Friday, April 16, 2010

Apple is evil

Apple censors Pulitzer-prize-winning cartoonist, prohibits Mark Fiore from publishing his cartoons via the iPhone/iPad store.

Apple's control of the distribution channel for iPhone apps has always disturbed me. Apple wants a monopoly on iPhone apps -- if you want to put an app on your phone, you have to buy it from Apple (and then Apple, through the generosity of its heart -- hah! -- sends a pittance of the money onwards to the application developer). Apple has tried their hardest to prevent "illegal" applications (i.e., those not sold through the iPhone Store) from being installed upon their devices. This gives them unlimited ability to censor any content they wish according to what Chairman Steve's whims be.

So anyhow, apparently Apple has determined that political satire is not "appropriate" for their devices. After all, it might make it hard to sell their devices into North Korea, and we couldn't have that, could we? ;). I just wish there was any other phone out there that did what the iPhone does, I'd buy it in a minute...

-- Badtux the Geeky Penguin


  1. Isn't this restraint of trade? Aren't there laws to prevent monopolies?

    Apple is evil in the same way any corporation is evil. They're just better at it than most, and have always been about monopolizing their portion of whatever markets they enter. It makes no sense to grant Apple an app monopoly. That is like giving Toyota a monopoly on aftermarket brake components.

    I'm pretty satisfied with my desk-top iMac, but am in a quandary about what to do when I have to replace my laptop.

    No option seems good.

    JzB the what-am-I-gonna-do trombonist

  2. It seems that being the #1 in any high-tech market means you start doing evil shit. Apple is a (distant) #2 in the PC market, thus can't do evil shit there or they'd lose market share to #1. But when you're #1...

    Considering a Google phone for my next phone, but Google is just as evil, just in a different way...

    - Badtux the Geeky Penguin

  3. As I understand it, from the very earliest days, Apple monopolized the market for software on their computers.

    They used their corporate might to sue any anyone who tried to market an application. Right or wrtong, deep pockets usually win.



  4. Uhm, no. In the early days Apple encouraged people to write software for their computers. Indeed, they even include a BASIC interpreter in the ROM so people could write their own programs. The "killer app" which "made" the Apple II was called "Visicalc", the very first spreadsheet program, which was written by a guy named Dan Bricklin and his company "Personal Software". It ran only on Apples until ported to IBM PC-DOS years later.

    You are probably thinking about Texas Instruments, which killed the TI-99/4A by suing people who tried to write their own software for the computer. TI wouldn't even release the programming documents/schematics for the computer until after they discontinued it.

    - Badtux the Geeky Penguin

  5. Try the Palm Pre. I love mine.

  6. Sadly, Palm is up for sale, they've given up. The current Palm Pre hardware is woefully outdated (it is roughly comparable to the original iPhone, not to the 3rd generation iPhone hardware currently being sold or the next generation Google Android hardware currently being sold) and Palm doesn't have the money to update it to current standards. The OS itself is great, but handicapped by being on hardware that's literally 1/4th the speed of the recently released Google "superphone".

    My thought: Google or Microsoft is going to buy them and then bury the corpse (i.e., kill the Pre and its OS) in order to keep HTC from buying them. Google and Microsoft mostly sell HTC phones (with the exception of the Motorola Droid on Verizon). The last thing they want to do is have the hardware vendor they rely on -- one that is #1 in the smartphone market (albeit most of their phones are branded as someone else's) -- suddenly in competition with them. It's not as if they can get someone else to design smartphone hardware for them. HTC is pretty much "it" for the private label branded smartphones, they have a technological lead over everybody else that even Apple can't match (Apple is about a generation behind HTC's current state-of-the-art in smartphone hardware).

    - Badtux the Geeky Penguin

  7. Well, I guess a had an epic fail on my Apple software assessment. And, no, I wasn't thinking of TI. I was just wrong.

    JzB the imperfect trombonsit


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