See, normally I would like every fruit and vegetable, but this fruit, with a bite missing out of it, upsets my stomach. It is not that everything that bears this fruit logo is designed to be overly pleasing and dumbing. It is not that the aggression of this fruit and the association with the “original” sin. It is not that factories, where these silly little machines are made, with planned obsolesce built into them, are/were still plagued with worker abuse and made from conflict minerals (along with Boeing and Tiffany & Co etc), far beyond the great wall, where very few can see.
It is that the owners of this rotten fruit corporation want to have their dirty fingers in every pie. It started with computers and mobile phones. Their devices are nothing hugely new or innovative, but carefully covered by sneaky patents. It is not that the fruity corporation innovates for real, but litigate insidiously well. Even though at first they used chips made by other companies such as Motorola, they want to end up making their own hardware. With the user-irreplaceable batteries in laptops and mobile phone and with denying the users any upgrades which are not done by their technicians. At least other laptops can be easily opened up and upgraded with more memory or larger storage devices. Of course other corporations use copious amount of glue and other dirty tricks inside tablet computers to make it harder for anyone (other than their technicians) to repair or upgrade devices.
But the empire does not end there. A music store is quickly added to the repertoire, plagued with Digital Restriction Management (DRM), meaning you never own the music you pay for. This was not enough either. A payment processing arm must be attached to the monster, the FruitPay along with ZamzungPay, which only works on their latest mobile phones and they get a nice little cut from every transaction made through it. Just like the other ethically unsound corporation PayPal.
This is still not enough. Now they are wanting to get rid of SIM cards in mobile phones and replace it with their electronic SIM. This of course would weaken the mobile phone service provider companies since they would be required to license the e-SIM technology from them, which is compatible with their devices and not open source standards. This of course is only the first step towards building their own cellular communication network. Perhaps they want to catch up to AT&T and their dirty little routing practice involving the NSA.
Am I just unduly ranting about this corporation which build devices with very little compatibility with open standards, such as USB data cables and chargers widely adopted by other corporations and industries? Am I unfairly singling them out? Are they that much different from the other corporations offering Trojan “gifts”, such as Google and Microsoft which offers a lot for “free” in return for collecting a large amount of data on us?
Where did this all began? Was it when we signed up for puny discount with credit card companies which wanted data about us and our shopping habits? Was it when we allowed politicians to push the envelop for these corporations and pass, support and advocate legislations benefiting these corporations against the interest of the voters?
It was much earlier. It was when we allowed corporations to become permanent instead of dissolving them after their original purpose was fulfilled such as building something. Now they become corporate “persons” with right to own property. Are we getting to a point when police and armies will be phased out in favour of corporate armies? But wait! Blackwater (since renamed Academi) already is a formidable force and has been involved in some really questionable if not downright criminal activities in Iraq. The particular corp is full of highly trained ex-military henchmen, ready to serve anyone with the right amount of capital.
Will it be long before the iArmy will lift its ugly head, armed with the latest artificial iHeart, incapable of feeling for the people who committed suicide while working in FoxConn factories? Will they be iNDoctrinated to worship a god called Steve, who was first to offer the data harvested by his corp to the NSA?
It is up to us. It is up to us what we buy or not buy. Pay for slavery and dumbing products or embrace free and open source products such as the Linux based operating systems (not the Google promoted semi-open Android, at least not before it is deGoogleised). Of course Linux may feel different at first, but with a bit of knowhow it will shine, sing and fly. The time required to understand it will not be wasted, because that is all that’s required. Linux based operating systems are FREE (as in free beer or whatever). Should we pay hundreds for the limiting products of gigacorps, which we will never own (!) and will continuously “call home” (send data to their makers without our knowledge and approval)?
We should make a conscious choice of where we put our money!!! We could donate to the developers of free and open source software and that would still be cheaper than most of the commercial closed source products. Supporting open technologies and standards is the way to ensure our freedom from corporatocracy and to prove Orwell wrong.