Buy an iPhone, Kill a Kitten

Wanted: An iPhone Killer. Open Source developers, please apply within.

Perhaps I’m a Luddite, but I’ll probably be the last person on Earth to own an iPod or an iPhone. I realize there’s an entire generation of people with white ear buds practically surgically attached to their ears, but I haven’t bought into the iPod or the iPhone for a whole number of reasons.

First and foremost, I’m a busy guy and I don’t have a hell of a lot of time to sit on iTunes and download music. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, but my playlist comes from decades past — ’60s and ’70s hard rock, funk and disco, with some ’80s and early ’90s alternative in the rotation — and a mix of jazz and classical, so a lot of the new crap out there is totally lost on me. I also have no huge interest in converting my CD collection to the proprietary format of the iPod. Why, I’m perfectly happy listening to my carís Sirius satellite radio, letting disc jockeys tantalize my ears. In my honest opinion, iTunes is a badly architected piece of junk: it’s bloated and crash-prone, especially on Windows.

If you’re a music fan and a Linux user, you’re totally at the mercy of the Open Source community, albeit with solutions that work fairly well, such as Banshee and Amarok. However, no open source solution is supported by Apple. If you don’t own a Mac but own an iPod or an iPhone, you’re pretty much a second- or third-class citizen. I have iTunes installed on my Windows virtual machine because I publish podcasts from my blog, OffTheBroiler.com, but I much prefer the open software packages like Juice Receiver for podcast subscription management. Juice is really cool: it’s open source and multi-platform (it runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux), and is ideally suited for podcast downloading because itís tied into all the third-party podcast directories.

Another thing that totally pisses me off about Apple is that the company treats its developer community like garbage, and there’s no easy way for a small, third-party developer or for the Open Source community to write applications for Apple devices without reverse engineering the product or voiding the warranty.

As an Open Source developer or a hacker, if I was going to own a digital music player or convergence device like the iPhone, I’d want something that was totally open and non-proprietary, yet no one’s cornered that market because all the Linux-based devices that exist right now are clunky and un-sexy. The iPod and iPhone have a huge following because both are sexy.

Truthfully, what I’d like to see is some giant like Cisco — with its consumer electronics subsidiary, Linksys, and set-top box division, Scientific Atlanta — to partner with a commodity mobile phone handset manufacturer like Motorola, Nokia, or Samsung (or all of the above) to create some sort of sexy mass-market consumer-brand digital convergence device. The device would have impressive ’specs:

  • Built in Wi-Fi and peer-to-peer mesh networking to trade songs and videos and other files with people wirelessly, and to directly access the Internet and download music, videos, and software without the use of a PC.

  • A nice screen like the PSP so you can play Internet-aware multiplayer games and watch videos, and an SVGA, full-motion digital video camera on swivel mount (2MP or better), with an integrated stereo microphone, a high quality speaker, and an USB 2.0 connector.

  • 16 GB flash memory with an SD card expansion slot, and a high-capacity, lithium-ion, rechargeable and removable battery pack.

  • A high-speed, 3G cellular phone for calls and digital teleconferencing (with the built in camera), data service when you aren’t within Wi-Fi range, and VOIP integration, like a built-in Skype, with a choice of “unlocked” models that work on any GSM and CDMA/1xrtt 3G cell network you want to use. (No offense AT& T, but Iím happy with my cell provider.)

  • An open source developer toolset based on open source components, so anyone can write applications for it, unlike the iPhone.

  • A great end-user interface that ran on Mac, PC, and Linux desktops, and a sleek, innovative industrial design that would smash the iPod.

Sound nuts? When you have the resources of a Cisco, Motorola, Samsung, or Nokia, who can design and mass produce microprocessors and chipsets and can leverage all sorts of relationships with other companies like Microsoft and Intel, anything is possible. I believe that something like this can be produced for less than $500 and competitive with anything Apple puts out.

Until then, I’m sticking with Sirius and my $50 Razr.

Comments on "Buy an iPhone, Kill a Kitten"


Wow. That was a waste of reading time. We get it – your a hacker – you believe your above everyone else, yada yada…

It’s ok if you don’t want to be a part of Apple’s target consumer market.


I retrogrouched at many friends jonesing for one. I was in NYC on the launch day and didn’t bother. This did not compute with the Apple loyalistas, whatsoeever.

But I was in the city again last week and dropped in to the ATnT store in Union Square waiting for a call and was able to spend about an hour with the device without the barbarian hordes of past weeks.

It is impressive, very impressive (minus the reports that voice quality is poor, no I didn’t make a call). The Google map feature alone is such a handy tool and well integrated. I left convinced that Apple has truly raised the bar, significantly. I’ve not been blown away by a device in a while but it floored me. Bravo Apple.

So did I buy one? Hell no. It doesn’t justify the price tag and this one is the Newton strain of iPhones to come (see December 2007). Maybe then. I’m also hung over from 2 years with Windows Mobile 5 hell on my PPC7600. So I’m looking for some lower complexity in my pocket, one that just makes calls, thank you very much.

I appreciate your ‘call to arms’ above, one I’ve echoed each time I’ve purchased a phone over the past 5 years.

What you might find odd is that the iPhone is going to be our best chance that the powers you mention will strive to meet and beat the new standard Apple has set (voice quality notwithstanding).

I’m sure some fan boy will retort with ‘they’ll never beat Apple, because Steve Jobs is GOD’. Yeah, whatever.


>Another thing that totally pisses me off about Apple is that the company treats its developer community like garbage, and there’s no easy way for a small, third-party developer or for the Open Source community to write applications for Apple devices without reverse engineering the product or voiding the warranty.

They /always/ have. In 1984 I went to Cupertino to get their dev kit. I stood in line for fours hours, filled out more paperwork that it takes to buy a house.. (questions like how long have you been in business ?, How many products do you have ?, How many bug in each product ? etc.) They were trying to ensure that only establisged companies would be writting applications for the Mac. They thought that bad apps would reflect badly on the Mac. i.e. They started out of a garage but wern’t going to let anyone else start-up. The major player that could rise to that bar was Microsoft, and M$ stole their product and their market. Serves them right ! I have never bought an Apple product since 1983 and never will. Nor will I ever develop for any Apple product.


100%, dead-on correct (the article/concept, not the comment from jtp51). The “trick” is that an organization (or consortium of organizations) with substantial resources and broad influence would need to sanction or otherwise organize the myriad vendors required to pull a cohesive set of services together.

Hardware capabilities (i.e. equipment that can deliver the aforementioned capabilities) is probably a lesser concern, but packaging (the sexy design factor) is clearly critical for aggressive consumer adoption. At present, I’d even consider a non-traditional player with too much cash and brain power on hand to be a viable candidate. Perhaps Google as the catalyst/organizer?


“They /always/ have [treated their developer community like garbage]. In 1984 I went to Cupertino to get their dev kit. I stood in line for fours hours, filled out more paperwork that it takes to buy a house….”

Today all you have to do is download it.

What’s wrong with XCode and Apple’s Developer Connection?


I thought the Neo1973 was to be the competition to the iPhone. I don’t understand that you do not mention the Neo. I for one am waiting for the Neo and I’m really looking forward to seeing iPhone users get real disgusted with Apple.


I can tell you something, soon you’ll be able to get a smartphone with a *nix variant on it.


I don’t know or care about about the iPhone, but I have no problems managing my iPod with Amarok. Sure I have to rip to mp3 rather than ogg, big deal.


waste of time reading this article. It was just a gripe fest and the ideas weren’t all that original.

AND where the hell is the dead kitten!?!?


I’m with Thomas, I eagerly await the Neo1973 and I do not understand why the Linux and Open Source community are not more interested/supportive. I have a print subscription to both Linux Magazine and a similar journal, both of which have failed to mention the Neo1973 although I turn directly to the new products section of every new issue hoping.


While I don’t really lean one way or another in this argument (I own and iPod, but not an iPhone, and I have several machines, including Mac, Linux and Windows), I do believe that some credit needs to be given to Apple for pushing the bar. Perhaps their friendliness to developers hasn’t been great, and perhaps they tend to be very proprietary in what they do, but they have consistently delivered paradigm altering devices and software over the years. They don’t necessarily do it best, but they put the new ideas out there for everyone to improve upon. And you have to give their marketing guys credit. They have obviously done a fantastic job with iPod and iPhone hype.


Thanks to hhemken for posting the links to OpenMoko and the GreenPhone. Didn’t know about the latter myself.

Checkout freetheiphone.org and open-letter response to them re: supporting an open source/platform project

But there’s a fundamental problem beneath the iPhones and all-in-one devices issue. Finding Linux-compatible let alone Linux-friendly devices and their patches, work-arounds, and updaters to ensure compatibility is still a royal pain in the behind. Phones, PDAs, media players, whatever. Where’s the online-shopping-mall for all Linux-friendly devices? Where’s the compendium of up-to-date Linux-compatibility reviews? And where’s the loud unified voice outing the companies that make vapor-promises for Linux-compatibility and standards compliance, never delivering? Linux Mag? Linux Journal? Tux? Anyone care to step-up?

While the developers are getting the competition for the iPhone right, how about some infrastructure for supporting these products when they come out? We can start with regular old cellphones, ’cause where goes my short-lived battery, whither goes my address book.


The OpenMoko / Neo1973 is where it’s at. If the author was unaware of it, what is his opinion now that he is aware?

Any lack of support in the FOSS community is likley due to the fact the phone isn’t in production yet. I’m really excited about, but I wouldn’t publish a feature article or anything until it came out of vapor status.


I’m confused, The title said something about killing kittens.

This article is also peppered with incorrect information.

iPod/iTunes doesn’t have a proprietary audio format, It runs on .mp3

Also since iTunes 7x has been out, The complaints of crashes and lockups has gone down dramatically. Unless of course you are running iTunes on a bootlegged copy of WindowsX running on some chopped up re-complied version of *nix.

While I do agree that Apple needs to embrace the opensource community and support 3rd party apps and plugins, there are tons of applications out there that already offer modifications to your iPod. Just google ‘Hack My iPod’ there are over 100,000 results that help you do anything from retrieving the music from your iPod, to changing the graphics on it.

I have to admit this article was a pretty dull read.

The specs on the imaginary Cisco phone could do with some upgrading also. An SD expansion slot? why not a Floppy Drive. My new LG phone just barley bigger than an SD card. MicroSD has a cap of 2gb now but they will be pushing the 8-10gb if not larger by the time your dream phone is conceived.

With all the functional features you are talking about the phone would be the size of a Apple Newton and the battery would be a tight fit into a small suitcase.

While I am very PRO OPEN SOURCE (I unlike the author will not plug my website(s) here)
I don’t believe that the non-open source community is ready for this type of device yet.

You are forgetting that the general population still thinks the switch on their monitor shuts off the whole computer.


Everytime I visit the US, I feel sorry for the consumers here. This is THE most advanced country in the world, 90% of the top 20 University on planet earth is based here. Yet, the few major corp. controls the type and level of technology to sell to the enduser. In 1997, I bought an AT&T wireless phone, it was on the PCI or some odd network. But the rest of Asia and Europe has adopted GSM technology and are on the 900Mhz bandwidth then. Almost all the phones manufactured by the top 2 (Nokia & Motorola) can be used anywhere in the world, all you got to do is change the SIM card. However, 10 years later, only the US (and maybe some 4th world country) service providers LOCK their GSM phone. So if you are to travel to Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, or Europe, you can’t bring your phone alone (unless it is unlocked). But the rest of the world travellers (myself included) can just step off the airport, dropped by the nearest Wallsgreen or T-Mobile phone shops, and buy a $50 pre-paid phone card, pop in the SIM card, and wah lah.

So, you think the iPhone is the most advanced? Check out this link: http://event.asus.com/2006/mobile/p535/en/index.html

and also check out the Hewlette Packard iPAQ PDA phones. All of this devices has touch screen capability, wifi, bluetooth 2.0, GPS, GSM tri-band, has expansion slot for SD memory, SKYPE calling, IP-camera viewing, etc. etc., just drop by any electronic hubs in one of the major asian cities (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong), and you’ll find third world asian poking away at their PDAs everywhere, and people wearing bluetooth headset like it’s the Asian version of iPod.

So while I’m typing this on my PDA phone, I can just open another window on my Winblows Mobile browser and view a video of my office, which is fitted with and IP-camera (D-Link). So take that Apple & AT&T, stop trying to tell people this is THE technology! Only if the HP has the budget to market their PDAs like Apples.

It’s like watching Spaceship One going orbital, didn’t Neil Armstrong walked on the moon? What’s the big deal about some rich company developing a plane that can go sub-space? Try shoot it to Mars then I’ll be more impressed.


That ASUS device looks pretty cool. Pitty it is running WinblowsMobile. Because of that it’ll never be an option for me.

I don’t own an iPod, probably never will. I do have an mp3 player, a cheap $20 128MB device I bought that I occasionally use for listening to podcasts. The iPhone looks cool, but I will probably never own one of those as well. I have a phone and it does all I need it to, it makes phone calls. My phone is out of contract now and I have been looking for a replacement, but in my opinion the choice in normalish phones is pretty dismal, no real reason to purchase another one.


And where’s the loud unified voice outing the companies that make vapor-promises for Linux-compatibility and standards compliance, never delivering? Linux Mag? Linux Journal? Tux? Anyone care to step-up?

Its called MLI (Mobile Linux Initiative) and the mainstream phone-providers and chip-makers are all supporting it.
Its part of the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL … now re-named “Linux Foundation” … the place where Linux Torvalds works)

More here: http://www.linux-foundation.org/en/Mobile_Linux

And, as others have mentioned, the OpenMoko project is a good start. Now its time to stop whining and start writing those killer apps!!! :)


Oh, btw, wheres the kitten?


Umm… The iPod’s default audio format isn’t proprietary… It’s a standard… See:


“The OpenMoko / Neo1973 is where it’s at. If the author was unaware of it, what is his opinion now that he is aware?”

I’m aware of it. However, I have yet to actually see one in the flesh (well, that’s not exactly true — I saw an OpenMoko at UbuntuCon this year, but only for a few seconds) or a Qtopia Green Phone, or a Motorola Razr V3, or anything else yet. So I’m tempering my comments until I’ve actually had an opportunity to use one.

I -have- used an iPhone.


What a stupid article. Your are as poor a critic as you are ignorant. AAC audio contained in a mpeg4 container… propietary? Do some research man! Have you heard of Rockbox, a very versatile open source firmware for the iPod hardware? Do you know what the term firmware means? Just because you just don’t get it, doesn’t mean you should stomp all over it. Good grief, I’m about ready to unsubscribe from this tripe.



I am aware of Rockbox. In fact, I talked about it a bit in an On The Desktop column about podcasting:


However, the second you put it on your iPod, you void its warranty. So its not exactly a solution that your average consumer is willing to entertain.

I will admit that the MP4 AAC audio standard is a published Fraunhoefer specification that is -intended- as the future replacement for MP3. However, it is not exactly MP3. You need specialized codecs to play it a PC independent of iTunes, which you need to install 3rd party, whereas virtually every OS and device out there supports MP3 natively. And you can forget playing MP4 AAC on your average MP3 capable device that -isn’t- an iPod. Certainly, the Palm can play them, certain models of the Sandisk Sansa can play them, Nokia phones can play them, and the very latest and greatest Blackberry can play them, but for the preponderance of non-iPod devices out there, no.

And I’m sorry, but DRM is just a plain sucky, anti Open concept to begin with, so I’m quite happy with plain ‘ol MP3 and Ogg Vorbis until something much better comes along that is equally open.


I don’t understand all this fuzz against Apple. Are you an hacker ? don’t buy an iPod. Are you a fashion victim ? go for it.
You probably misunderstood what Apple sells: fashion, not technology.
You wont buy a pair of Gucci because they last in time, isn’t it ? You’d probably buy a pair of Timberland or worker shoes if this is what you are looking for. And you may also save a lot of money ;)


I have a device for you to check out..the Nokia n800. It is Linux based, has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a nice wide screen, media player and with the latest firmware release supports Skype and up to 16gb using SC-HC cards (2 – 1 beside the the battery and one outside both are easily hot swappable). There is a large and growing open-source community providing add-on software support and development tools for the product. The suggested price is $399USD but I got mine for just over 300usd on EBay back in April

Here are the Europe, US and Canada web site witht eh full product descriptions.



I was a little unclear and made a typo above please don’t flame me :)

the memory capacity is 16gb using two 8gb SD-HC cards.

And I also want to add that since getting this device it has all but replaced my laptop. It goes everywhere with me even when I would not bring the laptop in the past.



Thank you for the response. It seems I misjudged your knowledge on the subject. I own an iPod and use Rockbox. I was unaware that installing it on the iPod voided the warranty. It is easily removed by restoring the original bootsector or by reformatting the iPod using iTunes. I suppose if the device failed while Rockbox was installed and I sent it to Apple for repair under warranty they would have a case not to fix it, although I think they might since they have a good reputation for support.

I like Rockbox. It allows me to use Vorbis and has many options and “toys” to play with. Also, It is easier to manage from my Linux box, than Apple’s firmware.

I also use a tiny Samsung YP-U2J music player because it plays Vorbis as well.

Even though I wanted it when I first saw the iPod, I avoided it because of my bias against Apple, Mr. Jobs, the company’s closed door policy, etc. Nonetheless, fashionable or not, pretty or not, the iPod is good piece of hardware. I recognized that and bought one.

I also bought one BECAUSE it plays AAC. At least AAC is a good audio codec, on par with Vorbis, and an industry standard, i.e. DVD-HD and Blueray (don’t get me started on that whole mess). But what does every other digital music player on the planet support? MP3 and yes, possibly the crappiest sounding, usually DRM infested, audio codec I’ve ever heard, Windows Media Audio.

I am definitely with you… DRM stinks and was a bad idea from its inception. Even Mr. Jobs, whom I am not fan, knows that as he has been trying to convince the RIAA to get away from it.

Ok, Now I am just writing just to admire what I have written, so carry on… and have a nice day.


I applaud the authors call to arms for a more open source friendly all-in-one personal mobile device; however, as stated in previous comments many of his arguments about the IPhone and the IPod are incorrect. While I will not be purchasing an IPhone anytime soon, anyone who has had the opportunity to play with one has to admit that it is a quantum leap in terms of usability. The touch scrolling, and intuitive interface had me drooling at the mouth. That being said, I am excited to see what happens with OpenMoko and the Neo1973.


That device description sounds a lot like the GP2X, all except the 3G cellular part.


Re, the “kitten”:

There was an Internet meme a few years ago that originated with photo of a kitten prancing in a field with the caption “Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten”.


So this is my smart-ass way of telling you that if you’re a Linux and Open Source advocate and you buy into the entire iPhone craze, you’re doing the community a disservice.


Interesting article. Have you looked at the Nokia N800 as a platform to do an open source phone, and music source? It’s already running Skype, runs Rhapsody, and if Google is able to do it’s bit and get the FCC to invoke the Carterfone ruling on the cellular airways, we should see a totally different environment.

Another point raised by Fahrad Manjoo a machinist.salon.com is that apparently a big part of the initial iPod craze was speculators buying up units with the intent of reselling them on e-Bay. That idea apparently not such a good one.



I have used a N800. It’s a nice device, but of course, it requires a bluetooth connection to a phone to provide phone functionality and cellular data service. It also is somewhat awkward to use, its better as a webpad type device for vertical market field data collection applications than as a digital convergence platform.


YOU SIR are who is doing the community a disservice. I’m not offended by the masterbation / kitten death joke but what poor taste for what I thought was a professional grade publication. While I might agree with some of your points buried deep within the B.S., all this anti-capitalist, anti-pop-culture, anti-closed-source, anti-non-free-software does not help Linux or the open source community, or free software. This is the kind of stuff that ticks me off about the Linux community in general and I hate to see it in a magazine that is supposed to be helpful to fans, users, and potential users of Linux. It has got to stop. I am unsubscribing from this newsletter.


Mr Cornett:

The meme from the kitten in the field picture may have started with a joke about masturbation, but it branched out to many different things over the years. The crux of the joke — and what I tried to convey — is that using an iPhone and buying in to its proprietary, completely closed architecture and Apple’s long standing “not invented here” philosophy damages the viability of a Open Source equivalent, which would be better for everyone involved. I will also note that the word “masturbation” — which is a clinical term — did not once appear in that entire article.

I am at heart a Capitalist and someone who likes to make money. However, it is possible to produce a product that is based on Open Source technologies, that is easily extensible by entry level 3rd party developers and also makes money. Case in point — The TiVo.


I submitted this article to Digg because the discussion in the comments keeps drawing me back. And I applaud Jason for following on and mixing it up out here, naysayers and critics be damned!

A few points on review of the article and the thread:
1) I’m an iPod user (got a video iPod as a gift, and I really dig it! – thanks bro!) and I used to barely get by using it with amaroK. With the scattered info out there for setting it up, plus my own fragmented knowledge about driver conflicts/config/etc. I gave up trying to keep it synced with my Ubuntu desktop. And when my old Linux-based (Suse) laptop burnt out and I got a new one, I (insert cringe here) kept M$ on it so I could enjoy my iPod’s full functionality. Not for lack of Open Source hackers trying though. I put the blame squarely on Apple, which in OS X has shamefully capitalized on the work done on BeOS by the Open Source community and hasn’t the shred of decency or consideration to support the very same in using nor spreading the use of their killer-app/gadget. At the risk of sounding anti-corporate, if someone spits in my face, far be it for me to thank them and shake their hand, so bravo to anyone telling Jobs and his ilk to go screw.

2) Interesting, Jason that you mentioned Cisco as a potential contributor to the Open Source convergence gadget development. I say so because Cisco filed a lawsuit back in January ’07 for infringement on their iPhone trademark. To me, here’s a perfect example of where the capitalist ethic should kick in. Develop something as good or better (in features if not features AND design), make it available to everyone (cellular network and OS agnostic) at a lower price point. Then sit back an watch your competition squirm. If only companies in this country believed in the true spirit of capitalism instead of belly-aching about federal regulations while cupping their hands for more federal subsidies and tax breaks.

3) Apple has shaken up the gadget game with the iPhone in the way it’s shaken up the technology game since the introduction of the first Mac. Upping the stakes for aesthetics. And perhaps as shallow as this seems, Apple’s attention to user accessibility in technical and consumer market meaning makes what we do in technology more widely available. This remains laudable, and as an Open Source user and staunch advocate, I have no shame whatsoever in praising them for this. It’s just their closed-source/closed-box practices which have continued to keep them running second to Microsoft on the software/OS front that makes me gnash my teeth in the face of all they do so well. As if there weren’t the dead bones of DEC and Wang and the stinky decaying carcass of IBM to warn them that theirs is no longer the path to follow. Makes my inner Napoleon Dynamite cry out, “Idiots! GOSH!!!”

4) Finally, I go back to my previous comment about devices and Linux-compatibility. When I saw The Simpsons movie earlier today (hysterical!!) and had to sit through all those goddamned commercials, the one that annoyed me in particular was the silliness where the narrator asks you if you didn’t wish when you were little that you could have a little magic screen go with you everywhere and entertain you. No. I actually wished I had a jet pack. Or a flying car. Or maybe a wrist-phone like Dick Tracy. But that’s only if the jet packs were on back order. This is to say that the all-in-one device though potentially convenient is not, I hope to God, the end-all-be-all of our technological triumphs. Frankly, nothing so far has beaten the high I felt 10 years ago when I first found out there was a free, volunteer developed and supported operating system called Linux. Well, maybe when I heard about biodiesel, but that doesn’t really count since that technology was developed when Diesel first developed his engine. These days, I dream of connecting my phone to my computer without having to buy a $50 “data accessories” kit. And I’d like to do so going back to my Linux box full time, saying bye-bye to Microsoft. I’d like to do the same with my PDA, my mobile media gadget, and with my jet pack when one of those eventually comes along. And I don’t care if it’s running Pocket Linux, Pocket Windows, Pocket Mac, or Pocket Java. As long as it will sync with desktop/laptop Linux, we’re cool. And if the devices I have can’t do it, I want an up to date list, catalog, or store of devices that can. Don’t make me go out there and build one, ’cause believe me I will!


I will finally be satisfied when my mobile phone of any make/model reliably makes/receives calls. Until then…


Do they actually pay this IDIOT to write this CRAP???


I too continue coming back to view the comments on this one. it seems that Jason struck a chord with a lot of people Both a good one and a bad one, but chord non the less. Kudos on mentioning TiVo, an excellent example of an OpenSource platform being utilized in a very positive way. However, look at the many of “TiVo Like” commercial boxes that have been spawned from that. Comcast, RCN, ProLog are the three cable companies in my area an they all have a box that is by far below TiVo’s level of service and technology. People are buying it and paying for it because they either do not know about TiVo or do not understand the difference.

This goes back to my original final statement. Until people understand that the monitor switch on the computer does NOT turn the control the computer itself, we will have a hard time convincing them that OpenSource is a good thing.


My first impression after reading the original article was that it was a waste of time and not a very good article.

But after reading the responses, I think that if an article can illicit that kind of responses, then it must be good. It got people thinking (and writing). The information contained in the responses was extremely informative and I learned a lot from those comments. Any article that can do that, is ok in my book.


The article is pretty much all true. Anyone who says they think the writer is an idiot is obviously a threatened Apple fan boy. Apple USED to have a good thing back when the first Apples came out. After that, they only survived by using their brain washing techniques on the easily susceptible. Making something with pleasing esthetics that would appeal to people, 90% of which want to believe they can “Think Different”.

They’ve had misleading commercials for years. In an effort to show their simplicity they’d often show a computer that had nothing plugged in for example. Usually young teens in school fall for this. It’s also the reason they push their tech to universities etc. Going on, they’ve had some of their TV ads pulled for being deceptive. In one particular one they said their processor was the fastest when it wasn’t. Once you sit back and observe the mentality of the marketing behind Apple it becomes to clear that they are and have always been a desperate company that tries to sucker who ever they can. I almost feel bad to state the truth, but that’s what it is.

Then when it all starts to fall apart they put the processor they used to make fun of in their own computers, namely Intel. From the CPU to the USB ports, to the bus, memory etc. There is really nothing different other than their software which if it were to ever become popular would be hacked into a million pieces by virus writers in no time.

They there’s the fact that since most of their following aren’t knowledgeable enough to understand that MP3′s are where it started, they convert everything into Apples proprietary format which causes all kinds of problems. You can actually lose your own rights unless all you do is buy a new song every week. And then it’s still possible to get screwed by Apple if you are not really careful. Believe me. Apple isn’t there to make using music easy.

And because they advertise to “smug” people, they get their nose up in the air and become Apple snobs. Oh, I could go on, and on and on.


wow. LM gets worse all the time.


I’d say that J.P. is engaging in FUD. It’s a subtle FUD largely built on omission but FUD all the same. I am neither Apple fanboy nor MS apologist, just calling as I see it. These tactics do FOSS great injustise IMO. You give the impression that NO Linux -based Cells/Smartphones exist (obviously not the case, as noted in preceding comments. Critizising iPods by misrepresenting codec support and not acknowloging Open-Source efforts like RockBox and iPodLinux; fireware that will convert your pod (and
other DAPs) into Vorbis and FLAC compatible. In fact
15 codecs in all.
FOSS or just lackluster writing? Whatever it is,
I’m seeing more and more of it and LM and am seriously considering ending my subscription.


agreed bevil hive.

it’s one thing to critique a product, and even highlight it’s short comings, but an article that is made up mostly of fiction and/or FUD opinions is not something I wish to see in an FOSS based magazine/webzine.

Does LM have an editing department? I would hope than someone who read this article before it was published would have seen the blatant errors (ipod proprietary files, etc..) and pulled this article or at least advised that it should be corrected before publishing it.


Jobs is a visionary, and many of his ideas have shaped how we lived, whether you agree with his approach or not. He may have stolen the GUI idea from Xerox and had it stolen from him by Gates, but he introduced it to us, the world. His iPod created the digital music industry from nothing, an industry that was much more viable than the dying CD retail market and the piracy-based Napster. The iPhone has raised the bar for all wireless carriers and cell phone manufacturers. And, oh yeah, there’s Pixar, and the whole 3D cartoon animation industry it spawned. So I guess acknowledging these accomplishments makes me a fan boy or whatever the nomenclature is. You guys sit around saying it needs to be this code or that code, or it needs to be Open Source, running on any network, etc. Technologies change every year. Ideas, creativity and vision are much more longterm. To say that Apple is fashion is to miss the forest for the trees. If some of the writers here were a little more outside the box, they wouldn’t have to count their pennies so much when deciding to buy an iPhone. Their superior intellect would have made them wealthy enough that they could care less whether the iPhone was $600 or $400 or $50. They would just be able to recognize that another era in communication standards had been ushered in. Six months from now maybe everyone will be clammering for a NEO and then six months beyond that, some other leapfrog product, but the rules all just changed with the iPhone. If you don’t see that, your eyes are closed.


I am confused. Why is this article and all the comments dated July to September of 2007. Is it really that old? What is it doing in the last email Linux Mag sent me? Any enlightenment here???


Ain\’t gonna happen, Jason! Open source is dead in multimedia and wireless until the free-as-in-freedom folks realize they can\’t stop corporations with lots of cash from developing proprietary standards, trademarks, DRM schemes, patents, and other forms of intellectual property. Intellectual property *defines* a business. See Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.

Now, if you want to organize for an amendment to the Constitution, go ahead, but if you just want to bitch about the way the world works, as far as I\’m concerned you\’re wasting your time.


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