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GUI Portables

Shall We Call It "Curated Computing?" 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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Shall We Call It "Curated Computing?"

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  • 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:The word (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:34PM (#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.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:42PM (#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.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:54PM (#32208848) Homepage

    Of course they want something with more positive spin on it.

    Walled Garden Computing is far too honest and descriptive. It acknowledges a downside rather than trying to completely ignore it.

  • Re:Locked Down (Score:5, Informative)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:06PM (#32209034) Homepage

    Of course you can't see the difference. You are LYING in order to make the point.

    There is no service hatch in Ubuntu. It is specifically designed to allow for 3rd party software sources and places no limits on installing or running random binaries.

    Not only is there a "service hatch" on an iPad but it is locked. Unlocking it is of dubious legality and the means to unlock an iPad are constantly being "fixed".

    They are NOTHING like each other.

    At worst, something is hard on Ubuntu. That's a far cry from something that is specifically intended to be impossible.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:20PM (#32209244)

    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.

    There's a difference between censorship and choosing what to sell. When the government says you can't sell Catcher in the Rye, that's censorship. When Barnes and Noble decides not to sell Catcher in the Rye, that's just choosing what they want to sell. The former is an act of the government and the latter is just competition on what to carry. You can always go to another book store. You have no right to force a non-monopolist to carry a given product. When they don't do so... that's not censorship. To be perfectly clear, if China was controlling what choices a user has, that is censorship. If Apple only offers some choices, that's not. You can always use a different phone, or install Android on your iPhone and use a different App store, or jailbreak it and use a different App store.

  • by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:25PM (#32209340)

    This seems more like a device which is intended to be used differently from your existing devices, and quite possibly in conjunction with them

    It would be great if these devices worked in conjunction with the other devices in my home, but the sad fact is the more 'curated' they are, the less able they are to do so. My iPod touch talks to one machine at a time in my home, I need to be physically connected to that machine, and I need to use a specific application on that machine. That's it! How boring.

    Sure if I want to I can load an app that uses some anonymous server that is in some anonymous location as long as it is approved by Apple but if I want to use all the machines in my home I can forget it. Frankly I think it is an absolutely abhorrent development to computing and it is about a dozen steps back.

  • by Kashell ( 896893 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @03:06PM (#32211278)
    The one thing developers fail to understand (if they haven't tested before), is that developing for a single piece of hardware for a single platform using a single language and api calls is very, very easy to test, and test alot. More testing = more bugs found = more bugs fixed = higher quality.

    This is why the experience of playing a game on console is consistance and bug free. While you (may) get improved function on a PC, your quality is going to go down significantly.

    The same principle can be applied to any product that caters to a specific platform.

    Note also, that this is why (for crossplatform applications) open source is so strong. It takes A LOT of eyes to make sure everything is quality across platforms, devices, hardware, etc.
  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:29PM (#32216758) Homepage
    Actually the commercial wasn't about the Mac at all, it was a rejection of the IBM way. The guy on the screen, Big Brother, is supposed to be speaking for the soulless "walled garden" IBM way of computing. You know how IBM's slogan is "Think"? Apple's slogan is "Think Different". It's sad though, I'm sure you really believe what you're saying. And I like the fact that you tell the GP to stop saying these hateful things. What's more annoying than an inconvenient truth?

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