Excellent post by Dave Winer on why the New York Times would be foolish if it really does put up a paywall and restrict access to its online articles. Dave sees echoes of Microsoft's inane decision to insist that Netbooks run Windows 7 and Twitter's recent dictate against outside software programs. He concludes:
The Times app on the iPad is slow and crashy and incomprehensible. You can't get a quick sense of what's going on in the world. Using the news in this environment is a lot like it was in the 70s and 80s. Sit down at the kitchen table, spread out the newspaper, and spend an hour reading. As with the NewsCorp product, they seem to be saying "If we put a lot of effort into this we can convince people to use written news the way they used to." They could skip it, because things like that don't happen.
But they could do it anyway. If they really think people are going to pay a premium for a lugubrious daily news product, they're going to be as surprised as Microsoft and Twitter. There are too many choices. The Guardian is doing great work and there's no talk of a paywall there. They're not as broad as the Times, yet -- and they cover the world from a British perspective, and I look at things as an American. And there's Al Jazeera, which is aggressive and competent, and probably would move quickly to fill any void left by an entity the size of the Times.
-Scripting News, March 16, 2011
And for what it's worth, I share his assessment of the NYT iPad app: awful!