Thread Subject: Re: interesting iPod article
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From: Gregg Vanderheiden
Date: Mon, Apr 23 2007 12:25 PM
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Yes - a screen reader would be equivalent and should count. As long as it
doesn't interfere with the operation of the product or ability to work with
accessories. And what you propose looks like it wouldn't.
The reversibility part however I don't think is the right test. Instead I
would think of 'equivalency'.
After I install the other software
- would it have the same functionality
- would it have the same warrantee
- would it connect to and work with other devices like the original did
- would it have technical support (not for the access part but for the basic
But your general point is (I think) that we need to think carefully about
what makes something closed.
- if someone can crack it - is it closed
- if cracking it voids warrantee and support - is it closed
- is cracking available to people generally
- if cracking is not allowed and supported...
- if policy is don't crack but common AT will work with it and not void
warrantee and support - then - what is difference from computers?
- if only access is by cracking - will it be stable from on software
revision to the next?
Lots of questions here.
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jim Tobias
> Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 12:43 PM
> To: 'TEITAC self contained/closed products subcommittee';
> 'TEITAC Web/Software Subcommittee'
> Cc: 'TEITAC desktop/portable (hardware) subcommittee'
> Subject: Re: [teitac-closed] [teitac-websoftware] interesting
> iPod article
> Hi Peter,
> Thanks for your note. I'm not sure I completely buy your
> analogy; perhaps it depends on what is actually involved in
> installing the alternate interface and then returning the
> device to its original state. For example, if installing
> Linux and Rockbox is "easy", and returning the iPod to
> Apple's Pixo OS and the original interface can be
> accomplished by a simple reset command, that's quite
> different from a difficult and irreversible change.
> How would you want to classify this product if someone wrote
> a screen reader for Pixo, no longer requiring any replacement
> of the OS? I assume you would agree that that is the same as
> a third party screen reader for a desktop OS. Would you
> require that Apple permit (or even facilitate!) the
> installation of such third party software?
> What does
> it say about Pixo if (and I'm clearly not an expert) it does
> not allow third party software?
> Moreover, even such a difficult and irreversible change would
> not alter the fact that the *hardware* product would have to
> be described as "open", compared to a typical calculator, for
> which such a change would be technically infeasible.
> I have 2 concerns here:
> 1. That we not abuse the concept of an OS. If one company
> makes the hardware, the OS, and the application software, and
> constrains all changes to the latter two such that the
> company itself is the only party legally permitted to alter
> them, is that an OS? Maybe this can be overcome by defining an OS.
> 2. That we remember to distinguish between products that are
> closed due to technical infeasibility and products that are
> closed by policy. Companies may be free to close their
> products by policy, but such a policy may be prejudicial to
> accessibility, and our recommendations should be able to address that.
> Jim Tobias
> Inclusive Technologies
> +1.732.441.0831 v/tty
> +1.908.907.2387 mobile
> skype jimtobias
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Peter Korn [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> > Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 12:03 PM
> > To: TEITAC Web/Software Subcommittee
> > Cc: 'TEITAC self contained/closed products subcommittee'; 'TEITAC
> > desktop/portable (hardware) subcommittee'
> > Subject: Re: [teitac-closed] [teitac-websoftware] interesting iPod
> > article
> > Hi Jim,
> > Interesting links. We discussed some of these issues a
> while back, I
> > think at an in-person meeting. Replacing the iPod OS with Linux to
> > install something like Rockbox (which among other things provides a
> > talking user interface for reading song titles, etc. - see
> > http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/ipod-hack1.htm and look for
> > "Audible Menus") is essentially the same as buying a Windows PC,
> > wiping its hard drive, and installing a UNIX environment
> that talks.
> > It arguably makes the hardware accessible (at least to
> someone who is
> > blind in these examples), but certainly not the OS - as the
> OS is no
> > longer present.
> > This is in contrast to most of what we have been talking about in
> > open/closed systems - the ability to add something like a screen
> > reader to make the existing "system" accessible (which is
> to say, the
> > hardware & OS/platform).
> > Regards,
> > Peter Korn
> > Accessibility Architect,
> > Sun Microsystems, Inc.
> > > Please forgive the cross-posting.
> > >
> > > Here is an article that describes iPod "openness" and hackability:
> > > http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/ipod5.htm
> > >
> > > My takeaways are:
> > >
> > > 1. Any ICT product that is popular or interesting enough is
> > going to
> > > be hacked.
> > > 2. A hack may be useful without being usable or supported
> > in any way.
> > > We should be careful not to focus only on technical
> feasibility of
> > > "aftermarket accessibility".
> > > 3. Companies may pursue closedness for marketing reasons,
> > because it
> > > gives them greater control over the product ecosystem. We
> > should be
> > > careful to distinguish between "policy" and "feasibility"
> > closedness.
> > >
> > > Sidelight: look at the Tavo Gloves with conductive
> material in the
> > > thumb and index finger, for use with iPods and other touch
> > sensitive
> > > controls:
> > > http://www.tavoproducts.com/TavoGloves.html
> > >
> > > ***
> > > Jim Tobias
> > > Inclusive Technologies
> > > +1.732.441.0831 v/tty
> > > +1.908.907.2387 mobile
> > > skype jimtobias
> > >
> > >