Why anybody would want to pay money for a device that basically isn't really their's is beyond me.
the device exists only to benefit Apple
Because we don't care in the slightest.
I am saddened that there are people in the world so eager to trade their freedom for comfort. I wouldn't be the guy who was happy to go back into the Matrix for a steak dinner.
rather than complaining that the rest of us should do without quality.
Your friend is wrong about Apple hardware. There exists several distributions of Linux that run on it.
And I do use mainly Open Source software for everything I do, and all of the software I write on my own time is Open Source, and I try as much as I can to get employers to release their stuff that way too.
And I make a quality/freedom trade-off of my own that I'm rather ambivalent about, and that's buying nVidia cards for my main workstation Linux box when I can't get Open Source drivers that work decently for them. :-(
There are Open Source alternatives to the iPhone that I admit are currently not as good. One isn't as good because it just isn't as good, and that's the OpenMoko Freerunner. The other isn't as good because it doesn't exist as a purchasable product yet, and that's a phone that's based on Google Android. Either of those are as affordable and at least in the same ballpark of device as the iPhone. I will get one of those as my next phone, and I will do what I can to improve the quality of said platform.
I consider DRM to be one of the biggest (not the biggest, sadly) long-term threats to our democracy. It is about nothing less than whether we are pampered slaves or free people. If all of the electronic devices I own are subject to control by a central authority at that authority's whim, freedom is a joke in a computer-centric world.
I consider DRM to be one of the biggest (not the biggest, sadly) long-term threats to our democracy.
I don't think so. Most DRM software has remote shutoff capabilities or ways for the company that controls the DRM to have ultimate control over the device. The police have already been nosing around about having the ability to shut off cars remotely. I imagine they would really like a way to grab all the data from something remotely as well, or get it to report its GPS position, or whatever. DRM can give that to them.
If I don't stand firm on my principle that the ultimate controller and owner of all of my devices is me, I'm opening the door to allowing that kind of control.
I don't think I'm being all that paranoid. AT&T was perfectly happy to give the NSA a giant data tap into all the traffic going over their network without even telling anybody. I think Apple would be willing to do the something equivalent if leaned on in just the right way.
I would be happy if products that contained DRM were only allowed to be leased. Telling you that you own it is false advertising.
Freedom to install any random software I want whether or not Apple approves. Freedom to use AT&T's (or whoever's) network only worrying about how much data I'm transmitting or receiving, not whether or not AT&T likes what the data is.
First, that's possibly illegal. I imagine Apple tolerates it without invoking the DMCA because they realize it increases the popularity of their phone and people can use the ability as an excuse. I don't consider doing something possibly illegal to be an option.
Secondly, I want everybody to have that freedom. Many applications increase their usefulness by having more people use them. If people have to go to inordinate lengths (like doing something that already sounds pretty questionable) to use the same application I am then that means the application's usefulness is limited for me.
But, I already know I don't want an iPhone because of the DRM. Whether or not jailbreak violates the DMCA isn't big on my radar. But, a bit of preliminary research shows that nobody really knows for sure. The way the DMCA is written is very vague and it's difficult to decide what does and doesn't violate it, especially in the case of things like jailbreak.