5 reasons to avoid iPhone 3G

Via the Free Software Foundation.

The 5 real reasons to avoid iPhone 3G:

* iPhone completely blocks free software. Developers must pay a tax to Apple, who becomes the sole authority over what can and can’t be on everyone’s phones.

* iPhone endorses and supports Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology.

* iPhone exposes your whereabouts and provides ways for others to track you without your knowledge.

* iPhone won’t play patent- and DRM-free formats like Ogg Vorbis and Theora.

* iPhone is not the only option. There are better alternatives on the horizon that respect your freedom, don’t spy on you, play free media formats, and let you use free software — like the FreeRunner.”

The article elaborates:

The iPhone is an attack on very old and fundamental values — the value of people having control over their stuff rather than their stuff having control over them, the right to freely communicate and share with others, and the importance of privacy.

The iPhone does make phone calls, but it is not just a phone. It is a general-purpose computer, more powerful in terms of hardware than the ones we might have had sitting on our desks just a few years ago. It’s also a tracking device, and like other proprietary GPS-enabled phones, can transmit your location without your knowledge.

As of November 2007, 3.3 billion people in the world had mobile telephones, and the number continues to rise rapidly. For many of these people, phones are becoming the most important computers they own. They are vital to their communications and they are with them all the time. Of all the technology people use that could be turned against them, this is one of the most frightening possibilities.

But there is an important difference between the iPhone and prior general-purpose computers: The iPhone is broken, on purpose. It is in theory capable of running many different kinds of programs, but software applications and media will be limited via Apple’s ironically named Digital Restrictions Management technology — “FairPlay”.”

But is there an alternative?

Fortunately, we will soon be able to have all the convenience of a mobile computer that also makes phone calls without selling our freedom to Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, or anyone else. The Neo FreeRunner is a promising free-software phone, being developed in cooperation with the same worldwide community responsible for the GNU/Linux operating system. These are creators who want to share their work and who want you and others to be able to do what they did — build on the work of people who came before them to make new, empowering devices.

We have a choice. The FreeRunner doesn’t yet do as much as the iPhone and it’s certainly not as pretty. But in terms of potential, the fact that it’s supported by a worldwide community of people rather than a single greedy, dishonest and secretive entity puts it light-years ahead. We can trade our freedom and our money to get something flashy on the surface, or we can spend a little more money, keep our freedom, and support a better kind of business. If we want businesses to be ethical, we have to reward the ones that are. By not enriching companies that want to take away our freedom and by rewarding those that respect us, we will be helping to bring about a better future.”

Check out OpenMoko’s FreeRunner at http://www.openmoko.com/

Further overviews on Open Mobile Telephony, Open Source Telephony, and Open Source VoIP can be found here.

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