don't the FSF people go as crazy over mobile phones, satnavs, media players, e-readers, handheld consoles, or whatever computerized device that runs proprietary stuff to accomplish some task that people find a need for, as they go crazy over this iPad. How is a device like the iPad a 'step back in computing' if you view it as a device that allows all these specialized devices to be merged into 1? The thing is simply applying existing technology to create a kind of device that people may or may not find useful, and not the next step in the evolution of computing.

The FSF need to have their heads checked if they really can't look beyond the fact that in theory you might be able to run all-free, all-open software on something like an iPad, and if they really believe the world would be better of if no-one would create devices like the iPad.

In the end people will buy and use products they like, and this is what drives development of new products. People don't buy what the FSF decides to be good or bad for the development of computing.

Re:Dear FSF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933958)

the iPhone is not backward, because it is *much* more free than other cellphones were when it came out.

The iPad is much less free than the netbooks or current tablets it is meant to replace.

As far as cellphones go the iPad is a step forward, but as far as tablets (or I would say a netbook is more apt comparison) go it is a huge step backward.

Re:Dear FSF (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933962)

Most consumers are probably not even aware of the lock in until they get bit by it. They know there's this convenient app store they can go to get their apps and there's someone checking them out to make sure they're safe. They probably don't know it's the only option for getting apps.

Re:Dear FSF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933968)

I guess we found the staff fanboy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933536)

And I honestly don't mean this as a troll, but anyone who buys an Apple product *NOT* expecting it to be locked down tighter than Ann Coulter's vagina deserves to be disappointed. Buying an Apple and expecting freedom is like buying something from Sony and being shocked when it only supports some bullshit propriety storage or media format than only Sony makes. Apple is about doing what Steve tells you to do, or at least says is okay for you to do. If Apple could get away with locking down their Macbooks and other PC's so that you could only download their approved software, they probably would.

Apple keeps it simple: Here's what this does. It's elegant and does what it does very well. We don't want you screwing that up by messing around with it without our approval. If you want open and free, go somewhere else and take your chances.

Re:I've said it before and I'll say it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933598)

I thought Ann Coulter was a slut?

Re:I've said it before and I'll say it again (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933602)

Thank you for this. The only thing I love more than a new Apple product is Ann Coulter's VJJ. I think I'm in heaven.

Re:I've said it before and I'll say it again (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933700)

Yep yep. People (especially here) missing the point of Apple is pretty common. Skimmed the iPad article yesterday and had nothing but iPhone flashbacks.

"It's derivative."

"It's the same as (crappy, unpolished, user-hostile device that didn't sell) so no one is going to buy one."

"The hardware has been out for (absurd number of years) so Apple has utterly stopped innovating and will be going out of business next year."

"No one wants (feature that everyone wants)."

"It doesn't have (feature that only ubergeeks care about) so no one is going to buy one."

Re:I've said it before and I'll say it again (1, Troll)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933864)

It'd be amusing to see a video of a Victorian orphanage/poorhouse full of ragamuffins each getting handed an iP*d. Then one looks up at the grizzled, warty man handing them out and says "Please, sir, may I have something different?"

Then he could either scowl and bellow "Different, not at Apple!" and clout the kid.

Or he could break into a gleaming, toothpaste-commercial smile and say "but of course" and hand the kid something from Asus or Marvell.

Re:I've said it before and I'll say it again (4, Interesting)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933886)

I was disappointed to see the iPad following the App Store model rather than full-on Mac OS X. On my MacBook Pro, or my wife's iMac, I feel like I get the best of both worlds: a nice consistant "just-works" gui with all the power/control I might need just a terminal window away.

FSF is very much on target with the locked-down AppStore model being the biggest threat to user freedom that we've ever seen, bigger than software patents. It's "Tivo-ization" writ large.

Re:I've said it before and I'll say it again (0, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933902)

If you want open and free, go somewhere else and take your chances

Where? The only company I could see releasing a copy of this thing without getting sued into oblivion is Google and it's Android OS and I've heard no plans of a Google tablet (gPad?). MS could fight off the lawsuits, but their UI would suck and probably be just as locked down.

Any Mac Fan to explain why being slaved is good? (0, Troll)

viraltus (1102365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933584)

I know I know... Mac Fan boys choose freely to be slaved. Geee.. They only need to wear a hood and to shop a piece of their dick to be officially recognize as a religion!

Re:Any Mac Fan to explain why being slaved is good (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933788)

Slaved? In what sense?

I own an iPod Touch, and so can only install apps on it from the App Store. Last I checked however it performed its primary function (personal media player) perfectly well without doing so.

True, I do have to use iTunes to get music, etc onto it or off it, but even that doesn't require spending any more money with Apple (and in fact, the last few music downloads I've purchased have come from Amazon).

Re:Any Mac Fan to explain why being slaved is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933862)

I think it just speaks to the fact that there are a lot more bottoms in the world than most people would like to admit.

Steve Jobs has gazed too long into the abyss (5, Insightful)

axl917 (1542205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933608)

The Apple of today is more 1984-ish than Microsoft ever was at the time of the aforementioned Superbowl ad.

Re:Steve Jobs has gazed too long into the abyss (5, Informative)

CrazyBusError (530694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933774)

I hate to break this to you, but the 1984 ad was aimed at IBM, not Microsoft. Microsoft were small-fry at the time, in comparison.

Re:Steve Jobs has gazed too long into the abyss (1)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933802)

The 1984 commercial was about IBM, not Microsoft. Sorry, just being a pedant: your point still stands ;)

Re:Steve Jobs has gazed too long into the abyss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933870)

The ad was directed at IBM. Not Microsoft.

Re:Steve Jobs has gazed too long into the abyss (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933884)

In 1984, Microsoft made their money from MS DOS, BASIC, Z80 cards, and mice.

Do what the rest are doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933612)

Walk away from the noise

For some, it'll do...for now

I'm waiting for dem jailbreak0rz. But where are the shots with the keyboard?

The Don't Buy It (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933614)

iPod Touch.


They're both spectacular devices. The iPad will work within a similar ecology and thus has a good chance of being a pretty sweet device (time will tell, of course).


If you don't like it, don't buy it.


Re:The Don't Buy It - iPass (2, Interesting)

osoroco (626676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933792)

yeah, I agree, I won't buy it because I don't like it.
In fact, I publicly announce here and now, that I WILL NOT buy anything that I DON'T LIKE.
Thanks Jeff, you've opened my eyes!

All sarcasm aside, pretty much everyone was expecting something to compete with the kindle -and- netbook/tablet pc's, ie. running a full OS X, not a supersized iphone, hence the disappointment on the iPad

Re:The Don't Buy It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933938)

For those geeks feeling an itch to buy an ipad, let me put it really simply.

Imagine all computer vendors starting the lock-in practices that Apple uses... then certainly open-source would stand no chance anymore.

Therefore, if you love open-source, don't buy this shit.


Should we give (l)users control? (3, Interesting)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933618)

First, the FSF needs to convince us average users need to have control. Why should average users have control over their computer? Isn't this what got us the virus nightmare in Windows?

Doesn't migrating to the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch model mean that social engineering has much less of an impact to the security of a system? I would think this would be a good thing.

I don't think Mac OS X will ever go away from giving you the control it does (and it is quite nice), but Mac OS X is not appropriate on a device like the iPad.

In fact, I would compare the iPad to the upcoming yet-to-be-made Chromium netbook. The vision Google laid out for their device is pretty much exactly the same as Apple's vision of the iPad. Except that Apple is actually _less_ connected in to your device than Google would be.

Sure, this is bad for the FSF, but what alternative vision of computing do they offer?

Attacking Apple's products is one thing. Why not create your own open source tablet to compete, and let the marketplace decide?

Re:Should we give (l)users control? (0, Troll)

colesw (951825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933724)

Attacking Apple's products is one thing. Why not create your own open source tablet to compete, and let the marketplace decide?

Why would they want to do that? It is much easier to complain and tell someone else to do it instead.

Re:Should we give (l)users control? (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933770)

So that they can unintentionally allow their computers to become part of spam spewing botnets, of course.

Re:Should we give (l)users control? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933830)

Attacking Apple's products is one thing. Why not create your own open source tablet to compete, and let the marketplace decide?

Because you can't. See, the problem is not the lockdown. I'd be OK with that as some people need to be locked down, and they know it. These are the same people who will purchase this product. That's what choice is all about.

Except,there really is no choice. If I were to "design" (copy) the iPad with all the neat little features the iPad has (multitouch, the way you slide objects and pages around etc.) and release it with a fully open OS with no restrictions on how it is used or what it runs, I wouldn't get my first one out the door before a horde of Apple lawyers break down my door with a flurry of patent infringement lawsuits. Even if I could beat some or all of them, the court costs and the years waiting for a resolution would bankrupt me.

Average users don't WANT control (3, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933866)

over their computers. Go ahead. Give it to them. Explain that they need to right-click on the icon and choose "Run as Administrator," or that they need to run spyware scans, or virus scans, or allow the machine to install updates, or use Browser X instead of Browser Y, or manage a filesystem in a clean and organized way. What do they say? Come on, we've all heard it.

"Can't you fix it so that I don't have to worry about that?"
"Why doesn't the computer just do that for me?"
"Why do I have to do that? I never had to do that before."
"Do I really have to worry about this stuff?"
"Just make it work, I don't care how, and I don't want to know."
"I'll just buy a new computer."

They DO NOT WANT to perform maintenance, worry about security, track down tools, learn to use said tools, administer storage or filesystems, etc. Given the choice between technology that slides into malfunction when not administered properly (i.e. "it's broken" as far as they can tell) and no technology at all, most regular people will simply opt for "none," as in "I tried it for a while, but it was always broken or crashing or getting a virus, it sucked. I sold it and just went back to my old XYZ."

Say what you will, but the masses are sheep and they're happy as sheep. You cannot teach them to think, vote, raise children, or use computers responsibly because they DO NOT WANT TO BE THE SHEPHERD, only the sheep. And there will always be a market to sell them sheep-friendly devices.

Pronostics (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933624)

It makes me wonder what the next generation of OS X will look like

A brain-implanted chip that makes clients REALLY "think different" ?

That's obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933630)

Apple fans want computers easy to use! Actually CHOOSE what software your computer will run is too much skill-intensive.

DEB repository. (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933646)

I see the App Store similar to a DEB repository, only the applications "allowed" by the repository administrator enter such repository and can be downloaded from there.

This raises three questions for me:
1. Is it possible (in the Apple version) to install/run software which was not obtained from the repository?
2. Is it possible to offer software free (or at a very low) cost from the Apple repository?
3. Can I use *any* license (like GPL) for my software offered via App Store?

If 2 and three are true, then it may be possible to distribute /Libre/ software in the App Store, of course charging just a small amount of money for the download (Say, I port TEH GIMP to the Ipad, could I offer it for $1.00 [of course with all the source, etc])?

Re:DEB repository. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933892)

1 - No.
2 - You can get free as in beer apps from the store.
3 - There are GPL apps in the App Store. In fact, there was controversy over people charging money for GPL apps in the App Store, even though the GPL allows for that.

The issue is that I can't add another "repository" nor can developers get any app they want into the store.

A Huge Step Sideways (2, Interesting)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933670)

The iPad is a huge step sideways, it's neither good nor bad. Unfortunately it tries to fill a position already inhabited by existing devices (some of which are Apple products).

It's a choice. Aren't we allowed to have choices? (0, Redundant)

master_p (608214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933680)

I will not buy the iPad, because I don't like to be locked up in the AppStore. However, other people don't mind that.

I think the FSF gives much more credit to Apple than it deserves to. Apple is not a monopoly in the market; in fact, they have a small market share in the desktop, laptop, netbook and smartphone sectors.

You can actually programs without permission... (1, Redundant)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933682)

It just has to be a web app. The App Store model is actually a response to software piracy. If anyone could write and execute app store programs without permission, it would be much more difficult for app developers to make money.

Re:You can actually programs without permission... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933784)

That isn't an excuse for DRM on Windows. Why does Apple get a free pass?

A step nowhere is more like it. (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933694)

Its small enough to sprout legs of its own and too big too be convenient to carry about, well it would fit in some purses. I certainly cannot pop it out over the dinner table while out and not feel obtrusive, even at the local coffee shop it would be to overt. I guess that is where it will excel, people who want to be seen with one.

  Throw in that it cannot multitask and its just a large Touch. Now if the screen were larger, one the order of 12 inches, I would be all over it. It would be large enough to display more than one item and let me interact with it. Even it were it states it runs whatever is in the foreground only.

I need the capabilities of a PC as well as the audio/visual abilities this device offers. The iPhone is nice because its sized right. It cannot do what my laptop can and as such is sized appropriately. It does not do enough to justify its size. Throw in the what the article is about, its so damn locked down in content and capability it isn't so much a step backward as a step nowhere

Re:A step nowhere is more like it. (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933990)

I think that the multi-task issue might simply be a software upgrade.

I also think that as well since this is the first version things might change.

Jailbreak the iPad! (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933708)

Because of the dev-team and their wonderful jailbreaking abilities I'm ok with iPad's DRM. The iPhone is ok on it's own and it's spectacular after you jailbreak it [iphone-dev.org]. It's not that tough and doing that can break Apple's controls.

I'll buy an iPad after I can jailbreak it. If you can't open it, you don't own it.

Re:Jailbreak the iPad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933942)

Amen, brother!

I think the iPad has amazing potential just waiting to be reaped by the community. The only thing that irritates me is the horse and carrot bullshit they do with features.

Sure, it'd be easy to cram as much stuff into it as possible but then what would they do next year? It needs alot more stuff...but at the very least they used an open book format (epub).

I envision teacher's writing their own textbooks for this thing in the near to distant future. Could you imagine free textbooks on a $500 device? Suddenly...the pricetag seems null.

Over time... (1)

rshol (746340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933726)

...the iPhone OS and OSX will merge (OS-XI) and the MacBook and the iPad form factors will merge. In the future all Macs will look like the iPad, they will all run Apple manufactured chips, and the only content and programs they will run will be from an Apple app store. Steve will then have realized his dream of being able to take a cut of everything that happens on an Apple device. And it will be a consumers choice to be alright about this or not. I'll probably be sort of alright with it on a (jailbroken) phone, but not on my main computing device.

FSF-approved version: +$99 (4, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933742)

If you want what the FSF purports to want in the iPad and iPhone, its only $99/year more to be a certified developer, and that allows you to upload your own code onto up to a hundred selected devices. The process to become a developer is pretty painless (I did it for my own iPod touch, simply to have the potential to do some hacking down the road).

Similar abilities exist for companies to upload their own selection of apps to corporate devices, for $250/year.

Apple really isn't limiting the freedom to tinker for those who actually WANT to tinker, instead they realize that for most users , having an approved-code-only model is something the users actually wants: it means they have confidence in the system.

How many people will happily grab tons of random free apps off the app-store? Would they have the same attitude if they didn't have apple saying "we've at least done a cursory check of this to make sure these free random apps won't *BLEEP* you up the rear"

Re:FSF-approved version: +$99 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933856)

It's not a yearly fee; it's $99 one-time fee to join the dev program as an individual, or $299 one-time fee to join the enterprise program.


This was bound to happen... (1)

xgadflyx (828530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933778)

Any device that has such a tremendous amount of hype surrounding it is bound to fail to meet EVERYONES expectations. The device has it's role in the Apple ecosystem - and I am sure it will perform that role well. Plus, everyone knows that 1st generation Apple products aren't for everyone. Just hold out and 2nd gen should ease some of the tension. Personally, I don't see the benefit of such a device - - i must not be the target demographic.

Oh, come on. (5, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933780)

The iPad is not a general-purpose computing device. It cannot be compared to, nor can it show the direction of, the market for general-purpose computers. This is like saying that the segway is a major step backward in international travel because it can't fly.

If the next version of OSX were to have similar limitations, that would be worthy of this line of criticism. Of course, the criticism would then be unnecessary, as the Mac would drop out of the PC market promptly of its own accord.

"Customers Can't Be Trusted With Freedom" (1)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933796)

Fantastic. Can anybody think of a more effective strategy for shedding market share? Given that most of this particular segment has already formed an opinion of Windows, I'm pretty excited about their remaining options.

Will the next Mac Vs. PC commercials show the cool Mac guy caged or manacled? Can't wait.

Misses the point (5, Insightful)

Philotomy (1635267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933800)

I think the complaint misses the point of the device. It's not supposed to be a full-blown personal computer. It's supposed to be an iPod for documents (including web pages and especially books -- note that bookstore), doing for them what the iPod did for music: let me carry it around and interact with it in my easy chair or my bed or on a park bench.

Re:Misses the point (3, Interesting)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933908)

What I don't get about this is why you can't do any of these things with a laptop and why it's better to carry around a device with an unprotected screen instead. I just cannot imagine using one of these tablets and I can't imagine it having the mass market appeal that makes, say, the iPod or the iPhone the success that they are.

Limited sharing without App Store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933822)

From Apple's site (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/distribute.html) describing the iPhone developer program:

The Standard and Enterprise Programs allow you to share your application with up to 100 other iPhone or iPod touch users with Ad Hoc distribution. Share your application through email or by posting it to a web site or server.

So, by implication, you can get apps onto it without a copy of the SDK and without going via the App store. I presume that the iPad will work the same way. Not ideal, but not completely closed either.

I don't know how or if they police the 100-copy limit.

Mac World (0, Troll)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933828)

I've always been a PC at heart.

Not like the rest, the others. Everyone around me. I was at odds with my society and knew it early since birth. Unlike them, I did not "Think Different!"--the mantra of the Macs around me, the phrase on all the billboards in the city that served as a reminder to its citizenry. Sameness pervaded the essence of my being and no amount of self-conditioning I did could change that. Eventually, I gave up and isolated myself emotionally from society.

I gaze at the faces going by, the white earphones contrasting their black turtlenecks, connecting their ears to their pockets, their blank faces engrossed in hip Indie rock music and various garage bands. I envied them for their perfection against my flaws and my compulsive nature to expand, to burden my life with troubles instead of remaining, like them, simple and easy to deal with. The grandest of virtues, simplicity... the philosophy by our loyal benefactor Steve Jobs, who descended from the heavens, creating the Earth, the iron, the wind and the rain. Steve Jobs, who defined the parameters of existence, the one who set about the patterns of reality, the constants, the variables. He who made gravity, electromagnetic energy, and shaped atomic structures and brought forth motion. From these things, he crafted the elements, processed them, refined them, and from these things engineered Apple products through the purity of his mind. Each Apple product was individually crafted by his own hands with the programming code used to run each device having being compiled in his brain and uploaded to each device telepathically, breathing life and perfection into each and every unit.

Except, it seems, for me, for I was not among the many. I was a PC. They were Macs. I've always been a cold, stiff person. I got by, disguising myself by keeping my non-Ipod music player safely out of sight, which I use because of my depraved nature demanding more functionality than the simple and easy-to-use Ipods have to offer.. In the safety of my own home, behind locked doors, I ran a Forbidden, a contraband computer from more depraved, earlier days that was not given the love and blessing of being birthed by Steve Jobs. I dual booted, out of the great sin of curiosity-- curiosity, a shameful value of a PC, as curiosity has no place where simplicity matters most--using two of the great unutterable blasphemies-- something called "Windows Vista" and something else called "Linux." Although, as I mentioned before, although my tendency to be a PC and towards conformity has always been inherent to me, I was truly transformed when I found these old things in a hidden cache of computer parts predating The Purging. Perhaps the greatest sin of all, the single evil that, if discovered, would damn me forever, was the fact that my mouse had more than one button.

As I walk among the Macs on the streets, passing the Starbuckses as I went along, I wondered how it all came to this. I glanced at The Holy Marks on the foreheads as the people wandered down the streets, the Bitten Apple tattooed on all our of us at birth, and wondered if, perhaps, there could be something more to life. But again, this was a PC's thought, and not, like everyone elses', a Mac's. We were to hold ourselves to the philosophy of Steve Jobs--so as his products were designed for idiots, so too were we to be idiots. But I was not a Mac--I was not an idiot. I was simply too complicated to be a worthwhile person.

Nature called. I found a nearby public iPoo--squeaky clean and sparkly white, things weren't all bad--and let myself go, expelling the waste that had accumulated inside me. After relieving myself and committing the overly-complicated and thus illegal act of wiping my ass (I did not flush as iPoos, designed to be idiot-proof, did not flush) I left and once again wandered the streets aimlessly, hoping to find some meaning in a world where I simply did not belong, a world where if my true nature was discovered, I would be endlessly persecuted by smug, self-righteous sons of bitches.

Central repository is good (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933838)

One of the things I love about Linux is a central repository for software, being able to find all software updates in one place, and having one simple way to install and remove apps.

The App Store is great in this regard. The issue isn't that the App Store restricts the user, but rather the App Store restricts the developer. Not anyone can simply get an app in the store. You have to pass Apple's magic gates.

Apple would never let any old app in the store, nor would they allow users to simply add other "repositories" to the App Store, because it would breed piracy. But the basic concept of the App Store is still solid.

Web Standards are the Key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933844)

Forget the App Store, you've got Safari with HTML 5 (and then some) with Apple explicitly saying they won't support proprietary plug-ins. This is going to be a widely popular platform and is going to be fantastic from a web standards standpoint. Check out Yehuda Katz's write-up (and no, I'm not him trolling for clicks).


As a web developer tired of IE 6, it is great news to see a platform that is going to push web standards adoption.

If I buy it, I own it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30933846)

If I buy a compute platform, then I own it and I should be able to write programs and interact with it how I see fit. I don't want to get stuck in another situation like my iPhone, which requires "moderation" for applications; which, BTW, is not fool-proof -- I found a keylogger in one of the so-called "approved" Apps. Surprise!

I predict this will be more of an iBlunder than anything. Apple does a lot of good things, but I'm afraid this isn't one of them. The iPad is just a large iPod Touch... lousy!

of course its backward into DRM corp control (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933860)

hasn't that been the whole thrust of apple since the beginning - a gilded cage as one recent poster so aptly put it ? The advertising campaing that apple = freedom from the MS/ big corporations / borg / 1984 is
classic advertising
you say the opposite of reality.
eg, when your corporation has lousy customer service, you run an ad campaing touting your legendary customer service (citizen bank in boston); when you are a corporate evil doer, you run an ad capaign on Public Radio (archer daniels midland, mcneill leherer snoozehour)...when you are a major cause of pollution, you run ads touting your greeness (oil companies, toyota hybrids)
The whole history of apple has been restricting your freedom to do what only jobs wants you to do, so he can make a lot of money. People are ok with that, to paraphrase Mencked, no one ever lost money underestimating how much freedom the american consumer will give up for instant gratification

no photoshop == fail (0, Troll)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933944)

Seriously, they released a tablet that won't run regular OSX apps but only stripped down sandboxed app store approved apps?... HAHAHAHA



What idiots. Definatly a huge step backwards. But Apple Fan Bois will say look at the interface and how thin it is... its a huge step forward.

They can't possibly believe this... (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933946)

We organized actions and protests targeting iTunes music DRM outside Apple stores, and under the pressure Steve Jobs dropped DRM on music.

Jobs was on record as opposing DRM on music long before the campaign started. It was the labels that had to be convinced to change, they were the ones responsible, not Apple. Taking credit for something you had no part in does nothing for your credibility and weakens your ability to work effectively in the future.

Freedom is the enemy for content makers. (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933964)

Apple's big advantage in their recent Great Leap Forward was that they entered through the iPod. The iPod required the aquiesence of the big group of Free computing haters in the MPAA/RIAA. The fact is, that by being their freedom hating Apple selves, they managed to get these companies to release their precious content whereas before the only way to get such content (apart from buying media and ripping it yourself) was, well, illegal..

Now, I suspect that the iPad is intended as a shot across the bow in the eBook market, which Amazon created the "iPod" for in the form of the Kindle. Apple has an uphill struggle versus the Kindle, so they've given the iPad functionality that the Kindle doesn't have. Will it be enough to dethrone the Kindle? Time will tell.

In the meantime, poor engineer types like myself will troll around for discounted Chinese hardware that does the same type of thing in a less elegant way but for a fraction of the cost while preserving my precious freedom to tinker.

Kind of a silly argument (1)

Grond (15515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933986)

So you don't like the closed OS. Fair enough. So why not jailbreak and install whatever you want? Or help port an open OS to the device [github.com]? Because Apple won't give you tech support? If you're all about free software you should be used to relying on the community for tech support anyway.

It's a better world when free and proprietary software compete. If the FSF doesn't like the iPhone OS, it should make a better one. If the result is what users actually want (through some combination of openness, price, and quality) then great. But if not, then that's life. Proprietary software sometimes produces better products than free software, and people are sometimes willing to give up free access to the source code in order to get those products. Who is the FSF to tell people what software they should be (morally, if not technically) allowed to use? Isn't that exactly what they're complaining Apple does? It's hypocritical.

I have no problem with arguing that free software is morally or technically superior to proprietary software, but it does bother me when groups like the FSF claim that it's morally wrong to use or sell proprietary software. If it's immoral to use proprietary software, then it's immoral to eat at a restaurant that won't give you the exact recipe for everything on the menu. It would likewise be immoral to buy any product whose composition or process of manufacture is a trade secret. It would be immoral to buy any book not published under an open license. If free software proponents aren't going to be consistent with their own moral choices, where do they get off demanding that everyone else conform to their value system?

Missing the point (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933988)

If you really dislike the iPad, it would be far more effective to harp on how the device simply isn't useful, not how it restricts freedom. The iPad has far bigger problems than the usual Apple lockdown, like its awkward form factor and price making it a device with the disadvantages of both a smartphone and a netbook, but the advantages of neither.

Amen (4, Interesting)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30933992)

"We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on." - Steve Jobs, Interview in Macworld magazine, February 2004

Steve used to preach that you could tell simply by looking at someones posture whether they were consuming or creating. The hacker bent over his keyboard is a boon to society while the couch potato leaning waayy back is a drain.

Meanwhile, he introduces the iPad while leaning back in an easy chair and telling us how easy it is to buy and consume web pages, music, movies, books from the iTunes store. And it's all DRM infested, right down to the software you may or may not be allowed to run on it.

Consume, consume, consume.

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