But then I realized - my god, I'm not sure that's true any more. Do Macs have some thing where they won't let certain images be set as desktops? Maybe they don't allow desktop images at all, because Steve Jobs believes it's bad for the Feng Shui of the UI. Maybe they have a deal with some copyright holders that checks for fee licensed media rights ?
The fact is, Apple is destroying the utopia that was the free and open computing space. And you all are lapping it up. I've been calling for a boycott of Apple for some time, but there seems to be no interest around the web. That's sort of weird and surprising to me, because I believe what Apple is doing right now is actually worse than anything Microsoft ever did, and there was massive anger about the draconian oppression that MS applied in their rise to power. I find it quite mad that MS is legally required to give competing application developers equal access to their operating system (so that eg. IE isn't allowed to be more closely meshed with the OS than any other web browser) due to the various suits against them, and yet right now Apple is exerting far more nefarious control - not only do competing apps not get equal access, they might not get to run AT ALL! That is just mind blowing.
Some people seem to think this is a good thing . I think that's quite mad and naive. Windows is a democracy, it's capitalist, it's a free space. If people choose to buy apps that are janky and slow and crash and have bad UI, it was their choice to do so. We should be forcing apps to get better by choosing to buy only the good ones. Instead, commentators applaud the dictator for cracking down. This is equivalent to the US Government mandating a certain look & feel for all homes being built. Oh, you want a tacky McMansion? No, I'm sorry that's against the law. Yes, the houses would look better, but the result is not the point!
I can't imagine ever buying a computing device that is not completely free and open for me to do anything what I want with it. I can't imagine ever buying content (like music or an e-book) that isn't delivered to me in a form where I can do anything I want with it. Maybe it should be a law that all operating systems must be open ? Perhaps, but I would rather see that expressed in the marketplace - boycott all operating systems that aren't open!
The most disturbing thing to me is the blind consumer acceptance of this new paradigm. It just shocks me that there's not more uproar. I see this as the end of the delightful utopia that has been computing. Computing will soon become just like very other fucked up shitty aspect of life - telecom, health insurance, finance, etc. - where we have no real choices because they are all the same, they all fuck you with obfuscated rules and corporate dodges, where you have no power and no freedom, you can only sign up for some program that was pre-designed for you. Already the internet is becoming unfree - broadband providers are already detecting and throttling various content types such as torrents or streaming video; my email host Verio is now automatically spam filtering my outbound email and I'm not allowed to disable it; the government is snooping everything we send online - and people have swallowed it all.