* Devices he perceives as dumbed down
* Old media
* Vendor lock-in
* App store models other than "bazaar"
Most of these have pros and cons; the iPad is not going to be everything to everyone but rather the result of a highly opinionated design process. If "it just works" and "tons of apps available for $10" fit your usage profile, so be it. There are plenty of cultural and usability benefits to a consistent experience even though it comes at the cost of some user control.
If this market isn't for you, there's always an Eeebuntu box with your name on it.
Moreover, its a false dichotomy between vendor lock-in and a consistent user experience. What Google has shown with the HTC Dream and Nexus One handsets is that you can have something without a centralized approver deciding what apps are blessed for publication and which aren't, and yet still have a consistent user experience. Though individual carriers do in fact restrict apps to the Android Market, this is not inherent to the platform like with iPhone OS-- customers can and should complain about carriers that lock down Android handsets.
Also inexplicable is Apple's love of DRM. Time and time again, DRM has shown itself to be the bane of consumers. It doesn't make the iPad any better in any technical sense, and only serves to introduce anti-features to the platform.
In short, my opposition to the iPad is not due to a difference in opinion about design decisions so much as it is an unwillingness to participate in a platform where both developers and users are completely subservient to Apple's whims and where I don't truly own my own device.
Let me know when my iPhone (+) can turn off its ringer when I get to work, or when I can chat on IRC over ssh, or when I can share my location with my friends automatically. One app may have purple buttons or its own keyboard, but at least my phone can do something useful.
(+) Warning: literary device. I do not actually have an iPhone.
No multitasking on iPhone is a feature.
Try multitasking on a Nexus One or an Archos 5 Internet Tablet. It works brilliantly.
I've got an HTC Hero with 200-some megs of RAM. Open a couple apps, thing slows way down and gets choppy.
* Want a consistent interface? Shut the fuck up and write some code.*
This approach leads to the exact opposite of a consistent UI. Look at desktop Linux.
If you want your definition of consistent, you are going to have to write your own software.
Ever looked at the KDE desktop? It's much more consistent than both osx and windows.
Meanwhile, my iPhone does useful things in ways which are usable.
But seriously, we get it already. You hate the iPhone with the heat of a thousand supernovas, and don't seem to feel bound by much of anything -- logic, facts, basic civility -- in coming up with ways to express that hatred. Meanwhile, life goes on and the world doesn't end just because somebody liked something you didn't like.
This is in sharp contrast to the iPhone store where you hit this problem incredibly rarely. So it's obviously going to be a talking point.
P.S. “hyperbola”, huh? Thank you, made my day.
Love of DRM? Hardly - Jobs was the one who wrote an open letter slamming the music industry for insisting the use of DRM. They also managed to completely remove DRM from the entirety of the iTunes Store (after Amazon did it first, to be fair).
As for the nonetheless strong presence of DRM on the device, there's nothing inexplicable about it: they don't own the content on the stores, and the people who do are unwilling to give up DRM. Kindle books are still entirely DRM'ed, and both devices support non-DRM formats for books you get from wherever. On this part one ought to blame the publishers, not the people who deliver the content - the moment publishers allow Apple/Amazon to drop DRM on e-books is the day it'll happen.
Or so Steve Jobs would have us believe.
How long now before Google partners their way into a Chromium/Android tablet that is to the iPad what the Nexus One is to the iPhone? I'd love to have that device, and in the meantime I'm also excited to borrow an iPad when I get a chance.
Oh, well. Just more time for display technology to improve first!
The device is conceived from the ground up with the idea that Apple must control all aspects of it's use. Any features that might lessen that control are thrown to the side.
I have a hard time watching the evolution of computing go from relatively open platform that sparked my interest as a young person, to locked down DRM restricted devices.
By April 1st 2011, Doctorow will have an iPad. He'll argue that it's more important to be on the cutting edge helping to shape the community rather than to sit back on the porch and complain like an old man. He'll probably like the device, and have a list of apps that he feels exemplify his vision of the device's potential.
I guess it shouldn't confuse me why people are so eager to comment on what or why the iPad is the best/worst thing ever. We're looking at an attempt to completely change the way folks use a computer here; we're looking at a whole new product. To say, “I can forsee this impugning freedom!” is to claim to have a crystal ball of epic proportions.
Given the incredible, measurable, financial success of IP that has shed DRM, I don't think the industry is entirely behind locking up things in the way Doctorow predicts.
There are a lot of tablets on the market. For most of them, take the total sales of any 3 and it won't even equal the pre-order volume of the iPad. I do not think I am making any overly ambitious or unusual claims when I say that the iPad will make a fairly big dent in the tablet market for at least a year or two.
It doesn't look like the market has things which compete with the iPad just yet.
People generally don't buy products because they're perfect. They buy them because the good things outweigh a few blemishes.
There is no doubt the iPad will be a better product a year from now. Some of the flaws might be fixed or will be out shined by new features. There's nothing wrong with finding enough good later that it changes your feelings from a year ago.
My grandfather used to complain that "cars these days" can't be repaired without taking them to the shop because of the "damned computers." He was wrong, too.
Most of the world does not know or care about how closed the iPad is; we all know, however, that the world should have open computers and not closed ones because that creates a better experience for consumers in the long run.
That's why he's fighting the fight.
I'm pretty neutral about the iPad at the moment, but just wanted to point out that the world has had "open" computers for nearly 30 years and so far, I would argue they have not been better for the consumer.
Just look at Linux on the desktop. :)
Then again, the world has had open browsers for just a few years, and they kicked off a flurry of innovation on the web - which itself is built on open technologies.
Imagine if Windows web sites would only load on Windows computers.
I can imagine it just fine, thankyouverymuch.
Companies want to reverse that trend and close it up and we do need to fight that.
We don't want the future to be AOL.
I'm willing to say that consumers are better off because Linux and Apache are used in places where they are the best tool for the job. I am not convinced that being open is inherently the best thing for anybody. How much of the web wouldn't exist if not for people just trying to make a buck? Would Y Combinator?
And if the consumer really wanted an open system, again Linux on the desktop (Ubuntu?) should be have much more market share than it does.
Not really, the thing is that MS has a monopoly on the desktop, hard to reverse that trend. Look at Apple, even with their billions of dollars in revenue, they only get 5% of the desktop, Linux is at 1-2% with $0 in campaigning, so not that bad really.
Picking a bad example doesn't help your point. Just look at Lotus 1-2-3, Photoshop, Skype, etc.
Most of the software I ran on my first few computers was freeware, downloaded from BBSs at 2400baud. The barriers to entry for hobbyists to get little itch scratching programs up on the app store at $0 makes it not even worth the effort.
And the shame of it is that the iPad is the perfect kind of hobbyist platform, small, constrained, knowable. An organization putting millions of dollars into a piece of software for it isn't likely to make something really that much better than one or two teens banging out code in the bedrooms over a few weeks.
I use it everyday, make a nice living out of it and love it, so good point.
Another word for closed platform is no virus, no installation, no manual.
That seems to be pretty down someone like my dads alley who love the internet but always have issues with his laptop.
Because I don't want them to get taken advantage of. I want them to make informed decisions. And I care about them generally. This is a pretty strange question. If someone in your family worked manufacturing cars and knew a lot about which ones were good and bad and for which reasons, and could just generally help you make a better informed decision about what car to buy, wouldn't you want to talk to that family member about that knowledge?
It's a very different animal.
Sure, MS is better about Windows Security now. And guess what? That's why there aren't nearly as many virus problems as there used to be (think 7's early days vs XP's early days).
Linux has a strong security model. It already has ~50% market share on servers (maybe more)! Don't ever suggest that my last dollar would be spent poorly if I bet on Linux's security.
Also, the plural of "virus" is "viruses", not "virii".
You are confusing whether the system with the users.
The reason why virus is a menace on the windows platform is because of all the non experts using it.
If you had the same kind of types as my partents there would be absolutely no challenge plastering the os with viruses.
That is the MS PR statement, witch is completely BS. Open source have a lot more people looking at the code and using a proven Unix security model.
The point is, Cory Doctorow is in a small, small minority. The minority isn't small because people don't know what he's saying -- it's small because they don't care. He's protesting the very philosophy that gives Apple products the quality that people who buy Apple products desire. And honestly, making the openness of Apple products your raison d'etre is a bit like getting furious about the mechanical details of your favorite brand of dishwasher. The answer is always the same: don't like it? Don't buy it.
Cory is more than welcome to continue to post these sorts of rants on his blog, of course, but let's not turn them into more than what they are: one guy, forcefully advocating an opinion about something that really doesn't matter that much to most people, and that he can't really change.
I'd guess Cory's complaint is not specifically that iPads are closed, but that Apple and others are trying to create a future where closed systems are the default, and open systems are either illegal or heavily marginalized. If you accept the premises, that actually is a big deal.
one guy, forcefully advocating an opinion about something that really doesn't matter that much to most people, and that he can't really change.
So, pretty much like nearly any public advocacy of anything.
The "if you accept the premises" is, well, one hell of a big "if".
Cory seems to believe that companies are not in the business of making money, but rather are in the business of controlling peoples' lives as totally as possible, and proceeds from there. The mismatch of this belief with actual reality, and the resulting conclusions drawn with respect to, e.g., vast multinational conspiracies attempting to micromanage individual people, is of a sort which, given any other target, would result in institutionalization for paranoid psychosis.
Not at all. I don't think Apple wants closed systems for their own sake, but I do think they believe that closed systems will be more profitable for them. The end result is the same.
Apple and others are trying to create a future where closed systems are the default, and open systems are either illegal or heavily marginalized.
This does not express the opinion that Apple believes they can make more money from selling closed systems. This expresses the opinion that Apple's goal is not to make money but rather to impose control on people for... well, I'm not honestly sure what reason.
And that sort of implication is everywhere in discussion on places like HN, despite the fact that it literally goes off the deep end into unfounded paranoia; "Steve Jobs wants to keep me from using Google Voice" is taken not as a statement about how he'd prefer to have his company get your money, but as a statement about how he's an evil megalomanic obsessed with controlling peoples' lives. Which is really only a step away from (and logically about as sensible as) "he's working with the Bilderbergers and the lizard people to cover up the truth about JFK's role in 9/11".
I myself find it difficult to imagine a future where the vast majority of applications are not web apps hosted on private servers. If you take that to be the likely future, then what you can and can't run natively on your computer (with the exception of the browser) becomes irrelevant. Debating whether or not you have the freedom to run arbitrary native code will be like arguing over having the freedom to install your own BIOS.
People don't care because when they hear nay-sayers predicting dystopian futures, they think things like 'that could never happen here' or 'that could never happen to me.' The reality is that I doubt very much that if you had polled Germans in the 1920's about whether they thought that the atrocities of WW2 could ever happen to them or in their country, they would say the same thing, 'not here' or "people wouldn't stand for it."
People that predict doom and gloom are often called crazy, but not always because they really are. Most of the time people don't want to think that the worst could happen even when reality paints a different picture. If I had published a paper in 2005 predicting that Wall Street would crumble due to highly-inflated real-estate and that the government would spend $700+ billion propping up banks that were 'too big to fail' I would have been called crazy and people would have ignored me stating that my concerns were 'unfounded.'
Please don't use "people don't care" as some sort of argument against someone's beliefs. I mean, if his blog post is getting up-voted enough on HN to reach the front page obviously enough people here care about it to discuss it, but for some reason you're trying to tell those people that they really don't share Doctorow's opinion and that they need to wake up to that fact.
Speak for yourself. I happen to agree with Cory and am sure I am not alone.
The parent poster goes on for length operating under the assumption that no one on HN that is participating in this discussion or up-voted the news item shares the same views that Doctorow does. How one can draw that assumption escapes me, because it would stand to reason that a number of people (most?) would up-vote the blog post because they either: 1) share Doctorow's opinion or 2) want to participate in a discussion of Doctorow's views. The parent poster acts as if HN readers/participants are just like rats dancing to the Pied Piper's tune, that need to be woken up.
I believe you have misinterpreted. The parent post does not refer to HN readers, but to the obviously ambiguous "most people". The post it was in reply to distinguishes between "Most of the world" and "we" (meaning HN readers), and I propose to you that it is the former group that was meant.
The parent poster acts as if HN readers/participants are just like rats dancing to the Pied Piper's tune, that need to be woken up.
That appears to be precisely the attitude it is rejecting, in reference to Cory's desire (as described by the parent to that post) to protest loudly something that it is said few who don't already know actually care about.
I would also point out that you yourself drew parallels to the specter of Nazism (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1237826) and of unheeded warnings. Are you yourself not acting as though others need to be woken up?
Don't know what ever happened to him, but i think that maybe he had a point.
Thanks for looking out for us, Dad.
To be fair, it pretty much is treated like a religion, as it is hailed as the new kind of computing that will take over the mainstream.
1. I love value and simplicity and would buy an iPad in an instant if it offers these qualities at a good price and if I have needs in that direction.
2. I recoil against herd thinking about the latest "in" thing and can't therefore stand all the iPad hype.
3. I buy closed-system products all the time for specialized uses, whether it be a Kindle, an iPod, or whatever.
4. I resent the thought of getting trapped in one vendor's world by becoming dependent on closed, proprietary products and will always look for ways to avoid this.
5. Innovation is too dynamic for a single company ever to dominate the computing world in toto for any sustained period. IBM tried it in the 1960s and 1970s and Microsoft in the 1980s and 1990s. Apple appears poised to do so now but this will never stick.
6. Therefore, I sympathize with what the author of this post says but I also am relaxed about it. Three cheers for Apple and their great products. But may it never limit my choices for other great products in the future.
Your argument sounds like this is supposed to be like a Sony TV set. It's a big difference whether we're talking about repairing something that is finished or whether something is a platform that is only as useful as the stuff built on top of it. I'm not complaining that I can't read the Mac firmware with a refrigerator magnet.
Then some mechanic told you that you can get a nice customizable, fixable VW for the same price with the best luxury package.
Would you buy the Apple cause it was automatic and you didn't want to learn how to drive a manual?
So 99% of the world can afford an iPad, wants an iPad, and has bought/is going to buy an iPad? I feel that a larger portion of the world than you care to admit puts more thought towards getting food on the table than computing devices.
Please don't try to win an argument through a passive-aggressive statement of "you're in the minority, so deal with it."
> My grandfather used to complain that "cars these days" can't be repaired without taking them to the shop because of the "damned computers." He was wrong, too.
So 'cars these days' can be repaired without taking them to the shop?
> If you don't like it because you can't (easily) open it up and change the battery, you don't have to buy it.
The point is to protect against a world where the choice isn't "an iPad or another device that is more open" but "a closed device or no device at all." The point isn't to eliminate all closed-devices, but to make sure that they don't eliminate all open-devices.
I trust the kids. They're smart. Smarter than us.
Hand'm all iPads. I can't wait to see what they'll come up with.
Who said stuff like this? The outsourced-java-monkeys of yesteryear?
I doubt many computer scientists said this.
"[T]he teaching of BASIC should be rated as a criminal offence: it mutilates the mind beyond recovery." -- Edsger W. Dijkstra
The fact that it will be proven jailbreakable doesn't mean we should all accept being criminalized for doing what it's our natural right to do (take things apart that we own).
If the iPad is such a bad platform, developers/publishers/users will understand it and abandon the ship.
But, for now, it does not matter how many times these concepts are reiterated. People already have decided wether to buy/develop for/publish on iPad or not. Very few will change their mind reading these pieces (or the opposite sided ones).
There are some very good arguments both for and against ipad, and it is important to have these discussions openly as often as possible.
Popular game consoles like PS and Xbox are good examples of closed system that is good for business but bad for innovation. Price and market are tightly controlled.
PS3 is a very good example IMO. It comes with very powerful hardware, which you paid for, but you are only limited to rules placed by sony. As a matter of fact Sony goes through a lot of trouble to make it almost imposible to do anything else with the hardware.
Similarly, I should be able to install any app on my iphone/ipad that is not approved by Apple without have to go through hoops of cracking the device.
Have you been following the kerfuffle behind Other OS yankage?
For a company whose CEO professes a hatred of DRM, Apple sure has made DRM its alpha and omega. Having gotten into business with the two industries that most believe that you shouldn't be able to modify your hardware, load your own software on it, write software for it, override instructions given to it by the mothership (the entertainment industry and the phone companies), Apple has defined its business around these principles.
Then for a fabrication:
The iPad you buy today will be e-waste in a year or two (less, if you decide not to pay to have the battery changed for you).
Read that closely. He wants you to believe iPad batteries last less than 12 months, degraded to the point that you will throw away the device if you don't buy a new battery (with installation). Look at the verbs. He isn't saying he fears this might happen. He definitively states it as fact.
There are completely legitimate reasons to be opposed to the concept of the iPad, or to suggest that people should not buy one. When you construct an argument with stretched truths and hyperbole, you just weaken the entire position and make people who agree with you look like fanatics.
In other words, if you have such a good argument, why are you employing Rovian tactics?
But DRM on movies still appears to be relatively effective, even though that might soon reach the same point music did and I don't think there's much doubt that DRM on apps has prevented a fair bit of piracy. If I think back to how easy it was to get pirated apps for an S60 phone a few years ago and how not one of the people I know who have jailbroken their iPhones has paid for any of the apps they own I can definitely understand why Apple would prefer a closed system with DRM.
You're correct that he omits that they have removed DRM from their music, but not their videos. And I think you can safely argue the point that if Apple had started out with iTunes without DRM that they never would have made it off the launchpad. He also specifically used the term "entertainment industry", which is still true. Apple still uses restrictive DRM on it's videos, as well as it's i(Phone|Pad|Pod Touch) products. The latter are definitely marketed as "entertainment devices".
As a point of comparison, my Lenovo batteries that always seem to crap about a few years in cost about $100:
So... that's a pretty great deal. And I think speaks to how comfortable they are with the battery longevity. Or how fat their margins are.
That said, given some of the probable porno use cases of the iPad...
I could get a replacement battery for my trusty six year old iPod mini (still works like on day one) right now. Costs $15 and even comes with tools to open the little sucker up. Let’s just hope the iPad’s battery is not soldered in :)
For example, at some point, I am going to replace my iPod's (5th gen) HD with an SSD and there are multiple vendors and video showing how.
Will the iPad battery fail before the useful life of the device expires? I doubt it. But if it does there is a convenient procedure for replacing it. Eventually there will no longer be a procedure, but the device will have passed from "useful" by then.
Look at the numbers: Applecare on an iPad runs from month 13 to month 24 and covers a new battery if required = $99. Battery replacement on an iPad = $99. Apple is not expecting significant numbers of batteries to die in two years. (Or they are and aren't expecting anything else to go wrong.)
it has long been the expectation that users are responsible for changing out batteries
And car users used to be responsible for keeping the water topped up in their batteries. That day passed. In an nice parallel to iPads, my Honda FIT has a tiny sealed battery in a unique size. They worked the mass/volume tradeoff and came up with a completely unique battery. (At least they didn't put a pull cord on the dash or a kick starter on the floor.)
 My nearly three year old iPhone is just fine and I can still skip charging at night and get through the second day if I need to. The device is about to be orphaned by iPhone OS 4.0. Given the cost of a phone vanishes in the cost of service the only reason I'll keep it is because I have the original, cheaper, plan in place.
 I deleted my section on mass/value/cost/ruggedness tradeoffs of glue/screw, custom/commodity cells, and compartments/torsion box. I've covered that too many times before. I'd still love to read an article comparing a handful of devices that make those decisions different ways. My personal estimation is that using screws and having a replaceable commodity battery would add 50% to the thickness of the device keeping other factors the same. It would still be a cool device, just slightly less so.
If you have to send it to Apple, you already can't maintain your own device, regardless of whether they decide to keep supporting it.
I would note that Apple still replaces batteries for the original iPod. And as far as I know Apple doesn't prevent third parties from replacing batteries. What is the fundamental difference between the batteries and another component, like the hard drive?
You may not agree with where he criticizes and where he agrees, but he is far from doing nothing but praising Apple.
Have you seen working conditions in the factories? Soon all goods, not not just textiles, will be produced in such a manner. Workers will be treated as machine parts, replaceable and expendable, with all power in the hands of a few. This is what the automated loom will bring! Not just economic ruin but the enslavement of society!
And what of innovation? For 300 years every artisan learned every aspect of his craft, and in doing so contributed to its growth. How is innovation possible, with all production concentrated into a handful of corporations and run by a multitude of drones?
Down with the automated loom!
You are, after all, posting this implicit accusation the same week that geekdom has been raging about the PS3 locking down even tighter!
When making a complaint, people are not obligated to run through every similar complaint they have, or face accusations of hypocrisy. In fact that would be downright tedious.
Also the game developers who would like to see open gaming platforms are probably outnumbered by the people who are now worried about a more closed general software industry => more noise.
Because there's no powerful, intuitive, and exhaustively-documented SDK built on a robust set of APIs?
Yes, the fact that it costs $100/year to do anything useful with it is a problem. But these characterizations of the iPad as a consumption-only device, when the platform it's built on has sparked a creative, entrepreneurial revolution on mobile devices, is complete nonsense.
Until I can add features to an iPhone/iPad without shelling out for one of Apple's "real" computers, I will consider the iPad a consumption-only, and thus an unnecessary, device.
Though as a young person's first computer, I kind of see his point.
The iPad doesn't strike me as a device for any sort of creative type (producing code, documents, photographs, etc). Instead, it is a device for media consumption, just like a television or set-top box. People who want to create things will buy a PC. Just like having a PC connected to a television is useful, having an iPad that syncs with a PC might be useful to some.
In short, the greatest danger here is letting people think of the iPad as a replacement for the personal computer. Hopefully the public at large will agree.
The model of interaction with the iPad is to be a "consumer," what
William Gibson memorably described as "something the size of a baby
hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in
the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered
with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and
makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express
its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing
the channels on a universal remote."
Take a close look at the game industry for a glimpse into a slightly more probable future. The consoles, dominant as they are, did not kill PC gaming. A significant and very profitable chunk of gaming occurs on personal computers. The indie gaming scene is arguably stronger now than it ever has been. There has been an explosion of inexpensive or free or open source game development tools, engines and libraries over the years. As a result, it has never been easier or cheaper to make games and share them with others than it is right now. That's good!
On the other hand, the corporate gatekeeping to the console publishing world makes the App Store look like GitHub. That's bad!
It is far more useful to address actual problems that computing appliances might pose than it is to paint apocalyptic sci-fi scenarios where we are transformed into creatures made up mostly of eyes.
How is this different from writing an app for say the web? Or Linux?
What if your only audience is yourself. Or a very small group of people? Which is also perfectly possible for iPad/iPhone developers?
How does he define success? Financially? Making it available? Being able to open source it?
This is the exact opposite of a web app, or a linux app, or even a desktop OSX app. You write it, you distribute it, and it's on you to make it successful.
That is absurd. There are 150,000+ apps on the App Store. Those have all passed Apple's review process, by definition. And yet only a very small percentage of those approved apps are popular/profitable. Building an app that people love is much harder, and much more important to your success, than simply passing the App Store review. If you stay within the fairly well-known guidelines, passing the App Store review is a very low bar to clear.
We won't see groundswell against this kind of thing, unless we help to create it by educating potential customers.
My point is that plenty of developers and consumers seem to rather like the App Store model. And I can see how that won't change, at least for developers. Yes, you pay $100 a year, and yes, Apple ultimately decides if your app is worthy, but for a lot of devs, this is actually a win, as they don't have to market their software.
Apple is releasing a new device. With this, they are continuing a quite recent trend of hand(ish) held devices that oppose what we generally think of when it comes to computers.
On one hand, we don't look at most phones and wonder why we can't hack them to pieces. On the other hand, Apple can't stop touting Computer Revolution XYZ as the most incredible thing the technologically inclined have ever laid eyes upon.
The problem is they don't market their items toward us. They tell us these incredible things about how it does XYZ and does it so well... then they air commercials about how you can find a restaurant, or get directions to a movie theater, or (for the love of God) check your e-mail as you talk to someone.
As complete and utter nerds, we grok this device as a leap in handheld, touch-it-till-it-loves-you computing. Apple tells us it is... then they turn around and tell the rest of the world they can read books and download new ones for $10.
music: none on any of the music in their store anymore, now that they actually have the negotiating clout to get away with it
video: still there, but the TV/movie industry isn't yet in as bad a position as the music industry was, and if Apple tries to take away the DRM they will just leave. Note the absence of any other video store without DRM.
apps: yes, they do have DRM which is in fact entirely painless for users and the only reason you'd want to strip it off an app is to pirate it (which people do). As far as allowing non-appstore apps, a) there's jailbreaking which Apple hasn't made any significant effort to stop beyond the initial jailbreak which was via a Safari exploit that allowed arbitrary code execution, and b) one could certainly argue that the reason why they don't is to ensure that their platform continues to run well in as many cases as possible. see: the number of android apps that will quite possibly fuck up your OS in a number of ways.
He spends nearly the entire article arguing against the iPad's ability to impact journalism / magazines which, I sincerely doubt, has anything to do with why most people are excited to get their hands on one . . .
So while we may know what the device represents, the media hasn't been spinning it that way. People think of it as a browser/app-like gaming device, many/most media articles I've seen mention implications for journalism/media consumption.
Because the car manufacturers didn't try to lock down their system and took government intervention to prevent this? But if Apple does it, it's just "progress".
Children who weren't as fortunate as Doctorow to have parents who could afford an Apple ][ will likely have a cheaper, open alternative. Commodity hardware that wasn't available in the good old days. Back when you had to be either lucky enough to attend a private school with a computer lab (Gates), or have an engineer father working at Lockheed (Woz), or any number of other examples.
It takes five minutes with a single click GUI front end. Are there really that many budding hackers who can't be bothered to google 'program on an ipad'?
The 3GS is the first iPhone where I didn't get constant lags and skips in the UI.
"Apple's iPad is a touch of genius"
"The Elements for iPad: Hands-on review"
I'm confused now. Is it good or is it evil?
They are publishing opinions for and against ipad, how can that ever be a bad thing? If it was by the same author, on different posts with different opinions, I would understand.