Cisco, the name spoken with the most reverential tones in the IT and telecommunications market, has a new push for their hardware’s interoperability with Linux software. The move ties in Yahoo!, who will be working with Digium to deploy Asterisk throughout Yahoo’s global communications net, using Cisco SIP end points on the desktop.
Actually, Cisco has shown plenty of love to Linux in the past, just not in supporting Free and Open Source Software on telecommunications systems. Remember, back in 2005, Cisco internally rolled out Linux desktops to their workforce.
The reason given being, not cost, but because Linux is easier to support! Take that, MSCEs!
And then back in April of 2008, Cisco opened up its ISR routers’ API, with an application extension platform based on Linux. So you might actually compare Cisco more to IBM. They’ve been planning this move for a long time, and they do it like they do anything, in slow, steady steps.
Controversial as always, TechCrunch gets our attention this month by questioning the ‘Google-it’ mentality. And we’d like to not only refute things like this, but go all the way back to Socrates and lay out our direct, irrefutable line of logical statements which leads us to this path.
Proposition One: Nobody owes you an answer.
When you have a question, you are imposing on another person to do you a favor. There is no law, nor moral obligation, for anyone else to answer your question. That’s at all, whether Google exists or not, whether you can find the answer on Google or not. Both Google and people are going out of their way to help you for free.
Proposition two: The only motivation people have to answer your question is to do something kind.
That’s it. Invisible-hand-of-the-marketplace or not, every time a human answers another human’s question for free, they are practicing altruism. It might have the secondary assumption that you’ll ‘pay it forward’ and help other people, or the feeling of obligation that the answerer is paying it forward, or because helping the questioner helps the answerer indirectly, and so on. But all answers start with a desire to help.
It only looks to involve the US and UK/EU at this point, but the broad plans of ACTA, the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, look like they could eventually become a de-facto standard for the whole wide world of e-commerce.
TechDirt is digging up shovels full of information on ACTA. The agreement is set up to protect against the boom in global media piracy, but the problem is that it’s almost impossible to solve this problem without trampling on multiple human rights at the same time.
That’s why the organizations Consumers International, EDRi, the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ASIC (a French trade association for web 2.0 companies), and the Free Knowledge Institute have all banded together to protest the agreement and voice their concerns, or at least put on the breaks until cooler heads can have a look at this.
On Australian turf, the Australian Digital Alliance, Australian Library and Information Association, Choice (a non-profit consumer advocate), and the Internet Industry Association have formed a coalition stating much the same thing. In a package, reducing counterfeiting is important where it endangers consumer health or safety or constitutes commercial scale infringement is a good thing; but we shouldn’t have to roll heads to do it.
Sometimes you have to wonder if we should re-think this whole software design thing. A reminder of just how over-their-heads some people are occurred recently with the story that Microsoft won’t be providing IE 9 for Windows XP. That’s right, if you’re not using Windows 7 by now, you are simply off the radar for browser upgrades.
The trouble, as all web developers know, is getting users to upgrade those browsers. Why is this always such a struggle? Older browsers are buggy, insecure, troublesome, and the hardest of all to develop for. We’ve gone for years like this, with a few hardy users getting the newest edition of everything, most of the crowd shuffling along within a year, and then there’s the die-hard long tail, bringing up the rear. They use IE7, IE6, even IE5.5, and you’ll get that old browser away from them when you pry it from their cold dead fingers. They make web designers pull out their hair.
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