Eventually everyone wants to be AOL |
| January 25th, 2012 under Articles, Corporate, Media, Politics, rengolin, Web. [ Comments: none ]
After a good week battling against SOPA, it’s time to go back to real life, to battling our own close enemies.
As was reported over, and over, and over again (at least in this blog), Google is dragging itself towards a giant dominant player it’s becoming, much like Yahoo! and AOL in previous times.
Lifehacker has a very good post about the same subject (from where the title of this post was deliberately taken), around Google+ and the new Search+ (or whatever they’re calling that), and how the giant is loosing its steam and trying so solidify its market, where it’ll comfortably lay until the end of its days.
True, Google has a somewhat strong research department, and is working towards new TCP/IP standards, but much of it was done by Yahoo! in the past, towards FreeBSD, PHP and MySQL. Yahoo! actually hired top notch BSD kernel hackers (like Paul Saab), MySQL gurus (like Jimi Cole and Zawodny) and the PHP creator, Rasmus Lerdorf. And they put a lot back to the community. But none of that is true revolution, only short reforms to keep themselves in power for a bit longer.
The issue is simple, Google doesn’t need to innovate as much as they did in the past, as did Yahoo! and AOL. Even Microsoft and Apple need to innovate more than Google, because they have to sell things. Software, hardware and services, not only cost money, and time, but they age too rapidly and it’s not hard to throw loads of money at a project that is borne dead (like Vista). But Google get its money for free (so to speak), their users are not paying a penny for their services. How hard it is to compete with that model?
Like Google, Yahoo! had the same comfort in their days. They had more users than anyone else, and that was the same as money. They did get money from ads, like Google, only not as efficient. And that put them in a comfort zone that it’s hard not to get used to, which was their ultimate doom. This is why, after 25 and so years failing, Microsoft is still a strong player. This is why Apple, after being in the shadow for than 20 years, got to be the biggest Tech company in the world. The must innovate at every turn.
Yahoo! displaced AOL and bought pretty much everyone else because they’ve outsmarted the competition, by doing the same thing, but cheaper and easier. Google repeated the same stunt, on Yahoo! and is beginning to age. How long would that last? When the next big thing appears, making money even easier, Google will be a giant. An arrogant, slow and blind giant. And natural selection will take care of them as quick as it took of AOL and Yahoo!
Post-SOPA-protest, what’s on? |
| January 19th, 2012 under Corporate, Digital Rights, Life, Politics, rengolin, Web, World. [ Comments: 1 ]
So, the day has ended and we’ve seen many protests around the world. Did it help? Well, a bit, but don’t hold your breath right now.
European citizens are still being sued by the American government and being extradited to the US because their sites had links to copyrighted material. So, in a way, what SOPA and PIPA stands for is already reality, but it takes the US government a lot of effort and money to do so. With SOPA and PIPA, enyone in the world could end up in Guantanamo Bay, as easy as any American.
While I welcome the protest, and feel that Americans did a good job converting 30 more senators to their cause (it was 5, now it’s 35), it’s far from enough. I think people still haven’t realised that this is not an American issue. Just like American copyright laws have bankrupted creativity around the world (think Mickey Mouse effect) and the American patent system has destroyed technological advancement (patent trolls, et al), SOPA and PIPA will spread throughout the world and be the icing on their cake.
The people that are so desperate to preserve their profits by breaking the rest of the world are the people that already have more than anyone. Last year, Viacom’s CEO had a 50mi raise in his salary. Not a bonus, mind you, a raise. To protect those people’s profits, we’re letting them destroy the entire world, stop technological advancements (that don’t give profits to them) and kill all the artists in the process.
If you, like me, are outside of the US, please make sure your government stops short of bending to the US government, as they always do. Europe, and particularly UK and France, has been America’s puppet for far too long. The US is not the only country in the world, and nowadays, it’s not even the most important one. We need to change the world to multi-polar and promote countries like China, Russia, Brazil, India. Not that I like any of them, but we must not put all our coins into one crazy country, we need more crazy countries to re-balance the world.
Now, for some of the protests
Apart from the obvious Wikipedia, Google, WordPress, there were some others I’ve seen that are worth mentioning.
- FightForTheFuture had a very interesting video explaining the whole thing.
- Ars Technica published only SOPA/PIPA articles, and very good ones at that.
- Bruce Schneier, security legend, also joined the protests.
- Avaaz, always alert, started a petition and already got more than 1.5mi signatures.
- People that live on content (in theory, the ones affected by piracy) also had their say: XKCD, Abstruse Goose, Basic Instruction.
- Last, but not least, The Daily WTF has a very interesting piece about how bad it already is, and supporting PIPA so we can go back to the BBS era that was much more comfortable!
It was not just that, some people actually went on to the streets (NY and SF) and it seems most senators’ phones and websites went dead for the traffic. It’s working, but this is not the end, nor this is just about copyright. This is about freedom of thought, freedom to share, freedom to be a human being. Stopping SOPA/PIPA is just the first step, we need to undo most of what the media/war/oil/tobacco industry has done for the past 80 years, unless you like dictatorships, of course.
Wikipedia Blackout (a.k.a. SOPA strike) |
| January 17th, 2012 under Digital Rights, Politics, rengolin, Web. [ Comments: none ]
To protest against absurd piracy counter-measures in US, the Wikimedia foundation (and others) will be shutting down this Wednesday.
We’ll be supporting the act by shutting down our blog, too. Not that our blog makes any difference, it’s more for the protest than anything else.
UPDATE: More sites, including Google and WordPress, are joining the strike.