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Claude Almansi

Make: Online | Moral Suasion | Cory Doctorow | June 2011 - 0 views

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    "One thing is clear: those of us who don't supply our own digital infrastructure depend on intermediaries who are increasingly willing to roll over at the slightest pressure. It's time to start devoting some of our creative attention to ways of clearing away the choke-points and leaning back on those companies that are getting leaned upon by powerful, established forces."
Claude Almansi

Make: Online | Walled Gardens vs. Makers - 0 views

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    Cory Doctorow. Make. June 2011. "Consider the iPad for a moment. It's true that Apple's iTunes Store has inspired hundreds of thousands of apps, but every one of those apps is contingent on Apple's approval. If you want to make something for the iPad, you pay $99 to join the Developer Program, make it, then send it to Apple and pray. If Apple smiles on you, you can send your hack to the world. If Apple frowns on you, you cannot. What's more, Apple uses code signing to restrict which apps can run on the iPad (and iPhone): if your app isn't blessed by Apple, iPads will refuse to run it. Not that it's technically challenging to defeat this code signing, but doing so is illegal, thanks to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which makes it a crime to circumvent a copyright-protection technology. So the only app store - or free repository - that can legally exist for Apple's devices is the one that Apple runs for itself. Some people say the iPad is a new kind of device: an appliance instead of a computer. But because Apple chose to add a thin veneer of DRM to the iPad, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act applies here, something that's not true of any "appliance" you've ever seen. It's as if Apple built a toaster that you can only use Apple's bread in (or face a lawsuit), or a dishwasher that will only load Apple's plates. Apple fans will tell you that this doesn't matter. Hackers can simply hack their iPads or shell out $99 to get the developer license. But without a means of distributing (and receiving) hacks from all parties, we're back in the forbidden-knowledge Dark Ages - the poverty-stricken era in which a mere handful of ideas was counted as a fortune."
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    We discussed this article in the forum of lascuolachefunziona.it. Someone objected that the iPad was a great tool and gave far more liberty to developers than traditional print publishers. I retorted that it was precisely because the iPad was such a great tool that its proprietariness about content for it was irritating. Then Elena Favaron made an illuminating comparison: "There are also people who make coffee machines that work only with dedicated coffee capsules, and there are folks who even buy them..."
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