It is too easy to be misled by all this openwashing — the attempt to make Microsoft look open (Sam Ramji and Microsoft boosters do this in IDG at the moment). The company called Black Duck is part of this problem and we need to remember that it came from Microsoft. Black Duck keeps raving about profit from proprietary software that exploits what’s free, promotes Microsoft licences, trashes the GPL, but paints itself ‘open’, just like Microsoft’s friends at Likewise, which puts a patent tax on Linux (Likewise too has Microsoft roots). Here is one “useful idiot” who plays along with them by typing/pasting:
It seems that Likewise’s new focus is paying off, however, with the announcement last week of an agreement with Microsoft to develop Server Message Block (SMB) 2.2 support for Linux and other Unix-like systems.
They are trying to stomp on Samba and do it the Microsoft-taxed way. For shame. Samba is not happy, obviously (it got exemptions after a long case at the EU Commission).
Those stories ought to show us how companies that pretend to be ‘open’ in fact have roots in Microsoft and their role is to impose a Microsoft tax on UNIX and Linux. It’s not just Novell anymore (Novell does not have roots in Microsoft). █
Finally, after much preparation (and advice from the Techrights crew*) a good article from Sai Manish, who also used Cablegate to substantiate some of the claims, helps show the EDGI-like tactics in Tamil Nadu. He writes:
With so much at stake, the IT intelligentsia in India is accusing Microsoft of using a mixture of American diplomatic offensive and its ‘embrace, extend and extinguish’ strategy to make 7 million poor students of Tamil Nadu dependent on its products with their free laptops.
ELCOT’s repeated changes in the tender have forced out free software and pushed in Microsoft products, a move that in the words of former ELCOT MD C Umashankar could ‘end up putting unproductive laptops with Windows in the hands of poor students’. This would entrap them in Microsoft’s proprietary web of licences, renewals, updates and upgrades.
There are allegations against ELCOT that it deliberately issued a second tender favouring Microsoft by eliminating open source software from its list of specifications and removing academically useful hardware from the laptop in a bid to balance out the increased cost of using the Windows Operating system and the licensed MS Office.
ELCOT removed the free OS even though Linux’s Ubuntu operating system comes for free and requires no updates, upgrades or expensive antivirus software to keep the laptop in shape.
Ironically, ELCOT ’s own data centre at Taramani in Chennai uses IBM servers and is powered by the free and open source Linux platform. But when it came to students, it ditched the open source model for Microsoft.
What is more startling is that in 2007, under the DMK government, ELCOT, then headed by a proactive and well-informed IAS officer C Umashankar, had shut the doors on Microsoft by ordering the migration of all government departments, panchayats and schools to Open Source Software after being convinced about its cost benefits and massive collaborative potential.
Over 30,000 government and schoolteachers were to be trained in Linux. Umashankar recounted how he was approached a couple of times by Microsoft staffers who offered to sell the Windows OS for Rs 7,000 a computer. Umashankar quoted a price of Rs 500 saying that for a mere Rs 300 he could not only get an Operating System better than Windows but could also incorporate features like DVD drives, webcams, multimedia editing software, vector map drawing applications and hundreds of other academically helpful software.
Now put that deal in an Indian context where 68 lakh licences would be required under Jayalalithaa’s ambitious free laptop scheme and the business of diplomacy becomes clear. The Microsoft deal of 3 lakh licences was dubbed in the cable as ‘the most significant agreement Vietnam has ever signed with a US business’.
Microsoft harped on IPR and the fact that Vietnam had the highest software piracy rate in Asia. “The cost of running MS Office is extremely prohibitive. That will only encourage students in Tamil Nadu to download pirated versions. Its own policies will encourage piracy,” says Umashankar. Even Microsoft’s corporate affairs director in Thailand had according to one cable ‘expressed concern over the Thailand government’s policy of promoting open source software model over the commercial source model as a means to curb piracy’.
Another indication of what Microsoft is up to in Tamil Nadu can be understood from what the software giant did in Tunisia where only free software was being used in the government since 2001, which prevented Microsoft from participating in the Tunisian government’s tenders.
Microsoft, like its various charitable acts in India through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also helped a charity for handicapped people run by the wife of the Tunisian president, Ben Ali. The confidential cable notes, ‘Microsoft has agreed to provide training to handicapped Tunisians to enable them to seek employment. The programme’s affiliation with Leila Ben Ali’s charity is indicative of the backroom manoeuvring sometimes required to finalise a deal. Microsoft’s reticence to fully disclose the details of the agreement shows Tunisia’s emphasis on secrecy over transparency. Ultimately, for Microsoft, the benefits outweigh the costs.’
Summary: Bits and pieces from the news about the state of Android in a world of proprietary aggressors
IN the previous post we showed that Microsoft was still active in the area of patents, which the monopolistic company views as essential to its future as a patent parasite. Under the rather silly headline “Patents: an intellectual war” (it is a war of government-granted monopolies, not wisdom or ingenuity), we find some of the usual Apple apologism and Microsoft talking points, including:
“Yes, Apple is doing a lot to protect its rights, but in terms of Apple being more aggressive than others, I’m not sure that is entirely fair.”
They quote patent lawyers and Microsoft Florian. Job poorly done. Frankly, the author does not quite raise the possibility of just abolishing software patents, which is what makes the article so superficial and silly but not the exception.
According to this IDG report, patents are preventing good phones and platforms from coming to the market. To quote:
A Russian blogger has asserted that the Samsung Nexus Prime smartphone and Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, are “under question” over patent disputes with no timeline for an outcome.
Groklaw covers Oracle vs. Google pre-trial filings (part 1 and part 2), which are going to determine the cost of Android (Oracle wants patent royalties). While Microsoft-friendly sources have been taking Oracle’s side ideologically, Open Source proponents explained that Oracle had no compelling case. Microsoft Florian even injected some lies to interfere with or misrepresent the case. To him, anything except Linux and Android has merit. To his credit, he has been consistent. He has done nothing but attack Linux since the get-go (a year and a half ago).
“It wasn’t too long ago that Google’s CEO still had a chair at Apple.”According to Muktware, Apple carries on with its patents lust. “Apple Wants To Patent In-App Payment System,” writes Neil Richards, adding that this “covers every method including in-app display of advertisement, which will directly affect Google. Google never bothered to patent the system. There are many prior art examples of in-app purchases and there are chances that this patent will not be granted. But, looking at the messy record of USPTO, anything is possible.”
It is quite surprising how quickly Apple became a Google-hostile company. It wasn’t too long ago that Google’s CEO still had a chair at Apple. But with wealth and power Apple lost its ethics. It also lost its CEO, which means that an even worse patent aggressor (based on history) took over the helm. Google now openly complains about Apple's behaviour. █
“The President of the FFII wishes to organise protests soon.”Over in the UK, a big discussion erupted following what Halliburton had done [1, 2]. Patent lawyers absolutely love it. To quote one from Marks & Clerk: “the High Court has made it crystal clear that an invention relating to a process for designing drill bits is neither just a computer program nor a mere mathematical method. It provides something technical – a drill bit design process – outside both of these exclusions.”
The lawyers community has a lot more to say about it (paywall warning) and we are not sure what to do against this decision other than point out its danger to software developers in Europe. The President of the FFII wishes to organise protests soon. █
Financial security to Microsoft, environmental disaster for the rest
Summary: The lesser-realised problem with machines that are made to include TiVoization for Microsoft compliance; more “security” FUD from Microsoft
IT has been a while since we last wrote about the UEFI scandal [1, 2]. Nothing has actually been resolved, despite the comforting sense that the authorities have been informed and Microsoft issued a statement (which was no reassurance).
Consumers Don’t Own Computers “Designed for Windows 8″, and They Go to Landfills Earlier (Side Effects of “Trusted Computing”)
Microsoft Windows 8 alpha is released and downloadable. But no, I am not recommending it. Nor am I denouncing it in favor of GNU/Linux (well, not in this article anyway). What you should be aware of and concerned about as a consumer is those machines labeled as “Designed for Windows 8″. Much more so if you care about the environmental and humanitarian problems caused by e-wastes, for these machines will end up much faster as e-wastes than the ordinary machines manufactured now.
Machines labeled as “Designed for Windows 8″ have to support UEFI. UEFI is said to have many nice features, which I am not knowledgeable about and will not discuss. But I can assure you that one of those features is a downright hoax, scam, and lie. The “secure boot” feature in UEFI is claimed to make your computer more secure by disallowing intrusions from untrusted sources. This and certain other features in UEFI are important elements of Trusted Computing, a mechanism advocated by Microsoft and other big IT companies. The claim is that booting a computer from an untrusted source (such as a tux usb key which has applications in tourism, education, environment preservation, LOHAS, and ethics) is a security threat and should be avoided.
There is just one tiny problem: it’s not you, the consumer, who gets to decide who is to trust. The propaganda claims that the consumers are too dumb (well, ok, actually phrased in a much more polite way) to make their own decisions about whom to trust. (“Microsoft or Chao-Kuei?”) Software booting from an untrusted source may contain rootkit, for example, which would gain absolute control of your computer. The real, unsaid intention, however, is to prevent consumers from using alternative players and readers on alternative operating systems to circumvent the human-right infringing and infamous Digital Rights Management. If the big IT companies let you decide whom to trust, then they cannot trust you as a DRM-abiding consumer. With the secure booting mechanism in UEFI, the IT companies finally can trust that you will not be able to ask your computer to do what is best in your interest, for example exercising your fair use right and other rights requested in the digital consumer bill of right.
This abusive behaviour from Microsoft (and Apple) should not be tolerated silently because it is yet another example of using “security” to pass new and self-serving rules that harm everyone’s freedom. In a similar vein, Microsoft is smearing the free Web browsers/competition, very much as usual (although the competition does not quite do that itself). This latest attack too uses “security” and to quote The Register:
Microsoft has unveiled a website aimed at raising awareness of browser security by comparing the ability of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome to withstand attacks from malware, phishing, and other types of threats.
Your Browser Matters gives the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome a paltry 2 and 2.5 points respectively out of a possible score of 4. Visit the site using the IE 9, however, and the browser gets a perfect score. IE 7 gets only 1 point, and IE 6 receives no points at all. The site refused to rate Apple’s Safari browser in tests run by The Register.
Summary: Giving the Microsoft-taxed distribution some free help and “community” angle, the SUSE way; fallacies and wrongs
PEOPLE might not like to hear about it, but OpenSUSE is a case of helping the wrong project, unless the project gets forked and made completely independent from SUSE, which is led by Microsoft.
With the collapse of Novell we saw coming into existence several different strands. One is Xamarin, which .NET proponents are championing, but another is SUSE, which is not the same SUSE that Novell bought. The ‘new SUSE’ is sponsored by Microsoft to help Microsoft get its noose around enterprise users of GNU/Linux (those who use Red Hat or Debian for example). Many such users would not be foolish enough to wrap this noose around their neck, so this whole Microsoft patents toll booth (SUSE) gets painted a “community project” with help from employees such as Jos Poortvliet, who asks for free testing of the project (they even call it “OpenAQ” to openwash the thing). Jos writes:
Testing complex software is a crucial part of development. However, in- depth, frequent testing is difficult, time-consuming and boring.
Yes, and SUSE wants volunteers to help the company out by doing this “difficult, time-consuming and boring” task. All that sponsorship from Microsoft is not enough apparently. Here is an article about it which says: “The openSUSE Project has announced the 1.0 release of the unique cross-distribution-capable, fully automated testing framework openQA.”
We realise that there are OpenSUSE fans who even SUSE-ise their cars, write technical articles and edit the Weekly News, but why shave development costs off SUSE? Are $100,000,000 not enough to build a patent trap and joint extortion racket as well as pay some testers? They are not only stabbing GNU/Linux in the back with their patent deal; they also look for suckers in the community who will give away their time helping this. The way they’ll advertise it is something along the lines of “get Linux support from SUSE (Microsoft) with patent peace of mind (Microsoft patent tax) and a (fake) development community.” They can shove those ads alongside search results for Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, etc. That is their well-funded strategy anyway.
Attachmate never cared about Free/open source software. It never even practised it. So why give away any efforts to it? Over in YouTube, there are some new videos about Novell products and also some speeches. The Attachmate-organised BrainShare videos of the keynoteandbeyond help show the company’s apathy towards volunteers (other videos are still being uploaded [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). Why help this company? The CEO said nothing about the community in his keynote. █
Hello friends, “Security through obscurity” may be a catchy phrase, but it’s not the only thing that’s catching among Windows users.The expression is intended to suggest that proprietary software is more secure by virtue of its closed nature. If hackers can’t see the code, then it’s harder for them to create exploits for it–or so the thinking goes.Unfortunately for Windows users, that’s just not true–as evidenced by the never-ending parade of patches coming out of Redmond. In fact, one of Linux’s many advantages over Windows is that it is more secure–much more. For small businesses and other organizations without a dedicated staff of security experts, that benefit can be particularly critical.
Automated E911 solutions provider RedSky Technologies rolled out a new version of its E911 Manager, that has been engineered using Java and Linux to deliver improved scalability, resiliency and capability.
The enterprise-class E911 Manager Version 6 software helps enterprise, government and education customers deploying virtual computing environments, SIP and Unified Communications networks capture, manage and deliver the detailed location information necessary to provide effective 9-1-1 emergency response.
LinuxCon Europe is being held later this month in Prague as you may already know. In celebration of this fact, the Linux Foundation has this week welcomed seven new European members under its non-profit organisational umbrella, all of whom are apparently keen to “collaborate on advancing Linux” across industries and throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
According to the organisation’s publicity function, “Europe has been the birthplace for many open source software projects, including Linux. The development community in Europe remains strong with many of the top individual Linux kernel contributors based in the region and you can read details here in The Linux Foundation’s Who Writes Linux report, 2010.”
Here at OStatic, we’ve watched steadily as The Linux Foundation has added significant new members over the years. The organization has, in only a few short years, become an important player in stewarding the Linux ecosystem toward an organized, united future. Now, with LinuxCon Europe coming up in Prague at the end of this month, The Linux Foundation has named seven European companies who are joining its ranks: Codethink, KeyPoint Technologies, Lanedo, Meinberg Funkuhren, Picochip, Puzzle ITC and RPA RusBITech. The announcement also contains an interesting bit of news about Linux implementation in Russia.
Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center (OSTC) team responsible for the open-source Linux graphics driver stack is drafting new plans for how they release their driver code. The release model and release criteria for the Intel Linux driver will be quite different from the status quo of putting out new releases on a timed quarterly basis.
The Linux Foundation announced today the first ever Automotive Linux Summit. Taking place in Japan on November 28, 2011, it will be an opportunity to address the growing need for carmakers and Linux developers to collaborate on the future of cars as devices. Nissan and Toyota will both be there, along with Intel, NEC, and a host of other mobile solutions developers.
Linux can have the most beautiful interface in the world, because it is simply what you make of it. You can change every little detail with relative ease because that’s what Linux is all about: Freedom and OpenSource.
I posted pictures of my desktop on the corkboard a few weeks back, encouraging others to show me theirs. I got a few compliments from people, as well as requests for how to get such nice looking themes in Linux.
The developers behind the Superb Mini Server (SMS) server operating system proudly announced last evening, October 10th, the immediate availability for download of the Superb Mini Server 1.6.2 release.
A virtual protyping environment is available for the device, something which Balogh called a ‘shrink wrap’ developed with Synopys. “Software is the largest part of the design effort,” he said. “Software developers won’t need to know about virtual prototyping, they can just ‘open the box’ and boot Linux in less than a minute.”
So while the word Meltemi wasn’t exactly there, we do have three key phrase: “newly established team”, “Linux software and kernel architecture management”, and “Nokia Emerging Devices”. We do wonder though what the “Nokia Emerging Devices unit” is all about since we thought Nokia bet the farm on Windows Phone and will likely go with Windows 8 at some point in the future for tablets.
AT&T announced five new Android phones, led by the 4.3-inch, dual-core Motorola Atrix 2 and four-inch Samsung Captivate Glide QWERTY slider phone, both running Android 2.3 on dual-core processors. The other new AT&T Android phones include the 3.2-inch, QWERTY-enabled Samsung DoubleTime, the four-inch Pantech Pocket, and the ZTE-built AT&T Avail, which is available under the carrier’s GoPhone prepaid brand.
3LM, a unit of Motorola Mobility, is ready to release a set of enterprise-grade security and management tools to a number of Android phone manufacturers.
The tools allow corporate IT departments to integrate Android devices into their systems. It also makes it easier for individuals to take their personal Android phones and tablets and use them for work.
Cralina is organising an Android workshop called ‘Android QuickStart’ for professionals in Pune (India) on 15-16 October. Previous editions of this workshop have received good ratings from professionals in companies like Symantec, TCS, Siemens to name a few, says the organisers.
The CyanogenMod project developers have announced the release of version 7.1 of their modified Android firmware. According to Android programmer and project founder Steve Kondik (AKA “Cyanogen”), the major update follows a long delay due to a number of issues, including problems with the automated build system. However, Kondik says that he hopes to “speed up our release process in the future”.
Google and the Chinese government seemed to be at odds once again today, as online services related to the search giant’s Android.com market in that country were apparently inaccessible. But what appeared to be an intentional government blocking was merely a glitch related to a software update, Google told CNET.
It used to be easy for Web server administrators. If you ran a Windows shop, you used Internet Information Server (IIS), if you didn’t, you used Apache. Now, though, you have more Web server choices and one of the leading alternatives, the open-source NGINX Web server, is gaining fast.
According to Netcraft, the leading Web server analytics company, NGINX, with its over 40-million Web domains and 8.5% of all Web domains, is catching up with the big two. Indeed Netcraft analysts believe that “If current trends continue NGINX will soon overtake Microsoft to have the second largest number of active sites.”
I’ve written about open source hardware (OSHW) a few times before. Like this and this. I’ve understood open source software for quite some time and over the last few years have been starting to get what open source hardware is all about. It is different than open source software.
With software, your tangible product is essentially intangible. Your acquisition and distribution of an open source project can be virtually free. Not so with hardware. Someone has to physically build something, which costs time and money in parts and labor. Really though, all that means is the proliferation of an open source hardware product just takes a little longer. If you look at it as the design being open source more than the actual product, then it gets to be more and more similar to software.
While open source has seen tremendous uptake in companies large and small, there are still plenty of problems you can encounter when building on top of an open stack of software. Here are the top five.
Open source software is computer software that has been produced and is licensed in such a way that the software is allowed to be downloaded and accessed by anybody, free of charge.
Open source in many cases is built by people that care about software as something they love to produce and something that they want to build. The developers care about how things are done, and the quality of the end result rather than the money that they can get from selling the software itself.
Late last week Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) released the Chrome Remote Desktop into beta, remote access software that works through the Chrome browser. Supported end-point devices are any computer that has a Chrome browser installed. This means that the top platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac–as well as Google’s Chromebooks–are inherently capable of supporting Chrome Remote Desktop.
ownCloud team has announced the release of version 2 of ownCloud, the free and open source cloud computing. The latest version comes after a huge gap of one and a half year. But, this release is promising.
ownCloud 2 has just been released. ownCloud is a web-based storage application similar to Google Docs, Dropbox or Ubuntu One with a big difference—your data is under your control. With version 2, the ownCloud team has improved the basic service and added valuable features:
* Access your files on the web or integrate ownCloud with desktop file managers.
* Share files securely.
* Access music and personal information directly or connect through applications.
* Synchronize with other web applications that use the remoteStorage protocol.
* More user support, demos and community interaction.
Currently, the company is in alpha and testing with a limited number of clients. Linux has been deploying FDS cluster computer solutions for clients such as ARUP since a decade. As per the new strategy, Linux will provide an FDS SaaS solution that would provide efficiencies and cost savings for future clients, from industries such as Engineering, Educational institutions, Gas, Chemical and Government agencies like FEMA.
The OpenStack collaborative industry effort to build an open source cloud platform is to be applauded for the remarkable gains it has achieved in a short amount of time. Founded by Rackspace Hosting and NASA in July last year, the organization is now backed by 120 companies, including the likes of HP, Dell, Intel and Cisco, and has already issued four major code releases, the last of which, Diablo, just came out last month and has already been downloaded 50,000 times.
But as kernel developer Dave Jones notes, “The number of bug reports we get from people with VirtualBox loaded are truly astonishing. It’s GPL, but sadly that doesn’t mean it’s good. Nearly all of these bugs look like random corruption. (corrupt linked lists, corrupt page tables, and just plain ‘weird’ crashes).”
Hence Jones has added a patch to list the driver as tainted. Doing so, means that “automatic bug filing tools can opt out of automatically filing kernel bugs, and inform the user to file bugs somewhere more appropriate.”
There are many third-party drivers which are present on GNU/Linux systems. They are maintained by outsiders and if the code meets the high standards of the kernel then they often get merged with the mainline kernel. Oracle is the owner of VirtualBox and given that it is a widely used platform should, by rights, be maintaining the driver.
Almost lost within the fanfare of last week’s Oracle OpenWorld were several sneak peeks at where the company is heading with its Solaris and Oracle Linux operating systems (OS) in the near future. For the upcoming release of Solaris 11, the company announced features to make it more user friendly, more virtualized and more scalable. On the Linux side, Oracle revealed it is releasing a second version of its Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Linux. The big news here is that it can be patched without any downtime.
In 2009, mathematician Timothy Gowers posed this question to the blogosphere: “Is massively collaborative mathematics possible?” He described an unsolved math problem and asked for help figuring it out. Over the next few hours and days, commenters began to pick at the problem together. They brought up incomplete ideas, which were expanded and incorporated into other peoples’ ideas, until Gowers posted 37 days later that the problem had (probably) been solved.
Spree Commerce, the open source, Ruby on Rails-based eCommerce solution, announced today that it has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by True Ventures. Also participating in the round were Aol Ventures, and angels like Sean Glass. Spree has also brought on some notable advisors, including Dries Buytaert (Creator of Drupal), Luke Kanies (Creator of Puppet), Tom Preston-Werner (Co-founder of Github), and James Lindenbaum (Co-founder of Heroku).
Popular open source ecommerce solution, Spree, announced yesterday it has officially become incorporated as Spree Commerce Inc. This announcement comes after Spree’s raising of $1.5 million in a seed-funding round led by True Ventures. Other participants in the round include AOL Ventures and Sean Glass.
Bristol City Council has announced that there are “no security or accreditation issues that should hold us back from pushing ahead with our open source agenda”. The announcement was said by the council to be the result of working with the Cabinet Office after concerns were raised, by the council itself, about security accreditation for open source software. The council leader Barbara Janke said: “We have now been given the green light by the Cabinet Office to push ahead with this open source agenda and they have promised to work closely with us on this issue over the next few months”.
The government’s cyber security arm has given Bristol council the go-ahead to use open source software
Bristol City Council has been given the green light to push ahead with its open source strategy following a meeting with CESG, the cyber security arm of the UK intelligence services.
The council first announced its intention to adopt open source alongside existing Microsoft software in September 2010. As part of an ongoing review of its desktop systems, the council was looking to replace its current email system with an open source alternative.
Bristol City Council is set to begin work on a major open source project, following a meeting called by the Cabinet Office.
The meeting, held on Thursday last week, was attended by LinuxIT, an open source specialist located in the city. GCHQ, the government’s communications tracking headquarters, and vendors BeLIB and Nameless, also attended.
On the Internet, information is everywhere. From blogs to Tweets and everywhere in between, the data stream seems endless. For your average Web surfer, the majority of this information is irrelevant and may be disregarded. But what if casual information, like the kind found on blogs and Webcams, could be made useful?
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), a US government research agency, believes that this is possible, and that information from such sources may be able to predict the future.
The project that I discovered was developed by UK Aerospace Engineer, Arthur Amarra, who normally works on the structural analysis of composite aircraft wings, but who professes to have been an avid linux geek for as long as he can remember.
Amarra initially purchased the robotic arm as a gadget to play with and admits that the machine is not particularly useful in itself since it is only capable of lifting objects that weigh in at about 100 grams.
In a keynote presentation at the 2011 GoTo Conference in Denmark, Google revealed details of Dart, a new structured Web programming language designed to make programming for the Web easier. Although Google had announced the new programming language in September, the company withheld details until today.
Microsoft has made it clear that it considers Windows 8′s Metro interface and applications to be the future. When I look at Metro, however, I see gaudy colors, boxy designs, applications that can either run as a small tile or as full screen with no way to resize or move windows. Where have I seen this before? Wait, I know! Windows 1.0.
Twenty-five years of user-interface development and this is what we get? Scary.
The Federal Trade Commission has decided that certain default software settings can violate the law against “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” The agency recently went after the peer-to-peer filesharing program FrostWire for sharing too many user files by default, something that could easily lead to identity theft, copyright infringement, and the loss of “intimate photographs.” That’s right: the federal government now goes to court to protect the privacy of your nude smartphone pics.
Think about this, and think hard. I’m going to list a bunch of media:
* Video Laserdiscs
* Betamax Videotapes
* VHS Videotapes
* Long Play Vinyl Records
* Reel to Reel Audio Tapes
* Eight Track Audio Tapes
* Cassette Audio Tapes
* Audio Compact Discs
* Paper Books
All of these media have a common purpose, to deliver a form of entertainment. They are a delivery system. Of course the delivery system has to be delivered, and it has to be displayed on shelf space.
The current switch to electronic delivery of electronic files removes the need for a delivery system and for shelf space. This is why Borders went bankrupt in the United States, and it is why Chapters-Indigo in Canada has a smaller and smaller amount of shelf space devoted to books.