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back to article This witch-hunt will hurt Adobe more than Apple

There's nothing quite so righteous as a Puritan who suddenly discovers wickedness has been lurking at the heart of the community for years, and embarks on rooting it out to save us all. After years of uncritical coverage, the press pack has decided that Apple is after all, quite wicked. Adobe is stoking the discontent with a …

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Anonymous Coward

bizarre

Another utterly bizarre uber-pro-Apple article from Mr Orlowski. So Apple finally raising media eyebrows with repeated highly questionable policies is a "witchhunt"? Adobe delicately defending themselves (e.g. "we love Apple") from a scathing and relentless onslaught is "angling for a Hardware Neutrality Act"?

Of course Apple can do what they want, and they have, to the detriment of erm... just about everybody. But they, like all of us, must accept the consequences of their actions. Using shills to counter degradation in public opinion will only pan out even worse for them in the long term. I eagerly await the outcome of all of this! :)

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Interesting turn of phrase...

"Adobe delicately defending themselves"

They're not IMO defending themselves, they're desperately trying to get Joe Public to demand that Flash go onto the iPhone/iPad/whatever... in spite of not even having a working RTM product to do that. Hell, their first reaction to Apple was from their chief fanboy - to wit: "go screw yourselves". Come to think of it, that seems to have been Adobe's reaction and attitude towards Apple since 1998...

You know? If Adobe had gotten in the ball in 2006 and produced an efficient mobile version of Flash that worked well on the emerging smartphone market, they wouldn't have had anything to worry about. Instead, they disbanded their mobile unit in 2007, and only last year or so hastily began to lash something together (about when they realized that -oh shit!- the mobile web market really is taking off...)

Long story short, Adobe brought this one on themselves.

IMHO (and nothing more) Adobe is the web version of surviving dinosaurs about 2 hours post-asteroid... They know something really big is about to happen, that they're in for something that will likely kill most of them off in a few years, but they're ill-prepared to do much of anything about it except roar.

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Fine

Adobe could just release their Flash Player through Cydia for all the jailbroken Idevices. Tobit did this with their David.fx client while it wasn't approved for the appstore.

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Yea..... really?

So bizarre,,,,,, do you know of a functional and released version of FLASH that is available for mobile units.??????

Apple is still waiting ..... now for 3-5 years... I guess we should all just sit on our ..... . until Adobe decides to allow us to use their proprietary software.

Just a thought.

e

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needs Vader icon

I find your lack of faith disturbing

all joke aside, surely you must realize how historically closed apple has been to outsiders.

How any user can defend such a mentality is beyond me.

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Happy

Mixture of both...

Apple closes its family jewels (its UI, etc), but leaves its core (Darwin) open. Adobe does much the same thing (though only opening some of their core standards, and even then not fully, as witnessed by the performance of gnash vs. Flash).

Pox on both their houses. Now pass the popcorn, please. :)

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Really..??

I guess we are all just so used to Adobe's open standards, and Microsoft's open standards... etc.

Aint Apple just so different...being so closed and all. Of course Apple likes to use open standard things like jpg, pnd, html5....etc. So we can all see what is on the web.

Just a thought.

en

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Linux

I was fine with it until

personally I hate both companies, i just laughed at all this hubub, until Steve Jobs started attacking open video codecs. if it is his view that no video platform can be free from patents, then there can be nothing but closed source computing, and thus, software patents need to be eliminated. patents are there to enhance the evolution of technology for the benefit of society, not to line the wallets of troll patent lawyers.

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Software Patents

Surely the answer to silly software patents is to make sure the rest of the world is benefiting from the technology via open source codecs and have a paragraph in the terms and conditions that requires US users to either not use the software or to contact the patent holders for a licence, which may require payment of a fee.

That way the rest of the world can get on with life and ignore the very broken US patent system. It's a great shame that the rest of the world can't do this with anything that's only patented in the US, given the number of very obvious, non-novel things that the USPTO grants.

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Grenade

Finaly, some common sense.

Good to see some common sense on the adobe/apple spat. Now can someone please explain to me how when a remarkably stable and secure OS meets flash (and seemingly only flash) and becomes crashy, this is somehow an OS issue (and not lazy adobe buck passing).

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If it is so stable and secure...

...how can an *application* bring it to its knees? MacOS does have process permission levels, yes? MacOS does have process time scheduling control, yes? So what's the excuse? If Flash is a piece of crap, then Flash is a piece of crap, but a piece of crap consuming - as some have said - 100% of the processor and/or bringing down the system itself suggests that Flash isn't the only piece of crap in this equation.

Or, to put it another way - I have Neuros OSD. It runs and ARM based hack of Debian. It offers a telnet console and the Lighttpd server. Odd thing is, when recording a TV programme, my interactions with the machine are dead slow. This is because it knows I'd be (rightly) pissed off if it took the effort to respond to my commands quickly to the detriment of what I was recording. No, the recording gets absolute priority and the non-essential stuff get whatever processing time is left. So regarding the Flash-on-Mac dispute, are you telling me Apple still hasn't figured out how to make the illusion of "multitasking" run nicely? OMFG, they aren't still using co-operative multitasking are they? <g,d&r>

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Anonymous Coward

Can't

Be that stable then

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@Chad Finally, a clueless Mac-lover

"a remarkably stable and secure OS meets flash (and seemingly only flash) and becomes crashy,"

Steve\, is that you?

And why are you bringing up Windows 7 and linux here?

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WTF?

eloquently written so off track

Comparing Apple to Sony in this case, is obscene. If you were comparing the 100 dollar you have to pay to be able to develop for the app store to the 10k i would say ok, but to say that Sony is as closed as Apple because it's simply charging more is ridiculous. first the 10k is as insignificant in the production of a game as the 100 dollar in the production of an app.

Anyways, Sony doesn't control what games to be published on the machine, it is a gaming device and so any game developer licensed to do produce a game is freely able to do so,in any language using any number of layers. First PS3 games were simple ports of Xbox 360 games (and shitty ports if i may add). Apple on the other hand simply wants to control the A and the Z and everything in between. And my friend simply stating that their market share is negligible at the moment, is misleading. the backing they are getting, and the excuses they are given by the tech "savvy" like you, might just give them the edge.

Adobe simply doesn't want to be left out of a growing market. BRAVO for them.

As a reminder H264 is a codec, and Safari is the only browser on the iPhone OS that is allowed to support it. Flash is a container that can play H 264.

the bet here is not Flash is bad, it's Flash's implementation with hardware acceleration will not match Safari's. well off-course if apple keeps this kind of access forbidden, exactly like they did on OS x until recently.

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Shitty ports

"any game developer licensed to do produce a game is freely able to do so,in any language using any number of layers. First PS3 games were simple ports of Xbox 360 games (and shitty ports if i may add)."

Doesn't this play to exactly what Jobs said in his open letter, that if you let people port software from other platforms you often end up with crap?

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FAIL

Wrong

"Anyways, Sony doesn't control what games to be published on the machine"

Oh yes it does. As does Microsoft and Nintendo. If they don't like what you produce, you don't get to sell it. Seen any porn games on any of the platforms ? No market for them ? Really.

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Anonymous Coward

Why will it hurt Adobe more? Because Adobe is a huge hypocrite!

Adobe loves "healthy competition"? They love "innovation"? They don't love " anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you create and how you create it"? All these quotes are from their attack ad against Apple. Yet Adobe is against their supposed newfound "principles" in many ways. Just a case in point: Macromedia Freehand, the only real competitor to Illustrator which Adobe bought out and refuses to sell-off and is trying to let die quietly (against antitrust regulations). At least freefreehand.org is trying to do something about it. One would like to see Adobe practice what they preach.

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Anonymous Coward

It's OK to do evil...

As long as you're locking people into your own products.

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Jobs Horns

Fawning fanboy commentary

Almost every one of Steve Jobs points about Flash being a bad idea for mobile devices has been shown to be paper thin. It runs on other mobile phones fine, and while it drains battery it is no more guilty of this than any other processor intensive app, for instance a game.

Interesting that you want to compare the PS3 to the iPad. Games for that will almost certainly be developed using cross platform tools, and many of the games on the app store are made in this way. Some of the top sellers in fact. However it is likely that Apple will turn a blind eye to this as they did with the porn apps. One rule for the rich and another for the poor.

The App store is already cluttered with low quality rubbish, made with Apple's own tools. If it is a quality concern that motivates Apple to ban development environments then they should either weed these out at the approval stage or let customers decide. If Flash developed apps produce a lesser experience for customers then sales should reflect that. That is how markets are supposed to work.

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Serious question here:

"It runs on other mobile phones fine"

...which ones? I've only heard about the Android, and that was a public beta that flopped horribly.

I am seriously curious as to which production phones/OSes it currently runs on.

Also, to be fair, Flash performance on Windows (desktop) is far better than it is on OSX (desktop), where it tends to run quite horrid by comparison.

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What a troll boy crock!!

"It runs on other mobile phones fine, " Er please tell me and everyone what released version of FLASH runs on all mobile phones currently in use????

FLASH 10.1 is to be released this summer and will be the first version to so. Per Adobe. Flash lite was a patch and a poor one at that. PS. 10.1 was displayed a few days ago in Beta and it crashed 2 times in a row. PS it will have to be released for each type and level of phone as a different version and web sites will have to have different versions of FLASH video to support each FLASH version.

So what part of a non-existant flash for mobile did you really love??

Just a thought.

en

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FAIL

In Effect....

>From the Adobe ads, you may be forgiven for thinking that Apple has banned Adobe's Flash from all Mac computers.

Apple blocking access to the APIs for hardware acceleration is pretty much the same..........

Most common complaint from OSX users here seems to be that FP is a CPU hog - many seem to have uninstalled it for this reason. Its not something I find under Windows, Linux or Symbian.

Also looks like no-one of consequence much cares about how well it performs under OSX since Adobe at both ends is still the most reliable means of delivering h.264 - I guess that's why, while decrying Flash publically, Apple has quietly opened up OSX for HWA video in Gala.

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Sensible enough comment article...

Just a pity the mac-haters will see this as "Pro Apple" and slate you (no pun intended) anyway. I'll be seen as "Pro Apple" too, just for agreeing with some (though not all) of your comments and down-voted. Even though I don't own an apple product.

And then there's the Flash-bois, who'll slate you as well for daring to question their holy grail of an application as well, and it's righteous crusade to absolute world-domination.

Why can we all just get along? To the down-voters - GSY and get a life.

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I agree

To the extent that I wanted to put my (Register login) name to it.

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Both are wrong.

1. flash is one of the most bugged software ever. it is IMPOSED on users. it is criminaly unefficient and is a security risk

2. Apple illegally lock down Iphone annd ipad. These are NO GAME CONSOLE. Apple need to be FORCED by law to unlock the IPAD. because in it's current form it is totally useless.

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WTF?

Do be quiet you muppet!

"Apple need to be FORCED by law to unlock the IPAD. because in it's current form it is totally useless."

What are you on pal?! That's Apple's business if they want to shoot themselves in the foot! You make a table from wood at home, I have no right to demand what colour you paint it, what colour table cloth you use on it or even how many and whom you allow to sit at it!!!

I think the iPad is utter toss quite frankly, then again I think the iPhone is utter tosh too actually and I have used Macs for over 3 years now!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Both are wrong

Actually, whilst they may be wrong, they aren't criminally wrong, nor even acting illegally. In fact, you can (with your like-minded friends) fix this yourself...

1. We live in a free world - so you can disable flash on your browser (and if by doing so you and those who do likewise can't do business with publishers using it, well, in time market forces will teach them to stop using it)

2. We live in a free world - no-one is forcing you to buy something you consider totally useless. In time, competitors will emerge producing less useless devices.

Although...

The only problem with this is a separate argument that this depends upon: do we live in a free world if innovation and creation of alternative devices is so constrained by (often dubious) patents? If we can fix this issue, then diversity and product innovation will likely flourish, though even this area is more complex that it appears (Patents aren't always bad, and were introduced to encourage innovation back in the day).

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not nessesarily forced

Well the big problem is that all those iPhones and iPads will soonish end up in dumpsters. If they could be re-programmed to do something usefull this would be less of a problem.

So maybe Apple should be forced to pay for recycling all those devices, as they won't have a particularly long lifespan because of the DRM features.

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IT Angle

say what

You got bad breath mate, oh talking out of your arse that explains it...

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Mixed views

I have two lines of thought:

One is I really don't like Apple's attitude to user freedom, but again they have a small share and there is plenty of competition so the impact is far less than Microsoft. Usually it is MS I have a rant over (usually over abuse of their market dominance coupled with seriously dumb security at the core of their products) but to be fair they are much less restrictive than Apple.

The second is that Adobe software sucks must worse than MS these days. The endless security holes in flash (particularly considering its size relative to, say, Windows) and poor multi-platform support/performance is pathetic, same for their pdf reader. They seem to be stuck in MS' bad old Windows 95/98 days of adding bloat and ill-considered 'features' than no one really wants. I mean, WTF is javascript needed for in a print-ready document reader? Same for the recent rumbles about the running stuff included in the document.

This current spat is probably good in it might just make Adobe fix things and see the light, and also it might put off those mindless idiots who make web sites that can't be used without flash. So I am sitting back with some popcorn...

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Everybody loves monopolies

"By Adobe's logic, Sony should open the PlayStation to allow everyone to develop games for it."

Sounds like a good idea to me.

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WTF?

Missing a key issue

I've read dozens of articles about Apple locking out Flash that are simply written from the wrong point of view.

Locking something out is an ACTION. It is something you DO. Did Apple add code to iPhone/iPad Safari that says "don't let Flash run"? No, obviously not. Was Flash already running on the iPhone and Apple did something to bugger it up? Again, no.

So Apple has not DONE anything to hurt Adobe. They simply have not done anything to help them.

Running Flash is a FEATURE that they simply have not implemented.

In fact it would likely take man-years on Apple's part to get mobile Safari plug-ins working, and it would take man-years on Adobe's part to finish an iPhone implementation of Flash.

Can Apple really be faulted for not doing work to help out some other company?

If there is any problem with Apple, it's that they wouldn't allow a 3rd party, Flash-friendly browser on the App Store. People should be complaining about THAT a hundred times more than Apple's reluctance to help out Adobe.

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Think you missed something.

"Did Apple add code to iPhone/iPad Safari that says "don't let Flash run"? No, obviously not. Was Flash already running on the iPhone and Apple did something to bugger it up? Again, no."

I remember a while back Apple explicitly changing the terms and conditions on using their SDK to ban (essentially) Flash, under the guise of cross-platform languages or something or other. And I think Adobe were developing the product as Apple yanked the rug from underneath them. I cannot be bothered to look up the details to prove you wrong. And then didn't Jobs say that he did this in order to stop flash because he thought it was crap?

These sound like ACTIONs. They are something Apple DID.

Do try to keep up.

(I have no opinions either way on this particular spat, it's just that something factually wrong needs to be corrected.)

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FAIL

Erm

"Did Apple add code to iPhone/iPad Safari that says "don't let Flash run"?"

When Adobe released a translator to make Flash apps run on the iThings, did Apple change the license on their SDK to explicitly ban everything originally written in a non-Apple language? Did Jobs confirm that this measure was exclusively aimed at Flash?

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good post but

"Running Flash is a FEATURE that they simply have not implemented." Actually NO ONE has implemented this feature cause the software from ADOBE does not yet exist. FLASH 10.1 is the first version that is scheduled to run on Android and is to be released in the summer. Maybe if they can get it to quit crashing like it did 2x at the recent demo.

ADOBE DOES NOT have ANY software to allow FLASH to run on mobile phones YET.

Just a thought,

en

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Anonymous Coward

Buggy, insecure and exploit laden

Flash is NOT a feature - it's a bug.

Hell will freeze over long before I ever again allow it on any device that I own.

Too buggy, Too many security risks. One of the most ugly pieces of junk I've ever had to deal with.

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why?

2. why? The comparison of the PSx to iPad/Phone etc is perfectly valid.

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Pint

This might be something worth test marketing

How about a special version of the iPhone for the states where they add Flash (more crashes) but make it work on Verizon's network (fewer dropped calls, better 3G)? Give it 6 months then drop the line that nobody is buying any longer.

It's Friday evening and I'm too sozzled at this point to think of what is wrong with this idea. Just thumb it down if you must, but have a good weekend regardless.

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Anonymous Coward

Curate's egg

"Given Apple's preference for HTML5, a truly open standard, and H.264 video, which can't be licensed on a discriminatory basis"

Particularly interesting how the sentence from the point of mentioning H.264 runs into such awkward wording, in contrast to "truly open standard", that one is led to contemplate the situation of the curate grimacing inwardly and formulating his similarly awkward response to the bishop about his egg.

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FAIL

Delusion of grandeur v. 2.0

First allow me to voice my disagreement with this article's underlying assumption: Adobe's campaign is NOT directed against Apple; it's quite obviously directed against Jobs. Personnally.

Adobe and Apple love story go way back back and Adobe was not the one who broke up. Apple (as a company) did not either. Both companies slept together for the last decade, feeding on crea-type people smugness. but then Mr Jobs went all control-freak and broke the deal.

Now who will be hurt most by the break-up? Let's go back in time... remember when Macintosh was all the rage? The Apple ][ was the hackers' dream.

Then someone at Mcintosh went all power-freak, took the power off of the users and drove them in Microsoft's open arms.

Macintosh almost disappeared, and the guy, who had been instrumental in Mcintosh success, was fired. His name was Steve Jobs.

I know that most fanbois nowadays see Apple as the virgin underdog which, slowly but surely, tends to overcome the Redmond Beast. But history tells us otherwise. The RIA developpers of today are like the Apple][ hackers of yesteryears: you might not like them (I don't), they might smell funny, but alienating them is unadvisable. And, as the Apple][ hackers of lore, today's real develooppers do hate when developpment tools are forced on them. That's event the main driving force for the era's new phenomenon, OSS.

Sweet, sweet irony: it took that to make Ballmer's "developpers" dance look halway relevant.

Disclaimer: I despise Adobe, I hate MS at least as much as Apple. Also, Linus Thorvalds and Theo de Raadt are freaks. But I have to get my OS somewhere. Until I come around to developping my own lousy one, that is.

Also, as a general rule, people suck. Especially when they think they don't.

Sent from my Ben Nanonote

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Some cursory glance at history

> Adobe and Apple love story go way back back and Adobe was not the one who broke up. Apple (as a company) did not either. Both companies slept together for the last decade, feeding on crea-type people smugness. but then Mr Jobs went all control-freak and broke the deal.

That's wrong, it clearly was Adobe. Adobe has been very slow to support Mac OS X ever since they made Windows their top priority in the late 90s. They were the last to move their products from Classic Mac OS to native OS X in 2003 and they were the last to move from Power PC to Intel in 2007. They still don't use the recommended Cocoa frameworks.

Each time they were years behind the Mac OS software published by Apple, Microsoft and the indie devs and dragged the advancement of the whole platform down.

That's just one of the reasons why a lot of those crea-types have been somewhat annoyed by Adobe for quite some time (some others being their gouging update policy and their increasingly quirky non-standard user interfaces which look alien on both Mac and Windows).

> Then someone at Mcintosh went all power-freak, took the power off of the users and drove them in Microsoft's open arms.

Not Microsoft, but IBM. In 1982-83, IBM came to control the business market with their IBM PCs. MS DOS was just the OS that happened to run on those machines which Microsoft turned into a gold mine by licensing IBM PCs (and thereby almost driving IBM out of business by 1992).

It was the corporate IT department that picked the winner in the 80s, and they wanted IBM PCs because they had been buying IBM machines for 3 decades. Apple's developer policy didn't have anything to do with it. Macs weren't seen as business machines because they looked too friendly.

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Joke

Poor babies....

I wish Adobe's execs would stop throwing a tantrum. LOL!

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Coat

Adobe CS updates drive new Mac sales

As each subsequent version needs more and more RAM and CPU.

Flash could do the same for mobile devices. Apple should let Flash on the iPhone/Pad and use the battery draining CPU hog as a reason to buy a new, more powerful iPhone every couple of years.

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Anonymous Coward

Why?

The Iphone owners will buy a new one for any reason. Change the colour a bit and they will all update to that version.

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This post has been deleted by its author

But, the iPad is a computer, no?

Enlarge its screen and you get what? An iMac with touchscreen.

Reduce the iMac's screen to 10" and you get an iPad.

So, where is the difference? The usage?

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yaadi yaadi yada

Burger King should sell Big Macs, Ford should make me a Megane, PS3 should play Xbox games.... etc etc

In every walk of life successful companies are successful because they offer a product that is unique to their brand. The reason some things are locked down is because WE like it that way, if we didn't they wouldn't be successful and the company wouldn't do it, all comes down to $.

If you're so upset and even angry at Apple, just don't buy their products, by your own definition they're not offering you what you need.

Do you lay awake at night crying that Subway won't let you into their kitchens to make the sandwich you thought up? No you don't so stop moaning, get developing your own software empire (in flash no doubt) and show Apple who the boss...

FYI I'm no Apple fan, I don't even own an ipod. Just applying common sense.

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WTF?

Argh

Owlorski on your side of the argument is far worse than him blithering mendaciously for the other camp.

As someone sick to death of how crashy flash is under Linux, I'm completely in the "flash is a flaky POS" camp, but having read this nonsense, I now feel rather dirty.

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Three sides to every story

1) Adobe's free software and plug-ins are buggy, often bloated and generally full of security holes.

2) A well-written OS or web browser can handle this buggyness, and Adobe isn't the only hacker route into Apple devices.

What we have here is two companies blaming each other for a problem both are responsible for.

As for Andrew's point, well, there are two sides to this argument. The first says that companies will only invest in innovation if they are allowed total control of the products they invent. The second side says that by giving too much control over the inventors of new ideas, industries become monopolistic, anti-competitive and spend more time wringing every last penny out of old ideas then developing new ideas.

A good case in point is the Big Pharm sector, where the development of new drugs has shrunken away over recent years and instead the industry tries to extend patents on existing drugs by sleight-of-hand tricks of tweeking them and then re-patenting them. A similar argument can be made against Apple. Despite it's tag as a significant innovator, Apple only actually comes up with around one good new idea every five years, and almost all of the technologies behind that innovation will have been invented by other companies.

The smartphone sector is a clear example of the dangers of Apple's locked down attitude. Despite Apple "inventing" the touchscreen smartphone, Nokia, HTC and Google have already overtaken Apple in terms of smartphone usability. All of the new features in iPhone OS 4 are already available on other phones; ie Apple are having to play catch-up. And there are things you will still be able to do on other phones that you won't be able to do on the iPhone (unless you jailbreak it). The iPhone looks old and tired, and it's all too easy for non-iPhone smartphone owners to make fun of their Apple fanboi pals by pointing out all the things you can't do on an iPhone.

This basic idea that big companies should have a vice-like grip on what they sell is a product of the US' love of mega-corps. In reality, the only ones who suffer from breaking down over-protective intellectual property rights law and opening up closed software / hardware platforms are the companies who are bad at generating new ideas.

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Jesus H. Christ

I agree with Andrew?!

Good lord!

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