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Cory Doctorow Explains Why Apple’s iPad is Bad and SJVN Shows That Mac OS X is Not Secure

Posted in Apple, DRM, GNU/Linux, Google, Security at 12:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cory Doctorow in 2005

Summary: Apple’s shoddy-but-highly-expensive products come under fire for artificial limitations and security problems

WE have already written quite extensively about why the iPad is technically inapt [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] (never mind the inapt company which makes it — a clearly misguided company that is suing Android [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] with Microsoft’s support [1, 2] because it has fallen behind GNU/Linux).

Here is Cory Doctorow’s new explanation of why he won’t buy an iPad (and thinks you shouldn’t, either).

Danny O’Brien does a very good job of explaining why I’m completely uninterested in buying an iPad — it really feels like the second coming of the CD-ROM “revolution” in which “content” people proclaimed that they were going to remake media by producing expensive (to make and to buy) products. I was a CD-ROM programmer at the start of my tech career, and I felt that excitement, too, and lived through it to see how wrong I was, how open platforms and experimental amateurs would eventually beat out the spendy, slick pros.

I remember the early days of the web — and the last days of CD ROM — when there was this mainstream consensus that the web and PCs were too durned geeky and difficult and unpredictable for “my mom” (it’s amazing how many tech people have an incredibly low opinion of their mothers). If I had a share of AOL for every time someone told me that the web would die because AOL was so easy and the web was full of garbage, I’d have a lot of AOL shares.

And they wouldn’t be worth much.

Coincidentally, SJVN (occasional OS X user) shows:

The latest Mac OS X upgrade is both enormous, 784MB and necessary. It fixes no fewer than 88 security holes.

“I have found that Macs are less secure than their current Windows and Linux counterparts,” said Dai Zovi, the co-author of The Mac Hacker’s Handbook. OS X is probably the most closed operating system that exists for the desktop and the iPad is no better in that regard.

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  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    April 9, 2010 at 2:11 am


    “OS X is probably the most closed operating system that exists for the desktop”
    I don’t think so, but I agree about the iPhone/iPad being closed

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    So which one is more closed (for the desktop)?

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    The only thing most closed about the Mac OS is the hardware it runs on, and that has a long history dating back to the original Mac. In terms of developing applications it is just as open as Windows or Linux. It is between Windows and Linux in terms of how open source it is, with core parts such as the xnu kernel being open source while things like the GUI aren’t in Mac OS X.

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