Monday, April 17, 2006

 

The Monopolist & The Con Artist

A post about technology and a plea for help

Armed and Dangerous comments after learning his name and copyright are in a Microsoft EULA (End-User License Agreement):
I write my code for anyone to use, and ‘anyone’ includes evil megacorporate monopolists pretty much by definition. I wouldn’t change those terms retroactively if I could, because I think empowering everyone is a far more powerful statement than empowering only those I agree with. By doing so, I express my confidence that my ideas will win even when my opponents get the benefit of my code.

Besides…now, when Microsoft claims open source is inferior or not innovative enough or dangerous to incorporate in your products or whatever the FUD is this week, I get to laugh and point. Hypocrites. Losers. You have refuted yourselves.
Indeed they have.

On a related topic, AOL might not be a megacorporate monopolist, but they are evil. They seem adept at convincing otherwise smart people who are not very knowledgable about computers that they somehow need AOL to use the internet. (I have had to explain to more than one friend with an MBA from a Big Ten school that AOL is completely unnecessary to access the internet. They were shocked to learn that IE was a free standing application on their desktop.) AOL's use of restrictive rules and proprietory formats make this partially true -- its difficult to access and use saved data without using AOL products. Difficult, but not impossible.

I know that programmers have in the past written routines that convert data stored in AOL formats into more common formats. But I can't find any that will convert the files stored by most recent version of AOL. A friend of mine would like to save old emails stored in AOL's format after she switches ISPs. If there is anyone out there aware of comercially available software or freeware that will do this, or even just routines that will perform most of the necessary functions, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know.

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