Another example of cultural disconnect. Time Warner used to continually try to get me to add home phone service to my cable/internet service. Yet it never occurred to them to install backup power capabilities to their network or encourage customers to install UPSs for their cable modems. During a storm related power outage my systems would stay online due to my precautions, but the cable network would be out, thus knocking out essential phone service if I used theirs. The Telco on the other hand has been regulated to require the local loop to be available unless physically damaged.
While this is not an edorsement of cable VOIP over POTS I did want to point out that my cable providors EMTA actually has a battery backup built into it and lasts for quite some time when the power goes off. I assume (probably incorrectly?) that they have backup power at their 'Central Office' end of things. Rarely does the power go off here for more than an hour or so and if it does it is likely the result of a hurricane or some other natural disaster and physical damage to the infrastructure is likely. To tell the truth, I only picked up the land line service because it the package saved me money by bundling. FWIW its nice to have a land line but I rarely use it except for my alarm system. My cell phone for personal and my Packet8 VOIP phone for my company gets most of my talk time.
We can file with paper, or we can file with our computers, or we can have a tax preparation service file for us. Those quaint forms are entirely necessary for people without computers. Yes, I know it's amazing to most on slashdot that there are people without computers, but I know quite a few of them.
make it work when the internet goes out?
I agree, but it still stands that you can't have civilization without government, and you can't have government without taxes.
It is indeed. Companies that support open source projects make money in other venues, often supported at their base by the very non-profit open source that they support.
Other companies buy up projects to kill them. After all, it's also hard to pay employees for your very expensive database when a more-or-less free one does a more-or-less good job.
Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.