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Microsoft’s market share starting to slip?

Interesting article by Charlie Demerjian about the shift in the IT industry away from Microsoft and toward Open Source: The IT industry is shifting away from Microsoft

Every so often, there is a big shift in an industry. The shifts are not usually visible until long after they’ve happened, making you look back and say: “Oh yeah, things were different back then”.

Interesting analysis about what is making the market start to shift away from Microsoft and its products.

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Bruce Springsteen speaks out in defense of Dixie Chicks

On his own website – brucespringsteen.net, Bruce speaks up about the treatment the Dixie Chicks have received after openly opposing the war against Iraq.

He writes:

The Dixie Chicks have taken a big hit lately for exercising their basic right to express themselves. To me, they’re terrific American artists expressing American values by using their American right to free speech. For them to be banished wholesale from radio stations, and even entire radio networks, for speaking out is un-American.

The pressure coming from the government and big business to enforce conformity of thought concerning the war and politics goes against everything that this country is about – namely freedom. Right now, we are supposedly fighting to create freedom in Iraq, at the same time that some are trying to intimidate and punish people for using that same freedom here at home.

I am no Bruce Springsteen fan, but taking the risk of speaking up against the powers that be and defending Dixie Chicks right to free speech and their own opinions, shows that he has undertood something too few americans have.

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The Bush Doctrine: War without anyone’s permission

Slate : The Bush Doctrine: War without anyone’s permission. By Michael Kinsley

[…] Bush is asserting the right of the United States to attack any country that may be a threat to it in five years. And the right of the United States to evaluate that risk and respond in its sole discretion. And the right of the president to make that decision on behalf of the United States in his sole discretion. In short, the president can start a war against anyone at any time, and no one has the right to stop him. And presumably other nations and future presidents have that same right. […]

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So much for free speech in the US: Lawyer arrested over anti-war T-shirt

Times Online: Shooting the messenger: lawyer arrested over anti-war T-shirt

POLICE have arrested a 60-year-old lawyer wearing a T-shirt saying “Give Peace A Chance”.
A judge charged Stephen Downs with trespassing after he politely declined to leave the Crossgates Mall in a suburb of Albany, New York State, on Monday evening, or remove his top, which he had had printed there.

Mr Downs pleaded not guilty and cited his right to free speech. He could face up to a year in prison. His son, Roger, 31, avoided arrest by removing a T-shirt saying “No War With Iraq” on one side and “Let Inspections Work” on the other.

His father’s second offending message was: “Peace On Earth.” “We weren’t talking to people or handing out leaflets,” Mr Downs Jr told a local newspaper. “My point was I’m not trying to convert anybody,” his father said.

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Mac addicts have some interesting fetishes…

Wired writes about fetishists that really love their Macs and links to a very interesting/disturbing archive of soft porn Mac desktop images: Mac Desktop Pictures : Erotics Desktop

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Janis Ian follows up her peer-to-peer vs musicians vs music industry article

About a month after her initial article (that was actually written in may 2002), Janis has written an equally interesting article: FALLOUT – a follow up to The Internet Debacle

Its nice to see all the reactions she got, and it seems like most people agree with her. She got over 2000 e-mails, and only 9 disagreed – of which she was able to sway 5.

See my previous posting about her article.

[Via Dave Winer]

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News from Loony Tunes land: Hacking made legal for Hollywood

I am sorry, but I have a hard time taking serious the bill proposal from Californian congressman Howard Berman that would give the entertainment industry the right to hack computers and networks to stop people from downloading music and movies off the Internet. What has he been smoking?

Before the ridiculous no-linking cases in European courts, I would have said it couldn’t have happened anywhere else than America.

Wired News has an interesting article that highlights the “dark side” of the hacking bill. The way the bill is written it could allow for interpreations that would allow any joe-hacker to use the bill to justify his hacking.

Dave Winer has also written an article about the bill that goes into some other parts of it, and also suggests what american voters should do with representatives such as Howard Berman:

Politicians who are openly corrupt must pay the ultimate penalty, lose their jobs, so no government leader ever again dares go against the interests of his or her constituency, as these representatitves have.

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Deep linking outlawed in Denmark

I saw this on friday and couldn’t belive my eyes, and I have been using the time since I saw the news about the Danish Court decision to make a pre-luminary injunction against the search engine Newsbooster.com for the use of direct linking to try to find words of how stupid I think the whole thing is.

I am afraid I need to resort to using bad language to state how it makes me feel.

Its fucking stupid. Its ignorant, it screams of ignorance to how the web really works. And it makes me feel like telling the danish newspapers behind the lawsuit to get off the fucking web, because obviously they do not want to be a part of it.

The whole web is based on links. Or deep links that they prefer to call them. I am right there with Dave Winer when he calls “deep linking” an oxymoron. You only have one type of linking on the web – and that is linking directly to web pages.

What makes the court decision even more ridiculous is that there exists a number of ways to make sure that search engines does not index your content (after all this was a case against a search engines actually doing its job indexing web pages), there also exists ways of redirecting visitors coming from external sites to your own homepage if you are allergic to “deep links”:

I really hope this doesn’t catch on.

[Via Dave Winer]

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The real story about how peer-to-peer affect musicians

Janis Ian writes an alternative perception of the music industry and their “problems” with peer-to-peer networks:

If you think about it, the music industry should be rejoicing at this new technological advance! Here’s a fool-proof way to deliver music to millions who might otherwise would never purchase a CD in a store. The cross-marketing opportunities are unbelievable. It’s instantaneous, costs are minimal, shipping non-existant?a staggering vehicle for higher earnings and lower costs. Instead, they’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off, bleeding on everyone and making no sense. As an alternative to encrypting everything, and tying up money for years (potentially decades) fighting consumer suits demanding their first amendment rights be protected (which have always gone to the consumer, as witness the availability of blank and unencrypted VHS tapes and casettes), why not take a tip from book publishers and writers?

[…]

One other major point: in the hysteria of the moment, everyone is forgetting the main way an artist becomes successful – exposure. Without exposure, no one comes to shows, no one buys CDs, no one enables you to earn a living doing what you love. Again, from personal experience: in 37 years as a recording artist, I’ve created 25+ albums for major labels, and I’ve never once received a royalty check that didn’t show I owed them money. So I make the bulk of my living from live touring, playing for 80-1500 people a night, doing my own show. I spend hours each week doing press, writing articles, making sure my website tour information is up to date. Why? Because all of that gives me exposure to an audience that might not come otherwise. So when someone writes and tells me they came to my show because they’d downloaded a song and gotten curious, I am thrilled!

Brave words from a little musician that very well could get squashed by the industry. At least she would still be able to write.

[Via Kevin Marks]

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Heard about Palladium?

In case you haven’t heard about it. Lets first start with the marketing hype about this new concept from Redmond:

Palladium is intended to become a new platform for a host of yet-unimagined services to enable privacy, commerce and entertainment in the coming decades. “This isn’t just about solving problems, but expanding new realms of possibilities in the way people live and work with computers,” says product manager Mario Juarez.

After reading that article (on MSNBC), I think the two url’s Doc Searls provide today are interesting reading.

The Register focus on how Palladium might affect GPL software (in “MS to eradicate GPL, hence Linux”):

So to validate Harry, and to update his Master Data File — two bits of business integral to the Palladium scheme — I’ll need hardware, an OS and a server compliant with Redmond specs. Now MS says they’re going to make the sources to the core of this technology open. But considering Microsoft’s white-knuckled terror of Linux and open source products in general, combined with its established penchant for mining its products with hidden little pissers for the competition, I don’t think it’s paranoid to imagine that I may have to turn to a packaged product from a major MS partner/collaborator or a Linux distributor who’s gone to the bother of obtaining certs for the kernel and the apps. But either way we’ll have major GPL problems, as we’ll see below. Indeed, this is going to be something of a reductio ad absurdum

A little more technical insight into what Palladium is/will be can be found over at Digital Identity World

Doc Searls writes about it at Linux Journal and on his weblog

[Via Doc Searls]