Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different: Back Apple? Hack Apple!

I could oppose the Iraq War, I just couldn't write about it.
I was a tech columnist for quite a number of years, and the only time a column of mine was pulled was when I got "political." In the early days of the Internet, I talked of how one could take political action on the net by emailing their congresspeople -- this was in the days before such things were so simplified and automated. Anyway, I tried to be politically neutral, but I said that, for instance, if you were against going to war with Iraq -- which I was, and I said so -- you could email your congresspeople to express your opinion. Bang. Column pulled.

If I wanted to raise a ruckus and not get my column pulled, bang, all I had to do was attack Apple. I considered Apple elitist, likening them to the BMW, with Microsoft being the Volkswagen, a people's product. Each time I did this I unleashed a firestorm of letters and emails, which my editors passed on to me, this before all newspapers had a web presence.

I say this so you'll know exactly where I'm coming from. I don't like Apple, never did. I've never bought an Apple product, probably never will (never say never). Why? It's not because they don't make good products, their products are, recently, quite stylish, useful, and inventive. Good for them. But I hate their smugness, and now that I've seen how they exploit overseas labor and avoid paying U.S. taxes, I have reason to dislike them still more. I should say that in the John Sculley days, I also thought they made crap, and I've always hated how they strictly controlled their APIs and hamstrung developers.

Gates and Jobs both stole their best ideas. It's business.
Now we've just gotten the Samsung verdict, and my dislike of Apple grows still more. Patenting the "look and feel!" I hate that, it's stupid. It's what Apple originally sued -- and won -- Microsoft for over Windows. The nerve: Apple stole its original ideas from Xerox, who didn't see value in a graphic user interface, much like IBM didn't see the value in developing an operating system and ceded that market to Microsoft, and the rest is history. I find it hilarious that Apple stole the very idea for its GUI from Xerox, and then sued Microsoft for copying it in Windows. Grit.

Anyway, Apple has its nerve.

So what do we do? Well, I know they're coming after Google and Android next, and if Android has an advantage it's because it's open source and related to Linux and thus has a worldwide army of developers. If Apple wants to demand that Android pull its "pinch-to-zoom" feature, then let's just hack the feature. Whatever Apple demands that the open-source movement do -- Google is at this point allied with the movement -- the hackers should place online in its place. It'll be developer whack-a-mole. Apple sues. Open-source developers hack.

I'm not suggesting that Anonymous start sabotaging Apple with viruses and Trojan horses, though they might choose to. And I'm not suggesting anyone harm Apple users the way Microsoft and its users suffered because of Microsoft's ubiquity. I am, however, suggesting that it might happen.

I do, however, recommend that Android developers of the world, unite! Let no (Apple) patent go unhacked, let no Android lawsuit go unchecked. Open means open, fer chrissake. If someone tries to take the pinch-to-zoom out of my Android-hacked Nook Color, I'll be searching online for the code to restore it. Yippee! Game on.

B&N Nook Color, Android-hacked like mine. Street legal, by the way.
Update. Yes, I do own Microsoft and Nokia stock, not much, but some. So I'm financially happy, just not happy happy.

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