Tuesday, February 10, 2004

1. Open source vs. proprietary software. On Nerds 2.0.1, Bill Gates said that having internet explorer built into Windows is “critical to our strategy.” Is this a valid argument (assuming he's referring to business and not a strategy to take over the world…)? What is lost and gained with open source? Does the internet explorer issue relate to other periods in the development of the computer – what was the outcome then? Why may it be different now?

2. Laissez-faire policies in France led to their network withering and eventually failing, despite it being on the forefront of network communications. Do we need the government involved in every technology in their beginnings to get them off the ground, making them attractive for eventual business development? There are a lot of new technologies and a very, very large deficit. How can we know which technologies to support?

3. On that same note, as technology becomes more and more advanced, and controlled by larger companies with software that may not be open source, how can we have a true democracy with the huge divide between those who know how their company's software works, and those who don't? Engelbart dreamed of technology augmenting human intelligence … does an imbalance of power pose a problem if the technology surpasses most people's intelligence?

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