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PICList Thread
'[OT]: Pocket Socialism?'
2001\04\20@191924 by jamesnewton

face picon face
I've come under some fire (off list) for "promoting" the Pocket Programmer
and not providing equal support to other *commercial* non-open source
devices. Apparently I made some people feel that I was trying to say that
"money, capitalism = dirty and free, open source = clean"

I don't feel that way. I feel that "hiding, hoarding knowledge = dirty and
commercially protected disclosure and teaching = clean"

The US patent system was setup to encourage inventors to share their
knowledge and designs. It (supposedly) protects their investment and allows
them to profit from their design while at the same time allowing others to
"stand on their shoulders" and "invent a *better* mouse trap" rather than
having to "re-invent the wheel." This idea is so ingrained in US thinking
that you can't describe it without using common phrases like I just did.
<GRIN> We don't have a good working system for software patents (and maybe
not for patents in general), but I'm doing the best I can to support
disclosure with out it.

Does anyone feel that it would be best for me to try to:

A) protect businesses that sell to PICList members? I have nothing against
anyone making money and I am hard at work adding a (free) shopping cart
service and parametric search engine to the (free) auction service I've
already written. I hope people who sell PICs, programmers or whatever will
find them of good use and that they will help PICList members find the
products that they want to buy. But the main thrust of the PICList and the
site is to provide information. I plan to provide the shopping cart service
in order to collect comparative parametric information to be used to assist
members in finding the best product for their needs. From piclist.com, all
products can be compared. From the businesses site, only your products will
be seen and no mention of the list or of piclist.com will be made. They get
a nice, private, shopping cart with all the bells and whistles and we get
more information.

B) avoid socialism or any other political or moral viewpoint at the cost of
encouraging disclosure of source code and open designs? I've bent over
backwards to look the other way when people who do contribute *information*
to the list are rude, flame bait or otherwise get out of line. Lurkers and
sellers get kicked post-haste. If it "opens the black box" and allows us all
to learn, how is it bad? Is the PICList a great resource because you can
find products to purchase or because you can learn how to do things
yourself? Also, can I not do this because I enjoy it? Must I be making money
off it to avoid being accused of socialist philosophy?

C) spend my time listing peoples products on the site especially when I've
made it possible for them to get off their butts and do it themselves. As I
have explained many times (and this is stated on every page on the site)
anyone can post anything directly and immediately. I do review additions but
I try very hard not to change what is posted.

I will also offer to provide the same enthusiastic support (taking orders,
stocking, shipping, etc...) at cost for any product offered by anyone which
is:

A) of significant assistance to the PIC community.

B) open source. The license can still be commercial to protect your
investment, my concern is that the source be visible for others to learn
from and improve)

C) possible, but not cost effective or easy for hobbyists to build
themselves. E.g. there is a PCB pattern available but you can sell the board
for what they can make it for, or you provide it with SMT components that
most people would not want to solder, or the parts kit (including markup)
costs what all the individual parts would cost if purchased, quantity 1,
from different suppliers, or you provide protection in the form of tech
support or warranty replacement which is not available to the home builder.
etc...

Tony's contribution fills all these points. I have not seen that others do.
Please correct me if I'm wrong. I would like to learn if I'm missing
something.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has thoughts about this (off list or on)
especially as it relates to what is best for the list and the PIC users
community.

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{Original Message removed}

2001\04\20@201615 by Neil Bradley

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> A) protect businesses that sell to PICList members?

Tell anyone who doesn't like you giving away something for free to go
straight to hell. They have *NO RIGHT* to tell you that you need to give
equal time to them. That's just like saying that the other vendors need to
give "equal time" to their competitors. Asinine! It's like Microsoft
complaining about Linux stealing their business and arguing that Linux
shouldn't be free, and how Linux needs to give equal time to Microsoft's
"for pay" products. Completely ridiculous!

I'm a big pinball fanatic. Back in October or so, I wanted to get some
hands on repair work to teach myself how to repair broken Williams driver
boards. So for a limited time, I offered to repair people's boards for
cost of parts only and the chance to hack on their boards. I caught all
sorts of hell from online vendors who charged for board repair, basically
crying foul that I was giving something away that they charge for.

Listen, vendors, if you don't like James devoting his time to something
free of charge, TOUGH. You have *NO* right to complain. It's a free
market, and we're not talking about selling at a loss, either. James'
intention is not to run you out of business - it's to educate, and I guess
that's threatening to you somehow? Jeez!

This is what I hate about capitalism. Those who are in it to MAKE MONEY
and for NO OTHER REASON feel compelled to whine about the same free market
that allows them to charge exhorbitant amounts of money for things. If you
feel threatened by James, maybe you should be run out of business or
consider a different line of work.

James, keep up the good work. Many are appreciative of your efforts. Those
who aren't can pound sand.

-->Neil

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neil Bradley            Toda su base es pertenece a nosotros. Nadie instÃ
Synthcom Systems, Inc.  ¡lenos la bomba! Muévase, Zig! ICQ #29402898              
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2001\04\20@205947 by Dale Botkin

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On Fri, 20 Apr 2001, James Newton wrote:

> I've come under some fire (off list) for "promoting" the Pocket Programmer
> and not providing equal support to other *commercial* non-open source
> devices. Apparently I made some people feel that I was trying to say that
> "money, capitalism = dirty and free, open source = clean"

Oooh.  I wasn't going to say anything, honest I wasn't, but I just gotta.

I can see this from both sides, having been a producer & manufacturer of a
product, a provider of services (for profit), a user of products and
services, and a contributor of a free product/service.  If you have a
comercial product, you really need to be counting on paying to advertise.
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, baby.  If you KNOW your product
can be duplicated or bettered by someone for free, and you don't plan
accordingly, then you simply have a flawed perception of reality.  You can
offer more & better documentation and support, updates, and all those
things people will *PAY YOU TO DO*.  And you can't expect a bunch of
tightwad hobbyists to pay for top-notch commercial products when there's
something they can build/hack themselves for little or no money.  Target a
different audience -- I know MY company (the day job) simply won't buy
cheap stuff, because they care more abot support and a "vendor
relationship" than anything in most cases.  When I needed a programmer, I
bought one so I wouldn't have to build it.  Different horses for different
courses, as has been stated ad nauseum on this list.

I think the PIC user base needs commercial products, and it needs free
hacks, and it needs open source projects.  If you're in the commercial
products niche and you expect an unpaid list admin to sell for you, then
you'd better bloody well be prepared to compensate him for it (and expect
him to disclose that he's being compensated).

> I don't feel that way. I feel that "hiding, hoarding knowledge = dirty and
> commercially protected disclosure and teaching = clean"

*THIS* coming from an NT guy?  Tee hee.  Just poking a little fun, James.

> A) protect businesses that sell to PICList members?

"Protect" from whom?  And how?  Have the Ministry of Truth filter out all
references to free programmers, NoPPP, and other non-commercial solutions?
Last time I looked most commercial programmers were based on an open Tait
design anyway.

> B) avoid socialism or any other political or moral viewpoint at the cost of
> encouraging disclosure of source code and open designs?

Now this bugs me.  Where is it written that open source == socialism?  I
don't see the connection.  It's not a political or moral discussion (or at
least it doesn't have to be).  If I develop something and want to let
everyone know about it, who's to stop me?  And if it ruffles the feathers
of someone else who wishes I hadn't thought of it, well, too flippin' bad.

> C) spend my time listing peoples products on the site especially when I've
> made it possible for them to get off their butts and do it themselves.

And they pay you how much per hour to do that, exactly?

Again back to my point -- if you're doing something with the intent
of making money from it, be prepared to pay to advertise.  If you can't or
don't want to do that, figure out some other way to get the word out and
create demand.  But don't start whining when people don't rearrange
their lives just to help you make a buck.

Dale
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discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
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2001\04\20@215035 by Dan Michaels

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James Newton wrote:
>I've come under some fire (off list) for "promoting" the Pocket Programmer
>and not providing equal support to other *commercial* non-open source
>devices. Apparently I made some people feel that I was trying to say that
>"money, capitalism = dirty and free, open source = clean"
>
>I don't feel that way. I feel that "hiding, hoarding knowledge = dirty and
>commercially protected disclosure and teaching = clean"
..............


Well James, you seem to be in a real PICkle here -[sorry, couldn't resist].

I am all for money and capitalism and open-source and private property
and proprietary information and trying to keep a business afloat, and I
have several general comments -[and these are no reflection whatsoever
on Tony, whom I think is a really good guy]:

1 - Socialism is a great idea when you are a sophomore in college, and
   your folks are picking up the tab, but not so great when you are
   trying to run a small business and pay the bills. However, I am
   not sure that what you described is really socialism.

2 - This is a philosophical question --> should piclist/techref be
   giving away free advertising to commercial products which are
   open-source, but not to products which are not open-source? Is
   this how the Linux world works? I don't think so.

Regarding
> ... I feel that "hiding, hoarding knowledge = dirty and
>commercially protected disclosure and teaching = clean" ...

This one REALLY REALLY throws me, in the context presented. If
someone spends 6 months of their own time producing something, and
then they do NOT place it in the public domain, is this hiding and
hoarding? I think you are seeing some things from the wrong
perspective.

There is a difference between sharing knowledge and giving away
personal [intellectual] property. Anyone who thinks this is NOT true,
please send me a $20 bill :). If you choose not to send the $$$,
then you understand the difference I am referring to.

best regards,
- dan michaels
http://www.oricomtech.com
=======================

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2001\04\21@013953 by Dmitry Kiryashov

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Hi Dan.

What address should I send you a $20 money order ? ;)

Actually there is very small ( almost invisible ) border between
Knowledge and property. I can say that world still imperfect but
I don't know anything that is better.

WBR Dmitry.

PS.

Someday people will found another way how to build relations to
each other, not through the money.


> There is a difference between sharing knowledge and giving away
> personal [intellectual] property. Anyone who thinks this is NOT true,
> please send me a $20 bill :). If you choose not to send the $$$,
> then you understand the difference I am referring to.

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2001\04\21@022051 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
> 2 - This is a philosophical question --> should piclist/techref be
>     giving away free advertising to commercial products which are
>     open-source, but not to products which are not open-source? Is
>     this how the Linux world works? I don't think so.

The PIClist does give away free advertising space, as long as it is
interesting to PIClist members and prefixed by "[AD]:". And anyone is free
to set up his own alternative/additional techref whith his own promotions,
and put as much work into it as JN...
Wouter

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2001\04\21@025710 by Roman Black

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Neil Bradley wrote:

> I'm a big pinball fanatic. Back in October or so, I wanted to get some
> hands on repair work to teach myself how to repair broken Williams driver
> boards. <snip>


Hi Neil, hey I have a couple of bags of new bumper rubbers
of assorted sizes from Bally and Williams machines, they
are new and in good cond, even though it's about 18 years
since I fixed pinballs as a part time job.

They're yours for free if you email me an address to send
them to. I was going to throw them out. :o)
-Roman

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2001\04\21@045428 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> The US patent system was setup to encourage inventors to share their
> knowledge and designs.

Share with far eastern mass producers who use slave (I mean, voluntary)
labor that is. Yes you are right. Sorry I could not resist.

Peter

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2001\04\21@081725 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
> Regarding
> > ... I feel that "hiding, hoarding knowledge = dirty and
> >commercially protected disclosure and teaching = clean" ...
>
> This one REALLY REALLY throws me, in the context presented. If
> someone spends 6 months of their own time producing something, and
> then they do NOT place it in the public domain, is this hiding and
> hoarding? I think you are seeing some things from the wrong
> perspective.

Dan,

You missed the "commercially protected disclosure" clause. If the item were
in the public domain then by definition it could not be commercially
protected.

This is an issue I've struggled with over the years. Here are some thoughts:

1) When it comes to the selling of hardware, I have a rock solid insistence
that the interface specifications be available. As a Linux guy the most
aggravating thing is to want to use a piece of hardware and the information
required to make it work isn't available. 20 years ago when you bought
hardware, almost all of the interface specifications (cables, pins, timings,
commands) were provided with the product. Nowadays either you get the
distributor who wouldn't know a snake if it were biting them, or the
original manufacturer, who somehow think that the instructions for interface
to their product is a state secret that spies would sell to the highest
bidder. But the truth of the matter is that hardware manufacturers jobs and
mission is to sell hardware, and as such they should be willing and eager to
inform anyone who asks about how to interface anything to their equipment.

2) Now software is a more sticky issue, a minefield in fact because the
cost of copying is negligable. IP issues notwithstanding, it's gotten to the
point where a majority of users truly believe they own the software when they
buy it. And I do mean believe, not know. They know it's a license. But because
of this belief they copy and trade software in massive quantities.

It's wrong. Very Wrong. But it's a byproduct of the conditional ethics many
employ "I'll do what I want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, and I don't
get caught." The same ethic that keeps folks (admittedly myself included)
speeding down the highways well above the posted speed limit.

Then come the leeches who simply take that hard developed software, copy
it and redistribute it in large quantities.

So commercial software manufacturers' natural tendency is to protect their
hard developed property like the crown jewels, because they are the crown
jewels. But the consequence is that your get the two pronged attack of
trade secrecy and software patents. Of course both are helpful to the software
companies but detrimental to the progress of software development in general.
Trade secrets for obvious reasons, and patents because they generally written
to be so far reaching that if enforced, no other company would be able to
ever compete anywhere close to the area. I present Amazon's "One Click"
patent as a perfect example. Way too broad a scope.

One the other hand there's the Free Software movement. It doesn't work in its
current form because it can't gather enough dollars to make the development
of ordinary software competitive. It's wonderful for infrastructure software
(operating systems, compilers, and the like) but application features and
support are driven by money, not a desire to have a superior product.

In my world the ideal would be open source software whose costs is tied to
usage. But short of embedding the softare in a piece of hardware, I can't
figure out how to do it. By usage I mean that those who use it for
noncommercial purposes can get it and use it for free. But those who are
delveloping or redistributing for profit should cut in the authors of
infrastructure for a piece of the action. It would encourage everyone to
try out the software, and encourage folks to develop and improve from
the existing free software base.

It's a fantasy world. But one I'd like to see.

BAJ

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2001\04\21@130420 by Dan Michaels

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Wouter wrote:
>> 2 - This is a philosophical question --> should piclist/techref be
>>     giving away free advertising to commercial products which are
>>     open-source, but not to products which are not open-source? Is
>>     this how the Linux world works? I don't think so.
>
>The PIClist does give away free advertising space, as long as it is
>interesting to PIClist members and prefixed by "[AD]:". And anyone is free
>to set up his own alternative/additional techref whith his own promotions,
>and put as much work into it as JN...


Hi Wouter,

You are probably right - if James owns techref, then I guess he can
do what he wants with it - commercial or not, free or not, whatever.

OTOH, when you log onto http://www.piclist.com you read something that says:

  "Welcome to the official PICList home page"

and actually end up here --> http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/index.htm

note where it says "techref" - and then, all the links at the top of
the "official PIClist home page" take you straight to techref pages.
The commerical/non-commercial relationship here is beginning to seem
a little hazy. I guess I am confused.  ???????

- dan

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2001\04\21@130635 by David W. Gulley

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Byron A Jeff wrote:
 <SNIP>
> 1) When it comes to the selling of hardware, I have a rock solid insistence
> that the interface specifications be available. As a Linux guy the most
> aggravating thing is to want to use a piece of hardware and the information
> required to make it work isn't available. 20 years ago when you bought
> hardware, almost all of the interface specifications (cables, pins, timings,
> commands) were provided with the product.
 <SNIP>

For example, HP providing full schematics of their test equipment.
(That's how I learned ECL design.)

 <SNIP>
> It's a fantasy world. But one I'd like to see.
 <SNIP>

I'll second that!


David W. Gulley
Destiny Designs

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2001\04\21@161353 by Dan Michaels

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David Gulley wrote:
>Byron A Jeff wrote:
>  <SNIP>
>> 1) When it comes to the selling of hardware, I have a rock solid insistence
>> that the interface specifications be available. As a Linux guy the most
>> aggravating thing is to want to use a piece of hardware and the information
>> required to make it work isn't available. 20 years ago when you bought
>> hardware, almost all of the interface specifications (cables, pins, timings,
>> commands) were provided with the product.
>  <SNIP>
>
> For example, HP providing full schematics of their test equipment.
>(That's how I learned ECL design.)
>
>  <SNIP>
>> It's a fantasy world. But one I'd like to see.
>  <SNIP>


I pretty much agree with everything you wrote, BAJ, but Napster
shows us we don't quite yet live in the world of Candide. There are
2 types of people in "this" world, and the second type dotes on
Napster.

Just the same, I have serious doubts about the effectivity of
"commercially protected disclosure", the way it was introduced in
this thread - the patent system is a complete mess, and from what
I have read, most companies opt for making information proprietary
as a way of protecting their interests.

Plus, I am still TOTALLY DUMBFOUNDED by the statement "hiding,
hoarding knowledge = dirty".

Every time I read this last statement, I am reminded of the 2 bank
accounts I had with my first wife - first, there was "her" account
and then there was "our" account -(ummm, just kidding, Pammy :).

And I am still waiting for people hoarding their $20 bills to start
sending them to me -(thank you, Dmitry - he, he).

- dan

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2001\04\21@171259 by David P. Harris

picon face
I would comment that it is likely Napster actually increases CD sales.
D

Dan Michaels wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\04\21@193656 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
>
> I would comment that it is likely Napster actually increases CD sales.

Doesn't matter. Copyright law is very clear that unauthorized copying is
illegal. What Napster really points out is that the relative anonymity of
the internet and its ubiquitious reach totally negates the sellability of
CDs as a media for profit.

I'm just wondering how mass copying, authentication, and encryption can
be mixed to provide volumn mass distribution of music and software. With
the number of internet users hitting 1 billion over the next year or so, I'd
seriously consider having widespread distribution at $1 or less a pop for
each unit.

BAJ
{Quote hidden}

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2001\04\21@200037 by Dan Michaels

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David P. Harris wrote:
>I would comment that it is likely Napster actually increases CD sales.


Napster already tried that argument - I don't think the judge
bought it - [the argument, not the CD :)]

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2001\04\21@203716 by Jim Korman

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"David P. Harris" wrote:
>
> I would comment that it is likely Napster actually increases CD sales.
> D
>
<snip>many others wrote>

My experience with co-workers (and my college age daughter) is,
no they are NOT buying more CDs. They just listen to what they
download!

Jim Korman

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2001\04\21@210410 by James Newton

face picon face
Either way, record companies have to recognize that the reality of the
situation has changed and that they need to.... come on, what am I going to
say? <GRIN>

Evolve or Die!

The point is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in general is
now basically free to store and transmit. Compared to just a year or so ago,
the site really doesn't cost me very much.

But there is another point as well. We are a well educated and creative
group and so ideas, experience, designs, and code are more than plentiful.
We are rich, and when you are rich, it is fun to share. To show off. When my
mothers tomato patch was apparently struck by an alien grow ray and we had
50 times the production of the fat red nightshades, she worked her self half
to death finding people to give them to. And she was bursting with pride,
happy as a clam, and we didn't need the good will of most of the people who
she gave to. Now, you might point out that tomatoes don't last long and will
spoil if not used when ripe, so it makes sense to give away more than you
need when you have it. But... here is my big revalation....

ITS THE SAME WITH KNOWLEDGE!

It gets lost, forgotten, hidden under a bushel and doesn't make it from the
person who has it to the person who needs it. (yes, yes, that's communism
from each... to each... I'll get to that in a minute)

I've built a cannery or a freezer and I'm asking you to bring your tomatoes
(beyond what you need) and store them for those who need them in the future.
You can even mark your basket private and no one else will be allowed to see
it, but it won't get lost. And its existence will be know and linked to you
so that if anyone wants to pay you for it, they can. I've been offered money
a number of times for items that I've marked private on the techref and on
occasion, I've taken it.

Now, re: Communism vs. Capitalism. Each has its place. Don't tell me you
paid your mother to care for you when you were sick (from her ability to
your need) or that you are taking care of her to anything like the degree
that she took care of you. I would never want to have to run an economy on
Communism but I would just as much not want to run a family on Capitalism.
There are lots of groups in the world that are somewhere between the two.
And I don't think the PICList is very near the economy side.

But if it is, or for the part of it that is, we have [AD]: topics and the
site does allow advertisers to post to the site. Amazingly, the person who
lambasted me the most, has rarely used the former and has NEVER used the
latter. I'd like to hear why not and what more a capitalist could possibly
want?

My wife says I've been on my soap box, so I'll end this now, but I really do
want to hear from people who have any ideas what we can do to work for the
good of EVERYONE, business and consumer and list fathers and newbies all.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
spamBeGonejamesnewtonSTOPspamspamEraseMEpiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

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2001\04\21@214748 by Dale Botkin

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On Sat, 21 Apr 2001, David P. Harris wrote:

> I would comment that it is likely Napster actually increases CD sales.
> D

I rather highly doubt that.  I work with a lot of people who buy lots of
music, and have a son who's a CS major in college and lives inthe "geek
dorm".  A fair number of them no longer buy CDs at all, other than blank
CDR media.  Some do listen to tracks from Napster and then go buy the CD,
but it seems quite a bit less common than burning entire CDs straight from
downloaded tracks (or those ripped from classmates' CDs).

I discourage this practice, of course, when given the opportunity.

Dale
---
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discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
               -- Isaac Asimov

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2001\04\21@220702 by dpharris

picon face
I agree, with that kind of reach, volume pricing could take effect!
D

Byron A Jeff wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\04\21@220908 by dpharris

picon face
Well, I for one have bought CDs which I otherwise would not have.
D


Jim Korman wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\04\22@013228 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> The point is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in
> general is now basically free to store and transmit. Compared to just
> a year or so ago, the site really doesn't cost me very much.

I am starting to worry seriously about you. What do you mean by 'The point
is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in general is now
basically free to store and transmit'. I hope that you mean public domain
knowledge, yes ? I'd like you to answer this.

Perhaps most people here do not realize that they pay someone money to
surf/email, not to mention other things, and that 1000 times 10 cents is
100$ but 1000 times nothing is just as 1000000 times nothing, nothing. So
I'd expect good music to become unavailable before too long if 'MP3's are
freely copyable'.

Peter

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2001\04\22@024906 by Roman Black

flavicon
face
Peter L. Peres wrote:
>
> > The point is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in
> > general is now basically free to store and transmit. Compared to just
> > a year or so ago, the site really doesn't cost me very much.
>
> I am starting to worry seriously about you. What do you mean by 'The point
> is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in general is now
> basically free to store and transmit'. I hope that you mean public domain
> knowledge, yes ?


I think there are a lot of good points here from both
sides but as always justice is relative. That's why
courts have two sets of lawyers... ;o)

I own over 200 CDs, all bought for the "proper" price
of $30 Australian which I believe is about twice what
they sell for in other countries?? Consider the justice
there, especially compared to the fact that wages are
about half here what they are in the USA. That makes
them 4 times more expensive in this country. Why?

So since I have paid four times more for all my
CDs than you have would it be just for me to download
a couple of hundred CDs to take a step towards the
justice you see as normal? Even then my music would
still have cost more than yours cost you.

The music industry is propped artificially on prices
very close to extortion. We all know they make the
CDs for a few cents each in Asia. I have even got
quotes on bulk production for my own music. (Yes i'm
a musician so I look at this problem from both sides.)

Consider also that musicians only get a very small
percentage of the CD sale price, the rest goes to the
corrupt and dishonest music companies (ask a musician
how "just" these companies are).

Napster has been an opportunity for the smaller musicians
to get their music in front of the world without selling
the next ten years of their lives to the crooked music
giants, and it will be a hard blow to these small
hard working musicians now the evil record companies
have re-inforced their stranglehold over a corrupt
industry.

It IS legal to make an MP3 of music you already own.
It is a grey area if you and a friend swap copies of
music you each own. I do feel this is ok. Even as
a musician.
However it would be dishonest to sell (or profit from)
copying music, and this is where Napster came unstuck,
even though the people using Napster were not doing
anything wrong the Napster internet company became huge
and profitable because of that, which is why they got
in trouble.

People will continue to swap music with friends, and
yes even do it over the net.
-Roman

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2001\04\22@060801 by Jinx

face picon face
> Napster has been an opportunity for the smaller musicians
> to get their music in front of the world without selling
> the next ten years of their lives to the crooked music

OTOH, I've seen several local bands, yet to hit the big
time, who's already meagre income has been slashed
dramatically by web downloading. In one case (a good
and therefore desirable band) by 85%. As a musician
too I know that makes it economically uncomfortable

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2001\04\22@093949 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
>
> > The point is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in
> > general is now basically free to store and transmit. Compared to just
> > a year or so ago, the site really doesn't cost me very much.
>
> I am starting to worry seriously about you. What do you mean by 'The point
> is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in general is now
> basically free to store and transmit'. I hope that you mean public domain
> knowledge, yes ? I'd like you to answer this.

Peter,

James wasn't referring to the copyright status of the knowledge, but the
physical transmission/storage cost of information. For example 10 years
ago RAM ran about $1200 for 32 MB, about $38/MB. Now RAM runs about $40 for
120MB, about $0.32 a MB. Essentially a two order of magnitude shift.

The same can be said for disk space, and communications bandwidth. True T1
lines routinely ran $700-$1000 a month. Only a fool would pay more than
$100 for DSL or cable in most US cities at this point in time.

I just dropped my 144 kbs IDSL line in favor of ADSL. The price dropped from
$125 a month to $55/month. 10 times the performance at less than half the
cost. BTW cable/ADSL wasn't available at the time I moved in the office.

But the point still is that with storage space at less than a penny a
megabyte, and communications bandwidth costs are shrinking by the minute.

>
> Perhaps most people here do not realize that they pay someone money to
> surf/email, not to mention other things, and that 1000 times 10 cents is
> 100$ but 1000 times nothing is just as 1000000 times nothing, nothing. So
> I'd expect good music to become unavailable before too long if 'MP3's are
> freely copyable'.

But you see the economy of scale. CD's used to work as a music media
precisely because it took too much bandwidth and cost too much disk space
to transmit and store. There used to be a physical impediment to the
distribution of music. But the physical impediment is disappearing and
the cost of copying/storage has dropped to the point where it's quick
and easy to copy.

Hello Napster. And thinking that the shutdown of Napster is going to shut down
the phenomenon is sticking your head in the sand.

So you change models. Let talk about how to exploit the storage/communications
bandwidth explosion. You appeal to the volumn model you espoused above. Most
folks would find it a bargain to pay $20 a month to play/copy/share all the
music they want. Just like internet access. Say you get 10 million users to
buy info such a service. That's $2.4 billion a year to share among the artists,
songwriters, and management, with no need to police the users, who are 100
percent legal.

But for it to work, you'll have to kill the CD as a media. I'm not sure the
establishment is prepared to do that because CDs are the goose that produces
the golden eggs. Except that the internet, Napster, and its clones have cloned
the goose.

The one thing I still haven't figured out is how to limit distribution only
to those who pay, and do it in such a way that paying customers can playback
their music in all the venues they need (home, vehicle, portable).

That's the hard part.

BAJ

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2001\04\22@122732 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Jinx wrote:
>Roman wrote:
>> Napster has been an opportunity for the smaller musicians
>> to get their music in front of the world without selling
>> the next ten years of their lives to the crooked music
>
>OTOH, I've seen several local bands, yet to hit the big
>time, who's already meagre income has been slashed
>dramatically by web downloading. In one case (a good
>and therefore desirable band) by 85%. As a musician
>too I know that makes it economically uncomfortable
>


This is a good point - re Napster. To me, the better use of
the web is to disseminate new/non-mainstream information/music/etc
rather than to invent new ways to rip off someone else.

Using mp3 and Napster to introduce new artists is fine, using it
simply to rip off established ones - well, the judge has already
spoken.

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2001\04\22@122736 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Peter wrote:
>James wrote:
>> The point is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in
>> general is now basically free to store and transmit. Compared to just
>> a year or so ago, the site really doesn't cost me very much.
>
>I am starting to worry seriously about you. What do you mean by 'The point
>is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in general is now
>basically free to store and transmit'. I hope that you mean public domain
>knowledge, yes ? I'd like you to answer this.
>

I'll second that, Peter. History shows that utopias do not work,
James - some people do all the work, and others just mooch. "Some"
knowledge is free, but it is a real stretch to think that "evolve
or die" means companies will eventually be giving everything away
for free. Only if they have another soruce of income.

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2001\04\22@124848 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
BAJ wrote:
>>
>> > The point is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in
>> > general is now basically free to store and transmit. Compared to just
>> > a year or so ago, the site really doesn't cost me very much.
>>
>> I am starting to worry seriously about you. What do you mean by 'The point
>> is that not only MP3's but also knowledge and data in general is now
>> basically free to store and transmit'. I hope that you mean public domain
>> knowledge, yes ? I'd like you to answer this.
>
>Peter,
>
>James wasn't referring to the copyright status of the knowledge, but the
>physical transmission/storage cost of information. For example 10 years
>ago RAM ran about $1200 for 32 MB, about $38/MB. Now RAM runs about $40 for
>120MB, about $0.32 a MB. Essentially a two order of magnitude shift.
>

I think James is the one who is mixing things up. Yes, storage is
cheap, technology is cheap, and it's always nice to have your
grandmother's recipes saved for posterity.

But what James is not adequately distinquishing in his arguments is
the difference between intellectual property freely given into the
public domain by the author [ie, his communist/utopian dream], and
intellectual property that is privately-owned and/or commercially-
licensed, and disseminated to the public by those who have not
the legal right to do so.

This entire discussion is moot, when someone is able to distinquish
between the two.
============

.........>
>The one thing I still haven't figured out is how to limit distribution only
>to those who pay, and do it in such a way that paying customers can playback
>their music in all the venues they need (home, vehicle, portable).
>
>That's the hard part.
>

Until that time comes, we can live within the law or not.

Also, even when Napsters problem is solved, I don't think that is
going to solve the issue that James rasied with this thread
- intellectual property that is not music.

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2001\04\22@170408 by Harold M Hallikainen

picon face
On Sat, 21 Apr 2001 17:00:49 -0700 Dan Michaels <.....danspamRemoveMEORICOMTECH.COM>
writes:
> David P. Harris wrote:
> >I would comment that it is likely Napster actually increases CD
> sales.
>
>
> Napster already tried that argument - I don't think the judge
> bought it - [the argument, not the CD :)]
>


       And, it doesn't matter whether it increased CD sales or not. It was
unauthorized use of copyrighted works.

Harold

________________________________________________________________
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2001\04\22@183936 by James Newton

face picon face
I certainly never said that I expect or even want companies to give
everything away for free. "Not for free" is kind of central to the
definition of a company. <GRIN>

But when the environment changes, you have to adapt to it. The record
companies, and companies that sell to microcontroller users need to account
for the low cost of information storage and dissemination made possible by
the internet. I'm not saying that it is right or wrong, just that IT IS. I'm
sorry Dan, that I'm the person who is slapping reality in you face, but it
is reality. I don't know what you should do, but I know that what you are
doing isn't making you any money, any friends, or bringing you much
satisfaction. What I'm doing is making me no money (yet... In fact, I still
haven't raised enough to buy three hard drives for the server RAID array...
well, I have gotten hooked up with some very nice consulting jobs due to my
activity on the list...) but it is making me friends, and it brings me great
satisfaction.

I don't suggest that you give away your cool workbench product, but before
long, someone will open source a replacement. The information will make its
way to the internet and then everybody will have it. Your "secrets" just as
much as the decryption code for MP3. Lawyers, laws and lawsuit's couldn't
erase that and you won't stop people from learning how to generate pulses,
do fast A2D captures, and so on. In fact Bitscope already did. They just did
it with more hardware.

Tony is doing that with his product
http://www.picnpoke.com/pocket/pocket.html
and I think he is on the leading edge of a new reality. I really like that
I can tweak the software. Its a marketing point. And I like that he did a
good job on the PCB design so I don't have to spend time on it. And the
Windows GUI. Its worth MORE to me to have that, than it is to buy from some
other vendor who could drop the product tomorrow and force me to replace it
when a new line of PICs comes out.

A good example is the SXKey (an ICD for Ubicom (Scenix) SX chips). Parallax
has had some stupid hissy fight with Ubicom and now they have basically
walked away from the product. I used to recommend the thing to people and
now all the people who listened to me (including me) are stuck with a unit
that doesn't really support the latest SX's correctly and is very feature
starved in the GUI compared to the new SX ICD's that have become available
recently. Parallax still sells the units, and what could they do to get my
recommendation back? OPEN SOURCE it so that its current user base can add
features as they wish. They have made noises but as of right now, they are
still "hoarding and hiding knowledge = bad" And it is hurting their sales.
Really STUPID. (Can you hear me John! <GRIN>)

If you want to make money, mass produce and sell the physical items, or
write custom, one off code. As far as I can see, open source and low volume
production are soon to be a thing of the past.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
RemoveMEjamesnewtonspamspamBeGonepiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
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{Original Message removed}

2001\04\22@194323 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
James Newton wrote:

>
>A good example is the SXKey (an ICD for Ubicom (Scenix) SX chips). Parallax
>has had some stupid hissy fight with Ubicom and now they have basically
>walked away from the product. I used to recommend the thing to people and
>now all the people who listened to me (including me) are stuck with a unit
>that doesn't really support the latest SX's correctly and is very feature
>starved in the GUI compared to the new SX ICD's that have become available
>recently. Parallax still sells the units, and what could they do to get my
>recommendation back? OPEN SOURCE it so that its current user base can add
>features as they wish. They have made noises but as of right now, they are
>still "hoarding and hiding knowledge = bad" And it is hurting their sales.
>Really STUPID. (Can you hear me John! <GRIN>)
>

Well, open source is definitely a nice idea, and it works fine for about
0.01% of the world, but your pleas that "hoarding and hiding knowledge
= dirty" notwithstanding, I doubt the rest of the world is going to come
around to this way of thinking any too soon. The percentage will increase,
of course, but history shows that ideas like this tend not to scale up
very well.

And it is unfortunate that the sxkey doesn't work for you, but then most
of us rely on the people who produce the dev_tools in the first place to
upgrade them over time as new and different products come out. Personally,
I doubt that "most" people wish to spend the time to hack their dev_tools,
and would rather use them productively than spend the time re-engineering
them.

I have an EPIC programmer, and once a year I am happy to pay melabs $10
for upgraded software. [course, they aren't making much money with $10
upgrades, either]. However, about 2 or 3 years ago, they put their s.w.
up on the website as shareware ["commercially-protected disclosure"
to the small scale market] - they had dozens or 100s of downloads, and
NOT ONE person actually ever sent back any $$$ [from what Jeff at melabs
told me], so they took it down.

Capitalism is alive, James, and communism is dead. Do you know why?

And this past year, 100s of dot.com's have gone under. Do you know why?

And do you know why the CUMP idea failed?

I put it to you there is one reason behind all three. Figure out
how to factor that into your arguments, and I'll support you.

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2001\04\22@195212 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
{Quote hidden}

Dan,

We can all distinguish between the two. We, and the vast majority of Napster,
warez, and other copyright infringers understand said copyright infringement.
However we are technologically at a point where such infringement is so
widespread, and so difficult to police or stem, that the presumed system
that had previously dominated such dissemination will by definition crumble.

I'm not assigning morality to the issue. In my book copying without
authorization is stealing and it's wrong. Period. Exactly two of the nearly
600 MP3's I currently have are not from my personal collection or downloaded
for true fair use (specifically in my kids' school projects).

But a law that has no enforcement ability, and where the majority of the
citizens under that law do not perceive it as lawful, has no chance of being
enforced.

And that's where copyright law is now. It used to be that one had to have
massive infrastructure in order to copy: Presses, film, CD duplicators,
etc. But with the internet, duplication has no cost and truly minimal
policing ability. Simply stating that it's IP and you can't copy it has
absolutely no teeth. If the info has value, it will be copied unless there
is some physical impediment to its copying imposed. And simply declaring it
IP without enforcement makes free information, morality nothwithstanding.

So as a content producer, one must either protect the IP, via security or
enforcement, or free the information in such a way that copying is a part
of the model.

Microsoft understand that. But the consumer revolt is going to be real
interesting when XP locks down applications and media. But I still think that
the volume model where the cost is negligable or fixed for an individual but
the collective revenue is massive will win out in the end.



{Quote hidden}

Most won't. It's a fact of life we see everyday, especially when the crime
is considered to be petty and victimless to a majority of the people under
that law.

Most people I encounter don't seem to understand that copying software or
music is the same as stealing from a store. And while the vast majority of
them would never consider stealing clothes, food, CDs, or software from a
store, they don't perceive that "borrowing" someone's copy of a CD or software
is tatamount to the same activity.

>
> Also, even when Napsters problem is solved, I don't think that is
> going to solve the issue that James rasied with this thread
> - intellectual property that is not music.

Well it's be real interesting to see how the competition goes between those
who secure their IP and those who release it for open consumption (which BTW
is not public domain. Most Open source folks want to prohibit the securing
of their work further down the line, so it does retain a copyright with a
license that allows for further redistribution.)

BAJ

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2001\04\22@210606 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Byron A Jeff wrote:

>
>We can all distinguish between the two. We, and the vast majority of Napster,
>warez, and other copyright infringers understand said copyright infringement.
>However we are technologically at a point where such infringement is so
>widespread, and so difficult to police or stem, that the presumed system
>that had previously dominated such dissemination will by definition crumble.
>
>I'm not assigning morality to the issue. In my book copying without
>authorization is stealing and it's wrong. Period. Exactly two of the nearly
>600 MP3's I currently have are not from my personal collection or downloaded
>for true fair use (specifically in my kids' school projects).
>
>But a law that has no enforcement ability, and where the majority of the
>citizens under that law do not perceive it as lawful, has no chance of being
>enforced.
>


Well, I understand every thing you've said here and agree with it.
Modern technology makes theft easier, and it's hard to do anything
about it. This is today's reality. The result probably is and will be
that the big companies [eg, music, books, software, etc] will charge
more in order to compensate, and they'll be just as rich any ole ways.

I am sure that open-source ideas will increase over time, but equally
certain the vast majority of companies will keep most info as
proprietary. A year ago dot.com's were the hottest thing going - but
then investors woke up, and realized everyone else was eating their
lunch. The "new business models" were just a lot of hoo-ey. It remains
to be seen how far open-source will go - tiny niche or conquering
the world.

However, I find it especially scary to hear people on the other end
of the spectrum from the big CO's say "hoarding and hiding knowledge
= dirty". This does turn the argument into a moral issue. Promoting
open source is one thing - using this as a justification is another.
============


>Microsoft understand that. But the consumer revolt is going to be real
>interesting when XP locks down applications and media. But I still think that
>the volume model where the cost is negligable or fixed for an individual but
>the collective revenue is massive will win out in the end.
>

This is really what is working "now" - music and s.w. cost next to
nothing to produce, and the entire semiconductor industry has been
built upon economies of scale since day one at Intel and TI [George
Gilder's book, Microcosm, is great for background on this]. The
problem, of course, is that the newest technologies are starting
to destroy the current system, and as you say, there needs to be an
even newer paradigm - thumb in the dike time.

In the case of M$, they are clearly locked into an even more insidious
world - from a philosophical [not monetary] perspective. Their stuff
keeps getting bigger and lumpier and more and more out of the control
of the user and harder and harder to deal with. Of course, my very
"worst" nightmare would be that M$ would give us the 30,000,000 lines
of source code, and say "here, you guys fix it". Now that would be
"dirty".

Well - my philosophy allocation for the 21st century is about run out.

best regards,
- dan
=================

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2001\04\22@213330 by Nick Taylor

picon face
You guys are getting way too serious!  I thought that this was an SUV,
nuke the whales, etc. list ... so let's stay on topic please.

Regards,
 -Nick T.

Dan Michaels wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\04\22@214405 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

flavicon
face
>Microsoft understand that. But the consumer revolt is going to be real
>interesting when XP locks down applications and media. But I still think that
>the volume model where the cost is negligable or fixed for an individual but
>the collective revenue is massive will win out in the end.

       Hardly people who UNDERSTANDS how things work will change from the actual model of win98/ie4/mail/tcp-ip. Microsoft can force (e.g.:put down the throat) people to use XP if they use the newest-crap-of-s... that they make. But look at people with older revisions of OS. XP will not work. And if MS finds a dirty way to modify the code of my machine, they will be sued.

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2001\04\22@222405 by James Newton

face picon face
Don't worry, we will get around to chicken weighing soon enough <GRIN>

You get all different types of topic on this list. But the stuff about PICs
will be marked [PIC]: in the subject line.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
spamBeGonejamesnewton@spam@spamspam_OUTpiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

----- Original Message -----
From: Nick Taylor <TakeThisOuTntaylorspamspamINAME.COM>
To: <PICLISTEraseMEspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2001 18:32
Subject: Re: [OT]: Pocket Socialism?


You guys are getting way too serious!  I thought that this was an SUV,
nuke the whales, etc. list ... so let's stay on topic please.

Regards,
 -Nick T.

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2001\04\22@225539 by James Newton

face picon face
The answer you are looking for is that they didn't make money or reward the
people who worked on them with hard cold cash. I don't have any new ideas on
how to exercise that motivation.

Yes, Communism is dead...
...as a way to run an economy. I said that right at the beginning. However,
it is alive and well as a way to run a family or volunteer society. Moms,
church project leaders, Linux install fest volunteers, AA Sponsors, Big
Brothers and Big Sisters, and even PICList contributors give according to
their abilities to those according to their needs. Why? Because they enjoy
it.

Because they are struggling for the survival of their own tribe over other
tribes.

I want to find a way for hackers to make their way in the world. I want
Tony's open source programmer to succeed. I also want the cool tools that
you, Dan, have come up with to succeed. But I'm not going to work for you if
you are A) on the money system instead of the hacker system and B) not
paying me enough to dump the hackers and take up the money (you don't have
that much).

Most dot coms (not all; I don't think of AOL.COM as a failure <GRIN>) have
failed because we don't have a complete understanding of the internet and
its effects on reality, especially economic reality. I personally think that
many of them were viable but ahead of their time. Also, they failed to
account for the importance of and the lack of ability of the internet to
deal with physical items. The internet is for information not physical
objects. Shipping cost was a big time killer. As was the lack of instant
gratification. Why in the hell can't I find a book online (like I can at
Amazon.com) and then be told that it is on the shelf at my local Barns and
Nobel and would I like them to hold it so I can swing by later that day?

CUMP A) didn't totally fail, its a damn fine design and you have
incorporated parts of it as has Tony B) No one wanted to be Linus (as you
pointed out) C) Too many chiefs, not enough Indians D) any number of other
reasons shared with the many sourceforge.net projects that do not succeed.
How many small startups (dot com or otherwise) also don't succeed.

Finally, perhaps I should clarify my "hording, hiding knowledge = bad"
statement. I don't ask that every trade secret be released and I understand
that people make money based on what they know and should not give that up.
I'm trying to express that knowledge is often lost or not put to use. Like
the tomatoes in my Mothers garden. We kept what we wanted but we made an
effort to give away the rest rather than just letting it rot. People often
refuse to share knowledge simply as a matter of course and not only because
it is what is earning them money. Even when it would be best for them (not
to mention the rest of us) to record (at least, privately) and publish (at
most) what they know, they "hoard" it as though by giving it away, they will
loose it also. And so they forget it, or never use it, and the world is
poorer for that.

I don't see the relevance of your EPIC example

Ubicom is now using REDHAT (open source) for their development tools for the
new IP2022 processor.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
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{Original Message removed}

2001\04\23@193429 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
I don't think that you got the idea about how open open source really is
quite right James. Many (most) embedded products implemented as a
consultant are open source in the following sense. The customer gets full
access to all the details and can implement his changes later. 99.999% of
the rest of the world do not. Some products are made PD for purposes of
ego, advertising, or for other considerations, even by the largest
companies. You know that. Confusing this with 'the new reality' is as
wrong as saying that all car tyres are size 28/10 after seeing 20 cars
with them in your home town.

The difference between low cost and no cost is scalability (neglecting
other considerations). No cost does not scale. By scale I mean a way to
relate an investment to its return (in $$, rupees, market share, prestige,
or whatever the goal is). Just like a vacuum will not do any mechanical
work on anything, these products and services are of no interest to
manufacturers/investors and eventually get dropped unless some legacy
obligations make the manufacturer do otherwise for a while (which can be
twenty years long, and longer).

When all the details of a microprocessor are known to the point where the
original manufacturer needs to sue someone to make him stop selling cheap
clones, the attraction of dropping it becomes very large. The same thing
applies to anything else produced in a consumer/industrial/postindustrial
society, unless it's toilet paper or 8051 processors or something other
that is impossible to remove from civilization without making a large
hole.

The 'changed times' you see are an extrapolation and a direct result of a
buyer's market which has existed for too long now in the hi-tech areas,
with its glut of over-production and price dumping (and which has
destroyed whole industries in software and hardware and moved them
offshore or off the map within one generation). The folding in the dot.com
area going on now is just the rumble before the storm imho.

I aggree that some items are vastly overpriced but almost invariably this
can be traced back to some sort of monopoly, government protectionism, or
cartel. These are the major stoppers of competition, and the only ones
able to sustain high prices and arbitrary distribution while deliberately
ignoring the real market forces at length. In most countries cartels,
monopolies and price dumping are illegal (except if daddy state decides to
keep 5 pr 6 of those just in case and the voters keep them in the saddle
like this, or do not vote at all to avoid being flattened by tanks or
shot). Price dumping is defined as 'producing and selling something for a
price so low, that no profit can possibly be made from it, for the purpose
of undermining a concurrent industry already producing that something'.

For example Linux which is a fair try to abide by POSIX standards (which
are PD) is not a clone of anything although it is free. The well-
integrated Exploder however, which cost nothing, was a direct answer, and
underbidding of another product at the time. Clones of anything designed
to undermine a product or its manufacturer are not good. For the same
reason copyright violations and patent use without permission are not
good.

Products that are not subject to this distortion are subject to
competition and quickly become 'reasonable' over the lifetime of the
product. The MP3 case is an extreme that is not really a good example.
Many other music/entertainment/theatre industry issues have predated the
MP3 'event'. It can be said that this industry has had a smelly track
record till way back before phonograph records were invented. Perhaps as
far back as antique Greek theatre.

Software and IP piracy is a much more proeminent issue than music
'sharing'. Remember that the music cartels' (plural) estimated losses due
to MP3 use are based on *their* own market estimations and pricing. Since
there is no-one else in this business if they say they lose $X billion due
to this, how can you argue against their numbers ?

This is kind of like quantic physics. The market is there and they think
they lost a share of it because they have losses (on paper) and someone
else 'won'. They cannot know whether that share would have bought their
products at their prices beforehead however. Like Schroedinger's cat
problem except lawyers can decide better than quanta (and travel in time
too). Of course they rely on perfect sales forecat models (like the
weather bureau's) and in their version of math 1000MP3*0$ == 1000CD*20$.
But THIS is not the point. The point is, why $20 no matter where and no
matter how much people earn there ? Imho the Napster lawsuit was a
political lawsuit just like Darwin's was. This is about who is boss ape,
and who better believe he is, nothing else.

Peter

PS: Sorry for the long post

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2001\04\24@091214 by James Newton

face picon face
As is made clear in "the cathedral and the bazaar" I fully understand that
most software is written for a specific customer and is not ever open
sourced. And probably shouldn't be, no question. But if A can write a
program that a lot of people use but are not completely happy with then B
can write an open source version. I know that its not very likely that that
will happen, but sometimes it does. And when it does, you can't put the
genie back in the bottle. People are looking for and finding open source
programs written in the 1980's on SIMTEL and rockeaware and piclist and
updating those methods for today's applications.

You can't stamp them out. That's it. It's out and nobody who depends on that
information being proprietary is safe. Microsoft is still making money, but
not as much as they would have if Linux wasn't around. Again, I'm not trying
to say that its good or bad or right or wrong. I'm just trying to explain
what I see as the reality. I think its a shame when knowledge goes to waste,
and I think that a lot of people let it go to waste when they (and others)
would be better off sharing it.

More often it's that the message spreads about a tool or a way to get a job
done or whatever via the internet. But ether way, my point is that the
reality has changed. The internet makes storing and forwarding all different
types of information very easy and business that expect to make money have
to do something that doesn't depend on the information part of their product
remaining underwraps. They need to focus on physical objects and new
development and niche markets and things that aren't going to get replaced
by the net.

More examples.

Movie houses that don't cater to some physical need (super big screens,
placement in malls, awesome sound systems) are dropping like fly's. Movie
information is coming home on VHS, DVDs (MP3) digital TV (MP3) and, soon,
the net (MP3).

Microsoft is loosing market share in web servers because A) they spent there
time on GUI on low cost hardware but B) the physical location of the server
really doesn't matter. Its ok for the console to be 100s of miles away and
non-graphical. GUIs need to be physically at the workstation so you don't
have to shovel the pixels over a long wire. Linus spent all the time on the
kernel.

"No cost does not scale"? Hello? Linux? I'll accept "no cost does not often
scale" but for profit enterprises also often do not scale. There are a lot
of very large non-profit organizations in the world. My health care is
Kaiser. Educating their members is one of the things they do rather well.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
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1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

{Original Message removed}

2001\04\25@172257 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
James Newton <EraseMEjamesnewtonspam@spam@PICLIST.COM> wrote:
> But if A can write a program that a lot of people use but are not
> completely happy with then B can write an open source version. I know
> that its not very likely that that will happen, but sometimes it does.
> And when it does, you can't put the genie back in the bottle.

As long as the freebie is: a) licensed for noncommercial use only, and
thus cannot (in theory) be considered price dumping on the original.
Notice the copyrights on many commercial-like packages for Linux and other
free OSes. b) the genie *can* be put back in the bottle if it is bad
enough for the majority of *current* manufacturers and users. See
@Gnutella & Co and recent dorm server policies everywhere. Strangely,
nobody mentions that the warez and MP3 issues have helped turn the
Internet from a friendly open network into a network of impregnable and
unfriendly castles much faster than spam and hackers combined, in the last
8 or so years.

> People are looking for and finding open source programs written in the
> 1980's on SIMTEL and rockeaware and piclist and updating those methods
> for today's applications.

Imho there is a SERIOUS difference between an implementation and the
knowledge (including algorythms) required to implement it. The
algorythm(s) should be published and freely shared, especially if they
were developed using public money or by universities, the implementations
should not, in most cases. If you want to educate, teach how to fish,
don't give fish away.

> I think its a shame when knowledge goes to waste, and I think that a
> lot of people let it go to waste when they (and others) would be
> better off sharing it.

You are right imho, but software is NOT knowledge. It is a tool
implemented therewith and does not contain it in a reproducible form. Just
try to write a paper on Unix kernels using the source of Linux (with its
comments). (disregard any previous experience with OSes you may have).

> They need to focus on physical objects and new development and niche
> markets and things that aren't going to get replaced by the net.

Exactly. And everyone suddenly makes proprietary hardware that cannot be
interfaced to Linux and *BSD (and to PICs), DVDs and Playstation disks
have zoning codes, and so on. 10 years ago if you had to interface an off
the shelf printer to a microprocessor you got it working using the
schematics and/or the friendly manufacturer support in 1 week. Just try
that now.

10 years ago many small companies were competing for clients and market
share and they paid attention. Small guys like most of the piclist had a
fair chance to join a startup and make it in a few years. Now 10 big
companies compete to keep honest people from using their products for
things other than designed for (by their marketing department), and in any
case less for than 3 years. Remember if it walks like a monopoly, quacks
like a monopoly and swims like a monopoly, then it still may not be a
monopoly/cartel ;-)

> "No cost does not scale"? Hello? Linux? I'll accept "no cost does not
> often scale" but for profit enterprises also often do not scale. There
> are a lot of very large non-profit organizations in the world.

You did not get this right. I was saying that no cost does not scale for
the *maker*. Of course the user(s) are in hog heaven if they get a
solution for 'free' (installation and administration time not included).
Just keep in mind that I am a (heavy) Linux user. Read my headers. You
should know better, you NT guy ! ;-)

Peter

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2001\04\25@182220 by jamesnewton

face picon face
Good point re: the difference between knowledge and binary code. In my mind
source code is somewhere between the two. My sympathies are more toward the
knowledge and I do see the danger of damage to commercial producers of
software as a result of free binaries. But it's just as easy to copy the
original binary (warez) via the internet. Releasing source for a product
increases knowledge without (much) additional damage to the company beyond
what the cracking of the original binary causes. And it gets you loyal
support from hackers instead of attention from crackers. Crackers and warez
(and castles and so on) arise when there is software to crack. If it was
physical, or open source, they wouldn't get involved.

Things can go wrong in every environment. You can always find one example to
prove a case. In my mind, I use Linux and Bitscope to "prove" the open
source case. There are also a lot of neat things on sourceforge. But that is
the "I don't really have an answer but I sure hope it goes that way" part of
my message here. I'm trying to push it that way. The "I know this is how it
is" part is that any dependence on making money off of non-physical things
is doomed by the internet. I'm sorry about that part, but pretending it
isn't real won't change it. Any one who doesn't open source their OS or
device programmer or WST or whatever is going to A) remain obscure (very
bad), B) be cracked and warezed (bad) or C) be replaced by an open source
alternative (least bad).

I don't understand the "proprietary hardware that cannot be interfaced to
Linux" statement. Manufacturers WANT their hardware to be used. They should
be making an effort (and I've heard that most are) to make Linux drivers
available. Of course, if you are referring to "free" hardware like that
Radio Shack barcode thing, that is a special case. TANSTAAFL.

No-cost does scale for the maker. Linus is happy. no-cost means the shear
fun of putting together a big project with a bunch of collaborators is not
distracted by having to pay them. <GRIN> Did you mean the original
commercial manufacturer? Even there, if the manufacturer is doing something
of value (advancing the version like with Ghostscript, making hardware like
Tony and Michael, providing a service like Red Hat, etc...) they will not be
wiped out by another supplier.

NT vs Linux? <GRIN> we have had that war. I also have a Linux box. I just
don't have the knowledge (yet) to be able to use it effectively. NT fit my
needs  (and I know it pretty well) and it was donated for the server so the
cost was the same.

Yours Truly

James "NT guy" Newton.

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{Original Message removed}

2001\04\26@040055 by Vasile Surducan

flavicon
face
I think you don't choose the right subject for this topics.[grin James!]
If you don't realy live at least 50 years under socialism you can't even
understand how much is any information appreciated.
You don't know even in your bad dreams how is to made functional
electronic projects only with some spare parts or old integrated circuits.
That's why you laugh when someone ask if can use again his x84 after he
suplied it with reverse polarities... and point to a supplier you know but
who doesn't even heard about the subject's country, or when you heard
about a guy who repair his high density pentium motherboard and you scream
at him to by quickly another one...
Fortunately the times are changed, now I can buy as many 8051 clones as
want but if I need a PIC12C509JW I must ask some, out of the border.

Open design resources are produced only by *open and light minds* who
finally understood there is no big deal in this life only to make money.
So I'm agree with James the III-rd, it's time to change the concept of
competition.
However, you are free to disagree, it's a free world.

Vasile


On Wed, 25 Apr 2001, James Newton wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2001\04\26@061102 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> I don't understand the "proprietary hardware that cannot be interfaced
> to Linux" statement. Manufacturers WANT their hardware to be used.
> They should be making an effort (and I've heard that most are) to make
> Linux drivers available. Of course, if you are referring to "free"
> hardware like that Radio Shack barcode thing, that is a special case.
> TANSTAAFL.

I wish the world would be perfect and work as you hope it does, but it
does not. To prove the point, walk into a computer shop near you, pick up
a cheap USB camera f.ex. take it home and try to use it with your linux
box. Repeat with a printer, a modem, a wireless mouse or keyboard, a
scanner, and an instrumentation card. I *know* that *some* of them are
supported. Just take what your wallet would dictate for a low cost
project. Then, try to round up programming data required to interface to
any of these products. Good luck. (This is exactly on the 28/11 tyre theme
by the way - not that that you see and hear plenty of is the most
numerous, even if it is on the Internet ;-).

> No-cost does scale for the maker. Linus is happy. no-cost means the
> shear fun of putting together a big project with a bunch of
> collaborators is not distracted by having to pay them. <GRIN> Did you
> mean the original commercial manufacturer? Even there, if the
> manufacturer is doing something of value

Exactly. He did it for the brownie points. However I hope he gets some
percentage because in some countries (cough, cough), the $39 boxed sets of
Linux go for the equivalent of $120 (more expensive than boxed W98 last
time I checked).

The Linux-friendly houses (like Aladdin) are in it for free advertising,
establishing their products as a de facto standard, etc. Red Hat has
become so commercial lately that I am beginning to wonder. This morning I
was looking for a SRPM of pump (dhcp(d) replacement) to download and I
couldn't find one. Maybe I did not look well enough, you know.

Peter

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2001\04\26@151326 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

flavicon
face
>That's why you laugh when someone ask if can use again his x84 after he
>suplied it with reverse polarities... and point to a supplier you know but
>who doesn't even heard about the subject's country, or when you heard
>about a guy who repair his high density pentium motherboard and you scream
>at him to by quickly another one...

       Haha, are you talking about Brazil? Things has changed (and are much better than LOTS of countries out there, of course) but the electronic people are still on the hard side of life...Hard to find things, and expensive too...

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