taskforce writes: There are good reasons to think a web services like Facebook won't be around forever. If Facebook ever were to go down there would be potentially huge costs to its users. We can all take individual steps to protect our data and social network, but is there anything we can do to our economy to mitigate the costs of the failure of these services? The Red Rock looks at the role open source, open standards, consumer cooperatives, and enterprise reform can play. The author concludes that all is not lost, and that there's a lot we can do to reduce both the cost and frequency of failure.
taskforce writes: Opera Software just filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft at the European Commission. (A place where Micorosft has historically come to blows over its monopolist practices before.) The suit alleges that Microsoft has abused its dominant position in the operating system market by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows; Unlike Apple or Nokia, who also bundle a browser with their OS, Opera argues that web designers build their sites with IE in mind both because of its dominant market share and non-compliance with web standards, meaning that other browsers simply do not work correctly with many pages which are designed for IE, leading to unfair and deliberate restriction of competition on the part of Microsoft.
taskforce writes: "A petition to ban DRM on the UK Government's new (and seeminglypointless) petition site which was signed by 1,400 people was blown off today by the British Government. In its typical response to the swell of public opinion, the government said Digital Rights Management, 'helped give users unprecedented choice,' and that it would fully support the continued embedding of the software into digital media. The full text of the dismissal can be found here."