Skip to main content

The Depressing Age of the Walled Garden

Sigh I remember being excited for Android. The age of a popular Linux device was upon us! I had moved to Reddit and was seeing new and interesting things and opinions every day, The Internet and Tech was vibrant! I no longer feel this way.

Android became heavily dependent on Google

Due to the quirks of the Mobile SOC's updating was... complicated. Add to that OEM customizations and you got a recipe for Google to swoop in and "fix" the issue by making key components, that used to part of the AOSP, proprietary. Where once we had the assurance of open development we now have even more black boxes of code being downloaded onto our mobile devices.

Android got DRM

Wildvine drm snuck onto our phones. Now you can have a legitimate bit of general purpose hardware where some services don't work as well as the hardware supports (Looking at you Netflix) simply because the market share of that device wasn't great enough for them to "certify" it's use.

The Walled Gardens of the Internet

At some point the Internet seamed to shrink. Once there was new (Admittedly sometimes terrible) sites to explore every day. Now it feels like everyone is siloed into Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. Reddit introduced Anti user "optimizations" to their Mobile website in the idiotic attempt to push users into their app. In 2020 a website no longer wants to be a website built on open technologies, they want it locked down like Twitter and Facebook in an Application.

IOT locked in the cloud

I was promised a smart home when I was a child. Now we have insecure IOT devices that are, for all intents and purposes, owned by someone else. The software can randomly be killed like Google did for some Nest devices and the open API's can be locked down with little to no notice. Sure we have the hacky open ecosystem for the ESP8266 and the ESP32 is great for DIY projects. However the ESP32 introduces flash encryption and secure boot. Meaning that even in this wonderful open hardware hacking space, the future is a locked down dystopia

It's all a war against General Purpose computing

Now you see things like Apple's M1 ARM based chip replacing x86 chips for their computers. They claim it's about user experience and performance but there is no denying that by moving to ARM from x86 gives them the same locked down hardware control they enjoy on the iPhone and iPad. From the articles I have read we will also begin to see them begin to slowly port the same software controls over as well, will we soon see the death of alternative browser Engines on their computers? unless they get hit by a good anti-trust charge or too I wouldn't be surprised if it happens in just a couple of years.

Now I read that Microsoft's Pluton hardware coming to our General purpose x86 CPU's. Cryptographic technology originally employed in the XBOX for DRM

Comments