Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thank you, InformationWeek

Great post over at InformationWeek today by Eric Zeman. I'm beginning to love InformationWeek posts as much as humorists and comedians love Hillary Clinton's apologies – and for the same reasons.

Eric holds forth that boy-oh-boy-oh-boy hackers have already unlocked iPhone 2.0 and Steve Jobs is an utter failure in his determination to lock the iPhone down and hackers 1, Steve Jobs 0 in the SDK/platform lockdown death-match. Believe it or not, that's the whole freaking post. It's even less intelligent than the posts from Mitch Wagner and Alexander Wolfe on the SDK.

I have no independent verification that Eric, Alexander, and Mitch are filling in for writers who know something about tech while studying for their sanitation engineer qualification exams. In fact, I just made that up. But I like the sound of it, so it stays.

These experts just keep pointing out what an utter dumbass Steve Jobs is. As near as I figure it, a dumbass would be making chump change to criticize the decisions of Steve Jobs. In other words, after you take a company from near bankruptcy to a business school staple of good examples in ten years, you're qualified to judge stupid corporate management. If that's not you, well, keep talking. Don't worry – we're not laughing with you; we're laughing at you.

I'm deviating from my policy of not calling people asshats, trolls, and flamebaiting ignorami for this one post. Because, frankly, I can.

Dear Asshats and iPhone hackers (there may be some overlap),

You are not smarter than Steve Jobs all by himself. You sure as hell are not smarter than all the programmers at Apple. You haven't tricked Apple by hacking the iPhone. Have. Not. Okay? If you're patting yourself on the back because you hacked iPhone 2.0, don't. It was easy because Apple just doesn't care anymore.

Apple doesn't give half a fat damn whether you hack the phone. Apple doesn't care if you create cheez-bag, worthless, ginchy apps and distribute them on your websites. Apple doesn't care if you break your equipment. Apple doesn't care if a few people are stupid enough to risk their hardware investment on your absurd programs. They just don't care. If you insist on breaking the iPhone you've already paid for, you are outside Apple's reality. You just don't exist to them.

Trust me, if Apple really wanted to stop hackers they could do it. I know. I've been using Macs for twenty-one years. I've been running OS X continuously since the Public Beta. If you think nobody has tried to hack OS X in eight years, you must be completely disconnected from reality, continuously stoned, or congenitally stupid. I have never (never: NOT EVER) had a piece of malware on a Mac. Apple knows how to stop hackers. So if you're congratulating yourself that you outsmarted Apple, you're just a little extra dumb.

Hacking the iPhone does not indicate that Steve Jobs has been outsmarted. It indicates that hacking the iPhone can't be too tough to do. That means it wasn't intended to be difficult.

Apple hasn't closed the iPhone to hackers. Apple is simply refusing to ensure that future iPhone upgrades won't break your hacks. They're going to assume responsibility for a high quality user experience for those of us (most of us) who don't feel the need to screw with a good thing.

The choices then, are fairly simple:

1. Work within the system. Write your programs within the boundaries Apple establishes. Only install Apple-approved software. Live with the AT&T lock-in for a while. [the End User option]

2. Hack your phone. Install unapproved software. Jailbreak it. Expect absolutely zero support from Apple. Once you violate the EULA, Apple owes you nothing. NOTHING. [the Bold Hacker option – equivalent to the Really Stupid End User option]

3. Go buy a BlackBerry. [the Other option]

4. Keep insisting that you want everything both ways. Apple has to guarantee the user experience no matter how many suckhead teenyboppers distribute useless-clutter applications. It won't happen, but at least you'll clearly identify yourself and the value of your opinions to others. [the Dumbass Tech Blogger/Suckhead Teenybopper option]

You could just shut the hell up, but that would spoil my fun.


The little voice in your head you've been ignoring lately.

P.S. If the iPhone Dev Team is really smart they'll stop proving that they're just as smart as Steve Jobs thinks they are and then they'll build Apple-approved apps to sell on the iPhone App store. That's not an opinion, it's an equation. If they don't, they ain't.

Man. A big dish of plain yogurt and frozen blueberries sure sounds good about now.