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Sergey Brin Says Facebook, Apple and Gov't Biggest Threats To Internet Freedom 500

Posted by samzenpus
from the everyone-but-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google co-founder Sergey Brin has listed three threats to Internet freedom: Facebook, Apple, and governments that censor their citizens. Brin's comments were made to The Guardian: 'The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.'"
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Sergey Brin Says Facebook, Apple and Gov't Biggest Threats To Internet Freedom

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  • Wait a minute! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by readandburn (825014) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:38PM (#39696311)
    Those just happen to be his competitors! What a crazy coincidence!
  • glass houses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noh8rz3 (2593935) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:44PM (#39696351)
    i would add an additional item, and move it to the top of the list - companies that aim to track everything you do and aggregate that in one place. you could also add the gov't agencies that collude with them to track citizens. This would put FB and Goog tied at the top of the list. Not sure who is first, but they're both trying.
  • by multiben (1916126) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:46PM (#39696359)
    Seriously, how are Facebook and Apple threatening the freedom of the internet? Sure, I'm restricted if I'm using Facebook or Apple technologies, but there are literally thousands of places I can post and do whatever I want. The internet is a very big place.

    Also, the other day I tried to sign up for a second Google+ account but it didn't like the names I was choosing because it didn't consider them "real" names. Seems a bit rich to be accusing others of limiting freedom.
  • by phamNewan (689644) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:48PM (#39696377) Journal
    He is very specific about which countries are working hard to control the flow of information. China and Iran are well known for their desire to control all information. Russia is nothing new in this regard either.

    I would not hate Apple if they were not the control freaks that they are. If you deal with Apple in anyway, they own you. iTunes is exactly the type of control over the users that China and Iran want over their citizens.

    Keeping the Internet open is critical for many reasons. Google has been made better by the competition it has faced relentlessly over the years. Google+ is better than Facebook because they have had to innovate relentlessly. Android is getting better because they have to keep making it better because of the competition that exists.

    If Apple and Facebook had their way, there would be no competition. Three cheers for Brin.

  • by JonathanF (532591) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:52PM (#39696403)

    The irony: this comes from a company that wants to know everything about you and shifted its entire strategy to compete with Facebook. A company currently facing DOJ and EU antitrust investigations. A company that just got fined $25,000 for obstructing an FCC investigation into Street View cars' Wi-Fi accidentally scraping personal messages and website visits.

    Not to mention that Android is officially endorsed by the Chinese government as its mobile platform of choice (customized as Open Mobile System). You know, the government that has political opposition jailed, censors the Internet, and spies on its citizens in a way that makes the NSA look modest.

    Look, Sergey, there are advantages to an open platform, but you're as much of a threat as the others.

  • The FBI has guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:53PM (#39696405)

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but a coercive monopoly with guns is far worse than a mere merchant with a huge market share.

  • by willy_me (212994) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:58PM (#39696439)

    Apple is worse than Microsoft ever was. And I am no fan of Microsoft.

    But worse at what? The article title mentions that it is in regards to "internet freedom". From this perspective there is no comparing Apple to Microsoft - Apple pushes for standards and Microsoft attempted to lock users to Internet Explorer based technologies. Remember the days before OSX and Firefox - one would constantly run into sites that required IE and Windows.

    I'm not going to try to defend Apple with regards to other issues, but you really can't compare them to Microsoft wrt "internet freedom". Microsoft is the only company I can think of that actually tried to monopolize the internet.

  • by wickerprints (1094741) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:03PM (#39696493)

    Spelling error correction: "...information I have access to," not "too."

    Also, some context: I think it goes without saying that I do not use Facebook. I've gone so far as to block all their domains in my hosts file, not to mention put email filters on anything that even mentions it, so I don't get invites. I absolutely despise it, not to mention Zuckerberg's holier-than-thou attitude (e.g., "don't put it online if you want to keep it private"). I'm also no fan of Apple--while I like some of their products, it's mainly because it's not Microsoft or Google.

    The problem I have is that nobody's hands are clean. I would summarize various companies thusly:

    Microsoft: We became the only game in town because we bought out or threatened everybody else, but we've become bloated and hobbled by our own incompetence.
    Google: We'll talk your ear off about freedom and pledge to "do no evil," but underneath it all we're really just like everyone else, hellbent on world domination--but for your own good, of course!
    Apple: We want to deliver you the best user experience...on the backs of Chinese factory workers. And we know what you want better than you do, because we tell you what you want.
    Facebook: We exploit you and give you a half-hearted apology afterward.
    EA: We keep raping you because for some reason, you keep coming back.
    Yahoo: What just happened?

    When the biggest tech companies all act this way, is it any surprise that there's going to be finger-pointing and mudslinging? Fact is, nobody looks good because each is amorally driven by one goal above all else: profit, rather than ethics. And then they go about rationalizing that the pursuit of such profit and power is so that they can then be ethical, when in all cases, the exact opposite has occurred--companies become LESS ethical the more powerful they get.

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:09PM (#39696515) Journal

    apple and microsoft are flip sides of the same coin. both have supported censorship outright before changing their mind when it was a potential publicity disaster. [highdefdigest.com]

    So I would indeed say that apple and microsoft are pretty much in the same boat entirely, yes.

  • by BZ (40346) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:19PM (#39696567)

    Apple pushes for standards? No, not really. For example, they're the only browser maker that does not employ _anyone_ to work on CSS specs. Google, Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla all have employees doing so. Apple? Not so much.

    Also, Apple is explicitly refusing to submit things like -webkit-text-size-adjust for standardization (they claim it's their "proprietary technology"),.

    Oh, and the little bit about waiting until touch events were just about standardized in the W3C (without Apple's involvement, because they chose to not join the working group), then declare they have patents on the standard as written and they refuse to license them. Had they joined the working group, they would have had to disclose this much earlier in the
    process, but it's in Apple's interest to have touch events working better in iOS than in web pages, so people create iOS-specific content and not HTML that works on all devices.

    The result of all of which is that if you browse on a phone or tablet you constantly run into sites that require WebKit, and more often than not require Mobile Safari to render right.

    Apple _does_ however try hard to make it _look_ like it's pushing for standards. I'll grant you that much. And it's not trying to monopolize the internet; just to slow down its development so it won't compete on a level playing field with iOS as an application delivery platform.

  • by broken_chaos (1188549) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:21PM (#39696589)

    Ah, this article is about freedom (open platforms) and not privacy. The two are not the same thing. Apple and Facebook are certainly threats to freedom (in the sense of open platforms), but both Google and Facebook are threats to privacy.

  • by forkfail (228161) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:32PM (#39696649)

    Well - is "freezing the market" into a form where anyone cal play; where you don't have to be one of a half dozen giants to be a content generator, or to write software, really freezing it?

    Or, to put it another way ... if you say that the market will remain open (for even the current limited definition of open), as opposed to "evolving" into a truly locked and controlled market, is this a bad thing?

  • Re:glass houses (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:35PM (#39696663)

    Yep. And google respects users' wishes, unless they happen to use Safari or IE.

    Or they happen to be using unencrypted wifi.

    Or some oppressive government has a problem with the service Google provides and wants them to censor results.

    Or it could maybe profit Google in some other way to circumvent their wishes.

    But yeah, other than that... they're totally user-focused, and really go out of their way to give users what they want.

  • by jonnat (1168035) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:35PM (#39696665)

    If Sergey Brin is lamenting Apple's restrictive iOS platform as a threat to internet freedom, then why not get to the root cause of that restrictiveness, which is malware?

    Believing that malware is the reason why Apple chose a walled-garden model for its app store requires the same degree of naivete needed to believe that child pornography is the reason why governments want to control your communications.

  • Re:glass houses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noh8rz3 (2593935) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:37PM (#39696675)
    "Without privacy, there is no freedom" ~Descartes
  • by kheldan (1460303) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:40PM (#39696685) Journal
    Why do you still have yours?
    I also don't own any Apple products, and have no plans to buy any in the future, either; I don't recommend anyone buy those, either.

    I'd like to remind everyone that you don't need any of these things in your life in order to have a happy, productive life, and in my opinion you're more likely to have a happy, productive life if you don't have them. While you're at it, stop wasting money on cable and satellite TV, and smartphones and the overpriced data plans that they come with, too. Read more books, interact with more people in person, and go outside more often and move your bodies around. I can almost guarantee that these things will make your healthier and happier than what they're replacing.
  • Re:Wait a minute! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:43PM (#39696699)

    Another way to look at it is that Google had to become a competitor to the two of them in order to preserve the open (to them) web that they depend on for their business.

    Note that the threat listed in the Guardian article is actually

    the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

    Both Android and the current Google+ push are reactions to the growth of walled platforms. While they may earn Google some money on their own, they are really more of an enabler, just like Chrome.

  • Confusing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Corson (746347) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:52PM (#39696751)
    Aside from throwing mud at Google's competitors, he is deliberately mistaking Web for Web Search. A library is the books in it, not the book index, and some of the books are in the "restricted" area. So what?
  • the monopoly is accountable to you through your vote. it is an extension of your will, not an imposition of an alien will on you

    in fact, if you were to remove the monopoly, there would be no absence of monopoly, the merchant would merely fill the power vacuum, and he isn't accountable to you. he's accountable to the quest for more profits, at any cost, including the raping of your freedom. then he buys the guns and points them at you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinkerton_Government_Services,_Inc [wikipedia.org].

    Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. At its height, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more agents than there were members of the standing army of the United States of America, causing the state of Ohio to outlaw the agency due to fears it could be hired as a private army or militia.[citation needed] Pinkerton was the largest private law enforcement organization in the world at the height of its power.[2]
    During the labor unrest of the late 19th century and early 20th century, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to provide agents that would infiltrate unions, to supply guards to keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and sometimes to recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. The best known such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to enforce the strikebreaking measures of Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie, who was abroad; the ensuing conflicts between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to several deaths on both sides. The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania, as well as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

    for the modern parable, see blackwater. what would blackwater become with no government already in place? the police, accountable to the corporation, not to you, which your real police department is

    so your opinions and your views are illogical and historically wrong. they speak of a propagandized individual (corporate funded propaganda like fox news, the real threat to your freedom, not your government, which you VOTE for)

    of course, where your government doesn't represent your will, it is because it is bought out by... corporate financial interests

    heal YOUR government by removing the corporate infection, and understand the real threat to your freedom: the merchant you allude to

    but make YOUR government your enemy, and see the corporate financial interests as harmless, and you are basically giving away your own hard won freedoms won by your forefathers (see pinkerton's above) to forces which have no interest in your freedoms at all, especially when your freedoms represent a threat to bottom line. then hiring goon sqwuads, with no government around to stop them, makes perfect capitalistic sense

    there is your daily dose of anti-propaganda, i hope you aren't kneejerking too much right now

  • would this be the government that is owned by the corporations and only do their will?

    or the government as it should be, in the constitution, the one that is accountable to you?

    or is this the government that exists in the minds of paranoid schizophrenics, which is out to rape your freedoms in some bad hollywood plot of sinister conspiracies and aliens who hate your freedom.... just because?

    small hint: agent smith in the matrix isn't real, and to use him as the starting point for understanding the purpose and atittude of a democratic government is delusional and absurd. being too trusting is bad. a pathological lack of trust is also bad. that you fear your OWN government, and not your real enemy, the ones who will gladly rape your freedoms, who BUY your government and have them do things against your freedoms, and will gladly point the guns at you (see pinkertons) and are most clearly not accountable to you... well, it simply reveals how propagandized and foolish you are

  • and good for that. enforcement needs to exist in civilization, and better the guys with the guns be accountable to the guys you elect, rather than the guys who hold all the cash, and are accountable only to that cash

    unfortunately, due to the prevalence of certain low iq and paranoid people loudly and firmly believing their own government is the enemy, the guys with the cash are having a field day weakening and buying off and infecting the only thing standing between them and more profits: your goverment. of course, those more profits mean some of your freedoms will have to go... don't worry, faux news will spin it in a manner that is easily digestible to the loud ignorant kneejerk cranks who will eat it up (because it's "fair and balanced" and not biased liberal media), who thing the guys with the cash are just darlings and can do no wrong

    gilded age 2.0, here we come. when the pendulum swings the other way in a few more years, it will be vanguarded by the dying middle class fed up with less and less share of their pie so some billionaire can get a few millions more. i wonder where the loud ignorant faux news cranks who think the guys with the cash can do no wrong will be when the workers have to march again to protect their rights and a decent living. still believing faux news because of evil liberal media? even as they themselves can't afford to heat their house while the fat cats make more and more? when do the capitalism loving ignorant cranks wake up?

  • by Alex Zepeda (10955) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:23PM (#39696923)

    And what if you were referring to Apple's involvement in the calendaring (CardDAV, CalDAV) working groups? Multicast DNS (Bonjour)? How about HTTP live streaming? Is Apple perfect? No. Is Apple anywhere near as nefarious as Google or Rambus? No. At least with Apple I am their *customer*. With Google and Facebook, I'm the product.

  • Pot, meet Kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ugen (93902) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:32PM (#39696947)

    As a matter of fact, Apple is a much smaller danger to Internet freedom than Google.
    A person can easily avoid using Apple products or systems (and save a ton of money while doing so). They are popular, but surely not mandatory. It is trivial to buy hardware and software that is not made by Apple (and most of the world still does :) )

    At the same time, it's very hard to escape Google tentacles. Large percentage of web sites (perhaps majority) use Google-provided webmaster tools to track visitors and send information back to Google. So, unless user employs fairly sophisticated tools and does so very consistently - the only way to avoid Google grasp is to use virtually no Internet at all (certainly not for web browsing of any kind). That's a pretty big threat if you ask me.

    But hey, what's obvious facts vs. Sergey bashing some of his biggest competitors :)

  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:33PM (#39696953)

    In this case, guns would be better described as patents and lawsuits. Like apple's current round of lawsuits trying to claim patent on the rectangular screened device.

    I have feeling that Kim Dotcom would see that differently.

  • by AncientPC (951874) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:34PM (#39696955)

    Slashdot has fallen quite a bit for such a misinformed, rambling post gets modded insightful.

    It really comes down to the founders of the companies. Microsoft has taken on the personality of Bill Gates - lacks imagination, cares more about money than good products, etc.

    You're projecting a lot of MS's business practices onto Bill Gates, conveniently ignoring the other players. Someone who lacks imagination does not drop out of Harvard to start a new company that managed to revolutionize desktop computing.

    Someone who cares more about money than good products would not start the Buffets-Gate Giving Pledge, and contribute significant portion of their wealth via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Apple has taken on the personality of Steve Jobs with a little bit of Woz thrown in - obsessive compulsive about solid products with good design, outwardly controlling but hacker friendly at heart.

    OTOH, Steve Jobs cut all corporate charity programs after taking over in 1997.

    While the original Apple products where hacker friendly, that certainly was not the case after Steve Jobs returned.

    The reason Apple is kicking ass right now is because it does such a good job at constantly producing products that work well, look good, and don't change dramatically all the time. They may not have the highest specs at any given time but the user knows what to expect and that they can expect a pretty good device.
    When people say Apple is evil it just tells me they don't own any Apple products and know nothing of Apple's history. They're usually wannabe nerds that can barely use anything other than Windows and usually they think their awesome at Linux because they've managed to install the flavor of the month baby distro. They think hacking is taking a device that was expressly made for being hacked and following step by step directions. Probably they have absolutely no sense of taste either - they think their Dell Inspiron One is comparable to an iMac.

    This is a load of fanboy horseshit I'm not going to even bother debunking.

  • Re:Wait a minute! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oizo (875964) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:50PM (#39697031)
    Huston we have a problem with closed networks. Google cannot crawl, index and sell ads.
  • oh you can use any fictional characer you want to make a parable out of anything

    but most people understand there isn't an actual good witch glenda and there aren't actually flying monkeys

    to believe there is is the same level of delusion to see so much malice in your own democratic government and so little malice in robber barons representing plutocracy (not capitalism, as the fanboys believe)

  • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:02PM (#39697075) Journal

    The FBI can never go bankrupt

    Not technically true, for details see "Greece".

  • Prisoner Dilemma (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ElitistWhiner (79961) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:15PM (#39697127) Journal

    Freedom, Privacy, Internet

    Pick

    2 out of 3

    Get it wrong you == LOSE

  • But the FBI can't. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:28PM (#39697195)

    Greece can go bankrupt because it is in the Eurozone and not in direct control of its own money supply. The U.S. can avoid bankruptcy by simply printing more dollars. That has ill effects, but it is not going bankrupt.

    California could go bankrupt, but the FBI never will.

  • by thoughtlover (83833) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:32PM (#39697209)

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but a coercive monopoly with guns is far worse than a mere merchant with a huge market share.

    Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. Thomas Jefferson

    I'd have to say that money has more power than guns ever will. When Facebook moved their HQ to Dublin so they could get better tax breaks, who were they telling to FO ?

  • by The Evil Atheist (2484676) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:58PM (#39697315) Homepage

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but a coercive monopoly with guns is far worse than a mere merchant with a huge market share.

    This is a stupid libertarian slogan. Merchants are the ones who gets laws passed to infringe on our rights without any guns. Merchants are the ones who screw up the economy and get away with it. Merchants are the ones with the money and political influence who control the government. If the gun-toting government were gone tomorrow, who do you think would arm themselves first and heaviest?

    You know what? I prefer to be able to have a coercive monopoly that's within my control (which I'll happily pay a small percentage of) so that I don't have to face a coercive monopoly who can kill society without guns.

    Libertarians are idiots.

  • by jhoegl (638955) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:03PM (#39697325)
    I believe this is the point that Sergey was making. He isnt talking about Googles search engine or online services, but the Android OS vs Apples OS
    I believe Penny Arcade said it best.. context is important [penny-arcade.com].
  • by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:26PM (#39697437)

    Apple pushes for standards? No, not really. For example, they're the only browser maker that does not employ _anyone_ to work on CSS specs. Google, Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla all have employees doing so. Apple? Not so much.

    Exactly. Google is on their own out there, without any help from Apple. Thank goodness they came up with WebKit to build Chrome wi...

    Wait, what's that? WebKit is actually Apple's project? Apple encouraged web rendering standards compliance so much they actually help support Google in using their web renderer on a competing platform?

    How very closed of them.

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:26PM (#39697441)

    Its a theory because the wants of the citizens of the democracy are not heeded, though businesses can influence government without voting.

    The metals lobby that keeps the penny in circulation despite massive public disapproval, is the tantamount example of the power of lobbies to distort democracy.... that is taught in polsci 101. Yes, its a theory. SOPA 2.0 or 3.0 will not have the popular oversight that 1.0 had, and when our reps know we disagree but arent looking, they will pass it for the lobbies.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @11:59PM (#39697545)

    This attitude is our very own fault. Yes, ours. The fault of those that built the internet and thought it's a great idea to let everyone in.

    We built a garden. A beautiful garden. We saw it was vast and lush and we started planting our seeds and grew trees and flowers and we thought it's great. Sure, some were better gardeners than others, but in general, we were happy to just watch it grow. And if someone wanted to plant himself and he didn't know how to, we were just happy to lend him a hand.

    And we looked over our garden an we thought it's so great that the world should see it. Everyone should come in, they'd all start to plant something, people would take our seeds and grow something new out of them, think of the possibilities! We'll have plants we can't even imagine yet and we'll all share them and enjoy their fruits!

    We thought that everyone would be like us.

    Of course, there was the odd vandal. But they were few and far between, and we knew how to use our shovels not only to dig dirt but also graves for those trolls. They were a nuisance, but not really a threat. Besides, we knew how to build fences around our gardens if they grew too cocky. Sometimes, the fences were electric...

    Time went by and people peeked into our garden. They thought it's neat, but then... they had no idea how to walk through it. It was so strange, no paths, no roads, and climbing over hedges ain't for everyone. They'd come, they said, but not if they had to cross-country hike to get from one field to the next. We agreed and we thought that it's maybe not the worst idea to build some paths, not only for them but also ourselves. It's easier to navigate that way, ya know? And that way we can also invite friends over who ain't so great gardeners. And maybe we can ease them in that way and get them to learn how to grow fruits, they'll love it.

    So we thought.

    But they weren't. They were mostly interested in the fruits. They went from garden to garden, picked some fruits, wolfed them down or just took a bite and threw the rest away... we were disgusted, but hey, who cares? There's plenty of fruit for everyone. Besides, we didn't really build that many paths to the patches under the camo net. Just sometimes we took a friend along there to ... relax. Ya know...

    But free fruit? How dare you not make a buck from people wanting something! In came the corporations and they settled in our garden. But we didn't care too much, I mean, it's not like there ain't enough room for everyone. Sure, they take up a lot of room and a few of us had to move away because they muscled in, but we just rolled our eyes and moved aside. They won't stay for long anyway, we said, they'll soon figure out that there ain't a buck to be made in here, for we give our fruit away for free, why would anyone buy theirs?

    In the meantime, the people we built the paths for, the non-gardeners, started to settle in. I mean, hey, it IS a nice place after all, so why not try to plant something themselves? Or at least take some fruits, place them somewhere and claim they grew them. We knew they couldn't, but hey, why bother complaining? We knew better, and nobody else counts, right? And if they got too cocky, we just went there and showed them who's boss in here. Someone barely able to wield a shovel has no chance to build a fence that could stand against an assault from us!

    Of course, they could have learned to build fences. And we actually expected them to after we showed them that gardens are fragile if you cannot protect them. Instead, they cried foul and pointed at us, labeled us the bogeyman and yelled for the police to come and take us away, for we are a danger to them. The corporations were happy to chime in, after some of us who have been pushed away found out that their fences ain't worth the wood they were built of either. Now, in general that didn't really bother us at first, only when they started to peek under our camo nets it got a tad bit uncomfortable. It was kinda hard to explain what we grew th

  • by BZ (40346) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:28AM (#39697639)

    > You need a concrete example of Apple actually
    > seeking to block web standards

    I gave two concrete examples: -webkit-text-size-adjust and touch events.

    They also volunteered to edit a few CSS specs (transitions, animations, transforms) and then did absolutely nothing. At this point other editors are working on it, but the specs won't be done until much later than otherwise; had Apple been honest that they had no plans to actually work on them, someone else would have picked them up much earlier.

    They obviously can't _block_ standards forever, with the exception of patents they refuse to license (and in that situation the standard would be changed to work around the patent). But they're sure trying to make the sure the standards process is as slow as it can be in many cases.

    > Which brings them no value.

    Sure it brings them value. It keeps Google from forking WebKit. How is that not value for Apple?

    > They ported to Windows, which doesn't really give
    > them much.

    They ported to Windows because they thought they would get something out of it (e.g. maybe market share for Safari on Windows).

  • by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:55AM (#39697755)

    You mean back in the days of the original Mac with no slots or expansion? Or Apple providing absolutely no source code to users from it's inception? Or Apple not allowing competitors to run it's OS and suing them if they tried, which happened frequently with the Apple II?

    I'm really struggling to see how Apple today is less hacker friendly than the Apple of the early 80s. I can still go out today and buy a Mac with four expansion slots, four open drive bays, two optical drive bays, upgradable RAM, and replaceable processors. Arguable more hacker friendly than the Apple II. Yes, Apple makes more closed off systems like the Mac Mini, but that's a choice I can make as a consumer. And unlike the early 80s Apple, I can download source code for the operating system, or even load on the operating system from their chief competitor, and be provided support and drivers to do so.

    Again, I'm really having trouble buying your argument. No, Apple isn't as open as Linux, or a few of the Android vendors, but compared to early Apple? Apple after Steve returned was far more open than Apple ever was since the Apple II was released.

  • Naturally... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:30AM (#39697931)

    A clip is not a user-serviceable part.

  • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:38AM (#39697965) Homepage

    The FBI can never go bankrupt

    True, but that's because it's not actually a truly independent organization. It could however have its budget (the source of its income) cut enormously and be so forced into doing many things that would look distinctly like what companies do when in close-to-bankrupt scenarios.

    Overall, governments can go bankrupt (though as noted individual agencies can't, in a formal sense) though the nature of that bankruptcy would vary. In the US, you're not allowed to just outright default on the debts (though I wouldn't really want to rely on getting my money back in a timely fashion if things were getting really bad) so you'd probably have to print your way out, which would stoke hyperinflation. The net result would be similar to a debt default though: nobody sane would lend to the US. You're not in that situation.

    the monopolistic coercive government of which it is a part can certainly destroy the merchant at any time. See Lehman Bros and the old AT&T for just a few of many examples

    OTOH, it's harder to influence a powerful merchant than a democratically-elected government; it can take a huge amount of coercion to make a company change its behavior.

  • by steelfood (895457) on Monday April 16, 2012 @02:14AM (#39698087)

    The root cause is a complete lack of respect for users: a view that users are nothing more than exploitable sources of money that need to be controlled.

    These are two separate things. One does not follow the other.

    Personally, I tend to agree with the former sentiment. The problem exists between the keyboard and chair. Apple is attempting to remove or at least marginalize that problem.

    The latter I would disagree with. They don't necessarily (or have to) see users as exploitable sources of income. But they certainly are making tons of money as a result of this abusive but seemingly successful relationship. People don't have to give Apple money if they don't like the way they're treated. There are alternatives. Yet, they still do.

    Ultimately, Apple (Jobs, really) realized one fundamental sociological thing: Most people don't want freedom. It's too much for them to handle.

  • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Monday April 16, 2012 @02:18AM (#39698091)

    Libertarians are not the enemy of anyone except Big Brother. Their whole mantra is to leave people to their own devices.

    You seem to think Big Business and Big Government are enemies of each other. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are the same, differing only in tiny squabbles which distract voters. The last thing either wants is for people to actually run their own lives and take the corporations to task.

    If you actually think the coercive monopoly is going to use their guns to help people battle merchants, you are living in some weird alternate dream world. The only merchants who get in trouble are the few who don't go along with the other merchants and their government buddies.

    That's the weirdest thing about Occupy Wall Street. They identify half the problem, corporations out of control, but then they refuse to see the other half, which is Big Brother actively assisting them. They are one and the same, and the government will never do anything to the 1% just because a few 99% rabble camp out in parks and shout for the government to come rescue them. Only individuals taking charge and upsetting BOTH Big Government and Big Business will solve anything.

  • by Requiem18th (742389) on Monday April 16, 2012 @03:16AM (#39698235)

    I have always been amazed at this stupid "only the government counts" idea. A corporations can sue you for anything and drag the legal battle so long as to financially ruin you even if you are right. They can put you in some blacklist and make sure you never get a good job again. They can deny you credit and insurance. They have a million ways to make your life hell, and they can do it privately. They are unaccountable mini-dictatorships.

    It's insane to trust corporations with privilegues you wouldn't trust the government with.

  • by The Evil Atheist (2484676) on Monday April 16, 2012 @03:20AM (#39698249) Homepage

    Libertarians are not the enemy of anyone except Big Brother. Their whole mantra is to leave people to their own devices.

    You seem to think Big Business and Big Government are enemies of each other. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are the same, differing only in tiny squabbles which distract voters. The last thing either wants is for people to actually run their own lives and take the corporations to task.

    I never said Big Business and Big Government are enemies of each other.

    If you actually think the coercive monopoly is going to use their guns to help people battle merchants, you are living in some weird alternate dream world.

    And if you think that won't happen if the government disappears tomorrow, you're an idiot.

    That's the weirdest thing about Occupy Wall Street. They identify half the problem, corporations out of control, but then they refuse to see the other half, which is Big Brother actively assisting them. They are one and the same, and the government will never do anything to the 1% just because a few 99% rabble camp out in parks and shout for the government to come rescue them. Only individuals taking charge and upsetting BOTH Big Government and Big Business will solve anything.

    Note that none of what you said here actually opposes what I ACTUALLY said. What I was responding to was the stupid idea that a person could prefer Big Business rather than Big Government, when they are basically the same. That was my point, but you completely missed it so you can rant about Occupy Wall Street.

  • by Xest (935314) on Monday April 16, 2012 @04:53AM (#39698499)

    "Oh please, these apologies for Apple are getting tiresome. Apple did not lock down iOS to keep out malware, they did it so that they could remain in control of the products they sell people long after the sale is made."

    It's the same mindset that believed Steve's FUD when he blamed publishers for DRM in iTunes, saying he wanted rid of it but they just wouldn't let him, despite the fact his competitors like Amazon and eMusic at the time despite having much smaller stores and much less clout managed to get DRM free contracts from the publishers no problem.

    With Apple it's always about control, DRM in iTunes was entirely about control, it was about making sure that when the non user replaceable battery in your iPad ran out after 18 months to 2 years you couldn't fuck off to a competitor with your content very easily, no you had to buy Apple again.

    The only people that haven't figured out yet that Apple's entire business model is built around controlling what you do in an effort to influence what you buy each upgrade cycle, control what you pay, and manage who you pay from and who the money goes to are fanboys. The worst sort too - the ones who can't see the evidence glaring them right in the face.

  • by The Evil Atheist (2484676) on Monday April 16, 2012 @08:15AM (#39699139) Homepage

    I prefer to be able to have a coercive monopoly that's within my control

    False dichotomy. That's not even one of the options. The coercive monopoly, as you have said, is under the control of the merchants. That's why this is the thing that Libertarians have right. A large government has the power to control YOU. It has the time and energy to snoop on YOU and run YOUR life. We need the smallest federal government that can achieve its proper goals of maintaining the national defense and enabling (not preventing) interstate commerce.

    How is my suggestion a "false dichotomy" if it's not even one the options? The fact that it's not even one of the options is, by definition, NOT a false dichotomy.

    Originally, there were two options: coercive monopoly with guns, and coercive monopoly without guns.

    I presented a third option: a coercive monopoly which I'm in control of (in theory).

    The ones with the false dichotomy are the libertarians. Small government is good, big government is bad. That's two options, and they're both false.

    Libertarians don't have anything right. They don't realize that it's not a matter of big or small government. It's about those with the most resources and being able to throw their weight around. If it's not a democratically elected government, then it will be an undemocratically inherited company. One shrinks and another one grows to fill it. There is no magical barrier that prevents it from happening. What libertarians SHOULD be doing is identifying those who actually do have the power and limiting their power, not just attack anything that has the goverrnment label on it.

    By getting rid of most of a democratically elected government as much as possible, you basically remove power from the people's hands. What libertarians should realize is rather than getting rid of the common man's last chance at power, they should encourage people to get more involved and informed and making government fulfill its duty.

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Monday April 16, 2012 @10:11AM (#39699863)

    The fact that your government screws up is reason to be active about fixing it, but as soon as you call it failed, you're inviting a revolution. I wish you don't have to live through one, because your sense of justice will not survive.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy

    All of the protests and outrage right now, all of the political activism right now (I live in Wisconsin, where just over a year ago 100,000+ of us occupied our state capital for weeks in response to a Tea Party led, ALEC funded, large scale attack on union rights)...this is just the beginning. This is the "peaceful revolution", and the government is doing everything it can to try and stop it or marginalize it on behalf of it's corporate masters that want everyone to just shut the fuck up and keep buying those iPads like good little serfs.

    I don't want revolution, I want a government that puts the rights and needs of actual human beings above the rights and needs of corporate "people". These fucking banks managed to steal billions of dollars from the American people, more and more evidence comes out every day that those fuckers in the SEC knew that this shit was going on and did nothing. Rob a convenience store clerk and you're going to pound-me-in-the-ass prison, but rob an entire country for billions and you get a "don't do that anymore" with a wink and a fine for less than 1% of what you fucking stole.

    The U.S. government may not be failed yet, but it's failing. Whether it can pull itself out of the pockets of a disproportionate few extremely wealthy individuals and corporations remains to be seen, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. I live 5 hours from the Canadian border, so believe me, when the shit hits the fan here, I'm throwing the family in the car and we're bugging out.

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse

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