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QuickWire: An Unhappy Lawrence Lessig Takes on Apple

Almost everyone who uses computers or smartphones has tales of upgrades gone awry—sometimes horribly awry. But not everyone publishes a scorching, 1,935-word complaint on his high-profile blog when an upgrade fails to satisfy.

That’s how Lawrence Lessig, the Harvard University law professor, channeled his anger after Apple operating-system upgrades led to what he calls “the week from Apple hell.” But his big complaint, he says, isn’t with the various bugs and feature losses that seem to come with any software upgrade—even though, as he puts it, “every Apple-related product I use has been crippled in important ways.”

Instead, his big complaint is with the company’s approach to communication, which is often that it won’t say anything at all, much less outline what’s an intentional feature loss and what’s a bug that the company is trying to fix. “It is indecent for Apple to sit by silently while its customers waste thousands of hours (in the aggregate) trying to deal with the problems its ‘upgrades’ create,” he writes, “when the simple act of describing what it intends to fix could save its customers those thousands of hours.”

“Apple deals with us in a psychologically pathological way,” Mr. Lessig concludes, “and if that doesn’t change, it’s time to leave.”

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