Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Apple's Patent Asshattery

I don't own an iPod.
I don't own an iPhone.
I don't own an iPad.
And frankly after Apple's efforts to control their devices usage thru strong arm tactics that should have them hanging their heads in shame, I don't think I ever will.

Most people are aware that the US court ruled that Apple can't stop people from jailbreaking their devices. (For those who don't know, jailbreaking means altering the software to use the device for something other than its intended purpose - say turning an iPod into a portable programming device.)

How many have read the recently published patent application by Apple? In effect, its a patent to put a series of tracking programs in its devices to determine if a person hacks their devices after purchase. And not only that, but it can identify the device hacker from using heart rate recording to photo taking techniques. It would then report back to Apple the information, at which point Apple will have a built in kill switch they will use that would make the device permanently unusable.

Now, call me naive, but I thought when I purchased a device it belonged to me.

If I want to spend $600 for a pseudocomputer, bring it home, take it out of the box & use it as a tray to serve tea to my friends, that's my right.

If I want to take that same device, set it on the floor, stamp it into oblivion and glue the remains to a picture frame for art work, that's my right.

If I want to alter the software so that the device displays "You dumbass, you just voided your warranty", you know what? That's my right.

Apple doesn't own the device once I've paid for it. If they want to have a say in how I use it then lease it to me. But if I'm spending my hard earned money on a ridiculously expensive piece of hardware and I choose to void my warranty for whatever reason, I can. It's mine.

I'm not saying I would.

I've never hacked a device in my life. I like my Zune just the way it is. It holds all my music & pictures & even has some neat games. I like my computer with Windows. But if tomorrow, I decided to switch my computer to Linux or turn my Zune into a lamp, no one but me should have a say in it.

So, I have a few final questions for Apple....

If I buy a toothbrush and use it to clean the grout in my bathroom, is that legal?
If I buy a toaster oven and use it to bake my clay, is that legal?
If I buy a beer and use it to condition my hair, is that legal?

I'm pretty sure it is. So is altering the use of my iPod (again, don't own one - don't want to). Just because you made it, doesn't mean you get a say in how I use it. You don't have to like it, but I paid for it. So mind your own business.

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