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Old 02-13-2010, 02:56 PM   #1
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Wash.Post: Apple's iPad could be game-changer in digital-media censorship

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...021300014.html

Frédéric Filloux is the editor of the Monday Note, where this first appeared, and a contributor to Slate.fr.

Quote:
That's why Apple's choice for a closed system changes the game. In Jobs's mind, the iPad is meant to become the ultimate personal computer, replacing most of the devices that we currently use to get music and entertainment. And news. And knowledge.

For the publishing community, the choice is therefore:

a) Go for it with a flurry of applications -- and thus contribute to building a tightly controlled, gated-content community;

b) Put some eggs in other baskets (Amazon's or PlasticLogic's, for instance) that are neither neutral nor philanthropic.

This leaves us with three conclusions:

1) Undoubtedly, the iPad could be a fantastic publishing platform with a powerful transaction system attached to it. As many do already, I'm considering a purely digital magazine built on great content and beautiful layout and supported by a mixture of paid-for and clever and graphically attractive advertising. But we'd have to bet that Apple will always position itself as a neutral platform.

2) It might not be economically feasible to publish on several platforms just to hedge such a remote risk. The variety of formats, the technologies (LCD display, like the iPad, or e-Ink, like the Kindle) would make such on-the-fly content adaptation far too costly.

3) Therefore, it is a good idea to keep considering Web-based paywalls -- whatever the forms -- and mobile applications on multiple platforms. After all, the Internet is the one vehicle that is the most likely to remain open and neutral.
I'm curious about his 3rd conclusion-is he saying that Web-based paywalls are important to keep the Internet open and neutral?
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:21 PM   #2
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only as open and neutral as "network neutrality" allows them to be. ok. the ny times has an online paid subscription. you can view it with most any web browser. it gives you a decent experience, online viewing, online audio and video using popular and currently available plugins, search, etc. etc. but it's also typically coded for the lowest common denominator. a lot of what they'd like to do, isn't possible because they don't want to alienate customers. do you code for netbooks? large desktops? windows? mac? IE? firefox? chrome?

now factor in the ISP's. sure, they all have to play fair now. but if some (time warner, comcast, etc.) get their way and start metering traffic, start billing for bytes. who's going to pay for a huge multi-media online newspaper? if i have to pay for the bandwidth, and pay for the content, and i'm being charged to download/view the advertising on the ny time's page. lol. you're going to see subscriptions plummet.

now here's your decision.. keep coding up a common platform web page, hope that the network remains neutral (a battle being fought hard every day) and that your customers keep coming. or offer up something that might be seen as new and innovative (before your competition does!) on a new but closed platform, but a platform that will have a known set of multimedia capabilities, and a possible guaranteed communication channel (AT&T).

a lot to think about these days...

network neutrality is slowly being eroded. corporate greed from the ISPs is pushing this one. sad, because they deliver such a shoddy product in the US too, compared to many other countries.

dead-tree newspapers are being replaced daily by television and on-line sources. they have to go on-line to survive.

everyone is coming out with some sort of media player/tablet/slate/mid player. multiple platforms. who do you code for and how? daily epub's? websites coded for mobile browsers? podcasts? hate 'em or love 'em. Apple is the best positioned to release a product that will be popular, cheap and have a good set of capabilities. microsoft doesn't make hardware, no common platform is their benefit and their bane.

good article though. and the iPad will be revolutionary because it will cause quiet a change in this whole market place. sitting on the couch surfing on your thin, fast, tablet device watching multi-media while you surf and email. the iPad is only the first of many products that are going to start delivering this experience. the winner will be who delivers the most accepted (not necessarily the best or most capable) experience for the consumers.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by scottjl View Post
microsoft doesn't make hardware, no common platform is their benefit and their bane.
Except of course they do. And they're talking about the Courier, a dual-screen device.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by scottjl View Post
microsoft doesn't make hardware, no common platform is their benefit and their bane.
Well, M$ don't exactly doesn't make hardware, maybe not (yet) in the fields apple has a leg in, the Zune thing is not exactly made by M$, but certainly in other fields. The best example is the Xbox 360, which it was designed by M$, their engineers came up with the whole thing and hold all the copyrights to the tech inside it.
The book Xbox 360 Uncloaked tells how the system came about.

M$ does have more than enough experience and backing to produce hardware. M$ knew well however, they believe going down the apple track has more limits than benefits. Their graphics hardware standard Direct X would not dominate as it is today if they do it differently.

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Old 02-14-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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Well, M$ don't exactly doesn't make hardware, maybe not (yet) in the fields apple has a leg in, the Zune thing is not exactly made by M$, but certainly in other fields.
Sorry, what?

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The best example is the Xbox 360, which it was designed by M$, their engineers came up with the whole thing and hold all the copyrights to the tech inside it.
Of course that's a Microsoft product. It's designed by Microsoft and manufactured for Microsoft. That's how all of them do it; there is almost no company in the market which produces its products completely on its own instead of outsourcing the manufacturing process to companies like Foxconn or Quanta(?). Samsung maybe, since they do pretty much everything.

Still, the Xbox 360 and Zune product families are rather exceptions. In most markets, Microsoft delivers the software while others license it for their hardware. After all, Zune was only invented because all previous, Microsoft software-powered DAPs like the ones made by Toshiba sucked. Microsoft had to do it itself in order to succeed. And in game consoles, well ... there is not much use for Microsoft software. So again, Microsoft had to make its own hardware to gain marketshare.

Now it remains to be seen if the tablet market is more like the PC market or more like the embedded markets. If the latter comes true, Microsoft will have to make its own tablet.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #6
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Their graphics hardware standard Direct X would not dominate as it is today if they do it differently.
Actually, I'd argue strongly that DirectX took off because of the incompetence showed by the OpenGL ARB, rather than any inherent merit of DirectX per-se. If the ARB had done a proper job (or even allowed the proper 3.x spec to go through), things would be different.
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