Daily Archives: 2023-02-01

Apple should be required to let iPhone users sideload apps, Biden admin says

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: I understand that swaths of people are marginally more likely to fall for scams with side-loading, and other vendors of ecosystem-choke-point software will probably take advantage to get a bigger slice of the pie, but the "You _can't_ run software adversarial to the largest-incumbent manufacturer's interests on a device you bought" situation is not really OK. Largely because the web has become intolerable without serious ad-blocking.
iPhone home screen with the App Store icon displayed.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

The Biden administration wants major changes to the Apple and Google mobile app models, saying the companies "act as gatekeepers over the apps that people and businesses rely on" and enforce policies that "have the potential to harm consumers by inflating prices and reducing innovation."

An analysis of the market and recommendations for lawmakers and regulators were issued today in a report by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The report was required by President Biden's 2021 executive order on competition and touted by the White House today as being part of "new progress on his competition agenda."

The NTIA concluded that "consumers largely can't get apps outside of the app store model, controlled by Apple and Google," and that "Apple and Google create hurdles for developers to compete for consumers by imposing technical limits, such as restricting how apps can function or requiring developers to go through slow and opaque review processes."

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Data-Free Disneyland

Source: Hacker News

Article note: An interesting exercise in just how difficult and costly it is to evade ubiquitous surveillance now. Lots of HN commenters missing the point that it was an exercise in documenting the difficulty of not being surveilled while engaging in normal activities, probably because it's easy to not notice you're complicit in something heinous when your paycheck depends on it.
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