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January 2010 Archives

This story about yet another attempt to raise a tollgate on the Internet deserves having some extra attention called to it.

"The players from Google and Vimeo do present a pretty serious problem, though. Each of these require a proprietary H.264 codec to be able to view them. These codecs aren't compatible with the royalty-free web standards that the rest of the web is built on. The fact that they are being so unabashedly hyped along with the new darling of the web - HTML5 - means that most people don't understand that something very dangerous is taking place behind the scenes...

"Remember, this is still very early in H.264's history so the licensing is very friendly, just like it used to be for MP3. The companies who own the IP in these large patent pools aren't in this for the fun of it - this is what they do. They patent and they enforce and then enjoy the royalties. If they are in a position to charge more, they will. We can expect that if we allow H.264 to become a fundamental web technology that we'll see license requirements get more onerous and more expensive over time, with little recourse."


You just can't make this stuff up. This alleged news article at Technology Marketing Corporation (there is a clue in the site name) makes grandiose, breathless claims about Ubuntu:

"Tired of Windows? Wish you could find an alternate operating system that will work on most PCs _ even those sold in the past decade? Reluctant to fatten Microsoft's coffers? Look no further than Ubuntu, a Linux operating system developed mostly by volunteers. Since the code in Ubuntu is what's called "open source," any talented developer can submit enhancements, have it reviewed, and have those improvements appear in the next release."

The punch line comes at the end of this piece.


You just can't make this stuff up. This alleged news article at Technology Marketing Corporation (there is a clue in the name) makes grandiose, breathless claims about Ubuntu:

"Tired of Windows? Wish you could find an alternate operating system that will work on most PCs _ even those sold in the past decade? Reluctant to fatten Microsoft's coffers? Look no further than Ubuntu, a Linux operating system developed mostly by volunteers. Since the code in Ubuntu is what's called "open source," any talented developer can submit enhancements, have it reviewed, and have those improvements appear in the next release."

The punch line comes at the end of this piece:


linux heroes

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FOSS Heroes

But then I tend towards cynicism anyway, and the cure for that is to turn my attention to the wonderful, generous movers and shakers in the FOSS world. Look at all the things you can do with Linux, the free BSDs, and other FOSS software that you can't do with closed proprietary software:

  • Create a blog in your spare time that sets the gold standard for legal research and reporting, like Groklaw
  • Roll endless customizations of operating systems and application bundles: CD, DVD, network, Flash, USB, from tiny phones and robots to clusters and mainframes
  • Start an independent computer OEM retail business like ZaReason and System 76, that does not have to kowtow to the likes of Apple or Microsoft, but can actually put customers first
  • Bring computing to people who can't afford it, like Ken Starks
  • Genuine, not-corporate-controlled community Linux Fests like Texas Linux Fest, Atlanta Linux Fest, Southeast Linux Fest, and LinuxFest Northwest

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Linux Will Save The World

| | Comments (12)

Remember Apple's famous 1984 commercial? That is one of the most brilliant TV commercials of all time, which isn't surprising- Ridley Scott directed it, and legendary advertising agency Chiat/Day produced it. It is a superb piece of filmmaking that still gives me chills, even in the lo-fi YouTube version.

And then the spell wears off, and I realize Orwell was a prophet, the commercial bears no relationship to the product, and the athlete's Apple shirt should have a penguin logo on it instead of the Macintosh logo.


In the olden days of personal computing, we were on a continual hardware upgrade path seeking better performance. Now our low-end PCs would have been supercomputers ten years ago, and they're still bogging down. Is there no end in sight?