This was a piece I had rattling around in my head for some time. It gets weak at the end, and has no real flow to it, but it's interesting enough in places that I thought I'd clean it up and publish it. Enjoy my dark sarcasm!
In a mass-market scenario, the larger the population the higher the chance for one or more free software projects to appear.
Since software can, in theory, be inherited by additional programmers and indefinitely updated, even the smallest chance for a free software project to be created becomes an inevitability over time. This means that even a niche market scenario can have competition from free software.
A crowd of hobbyists will have more time and expertise for a general-purpose piece of software than a development house can bring to bear. Simply put, they can do it better.
It goes without saying that cheaper, better and more supported free software will eventually out-compete proprietary equivalents, displacing established businesses and markets.
How can this problem be addressed?
This was an aborted piece I had sitting around, so I thought I'd post it up. It doesn't have a complete arc of an idea, but it's readable.
One of the common responses to people getting pissy about software is "It's Open Source, change it yourself" or "Open Source is about choice, find an alternative".
These are ignorant and insulting responses.
When it comes to all the fancy software tools out there, I'm finding myself becoming more and more luddite.
I've learned through reading and discussion many ways on how to handle data. It's something I'm always interested in. However, the one thing that I've learned - and sometimes the hard way - is that no matter how awesome your handling of your data it all falls to pieces when your tools break.
update: Google Advertising Opt-Out add-on: updated for Firefox 3.5[unknown prefix: Google Advertising Opt-Out add-on]
Did you know about this? I didn't. Thanks to some random surfing and an EFF post, I just learned of it.
With this browser plugin you can permanently opt out of the DoubleClick cookie, which is an advertising cookie that Google uses. The plugin lets you keep your opt-out status for this browser even when you clear all cookies.