Terminator, The Matrix, I Robot and many other movies deal with an exciting topic of what happens when humans gain the powers promised by a certain technology. Will the robots rebel? Could internet turn into SkyNet? Will advanced nano technology allow building bombs that make nuclear weapons seem like sticks and stones? What about merging ourselves with technology?
In so many ways further technological development seems akin to playing with fire and powers once only prescribed to gods. Are we up to the challenge? Are we ready? And if not, how can we become ready? Technology could give us the power to destroy, but it could also give us the power to create a world of unimaginable prosperity and freedom. It could be used to enslave, but also to liberate the potential of each individual.
We need to identify the *good* uses of technology and we need to evolve our social and cultural mentality to the point where destruction and enslavement wont even be a temptation anymore. If that ideal is an utopia, if it cannot be reached then perhaps we are already doomed.
It is increasingly becoming clear what the deal between Microsoft and Novell really means for GNU/Linux. Hear it from Microsoft itself: Ballmer: Linux users owe Microsoft. Can you hear the sound of those rattles?
I resist the urge to title this entry as "The monster speaks". Knowing the history of RIAA as of late and their actions, you can barely get yourself to even read what its president has to say. Should you need a reminder just think of all the not-so-rich families which have been sued over their heads for supposed copyright infringement even without proper evidence and a transparent process.
For long, Java was among software that presented some major legal and political hurdles to GNU/Linux. Including Java in a GNU/Linux distribution meant tainting it with non-free software, something not all GNU/Linux users are keen on using. Another which the Java issue is usually paired with is Adobe Flash, and indeed the two were on the spotlight of FSF's efforts of developing some kind of a solution, a Free alternative. But today, Sun is resolving the Java issue once and for all. Java is becoming Free Software and Richard Stallman, the FSF founder himself, is endorsing it. What a great day and a big win for Free Software! Let's hope that Flash goes next. There is some hope after the recent partnership between Mozilla Corp. and Adobe.
A recent article by LinuxJournal's Nicholas Petreley, named "A five year deal with Microsoft to dump Novell/SUSE", points to the contradiction in statements of the two companies in regard to the patent infringement issue and calls for two things, for customers and users to essentially boycott Novell SuSE ("first front") and FSF to take a stand and actually sue Novell ("second front"). The latter is obvious from a statement which also reflects an apparent disagreement with GPLv3 as means of combating DRM, quoting:
Doc Searls has published a well written article on what is an extremely important issue today, the issue of ownership of ideas, contrasting the lock down of innovative ideas with the value of opening them up towards further cooperative development. He has named the article as Ten ideas about Ideas presenting ten points about the nature of ideas and the best way to release their potential.