Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Get the Hell out of My Sandbox. It's Mine and You Can't Play Here
September 13, 2008 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Surprise, Surprise. The big guys of the computer world get anti-competitive when some one gets to close to their turf.
posted by Xurando (62 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
polemic
posted by stbalbach at 10:49 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


The first link is ridiculous. The NYT is actually devoting space to the whining of some SEO type one step up from a domain squatter? Good fucking riddance to bad rubbish — maybe if Google keeps it up someday half the results for my name won't be from crap scraping ad-substrate sites that have got my name from some MelissaData file and my actual sites on domains registered under my real name will actually show up somewhere in the first five pages.
posted by enn at 10:50 AM on September 13, 2008 [9 favorites]


The NYT article is annoying - I'm glad Google makes it hard for sites like Sourcetool to buy cheap ads purely in order to send people to a landing page in the hope they'll then click on more expensive ads.

The Register has published some better articles that are critical of Adwords / Adsense.
posted by JonB at 11:00 AM on September 13, 2008


Scenario: Apple makes code-signing mandatory for desktop Mac applications. You can now only buy them through iTunes. Think it can’t happen?
posted by DreamerFi at 11:00 AM on September 13, 2008


So a link directory can pull in 125,000 dollars of profit a month? Domain squatting, here I come!
posted by Benjy at 11:03 AM on September 13, 2008


there goes McCain's October surprise Economic plan for teh future!
posted by Busithoth at 11:04 AM on September 13, 2008


I also don't see the point of SourceTool. What is he actually doing besides exploiting the price difference between buying ads and serving ads? Other than that, he doesn't do anything of value.

Similar to getting a rash of Experts Exchange crap as the first page of a technical search, I'd despise getting a bunch of crap "directories" as the first few results instead of the companies I'm searching for.
posted by odinsdream at 11:07 AM on September 13, 2008


A few days ago, Dan Savage had his lawyer send a nine-page, 4,000-word letter to the antitrust division of the Justice Department.

Kinky. I hope he devotes his next column to this kind of thing.
posted by decagon at 11:07 AM on September 13, 2008 [8 favorites]


Scenario: Apple makes code-signing mandatory for desktop Mac applications. You can now only buy them through iTunes. Think it can’t happen?

You don't work in a technical field, do you.
posted by odinsdream at 11:08 AM on September 13, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh, and: for Nocera (who should know better!) to repeat as even remotely credible the risible claim that Google changed its algorithm because it was afraid of the competitive threat posed by Sourcetools is irresponsible. If Savage were making it sincerely — which he surely is not — he'd be in serious mind-control-tooth-fillings territory.
posted by enn at 11:10 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


You don't work in a technical field, do you.

I don't know, but he reads Steven Frank's Twitter feed.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:11 AM on September 13, 2008 [8 favorites]


Scenario: Apple makes code-signing mandatory for desktop Mac applications. You can now only buy them through iTunes. Think it can’t happen?

No, it won't happen. Apple almost definitely will never make an OS X App Store, just to avoid the OUTRAGE (and the concomitant fatigue).

Apple views the iPhone/Touch/TV as closed consoles. A console with a key that costs $100 instead of the usual $10k or $100k minimum. A console where direct access to human developer support costs $3000/year for anyone instead of being reserved for companies with multi-million-dollar contracts.

They definitely need to get their public schizophrenia sorted out, but you must understand that the inconsistency is a consequence of being so relatively open. If you want a conservative Apple, look to the mid-90s to see what you will get.
posted by blasdelf at 11:20 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Scenario: Apple makes code-signing mandatory for desktop Mac applications. You can now only buy them through iTunes. Think it can’t happen?

And if it did, people would stop buying Macs. The market would work it out. I'm all for anti-trust - I hate that the Bush administration had the DOJ let MS off easy --- but your example is completely silly and unrelated. Even if it were technically possible, Apple isn't at 90%, and the rules are different. As a relatively niche OS, it would be Apple's right to interfere with their own ecosystem, and the fallout - the complete failure of the company - would solve that problem.

The anti-trust issues arise when a company, like MS, has such a stranglehold and such lock-in that they can safely punch their customers repeatedly in the sack with no fear of loss of business. The iPhone codesigning not only is from a non-monopoly phone, but even if it were, there is no lock-in associated with it the way there is on OS's. Buy a new phone if you don't like it.

And on that note? Where's my dedicated Metafilter iPhone app? Get on that.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:38 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


That was a weird thing for DreamerFI to seem to take credit for saying.

Anyway, it's weird about podcaster. I'm on the fence about buying an iphone or touch. I mostly use my ipod when running, and mostly to listen to podcasts (music fucks up my pace). The ability to suck down a new podcast in the middle of the day when I'm away from my home computer would be a reason to upgrade from my Nano, and one I was surprised wasn't offered. I think Apple is hurting iPhone/Touch sales by blocking this app.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:51 AM on September 13, 2008


I have a friend who's working for Google as an intern on the ad database. I don't know much more than that because of NDAs, but I do know that if the sourcetool thing was truly malicious, he would have quit a while ago.

Looking at their website, I'm honestly not seeing much of a point. If I want to search for, say "Commercial, Military & Private Vehicles | Accessories & Components" I think I'd just go through google honestly. I'd be pretty annoyed at hitting their directory in my search. But that's just me.
posted by Hactar at 11:54 AM on September 13, 2008


Google has algorithms that power its google magic. LTCM also had algorithms that powered its bond magic. Algorithms are static in the sense they have no awareness of self, you always run into model risk when running algorithms. LTCM management bitched and bitched that other banks were exploiting their trading programs and helped their demise.

Google is wise enough to realize that people can do what is effectively advertising arbitrage, fooling around with the inefficiencies of their model. So they stop it. I don't see what the big deal is.
posted by geoff. at 12:06 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Convenient. Next time somebody asks me why Android is better than the iPhone, I can simply point them to that "App Store: I’m out" article. Thanks, Xurando. Gonna get me an Android HTC Dream. Won't be long now.
posted by sdodd at 12:10 PM on September 13, 2008


Hactar: If I want to search for, say "Commercial, Military & Private Vehicles | Accessories & Components" I think I'd just go through google honestly. I'd be pretty annoyed at hitting their directory in my search. But that's just me.

I wonder if most people who go to that site (just to check it out after reading the article) click the "Commercial, Military & Private Vehicles" link first. I know I did.
posted by knapah at 12:19 PM on September 13, 2008


> just to avoid the OUTRAGE

There's no practical way Apple could implement code signing or centralized distribution for OS X software in the current desktop software environment:

1. They're the minority desk/laptop computer maker. It's a lot easier for software companies and their customers to turn to Windows than it is for Windows developers and users to turn to OS X.

2. Software makers are used to seeing certain profit margins, unpoliced by third parties. They won't take to profit cuts easily when they see no benefit. Their customers won't take to price increases when they see no benefit. None of them will take to a third party taking over existing distribution channels. Major players (Microsoft and Adobe, neither of whom have iPhone apps) will be able to negotiate terms that are not favorable to Apple.

3. Apple a variety of high-profile applications competing with third party apps (Aperture, Final Cut, Logic, iWork, among the ones they sell, and iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie among the bundled software that used to be -- or supplanted -- third party payware apps). Code signing and centralized distribution would be the first real act by Apple that could get an accusation of monopolization to stick.

4. Apple makes more money by not regulating the third party market around OS X. Their concern over bootlegged copies of OS X is minor -- there's no license key, phoning home is purely for logging voluntary user contact info, and nothing keeps tabs on how many times an installer is used. (OS X Server, Final Cut Pro, Logic, and so on have license keys and usage limits, so this is not a lack of ability.) Apple makes money by providing people access to the myriad smaller utilities and services Apple provides than it does by tightly controlling the distribution of its flagship product.

5. Infrastructure necessary for code signing is immense, requires extensive personal tech support, reliability has to be 100% to avoid customer downtime (just ask Microsoft). It will more than offset the increase in Apple's income and put a huge dent in OS X's position as the user-friendly software. The bandwidth necessary for centralized software distribution, iPhone-style, would similarly have to be immense -- the Adobe Creative Suite CS 3, for example, is some of the most popular software for OS X and the package is several gigabytes. The iTunes Store got slammed on Day 1 by people downloading one and two megabyte applications. Multiply that bandwidth demand by thousands.
posted by ardgedee at 12:19 PM on September 13, 2008


I really like the LTCM analogy. For my gmail's sake I hope they don't end up in the same place.

Buy ads from Google to push people to your page in the hopes they'll click on ads from Google just doesn't seem like a good business to be in. It's a single point of failure that you've also made into a load-bearing element.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:25 PM on September 13, 2008 [11 favorites]


It's a single point of failure that you've also made into a load-bearing element.

I like how succinct this is. Consider it appropriated.
posted by heeeraldo at 12:34 PM on September 13, 2008


blasdelf:Apple views the iPhone/Touch/TV as closed consoles. A console with a key that costs $100 instead of the usual $10k or $100k minimum. A console where direct access to human developer support costs $3000/year for anyone instead of being reserved for companies with multi-million-dollar contracts.

May I just add that this is probably correct. The way Apple looks at it, the closed nature of the iPhone stuff doesn't suck tremendously from the standpoint of developers, but sucks a lot less than the horribly exclusionary policies that have held sway over console game development since the NES days.

The result, then, is that it's finally begun to happen. The console business model, long a hothouse flower made possible solely through licensing systems and complicated lockout schemes, is trying to spread beyond its fetid little closet. Just for the record, the exclusionary practices of console manufacturers has resulted in clueless regional releases policies, purchased "unlock keys" by which people gain access to game content already on their bought-and-paid-for disk, consoles that are capable of doing far more than their software allows (Wiis can play DVDs), and worst of all, the difficulty of indie developers cracking the console development nut since only companies are allowed to develop, and only if they pay the tax.

The only benefit to consumers of the console lockout system, to my knowledge, has been consoles that are typically sold below cost. Yet the Wii isn't sold below cost, and the iPhone certainly isn't.

If Apple makes a go at this model, then other companies may adopt it too, and the convoluted business system that has made console hacking its own mini-industry will have the chance to spread beyond its niche. I, for one, loathe the very thought of this.
posted by JHarris at 12:40 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


JHarris: The entire cellphone industry already works like that, and that's the problem. Apple is slightly better. I actually sent my cellphone company an email a couple years ago asking about being able to write apps and they replied two years later saying that they weren't taking any new developers at all.

But it really does need to change if we're going to continue having and open and free internet, I mean, is there going to be a situation where when you're at home, you can get on the real internet, use whatever applications you want, etc, and then when you're on the go you're locked into a proprietary playground? That's B.S.

I think competitive pressure is going to open up cellphones soon, we'll see what happens with Android and the HTC dream, if they'll allow it to be sold as an unlocked "write any app" device or not.
posted by delmoi at 1:01 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


As a developer I would cream my jeans if Apple had all software go through its store as currently implemented.

Note that $0 is a price developers can charge.

70% of gross is SUCH A FUCKING AMAZING DEAL.
posted by troy at 1:09 PM on September 13, 2008


enn: maybe if Google keeps it up someday half the results for my name won't be from crap scraping ad-substrate sites that have got my name from some MelissaData file and my actual sites on domains registered under my real name will actually show up somewhere in the first five pages.

Stop Googleing yourself.
posted by clearly at 1:20 PM on September 13, 2008


Scenario: Apple makes code-signing mandatory for desktop Mac applications. You can now only buy them through iTunes. Think it can’t happen?

And if it did, people would stop buying Macs


I'm not so sure that's true. What we have here is the classic "boiling a frog scenario". First Apple has trained its users to go through iTunes to manage everything to do with its iPods (music, videos, podcasts), next it does the same with AppleTV for watching movies at home, and now, here's the thin edge of the wedge for centralization of application downloads through their interface on the iPhone/Touch.

A lot of people are angry, and some have found ways around it (Jailbreak), but the vast majority only go through Apple's gateway, and are gradually placated by Apple's mantras:

1. One stop shopping. Everything you want or need is here
2. Ease of use. You are already familiar with this from buying music, you know what to do.
3. Safety and security. Apple has already pre-vetted this download, you are safe buying/downloading it. Do not worry, dear customer.

You want to see how willing people are to put up with Apple's crap? I was over at an acquaintance's place the other day who is not too tech savvy. He loves the Apple store for videos, but since we're in Canada, his selection, especially of TV shows, is limited. Rather than going for one of the alternatives like getting a season of eps at Future Shop (which for a lot of his shows is actually cheaper than iTunes), instead he really really wanted to get an American iTunes account. So with my help, we spent an hour figuring out that by getting a promo code from some band that has a free album on the US store, we can open an account without needing a credit card (avoiding the billing address), and then he can just drive down to the Costco in Washington State and load up on iTunes prepaid cards, which he did.

So let me break this down: In order to use Apple's store someone I know is willing to drive 1.5 hours from his house, sit in a border lineup for who knows how long, buy some prepaid cards, sit in another lineup at the border, and drive 1.5 more hours back to his house. All because he likes the "convenience" of it. And yet he has a Future Shop with DVDs stacked to the roof not 5 minutes from his house. This doesn't just break my irony meter, it takes the pieces, makes them into a new irony meter, and breaks that one with a sledgehammer too. But it's how he likes it.

When you say "Consumers will never go for a centralized app store for Macs, they'd lose everyone in a heartbeat and it would kill their business, so that's crazy!", just remember a LARGE chunk of their users are like my acquaintance in varying degrees. While not all of them would make a multi-hour round trip to use the Store, they're not tech savvy, got used to doing something a certain way, and if Apple wants to make everything go through that 'one way', that's even better!
posted by barc0001 at 1:42 PM on September 13, 2008 [6 favorites]


A couple more developers weigh in on the Apple situation: Dave Winer (of RSS fame) and Paul Kafasis (from the O'Reilly network).

Apple's really shot themselves in the foot, here. I hope they figure this out soon, because Fraser Speirs (and people like him) write great apps; without them the App Store becomes a wasteland of bizarre Sudoku variants and half-assed checklist programs.
posted by heeeraldo at 1:52 PM on September 13, 2008


[both of those were via Jon Gruber, who also had an opinion on the subject]
posted by heeeraldo at 1:56 PM on September 13, 2008


I liked the old 2.5%-market-share Apple. I'm getting less and less enthused about their Plan For World Dominance every day.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:14 PM on September 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


Actually, no, it wasn't via that twitter feed, or I would have credited it. I'm actually not following any twitter feeds at all, so get off my lawn... Somebody said it to me, and I'll go ask him if he got it from that twitter feed. He probably did.

Anyway, yes, I am in a technical field, and that's why this whole thing worries me. I agree with barc0001, if we're not making a lot of noise about this, Apple will try to get away with it. We cannot let them do that.
posted by DreamerFi at 2:14 PM on September 13, 2008


Yep, well done Metafilter: Yet another ill-informed screed by someone sexual frustrated over not having an iPhone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:18 PM on September 13, 2008


As a developer I would cream my jeans if Apple had all software go through its store as currently implemented.

I'm a developer and I'd fucking hate it. I mean seriously? If you were a writer, you would want one company controlling every single book that could be sold, deciding unilaterally if a book was unfit for publication anywhere (even for free)? If you were a web designer, you'd want one company to be able to decide if your website could be seen by anyone, deciding unilaterally if it could show up at all (after doing all the work)

It's bullshit, while it would be nice if there was a single way to pay for software, the fact that you have to sign an NDA in order to even write apps, the fact that apple gets to decide what apps even make it to the system would be a disaster. Yeah, you might get more money, but you might not get any more for your work at all if Apple thinks your product isn't classy, or good enough, or provides too much functionality that it might cut into their profit margins.

And Macs already have DRM, fairplay.

Yep, well done Metafilter: Yet another ill-informed screed by someone sexual frustrated over not having an iPhone.

That has got to be one of the most idiotic arguments I've ever heard, and yet you keep using it.
posted by delmoi at 3:41 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


What is he actually doing besides exploiting the price difference between buying ads and serving ads? Other than that, he doesn't do anything of value.

Some how that sounded funnier when it was about cameras.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 3:42 PM on September 13, 2008


The only benefit to consumers of the console lockout system, to my knowledge, has been consoles that are typically sold below cost.

All you have to do is look at comparable desktop PC prices to know instantly that consoles are sold at similar to PC markups. Compared to other new electronics -- where early adopters are "taxed" heavily for new toys -- this might appear to be inexpensive, but it is in no way "below cost". I understand why you say it though, it is a popular myth.
posted by Chuckles at 3:50 PM on September 13, 2008


just to avoid the OUTRAGE

There's no practical way Apple could implement code signing or centralized distribution for OS X software in the current desktop software environment:
What I meant was that they'd avoid making even a non-exclusive OS X App Store, just to avoid internet histrionics about slippery slopes.

All the infrastructure is there — code signing is already present in the Kernel and LaunchServices (and in use for a number of sensible things), and both the global & 'enterprise' App Store infrastructure is already in place for the mobile devices. It would not take much work for them to debut a non-exclusive distribution system, that would supersede the pre-existing "Mac OS X Software…" webloc at the top of the  menu. They'd easily kill Karelia and whatever other extant payment/DRM middlemen.

But they won't do it, and certainly not anytime soon — not just because they are overstretched and understaffed for their current projects, but because of all the Cory Doctorows out there chomping at the bit to use Niemöller tropes — ready to pretend that the end is nigh.
posted by blasdelf at 4:03 PM on September 13, 2008


Chuckles:

It is has actually been fairly common for the last several generations of consoles for the hardware to be sold at a loss initially. I know for sure that this was the case for the Gamecube, PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox, and Xbox 360. The PS3 was initially sold at a $250 loss, and Sony lost hundreds of millions of dollars on it before the economies of manufacture flipped.

There's plenty of reasons why it works this way:Nintendo has been selling Wiis and DSes at enormous profit since the beginning, and since they can barely keep up with demand, they haven't bothered to really make price cuts. This also means that they can afford not to give a shit about rampant piracy.

Sony on the other hand has been extraordinarily strident about PSP modding, because they sold them at a considerable loss for years. The modders were attracted because it was so much cheaper than equivalent non-loss-leader hardware, but never bought games, so Sony had considerable impetus to crack down.

Apple on the other hand, like Nintendo, doesn't give a shit about Jailbreaking. It doesn't cost them anything, and going after people (beyond closing security holes) most definitely would cost them tons of PR.
posted by blasdelf at 4:41 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


blasdelf, if they were interested in avoiding "internet histrionics", they wouldn't run around suing every blogger who dares to report rumors on new products and evangelize for them., among other things. Apple has a very long history of crapping on the heads of those who are the most frenzied of their supporters, witness the recent iPhone early adopter mess, and it hasn't seemed to hurt them any, even with the accompanying histrionics.

Let's face it, the "Internet world" isn't the same as the real world. If it was, Obama and Biden would be sitting with 85% of the popular vote right now, any telecom company who even dared mention a "bandwidth cap" would be a smoking crater, and Monsanto would be shuttered.

But the rest of the world doesn't feel that way, and Apple knows it. Sure there's some loud screaming online, but most of Apple's "base" doesn't hear it. You think my teenage daughter gives a crap in the woods about whether or not Apple wants to do something like this? Of course not! But her and all of her friends have at least a couple hundred bucks worth of iPods, and are now lusting after the 4G Nano. My previous example of my acquaintance with the iTunes store liking? His whole family falls into this category perfectly. The daughter needed a laptop, and his wife did too, so they bought a couple of Airs, just because they looked cool. Another person who has a small company that I've known for years, whom I maintain her office network for called me up this week since she needed help installing Quicktime to view some promotional material. As I walked her through the site, the new Nanos were on the front page, and she immediately squealed "Ooo! I want one of those new Nanos!" She's in her 60s and can't find a file on her hard drive to save her life if it's not in "My Documents", but she wants a Nano, and Apple's software will make it an easy experience for her to use. She doesn't care about the limits, she probably won't even know they're there.

These are the people Apple is targeting as their core customers. Not Screamy McInternet guy. They don't care about him. It's like all the hardcore gamers screaming that Nintendo with the Wii has "abandoned" them. You know what? Given a choice between fighting for dollars with all of the other hardware guys over the "hardcore" purchaser, or going after the kind of people I've illustrated above, anyone would have to be nuts not to. Sure it's nice to please the hardcore guys and gals, but you know what's nicer? Having to find a place to put all your bales of money from selling to the other demographics.
posted by barc0001 at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


What I meant was that they'd avoid making even a non-exclusive OS X App Store, just to avoid internet histrionics about slippery slopes.

Oh no! Not internet histronics. Clearly, something no company can survive!
posted by delmoi at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2008


That has got to be one of the most idiotic arguments I've ever heard, and yet you keep using it.

You guys are the Larry Craigs of the Apple-hating crowd. Just buy one already, Jesus fucking Christ almighty.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:00 PM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


People who are dismissing the idea of a Mac OS X App Store is, in my opinion, naive - I doubt they'll make it exclusive though. I think it's likely to happen within the next 12-18 months.
posted by HaloMan at 5:26 PM on September 13, 2008


Chuckles, here's the iSuppli teardown of the PlayStation 3 at launch. The PS3 20GB-HDD version cost $805.85 to make and was sold for $499.00 for a loss per unit of $306.85.
posted by sdodd at 5:51 PM on September 13, 2008


From the developer's website (nextdayoff.com): "IMPORTANT NOTE: We are NOT selling Podcaster. We are giving it away as a free gift when we receive a donation of $9.99 or more."

A bit of Orwellian double-speak.

I wonder if this would work for prostitution? "Officer, he wasn't paying me for sex. I was fucking him as a free gift for a $100 donation."

Or maybe she could just tell the cop she was an iPnone app developer.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:51 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yep, well done Metafilter: Yet another ill-informed screed by someone sexual frustrated over not having an iPhone.

The post about the App Store was made by someone who already develops an iPhone application called Exposure. Their reasoning is good - why should a developer invest time and money into developing an application where the end result might be Apple blocking it for dubious reasons? I think the criticism is perfectly warranted.

I think the criticism of Google is much more dubious, and the New York Times article makes it appear the criticism and the site is a lot more legitimate than it seems to be. They were buying keywords to get people to visit landing pages which contained content that was almost exclusively paid-for and ad-centric. A recent article about a similar company called Geosign which collapsed after Google did the same thing that made some waves on the Internet recently. Google changed their guidelines and it is justified by saying it was increasing the cost of ads for more legitimate advertisers, and if people were visiting sites that only sought to provide more advertising then it would discourage people from clicking on them. I believe those sorts of pages to be a scourge of the internet and can't blame Google at all for refusing to let them advertise on their site.
posted by HaloMan at 5:54 PM on September 13, 2008


First they came for our Niemöller cliché, and we were strident and obnoxious on the internet
posted by blasdelf at 6:10 PM on September 13, 2008


You guys are the Larry Craigs of the Apple-hating crowd. Just buy one already, Jesus fucking Christ almighty.

Larry Craig was arrested soliciting sex in a bathroom, do you have any evidence anyone here actually wants an iPhone? Or are you just making stuff up in your head? Of course, if I had a lot of money invested in apple I'd be loosing my shit too.
posted by delmoi at 6:11 PM on September 13, 2008


Thanks sdodd, perfect for pulling the argument to pieces.

For example, lets compare their November 2006 estimates to Ars budget PC recommendations published in August 2006. They list the cost of a 60GB HD as $54, but the retail price of a 160GB drive was $59. They put the cost of the chassis and power supply at $90, but Ars finds a very good case and power supply for $62.

The other components of a PS3 are less comparable, but I trust that you can see how outrageous that estimate is looking to be. I mean, $125 cost for an optical drive? I'd like to try some of what they were smoking.
(and please, before you start on the whole blu-ray being expensive thing, please see my point about companies normally "taxing" early adopters)
posted by Chuckles at 7:25 PM on September 13, 2008


barc001: Let's face it, the "Internet world" isn't the same as the real world. If it was, Obama and Biden would be sitting with 85% of the popular vote right now, any telecom company who even dared mention a "bandwidth cap" would be a smoking crater, and Monsanto would be shuttered.

I've seen this attitude around almost since the first day I signed on to Compuserve in '93, as if people became disenfranchised by their decision to make opinions known on the internet. It didn't really hold up then, and certainly not anymore, not in the face of Obama's massive, Internet-powered fund-rasing success.
posted by JHarris at 7:49 PM on September 13, 2008


I've seen this attitude around almost since the first day I signed on to Compuserve in '93, as if people became disenfranchised by their decision to make opinions known on the internet. It didn't really hold up then, and certainly not anymore, not in the face of Obama's massive, Internet-powered fund-rasing success.

Uh right, but substitute "fanboy outrage" for "internet histronics". The fact that the fanboy's happen to be online doesn't make them less or more impotent.

I mean, look at the whole violet blue/boing boing fiasco. That was like an orgy of nerd rage and what did it accomplish? Nothing, there's been no downside for BB whatsoever, other then a loss of prestige.
posted by delmoi at 8:11 PM on September 13, 2008


Oh, c'mon guys - it's all ball bearings now.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:03 PM on September 13, 2008


For example, lets compare their November 2006 estimates to Ars budget PC recommendations published in August 2006. They list the cost of a 60GB HD as $54, but the retail price of a 160GB drive was $59. They put the cost of the chassis and power supply at $90, but Ars finds a very good case and power supply for $62.

The PS3 uses 2.5" HDD units, not the 3.5" ones that the Ars Budget Build has listed. The chassis and power supply are, you know, custom, and I imagine it's a little more costly to build things that are all curves and ridiculous swoopy bits than it is to make a metal box, and the economies of scale are against Sony in this instance. As for the BD-ROM drive? The cheapest BD-ROM on Newegg is $99; a cost price of $125 two years ago seems reasonable to me.

iSuppli does have weird metrics at times and will often wholly ignore the R&D costs of a given gadget, but as demonstrated above, I think they're getting more right than wrong on this one.
posted by heeeraldo at 11:30 PM on September 13, 2008


Chuckles: that 60GB hdd is a 2.5" drive. They're substantially more expensive than 3.5" desktop drives, even now. Some generic rectangular OEM box and PSU made in massive numbers is a lot cheaper to produce than the custom low-run small plastic case with builtin heaksinks. Hell, a separate powerbrick alone costs $90 retail.

I also don't think you're aware of how expensive and rare blue lasers were in 2006. People were buying a PS3 at launch just to get the laser out of it, because it was still cheaper than buying it direct. $125 cost for a bluray/red laser optical drive? That's cheaper than I thought it was going to be.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:56 PM on September 13, 2008


As a comparison price point, the first PC bluray drive I saw was £450, and the price of standalone bluray players was around £800. That's $900 and $1600 respectively. Even with the british rip-off conversion, VAT, and early-adopter markup, it still reflects the costs of making blue laser equipment at the time.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:59 PM on September 13, 2008


[Another columnist links to to Mac software:]
Way back when, if software distribution for the Mac had been handled via a Mac App Store with a don’t-duplicate-Apple-products policy, Photoshop might have been refused distribution on the grounds that it was too similar to MacPaint. A Mac platform that hadn’t gotten Photoshop might well have been a Mac platform that died some time in the mid-1990s or so.
posted by DreamerFi at 12:09 AM on September 14, 2008


delmoi: I mean, look at the whole violet blue/boing boing fiasco. That was like an orgy of nerd rage and what did it accomplish? Nothing, there's been no downside for BB whatsoever, other then a loss of prestige.

There's been no visible downside. Just because it's not readily apparent doesn't mean there was no effect. (And in BB's case, really, what does it have other than prestige?)

As for "nerd rage," I maintain, it may often be laughable and impotent, but it should not be discounted. Especially when nerds are much of your target audience. To my eyes, Apple's discounting the furor over iPhone sandboxing sounds an awful lot like the Bush Administration's discounting of half the country. It's just another version of the same old problem: authority hates those who reject it.

These kinds of frustrations, they persist in the mind and fester. These are the same frustrations that birthed Grover Norquist upon an unsuspecting nation, and the rage borne of those frustrations are the unholy fire that fuels the furnace Dick Cheney keeps in place of a heart.

And OCD minds are particularly good at keeping grudges alive.
posted by JHarris at 1:48 AM on September 14, 2008


closing security holes

We need a new name for programmer errors that allow me to tell my own property what to do. Reusing the word for programmer errors that allow other people to tell my property what to do... just seems backwards.
posted by roystgnr at 6:17 AM on September 14, 2008


Scenario: Apple makes code-signing mandatory for desktop Mac applications. You can now only buy them through iTunes. Think it can’t happen?
posted by DreamerFi


Maybe you should give attribution to the person who actually wrote that, eh? Pretty low-class to steal someone else's words like that.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 AM on September 14, 2008


These kinds of frustrations, they persist in the mind and fester. These are the same frustrations that birthed Grover Norquist upon an unsuspecting nation, and the rage borne of those frustrations are the unholy fire that fuels the furnace Dick Cheney keeps in place of a heart.

The way you nuts keep complaining about Apple and iPhones, I'm so looking forward to you guys posting from your own iPhones within the next few months.

You'll eventually cave in to what you know you crave.

Just get one. You know you want to.

It's exactly like Larry Craig, in that he was probably relieved to get caught. No more pressure to conform to hate, then.

Just come out of the closet already. We'll have the disco ball ready.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:40 AM on September 14, 2008


Just come out of the closet already. We'll have the disco ball ready.

I'd have to get a cell phone first.. otherwise the shock of having all of those wonderful features at my multi-touch finger tips might kill me!
posted by Chuckles at 12:05 PM on September 14, 2008


Blazecock Pileon: So by your own logic, you must secretly love PCs and Windows Vista, right? After all you've complained about them in the past.
posted by delmoi at 6:11 PM on September 14, 2008


Yep, well done Metafilter: Yet another ill-informed screed by someone sexual frustrated over not having an iPhone.

Oh, noes! I so unfulfilled! I clearly needs the iPhone's Magic Porn!
posted by Sparx at 4:03 AM on September 15, 2008


Don't have an iPhone, don't want an iPhone, and am sexually frustrated for the more normal reasons.

Stories like this show exactly why I don't want one. When I own a piece of gear, I want to put what I want on it when I want it. I have a coworker than questions me why I drag my personal laptop into work every day when I could draw one of the floater laptops.

This is why. I can do whatever I want (within legal and ethical limits) on my laptop, which I cannot do with the company laptops. I am an admin/support guy, so I am quite aware of what can be done and not done with them.

I just suppose I am an irrational fool that believes if I own the box, I should have penultimate control over it.
posted by Samizdata at 4:17 AM on September 15, 2008


I just suppose I am an irrational fool that believes if I own the box, I should have penultimate control over it.

Isn't that exactly what happens with the iPhone?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:12 PM on September 16, 2008


« Older Some are calling it the "Kindle Killer"....  |  The Twelfth Amendment of the U... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments