back to article Apple iPad spanked with Defective by Design protest

Not everyone is drooling about Apple's soon-to-be-launched tablet. Members of the anti-DRM group Defective by Design were protesting Wednesday morning outside Apple's tighty controlled launch event, handing out cards mocking Apple's invitation, with Apple's tagline "Come see our latest creation" replaced with "Come see our …

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FAIL

Well, if you really want broken by design...

...I'm looking at the first photos of Steve Jobs's presentation, and it looks like there's no good way to grab hold of the thing. I suppose he thinks the Kindle, Nook, et al. look ugly, but there's a solid design reason for not having the screen go all the way to the edge.

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FAIL

Thumbs

Try using your opposable thumb - it's the same method that the rest of us use to hold books, laptops and other flat objects. If you practice long enough, picking up and holding objects becomes second nature. Try it, it's easy.

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Go

Another Toy ...

... for those with no life.

BFD

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Good to raise awareness

Hang on your copy of OSX, sooner or later the Jobs DRM machine will be coming for your iMac!

I am genuinely concerned that once Jobs has sole control of the phone, laptop and now tablet market, he will slowly start issue software to lock the iMac into the App-Store. I will be subtle at first, simply a desktop app to connect your PC to the App-Store, pay'n'download the little games to your iMac, some app vendors will get in there, like Adobe and MS with Office. Then that ittle desktop app will start spread over the O/S until OSX 12 or whatever will be locked into the App-Store 100%!

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Go

Yes well

Sounds like common sense to me. If I'm going to cough up $1,000 or more for any device, I expect that I'll have control over it, not some turtle neck wearing yank. Maybe I can't be trusted with a computing device? I might do something corporate America can't make money out of.

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Vendor lock is a byproduct of Apple's success

I despise vendor locked platforms, whether through DRM or other means. They're not good for consumers, innovation, or free markets.

That said, it's hard to deny that restrictive products can be very profitable for any company with enough clout to pull it off.

It's a common theme that I keep going back to; once a company reaches a certain scale, it can stop thinking about consumers and start applying unpalatable measures for profit. I guess all's fair in a free market, but I am very troubled with the notion that capitalism often rewards large anti-consumer companies over small pro-consumer companies. Smaller companies could not afford to turn their backs on consumers.

Innovative or not, Apple has joined the club where it can sell inferior (Vendor Locked) products for a premium.

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Another bunch of freetards...

who can't develop anything of note of their own, trying to tell people who can create and can produce how they should run their business and control the fruits of their own labours.

Protesters: be ashamed, you look foolish and weak. You are free to spend as much of your own life creating things (computers, media content, whatever) and distributing it for free as much as you like. No one is stopping you, go run along. I'm sure the iPad will play your DRM-less MP3 or Oggs, or read your PDFs or compiled HTML books, just fine...and if it's any good I'll be sure to add it to mine. But alas, the majority of freely produced stuff just doesn't measure up...

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Missing the point somewhat?

They're not protesting about the price tag, they're protesting about the old OSS saying 'free as in free speech', not 'free as in free beer' (which would be nice also.)

You don't purchase the iPad or iPhone from Apple, you pay them for permission to use it. They maintain control over the device, and can as has been found on the iPhone, can remotely decide what you do with it.

i.e. you're sure "that the iPad will play your DRM-less MP3 or Oggs", but the point is that if it doesn't, it's down to Apple whether you can add that functionality, not the "owner" of the device.

It's the sole reason I will never own an iPad/iPhone, and personally I think people who pay what is an excessive amount of money for that "privilege" are idiots.

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WTF?

Spoken like a chinese citizen

When asked in a survey 80+ % of Chinese citizens feel that the state operated "Great firewall of China" is perfectly O.K. most stating that the only purpose it serves is to filter "harmful filth" that runs rampant through the rest of the world.

And you sir, with the statement above sound just like the poor brainwashed souls that are victim to state ran censorship...

Please sir, put down the cup of "St. Steve's Holy Tea" and seek help at once...

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Heart

Try this...

I say xyz old boy i have found this natty .mp3 ditty on the jolly old interweb, just the ticket for an humourous ring tone on the old eyepone eh.

Here, have it by bluetooth... you cant? for why old boy... Steve says you cant have it because its not via eyetunes. Well its your 'choice' old bean.

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@Another bunch of freetards...

Your tangent on open source rather misses the point.

Source code license and vendor lock are two independent variables.

The problem with DRM and vendor lock for consumers is that the vendor controls the product/service instead of the consumer. Even a closed source product can give consumers the choice to run it as they please.

"You are free to spend as much of your own life creating things (computers, media content, whatever) and distributing it for free as much as you like. No one is stopping you, go run along."

This is not the case with the iphone for instance. One can create the apps, but apple gets to decide on behalf of consumers whether they're allowed to install it, and then take a % of the profits for doing so.

Even someone who doesn't believe in open source has a right to be disappointed with apple's new fondness of restricted platforms.

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Sly
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"freely produced stuff just doesn't measure up"

www.bigbuckbunny.org - proof that Blender (freely available) is on par with stuff Pixar, ILM, and Dreamworks use.

www.gimp.org - proof that you don't need Photoshop to make great pictures.

www.openoffice.org - proof that you don't need Microsoft Office.

www.avast.com free.avg.com www.avira.com - Proof that you don't need Symantec or McAfee, but if you want to pay for all the bells and whistles, they have options for that too. (Avast's boot-time scan has saved many people I know from root-kit infections while Norton and McAfee can't even touch it.)

Need more examples? www.thefreecountry.com

oh... and btw, only Apple approved apps can be loaded on the iPad. It's just a giant iPhone without the phone functions. This means that you can't just install software like you could on a Macbook (or any other tablet PC on the market).

The point is that it's not free software that's the problem. The problem is that the platform is so restrictive as to make it not near as useful as a lower cost Asus EEE T91 (that's the tablet version in case you don't know... go look it up... it even has a real keyboard and USB ports for copying files over without having to dock it to another computer) for example.

oh... and the iPad won't play flash content. sorry, all that user created (and corporate created for that matter) stuff in flash is off limits to iPad users. And then it's not a real computer but a proprietary system on chip device more like the iPods so calling it a tablet PC is a misnomer. It's not a computer, but a multimedia viewing device with certain limitations, or a grown up iPod. But it's nowhere near a full blown computer. Just another restrictive device that wants you to think it's a computer.

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Jobs Horns

Foolish and weak?

Kinda like those people that have the pathological compulsion to buy anything bearing the image of a pale piece of fruit, simply because it's there?

I grant you, Apple devotees choose to be restricted like cattle, because that's their choice to make, but the fact that such a fluff novelty device (essentially chav kit) is treated like God in a Box makes me sick to my stomach. iSlaves make Scientologists look normal.

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Arise...

Robert Hill, King of the Proprietards!

Many people who have developed things of note also happen to be against vendor lock-down: not everyone producing software or content has some kind of remuneration entitlement complex escalating to a full-blown desire to minutely control every aspect of "the experience" that their oh-so-precious work supposedly demands. To imply that only control freaks and multiple dippers cut from the cloth of the likes of Cliff "royalties in perpetuity" Richard are the only "people who can create and can produce" is absurd and wrong, possibly suggesting an unhealthy level of cultural and corporate indoctrination sadly prevalent in many Britards these days.

Aside from the very fact that people pay good money for devices and should reasonably expect to control what they do - they are, after all, the customer's property - and not have to brush up against corporate legislation which attempts to criminalise someone for merely trying to control how their own property is used, it doesn't serve society to have lots of closed devices for whom support will be discontinued by the manufacturer when they decide that everyone must upgrade, thus resulting in these devices being thrown away in favour of the "new shiny" being peddled by the corporate overlords, who have, of course, offshored manufacturing to a place where the environmental costs are unlikely to have been priced in.

Foolish and weak, indeed. By failing or refusing to understand distinctions between gratis and freedom, you look foolish, King Robert, and by failing to imagine that anything other than that pushed at you through the usual mainstream "big label must be good" channels could have merit in its own right, you look weak. You may now drink from the royal well of fail!

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Take the Pepsi challenge...

Go up to any 100 random people with MP3 players, and see what percentage of their music was downloaded from bands distributing their content for free - the stuff is all around, MySpace is crawling with it, and several download sites specialize in author-donated music. Yet you will find that way, way less than 50% of the music people listen to is freely distributed. The reason? Most of it is crap - mind you, I said the majority, not all. Most bands giving their music away couldn't sell it to save their lives.

For that matter, try to make some music using Linux. Go get the most recent version of Ubuntu Studio edition to make it easy. Nearly all of the synthesis programs (Freebirth, etc) included are also crap compared to commercial pay applications like Absynth 5 or Reason. And difficult to integrate? No, nearly impossible - whereas most commercial synthesis hew to the ReWire protocol, under Linux it just doesn't exist, nor does anything like it. And I won't even start on the mess that is Linux sound standards...

How about news? On one hand, you can get unlimited free "news" from the blogosphere that is usually so biased and one sided that it is an affront to democracy - or on the other, you get commercial news sites with strong editorial content and writing standards.

Sure, Gimp is good, and Blender 3D even better - I use both. But again, they are diamonds in the rough, not the majority - and both have user interfaces that take a bit of getting used to, to say the least. And OpenOffice is a nice suite - but please remember that Sun underwrote a fair bit of it to get it to that level of polish. And who knows how much longer we can call MySQL open source? (At least there is PostgreSQL).

I have Ubuntu or Debian partitions on nearly all of my machines, and I am writing this on Firefox under Ubuntu right now, on my IBM T60. And I spent most of the afternoon doing a Joomla install and testing some site designs. So it's not that my comment was made out of ignorance of open source software - it was made in view of statistics, and including free media not just free software. I bought my first PC in 1982, I've seen the industry evolve, and I stand by my statement.

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No Ogg

No, it won't. Neither Ogg nor FLAC, AVI, MKV, etc. Just as format-starved as the iPhone.

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Anonymous Coward

flash

"oh... and the iPad won't play flash content. sorry, all that user created (and corporate created for that matter) stuff in flash is off limits to iPad users."

Hooray! There's nothing more annoying than flash and I've only ever found a handful of sites that need it. One of them only needed it so that you could click the annoying flash into to get into the site...

Good riddance to bad bloated rubbish. Silverlight is something I've never used but any device that doesn't them it is a winner in my book!

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Grenade

flash

joecartoon.com

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Badgers

Nice poster

Well, DbD have a nice poster, I'll give them that, but they're not actually correct in most respects. You can run free software - no shortage of free apps on the AppStore. Books and music aren't DRM'd (eg. they're using the open ePub book standard, and Apple managed to persuade the music labels to let them sell non DRM'd music a while ago now). Apple have never remotely deleted anything as far as I'm aware. And sharing copyrighted material is illegal, right? (Assuming that by "sharing" they mean "copying" - if you want to lend your iPad to your mate so they can read the latest book you downloaded then I'm sure no-one's going to go out there and stop you.)

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Stop

Free /= free

You have to know that they are talking about Free Software-not free software.

Quoting from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html :

"Free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer."

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program's users have the four essential freedoms:

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

* The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

* The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

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Paris Hilton

Aha ha!

Naysayers the lot of you.

(I've signed up to be notified when it becomes available.)

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AC 22:16

> Naysayers the lot of you.

I bet you think that the climate change industry is about science not profit & taxation don't you?

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Happy

By gum, there's them as for and them as against

The one sure thing though: They should all get out more.

So, all you "for" and "against" bods, stop!, go down the pub, have a beer (or two) & remember.

It's. Only. A. Bloody. Computer.

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Gold badge

No it's not

Vendor lock is NOT a byproduct of Apple's success -- Steve Jobs has preferred simplicity over flexibility the whole time. Apple II, Jobs had little influence over it. Mac SE, SE/30 etc. had NO expansion slots -- he was PISSED when he found out the "PDS" (Processor Direct Slot) was on them -- it was slipped in as a socket for debugging. The Mac line in general was infamously closed compared to PCs, and indeed compared to other contemporary computers of the 1980s, with very little low-level programming info available (in contrast to PCs, Atari ST, Amiga, etc. etc. where you could put on alternate OSes throughout the machine's history). The Macs themselves are not that closed now, there's little choice once they went to off-the-shelf PCI, AGP, and later on PCIe, and particularly going from PowerPC to Intel processors.

@Robert Hill, you may think they look foolish (and, in fact, they do) but they are fighting for everyone's rights. People think these restrictions are not a big deal, until they bight them in the ass and turn out to be. Defective By Design protested the types of restrictions that Major League Baseball used (people bought recording of games, they shut the DRM down, they lost the games with no recourse or refund.) They fought against Microsoft's restriction systems (people are finding they can't play their movies because they don't have a rights-restricted monitor, files with several generations of older DRM have quit functioning, etc.) They fought against DRM restricted books (several DRM servers have been shut down, either making books unreadable, or making books that were bought with the statement they'd be transferrable to another computer non-transferrable.)

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I value my freedom of choice, which is why I don't buy apple.

"Vendor lock is NOT a byproduct of Apple's success"

You have valid points, however I really have trouble believing that a much smaller apple would be capable of bringing such a restricted iphone/tabletpc platform to the market.

Ultimately, the only say I have is when I spend my own money on open products. If others buy into crippled products, that is their problem. Still, it disturbs me that, in the long run, buying patterns of other consumers can elevate locked platforms to the point where alternatives loose commercial viability and the locked platforms become the status quo.

I value my freedom of choice, which is why I don't buy apple.

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And I value quality

and that is why I do.

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Anonymous Coward

Freedom of choice

"I value my freedom of choice, which is why I don't buy apple."

Please don't tell me you use winblows then?

I have a choice between Apple or MS, since Linux isn't up to scratch for the music-related things I need to do. The choice is a very simple one to make - NOT windows. It's that simple!

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Linux

Welcome to Oceania

> Please don't tell me you use winblows then?

The "music related" things you want to do aren't available in the type of Apple product we're talking about right here and right now. That's rather the point. This new generation of Apple devices is locked down to the point of being unusable to anyone but a "mere consumer". Even a "power consumer" doesn't have any means of controlling their experience.

If this is the future of Apple then you really don't have any choice.

It's either Windows or Linux for you. Like it or not.

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Heart

Hmmm

Third party clip on handle bars or hand bag type of grip I suspect will be made to teat this as a good IT soloution so IT reps will have no need to have a pc and can on the fly at customers site close their case tickets which increaes productivity and response time.

VERY NICE!

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hahah

"there's much to be concerned about as Apple and others lock down your computing devices."

Not mine, mate. And not for the majority of people. Apple markets kit that's idiot proof to the idiots. Apple user are like the general user populous that you don't let have admin rights because they are too retarded to not break something. There will always be people who want real computers no the 'my first computer' Mac shit.

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Boffin

Realignment with reality

"Who the fuck do you think kept Apple alive through their dark days in the mid 90s?"

Microsoft. They invested in Apple in order to sustain the illusion that they had independent competition in the retail computing marketplace and weren't by any means a monopoly, and they continued producing Office for Mac - a product whose absence would have devastated Apple's sales since all you "creative types" apparently couldn't manage without it. Certainly all those "Johnny-come-lately" types really wanted something that ran Office.

But yes, Apple's a consumer electronics firm now: peddler of "fruit-themed toys" is how they put it in The Inquirer.

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Alien

Macs cure cancer, make people noble...

>>Macs are used by people who have infinitely more capacity for imaginative thought than MOST winddozzze box luser types.

They are all Scientology-approved types, I reckon.

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FAIL

MActard alert!!!

The poor widdle mac user is upset.

The wonks who use macs, the supposedly creative types are just to stupid to own a real computer, as

your post so aptly demonstrates.

I rekon you should get a mac laptop, it wouldnt need a battery charger, you could power it with your own sense of self impotance

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Kill that myth right now

Go visit any artistic forum (2D, 3D, music, etc.) and check their Mac vs. PC statistivs: you'll see people producing incredible art without a Mac and without problems.

And, anyway, the iPad isn't a Mac and lacks its flexibility.

(after a couple of decades being a Mac user and owner, one develops RDF inmunity. Frustrations are a great vaccine)

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FAIL

lol

I'm a real techie - that's the reason I don't want to HAVE to fanny about on my computer when I get home. I want it to work!

Apart from programming, I want to do some music-related things too.

So, not too stupid to own a "real computer" but too intelligent to put up with any more MS bullshit.

I reckon you probably don't need a battery charger either - you could power it from your own ignorance.

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FAIL

ePub

Guess they weren't expecting that.

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who shrunk steve jobs?

reminds me of that dom jolly bloke

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Anonymous Coward

who?

pancreatic cancer that spread to his liver and then a transplant, but keep going, you're really funny, k'yuk

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Joke

err...

I think it was more a reference to a comedy program on the tellybox where dom jolly would stand up with a massive mobile phone and bellow HELLO at it rather than a dig at an extremely serious disease that the poor man suffered from. In this way the original poster has, quite subtly in my view, made reference to the various comments circulating the 'tubes about it being very much akin to a huge iphone, although by laboriously explaining this for your benefit it I fear I have shat on whatever comedy remained.

Try and keep up in future to avoid these predicaments.

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small distinction between MAc and non-mac

Apple sees their products as 'appliances'. Extendable appliances , but still appliances.

If you buy a Tv you don't take it apart to change the speaker, or the graphics processor or the power supply capacitoss. You don't rewrite the user interface. You use it 'as is , hook it up to a content providing channel (cable,satellite, atsc , dvd, blu-ray0 and you consume. And you pay a monthly price for that.

That is what the apple tablet is. a consumption device. same goes for ipod , iphone .

Don't take it for something ti is not. it is NOT a computer.

The MAC computers are a crossbreed appliance / computer. you can run some software to some extent. but you can not buy the OS to run on another box. And it is locked down on a lot of fronts. some lockdowns are so they don;t have tho do the work of supporting 25 different graphics cards , some lockdowns are DRM. I bet apple makes more money from itunes transactions than from hardware sales.

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FAIL

iWill not own

I've seen the light, so to speak. I like to modify, tinker, tweak, my OS. I like to be able to install apps, whether I bought or downloaded them. I like to read PDF's or copy that text in the PDF and edit it in a format that can be edited by others around the globe. I like to completely wipe the OS from the machine and install another OS if I so choose.

From the look of the iPad, it is just a larger version of the iPod touch and iPhone. Can I wipe the OS off and install a variant of Linux? I think not. But in the case of most mobile (cell) phones your not able to do that anyway. iWill not even own the Google phone, no matter who manufactures it.

Maemo is looking chuff, and I do believe I'm holding out on that one.

eeePC t91?? I'm checking that out now.

Another Apple FAIL, now if someone can just get game written for PC (MAC or Windows) to run natively without WINE then this world will start being a much better place.

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Pint

Holy shit...

...where the hell were these people when the CD medium was released?

Damned things still won't play in my early 1970s Wurlitzer jukebox. Apparently, I'll have to get it "modded".

Bloody Wurlitzer and their DRM-locked platforms!

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Don't like it??

Don't buy one then.

Solved.

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Gates Horns

Opinion Piece?

"Good on ya', DBD."

Is this article an opinion piece? because it's sure not unbiased journalism.

Whining freetards - exactly what is it they want to do on their phones and iPods that Apple is preventing them? My iPod Touch lets me do everything I need to, and I've not once felt the need to start parading around with a placard.

Let's see a list of their requirements.

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Unbiased journalism?

If you're looking for unbiased journalism why in hell are you reading The Reg? That's not exactly the point of the site...

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May I register

May I register my profound "so what" about the DRM in Apple's products?

It's not exactly a hidden variable. Vote with your money. You can buy plenty of products that share your philosophy on this. Software support on those is shitty, and they look like crap, but that's a small price to pay for freedom.

But, sorry, you can't have Apple's design expertise *and* your choice of restrictions. The world simply doesn't work that way.

Also, there are more important things to protest about than whether or not the latest luxury gadget you don't need has restrictions you don't like. As protests go this is about on a par with rich country house owners protesting windfarms because they spoil their view.

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army of fanbois

I see defectivebydesign.org is off the air, presumably being packeted by outraged hordes of Jobbiephiles. Pathetic.

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Blown-up iPhone

And now that all the hype and mystery around Apple's new gadget is finally over with, will other companies follow them or give us what we really want: A cut in half netbook (preferably with a choice of Linux flavours), not a blown-up iPhone?

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