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Quasar

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  1. You might remember the top image was created a while back by some random person on the internet to illustrate what might have been the end result of the lack of net neutrality - "channelization" of the internet into regulated sets of "sites", each operating in a proprietary manner and possibly charging its own fees for access.

    All hail the Brave New World of the app store, bringing us the same compartmentalized environment regardless of net neutrality, while being replete with regulated, licensed development, signed interpreted code, strictly controlled access to vastly neutered and terribly inefficient APIs, and most importantly, an anti-trust-laws-defying racket by which the owning company gets to siphon profits off of all software development targeted at that platform.

    Welcome to your worst nightmares.

    1. Show previous comments  32 more
    2. Maes

      Maes

      They are just catching up with the technology we're used to. It's not a breathtaking achievement anymore to put multiple cores on a chip since, what, 2005? Nor to put said cores in a mobile device. Nor to cobble some DRAM chips together and add them up to an arbitrary amount.

      The real tricky part is getting reasonable life out of them and prevent their thermal death, which is why N cores doesn't mean that you get a full-time supercomputer in your pocket: if forced to run constantly at their max speed, most very-high performance mobile cores would eventually burn down, because they lack the sophisticated cooling systems that evolved on desktops and even laptops. Good thing the battery would run out before you manage to do it...or auto speed throttling would set the speed back, preventing this "forcing" scenario.

      Mobile CPUs are very good at consuming very little power per MHz at relatively low rates. Crank the speed up, and this advantage is lost. It's definitively possible to cram more processing (and electric) power in a mobile than the current thermal designs and batteries can handle for any reasonable amount of time. The question is: "is it worth it?"

      Sorry if I think more like an engineer than a marketer ;-)

    3. geekmarine

      geekmarine

      I have to admit, I'm really rather quite confused here. So the Microsoft Store offers apps for particular websites or particular functions? So what? It's not like you're barred from other means of accessing that information. Heck, Microsoft might suggest an app to download when I want to open a particular kind of file, but there's nothing preventing me from downloading another program to do the same thing. For instance, just recently I downloaded VLC to my Windows 8 computer, despite Windows offering me apps to download to view movies.

      More to the point, just because, say, Microsoft has a CNN app, it doesn't mean they'll block you from CNN's website if you use your preferred browser. That's the whole issue of net neutrality. It's not that certain websites will get promoted over others (that has always been the case). The issue with net neutrality is that companies are looking to restrict access to websites altogether based on how much you're willing to pay for access.

    4. Maes

      Maes

      geekmarine said:

      More to the point, just because, say, Microsoft has a CNN app, it doesn't mean they'll block you from CNN's website if you use your preferred browser. That's the whole issue of net neutrality. It's not that certain websites will get promoted over others (that has always been the case). The issue with net neutrality is that companies are looking to restrict access to websites altogether based on how much you're willing to pay for access.


      They could do that in several ways, just listing a few possibilities:

      • Convert web servers to use a modified, non-standard compliant HTTP-like protocol (or, equivalently, use some sort of scrambling or encryption at all times for all communication to/from a server), which only the "correct" app can decode.
      • Use completely different web page authoring tools and custom standards that don't rely on HTML, and thus only an ad-hoc app can make sense of them and display them, while general-purpose browsers would just display garbage.
      • Most of the webpage's content actually being part of the client-side executable, tied to the particular platform, and updates being only possible through its own secret, ad-hoc protocols (essentially, making every website behave like a 90s "multimedia" interactive encyclopedia on CD-ROM)
      Yes, with hacking or enough reverse engineering someone could probably circumvent these "safeguards", rip resources, access premium content etc., but then the DMCA and related legal fuss would kick in.

      It's weird how at first "educational" or readable content for computers came in simple text files, then custom programs, then, with the internet, in standard website form, and now with mobile apps there's a trend back to the custom executable.

      Similarly, in an age where many traditionally desktop applications are implemented (not always efficient or practical to use) as "rich internet applications", the mobile market marks a return to the ad-hoc , platform-specific executable. Now, there might be some overlap e.g. Metro apps using HTML5, but those are still platform specific, so you get a sort of HTML5 that, well, is not everybody's HTML5.

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