Apple product lock-in: cry me a river

Man! So many people are complaining about how the iPhone is locked to AT&T, and how Apple won’t let third-parties develop software for iPods, and wah-wah-wah… I’m tired of hearing about it.

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

I love my iPod. It’s a great music player. I bought it for the purpose of listening to music. I didn’t buy it to run 3rd-party applications or write software for it. I would love to write software for the iPod, but Apple won’t let me. That’s fine. Again, I bought it for the purpose of listening to music on it!

The iPhone is a closed system (unless you mod it of course). If you don’t like that no one is twisting your arm forcing you to buy one. And if you bought one and then decided you didn’t like the closed system then that’s your fault for not doing the research up front. What does the iPhone do that no other smartphone doesn’t do? Nothing. It just looks freakin’ sweet, that’s it. If you want an open system go pick up a Symbian UIQ/S60 or Windows Mobile phone.

Better yet: Buy an iPhone, hack it, download the community SDK and stop your whining.

Don’t tase me bro!

Monday’s incident where a UF student was tasered and arrested for asking Senator Kerry some direct questions about the 2004 election has highlighted some serious issues we have in this society regarding how we deal with people that wish to speak their mind and provoke debate. Especially those who want to rant on a microphone in a public forum with a US Senator.

A lot of what I’ve read on the internets points out how poorly the police handled the situation–by trying to forcefully eject the poor guy, and then pinning him to the ground and tasering him. After watching videos of the incident I agree the police completely mishandled the situation. I think UF did the right thing suspending the officers.

I like Senator Kerry’s politics, but I think this incident speaks more to Kerry’s poor abilities as a public speaker than it does to police officer’s poor handling of the situation. A good orator knows how to redirect and/or silence people that try to hi-jack the debate. In a public forum like this you need to be ready to cut off someone that’s trying to escalate the situation and gracefully steer the conversation back to a comfortable level. Andrew Meyer was clearly trying to rile things up. Kerry should have stepped in and calmed the situation down. I can think of several ways Kerry could have joked with Meyer, bounced Meyer’s accusations right back at him, or even better, like a great politician: answer the question he wished he’d been asked.