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Apple's in the Garden

Posted: 09/02/10 06:00 AM

Apple is getting social. Yesterday Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced that his new version of iTunes will have social network built right in. It’s called Ping.

Jobs says people will use Ping to see friends’ music downloads, follow their favorite artists, and review concerts. But is Ping another way for Apple to get all of us to spend more time online and less time on the Web?

Apple is masterful at building “walled gardens” online. iTunes, the app store, and the iPad all offer simple, easy-to-understand online experiences with little hassle. Dan Ackerman, a senior editor at C-NET, says control and simplicity are part of Apple’s basic business philosophy, and that works for many consumers. But Jim Louderback, CEO of the Internet TV company Revision3, worries that creating walled-off enclaves online will ultimately harm consumers and undermine the Web’s promise of creating a truly democratic medium – where anyone can publish to the world. We talk with both about the pros and cons of walled gardens.

Comments | Filed Under: apple steve jobs ping walled garden

today's show

What will we do with all this "white space"?

09/26/10 11:15 AM

There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.

On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.

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