Reading response #4 – Jack Lambermont

If I were to write about the state of technology and where I think its progressing, I think it would refer to to growing divide between the plastic-coated, app-store driven, fool-proof technology filled with micro-payments and monopolization, apposed to open-source, hackable tech, and why its important to breathe new life into the latter.

In recent editions of Mac Os X, non apple-approved applications are disabled by default. The User has to KNOW to go into system preferences and enable the ability to install them. For many users, the initial error message would be the end of their effort to install the app. I worry that it is only a matter of time before the “app store” becomes the only platform for distributing applications.

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Mac OS X Yosemite “security warning” (left) – and How to enable third party apps (right)

The alternative has always been windows, but that seems to be becoming threatened as well. With the new Windows 10 OS, it seems Microsoft is learning from apple that industry-standardization and removing user control can be a financially fruitful decision. As it tends to produce less confusion, but at a cost.

Recently, in one of my rare ventures into a mall, I noticed a “Windows Store”, with a nearly identical layout to the Apple Store (no central check out or cash register, casually dressed employees). I assume this is plays into Windows slow move into becoming an apple-like company, sacrificing true control for perceived intuitiveness and user friendliness.

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Windows Store screenshot

The internet and computer technology have historically been amazing grounds for experimentation, exploration, uncensored content, and free exchange of ideas, and it seems to me that it is morphing slowly into a lifeless orgy of consumerism and corperate control.

If I were to give a warning to future consumers of technology, it would be to show interest in alternative operating systems and content delivery platforms. To not rely entirely on algorithms crafted by corporations to consume content (netflix, ect.). Also, I would encourage those creating the alternatives to think about the competition, and not only create platforms consumable only by tech-literate people, as seems to be largely the case with Linux and its derivatives.

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