“The rise of gadgets like the iPhone, Blackberry and Xbox threatens to unravel the decades of innovation that helped to build the Internet, a leading academic has warned in a new book,” Peter Griffiths reports via Reuters.
“Professor Jonathan Zittrain says the latest must-have devices are sealed, ‘sterile’ boxes that stifle creativity and turn consumers into passive users of technology,” Griffiths reports. “Unlike home computers, new Internet-enabled gadgets don’t lend themselves to the sort of tinkering and collaboration that leads to technological advances, he says.”
“Zittrain contrasts one of the first mass-produced home computers, the Apple II from the 1970s, with Apple’s latest gadget, the iPhone. He says the iPhone is typical of what he calls ‘tethered appliances,'” Griffiths reports. “‘They are appliances in that they are easy to use, while not easy to tinker with,’ he writes. ‘They are tethered because it is easy to for their vendors to change them from afar, long after the devices have left warehouses and showrooms.'”
“They are a world away from the ‘generative Internet,’ a term Zittrain uses to describe the open, creative, innovative approach that helped build the Internet,” Griffiths reports.
Full article here.
If Zittrain’s so smart, why hasn’t he changed his name?
The answer to the headline is an emphatic “No.”