If my observations are correct then such a swing is about to happen, and this time we had better get it right.
The interesting part, which is missing, would be a list of such observations.
Also, writers and publishers and musicians not wanting DRM but the stores -- Apple, Amazon, et al -- insisting on it. Another pendulum swing. You wind up not even having total control over your own product.
Fake DRM takedowns to stifle competition (see the Vinted thing with Kickstarter).
The battle over whether GPS tracking does or doesn't require a court order.
All the evidence is out there and I'm surprised any of you need someone else to create such a list.
If my observations are correct then such a swing is about to happen, and this time we had better get it right. Things that point in the direction of a swing are an increasing awareness of ordinary computer users with respect to their privacy and who actually owns all that data. The fragmenting of the smartphone and tablet markets will lead to some more openness and at some point all the bits and pieces to create true open hardware will fall into place. FPGAs, 3D printing and some more ingredients will make it possible to generate very capable hardware and versatile on a relatively small budget. A mobile platform consisting of a standard phone/3G/wifi module, an FPGA and a standard touch screen would be pretty formidable and is almost within reach.
The whole paragraph is a list of observations and reasoning.
But pragmatically, what to do about it? I don't think answers such as "don't buy" proprietary or closed source has any effect, since enough others do and will continue to do so. One option may be to (continue ?) to develop unrestrict[ed |ive] software that is more desirable than the closed equivalent. But as we know, that's not easy.
The government (by which I mean political interests) want to regulate the internet badly and are just waiting for the opportunity/event to occur that allows them to form enough of a consensus to do so. You can't put the genie back in the bottle completely, there will always be open computing and open protocols, but the idea that computers will always be a platform from which "a couple of kids in a garage" can launch a revolution; I think that is far from a sure thing.
> But pragmatically, what to do about it? I don't think answers such as "don't buy" proprietary or closed source has any effect, since enough others do and will continue to do so. One option may be to (continue ?) to develop unrestrict[ed |ive] software that is more desirable than the closed equivalent. But as we know, that's not easy.
What was it about the web that made it more desirable to Prodigy, AOL? I'd love to see accounts from insiders in the industry at the time that that disruption took place. It's easy to say in hindsight that the web was better but why did people at the time think it was better?
In my experience, the web offered connectivity. We built some very early web-based Order management tools, back when Amazon was taking phone orders. Then we realized that "Hey, with a browser & modem, employees can do their work at home!" This was pre-firewalls, and you had to know the IP.
If we can ensure that we retain connectivity between services we operate, we're in a good place.
The web didn't win because of content. Many people think web content is better than it actually is. What's 1000X better than Google? LexisNexis. Searching LN via a 14.4 modems returned better, more detailed and richer information much faster than 100Mbits and Google today, because the relevance was insane. And for the obscure niche information there was always NNTP.
And I agree that it is far from a sure thing. I wished it was.