iPhone killing the Internet?

Zittrain is a bona fide member of the digiterati – a cyberlaw scholar with multiple degrees from Yale and Harvard. He is the Professor of Internet Government and Regulation at Oxford University and co-founder of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His latest book is due for release April 14.

Zittrain argues that today’s Internet appliances such as the iPhone and Xbox hamper innovation. That’s because these locked-down devices prohibit the kind of tinkering by end users that made PCs and the Internet such a force of economic, political and artistic change.

Zittrain understands why appliances are attractive to the average Internet user. They’re neatly packaged, they’re easy to use, and they’re reliable.

“We have grown weary not with the unexpected cool stuff that the generative PC had produced, but instead with the unexpected very uncool stuff that came along with it,” he writes. “Viruses, spam, identity theft, crashes: all of these were the consequences of a certain freedom built into the generative PC. As these problems grow worse, for many the promise of security is enough reason to give up that freedom.” (PC World)

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