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Jobs' Next Fight — Dealing With iPhone Hackers 341

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the or-you-could-just-open-it-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With Steve Jobs' recent announcement of his intention to fight off the independent iPhone developers, the question worth asking is: How will Apple try to defeat the hackers: Software updates, or lawsuits? Will Apple risk losing its most frequently (ab)used legal tool, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in order to try and punish the developers of the iPhone unlocking tools? This CNET article explores the legal issues involved in this, which make it perfectly legal to reverse engineer your own iPhone, but illegal to share your circumventing source code with others."
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Jobs' Next Fight — Dealing With iPhone Hackers

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  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:35PM (#20670027) Homepage

    CNET article explores the legal issues involved in this, which make it perfectly legal to reverse engineer your own iPhone, but illegal to share your circumventing source code with others."

    The iPod is already available in countries without DMCA-style laws.

  • Easy to pay! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cez (539085) * <info@@@historystartingyesterday...com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:37PM (#20670061) Homepage
    TFA:


    Other hacks, such as the much hyped iPhone Dev Team's anySIM unlocking tool, or the numerous free-ringtone tutorials that have been floating around the Net, can be more accurately described as a developer-lead attack upon Apple's revenue streams.


    ...ummm no, it means that people in a position too are trying to help others not get screwed by a vendor locked-in product that wants to charge you for a ringtone that you can make yourself. Instead of attacking developers who wish to enlighten a public entranced by Apple, perhaps they shouldn't base a revenue stream on vendor lockin and ripoff ringtones. If you ask me (flame on that noones asking), they should be the ones providing such a ringtone app. They are all about ease of use for the masses... oh wait, I forgot its easier for someone to pay them then do it themselves.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minginqunt (225413) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:38PM (#20670079) Homepage Journal
    Does Apple truly have much to lose from iPhone hackery?

    The only people this really harms is AT&T, and Jobs has never shown the slightest inclination before towards caring about a business partner getting fucked over. If it suits his needs, he'll probably want Apple to subtly encourage it.

    I would.
  • Re:Easy to pay! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:40PM (#20670119)

    it means that people in a position too are trying to help others not get screwed by a vendor locked-in product

    I'm sorry, you were forced to purchase an iPhone by who?

  • asswipes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wamerocity (1106155) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:41PM (#20670125) Journal
    I love how companies don't deny your right to fair use, they just put restrictions around the device that make it illegal to even access fair use. That's like saying, "You have the right to free speech, but only at this designated microphone that can be found inside the 4th underground level at Area 51."
  • by IdleTime (561841) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:43PM (#20670169) Journal
    I like the idea of iphone and it's interface and what it's supposed to do. However, because it's from Apple it will be a rocky ride and not an easy product to use or operate on world level. I live in USA and travel frequently to other countries.

    Since it's from Apple, the product will be ridden by lock downs, law suites, harassment of people who create addons etc. Just like every other Apple product and which is why I have always stayed clear of Apple.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:44PM (#20670187)
    Yes, it is. (And apparently you didn't read any of the linked articles, because there are a lot more issues here [slashdot.org].)

    But it the manufacturer doesn't have to allow or enable it. If you can figure it out, great. But if they also stop that same unlocking procedure in future software or hardware iterations of the phone, they can.

    And I really don't think Apple will be "relocking" phones...they'll likely just be plugging the holes that allowed them to be unlocked in the first place in future firmware versions. That said, I guess I wouldn't be stunned if some unlocked phones broke, intentionally or otherwise. But all of this has NO BEARING on the DMCA exception. The vendor is under zero obligation to enable unlocking.

    So it's not "too bad for Jobs" at all, unfortunately.
  • by tgatliff (311583) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:44PM (#20670189)
    Lip service. There is very little interest for Apple to stop people modifying their products because their current business model focuses on hardware sales. The problem is, though, if they are not looked upon by their content partners as working very hard to protect their content, then there will not be anything to put on that hardware... So, the end result is a constant stream of weak patches and allot of talk. (The recent iPhone ringtones "patch" is a great example of this) At the end of the day, though, nothing will change...
  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:44PM (#20670195) Homepage
    It was a typo. Yes, I know the article is about the iPhone, and my point still stands. From Hong Kong to Dubai, the iPhone is already widely available outside the U.S.
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by click2005 (921437) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:45PM (#20670217)
    It might just be he has to show hes trying to stop the iphone hacking. Jobs isn't stupid. He knows stopping the hacking will be almost impossible. At least now AT&T cant sue Apple for their not taking action.
  • Re:Easy to pay! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:46PM (#20670231) Homepage
    The problem here is that the product itself is desirable, for its features make it competitive, but the company that designed such a fine device is now trying to cripple it. Buy the product and resist the company's attempts to lock the features down. It's a simple philosophy, but it makes me happy.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:48PM (#20670253)
    Apple does not seem to know who its friends are. People are taking a great hardware design (for which Apple is justifiably famous), and improving its functionality through improved or additional software. Everybody wins!

    Except when some company becomes egomaniacal and starts trying to grab it all for itself. Even Microsoft did not go so far as to actually try to block "independent developers" outright.
  • by Frag-A-Muffin (5490) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:48PM (#20670265) Homepage
    I think Mr. Jobs is required to say things like this. How would it look to his big (and only) US carrier partner locked in for 5 years or whatever it is, if he said "We condone the hackers and their unlocking software". What they actually do about it will really tell the story, and that's a wait and see game, so no use speculating.
  • Correct (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SengirV (203400) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:48PM (#20670271)
    So it's obviously not for you. Good luck with whatever you end up buying/using.
  • by Falcon_Delta00 (1156119) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:52PM (#20670339)
    Ultimately, if there is enough motivation in the tech community to hack products then they will be hacked. Look at the RIAA and music files, P2P file sharing and hacking is prolific even after years of intense legal battles. But let's look at what's happening here. Not all hacking is for evil and malicious ends, often times hacking products or developing new programs for them is a way to improve a product. If there is enough interest to crack the iphone and generate a lot of 3rd party apps, then maybe apple isn't doing enough to deliver a product that consumers really want. Finally, look at a company like Sony. They were very draconian about DRM, proprietary formats, and not letting their devices be tweaked and they've had a lot of lost market share and failed products. Does anyone remember the MiniDisc player? Letting the community be involved in a product, whether through 3rd party apps etc. helps generate users, as well as keeps people interested in the product.
  • Re:Easy to pay! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cez (539085) * <info@@@historystartingyesterday...com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:52PM (#20670347) Homepage
    I didn't mention anything about being forced to buy an iphone....but if Apple had their way, they would force those that did buy it to buy ringtones from them as well, instead of making free ones which is their right. Hell even if it was a ringtone of their kid singing whatever it is that kids sing, should u not have a way to make that your ringtone without Apple crying foul?


    on the other hand, it seems that they are trying to force someone who did buy the iphone and ATT package not to unlock the phone and goto another provider. Perhaps someone needs to move for work or goes over seas? Hell... they could pay their contract cancelation fee, but according to Apple, they shouldn't be able to open the phone and use another provider that has better service, or any service even, where they are.

  • by chowhound (136628) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:55PM (#20670381) Homepage
    I believe that statement was for the benefit of AT&T and future partners. The fact of the matter is that since June 30th, Apple has released only two updates to the iPhone software. Is this the action of a company desperate to keep people out? Jobs is not concerned with hackers playing around with iPhones. Presumably they bought them, Apple got paid.
  • Misplaced Optimism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SpectreBlofeld (886224) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:55PM (#20670389)
    Remember when all the fanboys were soapboxing that the iPhone was going to revolutionize the cell phone market and make it more open? Misinterpreting the fact that the phone wasn't going to be subsidized by AT&T as a sign that there would be no carrier lock-in? Those cynics among us - which oddly were in the minority - predicted that no subsidy meant you're simply paying more for a device that STILL requires a two-year contract, and that Apple's attitude toward developers and users was going to be exactly like every product they sell. Tightly controlled hardware and software. The braying of the faithful never ceases to amaze me. When people started circumventing the iPhone's locks, they claimed that Jobs *intentionally* made it easy to hack the iPhone. Now this... Wait for the OpenMoko, kids.
  • Re:Easy to pay! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:57PM (#20670423)
    The iPhone doesn't have "terms" - it is a physical device, not intellectual property. The hardware can be interesting enough to buy (and useful) all by itself. You own it, not Apple, and they cannot dictate what you do with it.
  • Correction. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by juuri (7678) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:00PM (#20670493) Homepage
    Mr. Jobs, can you tell us why it's your job to do that? You sell hardware. We are the customer.

    People often get this wrong on Apple, like them or not, they don't sell hardware... or really software (much). Apple sells you a solution, an experience, a total package. Their focus and developments are all based on expected hardware and software components being in a certain order or place to ensure they can provide a specific experience to the end user.

    In this case the contracts with the carriers probably have explicit clauses saying they will fight to combat unlocks in the same way they fix their aac every quarter or so to try and appease the music companies.

  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:01PM (#20670511) Journal
    Even Microsoft did not go so far as to actually try to block "independent developers" outright.

    Have you tried writing an app to run on the Xbox without paying licensing fees/royalties to Microsoft?

    -jcr

  • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:16PM (#20670717)
    Cheers! The iPhone has a beautiful UI and is a really neat piece of hardware. But a lot of functionality (IM, decent SMS client able to even save drafts or SMS multiple people, etc, so forth) is missing out of the box. The iPhone is a beta device, still, and 3rd party developers increase Apple's development team about tenfold. Apple should leap for joy and even offer to buy some third-party applications rather than complaining.

    Note that I'm not talking about SIM unlocking, which is a seperate issue. Apple should simply offer SIM-unlocked phones for a higher price to make up for the lack of AT&T subsidy.

    -b.

  • Re:A few issues (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:26PM (#20670837)
    Really? Given that the price of the iphone is in line with the non-subsidized prices of most other GSM phones of similar complexity, it seems like Apple is doing something wrong if what you say is true.

    Yes, "really". Whether Apple is losing money or making $150 on each handset sold pre-activation, the price is still inherently structured to depend on AT&T kickbacks. If they weren't getting $150-$200 and 3%/month for existing customers and 10%/month for new customers on each iPhone activation from AT&T, do you think they wouldn't miss that money? The price is ABSOLUTELY structured depending on that money from AT how could it not be?

    And how is Apple "doing something wrong"? You don't think it's okay to build a profit structure into a product? And you likely underestimate the amount of R&D in terms of both sheer money and manpower that went into the iPhone. If you think the iPhone is really fundamentally basically the same thing as numerous other smartphone-type devices, we'd probably disagree on that.
  • No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:30PM (#20670869) Homepage
    If you actually read the link you provided, you will see that Apple gets the same amount of money from AT&T whether or not the phone is unlocked.

    And AT&T doesn't even suffer, they get they subscription fee whether or not the customers use any of their service.

    iPhone unlocking only have winners.
  • Re:Correction. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Speare (84249) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:33PM (#20670905) Homepage Journal

    If Ford sells me an "experience" like a Mustang, and I decide to rip out the Ford stock stereo or take off the Ford street tires and replace it with an aftermarket stereo or racing whitewalls, that's my decision, not Ford's. And court precedent bears this out. Apple wants to explain that this is somehow different, but it's not. I'm the customer. I decide what "experience" to have with the product, after they've sold me the goods.

    I'm not arguing their ability to put junk I don't want in there. I'm arguing that unless there's nefarious anti-consumer contracts with carriers, they have no right to "fix my experience" away from the configuration I choose. A patch to re-lock SIMs to a sole vendor is explicitly against the legal and moral arguments that define SIM transferrability. And if they do have those contracts, like Ford with Firestone or Ford with Panasonic, I say this is unconscionable and such contracts should be made void.

  • by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:35PM (#20670949) Homepage Journal
    Let's examine this (the notion that Apple is primarily a hardware company)?

    I can buy a Mac computer, but I don't see anny way of "unbundling" OS X. (trust me, I'd love that option; a Mac Mini without OS X, or any of its built-in applications, without the Apple keyboard, mouse, or display -- something I would actually buy quite a lot of!).

    I can buy OS X, without a computer (but it won't run on much other that a Mac).

    I can't buy an iPhone without software.

    The only "official" way to update an iPod is to use an Apple software "client". The iPod is worthless without this (or hackers to figure out what the software/firmware is doing). Compare and contrast against most other mp3 players, where the device simply appears as a disk.

    Even back in the days of the Apple ][, the system was distinguished from its competition by the provided software (on that machine, its ROM).

    Maybe you want to say "Apple is primarily a SYSTEMS company, not a software company".

    === Now that I have completed a post that may be construed as slightly critical of Apple, its products, or its philosophy, I expect to be modded (as usual) into oblivion. As a pre-emptive strike, let me say that I find most Apple users to be so offensive to me that I find myself prejudiced against all Apple users. Go ahead, and PLEASE make me your foe.
  • by p0tat03 (985078) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:43PM (#20671055)

    It does everything the iPhone does, except calls

    Oh yeah, that's like, totally a secondary feature anyway, I'm certainly not missing it. Who uses the iPhone as a phone?

    I'd like to own an iPhone. Honestly, I would. But, though I can pay for the phone, only AT&T can own it. Jobs, Apple, and AT&T want it that way, and if you've paid for an iPhone, you've essentially told them that they can have your cake and eat it too.

    Funny, as a Canadian I've never paid a penny to AT&T, and my iPhone works fine. While I would like a factory unlocked phone as much as the next guy, there are plenty of ways for us technically adept people to have OUR cake and eat it too.

    The task which it can be programmed to do are limited only by the ingenuity and creativity of the programmer/user.

    You're right. In fact this morning the beta for a cell-tower-triangulation tool that integrates with Google Maps just came out. iPhone development is chugging right along, and many tools are already very mature and usable.

    Consumer benefit beyond the original purpose of the device is explicitly and legally forbidden.

    FUD. I have every legal right in both the US and Canada to unlock my phone and install whatever the hell I want on it. Apple may not like it, and may even do pitifully ineffectual things to stop me, but the law is on MY side.

    I hope those who buy the iPhone are prepared to deal with a future in which everything they possess is owned and licensed by a corporation.

    What part of ownership do you not understand? Neither AT&T nor Apple own my iPhone, I do, in EVERY sense of the law. Apple has chosen to cripple the device, I have chosen to un-cripple it. They don't own anything of mine.

  • Re:A few issues (Score:3, Insightful)

    by realthing02 (1084767) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:57PM (#20671209)
    I think by "something wrong" he meant that basing profitability on another business is a bad business model. In this case, by building the ATT revenue into the pricing structure, it ties them to ATT's success as a business. It's usually not wise to have a business model like this. Kind of like trading on margin.

    I could be wrong, and he might have meant something completely different, though. Who knows.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:59PM (#20671241) Homepage
    You are about to step on one HUGE landmine that will cause a great amount of damage to you and your company. I strongly suggesting you step back and look for a different route. The direction you are heading WILL ensure destruction as well as incredible drop in profits. Your stance has absolute zero support from the consumers around the world. Nobody supports your apparent stance on this at all.

    If you want to lose, step on that landmine. If you want to win I suggest you instruct your lawyers to leave the building and you brainstorm with people that can come up with clever ideas as to a solution to the problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:04PM (#20671299)
    ...but if Apple had their way, they would force those that did buy it to buy ringtones from them as well, instead of making free ones which is their right. Hell even if it was a ringtone of their kid singing whatever it is that kids sing, should u not have a way to make that your ringtone without Apple crying foul?

    There seems to be a recurring and ever-increasing theme, especially here in the USA, that customers of any kind, for any product or service, are supposed to be forced into being limited and tightly controlled in what they can and cannot be permitted to do with any product or service they might buy and what products and services they can buy and from whom. This is most disturbing and needs to be reversed.

    One of the most ludicrous examples of this kind of mentality I've seen recently was at one of my hometown's city council meetings. The council was voting on spending some money for its I.T. department to upgrade most of their desktop machines with bigger hard drives, more memory and in some cases faster processors so they would be ready to upgrade to MS Vista and Office 2007. One of the local computer vendors who had sold the city some PCs in the past got up during the public comments session and began ranting and raving like a lunatic that it should be against the law for the city govt's own I.T. employees to do this kind of work on the city's own computers, that the city should be required to always have to contract out these upgrades and that they needed to pass a new city ordinance requiring this. He accused the city of "stealing business" from him by doing the work in-house themselves. One of the city aldermen asked him if he thought the city's public works department was "stealing business" from the local plumbers too, for installing and maintaining the city's own water and sewer mains and this idiot said "absolutely".
  • Re:Easy to pay! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:05PM (#20671307) Journal

    It's a simple philosophy, but it makes me happy.


    It's not a simple philosophy, it's a stupid philosophy. The better, more logical way to move is not to. If Apple were forced to deal with abysmal sales, then they'd likely respond with the product the way you want it. The message you send to Apple is "Yeah, I hate your tactics, but I'm going to give you money anyways." That's hardly going to fill them with fear.
  • Re:Easy to pay! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by posterlogo (943853) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:16PM (#20671425)
    Apple wants to sell as much hardware as it can. I doubt it was behind the ridiculous ringtone pricing. It's much more likely that they have to walk a fine line with the music industry (and now with the cellular carriers). Don't be deluded -- it's those bastards that are pulling the strings here. Otherwise, why would any hardware seller possibly agree to LIMIT their sales?? As with the music, ringtones, TV shows, movies, and now cellphone access, they have to make some token effort to thwart "hackers" to appease their contract partners. I think, secretly, though, that they don't really mind the hacking... it increases the "value" of their product. I doubt they're losing much money on those ringtone hacks... it's the RIAA that takes most of that money anyways.
  • by Hitchcock_Blonde (717330) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:24PM (#20671545) Homepage

    "Your stance has absolute zero support from the consumers around the world."

    What? Frankly, the vast majority of consumers really don't give a rat's a**.

  • Re:A Company (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:24PM (#20671549)
    More realistically, what happens when thousands of developers start making awful applications for the iPhone and potential customers see how crappy apps crash and ruin the iPhone's functionality? Combatting this sort of free-for-all development mentality is what has made Macs superior to Windows but at the expense of market share. As an iPhone customer, I bought my phone knowing it works, and works well, and I don't ever want it to be screwed up by a loosely controlled bunch of hack third party mal-ware developers. I can just see it know: I have 252 new visual voice-mails, all of them offering Viagra, P*rn and Free stock quotes. Gee, thanks.
  • Re:Easy to pay! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:30PM (#20671593) Journal

    how is it apple's problem with copyright infringement if people are making their own ringtones from songs that they illegally acquired? i made my own ringtone (for my new LG chocolate) from an mp3 that i ripped from a CD that i own. i don't think i committed any copyright infringement by doing so because i actually purchased the CD.


    ATTENTION! Slashdot User #136707, you have violated the terms of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act by circumventing the copy protection of your CD for the purposes of transferring a RIAA-copyrighted song to a cell phone. Please remain where you are. The RIAA Security Services will be arriving presently to find you guilty of the most heinous crime in America; interfering with profits. As a convicted enemy of the state, you have the option of the suicide booth. Please let your RIAA Security Services officers know if you wish to use this option. Before you decide, remember that any songs at your funeral service must be from original, unripped media, or we will be forced to vaporize your family (including your little dog, too).
  • Re:A Company (Score:4, Insightful)

    by catbutt (469582) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @04:43PM (#20672463)

    I think at times we forget at times Apple is a company and they are in it to make money.
    Do you forget that the rest of us are consumers, and consumers are "in it" for...well, whatever their own interests are...? If consumers don't like what Apple is doing, they can apply economic pressure to Apple to do things in a way that they prefer. The least effective way might be to quietly stop buying Apple's products, hoping that eventually Apple will figure out that they need to change their policies or they will lose more consumers.

    A more effective way might be to be vocal about it, discuss it among themselves, etc. That is exactly what this article and discussion is.
  • by denobug (753200) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @05:09PM (#20672789)

    One big exception: Apple's iPhone, distributed exclusively in the USA by AT&T. "That's different," says AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel.
    iPhone is different in the sense that user pay for the phone entirely. ATT provides no subsidy to the customers. They have no rights to lock your phone down to recapture the cost of the phone, the reason why cell phones were locked down in the first place.
  • by p0tat03 (985078) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @05:19PM (#20672925)
    That is the center of the argument isn't it? The iPhone is not a revolutionary gadget by any stretch of the imagination, but it IS usable. I know Slashdot has this collective grudge against shiny, usable UIs (as opposed to obfuscated command lines), but IMHO the UI is worth the price of admission (including the arms race).
  • by reversible physicist (799350) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @07:01PM (#20674335)

    The posting talks about "Steve Jobs' recent announcement of his intention to fight off the independent iPhone developers..."

    This is incorrect. Jobs only said they have to fight the unlock. The actual quote [crunchgear.com] of what he said is,

    Q: What are you going to do about iPhone unlocking?

    Steve: This is a constant cat and mouse game. We play it on iPods with DRM. We promised music companies to stay ahead of this problem. We try to stay a step ahead. It's going to be the same way here with the iPhone. It's our job to keep them from breaking in. That's job security.

    In fact, last week Greg Joswiak, a high level marketing guy at Apple, said that Apple would neither forbid nor support native code on the iPhone/Touch [gearlog.com]. (He initially said something a bit more positive, but later corrected it since he thought people would read too much into it).
  • by MrSmileyJr (981125) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @08:50PM (#20675481) Homepage
    I'd imagine that Jobs said that (TFA read way too much into what he said) in order to keep the providers happy. Truth is, the plan w/ att is better than tmobile, for the same or less $ and Jobs will only sell more out of contract iphones to current tmobile users that want to upgrade their phone.

    Jobs will probably break the unlocking for the next few updates just until all the contracts with the providers all over the world are finalized, and then he will shrug his shoulders and say "we tried, but the hackers are just too good," while he watches his sales keep going up :-)
  • by kiwioddBall (646813) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @09:18PM (#20675751) Homepage
    Steve Jobs is not fighting off independant iPhone Developers, indeed Apple has specifically said that they are not going to deliberately fight them off. What Apple may fight off is the illegal distribution of unlocking tools.

    There should be a very broad distinction drawn between folks writing productive applications for the iPhone, and folks trying to ruin this by deliberately trying to circumvent the protection measures in the phone.

    Do not group these two separate activities together.

    Lastly, the posting of articles like this to the Slashdot front page written by Anonymous Cowards should be banned. Be prepared to stand up personally to your article. Real Journalists do this.
  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @09:36PM (#20675899) Homepage Journal

    The iPhone is not a revolutionary gadget by any stretch of the imagination, but it IS usable. I know Slashdot has this collective grudge against shiny, usable UIs
    The Palm interface is quite usable too. It just doesn't have all the animations and gimmicks, so making calls with a Treo feels like using a phone or PDA, not like playing a game.

    There's no "grudge" against good looks here -- only against trading features, freedom, and ownership for superficial glitter.
  • Re:Easy to pay! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @01:48AM (#20677599)
    if you don't like the terms of the product, do not buy it

    "Terms of a product"? Trying to prevent the owners of a product from using it however they want is no concern of the manufacturer. They can withdraw warranties if they feel justified, the rest is bullshit.

  • by Tim Browse (9263) on Thursday September 20, 2007 @02:55AM (#20677931)

    Our site is IE-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem. Our site is run by people who use IE, after all, and the vast majority of our readership use IE. We're certainly not opposed to supporting Firefox, but we don't have any formal plans for making that happen. All we can really tell you is that if you're not using IE, and you have Firefox, try using it - maybe it will work.

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