Monday, July 30, 2001
what's hot what's not
In almost every class of products and services sold in the United States, there are product safety and liability laws. We routinely recall products that are dangerous or present hazards to citizens. Software is a product. Today at Salon is this tidbit.
"The Internet has become indispensable to our national security and economic well-being," said Ron Dick, head of the National Infrastructure Protection Center, an arm of the FBI. "Worms like Code Red pose a distinct threat to the Internet."
If Ron Dick is right, this is the most compelling case for a product liability suit.
The frequency and severity of bugs in the Windows Operating Systems and Applications represents a Clear and Present Danger to the National Security of the United States. This also demonstrates the failure of the Closed Source software model.
Until the Windows Operating Systems and Applications can be certified and tested for security and reliability, a moratorium should be imposed on Microsoft and futher sales of products suspended.
If ever there was an compelling argument for Open Source, Ron Dick just handed it to us.
Digital Millenium Copyright Act
The publishing industries enjoyed a monopoly on distribution of creative works for many years. Books, Music and Video required a large infrastructure to produce. The playback mechanisms were propriatary in nature. VCR's, Phonographs, tape decks, etc. The illusion of access was fostered by the marketplace in the availability of mechanisms for reading or playing back music and video.
This monopoly extends to the availability of materials based on the company producing them. Publishers are businesses, out to make money. The only businesses that stay solvent are those that produce a profit. The notable exception is Government, which can run at a loss and through passive consent create laws to hinder your freedom.
The computer and the Internet is making the publication of text, images, music and video a very simple thing. A computer, a few bucks a month, some server space, Open Standards, can make anybody a publisher.
The DCMA is a truly ugly law. It needs replacing with something a lot more responsive to the reality of the Internet.
Old Fart News Department
Doc Searls is 54 Happy Birthday!!
Audi S4 Tailight
On 16 July 2001, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov was arrested by federal agents in Las Vegas, Nevada. His crime: pointing out major security flaws in Adobe PDF and eBook software.
Some companies just don't get the Internet. Adobe is the latest.
Previously July 25, 2001
Taking Your Talent
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