I was going to jump in and add my own opinion on pay/free as I differ from many in a)paying for things many take free on the web (eg: email/webmail), b)really dig "Free Software", and donate c) use freeware, and donate, and d) own almost none of the big AA list software but buy lots of independent software or indie shareware. Was going to explain why and how some of it is also powered by wanting to have the diversity continue
... but in between this thread is all turning very gloomy - in line with many recent posts I have read http://falkvinge.net...mist-happy-new-year/http://blog.p2pfound...orow-28c3/2012/01/01
- from the pirate party to computer and hardware pioneers, nobody likes where the world of controlled app stores, crazy invasive security laws and the aggressive copyright industry are going.
I can see that this is where the system that corporate and governement are trying to build, but I can also see that this is not the world that people think we're in - even people that are using tightly constrained devices are sharing, dabbling, trying, creating etc. And they consider this normal, and they will not accept when they are told they cannot do things they take for granted (like creating their own videos, their own writing, or a wonderful playlist, or letting their kids do fan fiction or create games) due to anti piracy rules.
As Switzerland recently stated: anything that turns most of the population into criminals for doing something they feel is normal is ridiculous and must
General purpose computers are everywhere, and they are too important a tool for systems and individuals for us to let them go and to let them be controlled by a few players and the rest of us use locked devices... Can't happen.
And I don't think it will happen - not when kids grow up able to build games for themselves on their PC or xbox. Making music on the computer, able to learn to code, hack things together. And nowadays able to bridge the virtual with the social and the physical in so many ways. We have hobby robotics and 3d printers and so much more of it is open and improving...
The change is not going away. The PC is still going strong, even though it's not cool. There's so much shareware on it, and more and more people find it (although there's so much more to find). People on the mac are buying and releasing shareware in increasing numbers. Indie games are booming. Kickstarter is enabling more and more projects to happen at less risk to the initiator.
Free software has not failed it has changed the world - nowadays you can program in any language you are interested in and release software without having to pay for the compiler. I remember when it wasn't so, and I'm only 40. I can't imagine what the world would have been without GNU and co - but I bet most of you would never have been able to even write software much...
And as for the network and carriers, it is right that they can become bottlenecks. But many don't want to, and the technology is easy enough that we will soon get grids and village carriers and a lot of ways to bypass any ridiculous limits. But I doubt it will get to that, because once the squeeze is started people will react.
Anyway, it is "program or be programmed" and I know where I want to be