The iPhone Is Killing the Internet!

Illustration for article titled The iPhone Is Killing the Internet!

The internet's an exciting, lively place, full of innovation and wonder, right? Wrong. It's dying. The cancer that's slowly killing our internets: the iPhone and Xbox. While it sounds like some fool's jibba-jabba, it must be true, because an Oxford professor with degrees from Harvard and Yale says so.

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Basically, Jonathan Zittrain argues that the wild, woolly nature of the web, with viruses, identify theft, Rickrolling, etc., are frightening for people like your mom, who want a neatly tied-up-in-a-bow kind of experience, even if that extra security means less freedom. (Current event analogy alert!) So, he sees people moving to "tethered appliances" controlled by dictatorial manufacturers, like the iPhone or Xbox, rather than good ol' open PCs. End result, says the prof is the death of innovation and the internet as we know it.

Of course, this ignores the explosion of open source, which is basically everywhere now. And more and more infamously tight-assed companies are claiming or trying to prove how open they are: Verizon, Microsoft and Comcast, just to name some of the biggies. If anything, it looks like we're moving toward more openness—and hey, don't forget that iPhone SDK, doc. [PC World]

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DISCUSSION

I think they whole idea of "tethered devices" is silly, becasue as SOON as some "locked" device is put out, you guys hack in and open it up.

If there is a wall built to keep people OUT, human nature forces some people to want to tear it down, just to see whats on the other side. Being told NO makes us want YES. This is the drive that has fueled human innovation since the Garden of Edenm and I dont see an end to it any time soon.