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Handhelds Iphone Upgrades Apple

iOS 4 Releases Today 702

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-hold-your-breath dept.
tekgoblin writes "Today Apple releases the much anticipated iOS 4 for iPhones and iPod Touches. No word on when we will see this update on the iPad." Can't wait to see all the neat new stuff that won't run on my stale phone.
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iOS 4 Releases Today

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  • Can't wait to see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:24AM (#32640578)
    I personally can't wait to see what measures this new software takes to control its users and limit their access to other programs.
  • AT&T (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jsnipy (913480) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:26AM (#32640600) Journal
    I wonder if AT&T's network will melt :/
  • Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by uofitorn (804157) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:27AM (#32640622)
    Make sure you are ready today to get the update as soon as possible.
  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:33AM (#32640718) Homepage Journal

    I can't wait to see all the new stuff that I had on my Android phone a year and a half ago.

  • Unfortunately (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:33AM (#32640726) Homepage Journal

    It's not for all the iPhone and iPod touch models. The first generation is being left behind.

    So that means a lot of users stuck with devices running iOS3. Please don't forget that when making apps, unless you don't like profits of course.

    FYI: the 1st generation iPod touch is the slowest, least powerful of all the iDevices. If it runs properly on that, it will run on all others.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:33AM (#32640730)

    It's funny to see how Slashdot was was railing [slashdot.org] against MS about Trusted Computing, DRM and Palladium. Now Apple implements them in a shiny box and not only there's not a peep about the DRM in the iDevices but many Slashdot posters fawn all over and write long justifications about how it is good. I guess Trusted Computing was meant to come wrapped in a pretty box for the masses to not notice it. Now even MS is following in the same footsteps with Windows Phone 7 Series. Sad.

  • by Bender Unit 22 (216955) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:36AM (#32640776) Journal

    Whine whine whine whine. It is getting old.
    Don't you think the users buying those phones are quite aware of that now. And it is not like we don't have proper alternatives by now.

    I admit it is really scary that the average user just want computers and gadets that works together well without the need to have any technical knowledege at all, and for the average user, the limits are nothing compared to getting the average phone to sync properly with windows or navigating through the eel infested waters of the internet safely without getting vira etc.
    Even some HTC phones with android have been terrible with unstable windows drivers and I have spent more than one evening fixing other peoples computers, so that they could do something that should be Plug'n'Play 10 years ago(syncing their Hero phone with XP).

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:38AM (#32640806) Journal

    Let's get a grip on reality here, people. First and foremost? This device is a CELLPHONE. Many, MANY cellphones have been made before the iPhone was released, and many more have been made since then which NEVER get a firmware update at all! You simply "get what you get" with them, often meaning even functionality the original manufacturer intended the phone to have is stripped out by your cellular carrier and their custom version of the firmware. (EG. Despite it supporting bluetooth data transfer, you *may* get blocked from copying over your own ringtone files from a computer -- or maybe you're disallowed from moving over your contact info as vcard files, or ??)

    Yet along comes the iPhone, which by contrast, has an INCREDIBLE amount of flexibility, and people are screaming FASCIST?!

    As phone handsets go, it's pretty empowering, I'd say. (And I say this as someone who used to own the original iPhone as well as a 3G, but now uses a Samsung Messager II phone instead of "drinking the kool-aid" and extending my AT&T contract out another 2 years just to get the latest iPhone.)

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:43AM (#32640904)
    I think if you set your minimum Score level to 4, you will see the slashdot that he is reading.
  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:46AM (#32640966)
    And on my WinMobile device half a decade ago.

    Digital zoom, multi-tasking, homescreen wallpaper changing, bluetooth keyboard support... Yup, all on my HTC Himalaya (released 2004).
  • by sjonke (457707) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:49AM (#32641040) Journal

    The iPad's specs are better then any currently available iPhone or iPod touch, so I'm not sure what you're saying. Should Apple have released a less capable iPhone 4? If you're asking why they aren't releasing iOS 4 for the iPad today, yeah that's a decent question. I have to presume they'd have liked to have had iOS 4 out for the iPad today too, but for reasons unknown they aren't going to be able to do that today.

  • Re:Unfortunately (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:50AM (#32641052)

    You mean the iPhone suffers from this fragmentation thing Apple people accuse the Android platform of having?

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:51AM (#32641066)

    Ignoring the fact that we're entering an era of mobile computers, iOS 4 runs on the iPad too. Is that a phone too by your twisted logic?

  • by jgagnon (1663075) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:52AM (#32641076)

    In my experience, the average user doesn't know what they want until they see something they like, and then they want it. This especially applies to computing products since so few understand what they are capable of, so imagining the possibilities isn't all that easy for them to do.

    And no, the average person reading this post is not the same as the average user mentioned above.

  • Has the lack of multi-tasking annoyed many iPhone users?

    I've had my 3G for 2 years, but there have only been a handful of times when I would have liked multitasking, mostly for switching between a webpage and something else (like SMS). When I use my phone, I'm often playing a game that I want to focus on.

    Outside of Skype and last.fm type things, has this been a big frustration for many iPhone owners?

    I'll be glad to get the feature when I get a iPhone 4, but it hasn't been a deal breaker by any means.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:56AM (#32641138)

    Let's get a grip on reality here, people. First and foremost? This device is a CELLPHONE. Many, MANY cellphones have been made before the iPhone was released, and many more have been made since then which NEVER get a firmware update at all! You simply "get what you get" with them, often meaning even functionality the original manufacturer intended the phone to have is stripped out by your cellular carrier and their custom version of the firmware. (EG. Despite it supporting bluetooth data transfer, you *may* get blocked from copying over your own ringtone files from a computer -- or maybe you're disallowed from moving over your contact info as vcard files, or ??)

    Yet along comes the iPhone, which by contrast, has an INCREDIBLE amount of flexibility, and people are screaming FASCIST?!

    As phone handsets go, it's pretty empowering, I'd say. (And I say this as someone who used to own the original iPhone as well as a 3G, but now uses a Samsung Messager II phone instead of "drinking the kool-aid" and extending my AT&T contract out another 2 years just to get the latest iPhone.)

    If by "flexibility" you mean "you may buy the apps we approve, or the apps we approve, and only from our store so we get a cut" then yeah Apple's phones are just spiffy. So why was Google Voice blocked for such a long time again -- was that because of popular demand by the users? Why is it so hard to get a good solid backed-by-facts explanation for why a particular app is rejected from the App Store again (i.e., quote the exact section of the ToS or similar that it violates)? Nothing fascist to see here, please move along.

    Look, here's the deal: if Apple wants to control the platform and the approve all the apps, and use nebulous/arbitrary criteria to reject apps for any length of time even against the express wishes of its users, then they open themselves up to being accused of being fascist control freaks worse than Microsoft. THEY open THEMSELVES up to that accusation, for it otherwise would hold no water. Got it?

    The way you fanboys defend and stick up for companies who already have multimillion dollar marketing departments is just sick. Most major corporations engage in business practices that are in some way detrimental to the rest of us. Even your beloved object of fanboy worship does this and is not above doing this. Get over it and quit trying to shoot the messenger who points it out when your beef is with your beloved company.

  • by BarryJacobsen (526926) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:00AM (#32641212) Homepage

    "it's not like people that buy them are unaware of the limitations at time of purchase." I am not so sure that is really true, at least if the sort of people I interact with IRL are any indication. They are certainly aware that there are limitations, and some even have a vague notion that those limitations are deliberately imposed by Apple, but very few people seem to be aware of the full extent of what Apple is doing. Most people seem to have either forgotten or completely missed the news about political cartoon apps being blocked, or the Ulysses app, or the apparently arbitrary nature of what Apple decides to reject. It is even worse with the iPad: people have become conditioned to having their cell phones restricted and sabotaged, but the idea that Apple would ever try to do such a thing to a tablet computer seems to be lost on the average consumer.

    I'm not so sure you understand the general public. They don't care. They really don't. They've never once thought "I need to SSH into my box at home to...", or "If only this API were allowed". They read about the things they CAN do and go "cool!" and then they buy it. They hear about some artist that they don't care at all about being censored - and they don't care. They hear about some app they don't care about not being approved - and they don't care. They hear about some app they think would be cool not getting approved - and they're sad for 10 seconds, but they realize they didn't lose anything other than the possibility of an app, which may still become actual, and they move on to caring about things that actually affect their lives in a meaningful way - i.e. not a cell phone or tablet computer manufacturers policies.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:01AM (#32641234)

    No, you really won't - there are just as many +5 "Apple are worse than WW2 dictators" (read about 5 messages upwards in this very thread).

    The moderation system really doesn't hide that.

  • by voidptr (609) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:03AM (#32641264) Homepage Journal

    Required to be tested against iOS 4 isn't the same as requiring iOS 4. You can still build against the 3.0 SDK if you want to support older devices, you just need to make sure it doesn't break when running on iOS 4 too. You can still build against 2.X if you really want to, but it needs to not crash on 4.0.

  • Re:Unfortunately (Score:1, Insightful)

    by intheshelter (906917) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:04AM (#32641278)
    That's not the fragmentation they accuse Android of, but nice try. The fragmentation they refer to is multiple hardware configurations where the buttons are all in different places and so app developers can't be assured of what controls are available to each user. On the iPhone the hardware buttons are the same in all the versions so app developers don't have this issue.
  • by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:10AM (#32641372)

    Where I work, IE6 represents about the same 6% that the 1G iPhone does for you. But we're still expected to devote considerable effort supporting that decrepit old fossil. Every once and a while somebody decides, for this project or that, that we can leave IE6 behind. But no one's stood up and made the decision that the company as a whole will do so.

    Ironic... in an industry where we talk so much about Moore's law and how your latest shiny new toy is already obsolete when you walk out the store and such; that we still haven't dropped something so godawfully old and busted as IE6.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:11AM (#32641422)
    "He was doing the typical "Apple is a big bad poo poo head" thing that is all the rage."

    No, actually, I was pointing out the fact that Apple has put deliberate restrictions into the software, which they could at any time remove, but which they do not. You are making it seem as if there is no valid criticism of Apple's tactics with the iPhone/iPad.

    "They're now an evil corporation and thus everything they do is to be reviled."

    First of all, people were speaking out against Apple's proprietary software a long time before the iPhone. We criticized their approach to iTunes, which they did eventually change, back when they were still the "underdog." We criticized their harsh and heavy handed approach to journalists. They were criticized for pushing proprietary software on their Macintosh line before Slashdot even existed. The fact that Apple is now a major force in technology only means that when they pull something like this -- the "walled garden" approach -- it is that much worse, since it has a much broader effect.

    "The problem some of us have is that there are times that Apple needs to be called out for stupid shit because, as with every single company out there, they aren't perfect and they fuck up from time to time but they really don't need to be called out Every. Gawddamn. Time."

    Yes, they do need to be called out every time, when they are pulling the same thing over and over. Otherwise, they could just sit around ignoring critics until everyone forgets that there was ever a time before walled gardens. We did not stop criticizing Microsoft, so why should Apple be spared?
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:12AM (#32641430) Homepage Journal
    So the iPad won't be running iOS 4 right away.... Apple is really running the risk of having a very segmented market a la Android, but they are doing it without any of Androids advantages. For instance even though it was only released two months ago the iPad only has half the amount of RAM that the iPhone 4 has and a lot fewer sensors. This means that there will be a large group of applications that will run on the iPhone 4 but will not run on the iPad which will wind up frustrating users to no end. While I realize that technology advances with time, there was no rational reason for Apple to upgrade hardware, but when you release devices within 2 months of each other that vary so wildly, you are doing something wrong.

    And while this problem is unlikely to affect them in the near term, in the long term users are going to become as frustrated with the segmentation of the iOS market as they were/are with the segmentation in other cell phone environments. The EXACT same segmentation that Steve decried when first announcing the iPhone/iPod touch SDK.
  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:14AM (#32641470)

    they are computers with massively reduced user freedom

    I think it's an appliance in the same way that my PS3 is an appliance. There is a computer under the covers and the device is quite general purpose, but in the end its an appliance because I don't have the freedom to tinker.

    I think "computer with massively reduced user freedom" could be part of a decent definition of appliance.

  • by db32 (862117) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:17AM (#32641522) Journal
    Well, I think the point was that before the iPhone there really wasn't much of a sane market for cellphone apps. I totally agree with you on the walled garden crap, but the iPhone was still leaps and bounds ahead of most smart phones at the time. It's like bitching that your brand new shiny sports car doesn't have leather seats and they won't let you put in aftermarket leather seats without voiding the warranty while conveniently forgetting that you were driving a rusty pinto before. Now that other devices are catching up it is putting pressure on Apple to play a little nicer and be less draconian. I don't expect an overnight change since big part of their success is that they can deliver a very simple and identical user experience across the board. The worst part is, that if they just opened the gates for whatever app and a malicious app made it through they would be taking flak from the same people that howl about their strict control of the gate. You know, the same way Microsoft takes so much crap over shitty third party software crashing worse than a heroin addict in rehab. Also, people that don't like them don't have to buy them. However, they seem compelled to go on at length about how that device is evil and doesn't actually meet the needs of the owner and that they know exactly what would meet those needs. You know...kinda the same crap that those companies pay their marketing departments to do. The only real difference is that the marketing company actually knows more about the competing product than what they read on the internet, and they have a vested interest in getting people to switch.
  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:21AM (#32641584)

    The difference is that most of Slashdot used to be united against MS but now it has basically split into two camps, Apple fans and FOSS fans. The Apple fans railed on MS and appeared to side with FOSS. not because they loved freedom, but because they loved Apple and MS was enemy number one. And the Apple fans have a lot of mod points and use them indiscriminately in the discussions both to mod up positive comments about Apple and to mod down any criticisms(legit or not) about Apple. This shows in every Apple story.

  • by webdog314 (960286) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:24AM (#32641622)

    And the other 80% of the cellphone market that uses subscription crapware I can only get through the telco is different how?

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:24AM (#32641630)

    Only hardcore Apple fanbois can justify calling what is essentially a tablet computer a phone, just to justify the lockdown placed by Apple on it. I give up.

  • by samkass (174571) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:25AM (#32641648) Homepage Journal

    I think you meant, "Our last real freedom is GNU/Linux,"

    No, I think he meant "Linux". Unless you want to rename the product to "X/MIT/GNU/BSD/Apache/Linux", there's no real need to explicitly cite everyone who's contributed to Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:27AM (#32641690)

    I personally like apple screening all of the crap out. Sure there are some potentially good stuff they have not allowed but I dont miss it. Every kind of app I have wanted has been there in some form. When you need a phone to constantly function as a phone and be secure a more closed model where you cant install any old crap off of the internet seems to be the better way to go. Sure there are the downsides of having limitations put on what you can install from an outside source but you also have the added benefit that at least someone has checked to make sure the program is functional.

    No one can argue that apple has good reasons for denying every app that it has denied because they don't, but for people that actually own iphones, we really don't care too much.

    Irregardless of their app ecosystem apple products (hardware and software) are by far the best at total system integration. When everything works together like your laptop, phone and tablet, when they all keep in sync and the management of that syncing is easy it is a beautiful thing. I have plenty of technical knowledge and work as a software engineer so I could get all of the android syncing stuff to work, but no matter how good it works it wont have that tight system integration that apple puts in all of its products.

    If you choose to live in apple's walled garden, life is great. You have stability performance and usefulness. Once you experience this all come together everything else seems inferior.

  • by timster (32400) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:28AM (#32641694)

    Sophistication and priorities? Hmm.

    Apple doesn't, in any actual fact, dominate how I use my iPhone, you know. On my un-jailbroken device there are no restrictions on which Web sites I can visit; the built-in Mail app allows the use of any IMAP/POP/Exchange account; the Phone app allows me to call anyone; the SMS app allows me to send any text to anyone. As a communications tool my use of the iPhone is dominated by those I choose to communicate with, really. And if I want to write software for my own iPhone, I can do so without encountering the App Store approval process (ad-hoc distribution).

    You're talking about developer freedom, and it's true that developers are heavily restricted on the iPhone (ad-hoc distribution is limited to 100 users). It's not really clear that this "sucks" for users though. For one thing, people have seemed satisfied with devices and services that are completely closed (cable/satellite TV, effectively) as well as platforms that are way more restrictive than Apple's (like all video game consoles from 1985 to the present).

    Let's step back a second. Beyond command-line junkies like you and I, the 1995-2005 period in computing history was dominated by two factors: the massive rise of computing in general, and the massive gap between potential of software and the end-user reality. Everyone here knows that software, with its incredible theoretical flexibility, can do so many things -- yet actual end-users seem to use their computers as little more than sophisticated typewriters! If you weren't frustrated by the state of end-user computing in 2005 you never watched someone who doesn't read Slashdot try to perform any task outside the "box" of MS Office.

    Apple has seized on a particular paradigm of human-computer interaction designed to address this gap, and I think it has been successful. End-users on the iPhone/iPad are much more comfortable than PC users in making use of a diverse array of applications. Yes, these apps are all approved by Apple, but I personally believe that part of the reason users are comfortable with the App Store is the simple fact that downloading apps will not, generally speaking, trash their device, take it over, or do something unexpected. Compare this to the open PC where you have huge amounts of malware and where even legitimate applications act in anti-user ways (like Sun's JVM which tries to install the Yahoo! toolbar). No surprise that other mobile platforms have introduced app stores of their own.

    In this environment claiming that Apple "dominates" usage of iOS or that the experience simply "sucks" doesn't seem that sophisticated to me.

  • by BlackHawk-666 (560896) <ivan.hawkes@gmail.com> on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:34AM (#32641784) Homepage

    Woot! My full tower case PC, mixing desk and desktop montors are now a cell phone! Might skip taking it to work though, since the thing weighs about 50kgs thanks to the subwoofer.

  • by intheshelter (906917) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:42AM (#32641890)

    No, it's that Apple is NOT bad. They are good but not perfect. And everyone else was a HELL of a lot worse before they came along and I'm sure you weren't wrapping yourselves in the "freedom" flag back then.

    All this crap has some legitimacy, but it is blown WAY out of proportion. Never mind that other companies were (and are) far worse, but these same idiots don't seem to be posting anything about them. The reason is some people just blindly hate Apple and this is their avenue to scream.

  • by Game_Ender (815505) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:53AM (#32642030)
    Cisco IOS [google.com] seems to return decent results for me. I am pretty sure people who use that OS have enough google foo to filter out iPhone results.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:54AM (#32642048)

    So the iPad won't be running iOS 4 right away.... Apple is really running the risk of having a very segmented market a la Android, but they are doing it without any of Androids advantages. For instance even though it was only released two months ago the iPad only has half the amount of RAM that the iPhone 4 has and a lot fewer sensors.

    The iPad has the same amount of RAM that the very latest phone (the 3Gs) offers. And the same number of sensors (minus the camera, which is not exactly a "sensor"). Only the very latest phone, which initially will have a fraction of the 3G/3Gs owner numbers has one more sensor - a gyroscope, which mostly refines what you can do with the accelerometer.

    So where is the fractioning? Most developers will still be targeting iOS3.1 as a base for a while, with support for some iOS4 features for at least a half year or so - time enough for the iPad to gain the update. In fact that point will probably be the trigger where developers could realistically move to iOS4 alone, since by then most people will have upgraded (including Touch owners since finally Touch updates are free).

    And while this problem is unlikely to affect them in the near term, in the long term users are going to become as frustrated with the segmentation of the iOS market

    In the "long term" there's iOS4, since the iPad and iPhone will both be running it - yes you can't have iOS4 on the original iPhone 1st gen, but at this point that is a fraction of the devices on the market.

    Apple has done a good job thinking around the fragmentation problem, including how to handle iPhones with different resolutions...

  • Re:Unfortunately (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:56AM (#32642064) Homepage Journal

    No, the iPhone suffers from this old-hardware-becomes-obsolete thing that the IT industry has lived with since forever. You buy a computing device, it will become obsolete some time. I'm sure there will be things that iOS6 can do that the iPhone4 can't do, and it probably won't even run iOS7 at all.

  • Is iOS 4 Sick? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dancingmad (128588) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:56AM (#32642074)

    Releases what?

    Oh, you mean Apple releases iOS 4 today. iOS 4 will be released.

    C'mon man, let's not ruin our language.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:56AM (#32642078)

    I guess since I can make a call on my laptop then that makes it a phone?

    According to the twisted logic of your fellow fanboys, yes. See http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1693064&cid=32641450 [slashdot.org]

    The iPhone has done more to liberate consumers in the mobile market than any phone before or since. It's not perfect, but the mobile landscape was radically different 3 years ago and much has changed for the better because of the iPhone's release. In fact it was so good that Google, RIM, Windows, etc. jumped on the bandwagon and decided to copy it.

    Err Windows Mobile, Blackberry etc. never had restrictions on app developers. But now WP7 is going to have the same restrictions by following in Apple's footsteps. If anything, the iPhone has actually made it worse for the mobile market by your own logic.

  • by Ixokai (443555) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:00PM (#32642148)

    The way you fanboys defend

    The way you dismiss those who defend as "fanboys" is childish.

    There is more then one point of view; there are reasoned arguments to be made on more then one side, and there are more then one objective criteria that matters can be judged on, and more then one principle that can be important to people.

    Its tired. No one can be even vaguely positive towards anything Apple does without being dismissed as a "fanboy" -- even if you criticize something Apple does a breath after you praise another thing they've done. Hell, you can be only moderately-pro-Apple and then luxuriate praise on something Android does and yet if you point out even one flaw or weakness -- even if its purely objective -- and your entire point of view is immediately dismissed as a "fanboy". The *automatic* vitriol that a lot of Android supporters (Fandroids? :P) spew at anything even vaguely pro-Apple is absurd.

    Grow up and drop the ad-hominem nonsense: if you need it to win an argument, you are just utter fail. Recognize there are *actual reasons* people *actually like* Apple products. Recognize there are *actual reasons* why people *actually do not like* Apple products.

    Recognize that these reasons may be *different* for *different people*, and that it doesn't make anyone stupid, brainwashed, or some mindless cult without any sort of reason.

  • by donny77 (891484) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:02PM (#32642184)
    Why? Today Apple will release iOS4. Tonight I will have it on my iPhone 3G. Why is 30 days not a long time to wait?
  • by oakgrove (845019) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:04PM (#32642226)
    That sounds interesting. Could you provide some examples?
  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:07PM (#32642268) Homepage Journal

    As far as I'm concerned, there is one and only one Correct Way(TM) to write a date or date/time. It is:

    2010-06-21 15:37:21 (Which is the exact date and time in UTC that I typed that.)

    You go from most general (year) to most specific (seconds). Always write times in 24-hour format, and always include leading zeroes. Why is that the Correct Way(TM)? Because when you ASCII-alphabetize a list of such dates and times, they will sort into the correct chronological order.

    I guess the 21/6 rationale is that some people call it "the twenty-first of June." Those people are wrong. It is "June twenty-first," or if you prefer, "June twenty-one." Do those people call the time "the thirty-seventh of three p.m."? I think not.

    If you really want to get fancy, you can use alternative separators. 2010.06.21 15:37:21 is fine. Or if you're into saving space (like in a script or program), just 20100621153721 works, too. The Oracle format for that is 'YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SS'. I use the same format for storing dates in MySQL and SQLite. Whenever I write a timestamp to a log file, I use that format so that the GNU sort command works on it. Whenever I name a file with a date in it, I use the format so that sane operating systems that sort files by name will also sort it chronologically. When I put dates/datetimes in something like Excel, I also use the format in case someone ever exports the file to a text file or to a CSV or something.

    I really, really do wish that everyone would stop using all other crazy date/datetime formats.

    It kind of reminds me of how, I can't remember who it was, but one of the early developers of protocols said that he regretted making hostnames things like mail.google.com. It really should have been com.google.mail. Think about it; it looks weird now, but if that were the way it worked and you had a ginormous list of FQDNs and sorted it, all your top-level domains would collate together, followed by all of your company names collating together. com.google.docs, com.google.mail, com,google.maps, com.google.www would all be together, instead of mail.google.com, mail.yahoo.com, mail.whatever.com all globbing up. It would also really make it hard for phishers who use URL munging to mislead people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:10PM (#32642310)

    Heavy flow day? Cramping? Bloating? Zits? Hope you have a better day!

    Nature-show announcer voice: The Apple Fanboy is a fickle beast, able to turn rabid and frothing-at-the-mouth suddenly and without warning upon fact-based criticism of Apple. Observed behavior may include, but is not limited to, hyperbole, excessive use of capitals and punctuation, a belittling or insulting tone in response to factual criticism, and a literal interpretation of "fascism" when convenient despite realizing it is meant to express "too controlling". Despite these maladaptive traits, this species has been successful in the wild and multiplies at a very high rate.

    About the Google Voice deal, I'm betting that the only reason why Apple reversed their decision is because Google is a large well-known company with a lot of clout. Had Apple remained completely unreasonable about Google Voice, it would be trivial for Google to make sure that tens of millions of people knew all about it. Indeed, we did learn about it. That makes Google a bit more difficult to push around than the average individual developer. What we don't know is how many other innovative apps have been denied from individuals and companies who are small-fry and unable to do anything about it.

    You want to create a walled garden, I'm fine with that so long as you do not hold a monopoly provided that certain conditions are met. These conditions are:

    • Explicit, very clearly spelled-out rules and criteria defining what is and is not an acceptable app for your App Store.
    • All rules and criteria are based on empirical data, such as observed application behavior and/or implemented features.
    • All rules are so explicit that whether a given app is accepted or rejected is 100% predictable ahead of time.
    • Any app that does not demonstrably break one of the rules/criteria is guaranteed to be accepted.
    • Any app that is rejected comes with a statement detailing the precise rule that it fails to follow, along with screenshots or other documentation proving application behavior in violation of the rules.
    • All instances of application rejection, the rule allegedly broken, and the documentation of the app breaking that rule is publically available on a searchable Web site.

    That'd be the correct way to do walled gardens. It would greatly cut down on shit like "hey, Google Voice uses data services to send voice which might reduce our revenue from voice minutes, we better find some made-up reason to reject it!"

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:10PM (#32642320)

    The issue is about restricting developers by the use of "Trusted Computing" and DRM, not about whether it can play non DRM stuff. Can you make it play WebM? No, because Steve Jobs hates it, you cannot. That's the freedom that's being lost.

    you probably just have sour grapes because you can't afford one on a dell helpdesk salary.

    This is the smugness of rabid Apple fanboys that irritates people I guess. There are plenty of us who can easily administer real computers(unlike you) and want nothing to do with flaunting shiny restricted iDevices as a symbol of riches inspite of being easily able to afford them.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:21PM (#32642498)

    they are computers with massively reduced user freedom

    I think it's an appliance in the same way that my PS3 is an appliance. There is a computer under the covers and the device is quite general purpose, but in the end its an appliance because I don't have the freedom to tinker.

    I think "computer with massively reduced user freedom" could be part of a decent definition of appliance.

    I am getting sick of the game console comparisons. People are NOT replacing real computers with gaming consoles, but there's an increasing push(especially by Apple fanboys) that the iDevices are the future of computing.

    Read about how a 'network security expert' replaced this laptop with an iPad --> http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1693064&cid=32641740 [slashdot.org]

    Read these articles about how the iPad is supposed to take over computing and make desktops and laptop obsolete:

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9175600/The_iPad_is_the_future_for_home_computing [computerworld.com]
    http://gizmodo.com/5506692/ipad-is-the-future [gizmodo.com]
    http://www.macworld.com/article/146038/2010/01/ipad_future_shock.html [macworld.com]
    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/02/ipad-future/ [wired.com]
    http://techcrunch.com/2010/01/27/ipad/ [techcrunch.com]

    Gaming consoles were never considered the future of computing, that's why they don't represent a threat to freedom. This is the reason that people are justifiably upset about Apple's restrictions.

  • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:25PM (#32642560) Homepage

    Wait a second. 'Flexibility' is a neutral term -- it can be either good or bad. Flexibility controlled by the end user is almost always good. Flexibility controlled by the producer can be good, but has a history of being used in less than benevolent ways, especially in the computer industry.

    Flexibility, improperly implemented, can be just another way for a corporation to screw over its customers. To my mind, the jury is still out on exactly how Apple intends to use its phones' flexibility.

  • Re:Applause. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:45PM (#32642818)
    I understand your point of view, but I look at it like this: soft comfy handcuffs are still handcuffs. It's better to complain about them or avoid them right up front, instead of waiting until they stop you personally from doing something you want to do. Think back to the famous "First they came for the trade unionists ..." .
  • by s73v3r (963317) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {r3v37s}> on Monday June 21, 2010 @12:56PM (#32642976)
    They've made it worse for the mobile market, by making it easier for developers to sell their wares, and for consumers to purchase them?
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:03PM (#32643050) Homepage

    My point was that a computer doesn't have to cost $3,000, like the GP claimed. I never said doing so was a talent, just that it was possible. Thanks for being an asshole though, I appreciate it.

  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:11PM (#32643158)

    Never heard of either of these 'apps' until they hit /. I suspect that's true for the vast majority of users. Trying to re-brand the iPad as a 'tablet computer' when it is not, doesn't help your case. It was never presented as a full blown computer as it has obvious ties with the iPhone/iPod Touch line given it uses the same OS.

    I agree with the poster below. Regular people just don't care. The iPhone is a solid performer and does just about anything a regular user needs. I think the oddly emotional response we see on slashdot now, and the total willingness to dismiss any objective thinking when it comes to questioning something that slams Apple simply has to do with the fact that the typical ./ user feels slighted in some way that Apple simply doesn't care what the geek crowd thinks. Is it possible some of these apps didn't do as the developer described? Is it possible they crashed or used private API's? Who cares. They make apple look bad, so lets just go with Apple == Evil. Then we see pages of posts about the 'fascist' Apple who is worse than Hitler, Nero, and Napoleon, all rolled into one. A little perspective would be refreshing given those comparisons.

    What's even more odd is the fact that those that are irrelevant to Apple's iX line (namely geeks), will seemingly spend hours complaining about someone who doesn't care, or require their input. I can only hope that if Linux ever spreads in a meaningful way to the desktop, that the community in general acts a bit better than the Android community has here on Slashdot. They have become yet another 'fanboi' (hate that word) cult who is just as fanatical as the worst Apple and MS fan. In some ways they are worse than the established 'fans' in the simple fact that they have had nothing to clamour about for so long, that when they finally did get a very successful (and rightfully so) product, they turned into a "I told you so" and "You had it coming" crowd that is just as ugly in it's own right. (and mods, understand that this is an observation, not some random flamebait or trolling attempt).

    In the end, it all comes down to money, both to the developers who invest in the platform, and for the end users who buy it. Given the satisfaction rate the iDevices have, and that over a billion has been paid out to the developer community, it would seem to be profitable for most folks, it works, and it helped to spawn the Android market. Something as an iPhone user, I'm actually grateful for, as it forces Apple to think in new ways, adapt to compete, and not be such tight asses.

  • by cgenman (325138) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:22PM (#32643258) Homepage

    This is just my personal opinion, but there doesn't seem to have been as much Apple fanboism here as their used to be. Or FOSS fanboism. Or even anti-Microsoftism. The big evil one hasn't done anything big and evil in a while, and isn't nearly as relevant as they used to be. Linux passed from a meme into a tool, one that is stable and not terribly exciting. Like a hammer. And the diehard Apple fanbois seem to have evolved from worshiping at the feet of Jobs to admiring the hardware and complaining about the policies.

    There are still a lot of Free-Market-Fundies around, but they seem to be everywhere these days. And the Anti-Copyright Crusaders have added a lot of noise to /. discussions over the past few years. There is a lot of overlap there with the Anti-Corporates. And the Android worshipers are getting a little annoying, but are nowhere near as bad as the other fanboys used to be. They seem to be in balance with the Anti-Google / Pro Privacy twin groups.

    I know that's not a lot of evidence presented above, just personal opinion. But the pendulum seems to have moved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:40PM (#32643494)

    Bingo. Apple always chooses to sell something that does fewer things better.

    You may not want it personally, but you'll also never sell one billion of anything.

  • Re:Handcuffs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday June 21, 2010 @01:44PM (#32643538)
    "There's a way to do literally everything I want to do"

    You are not the entire world, first of all, and secondly, Apple is not just rejecting features, they are rejecting political cartoons and pornography from the apps store. People keep saying that HTML is the answer to that, but the apps store simply out-competes the web and HTML solutions are at an inherent disadvantage.

    "Choosing one that has a unified and controlled app distribution system because it offers an excellent end user experience is definitely not participating in any kind of slippery slope scenario."

    Yes, it is, considering that Apple already uses its control to do more than maintain quality.

    "The appropriate way to complain in this scenario is to buy some other phone. Or, if you're a developer, develop for a platform provided by a company whose policies you prefer."

    Except that the majority of people are not aware of Apple's behavior or the way that Apple is censoring these devices, and the minority who is aware will not make much a difference. The appropriate thing to do is to inform as many people as possible of the reality of the iProducts.
  • by timster (32400) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:10PM (#32643868)

    Can you play files encoded with WebM on your phone? No, because Jobs doesn't want you to. Can you run the native version of Google Voice? Nah. REJECTED.

    Just because you are in denial of the control that Apple has on the iPhone doesn't mean that there is no control or domination. It's probably more akin to some kind of Stockholm syndrome.

    Please, let's not claim that either of us is addled by some psychiatric disease -- I think that's a weak argument. I'm not in denial of the "control". I just don't think the actual control exercised matters as much to end-users as it does to you.

    I don't use much video on my phone, but I think what's important is that neither the content, nor the providers of video is restricted -- note the Netflix app among many others. Why is the format the most important thing? Video decoding is still a pretty intensive activity, likely to require hardware acceleration, so in a practical sense the video formats on a portable device are going to be limited regardless.

    Err, no one is asking to abolish the App store. Just that there is a button somewhere deep down hidden which can activate software installs bypassing the App store. You can still have all the benefits you listed in this scenario.

    It's not going to be a "deep down hidden" setting when Google/Sun/Microsoft do whatever they can to get people to set it, so that they can cover up your app launcher with the Google Toolbar, and replace your media player with Windows Media Player, etc. You're back to the Windows PC scenario where a user wants to watch some video of a skateboarding dog and ends up replacing their Web browser.

    If you live in a world without people who have useless System Tray icons a mile long, consider yourself lucky. But please don't pretend that world doesn't exist, or that it isn't a problem.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:14PM (#32643916)

    He can't, because aside from some market features (train pass, 1seg) there's nothing special whatsoever about Japanese phones. Tragic, really.

  • by Xest (935314) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:16PM (#32643938)

    I'm not sure what a random selected news feed is meant to prove. That it's not involved in the majorities of stories on Slashdot? That's fair enough.

    The problem is that it's activities are still reported to a degree grossly disproportionate to their marketshare in many given sectors, and also despite the fact that other companies news simply does not get reported. Case in point, what percentage of Android, Symbian, or Blackberry handsets have had news stories posted on Slashdot on release in relation to the percentage of new iPhone models? What percentage get multiple stories about a new handset and it's features?

    So the GP is really quite right, we do hear about every single fucking thing Apple does, to the detriment of the movements of other, sometimes bigger, more important players not having anything posted at all about their products and actions even when they're more worthy.

    It's not just Slashdot that's guilty, even usually respectable sites like the BBC do the same- advertise every new Apple product for them whilst completely ignoring competitors, sometimes better, more innovative products- contrary to popular belief Apple does not hold a monopoly on innovation.

    Even 2 stories in a list whose categories stem pretty much every possible technology, politics, and science new story in the world is grossly disproportionate. Oh, and I agree, yes, Google get far more than their fair share too.

  • by donny77 (891484) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:34PM (#32644184)
    It's just semantics. In Jobs' D8 interview he likened PCs to trucks and iPads to cars. I think this has been a greatly misunderstood analogy. To me, it means the people that do serious work will have PC. Developers, Network Admins, Graphic Artists, Publishers, these people will still use computers. Cars are for the everyday person. E-mail, Internet, occasional Word Processing, Personal Finance, Calendaring, all work great on the iPad.

    The iPad and iPhone will not replace "real" computers. They will impede the growth of computers, not because they are better, but because most people do not NEED a computer. iPads are not computers, but they are what 60-70% of the population uses a computer for, plus a little more like ebooks and some nifty apps we never knew we needed.
  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:50PM (#32644384)

    I agree with you 100%. As a software developer I love it that Apple has popularized the slate format computer. More computers being sold equals more opportunities for me as a developer. I don't particularly like Apple's policies and that's why I'm bullish on Android and WebOS tablets.

    I've quite shocked that Microsoft is having so much trouble in this space. They were almost there with pen computing but for some reason were never able to make the jump to touch computing.

    In a recent blog entry, Russel Beattie [russellbeattie.com] did a pretty good job of explaining why WIMP (windows, icons, mouse, and pointer) doesn't work on a tablet.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:50PM (#32644386)

    Woot! My full tower case PC, mixing desk and desktop montors are now a cell phone! Might skip taking it to work though, since the thing weighs about 50kgs thanks to the subwoofer.

    I also skip taking my corded phones to work as well, since they are pretty large and like your PC have no cell connection.

    But I can still call from my corded phone even though I can't take it with me. And you can still skype from your desktop. Or use some other form of VOIP.

    Welcome to 2010, where the phone is not a plastic object built solely by AT&T. This is the future, not your antiquated notion that a phone has to be only a phone to be a phone.

  • by JayWilmont (1035066) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:59PM (#32644492)

    Yes, but then the developer has to set up their own store, pay for bandwidth, pay credit card processing fees, and spend significantly more on advertising since they are not in a centralized store and are less likely to be randomly stumbled across.

    So the developer would not be able to sell their $10 app on their own for $7 and make the same amount of money.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday June 21, 2010 @04:01PM (#32645244)

    And the logic being that, since everything can be a phone and since phones used to be restricted devices, they can be locked down to hell and we can't protest it?

    No, the logic is that people want devices on which they communicate to have a higher level of stability than PC's have traditionally enjoyed.

    And one approach to achieving that is by locking down the device to some extent, especially in terms of native applications (since of course the web is always fully open).

    Of course, you always have a right to protest and simply buy other devices. Who is claiming there is no right to protest? We are just explaining why the locked down approach is a valid technical approach. Some people may not like it but a lot of the public seems not to mind at all, so far - because Apple has been careful about making user restrictions as invisible as possible.

  • by donny77 (891484) on Monday June 21, 2010 @05:52PM (#32646614)
    Game consoles are not computers = iPads are not computers.
    You want openness. Openness = Computers.

    Now yes that is simplified and it doesn't HAVE to be true. It has historically been true though. The closed systems, ie consoles, have always outsold the open ones. Why? Consumers want a device that works. When I say iPads work for 60-70% of the population, that is not 60-70% of the population including those that don't buy computers. Openness brings a certain level of confusion. One thing Apple controls through the App store is look and feel and usability. You as an IT Pro want openness and don't mind rough edges or modifying a config file. But this is a turn off to the family down the block. Apple is selling cars. If a Prius can't haul your 5 kids and boat up to the lake, buy a truck, don't yell at Toyota that the Prius is not able to tow a boat.

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