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Is Apple Turning Into the Next "Evil Empire"? 722

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-mouse-button-to-rule-them-all dept.
jira writes "'You may think you own your iPad or iPhone but in reality an invisible string links it back to Apple HQ' writes John Naughton. He adds: 'Umberto Eco once wrote a memorable essay arguing that the Apple Mac was a Catholic device, while the IBM PC was a Protestant one. His reasoning was that, like the Roman church, Apple offered a guaranteed route to salvation – the Apple Way – provided one stuck to it. PC users, on the other hand, had to take personal responsibility for working out their own routes to heaven.'"
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Is Apple Turning Into the Next "Evil Empire"?

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  • Re:The missing link (Score:4, Informative)

    by saccade.com (771661) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @06:35AM (#35395582) Homepage Journal
    Or perhaps this one. [guardian.co.uk]
  • They already were? (Score:5, Informative)

    by celeb8 (682138) <celeb8&gmail,com> on Sunday March 06, 2011 @06:38AM (#35395594)
    They have been for a long time, along with many others who would love to get to their position in the market. Apple chases profit like all other companies, they just oft have a better UI. The first thing Jobs did when he came back to Apple was axe all the Mac-clones that were being built. The second thing they did was try their best to put all non-Apple Macintosh repair shops out of business, and then open the Apple Stores once they'd done so. They haven't changed business models, they just now have a dominant market position to leverage. Frankly I think they learned a lot of their current tactics from MS, but they've never had everybody's best interests at heart, any more than MS or anyone else did.
  • Re:What (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @06:58AM (#35395680)
    Actually, back in the day Apple was a very NICE company. Their products even came with circuit diagrams and hacking instructions. It was later on that they took on this whole BS "You don't own anything you buy" attitude.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 06, 2011 @07:08AM (#35395724)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Naughton [wikipedia.org]

    What's important here is not the content but the context. Naughton writes for the Observer newspaper in the UK (which I think is where this unlinked article comes from -- get with it, samzenpus). Nothing here is news for /.ers, except to track how the mainstream awareness of Apple is changing.

  • Re:Yes and no (Score:5, Informative)

    by Yetihehe (971185) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @07:44AM (#35395886)
  • Re:Yes and no (Score:2, Informative)

    by mikael_j (106439) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @10:12AM (#35396614)

    That's the "walled garden" bit. You're not refuting the parent post.

    If I put it this way then? Was it Apple or MS that implemented Kerberos and then "extended" it just enough to break compatibility with other implementations? (hint: the answer is MS). That's the difference between Apple and MS, Apple has actually increasingly been using standard tech behind the scenes (which means if you know anything about *nix it's a lot easier to deal with interoperability than it is with Windows), MS otoh is still trying to push various MS standards.

    Or to put it another way: When some new cool tech comes out Apple will adopt it and build and integrate into OS X their own simplified GUI tool but will generally leave the underlying bits in place and even contribute back to whatever OSS projects they've taken code from. MS will create a competing standard or an standards-incompatible implementation to try to push the original/standards-compliant version(s) into obscurity.

    That's why Apple isn't as bad as MS in my eyes anyway (although with some of their design choices for OS X 10.7 "Lion" I may end up eventually switching back to Linux on the desktop but I'm waiting until I get a chance to try it out).

  • It's called "Envy" (Score:2, Informative)

    by rogerz (78608) <roger@@@3playmedia...com> on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:39AM (#35397228)

    To slashdot-dom (and much of government-school-brain-addled America) any corporation which achieves success through voluntary trade is deemed "evil". The claim has been made about Microsoft, Google, Apple, IBM, Oracle ... the list goes on. The whines range from: "They didn't really invent that technology, they just packaged/marketed it" to "That UI is not to my liking" to "It's not fair that they can exclude my favorite browser from their default offering". There are many variants.

    Rationally, these contentions discount individual choice. Emotionally, they represent naked envy. And somehow, the remedies offered always involve government force. Then, when the principle of government force they espoused comes back to bite them in the ass, they conveniently forget about their own complicity in its unleashing.

  • Re:Yes and no (Score:3, Informative)

    by nneonneo (911150) <spam_hole@@@shaw...ca> on Sunday March 06, 2011 @12:53PM (#35397810) Homepage

    I didn't realize using a standard [wikipedia.org] audio format, with tons of support [wikipedia.org] from tons of software and hardware, and with better licensing terms [wikipedia.org] than MP3 counted as "lock in".

    You are also drawing an unfair comparison between Microsoft's desktop operating environment and Apple's mobile environment. Apple runs iOS like basically any game console; if you think that iOS is evil, then you probably also think Nintendo is evil too for making their platforms locked down.

    On the other hand, Apple's Mac OS X operating system is far more open than Microsoft's ever was. On OS X, the kernel (Darwin) is open-source, the browser (WebKit) is open-source, the compiler (LLVM/Clang) is open-source, and the company employs developers who maintain and contribute back to these projects.

    Apple also sits on several standards committees, and actively participates in standards development and promulgation.

    In many, many ways, Apple is not nearly as "evil" as you seem to think.

  • Re:monopolies (Score:2, Informative)

    by CrashNBrn (1143981) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @01:20PM (#35398036)
    Really? Apple iPod touch 8 GB (4th Gen) : $204.99 [amazon.com], Refurbished: $178.99
    Sansa Fuze+ 8 GB MP3 Player (Black) : $69.00 [amazon.com]
    SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8 GB : $49.99 [amazon.com]
    Sandisk Sansa Fuze 8GB : $97.68 [amazon.com]

    All of the Sansa line are expandable with micro-sdhc cards, even the lowest end Sansa Clip. Micro-sdhc cards are pretty cheap these days, 8GB : ~$7.00 and 16GB: $25-$35.

    As well the iPods are well known to have the worst sound of pretty much any available mp3 player. Sansa, Cowon, Samsung, and Zune are among the editor choices at anythingbutipod.com : for features, sound quality, etc. Rokbox is loadable on many of the sansa models.
    I got my 8GB Fuze (refurbished) on eBay for $40, and a 16GB micro SDHC (class 4) card for $30.

    The iPod line outprices nearly every other manufacturer of mp3 players, includes the cheapest headphones, has poor sound and is not expandable. The only thing it has going for it is chic-factor, name-recognition and the app store. Perhaps that has weight with some, for myself, I want my music player to have a long battery life, and play music well.
  • by BlueStraggler (765543) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @01:23PM (#35398066)

    they're not very open source and they fundamentally don't care.

    You mean like this [apple.com], or are you talking about something else?

    If they did care they would clutter their designs with backwards compatibility hacks. They don't.

    You mean like Classic environment in OS X or Rosetta on Intel macs, or are you talking about something else?

    If they did care they would keep, perhaps slavishly, to existing standards, They don't.

    Existing standards like, say UNIX, POSIX, CSS3, AAC, h.264, or are you talking about something else?

    Why are they even discussed on /.?

    I always figured it was because they are the world's biggest vendor of standards-compliant open source UNIX environments, and that stuff is considered pretty important around here. Plus they vertically integrate it with a closed source presentation layer that is the envy of the industry, and a media distribution model that is controlled with an iron fist, which gives us LOTS to talk about.

    ... or are you talking about something else, cuz it's really hard to tell if you are even on the same planet as the rest of us.

  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @02:35PM (#35398716) Homepage

    ...don't care one little bit about the App Stores being "walled gardens".

    They don't care that iPods or Macs do not natively support Ogg Vorbis or FLAC.

    They don't care about iTunes not having as many features as some linux open source thing. They don't care about linux, either.

    They don't really care about no Flash on iPhone/iPod/iPad. As long as they can watch the latest Maru videos on YouTube, they will continue not to care about no Flash on iPhone/iPod/iPad.

    They care that the Mac Pro/MacBook/iMac/iPod/iPad WORKS.

    They care about the seamless one click purchase and it's on the harddrive aspect of the iTunes Store.

    They care about the seamless no click synching of iPod/iPhone to the computer.

    They care about the interface that lets them get on with it. They don't want to hear about Terminal or how much better a CLI is vs. a GUI. Because they DO NOT CARE.

    The vast majority of Apple users have never heard of Slashdot, and don't care a fat rat's ass what any of us here think about Apple.

    Thank you for your kind attention.

    Please carry on with the AppleHate/AppleLove.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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