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Singing Hymns of Tech, Bloat, Evil, and OpenSource

jhymn.jpg Technology, if applied correctly, ehances all of our lives in many ways. It's been fascinating to follow two major threads in the tech world over the past decade: the well-funded corporate development vs. the progress made by our friends in the opensource community.

I am of the mind that profit motives do eventually make all things corrupt and foul, but that until you reach that point you have an opportunity to see unparalleled development, often for the better good.

Microsoft, in it's humble beginnings took off where Lotus began and flung corporate America into a new age of information and productivity. They are now a fat, greedy, bloated entity run by sharks and cannibals. Now don't get me wrong, I think Bill Gates had the best intentions and should be applauded for his philanthropy, but he has created a monster and there is no way to stop it except to break it into smaller, more humble (and maybe geographically diverse) pieces.

Google is already well-known for it's "Don't be evil" corporate philosophy and has created free public tools that undeniably lead to the informing of the internet netizens. There have been some questions about whether or not the founders cutting of their salary to $1/year is "evil", or if gMail is, in fact, a giant conspiracy to collect user data for advertising. Those gray areas aside, Google does seem to be on track.

Somewhere between the two, is Apple Computer, and the topic of most of the writing on this blog. For those who have come to use the computers over the years, it can certainly be argued that they care deeply about the user experience - perhaps more than any company out there - opensource or otherwise.

This creates a very large gray area for them to live within. Their contributions enhance the lives of those who use their products, and also trickle out to the rest as good ideas are mimicked in other software (and sometimes hardware).

Apple does seem to be leaning in the direction of evil as of late with their blatant (intellectual property) rip-off of konfabulator in their new operating system, and with their totalitarian stance on music ownership and rights.

As has been the aim of this blog for quite some time, we are here to help technology live up to it's full (legal) potential. As such, anyone who has loved how quick and easy it is to purchase music on iTMS, but loathed that you are absolutely required to use an iPod to play it, I would like to recommend reading about the JHhmn Project.

We'd also like to give a nod to the folks at Real for their work on Harmony, allowing users another legal choice for buying music and playing them on the excellent iPod device (for those who have one).

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on April 30, 2005 | Comments (0)

Cathcode and backlight step aside

We at Haus Interactive feel we've stumbled upon a solution for sad cloudy days in front of the computer: create an LCD that gives off UV rays like the sun -- that will give people a warm, happy feeling and will not only increase their productivity, but their well being as well.

Of course you'd have to include a control panel to adjust the UV levels, and would likely open a new niche for sunblock to prevent these new happy users from getting a GeekTan™ (Thanks Rob for the term.)

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on April 22, 2005 | Comments (0)