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2010's Disruptive Technologies At Odds: Ipad vs WikiLeaks

The game-changing technology of the iPad and WikiLeaks fast became part of the world zeitgeist this year. Under normal circumstances disruptive technology is a stand-alone innovation setting a new path for technology that went before. If iPad disrupted the laptop and eReader industries, and WikiLeaks was a political game-changer in the world of journalism - how did they cross paths to motivate one to reject the other?

Due to an odd twist of fate, when the lines of both technologies intersected in an eCommerce store called iTunes, Apple saw fit to join the ranks of Paypal, Visa, Amazon and other corporations in pulling the rug out from under Julian Assange's controversial break-through.

Disruptive technology is a term coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen author of "The Innovator's Dilemma" to describe a new technology that unexpectedly displaces an established technology.

Using real-world examples to illustrate his point, Christensen demonstrates how it is not unusual for a big corporation to dismiss the value of a disruptive technology because it does not reinforce current company goals, only to be blindsided as the technology matures, gains a larger audience and marketshare, and threatens the status quo. Both iPad and WikiLeaks have successfully met that criteria.

IPad's success as a major game-changer spawned an entirely new category of computing devices. To date, no one has been able to come up with anything close to an iPad killer, though many have tried -- including Samsung with its large ad spend on TV over the holidays.

Julian AssangeJulian AssangeWikiLeaks has also proven itself to be a game-changing technology. According to Dave Gamble's Skeptical Science report, it is "the journalistic equivalent of a thermonuclear device (having) just been dropped." Its founder was a runner-up to Mark Zuckerberg for Time's coveted title of "Person of the Year."  - and whether he is to be considered a hero or a villain is probably 50/50 if one was to take a formal vote today.

Unfortunately the government's attempt to quash WikiLeaks violates certain constitutional rights such as freedom of speech as well as the net neutrality of the Internet. So while it's not clear what authoritative action will be taken, Assange's supporters now have a redundant network of servers around the world to assure that the data remains available, whether or not WikiLeaks is forced to close shop.

However that has not stopped corporations like Apple to eradicate WikiLeaks from its data-mine fields, namely iTunes app store. This week, it banned the WikiLeaks app based on the belief that it has violated United States laws and put into "harms way" the lives of individuals.

In start contrast, more than six WikiLeaks-friendly apps are still kept alive and kicking on Google Inc.'s Android app store. Reuters reported that among these apps which are still offered by Google, one provides direct access to WikiLeaks-released cables. Additionally, WikiLeaks Twitter account with over 613,000 followers (as of this posting) still remains in operation with tweeted updates posted as late as December 28.

So, readers - how do you weigh in on Apple's decision to pull the plug on WikiLeaks? Do you agree that corporations and governments have the right to become judge and jury? And will this move affect Apple's iPad sales going forward?

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Ron Callari
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Comments
Dec 30, 2010
by Anonymous

And what if.

And what if it was just because Apple did not want to give an audience to a traitor who was leaking confidential and classified information ? It becomes then a legitimate reason. Julian Assange is an anarchist working with other groups such as radical muslism to take down western civilization. It is our responsibility to take guys like him down before they take us down.

What I say might be politically incorrect but it is the hard truth and just plain common sense.

Dec 30, 2010
by Anonymous

^^^what a hoot!

Hey, first commenter guy, i presume you are Australian, right? That's why you call him a traitor, yes?

Dec 30, 2010
by Anonymous

pfft.

the wikileaks app was basically a repurposed webapp that directed the user to the wikileaks site. It could have remained a webapp instead of being an app on the app store, and fully accessible to anyone on the internet. It was also for sale, even though the proceeds were going to wikileaks, it was put out by someone other than wikileaks. There was no guarantee that any money it made would go to wikileaks.

And then there is the content. Apple has already quashed apps based on content, the most controversial of which was a magazine devoted to Android devices and the Chrome OS. The company did not single out the wikileaks app as so many are implying, the app is among a huge number of previously rejected apps.

In short, it is not the removal of wikileaks from the app store that you should be concerned with. It is the censorship of ANY apps on the app store that we should be concerned with. THAT is the problem with the app store.

Dec 30, 2010
by Anonymous

From an Australian

I admire his courage & look forward to the day when there are more sites like WikiLeaks to TRY to keep our politicians honest.

Dec 30, 2010
by Anonymous

from a brit

Assange is not a traitor. Traitors go against there own organizations, i.e. the 'leakers'. The leakers are the people who have committed the crimes in the first place, I am sure the people who take information GIVEN to them and publish it over the web are purley messengers. I wouldn't go as far as calling them Journo's, remember The Guardian, Der Speigal and others have done what Wikileaks has done, but received the data from Wikileaks rather than the initiall leaker.

So I ask you, is the New York Times a traitor to thier own Government? No. They are well within thier rights, like Wikileaks, to pass on true information about Worldwide governments so the people have a true idea of how corrupt this world really is!

Lets face it, I bet the stuff that has been leaked, is only a fraction of the whole picture, there is plenty more that still hasn't been leaked or Wikileaks has not even obtained. Assange has done the honourable thing in my oppinion, he has taken the burden with himself and all the media hype surrounding him is really a charade for what Wikileaks real intentions are.

We can question the intentions or the responsilities of Wikileaks but reality would tell you that its the US and other 'democratic' States, need to take into account of what has actually been released here, at the end of the day, it is their own information that has been released here and in truth, is their own fault!!!