PGTS Humble Blog
Thread: Format Wars, Standards & Competition
|If at first you do not succeed ... You must be a programmer!|
A Brave New Cloud.
Chronogical Blog Entries:
Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2008 21:18:43 +1000
Recently Apple have announced that they will be relaxing the rules surrounding their non-disclosure agreement for third party developers. This is almost certainly due to pressure from Google who are threating to be a major competitor with products like Android. In a recent article in the Bits column in the New York Times, Saul Hansell refers to this as a Slice of Glasnost from Apple.
Apple isn't the only one concerned about the new computing paradigm. Microsoft have hinted at a Windows Cloud platform. Or so Steve Ballmer would have us believe. He announced recently in London that work on this grand project is underway. I personally can hardly wait to see the first release of Windows Cloud. It's been a while since I had a really good old-fashioned outburst of laughter, so extreme that it leaves me rolling on the floor with tears streaming down my face.
And some organisations are so keen to re-invent themselves they seem to have given themselves a history lobotomy of sorts. Recently I received a letter in my internal email that urged me to subscribe to "CA Advisor", by clicking on a link. If I did so, they promised to plant a tree for me. Of course I have no control over what gets sent on the internal network at my workplace. The email was constructed as HTML only, and of the type, that had it been sent to my own domain, unsolicited, might well have been dispatched by "Spam Assassin".
Naturally when I saw the letters "CA", I thought of the giant software company formerly known as "Computer Associates". But there was nothing much on the email pamphlet to indicate this.
Like most corporations the company I am working for has installed MS Outlook as their MUA. Now one of the interesting features of Outlook is that it will not show the contents of links. Spammers, scammers, and criminals all over the world are delighted at this interesting little feature! I would feel more inclined to cross Niagra falls blind-folded than to click on a link with hidden contents. Although, if you right-click on a link inside Outlook and choose "view source", it displays the HTML code in Notepad! In this case, I saved the page and inspected it with w3m in cygwin, in order to see where the link would lead me.
After a little investigation, I went to the website at www.ca.com where I found more green and blue promises to plant trees. Obviously this was a new exciting green IT company that offered all sorts of advice, software tools etc for IT professionals and managers. Could this be the software giant CA, formerly known as "Computer Associates". Surely no-one else would be allowed to use the name?
After I had drilled all the way down to see actual product names, I saw things like "Easytrieve", "CA Verify", etc, etc. Yep, no doubt about it folks! It is "CA", formerly known as "Computer Associates". And aren't they coy about admitting it!
It seems in today's new cloud hyper spin space, not only are many corporations rushing to embrace the new paradigm as if there is no tomorrow, but many of them, in the haste to re-invent themselves, want to pretend that there was no yesterday either!
I don't have any big gripe about "Computer Associates". But while my little grey cells keep functioning, I could hardly forget that they ever existed.
Those of you who want read a reasonably detailed, informative, and rather more "warts and all" discussion of the organisation and their history should consider this Wikipedia article, rather than the fuzzy green and blue soft sell pap on their corporate site.
Meanwhile in the online magazine, "Linux World" a recent report from Jeremy Kirk claims:
A group of technology and entertainment heavyweights is undertaking a public relations campaign to dissuade consumers from illegal file sharing, something the group calls "net pollution."
The problem of piracy is central to the struggle for the Internet, which by its nature is diverse, complex and chaotic. Many large organisations would prefer to coral and domesticate the feral Internet and turn it into a well-behaved distribution channel.
As long as the media conglomerates insist on such outrageously high profit margins, piracy will thrive.
Of course this leads us to contemplate the isssue of "Internet Security".
As far as I am concerned "Internet Security" for the home or consumer market refers to the ability of a computer owner to monitor and precisely control all the software that runs on his/her computer system. I think many computer users would endorse my definition.
As far as certain media and software conglomerates are concerned "Internet Security" for the home or consumer market refers to the ability of the said corporations to monitor and precisely control all the software that runs on individual computer systems, so that they (the computers) may function exclusively as distribution platforms for media and software products. It is nevertheless the responsibility of the individual computer user, and the said corporation absolves itself of any responsibility under the terms of the EULA.
Notice how vaguely similar and yet divergent these two definitions are?
A lot of effort has been put into trying to sell the latter definition as if they (the media and software distributors) were addressing the former.
Are consumers in general smart enough to know the difference? And if they can tell the difference are they smart enough to do something about it? Disney, Warner, Viacom, Microsoft etc are banking on the fact that they aren't and they can't.
And how will the approaching depression affect people's purchasing of media, software, computers and mobile devices?
No doubt about it, we are living in interesting times.