Summary: More problems with the iPad and how Free software makes its case at Apple’s expense; some other Internet Explorer news
Apple’s highly-hyped iPad [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] seems to be going nowhere, but it gives us an opportunity to show that not every device needs to run Microsoft Windows. More importantly, it shows the increasing backlash against DRM and the presence of GNU/Linux in this area (predating Apple). Katonda.com wrote a couple of posts on the subject and since they haven’t been brought up here yet, we thought they would be worth sharing:
Interestingly, the iPad will not be challenged from Microsoft but from the sleeping-giant Gnu-Linux. Here is a comparison with some of the to-be-released Gnu-Linux powered tablets.
Most blogs and reports are putting the iPad in direct competition with Amazon’s Kindle. Some even say that the iPad will kill Kindle; it seems Muktware* (Gnu-Linux) powered Kindle is hard to kill.
The academic community too may soon realise the negative impact of the actions of Apple, which is essentially colluding with the copyright cartel (Steve Jobs is close to it). New articles on the subject are as follows:
Also alarming is how susceptible a closed platform like the iPad could be to exploitation by service and content providers. A closed platform makes it very simple to enforce rigid controls on what kind of content is made available to students. Just think of the AT&T strangehold on iPhone service, and scale that up to textbooks in an entire school district. This monopolistic control is annoying for well-funded, sophisticated consumers of technology. It is disastrous for the poor, and catastrophic for the developing world. Delivering 100 free iPads to a village in West Africa or a struggling school district in Mississippi isn’t charity, it’s a set of handcuffs.
That is, costs won’t come down unless universities act boldly to replace the expensive texts and butts-in-seats classroom models with mobile, wireless, open-source education.
Microsoft and its extended family are throwing mud at the oversized iPhone called iPad (it is funny because Microsoft is trying to make Windows Mobile more like iPhone by removing multitasking) and one mobile developer claims that iPhone is the new Internet Explorer 6 (IE6). This is an amusing comparison for many reasons, the least of which is the hostility between IE6 and the World Wide Web.
Over in China, most people are unable to use anything but IE6 because Web sites were built badly after Microsoft had ignored and corrupted web standards. We covered this problem in China a few weeks ago and also gave examples (it is the same in Korea). The good news is that, according to a Mozilla blog, one of China’s largest banks is phasing out the IE-only policy. [via Glyn Moody]
With such a move, CCB became the first major Chinese bank to support Firefox.
A couple of days ago we wrote about Microsoft's publicity stunt that attempted to 'sell' IE8 by exploiting children, as usual. Glyn Moody wrote a whole post to explain what Microsoft had done there. How shameless and desperate they must be.
I’d never heard of the UK government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), but that’s not surprising, since I’m allergic to organisations whose approach is “truly holistic” as CEOP brightly claims. But as well as being susceptible to embarrassing cliches, it seems that the outfit is naive, too.
It couldn’t be that the young and innocent Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre has allowed itself to be, er, exploited by that wily old Microsoft here, could it?
A new article from the Hindu, one which is titled “And may the safest browser win!” is making a GNU/Linux recommendation:
So is upgrading really the answer? Free Software advocates will point out that GNU/Linux-based operating systems (Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian, to name a few) are the most secure options owing to their inherent architecture.
As we showed half an hour ago, it is not possible to secure Windows, not even with anti-virus software. █