Apr. 2nd, 2010

terriko: (Default)
Cory Doctorow had a nice little rant about why he doesn't want an iPad, and this paragraph really stood out for me:

But with the iPad, it seems like Apple's model customer is that same stupid stereotype of a technophobic, timid, scatterbrained mother as appears in a billion renditions of "that's too complicated for my mom" (listen to the pundits extol the virtues of the iPad and time how long it takes for them to explain that here, finally, is something that isn't too complicated for their poor old mothers).


I'd like to say right now that my mom makes complex egress filtering rules for her firewall. I don't even do that very often, and I'm a security researcher! She has an amazing intuitive sense of good security and privacy behaviour that I wish were common, and often as not when she asks me to explain some new attack I find out she's already doing the right thing.

You wish your users were as awesome at learning stuff and consistently doing the right thing as my mom is. If every user were like my mom, we wouldn't see stuff getting dumbed down. We'd be seeing stuff with more fiddly bits for turning off annoying stuff, and fewer "features" that involve not being able to share neat stuff with your friends.

But maybe certain large companies wouldn't want users like my mom. My mom runs a rogue "Scrabble" program that Hasbro doesn't want her to have, and she wants to know why trademark or copyright law encourages people to ruin her morning coffee and Scrabble game with her friend Bruce. She wouldn't stand for books being pulled out from under her because some big company said she couldn't have them anymore. She makes more use of the public library than her credit card, and even shares the books she gets off librarything for free in exchange for a review.

My mom is too smart for your stupid products. And I'll bet a lot of your moms are too.

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terriko

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