I bought an iPod touch in November, and figured I’d leave the system software alone for a while — that is, not using third-party software that unlocks the capabilities of a machine that is, in fact, a small personal computer in its inherent power. Apple’s fall announcement that it would be more open with third-party developers was one reason I held off on hacking the device.

Apple’s view is that while customers own the hardware, any upgrading to the software, including third-party applications, will be at Apple’s discretion. Now we’re seeing the result of this philosophy: a $20 cost to get software that ships with all new models and is given to owners of the IPhone.

This is a flat-out ripoff. And it’s leading me to do what I really don’t want to do — find the appropriate hacks that will let me use the iPod the way I want, not solely the way Apple decides.

I didn’t imagine it was possible, but Apple’s arrogance is growing.

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