[racket] iPhone (Was: [The Racket Blog] New comment on Racket.)

From: Karl Winterling (kwinterling at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Jun 18 13:40:16 EDT 2010

I know this is a bit off-topic, but I wanted to see if anybody knows
of an iPad-like device that lets you install LaTeX and a PDF viewer
that supports annotations.

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 9:02 AM, Karl Winterling <kwinterling at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's probably a mix of Apple's desire to have a consistent user
> interface, control code distribution through the app store, prevent
> worthy competing API's (like, say, Java ME) from challenging Cocoa
> (which partially concerns money and partially consistent UI), and
> assure the FCC and carriers that no one (other than people who want to
> do something illegal) will get direct access to hardware and do
> something questionable.
> I think it's an ethical question insofar as it relates to the freedom
> consumers should have to run any code they want on their computers or,
> more generally, use their computers for any (legal) purpose. Some
> consumers know how to write code, so they should be able to run it on
> their iphones and share it without restriction.
> Beyond protecting their kids from sexual predators, I'm really
> indifferent to whether parents think it's objectionable for their kids
> to look at "clad women/men." That's why you have parental controls.
> It's not Apple's job to decide whether Space: 1999 is appropriate for
> the average US/EU/Japan/SK family.
> On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 8:15 AM, Robby Findler
> <robby at eecs.northwestern.edu> wrote:
>> We are a fair bit off topic here, but what I see in Apple's policies
>> is a desire to ensure that their devices behave in consistent,
>> well-designed ways and to make that happen they have decided to do
>> things like charge more money for them (presumably to pain for the
>> extra work that goes into the design process), design their own
>> hardware & software platform together, and to limit the kinds of
>> third-party stuff that can go on them. They do this in order to
>> guarantee they are easy to use and thus hope to sell more of them.
>> While I certainly agree with the sentiment that they go to far to
>> achieve this end (and I personally find their earlier PL-based
>> restrictions to be very disappointing) I can't see how this could be
>> considered an ethical issue.
>> Robby
>> On Friday, June 18, 2010, Neil Van Dyke <neil at neilvandyke.org> wrote:
>>> I think it's both.  I mentioned the ethical question because one could probably find a worthwhile risk-reward solution for the short-term self-interest economics question, or one could find a way to cover one's own butt (perhaps involving a backroom deal and PR leverage), but I think that the ethics (collective, long-term) problem of supporting the iPhone iron-fisting is harder to resolve.
>>> Robby Findler wrote at 06/18/2010 10:33 AM:
>>> Why is this an ethical question and not an economic one?
>>> Robby
>>> On Friday, June 18, 2010, Neil Van Dyke <neil at neilvandyke.org> wrote:
>>> Apple has been brutal with iPhone developers, running the platform as a ruthless and fickle dictatorship.  I believe that this is the general perception of iPhone developers.
>>> Even if one is willing to jump through Apple's hoops, and one accepts that, at any time and for any reason, Apple will have no qualms about simply kicking one off the platform, instantly and without explanation... I believe that there is also an ethical question of whether supporting the iPhone platform is contributing to the success of Apple's ruthless, anti-competitive, and closed-platform practices.
>>> Android, Symbian, the new Nokia Qt stuff, Java... all alternative mobile device platforms for civic-minded techies to consider.
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