- Capitalism and Alternatives -

More corrections.

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on February 29, 19100 at 19:05:02:

In Reply to: Kick the tires and lite the fire. posted by Frenchy on February 29, 19100 at 10:15:23:

: :
: : : Again, WRONG! The 'room at the top' is not finite but infinite. The computer revolution has only just begun and the next major economic revolution seems to be taking shape in the bioengineering field, after a seemingly rough start. Where will the following economic upheaval be?

: : "No one can examine the panorama of business and finance in America during the past half-dozen years without realising that we are living in a new era".

: : Would you agree with the above statement?

: Yeah, I'd agree with that. Is this another statement from your friend? Or perhaps Hoover?

It was said by the prominent financier John Moody in 1927.

: : : : The internet, however, is an example of PUBLIC FUNDING and SOCIALIZED LABOR more than it symbolizes entrepreneurial intrepidity. After all, the internet was a creation of the Pentagon in the late 1960s, a creation resulting from the research of many people, and made possible by the American tax-payer. All Bill Gates et. al did was take what the public ALREADY PAID FOR, throw some wrapping paper over it, and RE-SELL IT TO THEM.

: : : OK, but who's to say wheather or not we'd have a useable and cheap internet today w/o the marketing genius of Gates?

: : FYI, Frenchy, Microsoft didn't even consider the 'net worthy of comment until 1994; it was only in mid-1994 that they realised that the 'net was a potential profit-earner; which is when they made their infamous off to Netscape.

: Your bile for Gates doesn't change the facts.

The facts are; the 'net and the protocols that run it were created on a non-profit basis and the free sharing of information.

: : The exact phrase used by Microsoft was 'knife the baby', IIRC.)

: Here's what I have to say about that; I don't know, I don't care, and it don't matter anyways.

Of course it does; it renders your assertion that Microsoft did something useful for the world completely untrue.

: All I know is that contrary to what some think there is an infinite amount of opportunities for anyone who can recognize them.
: Maybe we ought to be more critical of Netscape lack of business acumen.

Netscape was created according to the original ethos of the 'net; that information was something to be shared freely and equally and that co-operation could achieve results no single company could.

(This is the ethos that produced the 'net, UNIX and GNU/Linux.)

: : There have been precisely zero major innovations w.r.t. the net since 1994; streaming video, 'net commerce and the like all use existing languages and libraries; I remember downloading MPEGs from NASA back in 1993 using NCSA Mosaic; it was slower, but very little has actually changed since then.

: Well, one thing that has changed. The folks at Unix have said that their going to simplify their system to make it more user friendly. That's a change.

Frenchy, I don't mean to sound patronising here, but you know diddly squat about UNIX.

Firstly, it's not a single company; there are sundry companies that produce their own versions of UNIX; Sun Microsystems produces Solaris, IBM produces AIX, HP produces HP-UX, SCO produces SCO UNIX, Microsoft (briefly) produced Xenix (it was crap...), Digital used to produce Digital Unix.

These are in turn developed from two older forms of UNIX; System V (which produced most of the commercial variants) and BSD UNIX (a.k.a. Berklix) - which has produced FreeBSD and OpenBSD (and MacOS X, which is built on FreeBSD).

Windowing systems on UNIX actually predate Windows; the X11 Window System originally dates from the late '70s; as such, your statement that Windows has caused UNIX to be easier to use is simply untrue; UNIX boxes were running X11 before MS Windows even existed.

The difference between X11 and MS Windows is that X11 is fully detachable; you can run UNIX or Linux from the command line perfectly well. This used to be the case with Windows - even in Windows '98, the OS was fundamentally running MS-DOS beneath a fancy front end; but in upcoming releases of Windows, the setup is Mac-alike; you cannot escape the windowing system.

I know you don't know this stuff, Frenchy; I'm just pointing out why you're wrong at length to make it clear to you.

: Ask yourself this; how far would the development of the internet have gotten if it's development depended on direction from the government?

Well, all of the modern protocols in use were pretty much written before 1994, so I'd say pretty much 'all of it'.

There have been revisions (e.g. the HTML v4 standard), but the protocols in use today are those that were developed by free co-operation between academic institutions, which is why things like TCP/IP are so endemic; there were no intellectual or financial restrictions on their use, so everybody used them, because they were good protocols.

(Compare the comparatively small usage of Java, which is a proprietory language owned by Sun.)

: : The cost to access the net has also remained constant; the price of a local phone call for us in the UK.

: Don't know about the UK but here it's really dirt cheap.
: And the point is not about the internet per se, the point is that opportunity exists and where it does exist that's where you'll find the true revolutionaries at work.

Yeah; revolutionaries, like Kernighan and Ritchie who first developed the C programming language back in the 1970s and shared it for free; or Richard Stallman, who wrote the Emacs editor; the most powerful and flexible editor the world has produced; and also gave it away free; or Linus Torvalds; who wrote the bones of the operating system that runs the majority of Web servers today and gave it away for free. Or Larry Wall, who wrote the programming language (Perl) that these Debating Rooms run on (and gave it away for free). Or Tim Berners-Lee, who invented HTML (and made it freely available, thus inventing the Web)...

If nothing else, this should demonstrate to you that people don't just innovate because they're paid to; they do so because they like programming and they like the kudos that good programming brings.

: : It would be fair and accurate to say that Microsoft has contributed nothing to the 'net; they have merely used (and abused) existing protocols to produce revenue for themselves; in cases like Java, Microsoft has tampered with an open standard (that didn't belong to them) in an effort to give themselves an advantage, which is why they are being taken to court by Sun Microsystems.

: I can't help but feel that your just envious of guys like Gates.

No I'm not. I'm annoyed that corporate pirates like Microsoft are trying to destroy the free sharing of information, which is what made the 'net great in the first place.

I don't have any grudges against Gates the man; but I stand opposed to anyone who blocks the free exchange of information, especially when they do so in the name of profit.


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