Tyranny Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

Manila Bulletin, April 14, 2010 | Go to article overview

Tyranny Comes in All Shapes and Sizes


So much media attention has been focused on the China-Google squabble over online censorship and hacking. Almost always, China’s government has been portrayed as a control-obsessed, sinister Big Brother, fearful of losing its power over over the mind of its people.But oppression is a trade never monopolized. Everybody, every vendor, every sector has a share of the market. Given a chance, everyone would readily take advantage of anybody else. This truism is also quite real in the IT world.Look at Microsoft, and how compulsively controlling is it in the software business. Its software licensing agreements are not exactly declarations of independence; they are more like (on the part of the end user) terms of unconditional surrender. All the other software and IT companies are in varying degrees similarly guilty, even those so-called open source proponents.But nothing beats Apple when it comes to controlling an ecosystem. Starting with its Mac computers, to the iPod media players, and the iPhone, Steve Jobs have always had it his way. Consumers and app developers always have had to do it the Apple way, or are told to take a hike.260-Buck iPadIt costs about $260 to build an iPad, according to market research firm iSuppli. While that price includes parts and components costs, as well as manufacturing expenses, it does not take into consideration product development and marketing costs. Still, it shows how much Jobs and company are making with every iPad they sell.Also, iSuppli’s research-cum-iPad-destruction demonstrates just what consumers who purchase the iPad are paying for. …

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Tyranny Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
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