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  1. #1
    crush the fences iwakar's Avatar
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    Question Silicon Valley and The New Feudalism: Why the 'Internet of Things' Marks a Return...

    SILICON VALLEY AND THE NEW FEUDALISM: WHY THE 'INTERNET OF THINGS' MARKS A RETURN TO THE MIDDLE AGES

    A person may purchase a nice-looking box full of electronics that can function as a smartphone, the corporate argument goes, but they buy a license only to use the software inside. The companies say they still own the software, and because they own it, they can control it. It’s as if a car dealer sold a car, but claimed ownership of the motor.
    I remember this same argument being made by the RIAA and its defenders during the file-sharing/copyright hullaballoo of the late 1990s to early 2010s regarding music piracy, which was rampant on Napster, KaZaA, LimeWire etc. as a response to the defenses of "but I bought the record/album/cassette tape/CD, why can't I share it?" etc. Few, if any anticipated it being applied now in this new context.

    In this 21st-century version, companies are using intellectual property law—intended to protect ideas—to control physical objects consumers think they own.
    Recent years have seen progress in reclaiming ownership from would-be digital barons. What is important is that we recognize and reject what these companies are trying to do, buy accordingly, vigorously exercise our rights to use, repair and modify our smart property, and support efforts to strengthen those rights. The idea of property is still powerful in our cultural imagination, and it won’t die easily.
    So my question is: do we, and should we, really only view our hardware as transportation for the software? Is my Samsung Galaxy just a husk for Android OS and my apps? If there's an argument against this position, what would it be?
    "What makes me think of me
    is the poor jerk who wanders out on air
    and then looks down. Below his feet, he sees
    eternity, and suddenly his shoes
    no longer work on nothingness, and down
    he goes. As I fall past, remember me."
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  2. #2
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    Guys, its just capitalism abolishing personal proprietorship, for the masses, concentrating what remains in a shrinking number of classes.

    Guess who considered that foreseeable all the way back at the beginning of the industrial revolution when he and his best bud factory owner saw the earliest examples of steam powered ploughs putting agri-workers of the land and into the new towns and cities?

    First name K _ _ L, second name M _ _ X.
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  3. #3
    Macabre Reputation Thestralis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    So my question is: do we, and should we, really only view our hardware as transportation for the software? Is my Samsung Galaxy just a husk for Android OS and my apps? If there's an argument against this position, what would it be?
    If you use open source software, it doesn't much matter.

    I do prefer to view the hardware and software separately, at least. When I buy hardware, whether a phone or a tablet or a computer, it should be completely up to me what software I put on it, and I will acquire that separately. If merchants want to make various options available for preinstallation at the time of purchase - fine, but no default forcing Windows down people's throat with all its adware and bloatware. Same with Android or whatever is on one's phone.
    They are quite gentle, really, but people avoid them because they are a bit . . . different.
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    Senior Member Oberon's Avatar
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    Technically, the electrons are emitted from all matter, and given that the hardware and software merge at the point of the electron, it is arguable that software is actually hardware.

    But then I would be you and you would be me too.
    "I dream in stereo, the stereo sounds strange, I know that if you hide, it doesn't go away, if you get out of bed.....my little dark age."
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  5. #5
    Travelling mind Oaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    So my question is: do we, and should we, really only view our hardware as transportation for the software? Is my Samsung Galaxy just a husk for Android OS and my apps? If there's an argument against this position, what would it be?
    The pursuit of creativity and/or invention.

    There is a sizeable tinker community in the tech industry utilising the sensors and capabilities of android phones for other uses. With the confines of what hardware can actually do there's virtually no limit to what someone's creativity can produce with it.

    Hardware is an interface. It's not just a transport for software. It has speakers so that you can hear interesting things, a screen so that you can see beautiful or ugly things, cameras so you can picture and video things, sensors so that it can be intelligent enough to provide you various securities to avoid access to your software and files without consent.

    You can use the software of the digital giants or your own, or someone else's, when it's an android phone. When firmware prevents that (like the naughty bitten fruit), there are also communities dedicated to free themselves off the confines of their hardware, on the consequence that the company will no longer service your phone.

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    Did they guy who wrote Generation X not write another book called MicroSerfs about this kind of thing?

  7. #7
    Macabre Reputation Thestralis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaky View Post
    You can use the software of the digital giants or your own, or someone else's, when it's an android phone. When firmware prevents that (like the naughty bitten fruit), there are also communities dedicated to free themselves off the confines of their hardware, on the consequence that the company will no longer service your phone.
    I have found this a fair bargain, at least with desktop computers. It's been a long time since I was able to obtain actual service from a computer vendor. Since then, I build my own, knowing that if I need anything fixed in future, I will have to do it myself, so it makes sense to understand the thing inside and out from the outset.
    They are quite gentle, really, but people avoid them because they are a bit . . . different.

  8. #8
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    SILICON VALLEY AND THE NEW FEUDALISM: WHY THE 'INTERNET OF THINGS' MARKS A RETURN TO THE MIDDLE AGES



    I remember this same argument being made by the RIAA and its defenders during the file-sharing/copyright hullaballoo of the late 1990s to early 2010s regarding music piracy, which was rampant on Napster, KaZaA, LimeWire etc. as a response to the defenses of "but I bought the record/album/cassette tape/CD, why can't I share it?" etc. Few, if any anticipated it being applied now in this new context.





    So my question is: do we, and should we, really only view our hardware as transportation for the software? Is my Samsung Galaxy just a husk for Android OS and my apps? If there's an argument against this position, what would it be?
    I'm not sure if this issue is so new. If I buy a book, does that give me the right to copy the words within it and give my copy to other people? Legally, the answer is no, of course. Still, I can see your point - many technology companies these days do seem very controlling. That was one of my objections when steam started to become popular for computer games. I don't use it. I don't use smart phones either. Not much of an answer perhaps, but it's one of the few I have at my disposal. Who knows, if enough people do the same thing, maybe the power of capitalism will force them to change their ways. An unlikely dream, I know.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  9. #9
    Macabre Reputation Thestralis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I'm not sure if this issue is so new. If I buy a book, does that give me the right to copy the words within it and give my copy to other people? Legally, the answer is no, of course. Still, I can see your point - many technology companies these days do seem very controlling. That was one of my objections when steam started to become popular for computer games. I don't use it. I don't use smart phones either. Not much of an answer perhaps, but it's one of the few I have at my disposal. Who knows, if enough people do the same thing, maybe the power of capitalism will force them to change their ways. An unlikely dream, I know.
    At minimum, you have the right to lend your physical copy of the book to as many people as you like, much as the public library does. I'm not sure all software licenses allow that. Meaning: if you decide you no longer want to use a program, are you free to give, lend, or sell your copy/license to someone else, provided it is removed from your phone/system? It should be.
    They are quite gentle, really, but people avoid them because they are a bit . . . different.
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  10. #10
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    At minimum, you have the right to lend your physical copy of the book to as many people as you like, much as the public library does. I'm not sure all software licenses allow that. Meaning: if you decide you no longer want to use a program, are you free to give, lend, or sell your copy/license to someone else, provided it is removed from your phone/system? It should be.
    An interesting point, but it is worth noting that authors receive public lending rights from books borrowed from libraries, so actually they do get paid for that. The second hand books market is probably a better analogue.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

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