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Computer science should be fun.
In the early noughties, when iTunes first came out, it was essential for Apple to show the record companies that their copy-protection scheme would not in any significant way be circumvented.
Now nearly twenty years later it's imperative for Tim Cook that no one on a larger scale discover that the walls of the garden can be overcome.
We at Rixstep, who've never owned an iPod and never wanted to own one, were told that our own file management utilities circumvented Apple's iTunes copy-protection scheme. But we're a small-time operation, decidedly not run in a commercial fashion, and so the effect on the iTunes industry was no big deal for Apple.
Showing people that you don't have to be intimidated by Apple's walled garden - that, in essence, there are no walls at all: that seems to be a different matter. Apple currently generate approximately USD 70 billion (the latest estimate we've seen is 68 billion) per year through commission fees on software distributed through their App Store. These are of course an additional cost passed onto you, the consumer.
But we have a way around that. We've had this for some time. Now it seems Apple found out, and we ended up on Apple's radar.
In less than two months time Rixstep's payment processors will cease doing business with us after twenty-four years. Would we be forced to give the product away for free, we shall do so. We'd like the cash that sales generate, but getting the truth out is an even higher priority.
Our advice stays the same. Apple is not a company you can trust. If you, against all odds, have built up a machine park with Apple and only Apple - a long shot, we know - then begin preparing your exit strategy now. Things will get worse. Cancel culture may hit you as well.
Tim Cook is in direct personal communication with Nancy Pelosi who has a great influence on the ongoing antitrust investigation against Apple. Do not expect or even hope for any significant change for the forseeable future. Do not return to Windows. Stay as far away from Windows as you can. But, for heaven's sake, don't linger in the Apple camp either.
Development tools and development environments - not to speak of development languages - are weak on the open source 'FOSS' side of things. Perhaps you can help improve matters.
Computer science should be fun. It was meant to be fun. It was meant to be a world of exciting exploration and achievement. The world of Apple is more like a Morlock cave. Once upon a time the hope was that a Unix-based system, backed by a corporation with substantial market clout, could drive a wedge into the desktop hegemony of Microsoft and thereby make the world safer for everyone. Apple, having acquired NeXT, could have done that easily, but they weren't interested. Then came the smartphone, then came the lockdowns, and here we are today.
Computer science shouldn't be political, but Apple made it so. You don't have to be political, but you can still do what's right for you and best for the world.
Thank you for reading this.
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We're now telling you to beware Apple's walled garden. Don't get locked in.
What you've seen so far may be only the beginning of something far far worse.
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