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Apple: Fight the Rot

No one likes Apple anymore.

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CUPERTINO (Rixstep) — They own you. They profit by you.


'Another technology called Gatekeeper tries to prevent unknown applications from causing harm. By default, Apple blocks all software that isn't signed with an Apple-issued developer certificate or downloaded from the Mac App Store.'

'Not all unsigned apps are harmful. Developers who create free, open-source apps often cannot justify the $99 required to enter the Apple Developer Program and issue certificates.'

 - How-To Geek

There's no need to tolerate them. Send them a message instead.

Apple declared war on their own loyal consumers years ago. They've never made this much known. They started their new era in 2007 with the introduction of iPhone.

The fanboys were jubilant when they first saw the gadget. They love thumbing things and taking calls. The first iterations of that operating system were weird, to say the least. Everything on that contraption was running as root, and the two most secret passwords were soon known by everyone on the planet - 'alpine' and 'dottie'.

But this was a mere feint. Behind the scenes, deep in the bowels of One Infinite, work began in earnest on a scheme so diabolical that no one would have imagined any company capable of thinking in those terms.

The App Store.

The App Store was going to be Apple's gold mine. It was going to give them riches no one in the IT industry had ever dreamt of. Key to this store was the ability to 'code-sign' all software published there.

Code-signing isn't easy to conceive with the unorthodox 'bundle' architecture used on Apple's platforms. This architecture was inherited from NeXT. What appears to be a single file executable is in reality a directory, often with its file extension 'app' hidden from view. This top-level directory can contain half a dozen, several dozen, or several hundred additional files in a monstrous hive.

The trick then is to find a way to secure it all - to 'code-sign' it all. Apple will of course have a 'root certificate' so they totally control what goes on cryptographically. To get this 'seal' impregnated on an application 'bundle' will require adding a new section to the application executable. With a broken seal on the executable, the application will not run - not because the program itself is incapable of it but because Apple's launch services won't allow it.

That's the key. And inasmuch as the seal requires a root certificate and inasmuch as only Apple are in possession of that certificate, then all software destined for Apple's App Store must go through Apple for approval to get that certificate.

That's the key. Anything to be peddled on Apple's App Store has to pass through Apple's hands for approval. But it doesn't end there. Not everyone can send their products to Apple to get the seal. First they must join Apple's 'developer programme'. And that membership costs $100 per year. Let your membership lapse and your products at Apple's App Store are no longer valid. Smalltime vendors have to start by putting up money to Apple, the world's first trillion-dollar corporation.

Mobile users aren't going to be keen on spending lots of money on additional software, not when their devices have already cost them as much or more than an Apple PC, double or treble what they'd pay for an ordinary PC. Micropayment methods are necessary. Given that this is made possible, it's full speed ahead. For a few bucks at a time.

It's only the major players who are going to profit. You need marketing campaigns that really make a difference. You need to sell to tens or hundreds of millions. Acme Tools of Hoboken, selling a diagnostic utility for $20, won't stand a chance.

And iPhone is impenetrable anyway. You can't get inside. Jailbreaking may have been ruled legal - imagine you need a court ruling to certify that you have a legal right to do whatever you want with your own property - but Apple thwart you anyway. They're going to make your life as miserable as they can if you try to peek under the bonnet.

So you can't know what's really going on in your own property. And damn you if you find out something that doesn't make Apple look good.

Find a hole to hide in if you find something that gives users a better way to do things and simultaneously puts Apple to shame. You'll never get in. You'll never get that root certificate seal. Apple hold the monopoly.

And it won't stop there. You no longer have free speech. If you publicly object to this regime, expect to run into trouble at the App Store.

Remember when Apple's (NeXT's) developer tools were a free and open download? That's been years. Today you have to register with Apple first. And, if they don't like you, they find ways to make sure your access no longer works. Apple have never taken kindly to criticism of any kind, and that's never changed.

You want to run something with su or sudo? Forget it. You want to set an embed with a set ID? Forget it. Standard programming techniques from the world of Unix are suddenly outlawed in Apple's App Store.

There's a whole mountain of operations you suddenly find you can't run - not if you go through Apple's App Store.

And, for those poor sods who for some unfathomable reason want to develop for iPhone, there is no alternative. None.

This creepy totalitarianism is spreading to Apple's computer OS as well.

We warned about this over ten years ago. We called Steve's bluff. We socially engineered him to play out his cards, to put his foot in his mouth. We succeeded.

But nothing Steve could concoct would compare to the evil fantasies of his successor Tim Cook.

Under Tim Cook Apple has metamorphosed from a quirky and questionable corporation with a nasty edge into what may be the most hated company on earth. When the likes of Fortune, Forbes, and the New York Times condemn you, you've gone beyond the point of redemption.

What started as an attempt to champion open source Unix, where FreeBSD and Linux had already achieved a minor beachhead, has turned into a dystopian nightmare threatening the very freedoms we all should hold dear and protect at all costs. Perhaps Steve Jobs found little cause to champion human rights, but Tim Cook relishes these attacks with a vengeance. Under Tim Cook, Apple became pure evil, eclipsing even the Microsoft of Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. Tim Cook's Apple tethers the fanboys, using them as a lure, and so entraps the independent softare market to make it their own, slave labour included.

No brutal capitalist exploiter's ever had it better. Healthcare insurance? Forget it. Reliable monthly salary? Forget it. Dental plans for the wife and kids? You're joking. Imagine coming to work and having to pay your employer to even get in the door. Welcome to Apple.

They own you. They profit by you. They entice you with a sizeable and very gullible user base who can't get farther outside their walled garden than the App Store icon on their own desktops. But that will never be enough, and those developing for Apple's iPhone know that.

But they're too drunk on the Flavor Aid. They can't grasp what's happening. They endure. They suffer. They complain. Albeit meekly. Cap in hand.

Google created a Unix operating system for mobiles. They called it Android. Google don't make the mobile hardware. That's left to others. Google run an app store too - but they don't have any of the controls or constrictions abused by Apple.

The hardware people - the 'OEMs' - make the devices. At that point, their involvement is over. They marketed the device, you bought one, they're out of the picture. As things should be.

Not so with Apple. You pay twice as much for your gadget but you don't own it - Apple own you instead.

No matter it's a criminally overpriced smartphone or an equally and criminally overpriced PC, they will own you.

And when last could Apple offer a decent computer keyboard? When last were they willing to offer a PC that didn't demand a jungle of extra wires to connect the most essential and most obvious peripherals? They love it when you buy their mediocre shite, but what they're after is to own YOU, using concerted peer pressure, indoctrination, brainwashing...

The real tear-jerker is that, yes, they are better than the competition, in many ways. Their interfaces with their hardware are vastly superior. Their underlying environment is space age compared to some of the antiquities still out on the market. They have an incredible well of resources. They've taken on the former head of FreeBSD. They can buy anyone.

Their application paradigms are superior, although this is more clearly seen on the computer desktop. They own a technology they didn't invent, that no one else has, to this day. But in many ways they're superior. On that level at least. But are they worth the cost of the freedoms you lose? There are many who believe it is not so, and their number's increasing by the day, the hour, the minute.

No one likes Apple anymore.

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