What should we think of an administration that would leak a story to the press to make the press look bad. Particularly an administration that is at war with the press and publicly and brazenly declares the press the enemy of the people.
Wow. Just wow.
Don't know whether to believe politico or the whitehouse. That sounds like the result of someone who would run a disinformation campaign to undermine the public trust in everything. At some point the public will question basic facts like whether the sun rises in the East or West.
Every time I think I can lose no more confidence in the president or his administration, something new happens that makes my jaw drop even lower.
The original web publication of this letter can be found osOpinion.com
I'm not sure if reading this letter is illegal. I thought it only fair to warn you; it might be better to just destroy it.
The actual writing has been a bit of a chore. Word.NET isn't what it used to be. Even Microsoft.NET couldn't afford to patent everything, so whilst I can do Find, there's no Replace anymore. One good thing about having only one legal operating system is that it's very stable. I'm glad they never update Windows.NET; anyone can live with three or four crashes a day and the hourly rent is less than I pay for my apartment.
I try to remember what it was like when I was a kid but it's really difficult; the world has changed so much since then. I found a paper book the other day that described the rise and fall of something called the "Internet". It started out with people putting up links on computers so that they could follow the link and read things on other computers for free. After it got to be popular, companies started to create machines with lots of links that you could search to find things of interest. But someone put up a link to something illegal and got sued and had their machine shut down. This happened a few times and people started to take the links off their machines. The search engine companies were the first to go and without them, you couldn't find anything. Eventually no one put up links anymore because the legal risk was too great. The important thing is that it reduced terrorism. I'm not sure how it could have worked anyway. Anything I write on my computer or any music I create gets stored by Word.NET and Music.NET in encrypted formats to protect my privacy. No one but me, Microsoft.NET and the National Corporation can read or hear my stuff even if they could link to it.
I shouldn't admit it, but sometimes I go to certain places and speak to the subversives. I know its wrong but their warped views on things have some kind of morbid fascination. For example, I spoke to someone who claimed to be a historian the other day. She had courage all right, admitting to an illegal activity like that. I hadn't understood why it was illegal until she explained. History, she told me, gives you context. You can compare today with some time in the past; ask questions like, "are people better off", "look at the different forms of doing business", "compare corporate records or the rights of citizens" (I think she meant employees).
But what interested her was that future generations will know nothing about us; all our records and art are stored digitally, most of it will simply disappear when no one rents it anymore -- remember the sadness when the last digital copy of Sgt. Pepper was accidentally erased? And the data that does survive will all be encrypted and in proprietary formats anyway -- even if there were historians they'd have no right to reverse engineer the formats. I can vaguely remember that people used to have physical copies of music and films, although I'm not sure how that was possible, or what the point was when we can rent whatever we like from the air interface. I don't think it matters that those who come after us can't read our writings or hear our music or see our films; these things are temporal anyway, if no one rents them then they can't be worth keeping.
The saddest subversive I met claimed to be a programmer. He said that he was writing a program using Basic.NET. He must have been insane. Even if his program worked he wouldn't be allowed to run it. How could one person possibly check every possible patent infringement in a program they wrote? And even if he hadn't infringed he couldn't sell it without buying a compatibility license from Microsoft.NET and who could possibly afford that? He had said something about gippling the software, which apparently means giving it away, but mad as he was, even he knew that under WUCITA that would be illegal.
These subversives really don't seem to understand that a few restrictions are necessary for the sake of innovation. And progress has been made. We don't have spam since most people can't afford an email license due to the expensive patent royalties. Our computer systems all have the same operating system, user interface and applications so everyone knows how to use them, and although they crash and don't work very well, we all know the limitations and can live with them. We have no piracy of intellectual property since we rent it as we want it and have no means of storing it.
It was the USA that showed the world the way of course. First the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, then more and more software patents. The Japanese followed suit. The Europeans were a problem, which is only to be expected, with their anti-business un-Christian socialist tendencies. Fortunately, common sense prevailed, helped along by the good old dollar I've no doubt and they accepted both software patents and a redefinition of copyright to suit global corporations. Once the USA, Japan and Europe had uniform intellectual property laws to protect our corporations and our way of life, everyone else had to play ball or they couldn't trade. The result has been that every algorithm and computer program and every piece of music and film (after all music and film can be put into digital form and are therefore a form of software) have been patented. No more variations on Beethoven (unless you've got the patentees approval). No more amateur participation in music or film which might risk lowering standards. No more challenge to established business and business practices.
I'm crazy to have written I know. But I am so happy in the world and I remember how unhappy I used to be. I wanted to somehow pass back to you the knowledge that its all going to be okay, that the world really is getting better.
Considering the age of this letter, how much of it is coming true?
Just wait. Soon we won't even be allowed to own the physical things we buy. The cancer of intellectual property, licensing, patents, trademark, forbidden reverse engineering; these will all come to invade all physical products.
You cannot take apart nor repair your dresser, because its colors are copyrighted, and its design is a trademark. (I'm deliberately using a non tech item as an example. An everyday thing.) If the knob on your dresser drawer broke, then please buy another dresser. Or for a substantial fee, we can send a repair technician and drawer consultant who will be able to identify what repairs are necessary, and supply any necessary parts.
It's all for the consumer's protection. Imagine the danger to someone untrained and unauthorized who might attempt to replace a broken knob on a dresser drawer.
IBM discovered the "lock in" phenomena of software decades ago. Once a customer has their software tied to your product, it isn't exactly easy to move it to a competing product.
Microsoft discovered that this works for the OS as well as the hardware. Software written to the OS is not easily portable to another OS.
Enter Intellectual Property. Using IP laws, by merely putting a computer, and some technical obscurity, into a product, like farm equipment, or how a printer works with ink cartridges, you can suddenly create monopoly lock in of your customers where no natural lock in previously existed. Previously, anyone could just make knock off ink cartridges. Or anyone could build compatible parts for farm equipment.
Every part that you can add technology to becomes a part that cannot be produced by a third party. The original manufacturer becomes the exclusive supplier.
Prediction: even trivial parts like head light bulbs, or side panels, will soon have high tech parts to ensure that only the original manufacturer can supply replacements.
Now, is it so difficult to understand why companies look for every possible excuse to fight right-to-repair laws? If there were a right to repair, you might be able to circumvent technical restrictions. You might be able to obtain parts from alternate suppliers, just as has been (and still is) true for many auto parts today.
What is in common with all those who are against right to repair: They either are now, or want to be monopolists.
I only wish I could have Bush back. Not that I particularly like any republicans. Or Bush, who I thought was the worst up to that point. But how far we've come!
I don't like how divided the country is either. But you have to take a stand. Does the sun rise in the East or in the West, or somewhere in between? In the past, the facts were the facts. We could debate about whether the sun rising in the East was a good idea, or bad. Some would even debate about whether there should be subsidies to fix it. Or some other government action. At some point we got to a point where people would debate about whether congress or the president should change the sun to rise in the West, or whether it could actually even be done. Now we've gotten to the point where the sun rising in the West can be proclaimed from the highest office in the land, and if you disagree, well, you're fake news.
With previous presidents or congress critters that I have disagreed with, I at least had respect. It was just a difference of opinion about public policy.
With the current orange clown in office, it has gone so far from issues of public policy that there can't be any discussion. Maybe we can get back to there. But I doubt it. A war on the media? Really? I don't even know what to say.
The things Trump lies about are so incredibly petty compared to the things his predecessor lied about.
His press secretary's first official appearance was to lie about the crowd size. That's a good start to set the tone. On both the truthfulness and the topics the administration considers of the highest national importance.
Trump never misses an opportunity to talk up his election victory. When Trump has his first state of the union speech, can we take bets about how many minutes will be reserved for talking about his election victory? Or about how great a businessman he is? Or anything else about the man rather than the nation's business?
Hollywood's obsession with youth is because: 1. Hollywood will do anything that makes money 2. Society has an obsession with youth
Now that sounds like a defense of hollywood, but consider item 1 on its own.
Prior to IMDB it may have been more difficult to discover an actor's age. But that is the same complaint that is heard when anyone complains about the internet. The internet makes information available quickly and easily. All of the complainers like the way things were when information was not so easily available -- except when they need information themselves. Then the internet is great.
The complainers: * actors who want to hide their age * people who want to hide stupid things they did in their youth * people who want to hide past criminal convictions * businesses who hate that customers can give bad reviews * business models that rely on information scarcity. * people who want you to believe they invented a particular thing
If processing of DMCA gets slower and slower, how can they possibly complain?
Google could undoubtedly produce millions of bogus requests that could fill hundreds of boxes on the docket of a court challenge. If the other side or the court would object to how burdensome this is, then Google could ask one to consider that this is just a sampling, and imagine how burdensome it is for Google. It is objectively unreasonable that Google could have infinite resources and infinite processing speeds for increasing bogus DMCA requests.
The court needs to set a precedent. The legislators need to fix the broken DMCA to impose a statutory penalty for every bogus DMCA. And the "legitimate" DMCA filers, if there even is such a thing, need to get behind this, since it is in their interest for Google to be able to process these hypothetical "legitimate" DMCA takedowns.
You never know. Some US president may one day demand the US have a law like Article 103. To protect us from the enemies of the American People! (specifically, the news media) And because, um, Terrorists! And because Think of the Children!