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Hardware Hacking

In Defense of Jailbreaking 405

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the fighting-the-good-fight dept.
Keith found a nice manifesto saying "There's a trend that's been disturbing me lately. When the topic of modding or jailbreaking comes up — say, in the wake of the iPad announcement, or Sony's restrictive PS3 update — there is an outcry. Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?"
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In Defense of Jailbreaking

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:36AM (#31895944)
    "Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?"

    Who are Apple to tell me what I can and can't run? Precicely why I'll be buying a Lenovo Ideapad U1 (have been waiting for a device "like" the iPad for almost as long as my flying car, FINALLY somebody listened to the idea of simply having a detachable screen).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I call shenanigans. No one's telling you what to run.

      As a developer, you are free to upload any app you write to your phone. If you want to sell your app through their store, they have a right to decide what they sell and what they don't. I you can't live with that, move on and develop for a platform that meets your needs.

      As a consumer, if you choose to buy a device whose store does not sell the apps you want or need, the choice to buy was yours and yours alone.

      Get off your high horse, put your money where

      • As a developer, you are free to upload any app you write to your phone.

        As a developer, there is an annual fee. This fee over the estimated 5-year useful life of a device often exceeds the retail price of the device itself. Do you understand the complaints about XNA and iPhone OS now?

        • by uglyduckling (103926) on Monday April 19, 2010 @11:18AM (#31896542) Homepage
          No, not really. How much do you think it costs to develop games for the PS3 or XBox 360? Developing professionally for those platforms costs thousands of dollars. PS3 did have the Linux option, now gone, and XBox 360 does have hobbyist options, but if you actually want to release games to the public, you're not talking the retail price of the device, you're talking thousands. I don't see why it's so hard to grasp the iPhone is not, and was never intended to be, a general-purpose computing device. The development model, OS and user experience are designed to bring console-style simplicity and reliability to a smartphone. It works, and everyone is really happy with it, other than a few geeks who just can't grasp that it's not designed to be a really really small laptop. That's why Apple keep such a tight grasp on what goes on the device, how it's programmed etc., so it doesn't descend into a mess. It's also way, way cheaper to develop for than consoles.
          • Console like simplicity is good for most typical users, but it effectively excludes the more technical class of users who want more control. In that respect, current games consoles and ipad/iphone go too far one way, while something like windows that requires you to deal with updates, drivers and anti malware protection etc goes too far in the other.

            A compromise more like the Amiga would be better - typical users could boot the machine directly into a game or specific apps either from floppy or cd on certain models, while more technically literate users could boot up into workbench etc.

            Don't alienate the geeks when making products suitable for end users.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by dzfoo (772245)

              These aren't products "suitable for end users", these are products specifically designed for and targeted to end users.

                      -dZ.

          • by mswhippingboy (754599) on Monday April 19, 2010 @11:31AM (#31896720)
            Everything you say is absolutely correct. In effect, you never really own an iPhone. You are just licensing the use of Apples hardware/software and you have zilch to say about the decisions Apple makes regarding what that will/wont allow to be done to the device, and even what platform and languages you use to develop for the device.
            Which is why, as a developer, I can't imagine the draw to develop for the iPhad platform (the potential for riches is greatly overrated), when there is an alternative.
          • by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster...man@@@gmail...com> on Monday April 19, 2010 @11:36AM (#31896800)

            I don't see why it's so hard to grasp the iPhone is not, and was never intended to be, a general-purpose computing device. The development model, OS and user experience are designed to bring console-style simplicity and reliability to a smartphone. It works, and everyone is really happy with it, other than a few geeks who just can't grasp that it's not designed to be a really really small laptop.

            Agreed. If you buy an iPhone when you really wanted an Android phone, or an XBox 360 when you wanted a PC, or any number of other closed-platform solutions when what you wanted was an open-platform you have only yourself to blame.

            After you have bought the device that doesn't fit your requirements is the wrong time to complain about it. Either don't buy it, or deal with the limitations. Simply buying the closed device and then complaining that it's closed continues to funnel money towards that closed platform, and away from the open platform you should have purchased instead. Suddenly, you're part of the problem, not part of the solution.

          • by Hatta (162192) on Monday April 19, 2010 @01:31PM (#31898790) Journal

            How much do you think it costs to develop games for the PS3 or XBox 360? Developing professionally for those platforms costs thousands of dollars.

            Don't you see that as a problem? If I wish to develop something for use on the console that I own, I should be able to do that. If other people find it valuable and want to pay me for a copy, I should be able to let them do that. At no point should I have to ask permission from anyone or pay anyone.

            To use the venerable car analogy, if I want to manufacture after-market addons for a car I should not have to ask GM for permission or pay them any sort of fee.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by MousePotato (124958)

        actually, i think you miss the point. If you buy something it should be yours to do whatever you choose to do with. People are purchasing iphones and ps3's, they aren't leasing them. Once you take possession after purchase they shouldn't be able to change they deal... its called bait and switch and is a questionable practice.

        full disclosure; i own neither device because of said practices and while the ipad looks like a nice device I'll never own one of those either.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RichiH (749257)
    • Once you've purchased it, the device isn't Apple's any more, it's yours.

      • by Duradin (1261418)

        The device is yours but the services are still theirs.

        If they don't want out of spec devices using their services and you want to use their services perhaps you shouldn't take your device out of spec.

        • If only they ran an operating system that was standards compliant, then all they would have to do is comply to that standard.
          How hard can that be?

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:38AM (#31895956)

    Certainly a worthy moral argument, but thanks to the WIPO copyright Treaty (which everyone, except for a few of us crazies who were warning about it, completely ignored back when it was being debated), such circumvention of technology (specifically if it's designed to access protect copyrighted content) is nonetheless illegal in many WIPO countries, including the U.S.

    From the anti-circumvention section of the DMCA [cornell.edu]: "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

    And notice the language there. It doesn't say "no company may do this for profit" or "no one can do this for anyone else" (as many mistakenly believe), it says "No person." That means you sitting at home jailbreaking your own cellphone. Now, maybe you could make the case that an iPhone and its OS is not a "work protected under this title" but I think that would be a hard sell.

    • by BradleyUffner (103496) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:42AM (#31896026) Homepage

      "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

      Doesn't sound like it effectively controls anything if it can be so easily bypassed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Inf0phreak (627499)

        Can we stop with this idiocy? "Effectively controlling" is not the same as "being effective". The Content Scramling System used to encrypt data on DVDs is effectively controlling region coding (et al), but it is not very effective at it. But during normal operation of a (properly licensed blah blah blah) DVD player, it will indeed "effectively control" your access to the data on a disk.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by burris (122191)

        Seriously, do you think the word "effectively" means what you think it means in the context of the law that criminalizes bypassing the technological measure, if simply bypassing the technological measure would render the law moot?

        That's not how it works. In this context "effectively" means than under normal operation the effect of the measure is to control access to a work.

        How about a quote from the summary judgement Apple obtained against Psystar:

        As to the second argument, Psystar contends that Apple

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        But if it results in a lawsuit and your bankruptcy, that's effective enough for the legal system.

        My thoughts on the matter are simple -- if I paid for it, it's mine, I do what I want with it. This does not include copying for others. But it does include loaning to others, using with others, modifying to my heart's content, and anything I want. I do not modify my semi-auto rifles to full auto, as regardless of whether I think that should be my right, it's a serious felony where I live, and I choose to not

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So one Might use jailbreaking to violate copyright, therefore he must be restricted from doing it.
      By the same logic, government might cut off your internet at any moment, restrict you to your house. Kill you because you Might be a terrorist who wants to kill the President or whatever.

      Can a government enforcing rules that criminalize the WHOLE of the population be called "democracy"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mbone (558574)

      I am not a lawyer, but I have read the DMCA, and it (this section) applies to copyrighted "works", which devices are not generally considered to be. So, no, I don't think that this is relevant. Can you show case law to the contrary ?

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:51AM (#31896194)
        From what I've heard of it, jailbreaking is not aimed at the device itself, but at its software. While you might have a point if jailbreaking involved completely wiping the Apple OS from the phone and putting your own OS on it, IIRC it's actually aimed at modding the existing Apple software, which would certainly be considered a copyrighted work. If I am wrong here, I welcome correction.
        • From what I've heard of it, jailbreaking is not aimed at the device itself, but at its software. While you might have a point if jailbreaking involved completely wiping the Apple OS from the phone and putting your own OS on it, IIRC it's actually aimed at modding the existing Apple software, which would certainly be considered a copyrighted work. If I am wrong here, I welcome correction.

          This DMCA provision is in regards to the "Lock" behind which the "content" is stored. I'm not certain if an operating system qualifies as a work under this title. Regardless, it's definitely nonsensical, because "jailbreaking" is a case where the "lock" and the "content" are one and the same. I wonder if you could call a "jailbroken" OS as a derivative work...

      • by novium (1680776) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:52AM (#31896206)
        It's murky, but I know that EFF was asking for an exemption from the DMCA for jailbreaking phones. They are also sort of worried that they won't be able to do the same for the iPad until 2011. If you search for 'DMCA exemption jailbreaking' , you can choose your source.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Nerdfest (867930)
        I'm pretty sure the law applies to this the same way it does to game consoles. People have been arrested for modding consoles, although I think iyt's generally been when it was done commercially.
    • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:53AM (#31896216) Journal

      One can also use a pencil and paper to infringe on copyright, using nothing more than their own intellect as a means to circumvent the copy protection.

      Taken entirely literally, without exempting private use, the anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA makes it a criminal act to be intelligent enough to do this.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        It's a awful and ill-conceived law, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, many laws are like that. This law was pushed through a Congress with way more concern about the media companies that supported it than with whether or not it made for good law.
    • by Sloppy (14984)

      Please identify the specific work referred to (in the iP*d context), and the technological measure that limits access to it. This is non-obvious.

      DMCA doesn't merely say "no reverse engineering." It's pretty specific. It's still wide enough for a shitload of abuse, but it doesn't just magically apply in every situation where people want it to. If you're going to say it applies here, then fill in the blanks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        The Apple OS would be considered a copyrighted work. And, from what I understand, jailbreaking involves breaking technological measures aimed at preventing users from modding this OS.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Sloppy (14984)

          Is jailbreaking primarily intended to defeat a technological measure that limits access to the OS? In what way can you read the OS on a jailbroken iP*d that you can't with a non-jailbroken one?

    • DMCA also says you can UNLOCK a phone and lexmark tried to use the same crap to lock out 3rd party ink and they lost in court.

    • by Simon80 (874052)
      Don't blame the WCT, other countries have shown that it's possible to ratify the treaty with an anti-circumvention measure that is tied to copyright infringement, which is much less broad in scope. This means that if people lobby hard enough, the US might fix the DMCA (yes, when Hell freezes over).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:38AM (#31895962)

    that means it's YOURS now. end of story.

    • by purpledinoz (573045) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:42AM (#31896032)
      And since you bought it, it's your fault for supporting a platform that's ruled with an iron fist.
      • if it's ruled with an iron fist, why are there so many jailbroken devices out there?

        If it's an iron fist, obviously that fist is rather rusted over.

    • I agree that if you bought it you own it. ANd would you agree that if you break it or want service it's okay for apple not to supply it? And if something bricks it, it's not apple's problem?

      THe trouble with computing devices is that the grey area of "normal use" is so broad it's hard to know where to draw a reasonable line. For example, if I buy a water resistant timex watch and I wear it in the shower and it gets wet inside. was directed water under pressure normal use for a water resistant watch. Sho

      • So you're saying that if Apple had an open platform, less devices would be bricked from unauthorized firmwares, and therefore would save a lot of money on illegal service claims?
      • by Otto (17870)

        I agree that if you bought it you own it. ANd would you agree that if you break it or want service it's okay for apple not to supply it? And if something bricks it, it's not apple's problem?

        Jailbreaking cannot "brick" your iPhone. You can restore it to factory settings by simply doing a "Restore" in iTunes. This has nothing to do with the current software on the phone at all, since restoring wipes the phone entirely anyway.

        I'd bet that people that jail break and brick make more than their share of service requests and cause more than their share of replacements.

        Nope. Quite the contrary, in fact.

  • When you buy it... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Tucker (302549) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:39AM (#31895970) Homepage

    ...it becomes YOUR device.

    • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:43AM (#31896036) Journal

      I agree wholeheartedly. However, the flip side is that Apple ought not have to support the device short of hardware failures.

      Face it... people buy Apple because it works out of the box without having to configure anything. People who buy Apple products are generally okay with being limited on capabilities.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by flitty (981864)
        The Article clearly states that any modding you do should not affect anybody else. Jailbreaking your iPad/phone shouldn't negatively affect other users, and apple should be able to lock you out of their ecosystem when you jailbreak your device. It's a value proposition. You can keep your nice walled garden, or you can take it out into the wasteland with all the issues and freedoms.
      • "People who buy Apple products are generally okay with being limited on capabilities."

        While I'm in favour of jailbreaking and such, I think what you really mean is something other than limited on capabilities. Now if you mean "limited on capabilities" in the sense that the obtaining of apps is restricted to Apple's app store, well... restriction of source is only a restriction on capability if you can't find what you need at that source. If there's something you need to do on an iPhone, there's probably
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          The only reason I don't jailbreak my iphone is because I don't want it to stop
          working as a phone. I use it for work and it would be really inconvenient if I
          bricked my phone.

          Otherwise, there would be nothing stopping me.

          Regardless of all of the other hype and nonsense, the iphone is first and
          foremost a phone. Whatever else it does or can do is not just secondary
          but a distant third.

        • by tepples (727027)

          If there's something you need to do on an iPhone, there's probably an application that'll do it.

          How about something to let me listen to Internet radio and surf the web at the same time without having to buy two devices? In iPhone OS 2 and 3, this required jailbreaking, and it still does on pre-3GS devices.

        • by loutr (626763)

          I thought the inability to multitask (corrected, apparently, in iPhone OS/4) would bug me, but it turns out it's a non-issue.

          I use Spotify all the time, it has completely replaced the iPod app on my iPhone. But there's no way I'd pay 10€/mo. if I couldn't background the app. Having to pause my music to answer an SMS, or to check my email would be very, very frustrating. The next major version indeed corrects that, but not if you own a 3G like I do. Except if you jailbreak and enable multitasking, that is ;)

          Other cool (non-essential) JB apps are :

          • Music Controls : allows you to control about any music apps with pop-up contr
      • rule number 1 of slashdot: ANY thread can be twisted into a bash of microsoft. no exceptions.

        ...and should be. no exceptions.

        • by KlomDark (6370)

          That was back before Apple took the crown for "Most Evil Company".

          Strange to see Apple making even Microsoft look like the nicer company these days.

      • Exactly. Apple is allowed to do what they want to do, and we are allowed to buy what we want to buy. With new Android phones coming out, there will be stiff competition for Apple.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dnaumov (453672)
      until you realize you DIDN'T BUY THE DEVICE, but instead purchased a license to use a device in accordance to a specific agreement. I really really wish it would be a case of "I paid money for this and goods have exchanged hands so I can do whatever I want with it", but in a lot of countries, this simply doesn't hold true.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bearhouse (1034238)

      Indeed, (and I agree with you), but...when you purchased it, you accepted the T&Cs...

    • by Sloppy (14984) on Monday April 19, 2010 @11:12AM (#31896464) Homepage Journal

      It becomes your device, but we have overwhelmingly (99%+) voted for (and re-elected many times, confirming again and again) a government that creates laws which say that people are not allowed to do certain things with their own devices. This is with bipartisan support and utter lack of any controversy. Or rather, the only controversy is in internet blog postings. When it comes to the ballot box, though, people are very unified in strongly supporting the idea that government should initiate force to limit what people can do with things that they own.

      Think about it: we even still have drug laws, so that "ownership" of our own bodies is itself, is a murky concept. If ownership of yourself doesn't mean anything, how can owning a widget mean anything? We'll value personal dignity long before we take the more radical step of recognizing personal property, and even that first simple step is likely many decades away.

      Don't like it? Start voting.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Except Apple would argue that you bought the device, but not the software on it or the right to access its network.
    • by macbeth66 (204889)

      ...it becomes YOUR device.

      ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

      However, Apple and the carrier still get to tell you how, where and when you can use it on their network(s) or to access their material or content.

    • by omglolbah (731566)

      Of course, it is your device. To do with as you please. As long as you follow the law!

      Since the law im the US now prevent owners from doing quite a lot with their own devices... you're fucked.

      I hate it, I suspect you hate it just as much... but for now that is the state of things :(

    • But when you lease it, it does not become your device. As electronics recycling grows, expect to see purchases of electronic hardware replaced with 20-year leases, after which point the "buyer" must return the device to the manufacturer "for recycling".
    • Perhaps, but do you have the freedom to give up your freedoms on that device? I'm not being rhetorical, I consider it an interesting question: should we be allowed to give up certain freedoms as terms and conditions for purchasing a device? I get the arguments against EULAs as being a bad IMPLEMENTATION of those terms and conditions, because you can't see the terms and conditions in advance, but supposing there was a real signed contract presented at time of sale, like some cell phone purchases... should
  • I think you are: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:40AM (#31895992) Journal

    Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?

    The user who paid for the lovemaking device without having to first agree to anything.

  • by mbone (558574) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:42AM (#31896024)

    Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?"

    Assuming that you haven't been shoplifting, they are not their devices. They are your (our) devices.

    Having said that, if Apple says that doing such-and-such may wreck the machines, you've been warned.

  • I can

    (*) Disclaimer - or i can not buy jailed device in the first place and save myself some trouble.

  • What bugs me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:50AM (#31896168)
    Is that manufacturers are allowed to right EULA's that violate the basic rights of citizens. I'm all for reading the EULA and for receiving consequences upon it's violation, because that's fair. But what I'm confused on is why companies are allowed to write EULA's that specify exactly what can and cannot be done with it period.

    Take away service? Ok,that's fair. You don't know what I put on this device, so I can understand if you don't want to support it.
    Discontinue updates? I get that, for the same reason as above.
    Void warranty? I get that too, since I could easily be an idiot who broke it and that's not your responsibility.

    But the one I don't get is why companies are allowed to write EULA's that basically allow them to retain ownership of a device after it's been "purchased." For all legal purposes, this item belongs to the consumer. If it's stolen, it's returned to the consumer, not Apple. Why then, is Apple allowed to make this claim to ownership?

    Again, I'm very much in favor of realizing and accepting consequences under the law...but I really think the law is flawed here. The rules for EULA's needs to be visited and rewritten such that purchases of technology amount to more than borrowing your big brother's gameboy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KiwiCanuck (1075767)
      They can write whatever they want in the document. However, anything written in the EULA that is contradictory to the Law is not enforceable, and thus can be ignored by the user. Getting the company to acknowledge this is another matter.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SharpFang (651121)

      Please note EULAs can specify all kind of bullshit like you disclaim rights to all your property and internal organs, and sign up to be Steve Jobs' sex slave. It doesn't mean they are valid claims, and that anyone is ever able to enforce them. There are consumer right laws that limit the scope of EULA and they are simply invalid wherever they trespass on these consumer rights.

      It's the same like you can sue anyone for anything ever, except if what they did is not unlawful, your case will be thrown out of cou

  • by localman57 (1340533) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:52AM (#31896212)
    Putting aside the whole "You should", "You shouldn't" be able to Jailbreak the thing, I think it's interesting that we finally have a whitelisted platform. For years and years, whenever we have a security discussion on Slashdot, someone inevitablely says

    "You can never succeed trying to filter out all the bad stuff. You need a whitelist of the good stuff."

    But then someone else always says

    "But who creates the whitelist?"

    And both get modded +5 insightful. In this case, Apple created the Whitelist that all the security people say we need. And applied it to a whole platform. They apparently do code reviews, and enforce proper usage of the API.

    Personally, if I had an iPhone, I'd jailbreak it. But I like the idea that I can give one to my Mom, let her get apps off the app store, and not have to de-gunk the malware every 3 months like I do with her PC.
    • by jabjoe (1042100) on Monday April 19, 2010 @11:06AM (#31896392)
      Isn't any repository a whitelist?
  • Straw man? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by snowwrestler (896305) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:54AM (#31896230)

    I have not seen the outcry you're talking about. I think this post is just another angle for people to rail against Apple's policies.

    Which is fine, BTW! People are certainly welcome to do so, and to an extent I agree with the outcry. But I object to the implied victimhood here--of a person beset upon by the horde.

    Jailbreaking is very likely legal due to the first sale doctrine. But it hasn't been tested mainly because Apple has yet to go after a single customer for jailbreaking a product they own. They won't honor the warranty, but they're not bothering them either. It's the right place for a tech company to be IMO. If I install a new engine management chip in my Civic, Honda won't honor that warranty either.

  • You may not and you agree not to, or to enable others to, copy (except as expressly permitted by this License), decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of, decrypt, modify, or create derivative works of the iPad Software or any services provided by the iPad Software, or any part thereof
    This License is effective until terminated. Your rights under this License will terminate automatically or otherwise cease to be effective without notice from Apple if you fail to comply with any term(s) of this License. Upon the termination of this License, you shall cease all use of the iPad Software

    In other words, jailbreaking is a good way to indicate that you want to terminate the licence. After which you are no longer bound to its terms.

  • I think the whole Android / iPhone situation is interesting. Basically, it's put-up or shut-up time for Open Source. With the Droid we finally have not only a platform that can go head-to-head with the big corporations, we also have real marketing and advertising budgets to go with it. Personally, I'd like to see the iPhone remain totally closed and controlled. This represents the greatest chance we have to show the general public why they should care about Free Software and open platforms.
    • One of my geek friends is a total oss zealot bought a droid phone for him, the one that was touch screen only like an iphone, and one with a keyboard for his texting like mad wife. They quickly found they couldn't always download the same apps from the market place due to hardware differences of the two phones. And it happened a few times.

      All my none geek friends who got one b/c they were with verizon were elated at first, but now are kind of ho-hum and most will tell you if they could have gotten an iPho

  • spread the word (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Monday April 19, 2010 @10:59AM (#31896302) Homepage

    A couple of my coworkers were talking recently about Kindles and iPads. I told them about the DRM. Neither of them knew what DRM stood for, so I had to explain. Neither of them had heard of the infamous incident involving Orwell's 1984 [wikipedia.org]. Neither of them knew about the history of DRM'd media becoming unplayable within 5 years after people buy it, because the company running the DRM dies or abandons the project.

    Once people are educated about the issues, then it's up to them. If they buy a locked-down device, that's their decision. They know what they're getting into. We all buy coffee pots and wristwatches without any expectation that we'll be allowed to load arbitrary software into their CPUs. Everybody just has to draw their own individual line between the devices where they care about lockdown and the devices where they don't.

    The crunchgear article has some major logical flaws. The author states, "Lastly, I would like to humbly thank Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and all the others, for creating wonderful devices which I plan to enjoy to the fullest extent." In other words, he's bought these locked-down devices, and now he has to find some way to justify buying them, even though he's unhappy with the EULAs. "A popular objection is that one doesn't have to buy the devices that happen to be wrapped up in restrictive systems or deliberately limited. Vote with your wallet, right? [***] Sure, and even when you jailbreak or mod, you are doing just that. You bought the device most suited to your needs." At the point where I inserted the [***] there is a major gap in his logic. He's paid money to these companies. He has voted with his wallet. He's cast his vote in favor of locked-down devices. He didn't buy the device most suited to his needs. He bought a device that was unsuited to his needs, and then modified it in order to suit his needs. He also ignores the very real practical consequences of modding and jailbreaking. The manufacturer is almost certainly never going to give him warranty service, and some of them may actually intentionally or unintentionally brick his device when it phones home for software updates.

    Here are a couple of proposals that I'd consider more realistic. Both of these really do involve voting with your wallet. (1) If there are no options that avoid DRM and lockdowns, don't buy. This is my current attitude about the Kindle and iPod. I'll buy one when there is a non-DRM'd library of books available for it that is roughly the same size as Amazon's current catalog. (2) Buy the lesser of two evils. E.g., I believe Android is significantly less locked down than iPhone, so if I were choosing between the two, I'd buy an Android.

  • The fact that people want to jailbreak their iPhone says one thing to me -- they shouldn't have bought it.

    Think about it, it's a device that's broken out of the box, to the extent that in order to use it for the purpose you bought it for, you have to mend it. And the act of mending it invalidates the warranty!

    Why not just buy something that does the job you want it to do in the first place? If Apple don't make such a device, buy one from someone else.

    If everyone did this, perhaps market forces would cause A

  • Who am I?

    Before the purchase?
    I am the customer... and the customer is always right, amirite?
    It is their job to make me satisfied with the sale I am about to commit to.

    And after the purchase?
    I am the owner... and who is Apple to tell me what’s best for my devices?
    They’re just the manufacturer, and all the more say that the manufacturer gets is to print out nice full-colour manuals, instructional booklets, and quick start guides that I won’t ever read (step 1: open box, remove this instructi

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Monday April 19, 2010 @11:09AM (#31896428)

    In Apple's case, jailbreaking is to open up a closed device. Of course, anyone buying an Apple iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad just because you can jailbreak it and do what you want is pretty stupid - there are millions of other devices out there that are perfectly open. Jailbreaking is a bonus to make a nice device even better. But one should not be under any pretenses that it's sanctioned nor available everywhere (e.g., the second run iPhone 3GS require re-jailbreaking every time you reboot it).

    In Sony's case, they're removing an advertised feature. In which case, "jailbreaking" is to get back what Sony sold me.

    Apple never sold me anything on the basis that it can be jailbroken - the features and restrictions thereof have been known at the time of purchase. I still use them because they're pretty nice devices, and all are jailbroken because I might as well do it and enjoy the nice bonus.

    Sony sold me a PS3 on the belief it has a certain set of features, namely, OtherOS. Now they're taking away that feature, so I am entitled to do whatever it takes to get back the same featureset that Sony offered when it sold it to me.

    In one case, jailbreaking gets you more stuff. In the other, jailbreaking is to get back stuff you bought. Hell, Apple's rolled out more features for my iPhone than came with it when I bought it. Sony's pretty much ensured launch unit PS3s still command original selling prices on the used market by removing stuff every hardware revision. Heck, even the Xbox360 gained features on newer revisions (HDMI output...).

    And yes, while I believe you can do anything you want with hardware, I also don't buy hardware just because someone's already hacked it, but whether or not that device without hacking would be useful to me. If I have two similar devices then the availability of a hack might sway me one way or another, but it's never a checklist item.

    • by Torne (78524)

      Of course, anyone buying an Apple iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad just because you can jailbreak it and do what you want is pretty stupid - there are millions of other devices out there that are perfectly open.

      Nobody has ever bought an iPhone just because you can jailbreak it. The people who buy them with the intention of jailbreaking them have compared the options and decided they would rather have the iPhone and then go through the process of removing some of the restrictions, than any of the other choices which m

  • It claims EULA's are legally binding contracts. They are not. End of story. A EULA isn't worth the paper it ain't written on.

  • Don't Buy It (Score:4, Insightful)

    by npsimons (32752) * on Monday April 19, 2010 @11:13AM (#31896476) Homepage Journal

    I'll never get this obsession with buying Apple products - supposedly it's because they "just work", but when you have to void the warranty to get it to do what you want it to do, you're obviously admitting that it doesn't "just work". Why buy it when you can get something that is designed to be open and hackable [nokia.com]?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for hacking and modding and sticking it to the man, but since when is forking over your hard earned cash (to the man, no less) for a device that is hack-hostile "sticking it to the man"? Why not instead encourage companies that are encouraging you to be more than a consumer?

  • mac os x also needs to be open to all x86 hardware as well.

    and apple still like to pull that video card lock in carp so you pay $250-$300 for a old video that cost about $50 - $100 more then the pc ver of it.

  • "Who am I to tell Apple what's best for their devices?""

    Because YOU bought it. Therefore, it's YOUR device and YOU deserve to be allowed to do whatever the fuck YOU want to.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."

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