aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Americans smoke more than Europeans
They report that about 17 percent of European adults are obese, compared with around a third of American adults. In addition, 53 percent of adult Americans are either former or current smokers, compared with 43 percent of those in Europe. American adults were also more likely than Europeans to have heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease—all associated with obesity and/or smoking.
Maybe this explains it:
Via Eating Liberally.
Overriding the SCHIP veto
ABC News/WaPo asked last weekend, ”Do you support or oppose this increased funding for this program?”
Now Democrats have begun a SCHIP veto override campaign that needs 15 to 20 votes from House Republicans. Or Bush Dog dems:
If they are successful in flipping five to 10 Republicans in the next week or two, the real pressure will likely fall on the eight Democrats who voted against the program, almost all of whom represent rural conservative districts: Reps. David Boren (Okla.), Betty Castor (Fla.), Bobby Etheridge (N.C.), Baron Hill (Ind.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), and Gene Taylor (Miss.).
I’m wondering what we can do to get Marshall to switch. And if we can get support in that effort from the DCCC. Like, for example, finding out what that support number (above) would be in Marshall’s district?
LATER, via Amy Morton:
Sign the online petition or send an email
Call or fax him:
DC: (202) 225-6531
Fax: (202) 225-3013
Macon: (478) 464-0255Fax: (478) 464-0277
The future is ignoring things
Writing at Internet Evolution, Cory Doctorow says that computers have long helped us remember; it’s time, now, for them to help us ignore:
Take email: Endless engineer-hours are poured into stopping spam, but virtually no attention is paid to our interaction with our non-spam messages. Our mailer may strive to learn from our ratings what is and is not spam, but it expends practically no effort on figuring out which of the non-spam emails are important and which ones can be safely ignored, dropped into archival folders, or deleted unread.
For example, I’m forever getting cc’d on busy threads by well-meaning colleagues who want to loop me in on some discussion in which I have little interest. Maybe the initial group invitation to a dinner (that I’ll be out of town for) was something I needed to see, but now that I’ve declined, I really don’t need to read the 300+ messages that follow debating the best place to eat.
I could write a mail-rule to ignore the thread, of course. But mail-rule editors are clunky, and once your rule-list grows very long, it becomes increasingly unmanageable. Mail-rules are where bookmarks were before the bookmark site del.icio.us showed up—built for people who might want to ensure that messages from the boss show up in red, but not intended to be used as a gigantic storehouse of a million filters, a crude means for telling the computers what we don’t want to see.
Rael Dornfest, the former chairman of the O’Reilly Emerging Tech conference and founder of the startup AskSandy, once proposed an “ignore thread” feature for mailers: Flag a thread as uninteresting, and your mailer will start to hide messages with that subject-line or thread-ID for a week, unless those messages contain your name. The problem is that threads mutate. Last week’s dinner plans become this week’s discussion of next year’s group holiday. If the thread is still going after a week, the messages flow back into your inbox—and a single click takes you back through all the messages you missed.
We need a million measures like this, adaptive systems that create a gray zone between “delete on sight” and “show this to me right away.”
I used to argue that intelligence is a construct, and that computers have changed the construct. Where once the educational process emphasized first retention and only later synthesis, now we can skip the retention part. No more need for memorizing times tables.
Cory describes another cognitive impact:
I can’t read all my email. I can’t read every item posted to every site I like. I certainly can’t plough through the entire edit-history of every Wikipedia entry I read. I’ve come to grips with this—with acquiring information on a probabilistic basis, instead of the old, deterministic, cover-to-cover approach I learned in the offline world.
It’s as though there’s a cognitive style built into TCP/IP. Just as the network only does best-effort delivery of packets, not worrying so much about the bits that fall on the floor, TCP/IP users also do best-effort sweeps of the Internet, focusing on learning from the good stuff they find, rather than lamenting the stuff they don’t have time to see.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Let’s demand REAL justice
Too many of our movements today want to dismiss, minimize, or overlook the necessity for a racial justice movement to prioritize organizing around criminal justice. Too often, our members meet others—even those who should be allies—who hold the entrenched belief that if a child is in prison, he must be “bad,” he must have done something wrong. Even in progressive circles, organizations prefer to focus on the school children who need an education, the families who want affordable housing, the victims of street violence and drive-by shootings. These people are portrayed as “innocent” and deserving while currently and formerly incarcerated people are “guilty”—of something.
Of course, it’s a false dichotomy. Everyone knows that the same communities, the same people, who are most impacted by violence, the lack of health care, education, and housing are those most brutally impacted by policing and prisons. But the idea of the dichotomy has been essential to maintaining the stigma which justifies the system. And it’s been a handy and effective tool to explain away a great deal of racial injustice in this country.
In Jena, when asked about the incident which led to the arrests of the Jena 6, a white librarian confidently explained to the NPR reporter, “It’s not about race. It’s about crime.” Crime—the ultimate proxy for race, the ultimate justification for racism.
What to do about it:
[W]hat we fight for and how we fight will make all the difference. The most obvious principle is that we cannot fight for the system to expand—in any way. Asking for the white kids who hung the nooses to be charged, calling for Hate Crime Legislation—these “solutions” just strengthen the system and give the same players—the D.A., the judge, the jury—more powers and more validation. If we understand that the system, at its core, is not designed to promote justice, then why would we ask for anything that expands its reach or powers? At the very least, we must call only for things which shrink the system—closing prisons, freeing prisoners, cutting correction budgets, eliminating the death penalty and Life Without Parole, prohibiting juvenile transfers, and implementing sentencing reform.
We can also call for accountability from our elected officials. D.A.s and judges who perpetuate injustice, state representatives who are in bed with the corrections department and private prison companies—these people should not be allowed to hold office. They should be ousted whether by recall, regular elections, or public pressure to step down.
I’m with you Xochitl!
I’d like to see progressives take up the issue of willful prosecutors with the same zeal - and achieve the same degree of success - as the Right has with its attack on “activist” judges.
Chris Matthews to Jon Stewart: You’re Zell Miller!
It certainly was in the same league with his now-famous attack on Tucker Carlson, but Matthews held his own.
I completely agree with Stewart’s point, but by the end of it Tweety holding his own won me over - not to his point, mind you, but it actually occurred to me that he may have written his own book. And Stewart may actually have read it. Rare in the book tour world…
For all his Clinton bashing I thought Matthews had the Hillary laugh.
Jack Kingston’s 1st Amendment
Here’s Republican Rep. Jack Kingston telling MSNBC why Democrats are wrong to criticize Rush Limbaugh for his “phony soldiers” remark:
“Frankly, I think there’s a First Amendment issue that goes well beyond Rush Limbaugh, and that’s the right of private citizens to have discourse without the U.S. Congress or members of the Senate leadership denouncing them.”
Kingston voted last week in favor of a resolution condemning MoveOn for its Petraeus/"Betray Us” ad.
You’ll recall Jack introduced a resolution “Commending” Rush Limbaugh
Apple market-share is up
It’s not all iBricks and lawsuits for Apple these days. On Monday, the Cupertino company actually registered two market share gains in one day. A new study revealed that Apple’s global share of the PC market rose to 6.6 percent in September (up from 4.7 percent in the same month last year), while new data from NetApplications also suggests that Safari is making impressive headway in the browser market as well.
While Safari has remained the third place for years now—always behind Internet Explorer and Firefox—this marks the first time the browser has captured more than a 5 percent market share, according to NetApplications.
I like Safari, I just wish it worked better. It’s a memory hog that hangs and crashes (yes, crashes) and generally makes my computing life miserable. My habit is to always use two browsers.
Firefox is terrific, forget IE and Camino has some features I dislike.
Via The Last Minute.
RIAA money-losing anti-fan lawsuits
The next line of questioning was how many suits the RIAA has filed so far. Pariser estimated the number at a “few thousand.” “More like 20,000,” suggested Toder. “That’s probably an overstatement,” Pariser replied. She then made perhaps the most startling comment of the day. Saying that the record labels have spent “millions” on the lawsuits, she then said that “we’ve lost money on this program.”
The RIAA’s settlement amounts are typically in the neighborhood of $3,000-$4,000 for those who settle once they receive a letter from the music industry. On the other side of the balance sheet is the amount of money paid to SafeNet (formerly MediaSentry) to conduct its investigations, and the cash spent on the RIAA’s legal team and on local counsel to help with the various cases. As Pariser admitted under oath today, the entire campaign is a money pit.
Individualized watermarks are bad businesss
Alex Halderman calls it a blunt antipiracy tool and a bad bet for the content industry. Amazon was wise not to use it:
Last week Amazon.com launched a DRM-free music store. It sells tracks from two major labels and many independents in the unprotected MP3 file format. In addition to being DRM-free, Amazon’s songs are not individually watermarked. This is an important step forward for the music industry.
Some content companies see individualized watermarks as a consumer-friendly alternative to DRM. Instead of locking down files with restrictive technology, individualized watermarking places information in them that identifies the purchasers, who could conceivably face legal action if the files were publicly shared. Apple individually watermarks DRM-free tracks sold on iTunes, but every customer who purchases a particular track from Amazon receives the exact same file. The company has stated as much, and colleagues and I confirmed this by buying a small number of files with different Amazon accounts and verifying that they were bit-for-bit identical. (As Wired reports, some files on Amazon’s store have been watermarked by the record labels, but each copy sold contains the same mark. The labels could use these marks to determine that a pirated track originated from Amazon, but they can’t trace a file to a particular user.)
Individualized watermarks give purchasers an incentive not to share the files they buy, or so the theory goes, but, like DRM, even if watermarking does reduce copyright infringement, that doesn’t necessarily mean it makes business sense. Watermarks create legal risks even for customers who don’t engage in file sharing, because the files might still become publicly available due to software misconfigurations or other security breaches. These risks add to the effective cost of buying music for legitimate purchasers, who will buy less as a result.
The difference in risk between a customer who chooses to share purchased files and one who does not is ultimately determined by computer security issues that are outside the content industry’s control. Aside from users who are caught red-handed sharing the files, who can be sued even without watermarks, infringers and noninfringers will share a multitude of plausible defenses. Their songs might have been copied by spyware. (If watermarking becomes widespread, spyware authors will probably target watermarked files, uploading them to peer to peer networks without users’ knowledge.) They might have been leaked from a discarded hard drive or backup tape, or recovered from a stolen laptop or iPod. The industry will need to fight such claims in order to bring suit against actual infringers, leaving noninfringers to worry that they could face the same fate regardless of their good intentions.
More on Amazon’s Digital Music Store from the NYTimes.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
From SÃƒÂ£o Paulo, Brazil via NewTeeVee, “the can of spray paint is not the only way to tag a wall...”
There ought to be a law… one month later
You’ll remember I bought a 32” flat panel HDTV for under $500? That price included a $50 rebate. Look at the date (for those who don’t want to bother with the clickthrough, May 27, 2007). Here’s the status right now:
If not that, then how about that vendors must publish a promised by date?
To those of you who say these obligations are heavy-handed government intrusion that will kill the practice of rebates I answer: SO BE IT!
Emory: we spend more because we’re less healthy
Costly diseases, many of them related to obesity and smoking, are more prevalent among aging Americans than their European peers and add as much as $100 billion to $150 billion a year in treatment costs to the U.S. healthcare tab, a new study says.
The study by researchers at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health found higher rates of several serious diseases—including cancer, diabetes and heart disease—among Americans 50 and older as compared with aging Europeans. [...]
Thorpe said the findings suggested that “we spend more on healthcare because we are, indeed, less healthy.”
The study has implications for the continuing debate over healthcare reform and attempts to illustrate the economic consequences of lifestyle choices often viewed as intensely personal.
Does the Emory study mean that Americans are actually sicker than Europeans, or that their illnesses are more likely to be diagnosed and treated? Both, the authors said. [...]
The U.S. healthcare system—driven by when and how providers get paid—does not promote prevention or effective and efficient disease management, Thorpe said.
Instead, he said, “We wait for people to get sick. They show up. We treat them. And doctors and hospitals get paid. That’s not a very good way for managing disease.”
The Emory study compared 2004 data on disease rates among adults 50 and older in the U.S. and in a group of European countries: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Via Cactus at Angry Bear:
The U.S. healthcare system—driven by when and how providers get paid—does not promote prevention or effective and efficient disease management...
The thing about markets… they provide motivations and constraints. Outcomes are usually predictable. If you want to change the outcomes, you have to change the motivations and constraints. Sometimes, in order to do that, you have to change the entire market, perhaps replacing it with a completely different one.
Erik Prince, CEO, Blackwater
TPM is looking closely at military security contractors in Iraq. Josh Marshall on the CEO of Blackwater:
Blackwater CEO Erik Prince goes to Capitol Hill to testify before Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) House Government Reform and Oversight committee [today]. One issue that’s got our attention about Blackwater is the firm’s ability to leapfrog a number of much older and well-established US firms in Iraq. And that’s got us interested in Prince’s Republican political credentials.
Along those lines, a few details about Prince to help frame [the] hearing.
Erik Prince is 37 years old. He founded Blackwater in 1997 with money he inherited from his father, Edgar Prince, the head of Prince Automative. The elder Prince and his wife were major Republican and conservative activists and funders. And Prince himself co-founded The Family Research Council with Gary Bauer and apparently provided the key early funding for the group.
According to Bauer, “I can say without hesitation that, without Ed and Elsa and their wonderful children, there simply would not be a Family Research Council.” [...]
Back in 1990 Prince interned for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). Blackwater’s lobbyist in DC is Paul Behrends, a former Rohrabacher aide who he met when the two worked for the congressman. Later he interned in the first Bush White House. But after doing so, he and his father broke with President Bush and supported the insurgent candidacy of Patrick J. Buchanan.
The then-22 year old Prince told the Grand Rapids Press, “I interned with the Bush administration for six months. I saw a lot of things I didn’t agree with—homosexual groups being invited in, the budget agreement, the Clean Air Act, those kind of bills. I think the administration has been indifferent to a lot of conservative concerns.”
In addition to running Blackwater Prince also serves on the board of Christian Freedom International.
Salon has a list of Blackwater luminaries with their professional—and political—resumes, including Prince, and a piece on how the 160,000 contractors have shattered the United States’ moral authority and its ability to win the nation’s wars.
Georgia Tech says we’re ready to care. Endgadget:
While we greatly appreciate the research done by the fine folks over at Georgia Tech, we can’t exactly say that we’re shocked to hear that Roomba owners (in particular) actually care about their vacuums. In a study revolving around the intricacies in human-robot relationships, gurus found that “some Roomba owners became deeply attached to the robotic vacuums and that there was a measure of public readiness to accept additional robots in the house—even flawed ones.”
Neuroscientists recently found a collection of brain cells called mirror neurons, which become activated in two different contexts: when someone performs an activity and when someone watches another person perform the same activity. Mirror-neuron activation is thought to be the root of such basic human drives as imitation, learning and empathy. Now it seems that mirror neurons fire not only when watching a person but also when watching a humanoid robot. Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, reported last year that brain scans of people looking at videos of a robotic hand grasping things showed activity in the mirror neurons. The work is preliminary, but it suggests something that people in the M.I.T. robotics labs have already seen: when these machines move, when they direct their gaze at you or lean in your direction, they feel like real creatures.
Monday, October 01, 2007
A Flashy Ubuntu
Programmers have released the first beta version of Ubuntu Linux with new flash technology--in two senses of the term.
First, Ubuntu is finally following leading Linux versions from Red Hat and Novell that include snazzy 3D graphics in the user interface. Specifically, the version 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” beta uses Compiz Fusion, software that uses OpenGL graphics technology to make windows transparent, map desktops to the faces of a cube, let windows wobble as if made of JELL-O or zoom them for quick magnification. Various 3D effects can be downloaded and plugged in. Some folks find this eye candy to be a CPU-sucking annoyance, but Mac OS X and Windows Vista have it, and a lot of enthusiasts find it an engaging domain.
Personally, I’ve only toyed with the 3D effects and haven’t been won over, but I think it could provide an important foundation for more revolutionary interface changes.
Second, the beta version includes a preview version of Gnash, an open-source incarnation of Adobe Systems’ Flash software for animations and video streaming. It’s still in development and “not yet fully supported by Ubuntu,” but it brings some Flash support to those who want to move fully to 64-bit software.
Dean Johnson Dead
Back in the day I was a big Dean and the Weenies fan, and could be found at a Rock and Roll Fag Bar party from time to time. Dean’s dead. May he rest in peace:
Over the weekend, news came via sketchy emails that New York downtown legend Dean Johnson had died in, of all places, Washington DC, possibly with a companion. (Know more? Please comment.) It’s very sad news; he wasn’t just an important, exciting figure on the ‘80s club scene, he was a dear friend, and we miss him madly. He was six-and-a-half-feet tall and weighed only slightly more than the boom box that accompanied his early performances before he formed the bands Dean and the Weenies and, later, the Velvet Mafia. He was a poet, a porn star (his johnson was as big as Wisconsin), a songwriter, a singer, Rock ‘n’ Roll Fag Bar creator, and a keen observer, champion, and critic of the scene he was vibrantly a part of. The son of a minister, Johnson had lived in Boston until he was eight, then grew up in the suburbs where for 10 years he watched television, skipped classes, and took drugs. At 18, he moved to New York and attended NYU film school. He wanted to be a screenwriter. And an actor. “The songwriting thing is just something I started doing out of boredom,” he told us in 1985, “and when it went over so successfully I decided to pursue it because I had nothing else to do. It seemed worth the effort to make a name for myself as a performer.” It was after friends coerced him to appear in Haoui Montaug’s cabaret on the roof of Danceteria in June of 1984, that he made his name, literally overnight.
Video. I wish I could find video of Bourgeoise Boys.
Social Network v Social Tools
Steve’s talkin’ sense:
Mashable reports that iWon is about to add a social network to its site. This raises two points: 1. iWon is still around and 2. Mathematically, adding an iWon social network will officially mean that every frickin’ site now thinks it has to have one. This is getting silly. I now have more social networks than I have actual friends.
... I’m not a social network curmudgeon. There’s a value to these things (especially if you own one) and they are the backbone of Web 2.0. But enough already with them. If you’re not going to reinvent the social network, don’t add to the crowd. It’s as though clueless web execs heard that social networks were big, so they decided “Hey, let’s buy one at Circuit City.”
Social tools on the other hand are extremely valuable, and every site can benefit. Local news sites should have sharing tools, mashup tools and other social interface mechanisms galore. You can’t add too many social tools. Let people embed your video on their damn blogs, for crying out loud.
Marshall & Barrow: the race next time
They ran two of the closest re-election campaigns in the nation last year, and Democratic Reps. Jim Marshall of Macon and John Barrow of Savannah already are gearing up for tough fights next year.
But some Democrats in Washington and Georgia are starting to express hope that the next time around might be much easier for both lawmakers because national Republicans are so far behind Democrats in fund-raising that it’s doubtful they’ll be able to invest as heavily in the Georgia races as they have in the past.
National Democrats have about $22 million in the bank one year out from the election. Republicans, who had to pay off a $16 million debt from last year, have about $3 million. [...]
“We’re confident that we’re going to have the resources next year to compete and win,” Ken Spain, spokesman for the Republican National Campaign Committee, said. “Jim Marshall and John Barrow are in seats that perform for Republicans.”
In 2006, both had their districts redrawn and were strangers to many of the people who were voting. They were both running against ex-congressmen with name recognition and a ready campaign organization.
This year, Marshall and Barrow have been traveling their new districts extensively, introducing themselves. And they’ve both been aggressively raising money.
The Republicans say “these are targeted races” and there’s every reason to believe that’s true. They’re looking to run military candidates, as sure fire a bet as any here in Georgia.
Gen. Richard Goddard, a former base commander at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, against Marshall, and yet another mention of Army Maj. Wayne Mosley, a doctor and reservist who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, to run against John Barrow.
SEE ALSO: John Barrow’s challenge.
An architecture of freedom (reprise)
In light of Apple’s lockup I l inked to this post from may 2005. I’ve decided that it holds up well enough to repost in its entirety...
Ithiel de Sola Pool‘s 1983 study of the effects of communications technology on social, political, and economic life, Technologies of Freedom, was a defining read in my understanding of the structure of communications technologies. Similarly, Lawrence Lessig‘s 1999 Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, now undergoing a first of its kind online collaborative update, transformed my understanding of the methods of regulating human behavior.
Before Lessig I was familiar with the big three: Law, the old favorite (make it illegal or not); The Market, the new favorite (make it expensive or not); and Social Norms, once the darling of the social conservatives (make it shameful or not - Having lost that battle social conservatives who don’t fancy the soulless market, either, for such things have turned with a vengeance to the old favorite, law. )
To these three Larry Lessig added a fourth, one I hadn’t conceptualized before and the one that is, in fact, the most potent of all - architecture. The architectural form his book focuses on is computer code:
...there is regulation in cyberspace, but that regulation is imposed primarily through code...Some architectures of cyberspace are more regulable than others; some architectures enable better control than others. Thus, whether a part of cyberspace-or cyberspace generally-can be regulated turns on the nature of its code. Its architecture will affect whether behavior can be controlled. To follow Mitch Kapor, its architecture is its politics. [p.20]
Architecture as regulator is, of course, nothing new - Robert Moses famously built low bridges over his parkways to keep the teaming hordes from taking busses to the beach, and we’re all familiar with the regulatory intent of the Medieval moat - but it hadn’t occurred to me in that way before.
Today we have the media industry, to enforce its near total victory in the copyright arena, developing and implementing a variety of architectural schemes that fall under the umbrella term Digital Rights Management or DRM (for more start at EFF and Wikipedia) which means things that on their face sound good, sometimes are not. From PVRblog this week:
The Open Media Network launched Tuesday with a broad plan to enable many things we’ve been talking about here recently, like downloadable television shows, movies, and podcasts. Marc Andressen (a Netscape founder) is on the board and when I first heard about this, I assumed it would be a lot like Kontiki, a DRM-friendly media distribution system that keeps you from doing anything with files once you’ve downloaded them (I recall the first time I saw Kontiki, their product boasted features that would automatically delete downloaded movies after playing them x number of times).
The site doesn’t work for me in Firefox and won’t let me download a demo movie (which even includes “DRM” in the filename). In Internet Explorer, I’m asked to install a custom activeX control from a company I’m already having trouble trusting. Oh, and it’s windows only.
There’s action on the hardware side, too. From Dan Lockton of the Cambridge-MIT Technology Policy program who is working on a dissertation on “Architectures of Control” (via Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing):
Examples with primarily commercial control intentions range from the technology-intensive-such as Hewlett-Packard’s alleged use of embedded chips in printer cartridges which ‘expire’ the cartridge, even if unused, on a certain date, thus forcing the user to buy new cartridges-to the simple, such as the Audi A2’s bonnet which cannot be opened by the car’s owner, only by an Audi dealer.
There are, equally, numerous examples with more socially beneficial intentions, such as breathalyser or seat belt interlocks for car ignitions, blue lighting in nightclub toilets (to make intravenous drug use difficult), and growing opportunities in terms of coercing consumers to behave in more environmentally friendly ways-e.g., products could cease to function if the intended operation would cause excessive energy use.
The only way to an architecture of freedom is through an awareness of the architecture of control. Let’s all please be sure to pay attention.
Nokia’s anti-Apple ads
The quartet of posters above was photographed in New York city over the weekend by a MacRumors forum jockey. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Nokia pounce on Apple foibles, and it certainly won’t be the last. Even if Nokia can’t help but copy the iPhone interface design in their own future-looking presentations.
Stockholm Syndrome: behind Apple’s Iron Curtain
I read of Friday’s Apple iPhone update turning unlocked iPhones into useless bricks in a Savannah coffee shop while a friend used Google on hers to map out our day’s travels. My comment then, “Apple’s a Hollywood company, not a tech company.”
How much abuse are we willing to take from Apple? Early adopters paid a $200 premium - eased by a $100 rebate that some think is actually just another $75 million in Apple’s coffers - now this.
It seems like Jobs has turned the famous “Pottery Barn” rule on its ear. In the iPhone world according to Apple, it’s “You bought it, we [might] break it.”
The sheer hypocrisy of it all rankles. Here’s a company whose CEO has railed again the inclusion of digital-rights management (DRM) encryption software on competitors’ music files. Many people supported Jobs in his stance, assuming it was, at least in part, a philosophic nod in favor of consumer’s rights. However, in light of the latest iPhone fiasco, a sober observer would say that was probably just a cynical business move to get onboard where he figured consumers were heading with or without Apple.
Alex is discussing a Saturday post on Apple’s own iPhone discussion forums in which a user posted a message calling for an iPhone Class Action Lawsuit. Wolfe isn’t optimistic that the lawsuit will take wing:
The other, more troubling, reason his suit might not fly is that some respondents on the site seem to be suffering from Apple-induced Stockholm syndrome. Writes one: “I would love to tinker with my iPhone, but it’s not worth bricking it or voiding my warranty. Anyone who turns his shiny new phone into an iBrick by messing with the firmware AFTER he was warned and demands compensation… well… I have no sympathy.”
Here’s another: “I’m not saying what this new [Apple] update did was right but then again neither was modifying the phone to do what it was not intended to do no matter how useful the modifications were.”
In this culture that so highly values pride of ownership, I really don’t understand why we take this so passively, why we so easily buy into our own guilt. What we have here is a large company charging a premium for a product that you may buy but you cannot own.
Unbricked iPhone now fully working with IPSF’s paid unlock.
The iPhone’s been re-reviewed by Gizmodo, “Did I buy these phones or am I just renting them? ... Verdict: Don’t Buy.”
And Apple’s been sued by a disgruntled customer over the iPhone price drop.