With Who will pay, part 2, Dave Winer commits enough fear, uncertainty, and doubt against the free software1 to rival the best of them. Winer wants people to buy commercial software. Not to enjoy specific merits, but rather to comply with a set of general values. His general values, mind you. It's disheartening that he feels the need to dress a his (arguably noble) message in such a ragged set of arguments. Let's examine them:
Telmore has amassed 300.000 customers with three simple directives: Zero cost subscription, 20 Ýre per SMS, and 1 kr. per minute everyday, anywhere. That's an attractive proposition in a market littered with "adjustable" service schemes that heavily tax any comparison between the telcos.
They're going to up the ante and push GPRS along with MMS services come July 1st (free for the first three months!). That alone will make me drop my new TDC subscription like a bad apple and leave it to root at the minimum 30 kr./month rate for the remaining four months of binding.
But what I like even more is the direct report within the flat organization of Telmore. After reading about their plans to offer GPRS, I sent them a letter of congratulations. It took but a few hours to get a detailed thank-you reply, which included the note that my letter would be forwarded to the CEO.
I have great respect for a company that installs just a single guard between the customer and the CEO. No wonder Telmore is able to provide more, better, and cheaper. They're in constant report with their customers.
If you haven't dumped your legacy telco already, do it now!
The worst kind of journalists are those with a skin-deep interest and even less zeal for diligent research, but three times the reasonable amount of "enthusiasm" and "empathy". They wade through one hyperbole after the next in a desperate attempt to show "they get it". But of course they don't. Nothing screams ignorance and wannabe more than overdoing and overplaying it.
Which is exactly what Jack Russel of The Inquirer does in his feeble attempt to pay homage to upcoming Doom 3 and its creator John Carmack. Apparently, the release of Doom 3 will only be rivaled by the Second Coming or AMD's Athlon 64. What!? Besides being completely without foundation, it's an incredibly sloppy metaphor, and what seems to be a random likening to a processor.
Heralding Doom 3 with such fanfare discounts the entire history of Id Software and the gaming industry at large. Before Doom III, there was Quake III, Quake II, and Quake -- and even Doom II. All games that at their time was extremely anticipated. But we don't even have to look at Id or at the past for much-wanted games. Star Wars Galaxies by Sony, Half-Life 2 by Valve, The Sims 2 by EA. All big games that'll probably earn better than Doom III.
But of course that's not the point. When you're only in the game for a single play, you can afford to blow all your hyperboles at once. You don't have to worry about how to top a likening to the Second Coming when the next promising title arrives.
A hundred pages by Thursday at 1200 hours. And they'd like eleven copies. Just doing the printing is a half-day job. Throw in an important birthday for girlfriend of one of the mates, a labourous rewrite of 30 pages of the comp. sci. part, and we're starting to feel the heat of a fire-breathing deadline. Hence the silent thinking lately.
Macs crash. Spout indecipherable error codes. Choke severely on network drives that go awol. Render tons of amateur sites unreadable. Doesn't jive with most net banks. Some faults are its own, some it suffers by the hand of others. Basically, it's a computer. Not a goddess on a pedestal.
I should not cling to irrational sentiments of the father Jobs, the son of Unix, and the holy usability. Why do I do that? Why this need to attach divine inspiration to a box and a operating system? Do I need these heroic tales and glamourous myths to constantly convince myself?
I don't. Let the product speak for itself. My two macs are the best computers I've ever owned. But they're still computers. Flawed in many ways, but less than their predecessors. More credibility is to be had from recognizing mortality.
Repeat: Apple creates products, not a holy trinity. Apple contributes much innovation, not all of it. This is not something to disguise, regret, or apologies for.
Be proud instead of arrogantly zealous.