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Shall We Call It "Curated Computing?"

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the art-it's-not dept.

GUI 331

medcalf writes "Ars Technica has an opinion piece by Sarah Rotman Epps on the iPad and other potential tablets as a new paradigm that they are calling 'curated computing,' where third parties make a lot of choices to simplify things for the end user, reducing user choice but improving reliability and efficiency for a defined set of tasks. The idea is that this does not replace, but supplements, general-purpose computers. It's possible — if the common denominator between iPads, Android and/or Chrome tablets, WebOS tablets, and the like is a more server-centric web experience — that they could be right, and that a more competitive computing market could be the result. But I wonder, too: would that then provide an incentive for manufacturers to try to lock down the personal computing desktop experience as well?" And even if not, an emphasis on "curated computing" could rob resources from old-skool computer development, as is already evident at Apple.

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331 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208016)

fp

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208450)

curated posting

Like a museum (4, Insightful)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208028)

"It's very cold, and very beautiful, and you're not allowed to touch anything."

Sorry, I'm more of a hot-rodder than a passive consumer.

Re:Like a museum (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208190)

Just like my ex-wife!

Re:Like a museum (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208194)

There is no reason why the both markets should not coexist. When it comes to my rig at home, I am definitely more of a hod-rodder myself. There I want total control, the freedom to tinker around. When it comes to my phone - not so much. I want the thing just to work without me caring about anything at all. Specific tools for specific purposes.

The rig you use while you commute (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208330)

There is no reason why the both markets should not coexist.

Except economies of scale. In some fields, the balance has already shifted from general-purpose machines to appliances.

When it comes to my rig at home, I am definitely more of a hod-rodder myself. [...] When it comes to my phone - not so much.

What about the rig that you carry on the bus or carpool to use while you commute? The iPad is supposed to replace low-end laptops.

Re:The rig you use while you commute (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208482)

The iPad is supposed to replace low-end laptops.

yes, that's why it uses OSX instead of the IPhoneOS.

Low, mid, and high end products (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208542)

iPhone OS is a fork of Mac OS X, just with mouseover replaced with multitouch and verification of code signatures made mandatory. The idea is that while other laptop companies have a netbook (running XP), a mid-range laptop (running Windows 7), and a desktop replacement (also running Windows 7), Apple has iPad (running iPhone OS), MacBook (running Snow Leopard), and MacBook Pro (running Snow Leopard).

Re:Like a museum (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208284)

Not quite:

"It's very beautiful and very cold, and you're not allowed to touch anything."
But full point for effort!

Re:Like a museum (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208428)

Unfortunately, the attitude of freedom at all costs simply doesn't hold up to sociological demand and data. We are over-run by choices these days and as a result not only are the quality of our products declining but the incentive for a positive user experience is as well. We are no longer sold on an item due to it being the "best overall" item, we are sold on it because the commercials separated it from the couple hundred nearly identical items that were of a different brand.

Re:Like a museum (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208696)

Commercials? Don't you own a Tivo yet?

What kind of luddite loser still watches commercials in this day and age?

Re:Like a museum (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208452)

Sorry, I'm more of a hot-rodder than a passive consumer.

So, wait, presumably that means you believe "passive consumption" is somehow a bad thing? That, say, looking at art pieces at a museum, or watching a great film, is somehow a negative thing? Interesting.

Re:Like a museum (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208568)

So, wait, presumably that means you believe "passive consumption" is somehow a bad thing?

No, exclusive passive consumption is a bad thing. If it costs orders of magnitude more to make than to consume, the population will get segmented into two warring classes [wikipedia.org] of haves and have-nots with respect to ability to make.

Re:Like a museum (2, Insightful)

H3lldr0p (40304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208624)

Sorry, I'm more of a hot-rodder than a passive consumer.

So, wait, presumably that means you believe "passive consumption" is somehow a bad thing? That, say, looking at art pieces at a museum, or watching a great film, is somehow a negative thing? Interesting.

If you do nothing more than passively watch, then yes, it is a very negative thing. That means the artwork hasn't touched you. It has failed to be art.

If it otherwise inspires you to create, discuss, or otherwise think about the world around then no, that is not passive and, in IMHO is the point of art.

That aside. I hate that word used in this context. I "consume" nothing when I listen to music, see artwork, or watch a file. All of those things are left in their previous state, not changed in the least. It's lazy phrasing.

Just bite the bullet (4, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208034)

Please just bite the bullet and call yourself an Applogist. (Geddit, Apple Apologist?)

Re:Just bite the bullet (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208294)

Now there's an obvious malamanteau.

Re:Just bite the bullet (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208420)

What the heck is a malamanteau? Wikipedia doesn't have much to say about this......

Re:Just bite the bullet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208390)

Please just bite the bullet and call yourself an Applogist. (Geddit, Apple Apologist?)

There's an app for that.

It's not a prison... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208038)

It's a "managed freedom institution".

Re:It's not a prison... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208062)

And hey, we already have "Curated Gaming"

Re:It's not a prison... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208398)

No no, that's "Secured License Privacy"

Re:It's not a prison... (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208434)

By that definition every society is a managed freedom institution: you have a certain amount of freedom you have to surrender in order to obtain a certain amount of security. I surrender the freedom to punch someone in the face for no good reason in exchange for the security from being punched in the face by them for no good reason.

Re:It's not a prison... (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208594)

By that definition every society is a managed freedom institution: you have a certain amount of freedom you have to surrender in order to obtain a certain amount of security.

At least modern western society has few restrictions about what you can do when you are alone on property to which you hold title.

It does not mean the desktop will go away (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208066)

an emphasis on "curated computing" could rob resources from old-skool computer development

That doesn't necessarily have to be true. It's not like developers are en-masse converting to develop for mobile platforms. There is an ecosystem in the desktop software that has to be maintained however the market for that is pretty much saturated. This means that new developers will probably lean towards mobile computing because that market is new and pretty much open. As more people get these devices, that market will also start to get saturated and probably much quicker as the gatekeepers try to keep the bad and duplicate apps out.

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208148)

It's not like developers are en-masse converting to develop for mobile platforms.

Major video game developers have already en-masse converted to develop for game consoles.

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (4, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208308)

I can't imagine why they got tired of catering to whiny pirates who refuse to pay for anything and turn every game into a cheating contest. That must have been such an awesome market to serve. How could anyone voluntarily give that up is beyond me.

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208360)

I can't imagine why they got tired of catering to whiny pirates who refuse to pay for anything and turn every game into a cheating contest.

Or it could be because the major labels grew tired of competing with smaller independent video game developers for gamers' dollars.

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (2, Interesting)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208466)

And minor and independant game developers have already moved in to cover that niche.

Chances are, if developers start moving en-masse to mobile platforms, the same will happen to the desktop market. Neither market will be killed, there'll just be more developers overall than before.

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208618)

And minor and independant game developers have already moved in to cover that niche.

And how many gaming PCs do you see hooked up to the family TV, vs. how many consoles?

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208534)

Hugely untalented unoriginal pussies have already en-masse converted to develop repetitive crapware for game consoles.

FTFY

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (4, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208182)

Yeah, that's the thing I don't get.

I have an iPhone. I use it to make phone calls, email, listen to music, do light web-browsing, take pictures. That's about it. Sure there are other niche things I use on it, but for the most part those are the big 5 I use it for.

My laptop, I use for everything else.

Why do people think these "niche" devices have to be everything to everyone? They aren't. Here's your car analogy:

People commute in cars to work every day. They also use those cars for various other travel reasons. If they want to store a LOT of materials in the back of their car, they're limited to either making several trips, borrowing a truck from a friend, or something else. If they were moving a lot of materials constantly, it would make more sense for them to use a truck.

In short. Trying to force the idea on the public that having one of these devices will render any other computer obsolete shows a serious lack of critical thinking. (Just like my car analogy does)

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208300)

Why do people think these "niche" devices have to be everything to everyone? They aren't.

Until they're everything to almost everyone. At that point, if you're not in the class of "almost everyone", then the record industry, movie industry, and business software industry will assume you to be either A. an employee of an established, licensed, and bonded company, B. a student training to be an employee of such a company, or C. a pirate.

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208582)

At that point, if you're not in the class of "almost everyone", then the record industry, movie industry, and business software industry will assume you to be either A. an employee of an established, licensed, and bonded company, B. a student training to be an employee of such a company, or C. a pirate.

And this differs from today because? Oh, I see, because today they consider option B and option C to be identical.

Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208664)

Until they're everything to almost everyone.

Why do people here on slashdot have this crazy notion that slashdotters are everyone? They're not. They are the minority. Most people couldn't tell you the difference between GPL, BSD, xfs, and X Windows. And they don't care. You give them a device and the first thing they care about is how do they do [some function]. The shorter the learning curve, the more they'll think it's some sort of magical device.

Technology intimidates most people. Think of your average grandparent. They like the TV. They like radio. They have DVD/VCR players that have the wrong time. They hate computers. Why? Because they only want to learn just enough for them to use [some function]. They don't need to program the time on the VCR/DVD. They know to put in the media and press PLAY.

There are products designed for slashdotters; Apple doesn't however design products for slashdotters. They design consumer products for the average consumer. They design professional products (MacBook Pro, Mac Pro) for the design professionals (graphic artists, photographers, musicians, film makers). Even their server line is designed for specific users. None of these are designed for geeks like you and me.

The iPad is a limited device. It is not designed to replace the desktop. It is designed to be an extension of it. It is designed to consume media with limited ability to create. It is not for me but this fits for most consumers. They check their email and surf the web; they don't code.

Oh good (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208074)

As a 30 year old man I love having big brother make all the decisions for me as I never grew out of a child like mental state and can not possibly make a choice by my self

Re:Oh good (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208396)

Here is another device that I cannot afford to buy. Are these people just borrowing or throwing money away that they should be saving? Young people are just spending money they really can't afford on more gadgets that just saturate there lives with crap they really don't need.

Stop the insanity!

Inflation (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208652)

Are these people just borrowing or throwing money away that they should be saving?

If you save your money, inflation will erode its value. Savings account interest fails to beat the Consumer Price Index nowadays.

No one takes their laptop to the bathroom? (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208112)

Hmmm, that'd be news to me, and to various people I know.

If she means to say that a tablet would be better for the bathroom than a laptop, though, she might have a point...

Re:No one takes their laptop to the bathroom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208196)

How is "computing while pooping" even a valid concern?

And today's offering ... (4, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208130)

Can't Slashdot editors find ANYTHING newsworthy that isn't about Apple ?

Fucks sake, the content of this article boils down to "Apple's latest iDevice is equivalent to a gold plated toaster, where user choice has been minimized, but leads to a better overall toast experience".

It might be gold-plated, but it's still a turd underneath, and no amount of iHype or Apple apologists will change that.

Bye bye karma, see you again sometime.

It's not just about Apple. (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208188)

Can't Slashdot editors find ANYTHING newsworthy that isn't about Apple ?

It's not just about Apple. It's also about Microsoft, which uses the same App Store structure for Xbox 360 indie games and Windows Phone 7 apps. (In fact, Apple appears to have copied much of the structure of the iPhone developer agreement and App Store from Microsoft XNA Creators Club and Xbox Live Indie Games.) And it's also about Nintendo, which was the first to require that all apps be approved by the device manufacturer.

Re:It's not just about Apple. (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208612)

And HP, which bought WebOS and immediately announced killing off their Win7 tablet to build a WebOS tablet, built along similar lines to the iPhone ecosystem.

Re:And today's offering ... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208218)

For what they're designed to do (by Apple), they do a fantastic job. Is it Apple's fault that people seem to think their handheld devices are the end-all, be-all of computing?

I don't listen to much in the way of marketing hype (in a funny sidenote, almost ALL the marketing crap I read about comes from...slashdot) but I've never heard anyone at Apple* say that their iPad, or iPhone, or iPod Touch is supposed to replace your existing computers.

Where does this crap come from?

*doesn't mean the marketing hype spewing this crap isn't out there, just means I haven't heard/read about it, is all.

Re:And today's offering ... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208250)

To be honest, in the latest Apple related stories, the Apple apologists have been the ones being carpet-bombed with troll mods lately. I agree, however, that the whole Apple thing seems to be the current method of choice for our esteemed slashdot overlords to gather site impressions by keeping the flamefest running. Well, at least it is not climate change this time. Where's that gasoline? Gotta fuel the flames! Burn, iBaby, Burn!!!

Re:And today's offering ... (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208278)

Can't Slashdot editors find ANYTHING newsworthy that isn't about Apple ?

Well, I heard that BP's next move with the oil spill in the gulf of mexico is to shove a bunch of Apple iPads into the pipe.

Re:And today's offering ... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208320)

Article choice seems to be lackluster these past few years. We got a link to a nutjob calculating the end of the world with regards to the gulf oil disaster instead of like... well.. a link to NPR.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126809525 [npr.org]

However, I do cruise on by here every so often in the vain hope of a good story. The firehose method of "voting for stories" sucks.

ObT: Yeah, Apple is a walled garden, so what? Some people can't handle anything else and to decry walled gardens as evil are entirely missing the point. It's better to live in a walled garden when you're entirely incapable of defending yourself from the barbarians at the gates.

--
BMO

Re:And today's offering ... (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208504)

It's better to live in a walled garden when you're entirely incapable of defending yourself from the barbarians at the gates.

Alternatively, we can recognize that no one has to choose one of those options and live with it for the rest of their lives with no hope of ever moving back and forth between the two as their own personal needs dictate. We might also want to drop the reductio ad absurdum rhetoric that ends with the entire world forced at bayonetpoint to use iTunes to conduct all commerce.

Re:And today's offering ... (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208644)

I know that this is offtopic, but you do realize that you can vote submissions up and down for inclusion, right?

Re:And today's offering ... (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208392)

It might be gold-plated, but it's still a turd underneath

Why? If users like the experience and it let's them get things done, what makes it a "turd", exactly? Granted, it may not be your kind of turd (I'm more of a Linux guy, but god knows it can be a shitty experience sometimes), but that doesn't mean it's a poor product. It's just not marketed to you, that's all.

Re:And today's offering ... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208492)

The mobile market is ON FIRE. We are seeing all the big players shuffle and shove each other to give birth to the appliance internet. This is why we see Apple stories every day, because they have a HUGE mindshare in this arena at the moment. The iPad is only a turd if you were wanting a full-on x86 tablet.

Re:And today's offering ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208524)

Can't Slashdot editors find ANYTHING newsworthy that isn't about Apple ?

Slashdot is reporting on what other people are talking about. Everyone is talking about the iPad, and in case you haven't noticed, Apple's track record with very successful consumer technology is hardly something you can ignore -- iPod and iPhone and iTunes have generated huge sales.

It might be gold-plated, but it's still a turd underneath, and no amount of iHype or Apple apologists will change that.

What, specifically, makes it a turd? What aspect of saying this a cool device makes one an 'Apple Apologist'? I don't even know what it means to be an Apple Apologist -- I don't even own an Apple computer, but I do own an iPod (four, in fact), and I'm certainly not "apologizing" for anything they've done. You think the Zune was some great new bit of technology that the world missed out on?

You're entitled to your opinion, I just fail to see why people like you are so smugly convinced that this isn't a useful bit of technology. I'm very excited by this device, because it's one of the most novel computer devices I've seen in quite a while -- in terms of form factor and interface, as well as how I envision it being used.

This is mostly about people bashing Apple, and acting like children and saying everyone who doesn't agree that this device is the work of Satan is a doody-head.

I mean seriously, if the only thing you have to add to the discussion is "why are we talking about Apple again" ... stop reading the threads.

Re:And today's offering ... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208646)

If this article wasn't here you couldn't be seen hating on it and if I didn't see you hating on Apple I might just start to wonder if you actually really did like Apple. You don't want people to start thinking you like Apple now, do ya? Better get that hate on!

Walled Garden computing (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208132)

Walled gardens have obvious benefits and drawbacks. But more relevantly to this story (or summary, heh heh) this terminology already exists [wikipedia.org] and no new phrasing is required.

Convoluted view of rationalization (2, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208146)

The key distinction is: Are you buying a hardware? Or are you buying a hardware encumbered with license restriction that effectively says you cannot "hack" where "hack" is whatever the vendor deems undesirable?

Economies of scale (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208264)

The key distinction is: Are you buying a hardware?

The fear expressed in a lot of these articles is that the popularity of "curated", "walled garden", or "hobbled" devices will erase the economies of scale of hardware that you buy outright. A "PC" will likely become a niche product used only by established publishers. It has arguably already happened in some fields, such as games, where the major couch-multiplayer titles are either console exclusives or multi-console with no PC port.

Re:Convoluted view of rationalization (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208296)

Do the 99% of the people who are buying an iPad or iPhone care about not being able to hack their device? I'm pretty sure that's a resounding no.

Percent interest in jailbreaking (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208394)

Do the 99% of the people who are buying an iPad or iPhone care about not being able to hack their device? I'm pretty sure that's a resounding no.

Your estimate of 1 percent interest in jailbreaking is off by nearly an order of magnitude. It's closer to 7 percent [justanothe...neblog.com] , at least among users of apps using Pinch's library.

Hobbled Computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208156)

The problem is that you are buying hardware that is general purpose capable and the issue isn't with the simplifying things for average end users it is artificially preventing other users who aren't part of the herd from getting outside those simplifications and attempting to punish them whenever they do.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5OlolbLXvw

Locked Down (5, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208202)

``Ars Technica has an opinion piece by Sarah Rothman Epps on the iPad and other potential tablets as a new paradigm that they are calling 'curated computing,' where third parties make a lot of choices to simplify things for the end user, reducing user choice but improving reliability and efficiency for a defined set of tasks. The idea is that this does not replace, but supplements, general-purpose computers.''

That's fine and dandy, but we don't need *locked down* devices for that. You can make the choices for the end users just fine, without taking away their ability to make different choices. Ubuntu is a good example of this: you can get the streamlined desktop experience that Canonical provides by just going with the defaults, or you can adapt the environment to your liking, starting with things like changing desktop backgrounds and installing packages from the main repositories, and continuing all the way to running a custom kernel and third-party software completely independent from the repositories.

By contrast, many of the 'curated computing' providers will sell you a device where you are prevented from doing many things, all _in the name_ of making things easier and more reliable for you. But really, that's a false dichotomy - your ability to deviate from it does not impact the ease of use and reliability of the default configuration.

Re:Locked Down (3, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208272)

I would posit the average end user DOESN'T want a lot of choices. I'd say wanting to do whatever you want with a device is pretty much in the geek realm. (Overall) I'm not saying I agree with it, just saying that your average end-user doesn't care that they can't run a specific version of some (for example) SSH program on their phone. Hell, 99% of the world doesn't know what the hell SSH is.

Re:Locked Down (4, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208370)

This.

It's a false dichotomy to discuss "streamlined user experience" versus "user freedom" as if one is completely at odds with the other. To provide a streamlined experience simply requires good design and sensible defaults. You don't have to lock-out the user from changing those defaults, accessing the full capabilities of the device, or repurposing the device entirely.

Of course it makes sense that vendors of locked-down solutions would spread this misunderstanding. They want to enforce consumer lock-in to their product/services stack. By convincing customers that the lock-in is actually to their benefit, they now have people effectively begging to give up their user freedoms. What bothers me is that media outlets seem not to have generally caught on to this lie. Instead they repeat the false dichotomy, as if it were a fact of nature. I guess it is because computers are still fairly misunderstood by the public at large. (By comparison, most people would not buy it if they hired an electrician who installed locks on their fusebox, telling them that they'll have to call/pay him when the fuses blow... because only then can he guarantee a proper "electrical user experience"...)

Re:Locked Down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208660)

Ubuntu will send you an OS with a built-in packaging system and list of software, tell you how to use what's contained therein, and tell you you're on your own and to RTFM if you beat on it beyond thatt
Apple will send you a phone with a built-in packaging system and list of software, tell you how to use what's contained therein, and tell you you're on your own and to figure it out yourself if you beat on it beyond that.

I don't really see the difference other than how far either one goes to hide the service hatch, the only difference between the two for the normal user is how convenient the service hatch they'll never touch is.

does that make me a curator now? (1)

analysethis (868648) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208216)

crutch computing would be more accurate.

idiosincrazy is a malamanteu of idiot and crazy (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208224)

"curated computing"?

We already have a word for that, is dumbification.

A very important distinction to keep in mind. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208226)

I think that to focus on the "curated" aspect really misses(or obfuscates) a critical and ugly point.

Consider the following analogy: You want your house to be aesthetically pleasing and pleasant to use; but know fuck-all about color matching and picking furniture. So, you hire an interior decorator. They "curate" your space and emit a list of suggestions. You can then make it so, or not. On the other hand, if you go to a museum, the curator's decisions are not suggestions, and they are generally tailored to fit the desired audience as a whole, not necessarily you. You cannot add, remove, or substitute anything. Your only choice is to attend the museum or not.

In computing terms, the "interior decorator" situation is basically equivalent to the OEM providing a set of sane defaults, chosen for some mixture of security, ease of use, power, and cost. You can pick your interior decorator and, if you wish, you can deviate from their suggestions.

The "museum curator" option, on the other hand, is the iDevice/carrier lockdown situation. You can either take it or leave it; but if you take it, that's it. the OEM retains cryptographic control over "your" property forever.

The big difference is whether your "curator" is providing a list of suggestions, or a list of orders. The former, frankly, is something that OEMs(particularly the wintel guys) really ought to do a lot more and a lot better. Sane, secure, usable defaults are a good thing. The customer shouldn't have to blow the stock image to hell and rebuild from scratch just to get a desktop worth using. However, any set of defaults that doesn't include a "screw this, I'll do it myself and take the consequences" button, somewhere, that allows you to reject advice and do your own thing is ultimately invidious and will inevitably be used as a tool of rent-seeking(as in consoles, where the OEM extracts a tithe for the privilege of being allowed to sell programs that run on the hardware, or as in the App Store) and likely censorship and all sorts of other fun stuff.

Does the average user expect flexibility? (2, Interesting)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208240)

So, here's a question. Does the "average" user who picks up an iPad expect it to be capable of more than what it does out of the box?

This is something I just don't know, I bought a Netbook last year and even with that I could install whatever would run on it reasonably, I know I don't like the feeling that I'm limited to what I can run not because of hardware limitation but because of a conscious designer-driven decision (but that's just me.)

Companies might stop making netbooks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208490)

Does the "average" user who picks up an iPad expect it to be capable of more than what it does out of the box?

"There's an app for that." But then people run into the limitations of what Apple allows in an app and complain to other people. For example, a device with iPhone OS 2 or 3 can run Safari and iPod at once, but not Safari and Pandora at once.

I bought a Netbook last year and even with that I could install whatever would run on it reasonably

Same here. I use my netbook as the low-end laptop that it is. Of course, the danger here is that laptop companies will stop making netbooks in favor of "curated" or "walled" tablets if they see far more profit in the latter.

Re:Companies might stop making netbooks (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208572)

I guess the thing that is on my mind is, when someone buys into the "walled garden" will they see its limitations, turning it into a temporary market/fad?

Kiosk Komputing (2, Interesting)

microcars (708223) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208270)

I thought it was a better term. or maybe Consumption Computing?

Re:Kiosk Komputing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208514)

Thin Client.

ren (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208276)

the ipad, what AOL was to internet, ipad is to computers

I vote for... (1)

KGBear (71109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208286)

"moderated computing." Someone other than you decides what you can and cannot do. Good idea from the point of view of end users, people who really couldn't care less about the technology itself, only what it enables them to do. But terrible idea for the rest of us. How long until general purpose computers become a niche application or a hobby like ham radio? And of course become a "boutique" item costing orders of magnitude more than "consumer" toys?

Inevitability (5, Insightful)

danaris (525051) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208290)

Let's face it. We are geeks. We are always going to like the freedom and power to do whatever we want with our computers.

But we are not the majority.

Most people don't really care if their operating system allows them to recompile their kernel, write a new text editor, or even install arbitrary software. They would be happy enough to be able to install the stuff their friends have, not have to worry about viruses, and surf the web and chat with the aforementioned friends. And do some occasional work.

Some of this stuff is still Not There Yet on the iPad. And maybe the iPad itself will not be the dominant device of its type once things settle down in a few more years. But I think it's foolish to expect that the completely-open, easily breakable, general-purpose PC is going to be the only, or even the primary, computing device that most ordinary people use in 10 years.

PCs will certainly still be around. Business applications, by and large, will always be a poor fit for the iPad and similar devices. So will programming. So will some types of games (but not all!). And, heck, at least for the time being, the iPad requires a computer with iTunes on it for managing it.

But for the vast majority of people, a fully-featured PC is overkill for what they want to do. We're entering a period of transition—and, I would say, moving further toward the maturity of the computer age. As many people have pointed out in previous discussions, in the 1950s, if you owned a car, you more or less had to know how to do a bunch of basic maintenance tasks. Now, many of the parts you had to maintain no longer exist (such as the carburetor, as I understand it—I'm not a car person), and most of the others you can't maintain on your own: you have to take it to the dealer or an authorized service center, or void your warranty. Computers today are just starting to move past where cars were in the 1950s. It's no longer absolutely necessary to know how to perform maintenance tasks, but it still makes things run much more smoothly. And with the iPad, not only do you not need to do those tasks—you can't.

For some people, that will always be a dealbreaker. And you know what? That's OK. Apple doesn't care if everyone buys an iPad, any more than they've ever cared that not everyone buys Macs. The world will go on, but changed: instead of just computers, we'll have computers and "curated computing" devices.

Dan Aris

Re:Inevitability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208518)

I would love it if I could just not care as the idiotic masses bought their locked-down, everything-must-be-signed devices and enjoy their crappy proprietary software. Doesn't affect me, right?

Wrong: if there's no mass market for computers, they'll be as expensive as they were in the 1960s. No business ever made a profit by selling cheap products in low volume. When the only potential buyers of a general-purpose computer are large companies and "geeks", some of the former will just grudgingly pay the multi-million dollar price, but we'll be SOL.

Re:Inevitability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208550)

Hear hear. I'm a geek, and to me the computer is the ultimate toy infinitely reconfigurable. To everyone else, a computer is a device for reading and writing email, watching TV, storing and displaying photos, reading web pages, or slogging through the day with Office. The less annoying the device is doing those tasks, the better, even if this means it won't be able to create a wireless mesh network, run some esoteric operating system, or express my personal values regarding freedom and liberty.

The computer is a tool, and the rest of society will eventually pry it out of our greedy fingers no matter how much we kick and scream.

Re:Inevitability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208564)

And you know what? That's OK. Apple doesn't care if everyone buys an iPad, any more than they've ever cared that not everyone buys Macs. The world will go on, but changed: instead of just computers, we'll have computers and "curated computing" devices.

Dan, let's face it, if it was really OK by Apple, they wouldn't spend their time trying to sue their competition out of existence. They wouldn't spend their time trying to swallow up technologies and concepts that aren't technically theirs to begin with and sue people over them anyway. They'd continue making their products and quietly releasing them rather than aggressively attacking other parties who might have something possibly innovative sometime in the future that might work to take away their market share.

Re:Inevitability (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208578)

Let's face it. We are geeks. We are always going to like the freedom and power to do whatever we want with our computers.

Some Slashdotters are computer geeks and want all that freedom and power - some of us are other kinds of geeks and we just want our computers (desktop, smartphone, whatever) to just bloody work. For the first kind of geek computers are a toy, and for the second kind computers are a tool. It's important to recognize the difference, not only between kinds of geeks but how computers are viewed even among geeks.
 

As many people have pointed out in previous discussions, in the 1950s, if you owned a car, you more or less had to know how to do a bunch of basic maintenance tasks. Now, many of the parts you had to maintain no longer exist (such as the carburetor, as I understand it--I'm not a car person), and most of the others you can't maintain on your own: you have to take it to the dealer or an authorized service center, or void your warranty. Computers today are just starting to move past where cars were in the 1950s.

The problem with that analogy is that it's utterly false - for cars and computers. Garages and PC service techs both emerged fairly shortly after their respective technologies began to spread into the consumer market.
 
What you're missing is that the story of technology in the mass market is the story of ever simplifying user interfaces. Electric starters replaced cranks, and shells and menuing systems replaced the command line.

Re:Inevitability (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208580)

Most people don't really care if their operating system allows them to recompile their kernel, write a new text editor, or even install arbitrary software.

I was with you until "install arbitrary software". People _expect_ this, and are rankled when a device that (despite looking like an oversized iPhone) is universally recognized as a computer won't install Mac software they already bought. Insult to injury: they have to pay $15 or more for the privilege of using the same type of productivity software on the iPad that comes free with their usual OSes.

Sorry Sarah (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208306)

We won't be calling anything "Curated Computing", but remember we can't all be famous phrase coiners.

The word (4, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208350)

The word is 'appliance'.

Re:The word (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208544)

Agreed, and appliances don't offer any more reliability than full fledged computers. It all depends on the implementation.

I have Solaris boxes that are more reliable, stable, and perform better, than all of our purpose built, super-restricted, appliances.

The basic nerd position on pretty much everything (-1, Troll)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208358)

As a nerd, I demand that my excessive non-typical use patterns are subsidized by the general market, because I deserve everything for free or as near as possible, because I have decided that is ethical. You cannot deny me, because I am right, because I have said so.

Re:The basic nerd position on pretty much everythi (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208678)

As a nerd, I demand that my excessive non-typical use patterns are subsidized by the general market, because I deserve everything for free or as near as possible, because I have decided that is ethical. You cannot deny me, because I am right, because I have said so.

Poor Troll, you look starving. Here, eat something.
As a nerd I demand my fellow nerds designing nerd-tools not fall into their corporations' traps of making a technological feudal society. We aren't the knights or the clergy in that bleak future. We are the laborers, and we will not be free to leave our lords' lands.

She makes a good point ... (0, Flamebait)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208380)

From TFA ...

a mode of computing where choice is constrained to deliver less complex, more relevant experiences. Let me repeat that, because it's the essence of the Curated Computing experience: less choice; more relevance.

This pretty much gets to the crux of things. Yes, you can't do everything with this device. But the things you do want to do are more usable, and better designed.

Additionally, tablets should be positioned as complementary to the rest of a product line. Even though there have been many claims to the contrary, it is unlikely tablets will eliminate laptops, or even netbooks, at least in the short term. So consumers need to see how this device fits into their life in a new way.

This is a different device for doing different things differently than you do them now. It's not going to replace the machine I do my professional work on. But sitting in the back yard, or in my recliner, or what have you ... it allows passive web surfing, reading a book, or propping it up in the kitchen like a cookbook with a recipe I got off the web.

I'm really interested in one of these once the price comes down a little. The early adopters are shelling out money for them now, but I can see a lot of people eventually getting one of these.

I wouldn't mind seeing some factual correlation... (3, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208388)

...between reducing user choice but improving reliability and efficiency myself.

Why do non technical people believe the words that pour out of Jobs' gob? The man, and Apple's advertising, is infamous for saying things he knows are not true. Hell, my favorite recent example of this was when he bashed Flash about being designed for PCs as one of the reasons not to use it on the iPhone/iPad when his company makes you use Objective-C! LOL. Guess what Objective-C was designed for?

Apple 1984 commercial (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208412)

"My friends, each of you is a single cell in the great body of the State. And today, that great body has purged itself of parasites. We have triumphed over the unprincipled dissemination of facts. The thugs and wreckers have been cast out. -- And the poisonous weeds of disinformation have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Let each and every cell rejoice! For today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directive! We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths. Our Unification of Thought is a more powerful weapon than any fleet or army on Earth. We are one people. With one will. One resolve. One cause. -- Our enemies shall talk themselves to death. And we will bury them with their own confusion. -- We shall prevail!" -- Apple, 1984. That's the copy from the famous Apple ad with the guy speaking to an audience of people in grey from a big screen.

The Apple fanboys hate that paragraph (and will mod it down to "Troll" in about 30 minutes). But that's a clear statement of Apple's "walled garden" approach. They even use the same terminology: "A garden of pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths". As for the "Information Purification Directive", see the the EFF's analysis of the Apple iPhone Developer Agreement. [eff.org] Apple tries to keep the Developer Agreement secret, but they accepted a NASA app, which made it subject to a FOIA request, and now anyone can read it.

Gnome (1)

molo (94384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208432)

Am I the only one who thought of the removal of Gnome UI customization when reading the description?

-molo

No title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208446)

Perhaps we can have scare stories about curated automobiling where you're denied access to wrench your own parts or even choose your own gears. (Everyone who's leasing an automatic, raise your hand.)
Curated dining where the preparation or even ingredients are chosen for you. (Everyone who's eaten at a proper French restaurant or sushi bar, raise your hand.)
Curated gaming, where the rules are enforced oh-so-strictly. (Consoles post-Gameshark, pretty much anything online ever? Raise your hand.)
Curated music. (If you've ever loved a particular DJ, whether he played the best indie and new band rock or the finest selections of '40s jazz, damn straight you're raising your hand.)
Curated drinking. (If you've ever had a good bartender, you know how wonderful this is.)

It's fair to insist that the curation remain a social contract, that you be able to buy a beige-box PC rather than only an iPad or that modding your Wii is grey-market rather than strictly outlawed. But even for enthusiasts in a field, there's plenty of benefit to letting the experts tell you exactly what to do; typically, they're the experts for a reason, and the ecosystem designed entirely under their watch is better for 90% of your needs than what you'd get throwing a cavalcade of enthusiastic morons and autists at the problem.

Dear Ms. Epps: Take Your Curated Computing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208470)

and iPad and BLEND them ! [youtube.com]

Thanks in advance.

Yours In Smolensk,
Kilgore Trout

Evolved Computing (1)

Mutatis Mutandis (921530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208474)

Curated Computing sounds like a bad idea to me, because those third persons are making decisions without actually knowing my needs and habits as a user. Therefore less choice is very likely to lead to less relevance as well. This is the kind of computing you get in a big company where a central IT department sets policies and standards for everything, and it generally drives people who try to develop something new or display some creativity into raging fury -- even if the choices that are being made for you aren't braindead.

I think in the long term devices such as the iPad are going to be a success only if they can be personal enough. In theory a more convenient model could be one in which the systems learns from my behavior as a user and adapts accordingly. However, so far this tends to be based on a frequency-of-use approach, which is rather limiting. It isn't much help to the less skilled user, who might never be able to find the right options. And there are potential privacy considerations, if this is focused on monitoring the behavior of a single person.

A better mechanism could be a kind of 'Evolved Computing' working like this: I make myself a member of a peer group, based on common activities and common user interface preferences. I get a software package which may be inherently flexible but complex, perhaps too complex for the daily needs. Monitoring the group statistics allows the system's managers to de-emphasize some features, and highlight or offers others which might be attractive to this group. As a user, I can be presented with tools that other members in my peer group have found useful, and can adapt or reject. Another group may have another set of preferences, of course, but a particular group is offered the relevant subset in its user interface.

It's nothing really knew -- it's traditional user feedback, and the selection mechanism for iPod Apps or other extension packages. But it could be done smoother and more intelligently.

It's the home version of client/server (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208480)

over the last 10 years home laptop sales have outpaced home desktop sales. but in the end most people still do the same basic things on laptops. Internet, email, youtube and a few others.

this is where tablets come in. they are supposed to be good at the basics with the iPad having other software allowing you to do some other basic computing tasks. The reason Win7 doesn't work in tablets is that the install is 15GB and with 16-64GB SSD sizes it's too much lost space for the OS. iphone OS, Android and WebOS are all under 1GB. they will grow, just like Windows did over the last 30 years. the goal is to get the basics right, take over the market and add other features on later. Just like MS did with windows.

i'm thinking of going this way this year. buy a low to mid tier desktop PC. i'll build myself or just buy a Mac Mini. It's enough to play older TW games and Civ4. for the average computing on the couch, mobile computing, taking kids' cartoons everywhere, etc a tablet is the way to go. it's smaller and lighter than a laptop. and the iPad has some nice build quality. feels better built than my $1500 HP business laptop.

the desktop is your server where you keep most of the data. the iphone/ipad is the client you take with you. the desktop is where you can hack. a lot of people don't care about their iphone/ipad not being hackable. it's there to get stuff done or consume media. not explore the file system.

we've had home server systems being sold, but i think they are a waste of money. you just need an external HD to hold your data with a thermaltake external holder. and they cost a lot in electric bills. and only the crazy OCD people think they need to have 20TB of their music and porn online all the time and available

Computer Appliance (2, Insightful)

gmurray (927668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208488)

I would call hardware like the iPad a computer appliance. When people buy tools for their tool shed or household items, they know that if they buy something that tries to do everything, usually it will suck at most things it does. So they buy targeted tools/appliances well designed for their specific need. The apps in the apple app store follow this analogy in microcosm, and the iPhone or iPad device follows it in macrocosm. Its certainly a boon for non technical users, but as a developer I don't enjoy the lockdown Apple is imposing on their development environment. Some of their restrictions can be seen to be in place to make the platform more appliance-like (restricted multitasking, etc). But others just seem like anti-competitive practices (disallowing Flash, Monotouch, and presumably Silverlight). I'm alright with it being a limited platform, as that helps out the target demographic, but artificially limiting the developers is just poisonous and makes me want to distance myself from the company.

Tablets (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208516)

So far tablets have been "meh" - they have been around for almost a decade now and have gained no traction. Then Apple comes along and sells a million in a month without even trying. Is it a "power" device - No, it isn't. But, it fits a niche. It sent HP and Microsofts attempts at reinventing the tablet into a tailspin and caused them to be scrapped. But what niche will the iPad fill? I have one and love it, for a few reasons - but I see it more of a device for my grandparents. They have no real need for a computer and its power. They want to send email, check pictures, and that is about it. Why should the spend $70 a month on Cable Internet when they can spend $15 on 3G for the iPad? The iPad and the Ink have potiental to become great thin clients as well. Years ago I was looking at the Tough Book "Notepad" thin clients, they were $2000+ EACH and were nothing more than a Citrix client. We shall see. The tablet market has been reinvented. It will be interesting to see what Android vaporware will come out, I'll love to grab one when it finally does.

"No one takes their laptop to the bathroom." (2, Insightful)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208522)

This statement alone is enough to disregard the entire article.

Interesting new business model... (1)

bartwol (117819) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208526)

...where you choose a vendor who will make your computer be reliable.

Gimme a break.

Apple weenies (and a bunch of slashdotters too) need to let go of that aged-out belief that Windows isn't reliable, or that an unreliable app makes the whole platform unreliable. You don't need to switch vendors...you just need to stop using the bad app(s).

Apple users are going to great lengths these days to rationalize the fact that they have chosen a platform with somewhat limited choices. The fact is that they have chosen a computing STYLE, and in so doing, have to some extent limited their computing CAPABILITIES. So, for example, they choose the iPad STYLE and they lose Flash CAPABILITY.

Enough of the "less-is-more" argument in Apple-land...less may be prettier, but it's still less.

I like it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32208532)

This kind of experience is great for people who want to use a computer without the hassle. Obviously this wouldn't be a primary computer for us geeks but it would be great for people who are completely techtarded or just have a few specific uses for their machine. It would certainly save ME a lot of time not fielding tech support questions from friends and relatives! I can see it being useful as a second (or more than likely third) computer for enthusiasts as well. I love my PC and the near unlimited things I can do with it, but sometimes I just need a single screwdriver and don't feel like carrying the whole toolbox.

let's not blame the iPad (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208570)

First, this is a trend. There was a time when I hacked by computer by soldering, when components are big enough for me to fix things in my own home. You don't here people complain about not being able to solder a computer. That is no longer the expectation. Now people get upset because they can't upgrade a computer, as if removing four screws and pulling a cable gives them any great ability. But that is what the kids calls freedom. Freedom to go to the store and buy a part. Now most computers are laptops, and hacking is downloading programs and installing them, maybe opening them up and putting in new hard disk or memory. Apple is a villain because you can't add a battery. And then we get to the silliness of a phone, a device that my any manufacturer is closed wall garden. I don't see anyone building rougue cell towers at their home to get better reception, or to redirect calls to the landline. Maybe they are.

And hackers think they are cool because they change the background image or download a naughty application. I am with them. There was a time when I thouhgt putting the Bill&Opus motif on my mac was the end all, I thought I was hot. But that is really an adolescent rebellion against anything that is forbidden, not any kind of technical issue. For most of us we have things we hack and things that we need to work. The PC is every office because it can be administered and locked down in a way that few other OS can. No one cares about hacking it because that is not it's purpose. The same goes for the iPhone and iPad. How many people complained that they could not hack their Razr. It was a good phone and that is all we cared about.

If one wants to fiddle go and buy a copy of Make. What we don't need to do is think that Apple or whoever all of sudden violated some basic human right. Most of us don't care that we can't pull out the water pump from our car, and do car that we only have to see the mechanic once a year instead of every week. Most of us don't care that our televisions can't be repaired, but are happy that they give us a few years of good service then die so we can upgrade. Most people don't want a phone or a computer that they continuously have to fiddle with and upgrade. Those who do have cheap ones they can buy. Just not the iPad. Which is ok, because if one is a really a cool hacker, one does not need to show off with an iPad.

Toys vs. computers (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208596)

Tablets and smartphones and i* are all just toys. No work gets done on these things. Nobody is going to run Quickbooks on an iPhone.

Contrary to "journalists" popular belief, just because their professional is still relatively low-tech (writing) and can actually be done on a wristwatch, these days, doesn't mean that the rest of the world works that way. Those of us who need more than a Gmail account for our actual productive work don't believe for a second that these toys will replace general purpose Windows PC's any time soon.

A better Answer (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208634)

Clearly most Slashdot users prefer more choices over someone making choices on their behalf when it comes to computing. That's because we're computer geeks. The average person, however, is getting real benefits from having a group of experts with more control over the device on their behalf. They also get real negative consequences, such as some applications they want never making it to the device they use and less ability to migrate devices without losing one's investment in apps.

Okay, we know all that already, right? So now we come to what people are doing about it. Half the venders are ignoring the benefits Apple has provided, secure in the knowledge that Apple's innovation will lose in the market. Half of them are emulating Apple, betting Apple is right. What none of them are doing, that I've seen, is innovating. Is there really no way to create a system that provides both the benefits of their "curated computing" while not bringing about the drawbacks? Can't someone build a central marketplace for apps that are vetted, and hosted by any and all comers? Can't a phone or series of phones be built where there is a guarantee that the apps will be portable between those phones and have been vetted for security and performance concerns so the user can make informed decisions? I've long advocated that the average desktop user doesn't have the information they need or the OS level control they need to effectively know what apps to run and how much to trust those apps. I've long advocated that the only way to get proper unbiased information is to build into the OS a way to get greylists of what apps are trusted from multiple sources, weigh them, and then take good, automated action on behalf of the user while providing them the details they need. It's easier to put all this power into the hands of one company, but then you end up having to trust a single party (be it Apple or MS). So who's going out making a better solution? Come on Google, I'm looking at you.

Using an app store should be a process of getting data from many parties. "Three out of four of your security feeds say the battery performance of this app is unacceptable and should be avoided". "Warning: this app only works on this phone and has no vendor promise to allow you to support other AndroidCert phones going forward. Be sure to take this into account." "Warning: this app is rated as malicious by two of your four security feeds. You will need to change your app settings to download it. This is not recommended." In addition, devices should be doing the right thing in the background, sandboxing apps and severely restricting ones that have not been vetted... maybe even refusing to run unsigned apps by default.

It is not impossible to create a decentralized app store using data and servers from a variety of companies... a personalized store that only shows users the apps that meet their security, performance, and compatibility requirements; or at very least makes the needed data available to the end user. People complain about the Apple iPhone App Store, but complaining is not really very useful. Who's making something better? Who's making something that is going to take hard work, but which will make a store that gives users all the benefits of Apple's store and freedom besides?

How about "censorship"? (3, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | more than 4 years ago | (#32208654)

"...a new paradigm that they are calling 'curated computing,' where third parties make a lot of choices to simplify things for the end user, reducing user choice but improving reliability and efficiency for a defined set of tasks."

How about "censorship" instead?

Ok, I know I am playing devil's advocate but if the slashdot headline was "China develops computing model where users have reduced choice but increased reliability, with the choices made by the State Education Department", I know the word censorship would be bandied around pretty quickly.

Depends on who you want to make the decisions for you and of course a big question is how much opportunity you have to affect those decisions if you'd like to get involved in the process.

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