|Tech Consumer Outreach - saturday 2002-07-20 1436||last modified 2006-01-28 1528|
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In my spare non-thesising time, I've been dreaming up a couple ideas on organizations that could effect a lot of change in the world of technology. Dreaming, key word. As Billy Gates &co. attempt to roll out their frightening Palladium architecture (read more from around the net, or read the most recent spam Billy boy sent to everybody with an email address), I think we need to a) fight back and b) come up with something better. I don't know if such things exist already.
The best way to fight a corporation in a capitalist society is to not buy from and not invest in them. The best way to achieve that is to act as a concerted front of consumers. And the best way to recruit into such a front is through spreading the truth about monstrosities like Microsoft and the DMCA. I'd like to see that 'evangelism' and that body rolled together into a consumer alliance. I think the part about spreading the news is key, and it's missing. If people see the truth, beyond any false incentives or FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) spread by the anti-consumer corporations, then maybe it will work. Of course, that's the whole problem for any organization with a goal - getting 'everybody else' to understand.
The most proactive step to finding something better is to get away from Microsoft's dominance on desktops and servers around the world. And the best thing to move to, that I can tell, is Linux. (The jury is out on Apple for me, though I can say right off that Apple isn't a cheap alternative). Yet Linux isn't ready for the average user. What it needs is a support body. Have a problem with Windows? Look in the knowledge base or shell out your life savings for support - the options are there for getting things fixed (if they can be). Have a problem with Linux? Where are you going to turn? That question doesn't often get answered because the average user isn't trying Linux anyways. A widely-known organization that got behind the most user-friendly distributions (Mandrake comes to mind - their support staff is definitely too small anyways) and put up a knowledge base with good, reasonable documentation, along with options for paid support might go a long way.
Eh. Back to thesising.