In the final chapter of the book I discuss the work of Jonathan Zittrain. One of Zittrain’s key points is that closed systems have the potential to stifle the creativity that, for example, gave birth to the World Wide Web. He also points out that closed systems do have their advantages, for example they are very secure. Here’s an example of a problem with open systems: the BBC report of Trojan horse software targeting smartphones. Here is a problem and also a commercial opportunity for companies such as Kaspersky and McAfee to develop smartphone analogues of their successful PC virus software. This is an excellent site for computer security advice.
Update: on the 8th Nov the BBC reported that the Apple’s app store had malware inserted into it. It seems that Apple had slightly relaxed its conditions so that existing apps could have non-approved code added to them. This incident is again an argument for a closed system. I suspect that Apple will not be relaxing any more conditions and may even rollback the rule that was relaxed.