Geeks Fight Back
So, this is neat.
Big companies like to try to control consumers with new technology. Consumers invariably defeat this technology. Copy-protected video cassettes, CDs, DVDs . . . DVD “regions” so that a DVD bought in one part of the world can’t play in another part of the world, and of course, you can’t play DVDs on Linux . . . but faster and faster all these restrictions get hacked away with software. The geeks have an understanding that a new technology isn’t really useful until the “Digital Rights Management” has been defeated.
I read, the other day, in the O’Reilly Radar blog, that simple electronic “hack” gadgets are getting cheaper, and more commercialized. Just now I read of a new consumer hack to unlock iPhones from requiring AT&T service. This is a neat step in the efforts of geeks and consumers to wrestle control away from another industry full of big companies that would prefer to limit consumer freedom. A neat confluence.
The big corporation Google has been trying to fight, ostensibly, on our behalf as well, convincing Congress to sell new radio spectrum for use with open standards, which would give us more raw material to work with that isn’t managed by the big telephone companies. Exciting, esoteric struggles afoot, and you know who I’m rooting for!