Tuesday, June 14, 2011

No birthday invitation?


Free software guru Richard Stallman has his knickers in a twist about the way in which 'ebooks are "technologies that could have empowered us [but] are used to chain us instead".

He cites Amazon's use of proprietory software and the way in which you have to register your name with them before you can buy an ebook. "...printed book buyers can walk into a bookstore and make a cash purchase anonymously, " he says. I'm not sure that most people have ever thought this was a big deal...the only kind of concern it might have brought is if the book you were buying was one that came in a brown paper wrapper, and I think that idea has long since vanished in the current society.

I find the long comment by someone called Deano (rather curiously, it appears twice) brings the whole down to a sensible level. This comment is well worth reading.

Stallman, by the look of his bio, has some good things to say about the sale of software and what have you, but in this instance I think, like many people who focus on the extreme, he's let his ideas carry him away somewhat.

By the way, all those who didn't get birthday invitations to my most recent birthday, don't worry. There'll be another one next year. And if there isn't, well you won't have to read any more entries on this blog. So there are two consolations for ya.
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