Steve Jobs, Future Big Brother

Ryan Tate for Gawker narrates how absolutely screwed newspapers and magazines are going to be under the shadow of Steve Jobs’ Apple monstrosity, the iPad.

But Apple’s purge of impure programmers hurts the media companies too; their programmers tend to be Flash programmers, which is why both Sports Illustrated and Wired built their tablet demos in Adobe Air; although Time Inc. is no longer using Adobe technologies and says it never had long-term plans to, the idea at Condé Nast and other publishers had been to build using Adobe technologies like Flash and then cross compile to native iPhone/iPad code, a path that Apple has now banned.

Not only does the company insist on approving each and every iPhone and iPad app, it now wants to control exactly how those apps are written.

This is just a taste. Apple has every right to determine what programming languages can be used on their products but the issue is of control and what the intent is:

In other words, now that Jobs has print media companies in his thrall, he’s taxing them in order to displace rival Adobe.

Playing games, huh? Well, that’s just the beginning.

Analysts believe iAds could make several billion dollars for Apple, and no wonder: Not only is Apple offering to design the ads itself, it just quietly changed the iPhone/iPad rules in such a manner that might cripple its mobile advertising competitors, according to Peter Kafka at All Things D.

But it gets worse!

Remember Apple’s arbitrary and censorship of iPhone app content? It’s carried right through to the iPad; e-magazine distributor Zinio’s app (left) has been barred from loading French Vogue, Maxim and Playboy, among other titles. Which means Apple’s control will grow, should the iPad take off and revolutionize print media as many publishing honchos hope, encompassing not just distribution but content itself.

jobs_big_brotherThis is all about freedom. It’s not simply about freedom to choose what apps you can have on the iPad you paid for, but also the freedom of press and content.

This is why I hope the iPad is a complete failure. The product itself is just fine. What I would hate to see is that Steve Jobs’ iPad succeeds. If it does manage to become the absolute go-to product for the future in content and Apple’s rein over media continues to grow, we will all live under the shadow of Steve Jobs.

Oh the irony of Apple complaining about Microsoft’s anti-trust violations.

Acridsheep commented on Tate’s piece:

Jobs is an expert in destroying industries and creating new behaviors:

1) iPod changed how Americans buy music (though, in fairness, Napster started it). Result – in an industry where revenues were already dramatically shrinking, labels rushed to their knees in front of their savior who turned out to be more Executioner than Messiah;

2) iPhone singlehandedly destroyed all carriers’ ability to claim they are anything but pipe. The oligarchic fiefdom (subsidized devices, content control) they spent untold billions to create was pulled out from under them.

Print is almost certainly next. The question, ultimately, will be if publishers are willing to see the forest through the iPads.


Another commenter, jcjcjc, adds:

This infuriates me. Of the litany of consumer unfriendly practices Apple happily and profitably employs, this controlled distribution model is the most troubling. Why would ANYONE buy something as powerful as an iPhone or iPad if one overlord-style entity has complete control over how they use it? Every cool app that you run on your phone runs just so long as it’s convenient for Apple to let it run.

Want to compete with an existing app? I hope Apple’s distribution model doesn’t favor the old one. Want to use a feature of the phone for something completely new and exciting? Sorry, Apple doesn’t provide an interface for that feature.

The whole "quality assurance" line is complete bullshit. Hardware and software makers were working on the "how to keep this shitty thing from fucking up this nice unrelated thing" problem before Apple Computer even existed — and they’re not going to do any better at it themselves doing app by app evaluation in house.

As this article points out, it’s not just a tech issue. It’s an issue with the way other businesses are being conned into playing by someone else’s rules at the expense of their own customers. Rebel people! Seriously, please rebel.

Pretty much.


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