iPhones are killing the internet: more academics to punch

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ban iphone 200 pix.jpgThank God we cover guns in Tech Digest because I am getting really sick of some these shock merchants and academic types that would do best to pay more attention to their personal hygiene than the habits and trends of the internet and internet users.

The man who’s got my goat today is Professor Jonathan Zittrain of Oxford University who has decided that modern internet appliances like iPhones are destroying the internet because these more locked-down devices offer little in the way of the interactivity traditionally associated with the web. Thus creation, development and innovation are curtailed.

Well, I’d like to counter Professor Zittrain’s conclusion with my equally academic response – bollocks.

What an utter load of bunkum. People will use their handhelds to browse the internet and their larger units to interact with it – you know, where you can actually interact at speeds higher than 5wpm. Has this man never heard of web 2.0?

He thinks that fear will lead people to these safer “tethered” appliances because spamming and scamming will scare them off “generative PCs attached to a generative network” and suddenly, I get the picture.

Professor Zittrain clearly had his bank account cleaned out after responding to the e-mail of some Nigerian minister looking to smuggle US$15million out of his “troubled regime”.

The final nail in this academic’s coffin is the new book he’s bringing out with all of these wonderful theories inside for you to burst your blood vessels over. It’s called “The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it” and frankly I’m a little upset I’ve offered him the column inches.

How can people write books about the internet? The web changes far too quickly for the initial premise to still be relevant. By the time the author has finished composing it, it’s out of date and if the book has been written speedily enough for that not to be true, then it can’t have been very carefully considered, now can it?

But paradoxes aside, the web’s perennial browsers may just stick to small handhelds but us true masters of technology will forever hack and slash our way through the pages. It is what we love to do. Now go and have a wash professor.

(via PC Wolrd)

Related posts: The internet will stop in 2010 | Jakob Nielsen: getting old makes you slow!

Daniel Sung

5 comments

  • Pathetic comments yet again. I used to like TechDigest but you seem be to hiring your ‘journalists’ now straight from primary school. If you’re going to comment on academic research then at least try and use some real evidence of your own rather than crude, anecdotal comments. It just makes you look stupid.

  • mr daneil sung could have made his point just as powerfull without been so crude.all he is doing is taking argument to gutter level.the next time you have something to say don t be so crude and you will get a bigger audience.

  • Professor Zittrain seems to want all systems to be “open”, and be against any closed or semi-closed system such as Apple.

    The technorati will always custom design their ferraris, dragsters, muscle cars, and concept cars.

    But the public also needs mass-produced, affordable, standardized, and reliable transportation. The public, “the rest of us” if you please, cannot afford and does not have the knowledge to design, build and maintain their own brakes, airbags, engines and interiors.

    We want useable, safe, stable and reliable…and are willing to give our dollars and loyalty to those who provide it.

    Many would rather have the advantages of Apple’s coordination (control) of hardware, software, distribution and sychronization (iTunes), compatibility (Macs, iPods and iphones), and overall one-source service responsibility.

    If open means getting your hardware, software, distribution and service from separate and uncoordinated vendors, even though theoretically the initial “cheapest” solution…that’s your choice.

  • Hi – I encourage you to read the book. I’ve definitely heard of Web 2.0, and I cover why it worries me as much as the appliances in Chapter Five. The book is free online — in an annotatable format to help keep it updated as time goes on — if you’re not of a mind to buy a dead tree version. Happy to respond to an unpacked version of “bollocks” when you like. …JZ

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