Before the deluge
Jon "Hannibal" Stokes on the Apple-Intel thing:
I'm going to do something that I almost never do: spill insider information from unnamed sources that I can confirm are in a position to know the score. Note that this isn't the start of some kind of new trend for me. It's just that all this information that I've been sitting on is about to become dated, so it's time to get it out there.
The money quote:
If you think XScale is too powerful for the iPod—it's used in powerful color PDAs—then you're not taking the device seriously enough as a portable media platform. The XScale is plenty powerful enough to do video playback, and I have reason to believe that Apple is currently working on a video iPod to counter the Sony PSP. (My guess is that we might even see it in time for Christmas.) When the video iPod hits the streets, Apple will have an iPod product that plays each of the media formats (music, pictures, video) represented in its iLife suite.
I'm not quoting this post to remark on What Apple's Up To. That's nothing more than an interesting distraction from The real story, which is much, much, bigger than that. For a peek, look at the future mobile mess Russell and Om describe.
Then think a bit about what the Supreme Court's Brand X decision means, for the growing power of the Internet's carriers. (And yes, the Internet is, and will be, carried, just like the phone system was, and still is, to the enduring relief of those who love all the regulatory relief their lobbying dollars can acquire.)
Here's the story nobody's telling because it requires exiting the publicity-gas atmosphere to witness soberly:
All the big boys: the PC makers, the chip makers, the mobile equipment providers, the "consumer experience" deliverers (including Virgin, its many holdings and the rest of the entertainment industry), the patent, copyright and IP (Intellectual Property) absolutists, the parochial national interests, and most of all the carriers by the grace of whose fiber and wiring the Net is made available all want to control you: what you can do with their services and devices, what you can buy, who you can buy it from, and how you can use it. The free and open Internet, a World of Ends built on an end-to-end, peer-to-peer architecture, is slowly being privatized and nationalized, one DRM file, one blocked port, one platform silo, one walled data garden, one legislative action, one regulatory decree, one Supreme Court decision and one national cyberwall after another.
This is what we are fighting, folks. The open and free marketplace the Internet provides is shortly going to look like the best darn mess of few-to-many distribution systems for "content" the world has ever known. It will not be the free and open marketplace it was in the first place, and should remain. The end-state will a vast matrix of national and private silos and walled gardens, each a contained or filtered distribution environment. And most of us won't know what we missed, because it never quite happened.
Let the music keep our spirits high.